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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  May 6, 2012 8:30am-9:30am PDT

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>> schieffer: today-- "face the nation," and they're off. and we're not talking the kentucky dekentuck derby. >> we have come to far to abandon the change we fought for these past two years. we have to move forward. that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states! ( cheers and applause ) >> schieffer: the presidents everywhere from the battleground political states to afghanistan, where he marked the one-year anniversary of the death of osama bin laden. mitt romney said fine, but-- >> and the idea to try to politicize this ask to say, "oh, i, president obama, would have done it one way, mitt romney would have done it another" is really disappointing. >> schieffer: with romney all
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but certain to get the republican nomination, former rival michele bachmann, settled her differences and endorsed him. >> he not only can win. he will win. he will be the president. >> schieffer: no endorsement yet from newt gingrich but he finally quit. >> i thought, frankly, my role providing material for "saturday night live" was helpful alive and we will talk. where the republicans go from here, and the democratics' side from new york senator chuck schumer, and former presidential candidate and one-time chairman of the democratic party, howard dean. we'll talk with a leading voice on foreign policy. zbigniew brzezinski, about the case of the chinese dissident, and we'll try to put it in perspective with analysis from peggy noonan of the "wall street journal." michael gerson of the "washington post." david corn of "mother jones" magazine, and our own john dickerson. all that plus the highlightels from the republican primary
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campaign because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning, again, and welcome to face the nation. we begin this morning with two former republican candidates, the former house speaker newt gingrich and congresswoman michele bachmann. mr. gingrich, why don't we just start with you. was it worth it? >> oh, i think as a citizen, sure. i had a chance to go out and explain what i would do and how i'd do it, and calista and i got to meet thousands of people who were very positive, and hopefully i made some positive contribution to the dialogue and proposed some very big ideas that i think over the next five or 10 years, some of them will actually become law. it's part of the process of citizenship alive and do you think-- because many times during the campaign, you were
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all over mitt romney for claiming he was a conservative, and you said he wasn't. do you think he would have been better off, or would be better off noto simply concede that he say moderate? i mean, is that a bad thing to be known as a moderate? >> look, we had a very hard-fought campaign, and a lot of different people threw punches in a lot of different direction. the fact is, compared to barack obama, mitt romney is a solid conservative. i think you have to come down to what's the choice this november, and the choice is the most radical president in american history and i failed history at the economy. and somebody who has a solid record on jobs and who in fact, on basic principles is a conservative. and you get into argumentabout who is how conservative, but compared to obama, mitt romney is a solid conservative. >> schieffer: does mitt romney want your support? i notice you haven't endorsed him yet? >> that's very strange. i said on wednesday when i did the statement of suspending the campaign, i'm going to campaign for him. i favor him over obama, and i
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went through, like, seven different issue where's i favor him. i'll do everything i can to help elect romney and i'll do everything i can to help the senate and help the house republicans. i'm not sure what "endorsement" means behind klan. i will be campaigning with mitt in the near future-- >> schieffer: so you have epidorsed him. >> as far as i'm concerned, i have endorsed him and we're working with his campaign team and i want him to carry the maximum number of states and i want the election to help win the senate for republican repubd to help increase republican margin in the house. >> schieffer: he is running basically and says his campaign, and you're almost saying the same thing, is just simply a referendum on president obama? isn't it going to have to be more than that if he's going to win? doesn't he have to come up with some big ideas, like you proposalsed? >> well, i think he'll have some things-- and he has proposed some things towards job creation, better tax and regulatory promise. i also think when you have a president who has had the worst
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economy since the great depression-- barack obama was wrong about change. he said yesterday change was the still the issue. we have had change. more americans have lost jobs. more americans have had their home foreclosed. more americans have pays more for gasoline. more americans have been driven into property. we have seen a lot of change under barack obama. the sad thing is, most of it is negative. >> schieffer: what do you think governor romney should be doing right now? >> pretty close to what he's doing. again, the ( party-- my bias. he has to run his campaign. he won the nomination. the bias is towards a team election, bringing together the house, the senate, and the presidency as president reagan did. mitt romney was in massachusetts where the other side ran the legislature. he knows how big a difference it would make to have a republican senate. and i think his team has to put together-- how do they define the election so it elects romneys and elects republicans to house and senate. and if it comes together that
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way, i think he could have a very successful campaign. >> schieffer: do you think president obama made too much of the anniversary of the death of osama bin laden? >> i think president obama will take any topic, other than the economy, and maximize it. and i think you're going to see that for the next five months. you give president obama a chance to talk about anything except this economy, and he's going to do so. and the question that ought to be asked of him and every over again is so how many jobs did you create yesterday? what did you do to help americans keep their homes? what have you done to bring down the price of gasoline? he can dance all he wants to. in the end, can you really afford four more years of a failed presidency? they wanted to use "forward" as their slogan. they should be using downward because that's been the trend for the economy, for takehome pay, for people being age to afford gasoline. in every case it has been downward for president obama. >> schieffer: will it make any
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difference who he puts on the fix with him? >> who romney puts on the ticket? >> schieffer: yes. >> people underestimate our deep our bench is. you have somebody like kelly ayotte in new hampshire. mitch daniel. you have marco rubio. you have rob portman, you have bobby jindal, suzanna martinez-- go down the list and you'll find an enormous depth of talent in the republican party that wasn't there 12 years ago. >> schieffer: you didn't mention newt gingrich. >> you have known me a long time. would you pick me to be presidential vice president nominee. it would be inconceivable. >> schieffer: mr. speak ethank you for coming on and answering the questions when we posed them i want to turn now to congresswoman michele bachmann. a lot of talk about mitt romney is not reaching women in this campaign, miss bachmann. you've endorsed him. what does he need to do? what does he need to say to
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women? well, first of all, they a myth and it's not true because obama's-- >> schieffer: what's a myth? >> the myth is there is a republican war on women. there's not a republican war on women. that's coming from the obama reelection team because everything they do right now is-- any word that you hear will go through the grid of obama's reelection. >> schieffer: well it must be working because most of the polls show he's running way behind with women. >> actually, if you look at the 2010 electiones, women went republican. they didn't go democrat, and they will this time as well, because women are more concerned about the economy and jocks for themselves, for their husbands, for their children, and that's not happened because obama's broken his promises. he broke his promises on job creation. and this election is about the economy. and i think mitt romney had a great line. he said it's still the economy and we're not stupid. women aren't stupid.
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women are very capable. they're intelligent. they're competent, and women want to know year going to have jobs created. the speaker was right when he said that since the great depression, we've had more foreclosures, more people have lost their incomees, more people have seen their-- not only that but their jobs lost in any time. and, also, in the history of the country we've never gone this long with over 8% unemployment. that's the issue. that's what women care about. i will tell you that because i was pumping gas for people in anoka, minnesota, in st. cloud, minnesota, and women at the pump told me i can't take gas prices that were 110% more now than the day obama came in. that's what women care about. they deal with the price of gas. they deal with the price of groceries. and they know whether they've got a job or not. that's why this utter failure of obama and all of his broken promises, one after another,
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that's what's staring him in the face. that's why he's bringing up all these phony issues that are distracting and distortions. and that's why i think mitt romney is going to be trusted by a lot of women, very smart. he has a very optimistic message. women trust him because they see this is a man who started a business from scratch for heaven's sake. >> schieffer: with all due respect, congresswoman, the polls do not suggest that. >> that's a snapshot-- >> schieffer: it shows that barack obama is getting the women's vote right now. >> i think, again, the polls showed, and the ballot box showed in 2010 women went with the republicans. and so we don't know what the final result will be in november. but that's why i think mitt romney is making a very positive case for women. women know they can trust someone. what women want more than anything is jobs and the economy to turn around. that is the big issue. that's what mitt romney has spent his life delivering, and that's what he'll do. i believe he will be president of the united states. >> schieffer: why do you think
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he's having so much trouble sort of connecting with people? again, the polls suggest when you talk about who cares most about our problems, things of that nature, it seems to be mr. obama, president obama. somehow or another, he doesn't seem to be connecting in a way that people feel comfortable with him. >> again, i think that's another myth of the campaign trail. because if you look at mitt romney, it's all about his proven track record and what he's done with his life. he's met budgets when he was the governor. as i said, he started from scratch a business, and was very successful. and i think now that we just-- >> schieffer: but you're talking about poll results and you're saying poll results are myths. i mean, you said just a while ago that the women supported in the last election, that obama didn't carry them. he did by 13 points. >> i'm talking about the 2010 election. remember, a woman lost the gavel as the speaker in 2010.
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that was nancy pelosi. and it was women who overwhelmingly went republican and threw up on the a woman speaker. i think this time again what women want, bob, is they want competence, and, unfortunately, with all due respect to the president, he's not competent to deal with the economy. mitt romney is competent in spades. that's what women are going to be looking for. and i think as far as connecting, people want to connect the economy. and that's, again, they see broken promise after broken promise, after broken promise from obama. and what they see from mitt romney is a guy who is optimistic and can do it. >> schieffer: are you-- after you left campaign, the campaign really moved to the right. i mean, we saw all these social issues come to the fore. do you think that was good? >> i think what we saw was the reality of obamacare. one thing that mitt romney has demonstrated, he will repeal obamacare. that's a big compare and
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contrast between barack obama. we will never get rid of socialized medicine, which is obamacare, under barack obama. mitt romney has committed himself to repealing obamacare. that is what we've seen, whether denying religious liberties to the romanical church, or one thing after the other, the cost-- i will tell you in my home town of onakoa, minnesota, it's the number one reason employers tell me they won't hire people is obamacare. that's the big compare and contrast between president obama and mitt romney. >> schieffer: are you worried about mitt romney moving to the center? >> i'm worried about barack obama having a second term. but a lot of people know mitt romney's positive agenda. >> schieffer: we have to end it there. we're going to hear from two top democrats, new york senator chuck schumer, and former vermont governor howard dean. governor dean, let me start with you and get your reaction to what you've just heard. >> well, i mean, frankly, michele bachmann has never had
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much command of the facts and that shows us exactly why. the fact of the matter is barack obama has created jobs, four million of them since he became president. the economy is in much better shape than it was when he took office. the women are terrifieded about what republicans are talking about. they're talking about stripping away insurance paying for their birth control pills. latinos are terrified of the republicans because they seem to have a tin ear whether it comes to the bake needs of treating people with dignity. and the average american thinks mitt romney doesn't care about them. here say guy who is building, during a campaign of a mansion in malibu with an elevator for his car. he had a swiss bank account and had an account in theica men islands. i don't think we've elected a president with an act in theica meniling before. >> schieffer: strong lawyer all right to follow, as they say. senator schumer, let me ask you
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this-- do you think that the president has made it clear to americans what he wants to accomplish in his second term? you know, we started this year with more than half the people in the cbs news/"new york times" poll saying they did not have a clear idea what president obama hopes to accomplish in his second term. that kind of sounds like it could mean trouble. >> well, the president-- >> schieffer: for you. >> the president's focused on middle class and the economy and jobs. and people have already seen it. he fought hard farr payroll tax cut. got a $1,000 benefit to middle-class families. he's right now fighting to see that tu decision not-- the interest rates that they charge for tuition does not go up, making it easier for the middle class to go to college. he's fought hard for an infrastructure bill. but we have huge numbers of unemployed people, and in the future he's talking about investment toss help our future in things like education, in
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infrastructure, in scientific research, which help create the jobs that make the middle class feel secure about the future. >> schieffer: let me just say, to interrupt you, i take your point here, but i'm not sure, do you think that he has gotten that message out that people really understand that? i mean, i think it's fair to say he sort of has taken a back seat because he wanted to let the republicans go at one another fair time but it also seems to me he has work to do on getting out what he's for. >> campaign is just being joined right now. and let me just say that as people learn the records, they're going to see a huge difference. mitt romney has sort of been given a pass, it's sort of been a dialogue on the republican right. it was called a monologue by obama's campaign manager. as people start contrasting the kinds of things the president is for that i mentioned before, and then what mitt romney wants to do with the economy, he wants to
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give further tax breaks to wealthiest among us. that's trickle down. he wants to further deregulate many industries. that's what got us in this trouble to begin with in many ways. they're going to see he wants to go back to the policies of george bush, andic-- i think this chart will say it all in the campaign and you'll see a lot of it. the red shows job loss under the bush policy. that's what romney wants to return to. the blue shows the steady hand the president has had on the tiller, reducing job loss, and 25 months of job gain, four million new jobs gained, manufacturing jobs gained, exports up. and so i think when the contrast is joined as the president began to do in virginia and ohio, the economy is going to be a net-plus for the president. >> schieffer: all right, let's stop right there. we're going to come back and talk to both of you in one minute.
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alive and we're back with more from senator schumer and former vermont governor howard dean. governor dean, let me quote you something from peggy noonan. she wrote in the "wall street journal--" and i'm quoting now-- she's talking about the president. she said the president has not only has nothing to say. he's actually become boring. how as a democrat would you respond to that? >> i think that's just silly. the fact of the matter is the united states is much better positioned in terms of our foreign security than we have been in a long time. osama bin laden is dead. we have our troops out of iraq. our troops are coming out of
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afghanistan. these are things that are important to the united states. secondly, there have been four million new jobs added since barack obama took over the presidency. now there's been some loss in the public sector, so the tea party people ought to be happy. in fact, government is shrinking. i think we've made some real progress. we have two thoughtful, sensible justices on the supreme court, no more right wing extreme people. we have a medical system, while more complex than i think would have been desirable, every person under 26 whose parents have health insurance now have health insurance. and in two years' time, assuming the court doesn't change this around, people are not going to be exclude clueded from having insurance because they're sick. really progress has been made both in terms of american security, in terms of bringing our troops home, in terms of making people more secure at home because of their health care. i think that's a pretty good record for president obama to run on. >> schieffer: let me ask you, senator schumer, just a straight
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political question, the backbone of the president's support, of course, the last time was african americans. he still has the majority of african americans now, overwhelmingly, according to most polls. but i notice that the number of african american registered voters has dropped about 7% now, about 5% drop in hispanic americans registering to vote, and it's even larger drops in some of the key states like new mexico, for example. is the president in danger of losing some of his bedrock support, the core of his support? how does he get those people back? >> no, i don't believe so. i think you'll see as large an african american turnup on the, if not larger, than previously in the last election. the hispanic turnout will be large, and vote will be a greater margin for the president. it's now something like 3:1, and, frankly, i don't see how
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mitt romney can win if it stays that way. he cannot win the states of colorado, nevada and new mexico, and probably not florida which make his electoral math impossible. i think you're going to see the minority vote going strong, and then there's the women's vote which you talked about before. i'd like to mention the republican party doesn't seem to care about women, not just on issues like contraception, but on economic issues as well. we're going to bring to-- >> schieffer: okay-- >> can the ki-- >> schieffer: let me interrupt you because we're getting close to being out of time and i do want to ask you about gay marriage. do both of you-- should the president just go ahead and say he's for it and get it over with because vice president biden said today he's comfortable with it. could i get just a yes or no from you, senator? >> well, i think the bottom line is everyone knows that the president is much strong-- more
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strongly for l.g.b.t. rights than the republicans. and i think that it's not going to be even a contest in that community. >> schieffer: i'm sorry, we just ran out of time. we'll be back with some final thoughts, my commentary for the week in just a minute.
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>> schieffer: commentary clearly labeled, so now we know who the candidates will be and how the two sides intend to frame the election. republicans will argue it's simply a referendum on a president who couldn't keep his promises. democrats will say it's about a republican who wants only to keep taxes low for his country club friends. both sides will go to extraordinary lengths to control the message, but what we as they should remember is they cannot
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control events will. as the recent episode with the chinese dissident reminds. who knows where that will go. in politics, the best-laid plans almost never work out. nobody talked much about terrorism in the 2000 campaign, the election before 9/11, but terrorism was the overriding issue of george bush's eight years in the white house. as the two sides gear up for what promises to be one of our longest and certainly most expensive campaigns, there is no shortage of serious problems-- jobs, the nation's precarious financial footing, and some possibly dangerous problems overseas. and did i forget a congress that remains in gridlock. these are the things this campaign should be. in the midst of the onslaught of negative advertising, which is already begun, is it too much to wish that at least one or two of those things may actually get touched upon before november? i guess we can hope.
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back in a minute.
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>> schieffer: some of our stations are leaving us now. most of you will be back in just a minute. ,,,,,,,,,,
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>> schieffer: welcome back. joining me zbigniew brzezinski, the national security adviser to president jimmy carter, now a trustee at the center for strategic and international studies, c.s.i.s., and a distinguished professor at a whole bunch of places, someone i have known since those days back in the carter white house. dr. pri, thank you for joining us. i want to ask you first. this situation that developed with the chinese dissident. it looks like we have cut a deal that will allow him to come back-- or come to the united states. how do you think this was hand handled? >> you know, on the whole, pretty well. after all, it was messy. it was unpredictable. my guess is he was really shaken up, uncertain, changing his
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mind. we had a major meeting coming on. all in all, i think both sides, the chinese as and us handled it reasonably well. and one has to take a look at one very specific thing which is a symptom of how things are changing. can you imagine during the cold war when we were dealing with dissidents in the soviet union who were often imprisoned in the gulag and so forth, one of them being committed to phone a u.s. congressional committee that's holding a hearing, critical of the soviet union? this happened. this tells you something, how much things are changing in china. and the whole thing underlines the importance of the delicate nature of this relationship, and how both of us have to handle it with real strategic vision. >> schieffer: well, you got the sense-- or at least i did-- both sides really wanted to figure out something to get this done and get on to other things. >> absolutely. and that is related to a central issue of our time-- can, for the
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first time in history, two preeminent powers effectively coexist and even collaborate? this hasn't happened in international politics. >> schieffer: i want to ask you about this whole business of the anniversary of osama bin laden's ba'ath. at one point, republicanes were very critical of the president for going to afghanistan. i think some democrats privately wondered if that was a good idea for him to go. but at one point, when talking about this, mitt romney said, well, even jimmy carter would have made the decision to go after osama bin laden. i figured that got your attention. >> well, in a way, but in a different setting, captor made a similar decision to take a chance, a major chance, and he took it because we feared the people who were in prison would be put on trial as spies for the c.i.a. so we took a chance. we lost. obama took a chance and we hun.
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well, life is a matter of chance, to some extent. >> schieffer: what do you think are going to be the foreign policy problems that the next president, whoever it is, is going to have to deal with is it what would be the most serious thing in your mind? >> the most serious one in the immediate future is iran. we have to do everything we can to avoid a war, and there are ways of avoiding that war that are intelligent and constructive. but a war set in motion unpredictable consequences. a war with iran will set aplays a region of the world from when we're trying to disengage. second, russia. third, china. those are the central issues snow geopolitically. >> schieffer: what happens if the rells decide their security has been threatened and they decide to attack iran? what should we do if that happens? >> well, we should do something before they do it. that is to say, make it very clear to them this would be terribly damaging to the united states, which is the principal sponsor of israel, terribly damaging to us. because the iranians cannot retaliate against israel
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effectively, but they'll see us conniving and they'll attack us in afghanistan, in iraq, even in syria, and in the northern-- in the oil fields of saudi arabia. the consequences for us will be disastrous economically and politically. >> schieffer: how would you grade this president on foreign policy so far? >> i would say somewhere between b-plus, and a-minus. i would be higher if he had moved more decisively on the israeli-palestinnian peace process because he had a chance to do so. but admittedly, he was overwhelmed by domestic problems. but on the whole, he has set in motion a reconnection with europe. he has kept the american-chinese relationship unfolding and in balance. he's trying intelligently to disengage from afghanistan. and he's exploring the possibilities of the more stable
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relationship with russia which in the short run, under putin, probably will become much more difficult for us. >> schieffer: afghanistan-- what's the problem going to be there? what happens next? >> the problem is going to be whether we can create stanley after we leave. that's the big challenge. and to do that we have to entice some segments of the taliban into accommodation, and we have to get the states around afghanistan, including iran, as well as pakistan and india, and in the background, russia and china, to collaborate in creating an umbrella of stability for afghanistan because if that doesn't happen, verily they will be threatepped, too. but they're so conflicted with each other that it's going to be a very difficult diplomatec package to put together. >> schieffer: dr. brzezinski, it's always interesting and informative to talk with you. >> thank you. >> schieffer: we'll be back in just a minute with our political
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roundtable and it's a good one.
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>> schieffer: and back now with our panel, michael gerson who worked for president george w. bush, columnist for the "washington post." peggy noonan who worked for president reagan and writes for the "wall street journal." david corn is the washington bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine and has a new book out called, "showdown: the inside story about how president obama fought back against boehner, cantor and the tea party. and our're our own john dickerson, who would write a book but has been so bitsy covering the campaign has not had time to get home very often. john, glad to have you. glad you could come in. the campaign six flongs today. we're going to have an election, and the president and first lady hit the battleground states of
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ohio and virginia yesterday and for the first time the president went directly at mitt romney. >> to borrow a line from our friend bill clinton, now their agenda is on steroids. this time they want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. ( booing ) this time they want even deeper cuts to things like education and medicare and research and technology ( booing ) and now after a long and spiritedly primary, republicans in congress have found a nominee for president who has promised to rubber stamp this agenda if he goat get the chance. >> schieffer: there you have. peggy noonan you said in the column we quoted earlier in the broadcast, the president really has no message, that he was actually boring. i guess i have to ask you to follow up. does that mean you think mitt romney is not boring?
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>> well, i would say they are both candidates who are having interesting candidacies at the moment that perhaps can be said that great issues that must be engaged have not fully been engaged yet. however, what i thought was so interesting-- how about that, is that okay-- what i thought was so interesting. the president's appearance, the kickoff of his campaign at ohio state, so many things were interesting. one is if you compare it to 2008 when he announced, 2008 was. theme and place-- springfield, illinois, abe lincoln, let's come together. this was fisticuffs. what struck me as so interesting about it is we are only at the beginning of may, and the president is already naming and shaming his contender. do you know what i mean? normally it takes a while. you have to get to the autumn
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before they're naming each other and punching each other. so this was sort of aggressive and actually a little joyless, i thought. >> schieffer: mr. corn, how would you respond to that? >> well, i think the president has goaten to the point he's been eager to get to since election day 2010. he wants a contest that is one about choices between visions and values, his and those of mitt romney's. and we live in a time where i think fisticuffs happen by the nanosecond. and no one waits and he's been beaten up pretty good for the last few years-- often, i think, unfairly-- by the people to the right. so his campaign wants to make sure that-- so this is an ebb-tide period. the republican vase over. nothing is happening here in congress in congress so they do not want to give mitt romney any running room to redefine himself and make a move to the center after he porfrayed himself as severely conservative during the campaign so the president wants this to be about a choice between him and mitt romney, and not about him and the economy,
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and right now, i think the republicans are playing into his strategy. alive and you know, i would add nothing ever happens here in washington. i don't think there's anything-- >> a few things happened last year. >> schieffer: michael gerson, where do you think this race is right now? you worked for george bush. what do you think mitt romney's biggest problem is going to be? >> well, i think mitt romney is going to try every single day to focus on the last three years of stewardship of the u.s. economy and it's going to be hard because the president has a bully pulpit. he has some advantages. in the polling people actually trust romney more on the management of the economy. so he should be talking about this. and he's going to do all that, and it's not going to be enough. because mitt romney has a serious problem. he's stuck in a stereotype. he seems not just like your boss but your boss' bos boss. he's going to have to come out and have an agenda, an actual policy agenda, that emphasizes not just defending success, but encouraging mobility and aspiration, and then bring that
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message to people who aren't normal parts of the republican constituency-- hispanics and others. so he's going to have to do more than just call attention i think to the president's failures. >> schieffer: john, you were out in ohio which is obviously going to be a big battleground state, where do you think this race is right now? >> well, i think it's incredibly close. we talked about it here and we saw the president's remarks yesterday. the president is trying to lock mitt romney into that caricature. i mean the president talked yesterday about mitt romney has said 25 years in the business world give him unique experience and unique understanding about the economy. the president tried to turn that into a weakness saying that 25 years as a boss means he doesn't understand regular people. so in ohio, what's going to happen is he's going to make the pitch for regular people and say, "i get you. this guy romney, he doesn't understand what you're going through." and he told a story in the speech yesterday how governor romney didn't understand this woman's woes. it's going to be a personal question of who gets what you're going through. the big upside for romney is he
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may not have to connect with you. all he has to do is point to the jobs numbers. the unemployment rate went down but what went up in huge numbers is the number of people who dropped out, who aren't participating at all. and that's what you hear a lot about in ohio. >> schieffer: what were you going to say, peggy? >> i think there is a lot of american confusion about how the unemployment number can go down and yet people dropping out of the labor force in the hundreds of thousands, really tells you that it's a worse situation than it looks. i think americans are stopping-- they no longer believe the numbers that are coming out of washington. i think they believe in their anecdotal evidence and their neighbor hoods. but at the end of the day, i still think this is about-- you've seen the past three years of president obama. did you like it? if you liked it, you can can vote for more. if you did not like it, you can take a look at the other guy. and if he seems credible to you, you can hire him. i don't think americans are as
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senseimental and emotional about their presidentsa they used to be. i think they hire them and fire them. >> schieffer: you know, i think you make a very good point about these numbers. i mean, i think if somebody didn't have a job, they know they don't have a job. their uncle got fired, they know he got fired. but all this stuff of talking about deficits and these billions and trilliones, people don't know what a trillion dollars is. they've never seen it. they know what $500 is. they know what $1,000 is. the numbers are so staggering we can't comprehend them but the one thing they do know is how much the price of gas is. if you go to pump your gas-- and everybody pumps their gas noia days and it's write there at eye level. >> they know what the sense is, whether things are getting better or close to getting better. you know, from talking to their friends-- and their impressions might even be wrong sometimes, but it's impressions that count. and i think right now mitt romney is in a dangerous-- i do believe it's very close.
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if the race was just a referendum on president obama and the last three years, the republicans would have a much easier go of it. but i think barack obama-- i think mitt romney, too, has contributed to this-- they've made it more of a choice between the two of them. and on those-- you cited polls earlier. on those front mitt romney comes up short again and again, whether it's touching people or being in contact, and even supporting things like the ryan budget. when you get to the policy side of mitt romney it's still not popular. the president spent last year talking about these policy issues. shared sacrifice. supporting the middle class. romney, i think, is still miles behind, and i think policies that connect, and the way you republicans would want them to-- >> schieffer: on this side of the table, is it really fair to say-- you know, everybody you talk to ones mitt romney says he's a wonderful person. that he's a person of faith. so forth. that his good friends like him. he's a family man and all of that. do you think he is not connecting? or is that some sort of a myth? >> i think it's something
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interesting that is maybe promising for him. here's what it is. the president is famous and known. people have watched him for a little more than three years and they have a sense of him. romney is famous but unknown. you look at him. you know, he's the handsome guy. he's the rich guy. and he won the republican nomination. beyond that, there's a lot to be filled in that is an opportunity for romney to tell you, not just what he thinks but why he thinks it. which is an interesting way to make people understand i do think and i have a point of view. >> i think republicans are going to have to take seriously something that came out this week in some numbers. the president's unusual buoyancy. he has middling approval numbers but if you look the at the statistics from history about what his approval numbers should be given this economy, they're actually significantly higher. people seem to like the guy. they don't all blame him for the economy. you look at those numbers. so i
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think it is going to be, you know, a fairly heav lift to overcome some of those advantages that the president has here, and romney is not just going to be able to recite economic statistics. that will not be able to do it. >> schieffer: john? >> also what the president has in some specific states is a better argument than he has nationally on the economy. ohio is an interesting one. people talk about the car bailout. ohio benefited from that. the unemployment rate is lower than the national average. the president has a bit ofa know argument he can make which is when mitt romney says where are the jobs? what have you done? the president, in ohio at least cpoint to a specific thing, and that will be very interesting to watch in the rustbelt states, which are so important to the election. the car bailout, the way it works, and the attempt on the obama administration to say mitt romney was against the car bailout. he said he knows how business works. here is the concrete instance and they got the better of it. it will be a big thing going forward. >> schieffer: peggy, i want to ask you because you wrote
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something about this. do you think the republican party has moved too far right for its own good? i mean, when you see the situation that's happened out in indiana, where richard lugar, who has probably passed more significant legislation than any single member of the senate right now, i would say-- that i can think of-- he might actually get beat in the primary because they think he's not conservative enough. >> uh-huh. i think it's kind of complicat complicated, and the republican party has been complicated all of my adult life. when i was a kid coming up, i remember ronald reagan having to dance around the fact that the john birch decidedly in 19 eight they they were for him, and reagan had too say, "well i'm glad they're for him. i'm glad everybody is for me, but that doesn't mean i'm for them." it's a dance between those on edge of movements and both movements have edges. those on the edge of movements and those who are more centrist. i think lugar has been a good
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senator, andun what my bias is. it's towards stability and the dopeness in washington, d.c., i happen to think, will go through tough times and need the adults. but is it a daily struggle for the republican party to get it right? yes. and will it have to get it right in this election? yes. >> the problem is that edge that you speak about is now controlling the republican party, at least in the house. that's the one reason why president obama was not able to get the grand bargain with john boehner and the others because, you know, they were pulled too far to the right. i think this is-- you know, on the issue of adultness, i think the president has worked very hard the past year to show that he will even go against some in his own party to cut deals and compromise and try to move past these conterrence financial issues and you're going to see this again with the automatic budget cuts that were negotiated-- that he negotiated last year with the republicans and it's the republicans now who are running away from the deal. again and again, i think this edge that you speak about in
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such chagrined tones is not just an edge anymore. it's the center of the party. and that's why mitt romney had such a hard time in the primaries. >> david, republican suburbanites would be shocked to know that the edge-- quote, unquote-- is controlling howl they think and how they vote. this is a big, broad, interesting party. the second thing is, you mention obama-- read robert caro's later book-- when a president wants to make something happen, he can make it happen and he can't sit back and say, "oh, they wouldn't talk. they wouldn't do this. i'm so sorry." >> oh, come on. >> you make it happen if you are president. >> clearly the sedge what the president is trying to state police toll mitt romney. we saw it in that clip. he's saying these republicans you don't like in washington. they elected mitt romney. he made it sound as if the election was just the house republicans. >> schieffer: we have to end it there. it's a lot of fun. we'll be back in a moment with our "face the nation" flashback. ,,,,,,,,,,,,
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>> schieffer: finally, with mitt romney all but certain to be the republican nominee, we bid a wistful fairs well to the republican primary and all who took part. that is our "face the nation" flashback. >> it's three agency of government when i get there that are gone, commerce, education-- and what's the third one there? let's see. >> schieffer: who is michele bachmann, and why does she want to be president. >> it's very odd to me that someone would run up a half million dollars' bill at a jewelry store. >> go talk to tiffany's. all i'm telling you is we are very frugal. >> 9-9-9 plan. >> that's what i'm talking about! >> when they ask me who is the president of ubeki-ubeki-stan-stan, i will say i don't know. do you know. >> can we stop the pious
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baloney. you ran and lost and that's why are you not serving in the senate with rick santorum. >> schieffer: have you eve thought of saying to young people, don't smoke in 400,000 people in america die every year of smoking-related diseases. >> i will have no problem saying that. as a matter of fact-- >> schieffer: well, say it right now. >> young people of america, all people, do not smoke. >> a conservative, a liberal, and a moderate walked into the bar. the bartender says, "hi, mitt. >> commerce, education, and the, uh, uh. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. ♪ of the fruited plain." morning y'all. i got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. i'll tell you. president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> bachmann, curry cain, ron paul will now get his shot as
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the media front-runner. >> schieffer: don't look now, but it happened. >> the good news is we're doing very, very well in getting delegates! >> the third agency of government i would do away with, education, uh, the, uh... i can't-- commerce. and, let's see... i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> schieffer: and we didn't even get around to mitt romney and his dog. but so be it. a campaign like no other, our "face the nation" flashback. we'll be right back. ,,,,,,
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>> schieffer: ask that's it for today. we want to thank you for watching "face the nation." we'll see you here next week. good-bye. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ,,,, ,,
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