tv Charlie Rose PBS August 31, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by rose communications >> rose: welcome to our program. we are live this evening from new york, tampa and new hampshire. we just heard mitt romney accept the republican nomination for president. he continues his talk this evening. it's a culmination of this week's efforts to show the american people a side of the candidate they haven't seen before. this was the biggest moment of mitt romney's political career. joining me now from tampa is al hunt of bloomberg news. scott pelley of cbs news joins
us. i'll begin with this question. based what you've seen so far this evening, is the governor doing what he had to do in his presentation of himself and his vision to the american people? >> charlie, i think he's achieving at least sufficient objective, if you will. from what i've seen so far, and we haven't seen the entire speech, i don't think he's hitting it out of the park. one wouldn't expect that of mitt romney. i think it's a more than adequate speech. and i think it will probably do what he has to do to be competitive in this race to come in probably at the end of the week a little bit ahead. and headed for a very very tight election. >> rose: people thought he had to do two things. number one, he had to explain himself and introduce himself. and then secondly, he had to tie that vision of america and of his policy to who he is and how he became who he is. that was the important mission
that he had to accomplish. he clearly has told us things about his biography we did not know. we have not heard that much about the vision except in terms of generalities. >> yes, charlie, that's true. i think what else he had to do is sort of weave all that together, was give people a sense that he was the sort of person who understood them and their struggles. that clearly was what he was trying to do tonight. and it's an unfair comparison but i kept thinking what reagan would be like doing that. romney can't quite rise to that occasion. it didn't come across quite as sincere as real or as feeling as it might have. i don't think it was bad. i'm not suggesting in any way he failed, but i'm thinking of that voter out there who is really on the fence, who is struggling and wants to vote for romney as a matter of fact but wants to know that romney really gets their problems. not quite sure he got there tonight. >> rose: one thing they seem
to be doing, all of the speakers, is try to say that the president simply has failed. good man but he failed. >> yes. yes, they did that and i think they did that consistently throughout the week. i think the criticism of obama, there was a thread throughout almost every speech. we certainly heard it with chris christie, paul lion last night and with mitt romney this evening. fouror five days i think you'll see a somewhat different picture charlie about barack obama. i think the case against obama wasn't strengthened much this week nor did it have to be. people who are not going to vote for barack obama who feel the president hasn't lived up to his potential aren't going to be much changed by speeches at a tampa convention that's actually getting a rather low audience comparatively. they are there already. i think what the charge for republicans this week was to really improve their brand name, if you will a little bit and for
romney, as i say, really convey the sense of relating to people. and i'm not quite sure whether that was achieved or not but it will be interesting to see over the next few days. charlie i'll say one more thing. there was a surreal feeling about this convention. some conventions the party goes in and they feel exuberant and passionate, reagan in 1980 and obama four years ago. this republicans most of them think they're going to win but they're not passionate or exuberant about the nominee. >> rose: but they may overcome that by their desire to win in this particular election year. let's talk about some other things in terms of this convention. what did you think of marco rubio's speech introducing mitt romney. >> i thought it was very effective. i thought it was maybe the best speech i heard at the convention. he had a narrative, he was compelling. he told stories people could understand and could identify with. and i thought it was a very effective speech. >> rose: we have seen a lot
of hispanics -- >> more so charlie than -- i'm sorry, i was going to say much more so than dirty harry. >> rose: i don't quite understand that and i look forward to understanding more of it as we get to know how that took place. but it seemed a very strange, perhaps the strangest episode i'd ever seen at a national complit cull convention on the night that the nominee speaks. >> i think it really detracted from the seriousness of it and i think this is an election that's serious. i'm not quite, i think it's a gimmick and not quite sure why they did it. >> rose: let's look what we saw last night with ryan. i wanted to talk to scott pelley too. there are those saying paul ryan made an effective speech and perhaps hurt himself a bit because there's some debate, certainly him with fact checkers about the plant closing and some other issues. is there much talk within the political community that ryan should have none better than to do that? >> charlie, if you're asking
me -- >> rose: i am asking you. scott hasn't joined us. >> the crowd here in tampa could have cared less about it. i thought it was just an unnecessary miscalculation on his part. why say, why blame barack obama which is what he really did about a planted closing that took place when george bush was president. that was unnecessary. there were all sorts of other examples. a lot of plants have closed over the last three and-a-half years. to try to embrace that when it was his home town was incorrect. i don't think it was a big deal, i don't think it made much difference. people aren't going to remember in. >> rose: it doesn't hurt paul ryan. >> i don't think it hurts paul ryan. yes it does and i think it was just one wonders how that got in, how either the ryan people or the romney people could have thought they could have pulled the wool over people's eyes on that. i think ryan gave a very good speech last night, helped himself. but do you know charlie, vice presidential speeches, vice
presidentual nominations. in the end it doesn't matter. i remember some awfully good vice presidential speeches and i'm afraid the voters didn't remember seven weeks later. >> rose: two of the issues during this convention we have just seen and i was there with you. one is the number of hispanics who came to speak. elected officials in the republican party. whether it's the governor of new mexico, whether it's looking like the senate candidate in texas who may very well win, attracted people who are hispanics who are holding office who are republicans. >> it's really interesting. there are a lot of those. the governor of nevada also. and the republican party particularly in 2010 did a very good job of electing more hispanics than they had before. that doesn't detract however from what i think is their latino problem in this election. we had breakfast this morning with jeb bush who probably along with his brother, and john mccain and few others that really have been the van guard
of saying this party has to reach out more to hispanics. and he said all the correct things for romney supporting republican. but you could read between the lines that he thinks this is the party that really really has to do a much better job. he thought that romney could close that huge gap which is almost 3-1 right now. but he didn't feel very confident that romney wouldn't come anywhere close to almost 40% his brother got eight years ago. >> rose: there's also this women and disparity between women who support the president and women who support mitt romney. there is a disparity between men who support mitt romney and men who support barack obama. there was a clear effort to try with ann romney and with condaleesa rice and others to say that women have a place in this party and this party speaks to the, with respect for women. you heard the governor tonight talk about the fact that he had, you know, not only ann romney but his chief of staff and a number of people who work with
men and women. they clearly are aware of the issues that they have to do to convince women that they understand those issues that most concern them. >> well, you put it correctly, that he does have a female problem, a gender problem and so does barack obama. it's just a male problem and a gender problem. but ann romney was there, condaleesa rice was there this week. but it was interesting. i thought a really really sizeable chunk of the romney speech tonight was devoted to try to address that issue. he cited his mother, he talked about, he talked about his mother's 1970 campaign. this really was trying to say hey, i am on your side. i don't know how effective it was but it's something they clearly are thinking a great deal about. >> rose: it's also clear he did the same thing with the womanism. he clearly for the first time addressed it and gave us a deeper sense what it meant to him and his own, how that it was in fact something that had given him not only a deep faith but a
moral code of service. >> i think that's right. somewhat more in passing. i doubt he's going to return to that. i think the feeling was that all right they've been criticized because he's ignored it for almost the entire campaign. this was the opportunity to put it out front. i think most republicans don't anticipate it will be an issue in the fall. it was a bit of an issue in the primaries, on the evangelical vote. but charlie, that evangelical voter out there so dislikes barack obama that i don't think they're going to have a hard time voting for a mormon who tends to be a pretty conservative republican. >> rose: now joined by mike murphy who is in manchester, new hampshire. mike give us your reaction to the speech tonight and whether mitt romney did what you believe he had to do. >> well, i think the campaign had a strategy which was to fill in a lot of blanks about mitt about a three dimensional person. he suffered from the onslaught
of negative advertising. they tried to move with his speech and the things before it, the remarks before it was to show his personal decency, which everybody who knows him knows to be very true, which creates a bit of a disconnect with the negative advertising about character attacks that's come from the other side. so they've served up a big dollop of new information about mitt romney that will help him a lot. i was talking about jobs going forward he can litigate that. he had different strategy and i they he executed the strategy. >> rose: of. >> rose: how did he execute the content of the speech, the delivery. >> this is always going to be a contrast, this campaign between a man of beautiful words and a man of proven action. i don't think mitt romney is a poet. i thought it was a competent oration and the message was there and i think mitt romney helped himself. if we're going to have a pure oratory contest, that's what president obama is a genius is at. i think the country had that
experience last time and as mitt's speech indicated it's time to size up the results and that's where the mitt romney will have the edge. i thought it was a very competent job by somebody who is not a natural speech giver. but i think it was definitely enough to get the strategy of the campaign across. >> rose: were there omissions from this speech that you wish he had made. >> look, i'm an armchair quarterback sitting up here in new hampshire. i've got a lot of opinions about it but their strategy was to break the character attacks down by the obama guys by showing the old mitt romney who is an old school quiet guy about breaking that through. there were moments in the speech i thought that were quite moving by mitt, about being a young father and watching his kids grow up and things like that. people haven't seen that before and i think that will help him. >> rose: i love the idea of his father putting roses by his mother's bedside in the morning. >> she knew he passed away and
the one day the rose was not there. >> rose: thank you for joining us from manchester. the humanizing of mitt romney, the warmth of mitt romney that his friends and mike murphy knows him well and you and i have interviewed him. did you see it come through? >> i did, yes. i think mike was right. >> i'm sorry. >> rose: go ahead, al, go ahead and i'll come back to mike. >> i really didn't see it. you know, i don't know it nearly as well as mike murphy does. i'm not sure. i've seen it. i think it's in contrast to his father who was a great, a man of great passion, a man of great exuberance, sometimes anger but he also could very easily connect with working class people. i'm not sure that mitt romney has that ability. i agree with mike. it was certainly a confidence speech and i think maybe he should have listened a little bit more to the old quarterback up in new hampshire. >> very very old quarterback with bad knees, i'm not sure.
>> rose: you mean strategy turned novelist, is that the same. >> exactly. i think he, the thing about mitt, though, mitt is in some ways, and we're going to find out if the country likes this or not. i hope they did. it's kind of an old school guy about politics. he doesn't wear it on his sleeve, you know, he's much more of an eisenhower type in that there's no therapy culture to the guy at all. so it's a natural for him to kind of embrace the kind of politics we have now. everything is argued by anecdotal evidence and that kind of storytelling politics. it's just not who he is, so i think mitt ought to be who he is, be the results guy and prosecute that. i think this speech did some good at pushing back on all these character attacks we've had. those of us who know mitt well, it's therapeutic for us to watch tonight the whole convention just to see the guy we know talked about by some of the case study of people. mitt's got to win this economic argument and it's going to take
a path forward and more details and he has to keep prosecuting it every day. i don't think he built that through tonight although i don't think that was their main goal. the goal is to humanize him and they made some real progress there which is good. >> rose: what will be the intersection of the economic argument? will it simply be that the president had a chance and he didn't create jobs and he did not do what was necessary to be done to recover from the back hand that he was handed? >> yes. i mean i think of that's built into the numbers now. they've got to keep prosecuting it. for all the, shall we say, improvisational thrill of the eastwood moment. i think he had one line about when you're not, when the employee's not doing the job you got to let him go. i think that argument does resonate with the president. now it's incumbent i think on mitt to show he's got the better path forward and it's not just biography what he has done but what's his plan to get there. he talked about energy, he
talked about putting up business. i mean he started that process but that i think is a winning path for him and he's got to put the whole campaign behind it. >> rose: did you think the clint eastwood moment worked? >> i have to confess, i listened to it on the radio driving here to the uplink studio so i never saw the video of it but i tweeted, and i'm an eastwood fan. i think he's a tremendous creative power but actors do well with scripts. i'm not sure. i do think that one remark he had in kind of the vernacular summed what a lot of people think which is you don't have to dislike the president to know the job wasn't done and maybe we got to let him go. >> rose: al. >> i thought it was a mistake. i thought it disbased the evening. i'm a great eastwood fan, i love his movies. i have no idea why they did it and i don't think they should have done it. i think marco rubio gave them everything they needed and clint eastwood, i don't think it will be a big deal but i think it was
a mistake. >> rose: paul, back to paul ryan, i mentioned earlier to al and i'll talk to scott pelley about it in an interview today. did ryan make a mistake about the controversy a day after his speech about some of the things he said as to their accuracy, mike. >> i think the simpson bolles thing was an error because he voted against the thing. that might have been a stretch. i went back and red what the president said at that general motors plant. i'm from detroit, i'm a big auto industry kind of fan follower. i'm not beating him up over that. they gave those workers a lot of hope about that plant being around a hundred years. that is what politics, politicians do during an selection. but i don't know, i didn't think that was an unfair shot. overall i thought ryan's speech was very good. all the young guys, the new generation guys, rubio, ryan. i think they're really shining this convention.
you see where the future of the party is. >> rose: does that include christie. >> it does. i predict whoever his speech writer is floating in the river somewhere out there right now. having been pushed out of a plane but swimming back to shore for another crack of it. it happened to clint. al will remember. bill clinton gave a speech that was long and boring people were doing dental surgery in the hall, they were asleep and he came back. so it's foolish to count out chris christie. >> rose: is that the speech in which the audience cheered when he said and finally. >> yes. in conclusion is your biggest applause line, you're in trouble. i don't think christie was in that kind of front, just the under performed expectation. >> charlie, one bit of history. bill clinton was smart enough to go on the tonight show the next week to recover. chris christie ought to do something like that right now. >> rose: he understood that. there's also this, which has been an issue in this campaign. it's bain. and how this final night treated
the bain issue, both for the people in the house and people who could watch it on cable television. can he get past this bain issue? , mike? >> well, i don't think it's an issue he's ever going to yet unquote win but i think he can narrow the gap. i think he did some of it in the convention program with the staples founder with his old partner bob white. but the argument i want to hear about bain to close the gap is that mitt romney was hired to manage other people's money including endowments and union and pension funds and he did a good job. people trusted him with money that was very important. if you run into burning buildings for 30 years you want that pension check to be there and mitt was that guy. campaign about billion elect mitt romney, i don't believe it will but there's a bain story they're starting to tell now. i think they're late that will help him. i don't think people understand bain and there's more imlaition about it that would be helpful. >> rose: the issue isn't whether it helps him but if it
hurts him because of the attacks by the obama team. >> they could take the edge by filling in the bain picture more. they let the obama people define it too much. it's complicated. i think people knew what mitt was hired to do with bain and t worked. you manage money for college endowments and scholarships he was good at it, he developed the results. and it's good they get that. >> rose: and the dynamics they created jobs and sports authority they created jobs and staples they created jobs and those are the successes that they can talk about and they did. we may have bob white from the convention center. do we? i was told we had bob white who was there talking about bain. we do not have him yet so he will be coming in. there's also the question of other people. marco rubio i mentioned to al. he seemed to me to do as good a job as i've seen by someone who had the responsibility of
putting, getting the crowd energized for the main speaker. >> yes, i think he's a huge talent and he's one of the brightest stars of the party. we saw a lot of that tonight. not only his story but he's a communicator. one thing ryan and rubio have in common, two of the younger guys coming to the party, they always caged their arguments about the future and about the american interests. not just partisanship. now you might argue they say they're too conservative, but they're out there trying to sell solutions and they're trying to do a call to arms to make our generation do something like the generations before. that's attractive way to communicate. >> rose: they come across as people beyond simply pragmatic politics. that's clearly. but also there's the kind of principle and a philosophy behind how they see their role in america. al, do you agree? >> yes, i do. i think marco rubio gave probably the best speech of this convention.
there was a narrative people liked. i want to go to one point mike made. i think mike's absolutely right about the value of the virtue of bain. romney made two mistakes in the primary. number one, he didn't depict bain as a firm that really helped teacher's retirement funds and firemen pension funds, as mike said it was a safe place to ininvestigate. instead he depicted as a job creator. that was a mistake because it was a mixed record on that as are most private equity firms. and i think the second mistake he made was he game the chief immigration basher. that's something he will have difficulty recouping from. i think mike is right, if he told that picture in the beginning of bain it would have been far more successful and less of a problem than it is today. >> i agree with that. one thing that will come out of this convention, there was enough new information about mitt that i think now just in the nick of time for the general election because there is some time left that people are going to take another look at it and that's a huge opportunity for mitt romney to expand upon some
of the new messages in this convention. and that's what he ought to do. >> rose: stand by guys, we're going to go to scott pelley who has been handling this for cbs news, anchorman who has been overlacking the convention. scott tell me what you thought of the speech tonight and what instruct you as important for mitt romney to do. >> charlie, great to be with you. the candidates are still out on the stage as we speak with their families and the kids are drinking in the moment and they're getting hustled off the stage by their mom it looks like at this pointed. charlie, clearly is this was mitt romney reaching to the common touch. people have asked can a man worth about $250 million understands the needs of on middle america. families watching the gas pump roll past $50 during a fill up. he talked about families skipping movie night because they couldn't make ends meet.
he talked about factory workers giving up $22 an hour jobs to take two jobs that made $9 an hour. so this was clearly an attempt by the former governor of massachusetts to communicate to the american people that he does understand what their problems are. he is in touch with the middle class. and then the rest of course was barely full throated indictment of the obama administration. >> rose: i would love to get you in on this too and we've got mike murphy in new hampshire and al hunt from bloomberg. this idea of identifying with american optimism. american optimism and exceptionalism is a subject of great concern and debate because of competition in the world. even of jeb bush spoke to it in terms of how we've fallen behind in education and that affects the competitiveness of america across a world that is equally, that is every day more challenging. what did you think of that?
that theme of recognizing and identifying the american optimism. >> well, it was sort of reaganesque, if you will. there was a film that was shown to the convention a little bit earlier as they were building up toward mitt romney's moment and it was a film about ronald reagan and it was all about his sense of optimism, the shining city on the hill. they've been trying to recall that here, and that was a nod in romney's speech to those days, those heady republican days of ronald reagan. >> rose: mike murphy and al hunt, stay with me scott. the idea of this family, i mean this is clearly a very attractive family of a highlight the relationship there. when you draw a picture of a man who wants to be trusted by americans, that adds to his qualities, does it not? >> i believe so. i mean the truth is, i'm very fond of him.
he is a square, it is true. but you know, you can disagree with his politics. i know a lot of democrats will never vote for him but he is an incredibly decent human being. i do think that came through and that will help. the more people learn about him outside of the realm of kind of the republican primary he just went through, it will help. now he's got to relate all that to making their lives better in specific ways. because his real enemy is cynicism. here comes another politician promising stuff. he's got to break through that wall because people do want to vote for hope. it's a word we hear a lot in presidential politics when things are bad as they are now, particularly for the middle class, they want to know they can vote maybe to get a better life. if he can break through that and get their k dense because i think there is concern about obama, he will do well. if barack obama can keep him in a cage of negative edge that he's the evil stage villain from wall street, he will be in big trouble. >> rose: there's also something i want all of you to comment on this, this motion
that this government has been dysfunctional and has been in paralysis, and it faces this fiscal cliff. should the president and should mitt mitt romney be speaking to that that what president obama did post partisanship he did not achieve and we're facing more problems because of the nature of the conflict between parties and they can't agree in the nation's interest whether it's simpson bowles or whether it's a debt feeling. you want to be convinced that somebody can make a difference. there's a leadership that can achieve the kinds of results that we might assume that lyndon johnson could do. >> mitt romney talks a great deal as you know, charlie, about being a republican governor in a overwhelmingly democratic state in massachusetts. and he talks a lot about the things that they were able to do in massachusetts by bringing the
two parties together. but you didn't hear very much about that in his speech tonight. in fact there may not have been a word in the speech about bipartisanship and healing the breach between the two parties. very good point. and of course he has paul ryan on the ticket. paul ryan is chairman of the house budget committee, and has put together a very partisan budget that is never had a chance of getting through the democratic senate. so the question is, what changes going forward and it was not something that he addressed tonight. >> rose: should he be speaking more about that, al? >> yes, he probably should. i don't want to get walk in here charlie because you know i'm not very good that at. let me raise two substantive issues one given credit and one is a problem ahead. he's done a very good job in the last three weeks not neutralizing the medicare disadvantage, at least minimizing it and they've been very very effective. they have a huge challenge in
the horizon. he's not leveling about the american people about taxes. he's proposed over $4 trillion of tax cuts. he's said it will not lose revenue. he will broaden the base and it won't change and it will be based on rich people. that is impossible. that is totally impossible. and i don't think you get away from now until november 6th with that sort of disingenuousness on that issue. they'll have to address that as well as the medicare issue and it will be hard, very hard. >> rose: scott, you talked to paul ryan today about some of the things he said last night. there's a real push back from republicans and from ryan on that, as i understand. >> well, that's right. one of the things that he said last night in his very well-received speech here was that the american government debt, of course, as we all know, was down graded by standard & poor's and he seemed to payment that as a reflection of the president's economic policies.
when our researchers at cbs news went back and looked at standard and poor's statement, the only party that they claimed in this statement was the republican party in the congress saying that due to actions of the republican party in the congress, they had to reevaluate the credit rating of the united states. i brought that up to congress ryan today on the cbs evening news. and he pushed back on that. he said well that wasmented t he -- wasn't the way he saw it. there were a number of things in his speech last night that fact checkers looked at, and looked at the stats at and he gave a forceful defense of his speech earlier today. >> rose: scott thank you for joining us. we know you've had a long day. thank you very much. >> well you've had a long day too, charlie. we both started on cbs this morning. >> rose: we did. >> and thank you very much. it's great to be with you. >> rose: thank you very much. mike, here's what intrigues me about mitt romney. here's a man who stands a very good chance of becoming president. it's an even race.
he comes out of this convention with this election of a vice president running mate and all those arguments you can make for him. he became more humanized tonight. what happened between the loss in 2008 and this moment tonight of victory? what did he say to himself? what did he do, how did he go from not a very good race in 2008 to a successful race so far in 2012? >> well, i think he started quoting popeye a lot of. i sat down with him after 2008 and we talked about it a little bit. i was a critic of that chain. he said if i run again and he wasn't sure at that point, i'm going to be me. and i am what i am. and that's why i wrote the book and i think within the vestitue and a candidate with mild appeal, i think he did that.
he is a bit more ring wise about it. it's a skill to be through a crazy base nine map kind of world. finally one of the reasons he won this time, even though he didn't win last type, he was kind of the guy who came in second and the republican party the way we work that's very helpful. it gives you money base. you're famous. so in the early polls you do well so you don't have to go and run around and dodge ice beggars and caucuses where the other candidates have to do and get in trouble. even though he lost last time it gave him skills and experience going forward and a good position. finally liberty to go out and kind of be himself and it worked. he has the most valuable thing in politics right now, the republican nomination against a president in trouble. we've got about an even race here and it's going to be a barn burner now. >> rose: what will decide this race, al? >> whether mitt romney he gets to 47 or 48 automatically. it's a tough slog to get to 50
in this race. i think he will get there. he's never going to be reagan but at this stage in 1980, people were even more pessimistic about the country, certainly much more negative about the incumbent president. they said the challenger has to meet a threshold. and it took reagan a while but he met it and really eclipsed it. i think the threshold for romney again is going to be whether he really can relate to those struggles out there, that every day challenge that people face on jobs and the economy and a future. the rhetoric was fine tonight but i don't think it was convincing but he has seven more weeks and he has an opportunity to do it as mike just said. >> rose: but it was better off coming out of this convention than going into the convention in terms of that. mike? >> i think so. >> yes. >> no, no, the convention had value to him. now we'll have another convention about mitt romney and a bunch of advertising. i think al's on to something. he's got to convince people he's got a plan they can believe. but then the swing voters in
that deep down middle class, that last 2% who don't really dislike president obama. of them like him. they just wonder if he can do the job. they believe that mitt romney has in his part to put them first when he's delivering economic results. >> rose: go ahead. al i'll close with this with both of you. in the end what convinces that you have a plan or that somehow you have enough skill, you have enough determination, you have enough, some x factor. >> i think they're together. it's got to be a plan people believe and to believe the person who came up with the plan with a confidence to deliver. if people think their economic lives in the middle class will be better with mitt romney they're going to re-elect -- they're going to elect him and not obama. if they have too many doubts and obama is able to change the subject with the advantages that the democrats have, 10, 12 years ago this race wouldn't be this close, romney would be ahead. president obama has that advantage.
he might be able to squeak through. >> rose: what are the advantages he has, al, president obama. >> obama has a couple advantages. mike says the demographics certainly work in his favor. i think he's probably a slightly better candidate than mitt romney. i think, i'll tell you one advantage he does not have that they had last time. i think this, i think the romney campaign is a pretty darn effective group. they've coherent, they seem to have fewer factions than some campaigns have had and i think they are more, they are at least a match for team obama. now, it has to be said, everything mike said about the primaries are right. they beat an incredibly weak field. when they go against broke it's welcome to the nfl. >> rose: on that note thank you very much al hunt, thank you very much mike murphy. >> sure. >> rose: a pleasure. >> thank you. >> rose: i go now to bob
white, a long time friend of the mitt romney and also mike leavitt is an adviser to mitt romney. earlier this evening, bob white spoke about the governor's commitment to service and their work at bain capital. as i said mike leavitt is a former utah governor and leader of mitt romney transition team. i welcome you both. thank you for joining us at a busy time. bob white, speak to me first about this man that is your friend and you have been known so long and whether you believe that he accomplished the objective of showing a side of him that you perhaps know but the country does not yet know. >> i think he did. i think mitt romney was terrific tonight talking about what he would do, talking about what he has seen -- talking about the
challenges we have and real solutions and restoring the american dream. mitt has been a friend for a long long time. as i spoke tonight, i wanted people to understand not only the accomplishment that people heard about being a successful businessman, turning around the olympics when they were very broken being very successful -- the budget deficit and doing well in jobs. but instead wanted -- bain capital to do that, give something back, he wanted us to do that as much as we could. and what i talked about, not only financially supported various children's causes, it was designed to give money where people from our organization would spend their time. so it was designed again to help get us to be involved in our community. so i think what the governor says and what many of the other
people who spoke said -- i've known for so lang a lot of people have not yet seen. i was deleted -- delighted with what the governor said. so many people who never spoke before coming out and talking about their personal relationship with this very special person. >> rose: as you know there are polls that show that they think the governor could handle the economy better than the president but that the president cares more about them than the governor. that he understands them more. do you think you can overcome that impression? >> well, i think that's true. i think -- i think quite frankly tonight was -- america getting to know more about the person mitt romney. so we now come out of a convention with i think a great
momentum, exposure of governor romney that many have never had. i'll take that message across the country of not only what the governor will do but who the governor is. so yes, i actually believe that we'll be able to communicate that. when people know that governor romney and the mitt romney i've known for 30 years, they'll understand he's a very compassionate and caring person. i think that will be -- >> rose: you and i have known each other for a while and had many conversations together about public policy and other issues including golf, but you have gotten to know mitt romney more i think now than you had even though you knew him before as a fellow governor. what is it you have learned about him in this arena, the competition to be president of the united states? >> well first may i say like bob, i've known mitt a long time. if people want to know mitt romney they just needed to watch tonight. the man that i saw tonight portrayed his family by the
bedside of a child, to be able to be with a family in a moment of need, to be with a person when they were unemployed and needed help. that's the mitt romney i've known for a long time and i'm so glad america gets a chance to see it. they've also had a chance to see his passionate feeling about the fact we can turn this country around and i've seen him in that setting as well. i've seen him turn the olympics around. we were governors together. i saw him turn the state of massachusetts around. i know this man, i know he can do it and i'm delighted the american people had a chance to see both of those sides of him tonight. >> rose: how does he convince the american people who have doubts about the president based on the kinds of things you raise, that the president had not been able to achieve all the promises that he made and the economy is still in trouble. how does he make that sell to the american people as he leaves this convention? >> i just suggest, i think that sale has been made to the american people. they know this american economy is not doing what it needs to do
for america to maintain its leadership in the world. they know that americans greatness is not being manifest right now and we can do better. and i believe that tonight they saw a leader that can do that. i'm delighted they got a chance to see it and feel it. we'll have another six or seven weeks now with the campaign they'll see it. i think their understanding of the need for a change is inherent in the hearts and minds of americans across this country. >> rose: then i would ask mike or i'll ask you bob, why is this race so close, then? >> well i think it's close because running against an incumbent president, and frankly we're asking the american people obviously to make a difficult decision and that is to say to the incumbent president, you haven't done the job. it's now time to get someone new and i think the next six weeks that will be the basic question in the minds of the american people. is it time for us to renew the contract on a coach that hasn't allowed us to win or is it time
to find a new coach and find a new way to win. >> rose: bob white, you know that washington has been caught up in the throes of the country to come together as well as the legislative and to solve the country. people wonder if mitt romney has that skill to get people who seem to be on principle at loggerheads, to come together and make compromises that has to do with spending cuts and revenue but on deep issues so that the country can get back to where it was.
ar aisle with real solutions to real problems and he was able to promise an awful lot of the very important things that needed to be done there that was exactly the kind of cooperation you're talking about. he's applied the leadership, you know, that he's learned in the private sector, and at the olympics. and then went into the government sector as a governor in a democrat state and was able to accomplish much. so i believe he has leadership skills and he cares about america and will find both sides of the aisle who are willing and ready to face the tough challenges that we face and accomplish a tremendous amount. >> rose: thank you for joining us on a busy and noisy
evening. i know you both have much to celebrate this evening so i thank you for coming here to talk with us on this program. >> thanks charlie. >> rose: thank you very much. we go back to mike murphy with this question, mike. so where does he go now? where does have campaign go and how should they use the time between now and the first debate? >> well, i think one thing is that the absolute manhattan project should no longer be fund raising or trying to fit in that extra rally in cleveland, ohio. this was one of really four shots mitt romney has of the american people to make his case eyeball to the camera without a lot of filter and the next will be these debates, i hope they're putting attention into this. if romney wins the debates i think he'll win the election. beyond that he's got to go out to about the eight or nine
states is what this thing is all about and really start connecting to folks both through television appearances, that's the great amplifier locally but actually getting out there and talking people. i hope they do mitt around some tv shows, loose format. i think there's more information about mitt that's out there. it's good information, keep going. particularly lay out policy. policy is an advantage in the campaign. how you talk to people. it doesn't have to be complicated policy to get the policy writers, "the washington post" is becoming a conservative and like it. it's got to be ideas that inspire people. that's how you get them to listen. >> rose: do you believe, you have represented mostly, you have advised mostly republicans. how many democrats have you ever advised. >> only my mother, the precinct leader back on the east side of detroit once. but no, i'm a partisan republican, absolutely. >> rose: did she rehire you, your mother. >> no. she doesn't take my advice, believe me. >> rose: when you look at this campaign, i asked earlier to both you and al hunt, where
this campaign will go. you said that if he wins the debate in your judgment, then that's a time to show when you're there mano a mano that you have the right stuff. suppose that's an even draw. what would be the determinant after that. >> you're slogging it out in all the states which you have to do anyway. but the debattle are important because people are so cynical and they have a reason to be about political communication. they don't trust the media, they don't trust political commercials, all that stuff has an impact. but debates they think okay i can size everybody up that's important. going out into the right states and having a message, keep adding new information, keep showing benefits. i mean this thing is going to come down to whether or not romney can carry a state one click outside the usual republican comfort zone. iowa, wisconsin, maybe a colorado or nevada. he's got a take a state in the
west and a state in the middle and win ohio, florida and virginia and maybe even up here in new hampshire is now a swing state. the targets are set. he knows his demographics. he's got a problem with college-educated white women. you hard a lot at the convention about that. overall he's just got to break through and take that advantage on the economy from the seven or eight points people say he would be better on the economy up to 12 or 14 points. that's a hard number to move but that's what he got to do. >> rose: does the republican brand hurt him or help him in terms of the new emerging demographics. >> it hurts him. the last two points, maybe the last three between 46 and 49 or maybe up to 50, depending on what the small candidates get to win, are voters who are demographically more of a challenge for us and who tend to like president obama. so mitt's got to close not really with obama bashing. he's got those votes. he's got to get people who like president obama but have to feel okay about letting him go as
clint eastwood said and convince him that mitt will do a better job making the middle class and making poor lives better. that's the chore, and if he can do that, he's going to do well. if not, obama will be re-elected. >> rose: mike, you're in my debt. thank you for coming here. >> always like my old friend bob white who knows mitt romney better than anybody in the world. i'm glad he spoke. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: joining us now from convention center, mark halperin and john heilemann. there is still noise in the background but both give me your impressions. you've been following this campaign more intently than most people of this night for mitt romney. did he help his case? >> charlie, i think that he helped his case but only modestly. i thought there were effective parts of the speech tonight. i thought there were some mediocre parts of the speech tonight. i thought it was fine and i think you're hearing that from a lot of republicans in reaction.
you're hearing a lot of it was good enough. he did what he had to do. he didn't soar over the bar and you're hearing a lot more people saying thing like marco rubio was the better speaker tonight and that clint eastwood will be the bigger story tomorrow. that's sort of a joke but not insubstantial distraction. and these going to be a lot of news coverage around the weirdness of that event that will take away to some extent what romney did. i think about biography, talking about his family and his father, talk big his relationship with ann was all very effective. i thought most of the rest of the speech though was not particularly inspired. and i don't think, i think in some sense, some of the where you're going to take the country, some of the specificity, some of the policy stuff that a lot of the voters are genuinely undecided in the country and want to know how mit has a vision of the future that's different from barack obama. i think they've been caught a little bit short wondering where the beef was on more substantive
matters. >> rose: mark? >> i think there's always the question of how many people will have watched this speech live versus seeing news coverage. i think if people watched the video tape that played before clint eastwood and saw the speech in its entirety i think governor romney did a pretty decent job of laying down that biographical foundation. not a plutocrat and not someone to make profits for himself and his part nurse as a result of having pea -- partners as a result of losing their jobs. most people did not see the video played during the prime time broadcast television and some people might not have watched the whole speech but rather will see news coverage. john pointed out some elements which will probably make the news coverage less than what the total package was. it did lay down something of a foundation. people, some republicans who said they should take that biographical video with people talking about mitt romney and
governor romney talking for himself and buy enough air time as they can for it. i think it's probably, this is probably not the thing that transforms the race but it's probably good enough to let him go forward and try to figure out a way to make himself more likeable, present a different image of himself and the country. >> one of the great questions people will ask inside this campaign, if they lose, and there are a lot of things that are going to affect the outcome. but really the biographical video was really good. and they will second guess themselves forever about why they didn't put that video in prime time and not have clint eastwood spend really ten or 12 of the most bizarre minutes that anyone's ever seen from a convention stage i would say in the television era for sure. there's not been much that's weirder than those minutes and they really were squandered especially when they had that video which was incredibly good. >> rose: you both agree the video was incredibly good. >> yes.
>> one get that's begged both in the video and many of the presentations that occurred earlier is where was the decision, why was the decision made earlier not to take bain on the way they did. not to take bain on the way they did. why not bring on the people who were incredibly and effective tonight. i don't really know the answer, i haven't had time to report it out but if they done it leading up to tonight, perhaps they would have been able to lay down more of a predicate and rebut implicitly all of the attacks over the last several months. i don't know why they didn't do it. it will be interesting if they follow through. will they put that video or a version of it out. will they take some of the people who spoke tonight and make them part of the messaging campaign. >> rose: do they have a ton over money to carry that message forward. >> they have a lot of money for sure. they have more money than the obama campaign have. they have the financial advantage going forward. the obama campaign had the
advantage all summer long, although the republican super packs, if you combine that with the romney combine spending outspent the obama team. obama versus romney straight up the obama had the advantage this summer but in the fall romney, who has been not able until recently to raise money for the general election, he's going to have a lot of money to do their work. i just don't know how much more positive stuff you're ever going to see from them or whether we're going to have as most people predict. send pretty quickly to an ad that is almost exclusively. this is what we're going to here about the obama campaign. >> rose: he's always been a stand up guy. what happened tonight is that what they planned or did something go wrong? >> i did some reporting before tonight about how this came about and what the plan was for him. i want to do more before i tell
you definitively what happened. i believe what happened was this was something that they basically said clint eastwood is a performer, he knows what he's doing and there was no vetting of his performance whatsoever. there have been reports by other rep peubl the people were back stage not liking what was going on because he took so long. my reporting will be true that he would simply assume he would come out and do something positive. he is a politically minded guy and not do what many, compared to a banned theatre performance. >> talking to an empty chair is like surrealist dada theatre talking to an empty cheer. he was definitely not on the teleprompter. the teleprompter had stage directions on it while he was talking. so that was off the cuff as best as anyone could tell. i imagine there might have been, if he said look i got this, i know what i'm doing, there might have been a little fear in the
campaign saying that clint eastwood, we're going to try the script. >> rose: thank you john heilemann, thank you mark halperin, we'll see more of you in north carolina. it's been a fascinating evening. thank you for joining us. we'll see you from north carolina next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications catiyon b ed media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org