Hardball | December 05, 2012
>>> know now that mitt romney blames his loss on obama 's gifts. i should put the quote marks around that. the much maligned 47% came out in force. last night paul ryan distanced himself from his running mate's remarks. take a look.
>> both parties tend to divide americans into our voters and their voters. let's be really clear. republicans must steer far clear of that trap. we must speak to aspirations and anxieties of every american.
>> you know, it's hardly a ? month and he's gone already. what a running mate. he ran away from his mate. the problem for republicans in 2012 is that romney failed to speak to those aspirations and anxieties just mentioned. in a much read analysis david winstin argues romney lashed him to george w. bush . the bottom line is romney could not counter the obama narrative that he wanted to go back to the policies that got the country in trouble in the first place. this was largely due to his campaign's strategic decision to try to make the election solely a referendum on obama . as a result, there was little clear rationale for a romney presidency, other than he would not be obama . david winstin joins us, adviser to john boehner , unpaid, advised newt beginning rich. david , thanks for joining us. i was trying to read your thinking here and post election analysis. i think it's so interesting. if you get people angry about the way things are economic alley you think they'll blame the incumbent but it seems like a lot of people said, yeah, things aren't that great, especially poor working people , bush.
>> governor romney thought this would be a referendum of barack obama . case closed. when you take a look at group of voters who said the economy was not so good, so you would think that would be an opportunity for governor romney , actually the president carried them by 13 points. ? 55-42. obviously, the economic argument on the refer side was not made. it was just a referendum. it was just a contradiction to what the president was saying instead of --
>> i want to ask you quickly on this. i thought when obama went in the first debates, i went nuts, i thought the president dropped the ball but romney was strong in the first debate because he kept saying, i'm a business guy, i can create jobs. business equals jobs. the one strong punch he had, he kept at it. then after he got out of that one he starts talking about benghazi and all this other stuff and lost that one argument. could he have won if he said, i'm the guy you need for this job.
>> part, you need to go back and show why the policies were going to work. for example, if you take a look at 2003 bush tax cuts , by 2007 , $800 billion more revenue had come in and the deficit was cut from $370 billion to $260 billion. did you hear him say that? that's what he needed to do, full-throated defense of republican policies that bush implemented but also he could have used to show why his policies would work. ultimately when you make it a referendum, you take the ar arguments off the table.
>> do you buy that he should have defended all the republican policies of bush and his own?
>> no, because those policies got us in trouble in 2008 in a great many ways. bush inherited a surplus and left with a massive deficit. didn't monitor the financial system and so on. the most ? important point is david 's right about, which is there's no such thing as a presidential referendum election. i've covered ten of these and they've all been choices. why? because these two candidates live in everybody's living rooms. people make a judgment about their character --
>> reagan was partially positive, just anti --
>> oh that became a choice election after reagan appeared in that one debate against carter and people said, hey, he isn't so bad. i have a choice.
>> one of the other players, besides the two candidates was bill clinton , the former president, don't think anybody made a better case of making the case for obama than bill clinton . at the convention a critical moment when he explained the arithmetic of what obama inherited.
>> in tampa the republican ar gument against the president's re-election was pretty simple, pretty snappy. 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. when president barack obama took office, the economy was in free fall . it had just shrunk nine full percent of gdp. we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. are we doing better than that today? the answer to that is yes.
>> david , i don't know you at all but i have to tell you, who would you rather have make your case to st. peter than this guy, bill clinton ? this guy can sell. what did you think of the impact of ? his convention address.
>> part of that was set up by the fact -- i thought it was an unfortunate statement by republicans, were you better off than you were four years ago? you couldn't have picked a more unfortunate contrast. ultimately by setting it up as a contrast to four years ago created an opportunity for clinton to deliver that speech. again, i want to go back for the opportunity here that romney had. in the exit poll 63% of americans said they don't want to cut taxes in order to increase the deficit. governor romney made it a referendum and didn't take advantage of the country still being a center right company.
>> 47% of plurality said raise taxes for people over $250,000.
>> you frame it as bush and you make it all that dynamic, which obama had set up, or do you make it about the broader economic policy of what do you do with taxes --
>> in all fairness, didn't the president do a pretty good job of focusing on that differential between the top and the middle --
>> i'm not ar gug didn't lay out the case well. by default, unfortunately for republicans -- you see speaker boehner dealing with it right now, not only trying to deal with difficult negotiation but he has to reargue what should have occurred this fall in terms of the campaign and the economic policies .
>> what i was impressed by in this campaign after it was over and looking at everything, is the liberal message. we have new numbers that show there was a slight ? movement, about 4% or 5% from center to left f you use those terms. what happened in north dakota with heidi and jon tester , everywhere, the widest outposts of democratic potential were reesed, and voted for marijuana, same-sex, it was like the west village got to vote in the whole country. i want to go to joe on this because he's -- how did the get country get so liberal in this one moment?
>> i think the demographics are changes --
>> north dakota they ain't changing.
>> well, what's happening in north dakota is you have like negative unemployment because they have an oil boom going on --
>> and a population that's smaller than it was in the '30s.
>> i saw a poll today out of south carolina where the president's approval rating is 48%.
>> that's good.
>> yeah that's very good. the fact is the republicans have been very much with out of touch with a lot of issues. right now that figure, 61%, don't want to raise taxes to close the deficit. that's that's because deficit closing is only an issue here and on the upper east side of new york.
>> i know. david , last thought, what did you holistically look at the election, the anecdotal, cultural statements?
>> looking back in 2010 , we won ? women in 2010 , house republicans. back in 2010 we got 38% of the hispanic vote, 28% this time. what was it we were not saying and engaging economic issues and trying to win the economic issue. we just did not do that. as a result it wasn't the specific group slipping. it was collectively we did not make the economic argument like we should have.
>> it worked in the first debate. stay on the line you're winning on. thank you, david , please come back. joe, as always, great columnist.
>>> up next, mr. burns from the simpsons effects the fiscal cliff as it affects rich