Jansing and Co | October 29, 2012
>>> right now former president bill clin done is due to be in florida . has he made it yet?
>> there he is. he's actually on time. president obama had to pull out of their first rally this season to deal with hurricane sandy. there's the former president by himself, and clinton arguably, his chief campaign weapon. we'll go ahead with appearances in florida and ohio and virginia as well. let me bring in ann lewis , former communications director for president bill clinton and former senior adviser to hillary clinton 's campaign. always good to see you, ann. good morning.
>> good morning.
>> with the president pulled off the campaign trail because of hurricane sandy, do you think it makes president clinton 's presence even more crucial?
>> it demonstrates bill clinton 's value in this campaign. he's both the surrogate to get out there, maintain the level of excitement that you really want to keep your get out the vote program going, and at the same time and just as important he makes this substantive case for why barack obama deserves to be re-elected. i've done a lot of campaigns and done a lot of surrogate work. it is unusual to have a surrogate who has this level of stature and brings the excitement, too.
>> which may be why the republicans frankly are trying to make something negative of all of bill clinton 's appearances. senator mccain says a lot of this has to do with hillary clinton maybe running in 2016 . the rnc put out a press release today full of quotes saying that democrats are worried that clinton is outshining obama. he had the better speech at the convention and makes a better case for the obama record than the president does himself. is there a downside here?
>> i got to say, those comments are pretty laughable. you may remember earlier in the campaign, the republicans tried to use bill clinton to complain about barack obama . after clinton spoke at the democratic convention , he gave a pourl and effective speech. republicans got silent on the subject. if all they do now is whine about him when he's one of our most popular former presidents, when he's the president with the economic record that really showed the kind of investing in america that president obama is now doing, works for us economically. if the republicans want to stand off in the background examiand whine, that speaks to where they are, but it doesn't say much to the american people .
>> there's an article that matt bye wrote in the "new york times" that says bill clinton may have hurt the president's campaign by advising him the best way to go after mitt romney was to hang the sign of severe conservative around his neck. he should sell a romney presidency as a third term of george w. bush . would you agree with that line of attack has not worked?
>> not only do i not agree with that line of aattack. look at conversations we're having. listen to what voters tell us. look at ohio where the fact mitt romney was against the auto bailout, that mitt romney writes an article and says let detroit go interrupt, that's a severely conservative position. the fact mitt romney said he wanted to see roe vs. wade overternove overturned, that's a seriously conservative position. the fact that is they're severely conservative and far away from where the majority of the american people are. it's very important in this campaign that people understand their choices.
>> bill clinton , obviously, very important to shore up the base. let's talk about the impact of hurricane sandy. do you agree that it could hurt the democrats more? that the obama campaign has depended so much on the ground game, and if that gets disrupted in some of these key states, it would be a disadvantage more to the president than it would be to romney "nightly newmitt romney ?
>> i will say the obama campaign has put together the most effective, well thought out and planned get out the vote campaign ground game i've ever seen, and i certainly hope it does not get severely disrupted. you know, if you're good and you're well-planned, and if you lose two days on the trail, you can make that up. if you lose two days, let's say, in turns out your vote, you can make that up. my home state of maryland is not exactly a swing state , but, in fact, we have canceled early voting there today. i have no doubt that we will make that up, and people who were going to vote today will vote the rest of the week. i think very smart people , a lot of very smart people who worked very hard to get this ground game in place are going to be scrambling and working even harder for the rest of the week.
>> more than two days you'll be worried?
>> i want to say two things, chris. first, if it's more than two days, for each day it obviously gets harder to make it up on terms of early vote . think how many votes have already been cast. look at those pictures you saw of people in line in ohio . look at the pictures you saw of people in line in florida . i had a call from someone working in florida two days ago, i think now, and the lines were so long they were looking for people who would get out and talk to the people waiting in line. sort of working the line and telling stories, keeping people in place because it's so important. i'd say the early vote program began so well, has been so strong and powerful, if this had happened at an earlier time and really disrupted the early vote program, it might have had an even bigger impact. as it is, looking at where we are, first, the president has his policies, his priorities right. let's make sure everybody is safe. that's why he's off the campaign trail. people's well-being comes first. after that i think we'll work doubly hard to get the vote in.
>> ann lewis , former communications director for president bill clinton . always good to see you. thank you.