tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC August 13, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
just as team obama kicks off a three-day bus tour of the battleground state. >> i am told that governor romney's new running mate, paul ryan, might be around iowa the next few days. he is one of the leaders of congress standing in the way so if you happen to see congressman ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to iowa and our rural communities. we've got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing. >> a one-day "usa today" /gallup poll shows lukewarm reaction to ryan but he looks like a game changer when it comes to energizing the ticket. introducing the newest member of the team. janna ryan, the woman behind the man at sunday's emotional homecoming in wisconsin. >> thank you, everybody. thank you, wisconsin. it is good to be home.
i tell you, i love wisconsin. i'm fifth generation from this state. my family came here back in the 1800s, made a go of it. it's where we've all raised our families ever since. this is such a phenomenal place to live, to work, to raise your family. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. what a weekend it's been. in our daily fix today, the race to define paul ryan kicks off today big-time. in two battleground states. is ryan the booster shot that mitt romney needs or a perfect vehicle for democrats who are hoping to turn the 2012 debate from the economy overall to medicare and saddle mitt romney with an unpopular republican budget plan. chris cillizza is an msnbc contributor and managing editor of post politics.com and msnbc news chief white house correspondent and political director, chuck todd, host of the daily rundown and marathon
man this weekend. my goodness. chuck, first of all, the president today in iowa is beginning to talk about the farm, the drought, the farm bill, no passage of the drought bill. they are going to try to hang everything that congress has done that's unpopular around paul ryan. >> we have been talking about medicare a lot over the last 72 hours. this is the other part of the risk on ryan, which was did romney then sort of put on his ticket the unpopular things people don't like about congress and this farm bill, the inability of this farm bill, it's actually split folks inside the republican party. but there is so much intangible for mitt romney the candidate that you sit there and you say to yourself okay, the risk/reward, they're well aware of the risks. they believe we are going to have to deal with these risks anyway. is the reward good enough, meaning it made romney a better candidate, it's giving him more definition, i think that's what's unclear. but boy, hearing the president
do that, i went wow, forget medicare. >> we've got a game plan. >> we know what they will try to do. >> before we totally forget medicare, let's take a look at some headlines in florida today. the headlines for the last couple days in florida, chris cillizza, florida so important and there is mitt romney trying to prebut the attacks that are sure to come in full force on medicare, medicare cuts. >> no question. you know, paul ryan going to florida this weekend, the ryan/romney folks saying this is a sign of them playing offense on the issue of medicare to which i say absolutely, it's probably the right thing to do, but that doesn't mean that you're going to be able to nullify this as an issue. this is a state with a significant senior population. it's also a state that the margins are so narrow in some of these swing states. i averaged it out. from 2000 to 2008, the three presidential lelections, republicans averaged 47% of the vote.
democrats averaged 48% of the vote. less than a point separated them in three consecutive presidential elections. people say does it matter, does it not. almost anything when you have a margin that narrow can matter. you know, the idea that republicans are playing offense on this, i say sure, but let's see if they can explain a very complex issue in the context of a presidential campaign. it is not an easy thing to do. >> want to play a little bit in that regard of reince priebus and mitt romney responding to the democratic medicare claims. >> if any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to medicare, it's barack obama. >> i have my budget plan as you know that i've put out and that's the budget plan that we're going to run on. >> earlier today, you were talking to bobby jindal and you corrected him about that number. what are the facts here? >> here's -- there's a couple things here. number one is in ryan's plan, he
would keep the slowing the growth. this is what's interesting here. we know, you and i have both covered the big parts of this campaign last 20 years and twice, medicare has been a political sledge hammer. democrats used it to beat up bobby dole in '96. bill clinton won a bigger re-election than we thought because of it. 2010 became a route for republicans because of the constant hammering they did on that talking point about medicare. but what's interesting here is that the same complaint democrats have about the republican talking point is the same one republicans used to have about bill clinton's which is these aren't cuts, it's slowing the growth of medicare going forward. but again, that's nuance and that isn't what happens when medicare gets used as a political sledgehammer. >> nuance goes by the boards. what about the "usa today"/gallup poll. it's a one-day poll but it's the first temperature taking of ryan as a pick.
>> well, i would say that look, it shows that people are sort of not as enthusiastic about him as they have been about past picks. he's less, well, certainly more well known or about as well known as sarah palin, maybe as dick cheney maybe. i think this is still kind of an early, early, early read. i would point the "washington post"/abc news poll basically says ryan, we did some pre-vp pick, post pick. you see his numbers go rapidly up. that's not surprising because he is not someone who outside of washington and southeastern wisconsin is all that well known. i still think we're better off waiting a week, ten days, two weeks, maybe until after the conventions, to see how this thing settles out. look, i think our polling is terrific but i would say it's a snapshot in the moment of someone who went from literally no one outside of a very few number of people know him to all of a sudden he's everywhere. give it a little time for people to really get a sense. >> there's no question from watching the rallies as we were watching them all weekend as they began to roll this out,
there is new energy in mitt romney. he's a different candidate when he's got ryan next to him. >> you cannot test that. that is very important. look, i think there is a high risk here. i think they made the battleground map more complicated for themselves. trading advantages in florida that are no longer there for now a break even chance in wisconsin is not the best way to go about messing around with 270. but mitt romney looks happy again. mitt romney looks like he's a candidate enjoying himself again and maybe that's worth the cost if it's going to make him a better fall candidate, worth the risk here. we'll see. i go back and forth on this. i'm watching this play out. history says you put medicare as a political issue and when you're the one on the defensive, you're in trouble. >> finally, chris cillizza, when you take a look at mitt romney and paul ryan, sort of the father-son aspect because he is the exact age of tag ryan, the oldest son, and they look right together in a way that george herbert walker bush and dan
quayle never fit. you have to give them the fact this rollout working very well. you know, the drama and the theatrics of it all. >> no question. people are saying well, sarah palin got a lot of energy in the early days but if you go back and look, even then, you can see there's an awkwardness between john mccain and sarah palin. this was in some ways a forced marriage. this feels more like clinton/gore, though the age difference is not the same, but it's kind of a doubling down on the side of reformer, bringing new ideas, willing to tell hard truth. in some ways, i think you can make the argument mitt romney may have found a little bit of who he actually is in picking paul ryan. i'm with chuck on this. chuck and i talked about this a million times. i always said he's never going to pick paul ryan. why do you purposely put a medicare and budget proposal that you didn't write on the ballot. i think mitt romney was the leading voice that said we're doing this because i think this guy's got the right ideas and i like him.
it's hard to say mitt romney made a political, purely political calculation in picking paul ryan because if he was making a purely political calculation, he probably goes with portman and pawlenty. >> right. this was the vision thing. >> and this was -- i'm convinced it's a gut thing. paul ryan is who mitt romney wants to have people see him as. sort of the view that people in the conservative media world have of ryan, this sort of lionization they have, that's what mitt romney believes he is and that he sees, he would like that definition and if that's what it takes to sort of refocus the spotlight on him in a way, then it was to him worth the political cost. we'll see. >> chuck todd, who broke the story to report on this and all day and all night and all night and day again. thank you very much. and something else indeed. chris cillizza, thanks for joining us today. meanwhile, the romney/ryan team has split up today. mitt romney campaigning in florida while paul ryan is
flying solo in iowa at the state fair. he'll be sharing the political spotlight in iowa with the president, who kicks off a three-day iowa bus tour, unprecedented in council bluffs. nbc's ron mott is in des moines at the state fair. warn you against the deep fried butter but other than that, you're on your own. what do you think ryan's appeal is going to be? is he going to directly counteract what the president's saying about the farm bill and the drought, or is it going to be the broader appeal about the fiscal conservetism which we know appeals to iowan sns? >> reporter: my hunch is because this is a fair ground, everyone is munching on funnel cakes and corn dogs, he may not want to get into the political weeds and talk about the budget in too specific terms so i think he's probably going to stay pretty high level and talk about the country in general, the direction he and mitt romney want to take the country. i can tell you this, obviously when you run for president or vice president, you got to hit a
state fair or two. this is one of the better ones around the country. there is a lot of energy here about paul ryan and by extension, mitt romney. over the weekend, as you know covering those crowds, big enthusiastic large crowds. there is new energy in this ticket and paul ryan being from the midwest, this may ultimately decide the election, this part of the country, iowa into wisconsin, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania. what they believe is that paul ryan is able to relate to the people in those states. he's got those midwestern roots. he can relate to the blue collar worker. that's what a lot of the knock on mitt romney from his primary opponents and others in the party is that he had a hard time connecting with those types of voters. iowans are engaged politically, as you know, so they keep an open mind. they want to hear from both the left and the right. that's why this is pretty fertile ground for battling for democrats and republicans this fall. >> ron mott from the state fair. we envy you. have some good food, some funnel cakes for us. democrats meanwhile acting
as though they have struck gold with the selection of paul ryan, trying to capitalize on his proposed medicare cuts and the tax cuts for the rich. privately, though, some democrats today are telling me they are worried about the energy that ryan has already brought to this ticket. jen is the traveling press secretary for the obama campaign, also in council bluffs, iowa. we have heard the president attack -- >> my pleasure, andrea. >> good to see you out there. i want to ask you about the president's attack on ryan and congress because there are a lot of democrats in congress as well who were stalemated over the farm bill. there's a romney camp response. let me just read it to you. paul ryan hails from an agriculture state and supported disaster relief. the truth is no one will work harder to defend farmers and ranchers than the romney/ryan ticket. they say after nearly four years of failure, it's no wonder that barack obama returns to the state that launched his campaign with nothing more than broken promises and false attacks. what say you? >> well, andrea, i have to say
we know this race is about two different visions for the future of the country. you heard the president talk about his commitment to extending middle class tax cuts, to making sure that kids have access to money that's going to help them go to college, but also not just here in iowa but places like colorado, where he was last week, farmers and ranchers are really suffering from the drought. that's why the president wants congress, a body that paul ryan is a part of, to send him a farm bill that he can sign. we just haven't seen enough from the other side of the aisle pushing this forward, given how important this is in states like iowa and how much people have really been suffering. >> one of the things that of course you all have been attacking ryan about for the last 48 hours is the budget, that his budget cuts don't add up, that they would obviously hurt the middle class, hurt domestic programs, tax cuts for the rich. let me play for you the co-chairman of the budget
deficit reduction commission, erskine bowles who had this to say about paul ryan. i should point out this is after paul ryan voted against the simpson-bowles report. >> have any of you all met paul ryan? we should get him to come to the university. i'm telling you, this guy is amazing. i always thought i was okay with arithmetic. this guy can run circles around me. he is honest, straightforward, sincere and the budget he came forward with is just like paul ryan. it is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by $4 trillion. >> that's the former chief of staff to bill clinton. how do you respond to that? >> well, i have to say i encourage you and anyone else to talk to mr. bowles about who he thinks is a better leader for moving the economy forward, for
putting forward a balanced responsible budget, because i can bet you he's going to say barack obama. let's not forget that one of the reasons that we couldn't have a grand bargain, couldn't have a bigger deal, is because republicans, including paul ryan, wouldn't put revenue on the table, and that's really put us in a stalemate in washington. so we're happy to continue to have that debate. i will also add that mitt romney and paul ryan, they both support a radical budget that will extend tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires while balancing it on the back of middle class families and that's what this race is about. that's what families in iowa are talking about and we're happy to have that discussion over the next couple of months. >> i know you all are happy to have the bright lines, the contrast that you now have, clearly, but do you have concerns about the energy, the enthusiasm that the republican base now clearly has for this ticket? >> well, you know, look, we always know there's going to be excitement, energy around any
vice presidential pick. that's one of the biggest bumps that people typically get during a campaign. but we're also -- we also know that this race is about two different visions and we're happy to put president obama's record, president obama's vision up against who mitt romney is fighting for and what he's standing for. it tells you a lot, really solidifies and crystallizes more that he's for a radical budget, for bringing us back to the 1950s and taking away women's choice about their own health care, when he picked paul ryan. that's what's most interesting to all of us about the selection. >> thanks so much for taking time from the bus tour to join us from iowa. good to see you. have fun out there. up next, virginia governor bob mcdonnell, who was on the short list for vice president, reacting to the ryan choice. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital
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the romney/ryan campaign team kicked off their new ticket in norfolk, virginia, and with them was of course the governor of virginia, bob mcdonnell, joining me now to talk more about the choice of paul ryan and what it does to the campaign is governor mcdonnell. thank you very much. you also of course were in the running for the end and i wanted to ask you first about the vet. how difficult was it for you to provide all the information they wanted apparently beth myers conducted a very intense review of all of the possibilities. >> well, i thought governor romney made a great choice. he had a lot of options. i think we have a very talented bench and team and just to be mentioned in those -- with those other great leaders was an honor for me. but i'm thrilled with this pick. this now laser focuses the issues on the economy and jobs and debt and deficit, the things that president obama has been
trying to avoid. he wants to talk about everything from tax returns to bain capital to contraception but the people of america are concerned about getting the great country out of debt and back to work. i think this was the right choice. nobody knows more about the federal budget than paul ryan. he'll be a great asset to mitt. >> can we just, before we leave the subject of the vet, can you tell us how many years of tax returns you submitted? >> no. but thanks for asking. i can only tell you they had everything that they needed from me and everybody else to make a very good decision and that decision was great. i think romney/ryan, sounds like ronald reagan, the double r team. this is going to be a great ticket for our gop, our great opportunity party, and the contrast between their vision to solve the problems in america and the small ball campaign of barack obama so far is going to be a great choice for the independent voters. >> graceful pivot, governor.
moving on to the subject of some of the possible pitfalls we have seen already. the florida newspaper front pages are heralding the medicare cuts in the ryan budget. there were two ryan budgets and he lifted the cap on some of the paybacks in the second budget but it's still pretty severe. do you have concerns about that and about the possibility of losing florida, losing seniors, pennsylvania, new hampshire, other states where you have a lot of senior citizens? >> first, i would say that the program that paul ryan put together on medicare reform was one he put together with ron wyden, democrat from oregon. they put this together, together. secondly, i would say that president obama's taken about $700 billion out of medicare for the funding of obama care so i don't think we need to be lectured by the president when he's done some things to medicare. but here's the bottom line. we're in trouble.
our country is going broke. we're $16 trillion in debt. the president proposed a budget to get us to $25 trillion by 2021. he can't get a budget passed for three and a half years because harry reid won't take it up. this is an administration that's really been reckless with the united states of america's finances. so finally, we're going to have a serious discussion and look, everybody knows there's no easy way to balance this budget. as big a problems as we've got. without significant spending cuts and entitlement reform. >> governor, one thing that came up last night on "60 minutes" was that governor romney seemed to be stepping away from the ryan budget. let me play a little bit of that. >> well, i have my budget plan as you know that i've put out, and that's the budget plan that we're going to run on. >> does he have to be more specific now about exactly how he's going to accomplish this to create some distance perhaps with the ryan budget proposals? >> i think he will be specific
but i didn't look at that as distancing from that. i think in fact he said he probably would have signed that if that got to him. but there are so many complexities in a budget, of course he's going to have his own ideas, but the reason he's bringing paul ryan in is because paul ryan had the honesty to look at the american people and say you know what, we cannot afford the same level of spending. politicians have overpromised for 30 years now, the bills are due, we're going broke, starting to look like greece or portugal, we can't do it anymore. that's an honest answer. i think people are ready for straight talk, andrea, and now we're going to have a serious conversation not about tax returns or bain capital, but about how do we get america out of debt back to work and whether or not it's more entitlements and spending by barack obama or whether it's more opportunity and more growth for the free enterprise system of ryan and romney. that's what this election's about and i think it's going to be a good debate and i think romney will win because that's the focus of this election.
>> in the category of straight talk, let's just put it on the table that what the president did with his medicare cuts was to slow the growth of the rate of increase, which is exactly what republicans have been calling for. perhaps he didn't do it enough to satisfy republicans but you all are criticizing him now for exactly what republicans have been calling for for quite some time. >> the point is if you look at the whole three and a half years, the question for the voters is are you really better off now than you were four years ago. when you have 8% unemployment rate for this long and gas prices doubling and a $16 trillion national debt, the president, bottom line, has not been willing to take on the overall tough challenges for medicaid, medicare, social security and other entitlement reforms. in fact, he's basically letting $600 billion in defense cuts through sequestration go into effect with nary a whimper. i would say look, it's tough decision making and the
president has made some attempt but the policies have failed. you don't have the metrics you don't have the results which means it's time for new leadership. >> thank you very much, governor bob mcdonnell of virginia. good to see you. coming up next, the catholic vote. courting catholic voters. what the paul ryan pick means for this voting bloc, next. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you! [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? check out the latest collection of acks from lean cuisine.
paul is in public life for all the right reasons. not to advance his personal ambition but to advance the ideals of freedom and justice and to increase opportunity and prosperity to people of every class and faith, every age and ethnic background. a faithful catholic, paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life. >> mitt romney discussing his running mate's faith in virginia. catholics are a key voting group
in this election and every election, and paul ryan may provide a boost among those voters. within the rust belt, in particular. lois romano joins me now. thanks for joining us today. the catholic vote, first of all, catholic bishops, they have criticized the ryan plan over cuts to social programs but perhaps more importantly, they have been very strongly opposed to the birth control and planned parenthood aspects and enforcement within health and human services within the obama white house. the catholic bishops will be clearly on the side of the paul ryan approach here. >> i think one thing you have to look at here is that the catholic vote is never a monolithic vote. there are a lot of catholics out there that do not ascribe to the church's position on abortion or gay rights. but i think what romney has gained here is a christian foothold. there are a lot of christian
conservatives who have been skeptical about him because he is a mormon. they're worried, you go out and interview people in the field and they'll say well, i don't know what mormonism is, is it a cult. he needed to cement the base and what ryan gives him is that christian flag. so whether he's catholic or protestant, he can go out and say he's a christian. furthermore, you will notice that we have never had a picture of romney going into church or a mormon temple. i would be very surprised if in the next couple weeks we don't see ryan and his family going into a catholic mass on a sunday morning. >> of course, tim pawlenty would have also because of his evangelical roots helped with that issue. >> exactly. >> sort of those who have prejudices against mormons. one of the things we have noticed in a pew research center poll is that president obama has an advantage, 51% to 42% overall with catholics but then when you take out the hispanic catholics who are very strongly in the president's camp, then all of a
sudden mitt romney has the advantage, 49% to 44%. so it does show that there are differences ethnically among catholics in terms of how they perceive the president and mitt romney. >> right, but i think you have to look at the whole picture. catholics also aren't for gay marriage so i'm not sure you can parse it like that. you know, as a catholic myself, i know that a lot of catholics don't ascribe to all these different things. they kind of take it as it comes and so again, i really think it helped him specifically with christians and maybe a little bit with catholics, but i think all in all, people are going to vote on the issues that they really care about. >> i think you're absolutely right. i agree, you are going to see some church pictures coming up in the next couple of weeks as we get to know these candidates better. thank you very much. coming up next, is israel readying a strike against iran? could it come before the presidential election? israel's ambassador to the
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topping the headlines right now on "andrea mitchell reports" for the fifth time in a week, an afghan security forces member has attacked u.s. troops. the taliban is claiming that they directed the afghan policeman to target american troops in an eastern part of the country. nato says that no one was killed, thankfully. at least seven u.s. service members have been killed in just the past week by afghan forces or insurgents wearing their uniforms. so far this year, 34 coalition troops have been killed in more than two dozen so-called green o'blue attacks. the wife of lee hamilton has died in a tragic accident in bloomington, indiana. hamilton was run over by her own car, it was still in gear. she's 82 years old. she failed to put the car in park. it rolled over her as she walked
behind the vehicle. dan hamilton, who was a friend, was a cherished partner to congressman hamilton. together they served their district and the united states for 30 years. a navy destroyer has docked in dubai after colliding with a japanese oil tanker near the strait of hormuz. the incident tore a ten foot long hole in the side of the "uss porter." no injuries or spills were reported on either vessel but the navy is investigating why this destroyer turned directly into the larger vessel. the accident takes on -- takes a critical warship out of action just as the u.s. is deployed protectively in the area in case israel were to take military action against iran. to that point, is the window closing on diplomacy with iran? before israel were to launch a preventive strike, proactive strike against tehran's nuclear facilities, israeli media are reporting that prime minister netanyahu is nearing a decision on military action. his deputy foreign minister said
sunday that tehran should be given weeks, not months, to stop its nuclear program. joining me now is michael orrin, israel's ambassador to the united states. you are the author of a very widely noted op-ed in the "wall street journal" in recent weeks, "time is short for iran diplomacy" was the headline. you made that point very effectively. why do you believe time is short and could there be military action in weeks, not months? >> first of all, good afternoon. always good to be with you. well, we have now had five months of diplomacy, attempts to get iran to negotiate an end to its nuclear program. they haven't worked. we've had several now years of sanctions against iran. the sanctions haven't worked, according to the international atomic energy agency, the iranian nuclear program is actually accelerating, not stopping. keep in mind that no country has a greater stake than israel in resolving the iranian nuclear threat by diplomatic means. we have the most skin in the
game. we're right next door and iranian leaders ahmadinejad, the chief of the iranian military have just recently reiterated their goal which is the annihilation of the state of israel. we have to be very realistic about this. if diplomacy has not succeeded, sanctions have not succeeded, we have to keep very seriously all of those options on the table. >> what you wrote about in the "wall street journal," you wrote a combination of truly crippling sanctions and a credible military threat that the ayatollahs do not believe will convince iran to relinquish nuclear dreams but time is dwindling and the lives of eight million israelis grow increasingly imperilled. the window that opened 20 years ago is now almost shut. what does almost shut mean? >> almost shut means we're coming to the point where we're going to have to make critical decisions. again, as the article stated, we began warning the world about the iranian nuclear program 20 years ago. it took the world ten years to take us seriously.
took them several more crucial years lost before sanctions were imposed on iran, and they have not had the desired effect. we still believe that truly crippling sanctions together with a credible military threat, i stress that's a threat, not that we just say it's credible, the folks in tehran have to believe us when we say that, may still deter them, but we also have to be prepared as president obama has said to keep all options on the table, including a military option. >> this is what our defense secretary, leon panetta, said on august 1st in israel. >> we will not allow iran to develop a nuclear weapon, period. we will not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon. and we will exert all options in the effort to ensure that that does not happen. >> when you parse those words, what leon panetta is saying very forcefully is we will not let
iran develop a nuclear weapon. does that satisfy the israeli concerns because you and leon panetta, you as a country and the united states represented by panetta may have a different sense of when iran gets beyond the point of no return. >> i was with secretary panetta when he said that, and we greatly appreciate the reiteration of america's position. but there are structural differences between the united states and israel which we can't ignore. the united states is a big country with very large capabilities located far from the middle east. israel is a small country with certain capabilities located in iran's backyard and israel, not the united states, is threatened almost weekly if not daily with annihilation by iranian leaders, so as iran continues to expand its program, both increasing its stockpiles. we now think they have close to five bombs' worth of enriched uranium and as they keep on moving that program underground to places which will be beyond
our capabilities, then it's built in that our considerations, our clocks are moving faster. >> it's widely believed that panetta and others have been pleading, practically pleading with the prime minister not to do anything before the election. >> president obama has stated publicly, again and again, israel has the right to defend itself against any middle eastern threat and only israel can decide best how to defend its citizens, and the lives of eight million israelis, as you stated, quoted from my article, the lives of eight million israelis are at stake here. >> michael, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. up next, president obama versus paul ryan. how will their past confrontations come into play? the strategists coming up next. , the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs.
campaign event. i'll talk to former commerce secretary carlos gutierrez, who is working with the romney campaign. never has the u.s. olympic team been more divorce. olympic gymnast and bronze medalist danell leyva joins me to talk about the changing face of the team. the spending bill you signed into law, the domestic discretionary spending has been increased by 84%. >> i want to just push back a little bit on the underlying premise about us increasing spending by 84%. >> the discretionary spending. the bills that congress signs that you sign into law, that has increased 84%. >> we'll have a longer debate on the budget numbers, then, all right? >> we know that look. that was just a preview of paul ryan taking on president obama and the president's response. that was two years ago at a house republican caucus meeting and as head of the house budget committee, ryan spearheaded the fight against obama's budget plans and health care overall.
joining me, former deputy white house press secretary, bill burton, and republican strategist, former house aide to the speaker, john theery. what was the fractireaction of president? he didn't look happy. >> it was pretty spirited. >> you're out of the white house. you can tell us. when he got back in the car, what did he say? >> we will be able to extend that conversation to this presidential campaign and put in paul ryan front and center on what this campaign is all about. i think it's something that's good for the conversation because it makes this a very -- makes the debate about vastly different world views. >> let me play a little bit of joe biden out on the campaign trail just a few moments ago talking about paul ryan. >> congressman ryan has given definition to the vague commitments that romney's been making. there is no distinction. let's get this straight. there is no distinction between
what the republican congress has been proposing the last two years, actually the last four years, and what governor romney wants to do. >> he went on to say what's gutsy about giving millionaires another tax cut. what's gutsy about cutting education, medicare, medicaid. john? >> well, you know, it's gutsy to be fiscally responsible. there's no better salesman for his budget than paul ryan. so in many ways, having paul ryan here at the table discussing all of these things is great for republicans because he's going to be the one who is going to have to sell his budget. he sold it to house republicans. it passed the house. it never got through the senate because the senate never did a budget. as bill said, this is now a big conversation about the future of the country and thank god, because so many of these commercials did not get to the key discussion going on. what is the future othe country, how can we afford these programs that are going to bankrupt the nation, how do we deal with a medicare system that is growing exponentially and
will keep on growing unless we do something about it. >> john, john has teed up, bill burton. this is your platform to explain what were you thinking when priorities usa, your super pac, came up with the video which hasn't run as a commercial, but the video which by any stretch of the imagination, according to every nonpartisan group, fact checker, edirial writer, the "washington post," the "new york times," seems to suggest that somehow mitt romney is responsible for the death of this poor woman with her husband in the ad. >> that's absolutely not what we were saying. you know, it was an emotional ad, no doubt about it. there are people who thought it was great. there are people who didn't think it was great. i think it got a debate going about mitt romney's business experience and the reason that we did it, and the reason we did all these ads that we did about mitt romney's business experience -- >> no regrets? >> no. is that when we talk to voters about the ryan budget actually last year, voters were, you
know, appalled. they responded viscerally to it but they didn't believe that a politician could actually support it. what this does, all these -- every one of these ads about mitt romney's business experience is it laid the groundwork that yes, mitt romney is the kind of politician mitt romney is someone who could support the ryan budget. now the in fact he picked him and connected himself in a way that he can't extract it makes that job much easier, but this race is about big things and it's about which direction we want the country to go in. >> what about the fact that mitt romney left bain ckacapital bef this woman ended up being fired. that she had other insurance, that there was a gap from when she was fired and when she was diagnosed. isn't there flaws in that? >> no, i would challenge you to find one. all of those facts are factually accurate. when that company went bankrupt,
mitt romney was chairman and ceo of the company. you own the spots of the company when you're ceo. there are real-life consequences to when all these people lost their jobs, when their health insurance got canceled and when they lost their pension benefits. some of the stories are sad. this is about big things and the direction our country is going to go in. if mitt romney wants to make his business experience the center of his campaign, we were happy to talk about that. >> i give you the last word. >> the next ten days they're going to be trying to define paul ryan and what priority usa showed how they're going to go at it. they're going to say anything they can about paul ryan and use the most obscene language to say paul ryan's going to kill people. the fact is he's a good person and has earned that. who wins that definition, that defining battle is going to win the election. for republicans they have to get up quickly and let paul ryan get
up p quickly and show that he cares about the people and wants to solve the problems. >> we have to leave it there. please, guys, you both come back. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours, that's next right here on "andrea mitchell reports." rogaine? well, i'll admit it.
. which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours. chris ill ls back with us. >> andrea, you hit the nail on the head. look. the president of the united states this close to an election will spend three straight days in a state will tell you they're worried about it. and the fact that paul ryan two and a half days after being unveiled as the v.p. pick is in the state. this has been a central state since 2004, 2008. it's going to be one again in 2012. that's why they're spending so
much time there. >> and chris cillizza. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow we'll join you from chicago. mayor michael bloom beg talking about the economy, maybe trans fats and sodas. jose, you've got a gold medalist. >> absolutely. we're following developing news. any minute we're expecting to see paul ryan at the iowa state fair where he's been campaigning on his own for if first time since becoming romney's v.p. mix. also, never has the u.s. olympic team appeared more diverse. olympic gymnasts and bronze medalist joins me live to talk about the changing face of the team. [ male announcer ] now you can swipe...
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