tv Meet the Press NBC September 30, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EDT
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," chris christie and newt gingrich with the problems on romney. president piled on, turning his own gaffes into laugh lines. >> i want to see us export more jobs. export more products. excuse me. ( laughter ) i was-- i-- i was channeling my opponent there for a second. ( laughter ) >> schieffer: and advice and constellations. >> there are 40 days left until the election. obama cowl make a gaffe. mitt would win the debates, go could send a flood to destroy all mankind. ( laughter ) so there's hope. >> schieffer: short of
building an ark, what is romney's best chance. we'll ask new jersey governor chris christie, and one-time adversary, newt gingrich. so far romney is sticking to a familiar theme, but does he need to do more? >> i will lower the tax rate. he wants to creat to raise them. i'll create jobs and he'll kill them. also marsha blackburn, bob shrum, and larry sabato from the university of virginia center for politics. as we head into first presidential debate, we'll talk about the state of america at home and abroad with the distinguished panel. michelle rhee, former head of the washington, d.c. school system and founder of students first. economist mark zandi of moody analytics. bob woodward, author of "the price of politics" and hendrick smith, author of the new book "who stole the american dream?." it's all ahead on "face the
nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and we welcome now to the broadcast new jersey governor chris christie. governor, thank you for being here. governor i have to start off by saying i don't hear very many republicans these days who think mitt romney is doing very well. what's your take here? >> well, he's had a tough couple of weeks. let's be honest. i'm not going to sit here and come on this morning and sugar coat the last couple of weeks. they've been tough. but here's the great news for republicans -- we have a candidate who is going to do extraordinarily well on wednesday night. the first time he has the opportunity to stand on the same stage with the president of the youth, and the first time the majority of the people who will vote in this race will have an opportunity to make the direct comparison and see the two of them. when they do, i've seen mitt romney do this before. he's going to come inned with night. he's going to lay outs had vision for america.
he's going to contrast what his view is and the president's record and the presidenta view for the future and this whole race is going to be turned upside down come thursday morning. >> schieffer: if he's had such a hard time so far, why suddenly will it be a whole different deal? >> because i think it is a whole different deal. what he's going to be doing wednesday night is not going to be filtered by anyone. it's not going to be spun by anybody or filtered by anybody. the american people are going to get 90 minutes to look these two men right in their eyes in their living room and make their judgment. their vision for the future, their experience and the record and be able to say who do we trust the most to be the president of the united states during these incredibly challenging times? i've watched mitt romney do this, and so have you, bob, every time he was back into a corner in the primaries he came ow with a great debate performance because that's where he shines. and he's going to do a great job on wednesday night. >> schieffer: governor, i certainly take your point, and i respect your opinion, but talking about being spun and so for example.
it seems to me most of the problems governor romney's had thus far he has created for himself. for example, this tape where he said he's just basically writing off 47% of the electorate that was not the campaign. the governor himself said that was me. has that's thing-- is that thing really hurt him? >> you know, bob, i just don't think so. i really don't. i don't think a majority of the american people are focusing on that. here's what i think the american people and the voters are much smarter about than we give them credit for. they know political candidates at time, when they're being taped every minute of the day are going to say thing inartfully. let's face it, this president of the united states said when he was running four years ago that he was campaigning in all 57 state. do any of us really believe the president doesn't know we only have 50 states? does that mean he's not smart? come on. that's ridiculous. he misspoke. and i think what governor romney did was inelegantly say
something. what he believes is everybody in america should have skin in the game. everybody in the america has to be part of a shared sacrifice to create opportunity for greatness again for our people and our country. and he's going to convey that message on wednesday night clearly and directly to the american people. and i'm telling you, bob, thursday morning you're all going to be scratching your heads and saying, "wow, we have a barn burner for the next 33 days." >> schieffer: it's certainly going to come as a surprise to a lot of republicans, as you well know, if that is the case, because some of the leading voices, people like bill kristol, of the "weekly standard" and peggy noonan from the "wall street journal" and billy kristol said the 47% thing was stupid. peggy noon nan said it more elegantly, but she said same thing. when you talk to some of these republicans when they don't use their names, they're even more critical thus far. >> of course they are when you
don't use their names. everybody is critical in washington when they don't use their names, right, bob. i have great respect for peggy and everybody who is critical. it's their job to be critical. as i said to you, the campaign hasn't had a good two weeks. the bottom line is it changes on wednesday night. listen, i believe in governor romney. i believe in him as a leader. and i know that he's going very, very well do the job on wednesday night. >> schieffer: the shift toward medicare reform does not seem to be going over well with seniors, especially in some of these key states like florida and ohio. i'm looking at polls here that say 65% of the seniors in florida don't want to change medicare. 59% in ohio. 56% in virginia. did the campaign make a mistake by going off in this direction? i think most people know you've got to reform medicare, but they don't seem to be taking-- seniors don't seem to be taking
very well what mitt romney and paul ryan want to do about it. >> well, the first-- the first bit of good news is that mitt romney and paul ryan are not going to change medicare for those seniors. they're going to change medicare for folks like me, who just turned 50, and younger, who are going to need to know that if you want to have any semblance of medicare, you're going to have to make some changes to it. here's the dirty little secret, bob-- the president of the united states knows that, too, but he's not talkin talking abo. he's not being honest with the american people about it. in the end, i think the american people, if we lay out our vision well, will reward us for tell truth. and the president right now is avoiding the truth the way he's avoided so many hard truths over the last four years. >> schieffer: governor, if mitt romney does not win, are you going to run for president in 2016? >> mitt romney's gonna win, so it's a question that-- know, i don't need to address. i hope in 2016 to be work hard for mitt romney's reelection as president of the united states.
and any conversation about anything else is going to turn out not to be necessary because mitt romney is going to be elected president november 6. >> schieffer: governor, it's always fun to have you. thanks for joining us this morning. >> bob, thank you for having me this morning. it's great to be with you. >> schieffer: from chris christie we turn to former house speaker newt gingrich. i guess i should ask you, are you going to run in 2016 if mitt romney doesn't win? >> i agree, i think we're all going to be supporting romney's reelection. >> schieffer: i heard you, mr. speaker, this week on television-- i think i heard you correctly say that mitt romney is whistling past the graveyard unless he does well in these debates. is it that bad for him? >> look, it's always that bad. the three great incumbent disasters were the carter-ford debates, the reagan-carter debates, and then clinton-george h.w. bush debates . and three times you saw the challenger take on the incumbent and win, the debates really mattered. the places where you saw the incumbent do well, for reagan
versus mondale, i would argue carter versus dole, or bush versus kerry, the incumbent won. so the-- i think debates matter psychologically to the country. they're the most viewed single event in the campaign. and i think it's always a burden on the challenger-- this isn't about romney. it's about the challenger. the challenger has to make two cases. the incumbent should not be re-elected, and i would do a better job. it's a two-part. you first have to make sure people say, "yeah, obama's stagnation is unacceptable. " but then you have to say, "by the way, this guy will be better." romney, he doesn't have to hit a home run, but romney has to be at the end of the debate wednesday night, a clear alternative who is considered as a potelepresident by a majority-- potential president by the maiority of american people in order for his campaign to have a chance to win. >> schieffer: is that another way to say if he doesn't win these debates if he doesn't win these debates? >> no challenger can become
president if they don't stabbed up against the incumbent president. this was true with carter and ford, and ford made a mistake and cost him deerly. it was true with carter against reagan, reagan stood up to it. and it was true for george h.w. bush. he had a moment to knock out bill clinton and he didn't. >> schieffer: this debate will be about domestic affairs. i want to ask you something about the foreign policy front. the administration has basic plea changed its account of what happened in libya, where our u.s. ambassador was killed. they said, susan rice said on this broadcast last sunday, after the president of libya said this was the work of terrorists, she said, no, this was because of a spontaneous demonstration that had to do with that film. now they have come around to saying, well, yes, it was a terrorist attack. is mitt romney making enough of this? i haven't heard too much from him on that. >> bob, what struck me-- and i have nope the director of
national intelligence for years. he's a bright man. he's a competent man. this administration in effect is now saying, "oh, don't blame the united nations ambassador. don't blame the white house spokesman. don't blame the president, because our intelligence system failed so decisively." i don't know which worries me more, the idea that the intelligence system took weeks to figure out the obvious-- although we are told in fact they had information the day before the attack because the video that went out from al qaeda asking that the ambassador-- somebody be killed on 9/11 was a day earlier. so i don't know whether i feel more comfortable knowing the administration was incompetent and lie the to us or i feel more comfortable knowing the intelligence community was totally out of touch. my hunch is the intelligence community was not out of touch. the ambassador's own diary, apparently indicates he was worried about being targeted for death. you have to ask yourself-- this-- the congress should be holding hearings right now. how could an ambassador be in
benghazi, the hot bed of anti-american sentiment in libya, "how could he be there on 9/11 with no security? this entire incident makes no sense. and yes, i think romney should be demanding the president tells the american people the truth. >> schieffer: do you think mitt romney has to move a little more towards the center here as we come toward the election? >> i think mitt romney has to move to clarity in drawing the contrast between the two futures. there is a obama stagnation future. we had information this last week that we're drifting into another recession, which to go into a recession off of 8% unemployment could easily mean you end up with 12% or 13% unemployment. and yet, all sort of indicators-- there was a very compelling economic analysis that we're drifting into another recession because of obama. there has to be a contrast between a romney recovery and obama stagnation, and frankly it's not right or left. it's common sense getting the
country back to work, having an american energy policy. north dakota has 2.7% unemployment. the governor of north dakota has a billion-dollar rainy day fund and they've had three tax cuts in a row. now romney should be focusing on that kind of big choice, and it's not really right or left so much as it is common sense versus fuzzy ideas they don't work. >> schieffer: they've also discovered oil out there. but i'll ask you about that in a little bit. we'll be back in one minute with a little analysis of this.
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university of virginia center for pol techs. larry, let me start with you. you're kind of the man in the middle here. where do you think the race stands right now? >> bob, i think the president is ahead. at my crystal ball station we have him at 290 electoral votes but some of those states are just barely leaning to him, like my native virginia. obama is ahead two or three points. the polls have him up higher than that, but i don't think he's really there. >> schieffer: ar let me just go to our map of the battled ground states here, nevada, new hampshire, north carolina, ohio, virginia, florida, iowa, wisconsin and colorado. i think most of the polls suggest now that the president is at least slightly ahead in all of these states, except possibly north carolina. cbs news is now calling ohio in fact leaning, leaning to the president not a toss-up state. does that sound about right to you? >> that sounds about right. i actually think north carolina is probably leaning to romney,
despite some recent polls to the contrary. to be honest i think the three toss-ups where he has the best shot are florida, new hampshire, and particularly colorado. but in all of those other toss-upes, like wisconsin, nevada, ohio, virginia, you're seeing at least at this point a trend to obama. but, bob, i would just caution, the fundamentals of this election call for a close election. really think the election is going to tighten. ypresident obama is ahead, and probably has the best chance to win but this is going to be a tighter race than the polls show right now. >> schieffer: marsha blackburn, every poll seems to suggest that when it comes to women voters, mitt romney just doesn't do very well. i mean, he's up, i think now in ohio, is it 25 points among women. why do you think that is is it. >> i think there's a couple of things there. number one, i think most women are independent voters. and they're waiting to see some specifics. and as i've been in nevada and
north carolina and virginia and different states, what i hear from women is they want jobs in the economy is issue number one. they want specifics. thiept ton what is going to be done to repeal, replace obamacare. make that workable. they're looking for detail. and i think a lot of the undecides are there and that female vote is very soft. and larry i think you're seeing that in your polling, too. it's very movable and as we get into the debatees, as people react-- women are appalled with what happened in libya. and i think they're looking for some accountability. they want to see a serious-- >> schieffer: what you're saying is mitt romney is not specific enough. he needs to give us some more details on what he plans to do. >> i think you're going to see that come forward in the debates and over the next couple of weeks, and he has started to roll out some of the specifics and that's what women are wanting to see. >> schieffer: bob shrum, you were an adviser to john kerry. you were an adviser way back
when ted kennedy, i guess, debated mitt romney in that now-famous senate race of long ago. what would you be telling barack obama if you were vising him about these upcoming debates? >> i would tell him first he has to understand that romney can win this debate if he's scripted, prepared, has really worked at it. if you watched him on "60 minutes" last sunday, he was smooth, he was clear, he was succinct. he was different than he has been. he has to be careful not to be spontaneous because when he is, he gets himself in trouble. i think they are on a search for zingers and one-liners because romney was cover-upped by kennedy. they have to be careful because the president could have a comeback. i think what you do in the debate preps you try to game out what the other side is going to say and then you try to see how you can respond. it's always strongest when it's a comeback. zenners don't work as a cute line. they work as part of the fabric of argument.
in 1980, they knew jimmy carter was going to look at ronald reagan and say, "you were against medicare" at the beginning, happened to be true. but reagan looked at him, shook his head and said, "there you go again." it was really a comment not just on that medicare answer but on everything that carter had said. that's when a zinger works. >> schieffer: what do you think the obama people think they're going to hear from romney? >> one thing that's being telegraphed by the romney folks -- and i wouldn't have telegraphed it if this was a question i wanted to ask-- do you want another four years like the last four years. the president has heard that-- >> that's a question people ask. >> i know, but ronald reagan was smart enough not to say are you better off today than you were four years ago until he got to the debate. the president knows that question is going to be asked and he will be prepared to answer it. five of the last six times an incumbent debated a challenger in a debate, the challenger won.
>> that's the question they are asking. they know they are not better off from four years ago. insurance costs have gone up, the price of a gallon of gas has gone up. groceries have gone up. people know that they are not better off than they were. >> then why has romney moved off that question? he's not asking can that question anymore. he's asking another question, "do you want another four years for the last four years?" i think there are good answers, but four years ago this countrys of on the abyss of a depression. we're not today and there's a reason why in all this polling data, the president, who should be behind on who can handle the economy is now either tied or ahead. people are not dumb. they don't think barack obama created these circumstances. >> people know the stimulus and all of this out-of-control spending increasing the federal debt by 50% has not helped them. it has-- >> these are just republican talking points and i don't think they're going anywhere with people. >> no they're not. >> then why is romney behind on who can handle the economy? >> schieffer: we're going to
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the odds favor mitt romney in the first debate. >> schieffer: let me ask you about your home state, virginia. your center is headquartered at u.v.a. what's happening there? is this going to come down to virginia? a lot of people think it might. >> well, it could. obviously, it would have to be very close to come down to virginia with 13 electoral vote. i'll tell you, it's caused me to question some of the polls because based on everything i know about verg, everything i've seen, i think the real margin is actually quite close. i would give president obama spotting two or three points. you know, he u he won by 60s lat time in virginia. think of the conditions in the country, it's almost impossible to imagine him winning by the same margin in virginia or nationally. my projection is he gets considerably fewer electoral votes than last time. he got 365. i'll be surprised if he gets above 320 or so, maximum, under the best conditions. in terms of the popular vote, he got 53% for ideal conditions for
a democrat. this time around, to me it's more like 2004 a 51-48 election, something like that. >> schieffer: i'm going to close with you two. what would each of you say to the people on your side right now? and i'll go with you first, marsha blackburn. >> well, i think looking at some of the ways the polls are weighted, that is why you're seeing the polling like it is. i do think it is going to be very close. i hope romney does a solid performance on wednesday night. i don't look for anything that's going to be huge home runs. i think he will do well. jobes, the economy, this out-of-control issue with libya, the national security, people are watching that. 43 months of above 8% unemployment. i think it is very difficult for the president. i think these states are going to be very close. and my hope is that we're going to push forward with the win. >> don't be over-confident. go out there ask work very hard. i agree this is going to be a close election. it could brea break open.
if romney doesn't do well wednesday night this election could break open. i think it goes beyond issues and the alienation of people medicare issues and things like that. a republican friend of mine publicly says the fundamental problem isn't that people don't like him, it's that people think romney doesn't like them. that comes from the 47% tape. it comes from a number of other incidents. so in this debate he has somehow or other got to make people sense he feels and understands what they're going through. and that can't be by telling his life story. that has to be by relating to them in a way that seems authentic. so far he hasn't been able to do that but he has been practicing and very well may. >> schieffer: thanks to all three of you. very enlightening, and we'll be right back. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy.
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>> schieffer: welcome back to "face the nation" page two. the first presidential debate, as we've been saying, will be held wednesday. it will focus on domestic,such as the economy, health care, and governing. so we've assembled a panel of distinguish americans, i would say, to talk about the state of country and where they think america is today. mark zandi is with the moody analytics. he has a new book out called, "paying the price, ending the great recession and building a new american century." michelle rhee is the head of students first, an organization that hopes to reform public education. she, of course, is the former head ofure d.c. schools. former speaker newt gingrich is rejoining us. he does not have a new book out, but his wife calista, does have a new book out, a children's book that will be coming out
tomorrow. bob woodward, an associate editor of the "washington post" is the author of "the price of politics" he's written more books than this entire table combined. well, maybe not when you put newt gingrich in there. and pulitzer prize-winning author hendrick smith who has a new book called, "who stole the american dream?" all you people are here to sell books. that's pretty clear. ( laughter ) no, i'm teasing. we're glad to have all of you. mark zandi, let's just talk about what is the state of the american economy right now with just five weeks before we get to this election? the job numbers came out this week on tuesday. we had some very good economic news. housing numbers were up. consumer confidence was up. reports of companies hiring for the holidays seem to be up. but then later in the week, the gross domestic product is down. do you think that american amere confused when they turn on their televisions and one day everybody says oh, things are getting better.
and then they're not. >> yeah, well, it's not a straight line. i think it's fair to say the economy is growing. it's been growing for more than three years. we've created 4.4 million jobs sense job growth resumed, five million private sector jobs. the stock market is up. as you know, it's almost back close to its record high and house prices are rising the first time in six years. the economy is moving forward. we are not near recession. we're growing. having said that, it's clear the economy is not growth fast enough. it's not enough to bring down unemployment. the unemployment rate is stuck at just over 8%. and that's not good. obviously, a lot of people are hurting and it means our economy is very vulnerable to anything that could go wrong. >> schieffer: how is it going to look on election day? >> i think about the same as today. i think the economy will make it through, growing at a very slow pace, not enough to bring down unemployment. i will say in some of the swing states, particularly states like ohio, which is probably the most
important swing state, the economy is doing much better. the unemployment rate is closer to 7%. they're creating more jobs and a lot of what the president has been saying resonates because a lot is related to the auto sector which rebounded and of course he supported the auto bailout. >> schieffer: michelle rhee, i don't know how much they'll get into this in the first debate, but it's my sense that most americans would agree that our schools are not where they ought to be. why can't we seem to get it right? >> well, i think it's incredibly complicated. and one of the things that i am most worried about is the fact we haven't been talking more about education in this presidential campaign. and, quite frankly, i'm a little confuseds too why. first, because, you know, you've got governor romney who has a very solid education plan. you've got the president who i would argue of all of the things he done in the past four years, he's been most successful at education. and so, i think that the reason why potentially it's not being
talked about is because both sides really have to-- are really thinking about the special interests within their party. with the democrates, the teachers' union. they clearly don't want a lot of change to happen. with the republican, with the 53 tatterrers they don't want-- tea partiers, they don't want federal intervention. the reality is we have a significant problem in this country. request with look at where we are with the unemployment numbers and also with the fact that most employers today will tell you that for the vacancies that they have, they cannot find qualified people to fill them. there's a huge diskeck there. and i think this country is going to continue to struggle until we fix the public education system. and make sure that we are preparing the children of today for the jobs of tomorrow. >> schieffer: and back to newt gingrich. we were talking earlier about this debate and what's at stake there. i lobbied-- looked at something the otherda, i a cbs news/"new
york times" poll. we had the highest number of people saying the country is on the right track now than we have i think in three years, but yet it's only 40% of people think it's on the right track. is that a sign to you that things are getting better? >> i think it's partly a sign that people are getting used to where we are. so that, particularly if you're going to vote for obama. you begin to say to yourself, "well, it's not that bad. and he's data the best he can" i think there's a certain circ lal logic to it. my fear is i see indications that we could easily end up in a new recession. the numbers that came in on manufacturing orders, the worst since want beginning of 2009. the fact that they've readjusted the gross domestic product as you you pointed out down, to an anemic growth rate, much below the level of creating enough jobs. so i'm concerned that we're not on the right track. and frankly, when you look at education, we're clearly not on the right track.
beyond partisanship-- this is not republican-democrat. it's the country which is not on the right track. and i think it's going to take very wrenching leadership over self years to get us back, getting in shape for the future. >> schieffer: rick smith, i read your book, the title "who stole american dream?" that is a provocative title. you think this theft began somewhere back in the 70s, i guess it was. but i just want to hear you say it. you made that statement. who stole it? >> well, certainly i think it began in the 1970s. but we had a recent example of it. the fight between the nfl owners and the referees. the referees wanted to keep their traditional pension plan. the owners wanted to push them into a 401(k) plan, which by the way has been a disaster for most americans since it's been established. and it was pasted in the 1970s congress. why is that? it'sicismmatic of the american economy. the figure you just cited-- 40%
think we're in the right direction. why do the other 60% think no? because there's a women. the openers of the nfl teams are making tremendous money. they have very rich franchises and all referees want is a secure retirement, same thing that has been going on for decades here. if you look at america over the last 30, 40 years a wedge has been driven into our economic system. the middle class has stayed flat. the sense u bureau said roost year the average wage of a male worker is dead the same in 2011 as it was in 1978. 30 years of going nowhere. at the top, the top 1%, ther income went up 600% while the middle class is flat. that's why you're getting those figures. that's why we're getting slow growth. the middle class isn't being paid well enough so there's not enough demand to push our economy. the middle class are the job creators, and we're ignoring them. >> schieffer: bob woodward, your book kind of gets into that in a very contemporary way. you're just-- your book's about
this gridlock we're in and how we can't seem to get out of it. you call it the "price of politics." >> y yes, i mean, what's so obvious here-- and i would agree with the former speaker on the issue-- this shouldn't be a partisan issue. we have a federal government that does not have its financial house in order. and it's see in disorder, if back in the 90s you had been spheric and at that time there had been these difficulties, this is off the charts. we have conservative and liberals in both parties in a game of brinksmanship for the last three and a half years, not solving the problems, of running away from them, making political calculations. and just to connect can with something governor christie was saying. it's a dirty little secret-- actually, it's not a secret. that president obama knows that
medicare is-- we're spending too much on it, and his secret plan, he proposed cutting $250 billion in medicare over the next 10 years, which is exactly what the republicans are proposing. people are running away from the reality of this crisis. and i would argue-- i mean, mark's right, the economy looks good but it can go into a tailspin in the coming months, if somebody does not-- even before a new president or obama begins a second term takes office. in this i'm really not overstating this. anyone who knows about not just the fiscal cliff but the issue, this government is going to have to go into the debt market beginning of next year and ask to borrow another $1 trillion or
2 dollars. they couldn't settle this last year or this year. how are they going to settle it next year? >> bob, this sounds awfully bleak, and it's not. i think our prospects are actually quite priet. the private sector has made a lot of progress. american businesses have reduced their cost structure. their profit margins are as wide as they ever. banks are highly capitalized. even american households have-- >> i'm not talk about the private sector. >> let me finish. >> i'm talking about the government which can screw up everything because they have such a significant role in the economy. and you must-- >> and i exactly concur. but i would argue that the political stars are alining, regardless of who wins will the presidency, president obama or governor romney, that we are going to get a deal. we are going to address the fiskital cliff. we are going to raise the treasury debt ceiling and make progress towards fiscal sustainability. if we do those things,ening what's going on in the private sector will begin to shine through, and this economy is off
and running. >> the problem is you don't know. >> schieffer: let me just interject here in case there is somebody who doesn't know what the fiscal crisis is. there are these automatic cuts in the budget going into effect on january 1 if the congress cannot find some way to come together-- >> it's automatic tax increases and you look at the numbers and i'm sure-- if these things happen, you are going to have a government-created recession. >recession. >> schieffer: what do you think, newt gingrich? do you think the democrat and republicans will be able to get together after the election? because that seems to be the only chance that this might happen in order-- >> that will depend a lot-- whoever wins the election has to spend the first 60 days prior to being sworn in reaching out to the other party. i mean, this is-- where we are right now is utterly, totally irrational. and i think whether it's president obama, who would have to fundamentally change his strategy, or governor romney who din fact, work with democrats when he was the governor of massachusetts, whoever is president, if they're serious
about solving this, has to reach out. i want to make a deeper point which is what michelle has been doing. it isn't enough to talk about bigger or smaller. we need a scale of innovation in getting these things to work. it's not about a cheaper or more expensive public school system butta system that works. it's not about the current unemployment system but one that we train workers. we don't have-- in this city we have .01% of the innovation we need, publicly in the public sector. >> we have a tax system that is crazy, bob. we have a tax system that rewards corporations for moving jobs overseas. you don't hear that discussed very much. we have a situation where banks were bailed out to the tune of $700 billion, and they're not willing to bale out homeowners sitting with high-bubble interest rates from the housing boom before it buffed and they're stuck. and that's a whole lot of unlocked-- we could unlock with consumer spending power. what we're not doing is
addressing the problems of the middle class. washington is focused on what these two develop are talking bthe deficit. they have to deal with the deficit. but once you're done with the deficit you have to rebuild the middle class in this country and nobody is paying much attention to that. we have a lot of rhetoric in the campaign but-- >> but the necessary done to help the middle class is to nail down the fiscal issues. if we don't nail down the fiscal issues, i don't think anything will matter. >> but i'm with you, i think it will happen because of necessity, because of the fiscal cliff. >> what it will take to rebuild the middle class? >> it's taken three decades to basically decimate the middle class. it will take something like that to rebuild it. but we have to be dedicated to that. we're focused on a fescal deficit not a human deficit, and we have a human deficit in this country. we have 27 million people either unemployed, working part time, unwillingly, or dropping out of the labor market. >> schieffer: let me work michelle into this conversation. as you sit here hearing this,
it's always education that seems to wind up at the back of the line. >> that's right, that's right. and i think that in education, you are already starting to see a shift. if you look at what happened a couple weeks ago in chicago. you have a democratic mayor, rahm emanuel, who is facing a $300 million deficit in the city, who is looking at 80% of the children in the city not operating on grade level in reading or mathematics. where they had the shortest school day and school year of anywhere in the country, and he's finally, uplike many democratic politicians, said enough is enough. i'm not going to give you these raises without-- what the union wanted was lifetime job security and absolutely no accountability. so he said we can't-- we can't continue on that track. and i think for him as a democratic to come out and say that shows that democrats and republicans are now saying there's a new day. and we have to move in a different direction in education. >> schieffer: let's take a quick break and we'll come back
>> schieffer: back now with our panel. bob woodward just told us during the break about something president obama said to him. what was that? >> a couple of months ago he said as we're walking out of the oval office, a long interview for the book, he said if newt gingrich had been speaker and bob dole senate majority leader, i would have been able to work out a deal on the deficit and the debt. >> schieffer: true? >> i think it would depend a lot on obama. the big difference was we closed the government twice. we had a running fight with clinton. he reached a conclusion that he as well as we had to find a common ground. and as a result, it was a much harder, complex struggle than that. buttening whoever is elected-- but i think whoever is elected president better start literally the next day call the other party, and not just theleadersht partisan part, but every member
of the other party and saying, "okay, we have four years of living together. what are we going to do for america together?" >> and that means compromise. >> there's the magic word. >> and this is the joe biden approach on behalf of obama when they have actually worked out some deals with congress, biden goes to the republicans and says, "okay, let's do it the old way. one for you, one for me; not just drawing the line, saying you've got to do it my way. >> i think you get koms promise because both sides have leverage. tax rates are going up on everyone by law. that's going to happen. so that gives leverage to the democrats. yet sequestration, what you mentioned bob, the automatic cuts, republicans hate the defense cutses. democrats hate the nondefense cuts. and then you have the treasury debt seale chicago gives leverage to whatever party doesn't win the presidential election. i think odds are pretty high we'll get an agreement. >> i think the best place for
both sides to start is in education because i sit in a lot of conversations with republicans. i spend a lot of conversations with democrats, and they agree on a whole lot more than they disagree on. so it seems to me that both parties could come together and say okay we're going to put the partisan politics aside and look out for the interests of kids, and let's focus on education first. >> schieffer: do you know what bothers me about all this and what really worries me is i sit here and watch the congress. i know what you say is true. there are certain things that both sides want to do, but even now, this divide is so wide, even now, on things they want to do, they can't figure out how to do it. i mean, for example, a farm bill. we had the worst drought in this country since the dustbowl. yet, they could not figure out how to pass a farm bill. what's happened to our system? >> one of the things that's happened-- and obama said this when talked to him-- he said republicans came in to the oval office, look, him in the eye and said, ," if we work these things
out, it will guarantee your reelection, and we don't want that to happen, so we're going to sabotage it." >> you know, the lesson may come from the country rather than from washington. we're focused here in our conversation on washington. one of the interesting things about the auto bailout was not just that the company survived but labor and management actually sat down and started making agreements together. we have used the magic word "compromise." labor said,"okay, we'll take flat wages for the next several years." and management said, "okay, we'll bring back plant from mexico." we won't move jobs overseas. in the german economy, is is beating us all to hell-- we have a $6 trillion trade deficit, and germanys had a $2 trillion wage surplus. wages of workers went up five times faster. they have 21% of their workforce in manufacturing. they found out how to work it together, management and labor work together. the governor helping small business export. corporate tax rates that make
sense and help people keep good jobs at home and export more. we could adopt policies like that and get examples from within the economy. >> i want to point out these folks can still make deals. go back to the treasury debt ceiling deal last summer. remember all the brinksmanship that nearly drove our economy right into a ditch. they actually came out of that with something. exclude the sequestration. we got $1 trillion in spending cuts over a 10-year period. that's not inconsequential. that's one-fourth of the way we need to go-- >> wait a minute. it's all pushed off to beginning in 2013. they cut nothing real time in the administration's period. they just did not. so, you know, but this becomes important. facts do matter, and we get this idea, oh, they cut spending. they did not cut spending. they postponed it. everything in the law-- i'll bring in the law-- says beginning in 2013.
>> schieffer: can they still make a deal? >> sure. i think one of the encouraging things is to look at the states. i mean if you look at what's happening in florida, what's happening in ohio, part of what's making romney's job more conflicted is they're doing a pretty good job. scott walker has things moving. if you look at mitch daniels, maybe the model for intelligent, effective reform at the state level. there are a the love reasons to believe the underlying system is healthier than washington. my point is, whoever the winner is should put on their scheduled that half their time from that date to the inaugural is spent with all the members of the opposition party, not the leadership, but listenly literally to all the members -- if romney wins he needs to listen to democrats. if obama wins he needs to listen to republicans. they have to reestablish human ties in order to have a genuine opportunity for real compromise. >> they also need to listen to the country, because if you read polls from the country, 80% of the people will say lobbyists have too much power, and 65% of the people will say raise the tax rates at the top.
they'll say spend more money on jobs and education. and things like that. so washington's not listening to the country. it's very busy with itself. >> schieffer: i'm listening to the control room. they say our time is up. i'll be back with some final thoughts. thank you. was trapped. no way out. my usualt ransport was nowhere to be found. i knew, then and there, that i needed wheels asap. thats alpha, sierra, alpha...pickle. ahem! sis here's in the military, so i can join navy federal too.
>> schieffer: so the first of the presidential debates are upon us. they are always substandpointive and informative, but they usually bring a surprise, and even a laugh or two. >> you have one minute, sir. >> schieffer: in 1992, ross pero made it three candidates instead of the usual two, and he really livened things up. >> we've got to clean this mess up, leave this country in good shape, and pass on the american dream to them. we've got to collect the taxes to do it. if there's a fairer way, i'm all ears. >> schieffer: when i moderated the 2008 debate-- the rules tonight are simple-- a third party also figured in the proceedings, a man who had become known as joe the plumber.
>> a worked hard, i'm a plumber. >> he had become a symbol of the frustration of many blue collar workers to the point when candidates sat down to debate-- >> joe the plumber-- >> schieffer: you got the idea joe was running for something, too. >> the conversation i had with joe the plumber. >> like joe the plumber. >> i'm happy to talk to you, joe, too, if you're out there. >> to people like joe the plumber. >> schieffer: joe became such a part of the conversation i thought about thanking him at the end. but this was a presidential debate. so i didn't want to be too cute. and who knows what this year will bring. but i doubt we'll hear from joe. it turns out he's busy running if are congress out in ohio. back in a minute. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level.
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