Mitchell Reports | May 07, 2012
>>> president obama officially kicked off his campaign this weekend and took direct aim at the republican phenomenon neil, presumptive nominee mitt romney in events in ohio and video.
>> he and his friends in congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result. or they're just hoping you won't remember what happened the last time we tried it their way.
>> joining me now the republican national chairman reince priebus. thanks so much for being with us. well, first of all, the battleground polls that are out today show this is basically a tie going into the final six months of the race. what about the president's charge and it was laid out very well by stephanie cutter that there is progress, there's progress on the jobs front, there's progress on the economy, that he inherited a mess. and that he is digging the country out of a huge hole?
>> well, it may be the best that barack obama can do, but andrea , it's certainly not the best this country can do. it's not up to the promises and the standards that barack obama set for himself four years ago. i happen to believe that people ought to be held accountable to their words and promises, and clearly, on the most basic promises that this president made to the american people whether it be jobs, whether it be the debt, the deficit, health care , even green jobs , i mean, even his own pet issues, he just hasn't completed the mission and so i'm not going to list everything else. but you know what i'm talking about. he hasn't met the numbers. he hasn't met the standards that he made to the american people . and that's why you're seeing such a close election because ultimately, whether people like it or not, presidents running for re-election, it is a referendum in this particular case on barack obama . that's the first question. did he fulfill the mission that he claimed he would fulfill? yes or no. and the answer to that is no, the next question is, the republicans providing a clear articulate alternative to this president, but the first question is a referendum on barack obama .
>> but it's also a choice, of course, and while the republicans, you would like to say it's a referendum on obama 's record, what the democrats are saying is that there's a choice. are they moving in the right direction and would romney take them in the wrong direction. let me ask you about this whole issue of gay marriage and give you a chance to what has been said by both the president, the vice president, and this north carolina vote that's coming up tomorrow. what is the latest position of mitt romney and the republicans on this issue?
>> well, i think governor romney and the republican party have been pretty clear. we believe marriage is between one man and one woman. we believe ultimately that you can't federalize that kind of mandate which is why we believe that individual states can make those decisions on their own and they're doing that across the country. so we've been clear. i swear to you, i still can't figure out what stephanie, where her position is, and the president's position on then issue to me, it's not so much the issue that is as important as watching how the president is trying to play this game. they want to have everything. they want the vice president out there you nuancing the issue, fully embracing gay marriage . then they march out arne duncan and embrace gay marriage .
>> they didn't march out arne duncan . he was coming on to talk about the teacher program and he was asked that question. i wasitying is right here on the set. he was asked that question by mark halperin . there was nothing deliberate about that, believe me.
>> fair enough. the president wants to be able to play both sides of this issue. he's obviously concerned about what's going on in north carolina . he doesn't want to the fully embrace what his vice president is saying. but he wants the benefit of what the vice president is saying. and to me, this is what i think this country has had enough of. if there's any vulnerability i think of obama , you can say he hasn't fulfilled the mission and the economy and the jobs and all of these other things. but i think his biggest vulnerability, he's not authentic anymore. people aren't buying what he's selling because they don't believe he's real anymore. he has become the ultimate washington politician and this latest episode in regard to gay marriage is a great example of that.
>> but doesn't your own candidate, mitt romney have an issue of authenticity? of persuading people even within your own republican party that he is the real deal ? and also, as a conservative, as a true conservative, what could be more conservative than a committed relationship between a man and a man and a woman or a woman who want to embrace the sangity of marriage? i simply do not understand the position by true conservatives who say they don't believe in committed relationships.
>> well, i mean, it depends on you know, what i would tell you is that in regard to mitt romney 's position on this, quite frankly, andrea , the president's position as it sits today is the same position of mitt romney because isn't the president saying that he believes that a marriage is between a man and a woman? isn't that obama 's position? you're buying into this --
>> mitt romney is against civil unions . there is a difference between romney -- there is a difference between mitt romney and barack obama , is there not? one is in favor of civil unions and legal protections. the other is not.
>> the difference is that mitt romney is being honest about his position the whole way through. he's claiming that marriage should be between one man and one woman. it's barack obama who if he got on your show and you asked him that question, he would say the same thing. then he would march out the vice president to confuse the issue and have all of his surrogates talking about obama 's nuanced position on the issue, but yet, when confronted on the issue, obama says marriage is between a man and a woman. what i'm suggesting to you, andrea , barack obama will say and do anything and have other people around him say and do anything to help him get elected. that's what this is about.
>> thanks very much. we'll have to leave it there. the republican chairman reince priebus.
>> you bet.