Mitchell Reports | May 17, 2012
>> now joining me former minnesota governor and former presidential candidate tim pawlenty now national co-chair of the romney campaign. great to see you again. first, this may be very short lived but it was out there and it clearly was a well-formed strategy by fred davis , submitted to the rickets folks 18 super pac. that's one of the problems, super pacs can do things and say it's not coordinated with a campaign. as a person connected to the romney campaign would have have been comfortable with this approach?
>> good afternoon to you. thanks for having me on the show. mitt romney almost immediately disclaimed this effort as soon as he heard about it. obviously these third party groups can think of things or do things that the romney campaign doesn't direct or influence, in fact can't. as to mitt romney and his campaign he thinks we should stay focused on the economy, getting jobs going again in this country and providing opportunity for people, not this issue that's been raised by "the new york times." and also focusing on barack obama 's dismal record of 8 plus percent unemployment.
>> do you think there is a legitimate line of attack looking at jeremiah wright and his past connection for those who say president obama was in that church, was part of that church, does this have relevance to people now in this campaign?
>> governor romney believes that's not what we should be focused on. we should be focused on the economy and issues that are the bread and butter issues facing the voters and their concerns. that's jobs, the economy, and mitt is well suited for this moment in history having spent not the bulk of his whole life in government sector like vice president biden has and before him president obama , more or less as a political activist but we should be focused on jobs and the economy as governor romney said as he disclaimed this effort by this third party group.
>> joe biden is out there, in ohio for the second day. he is focusing on jobs and the economy. this is joe biden yesterday in youngstown, ohio.
>> my mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire they could be a millionaire. my mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. they don't get us. they don't get who we are.
>> what about the argument that they, mitt romney , doesn't get us? doesn't get working class or middle class america?
>> i think we get joe biden and barack obama very well. vice president biden hasn't been in the private sector since gerald ford was president. he has spent his entire adult life in government. he said the other day 18 speech he's glad he hasn't been in the private sector because then he would have to be accountable. this is the person the president dubbed the shera of spending which turned out to be a joke. we have a president who called his predecessor george bush unpatriotic and irresponsible for a deficit and debt level he left, now barack obama has made that exponentially worse. that's hypocrisy. this president wasn't ready to be president, he failed in getting this economy turned around, hald his chance. we need mitt romney as president. you look what he did as governor, increased employment, reduced spending, got the economy of massachusetts moving in a better direction. reformed government and much more, andrea. this is going to be a debate about the economy and to look to joe biden for that, somebody who has never, not been in government, basically a professional bureaucrat, give me a break. i come from a blue collar background. i understand what jobs mean and joe biden doesn't have a clue.
>> governor, to that point, joe biden isn't, quote a bureaucrat, joe biden , not to demean bureaucrat, joe biden han a senator representing the people of delaware since he was in his late 20s. you would demean that as that level of public service ?
>> well, of course he's been a public servant in government. the point is this. when you look to figure out how to grow the economy, how to start businesses, invest in business, getting businesses to grow, expand and provide jobs you should look to people who have done that, have some knowledge about it, some understanding about it. have been in touch with reality about it. for joe biden who has been again in government as an electsed official since gerald ford was president, to stand up and lecture mitt romney or anybody else on whether they get it or not is laughable. i mean give me a break. the guy hasn't seen the private sector , private investment or job growth in a meaningful or direct way in 40 years.
>> do you think that mitt romney as the head of bain capital gets it? what about all of the attacks on bain? you think that mitt romney who is not growing a small business but working in venture capital , does that connect to the middle class or the working class ?
>> well actually, andrea, he wasn't a venture capitalist , not to get in the details but it's private equity . his companies that he invested in were small and medium size businesses. there are 6 million or so businesses in the united states , 5.9 million of those have 500 employees or fewer, setting aside the partisan rhetoric here, just go ask the people in the 5.9 million businesses who start them, work in them, what does it take to get these businesses going and growing and providing jobs. most of them will tell you they agree with mitt romney 's approach, not barack obama or joe biden 's approach. they never have been in the private sector . they don't understand it. they don't respect it. they don't know how to get this economy moving again. mitt romney does.
>> you said that we in journalism should take your name off the list for vice president. why? you've got a working class background, from the middle of the country, you ran for president. you were a governor. you haven't been as you would put it a bureaucrat since gerald ford was president. why wouldn't you be a good choice for mitt romney ?
>> well, i'm going to do whatever i can to help mitt romney defeat barack obama because i think the future of the country is at stake and i think mitt romney is going to be a fantastic president for our country. i'll do whatever i can do to help him. he's going to have a lot of great people to pick from. obviously any one would be honored to serve if asked. i've been telling people look, i think i can help in other ways but obviously anybody would be honored to serve if asked.
>> have you heard from boston, from beth meyers in the campaign asking for your background information?
>> the romney campaign has a policy, that we don't talk about the vice presidential policy in terms of timing whether it relates to me or any one else or the aspects ever that so that's something that we're going to leave for another day and time. and not because i'm trying to be coy. that's the campaign policy. we don't discuss the details of that process.
>> you and i actually went through this together four years ago. you were on the short list and you had to put all of your information out there and the mccain people went for sarah palin . there had been reports you have told the romney campaign you don't want to go through that again if you're not going to be asked.
>> well, again i don't talk about the vice president's selection process . as a matter of policy in the campaign. i'll help mitt romney do whatever i -- i want to do whatever i can to help him. i think he's the right person for the job. i think he's going to abfantastic president. what i tried to project, he's going to have a lot of great people to pick from. i think i can help in other ways. i'll do whatever i can to help him defeat barack obama .
>> thank you very much, governor. good to see you again.