tv Mc Laughlin Group CBS September 8, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT
a senate candidate from illinois who spoke about hope. not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty. hope in the face of uncertainty. eight years later, that hope has been tested. by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock that's left us wondering whether it's still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. and on every issue, the choice you face won't just be between two candidates or two parties. it will be >> question. the democratic political imperative was to reenergize the base and to persuade the disill lotioned 2008 supporters to give the obama-biden ticket a second chance. did president obama succeed in that, pat?
>> no, he did not, john. they had a terrific condition, it was lively, more exciting than the republican convention. you had some terrific speeches. kerry was excellent, the first lady was excellent, bubba was excellent. ms. grandholme, i don't know what happened to her, but she was exciting. but the president of the united states was stable, he was flat, he was repetitive. it's the same thing we've been hearing over and over again, and i think it was a real let- down at the end of the convention, and i think that has given quite frankly the republicans another chance, really, to turn this thing around and win this thing. so i think he could have closed the sale, the president could have, if it had been a tremendous speech and a program in there and something to look forward to but it was the same old speech. >> you think he was melancholy? >> you know, john, i don't know what it was, but he started off, and i just said this is boring. this is not the barack obama that you know -- he wasn't the barack obama of denver, and it certainly wasn't the barack obama of boston. >> was he going through the
motions? did you feel that way? >> i think what's happened he's been on that road for a year saying the same things over and over again, and it just didn't seem fresh or exciting or gripping. >> ah, those republicans will never be pleased. [ laughter ] >> the imperative was that barack obama is all about rhetoric, no substance. i think the speech was more workmanlike than soaring rhetoric. i think it was sober. i think it was down to earth. i think it was totally appropriate. and he's building on the policies that he's put in place. i think his speech was probably informed by knowledge of the weak job numbers that were going to come out. i thought he made his case that americans need to be patient, that he, nor bill clinton, nor george washington or abe lincoln or any of the other luminaries who occupied that office could have repaired this economy in the time that he had. i think that he's made that case, and he and all the other
speakers who all did a very fine job basically have constructed this race now as clear choice and not a referendum on what barack obama didn't accomplish. >> so did he pitch it to the disappointed? >> he was pitching to everybody whom he thought key get, but i will say when he was running for office, the man spoke in poetry. and when he was in office, he spoke in prose. this sounded to me like advertising copy. i just never got any energy out of it at all. i agree, these are cliches that i had heard him utter over and other again, and it was disappointing. it was reason wlee effective. it just didn't carry the day. >> i'm stunned. i thought his speech was fantastic. i thought the temperment that he had matches the economy that we are in. but if you listen to the words that he said, there was something there for everyone, even when he made references to scripture at the very end when he talked about how we are in this together, how we don't leave one -- somebody behind.
i mean, i thought that he absolutely delivered, particularly for people who are feeling dejected, who have been left behind in this economy. there was something for you to listen to, to hold on to and to feel that we are going to make this together, and we're going to go forward as a natifrom him. okay, obama on jobs. >> you didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. it will require common effort and shared responsibility, and the kind of bold persistent experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. >> i've worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to america, not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products, because we work harder and smarter than anyone else. and after a decade of decline
-- this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two-and-a-half years. and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. you can make that happen. you can choose that future. >> question. how viable is president obama's manufacturing job creation claim? eleanor clift. >> well, he's done pretty well reviving manufacturing. it's not the manufacturing of old. does it require people with more sophisticated job skills, but he's also putting in place community college curriculum that will build this kind of workforce. this is, frankly, the clinton agenda, and clinton, i think, gave the finest speech at that time convention, where he really did lay out all the arguments against the he republican critique, and he sold the obama agenda because it was his agenda, and it's about these investments which republicans call spending, but
it's investments in education and infrastructure. it may bore pat buchanan, but -- >> it doesn't bore me. let me talk about manufacturing. >> it's not some big -- >> john, let me talk about manufacturing. in the first decade of the 21st century, the country lost between five and a half and 6 million manufacturing jobs. 55,000 factories disappeared. is it crawling back? yeah. but i think if you look at barack obama there, he hopes his program and ideas are going to work. i gate sense that he doesn't know whether they're going to work, that he has nothing new in the toolbox, that he has tried it all, and there is nothing new he can do, and his own policy, i think is rooted in hope. >> but don't you think when he made the statement that the american public elected him not to just tell them what they wanted to hear but to tell them the truth, i think maybe he was guilding the lilly a little bit on manufacturing in the sense that i don't think anyone believes manufacturing will ever come back the way we knew it in the past, but when he talked about having -- being
able to educate the american public so that we are able to have the -- to be able to take the jobs that are out there, i thought that was very important for people to hear and for him to basically say this is my plan going forward, you have to be educated enough to take the jobs of the future. >> is that a reason for saying, my goodness, let's put him back in the presidency after the disaster of four years? >> pat, in a sense, he laid out all of these goals, but he didn't say howie accomplish them. we all know there's a republican minority/majority on capitol hill that's going to obstruct everything debt. he's counting on the election to break the fever. >> let me just say one thing. when he announced his stimulus program he said unemployment will not get above 1%, it will be below 6%. by his own terms that program was a failure. >> he didn't say that his advisor d. >> his program d. we went above 10% in terms of unemployment, we've had i don't know how many weeks, 42 weeks where the unemployment has been above 8%
so on his own terms it was a failure. there are many things he could have done with that program that would have dramatically improved the program. >> let's get the numbers out. friday, the economic numbers were released. in august the economy added 96,000 jobs while unemployment fell to 8.1% from 8.2. >> 8.3. >> 8.3. what do these numbers tell us? >> in the first place the only reason the numbers went down from 1.3 to 1.1 is not because we created a lot of jobs. it's because a lot of people left the labor force so the fraction changes. we have add very, very weak recovery of jobs in the last three or four years despite the fact that we have had the largest financial -- economic stimulus program, over a trillion dollars every year, the most active monetary policy. we've had zero policy rates for the better part of four years, yet it has not worked. so we have a here. >> okay. obama's friends. >> now, our friends down in tampa at the republican
convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america, but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan. and that's because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. have a surplus? try a tax cut. deficit too high? try another. feel a cold coming on? take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning. >> so was that sarcasm? >> well, look, it also -- it's valid, it's good, it's funny because there's a lot of truth in it. look, for the last four years we have also had the bush tax cuts in place, as well as the fed pumping out the money, as well as obama's stimulus program.
all of these things, none of them have worked. i think eleanor is right in this sense. i don't think obama knows exactly what's going to work or what he can get through. i don't think the republicans are all that confident that their ideas are going to get this thing moving again because the bush tax cuts haven't in the last four years. >> and whatever their ideas are, other than less regulation, more tax cuts, they're not revealing them because they know that their ideas would require higher taxes on the middle class, a cut dramatically in programs, and i thought bill clinton made a very effective point when he talked about their plans to scale back on medicaid. medicaid pays a lot of nursing heal bills for elderly people. >> everybody is afraid of cutting -- >> we've reached the point of the promises that did he not keep. in his first term. he vowed in 2008 to close the detention center at guantanamo bay in cuba. still open. he pledged to cut the deaf set in half by the end of the first term, but he added $5.4
trillion to the u.s. debt. he claimed that the $825 billion stimulus would keep unemployment rate below 8%. it has topped that for the past 42 months. he promised to end the ugly partisanship in washington, then presided over one of the worst partisan dwiendz modern history. he pledged in 2008 to enact healthcare reform that would cut the typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year. obamacare didn't cut premiums for most families. two more. pay attention. he pledged to generate 10% of u.s. electricity from renewables by 2012 but did not achieve the goal. finally, he assured unions he'd enact a card check law that would make it easier to unionize workers but he didn't do it. >> you can't do that -- >> let eleanor speak. >> this is like a reading for whom the bell tolls, it tolls
for thee, or something. i have a card here. i'm going to read off the promises he kept. ended the war in iraq, the war in afghanistan, healthcare reform. >> the war in afghanistan is not -- >> depends on the eyes of the beholder. democrats in that hall and democrats for the most part are very happy with a lot of the things this president has done, and they have some understanding of what he's up against, and i think he has some understanding of what he's up against also, which he didn't have when he first got into office. if he gets reelected, he's learned a lot about how to be a president, and i think he's learned how to exercise power. i think we will see a very different barack obama the second four years than we did in the first. >> so this audience grew even more to like him, and it was pretty uniform, was it not? >> well, yes. i mean, they liked him to begin with, and his wife -- >> how do you know they liked him to begin with? >> because the poll shows democrats like their president, a lot of people in general. >> a lot of democrats are
disappointed in him the way that a lot of republicans are disappointed in the republican leaders. >> there has been a gap -- >> democrats are plenty eager to keep mitt romney -- >> he doubled the stock market, john. the stock market, as mort can tell you, has doubled in value. isn't that true, mort? >> not enough, though. >> what's the point? >> there's support. some things have turned out. look, the stock market is as high as it's but in i don't know how long. >> excuse me. the nation -- >> corporations are flush with cash, but they're not investing. >> one of the reasons why the stock market is doing so well is because the economy is so weak, and, therefore, the fed has lowered interest ratestown precedented lows, and that means when you have 1% money, stocks go up, okay. it increases the value of the dividend. it's not because -- >> it's a bubble? >> in part, it is a bubble, because if interest rates go up, which they will, you will see the stock market going
down. so with all due -- the stock market does not reflect any great sort of success. it reflects actually tin verse of failure. >> exit question. did you get that? it reflects the inverse of the failure. >> sounds like a success. >> not the way i meant it. >> measured against president obama's convention address four years ago -- pay attention -- was this better, worse, or about the sale in its impact? >> it was a completely different speech than what we saw in 2008, and for where we are in 2012, it was significant, it was effective, it was compelling. he did exactly what the country needed to hear him do. >> mort. >> i think the first speech was a better one. four years later with all the problems that we have, i think he gave an excellent speech to deal with it, but a totally different atmosphere in which he had to speak. >> ellen. >> you're both right. i agree with both of you. >> i think it was, compared to denver, i think it was flat, it
was stale, and did it not succeed is and he had a golden opportunity, i think, to just about win that election with that speech, and he didn't do it. >> i think it was slightly diminished from denver. when we come back, mr. clinton backs mr. obama. [ female announcer ] you want family dinner to be special.
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bubba backs barack. >> in tampa, the republican argument against the president reelection was actually pretty simple, pretty insane. it went something like this. we left him a total mess, he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in. i like the argument for president obama's reelection a lot better. here it is. he inherited a deeply damaged economy. he put a floor under the crash. he began the long, hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for innovators. now, are we where we want to be today? no. is the president satisfied? of course not. but are we better off than we
were when he took office? listen to this, listen to this. everybody's forgotten -- everybody's forgotten, when president barack obama took office, the economy was in free- fall, it had just shrunk 9 full percent of gdp. than that sing 75,000 jobs a today? the answer is yes. >> question. is bill clinton's argument persuasive? eleanor clift. >> yes. he went on and on and on in that hall, and i think if the delegates had nominated him for a third term, the country might even have agreed. he is the explainer in chief. he can take these complex argument, boil them down, and he always talks to the audience like he believes they're smart. i thought he did a magnificent job, and the fact that barack
obama succeeded his wife in the primary and there was all this bad blood, and that he can go out there and give his all to this president says something significant about him as person. and frankly, there's some self interest there, as well, because whether obama wins or loses, hillary clinton is pretty well positioned, and bill clinton has entered the world of senior -- >> he is an outstanding trial lawyer on behalf of barack obama. he would take, here's the republican case, and he would state pretty clearly, then he would state the answer, and it was done extremely effectively, it was done with humor, there was no slash and burn in there, and he was -- i mean, he is the best advocate for barack obama's policies, bar none, including barack obama. >> bill clinton was -- i thought he was fantastic. i love your line about him being the best trial lawyer on an issue. if you couple what bill clinton did on the convention over the
past week, with where the democratic party is with what barack obama said, and the feeling that barack obama left the delegates, which is that there is a place for everyone in this country to succeed, it was a home run between the two of them. >> i disagree, i have to say. his argument has a fatal flaw. bill clinton's argument has a fatal flaw, which is not that it's better than it was before. you spend $5 trillion, it better be somewhat better. if the money had been properly spent, we would have been in much better shape. the stimulus did not stimulate enough, and that was the fundamental problem. and what was flawed about his program. >> mort, it was still a good defense, though, wasn't it? >> yes, it was a good defense. >> if the republicans had passed his jobs plan which he sent up a year ago we would be in a better position. >> and without the obstruction of congress. >> he had all those cases for republicans, for george w. bush, for the senior bush. the role of government -- >> you sound like you're making
excuses for failure. >> not ex sciewtsz, no. this is a strong defense for the role of government. >> this is his problem is that people are coming forward saying, listen, we didn't do this, we didn't do this here'sy here's why. but that's an argument to defending a gains failure. >> everything he has done, you're the only one reading failure. >> it's not an argument defending failure. i think everyone who watched it will take away from it -- what clinton said, you can't fix it in four years. i don't believe there's anyone that believes mitt romney -- >> in four years, that's all i can say. >> using the old play back, the standard play book of the democratic party, which is blame bush. that's where it started. that's where the clinton argument starts. that's what was inherited by barack obama. you follow me? >> look, clinton, what he's saying, look, it didn't work out as well as we thought, here are the reasons. he's a trial lawyer but he's defending a guy who is not
totally innocent. the problem with obama, john, that the country has decided, look, we would like to change, we don't like the way the country has gone, and what it's going come to down to they've got to deem monne the alternative, mitt romney, as utterly unacceptable, out of torchings rich man, all that stuff. >> that was implicit in this basic premise of bill clinton. we'll be right back with
what will be the size of the convention bump that barack obama will get from this convention? >> i think it will take him right to 50%. >> eleanor. >> which means between five and seven points. >> mort. >> i think it will be less than that, and it will go down within a matter of 30 days afterwards because the unemployment numbers are going to get worse. >> michelle. >> i think he is going to be close to 50% but i think the election is going to be decided on demographics, not the economy. >> i think he will reach 50%. bye-bye!