Martin Bashir | September 19, 2012
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>>> america's heartland certainly seems to be warming up to the president's re- election campaign . according to the latest nbc poll, he enjoys an advantage among midwestern voters of 12 percentage points over mitt romney . the two men had been running pretty much neck and neck in that region of the country. even in wisconsin, once thought to be a toss-up, thanks to favorite son paul ryan , we see the president pulling away once again. there's still 48 days to go in this election. midwesterners will have a lot to say about it's outcome. we're join the by senator sherrod brown , democrat from the great midwestern state of ohio . good afternoon, sir.
>> thank you. good to be back. thanks.
>> now, you're locked in one of the most important senate races in the country right now. i wonder if you could tell us how mitt romney 's secret video is affecting that race and how the vast majority of your constituents respond to his analysis that they are dependent, entitled and victims.
>> i think -- i don't know. i mean, i don't know precisely because i haven't talked to people a whole lot. i was in the state last week, as i always am on weekends and when i'm not here. but i think that people -- it plays into the whole perception that, you know, my opponent, mitt romney , the republicans of 2012 , want to do more tax cuts for the rich and their theory is it trickles down. we tried that from 2001 to 2008 and it didn't work. instead, you know, you focus on the middle class and growing out that way. that's a foreign concept to mitt romney and to a number of republicans. and i think that's why the voting numbers are starting to shift our way.
>> but those comments, sir, were made by mr. romney at a $50,000 a plate dinner for his donors. one assumes these are just the kind of donors who are throwing money against you to the tune of $18 million in the form of out-of-state donations, all designed to win your seat.
>> yeah, that's right. i mean, there has been more money spent against me than any money in the country. it's $18.2 million. it's disclosed. we assume it's wall street money that doesn't like my legislation to break up banks or chinese for outsourcing corporations money because they don't like my legislation to level the playing field on currency, which will clearly bring millions of jobs and manufacturing to our country. but, you know what, i mean, this kind of money is what they're banking on. they don't win the arguments. they know the american public doesn't like trickle down economics . they're spending literally millions, outspending us five to one. the way we fight back in so many ways is grassroots. i ask people to come to sherrodbrown.com, my website, sign up, help us fight back. we win these races by individual people speaking out. you know, not by outspending, not this top-down stuff. that really is why i'm optimistic for me and for the president and for a lot of my -- for people that want to move the country in the right direction.
>> right. you talk about, sir, winning the argument, aside from the cash, but your opponent in this election has been described, and i'm quoting, as the biggest fat-checking violators in the entire state of ohio . does that mean he gets some kind of trophy or something for not telling the truth?
>> well, it's the cynical view of politics now. it's been -- don't pay much attention to the print media . it's sort of the karl rove way of business now. don't pay much attention to the print media . take positions that big money people want, spend money telling things that aren't true, but if you spend enough on television, that almost doesn't matter. our campaign is about ideas. it's about grass roots . it's about focus on the middle class , auto rescue, enforcing trade laws because that's brought steel jobs and tire jobs and aluminum jobs to ohio when you stand up for the middle class . that's why grassroots effort through sherrodbrown.com, if you want to help, is the way that we're going to win this year and a way that a lot of my colleagues are going to win that reject this trickle down economics and want to move forward.
>> sir, that's twice you mentioned the website. i welcome you for doing so. republicans keep telling us this president has done absolutely nothing to improve the economy. what's your experience in ohio ?
>> labor -- day i was walking down the street from people from a couple of plants in toledo. they go back to 2008 and how scared they were. one plant was down to 400 workers. now it's up to 1900 because of the auto rescue. people can look to the future with anticipation and excitement instead of fear and anxiety. and that's really what it's all about. our unemployment rate four years ago -- three years ago was -- got up to 10.6%. now it's under 7.3%. and that's because of the auto rescue. it's because there's a focus out of washington for a change, there's a focus on the middle class . that's how you grow the economy, from the middle class out, not from trickle down economics . people sense that. it's not good enough, not nearly enough jobs yet, wages aren't going up enough but we're going in the right direction instead of back four years ago when we were losing -- this country was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month.
>> senator sherrod brown , thank you for joining us, sir.
>> thank you very much.