Morning Joe | June 12, 2012
>> very good. welcome back to " morning joe ." we're live in chicago . mike barnicle and steve ratner are still with us. joining us former white house chief of staff bill daley who looks fresh and rested and just happy.
>> and out of the white house .
>> out of the white house .
>> it's great. it's a tough life but this is a beautiful day in chicago and you should come back in january. it's just great.
>> i think we'll do the show right here.
>> no problem.
>> so how is the president doing right now as we're five months away from the election?
>> look it, i think this is -- it's a tough election. i think he's doing fine. i think if you go state by state, which is what the election will be about, he's in good shape. ther running around with all sorts of setting their hair on fire to say this is a close race. it is a close race and the one person who has known that from the beginning is the president. i don't know what all the big news is when people talk about polls and say this race has tightened. it's always going to tighten.
>> what's the president's biggest challenge moving forward?
>> i think obviously the economy and convincing the american people that it will get better and there is a plan that's working, albeit very slow but that things are getting better bus he's got a plan if he can get a little cooperation from congress or a lot of cooperation from congress week really can change this thing. it's a situation.
>> were you stunned how hard it was to get things done in washington ?
>> as you know, i was commerce secretary under bill clinton and the jobs plan. there's -- we're on a path to get an election done so the people can make a statement about the future.
>> how are you going to get the bigger deal done and when?
>> i don't think -- there was a story last week in politico that there are secret meetings going on in washington for a big deal . how secret is that? that tells you everything you need to know about washington . big secret meeting, you know, so it's unrealistic.
>> how does the president fight, though, to get the narrative coming out from the romney campaign and you see in the media the raw numbers, the jobs number. we saw in may obviously was terrible. just pure economic data that people may not have tuned into yet are going to be watching over the summer. how does he argue that things are getting better as that data continued to stream out?
>> the american people are smart. they get the fact that when he came in, you were losing 750,000 jobs a month, the size of charlotte, north carolina a month. we're coming out of the hole, albeit much too slow. that's the nature of an almost of depression that we were in. i think the american people understand it. on the other hand what is going to be laid out over the next five months and governor romney has already begun to lay out some of his plan and the president for years has laid out especially that the congress hasn't acted on that are indicators of what may happen in the next couple of years. i think the american people will seriously look at this election is about the future, it's not about the past, it's not about somebody's record 15 years ago or whatever. i think the president is laying out specific things to congress to do. you don't have a parliamentary system where the prime minister can just do things. the president has to go to congress to get their approval. the major things needed now have to be acted upon by congress that right now seems to be incapable of doing anything.
>> you say this election isn't about somebody's record 15 years ago but here's president obama 's ad on mitt romney 's record.
>> as governor of massachusetts .
>> i'm barack obama and i approve this record.
>> when mitt romney was governor, massachusetts was number one, number one in state debt . $18 billion in debt, more debt per person than any other state in the country. at the same time massachusetts fell to 47th in job creation , one of the worst economic records in the country. first in debt, 47th in job creation . that's romney economics. it didn't work then, it won't work now.
>> mike, it seems to me a great ad.
>> it's a very effective ad. i'm sure the romney campaign, as we spoke earlier, will have a response to it. the 47th in terms of job creation , they'll probably come back and say the unemployment rate was 4.7% when mitt romney left office.
>> great on the curve, they're 47th. that means 46 governors did better than mitt romney .
>> and that's true. that's tough to combat actually. those are real numbers and i don't know how you stand up and say, hey, i was 46th in the nine-person lineup or something like that. the deal on mitt romney is i would imagine he would come back and encompass his career as governor of massachusetts saying he got things done. he worked with the legislature that was 90% democratic and he did bend over backwards sometimes to get things done. he also raised an enormous amount of money not by taxes but by fees. he'll probably try to gloss over that.
>> steve , what do you think about that ad? effective?
>> i think it's very effective for the reasons mike said. when you sum up mitt romney 's career as a governor, it was a mediocre, average kind of career. nothing earth shaking, nothing that would get him elected president except of course for having invented romneycare.
>> there's that.
>> mika, yesterday steve ratner, who hangs out with --
>> unnamed europeans one weekend. the next weekend --
>> in private places.
>> in private places with a large crest and leather-bound books. yesterday he hung out at another event at what?
>> bloomberg view.
>> and yesterday bloomberg spoke out yesterday saying his father and ronald reagan would have a difficult time with the climate of today's republican party . jeb bush said " ronald reagan would have based his record of finding accommodation, find some degree of common ground , as would my dad, they would have had a hard time if you define the republican party and i don't as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground ." jeb bush also touted his father's 1990 deficit reduction deal. it was a model of responsible compromise. but his comments rankled some republicans. grover norquist , the president of americans for tax reform said "there's a guy who watched his father throw away a presidency on a 2 to 1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases promise and he thinks he's sophisticated by saying that he'd take a 10 to 1 promise, here doesn't understand. he walked down the same alley his dad did with the same gang. and he thinks he's smart. you walk down that alley, you don't come out.
>> don't just talk about hispanics and say immediately we have controlled borders. it's kind of insulting when you think about it. i'd say if an objective teacher was grading where we are right now, i'd say needs improvement." governor romney has used this as a means to connect with group of vote that's were quite angry and it was effective but now he's in this somewhat of a box. but of course mine barnicle, the numbers, the hispanic votes are so skewed against republicans parties now, it one of the great threats in the republican election.
>> that's a big hurdle in the romney campaign. he seems to be doing bit better with women than he was four, five weeks ago. hispanics and the republican party stands on immigration. it clearly hurting them quite badly. what jeb bush said yesterday -- i'd be interested in bill's take on it. he's quite moderate in terms of today's republican party , especially in terms of the rhetoric we heard during the primaries earlier in the year. what's the level of frustration when you're working within the white house , you're chief of staff, and you're not dealing with people as moderate as that, you're not dealing with people who would be listening to what you're saying?
>> what jeb bush said is exactly the debate that's gone on in the republican party that causes nothing to happen in washington and nothing that happened over the last year and a half just because of exactly what jeb bush is talking about. that's the reason we didn't get a jobs bill passed, exactly the debate he halaid out in that statement. nobody could sum it up better. it is very frustrating when you're in the white house , trying to reach out, trying to get something done. what stop it is exactly what jeb bush was talking about.
>> it was an interesting meeting. there was not rancor, not anger, not bitterness. he was very calm. he was talking as a guy who is not going to be vice president, who may someday may do something else but he was stepping back and saying he does not like the republican party he belongs to.
>> it's too bad you can only make those comments when you're out of the system.
>> isn't that amazing how incredibly articulate people become when they're out of the bubble.
>> let me ask you, joe, what do you make of jeb 's success in the party? is he on point?
>> let's see, if i'm going on intrade and trying to figure out whether the future of the republican party belongs to grover norquist who i know and like or the jeb bushes of the world, i'm pretty confident jeb wins. i will tell you jeb bush 's republican party is a party of the future . i don't compare myself to jeb . he is a great man, i am a mere servant of the jebular.
>> but joe scarborough 's republican party is the future of the republican party . i've had people come up to me yelling and screaming, i say put your hair out. i say we're going to take care of long-term debt. our goal will be to have gdp 19% of how much we spend on government. we're going to try to keep taxes as low as possible but i'll tell what you we're not going to do, we're not going to cut infrastructure for the next 50 years, we're not going to cut r & d for the next 50 years not going to cut education for the next 50 years. we're going to hold government responsible, we're not going to let teachers unions wreck classes. mika will tell you we've been these speeches to the most conservative groups in america as well as the most liberal and they all agree. you can go online and act like a jack ass and say what you want to say. now everybody is calling jeb bush a rhino. just shut the hell up. can you stay in your mother's basement, eat your cheetohs, type on your dinty laptop but you are not the future of the republican party so keep screaming at your walls downstairs, your day is done. jeb did something very important that i wish mitt romney would have done couple of years ago when glen beck was calling the president of the united states a racist and a bigot. jeb is speaking out. i think other republicans are starting to speak out. mitt romney doesn't have the courage to speak out against this type of hatred but our day is coming, mike. our day is coming. when that party reemerges, oh, my god, the following they will get from swing voters. and i'm sure you agree, bill, as well.
>> one of the critical elements of what jeb said and how he said it is proof positive of the fact that their politics, especially coming out of washington , are claustrophobic today. they all live in the same small room, republicans and democrats, and they're both equally guilty of leaning on ideology as opposed to common sense where this country lives in the middle. jeb bush 's comments are aimed at the middle and that would be one reason why you would have so much difficulty in doing what you tried to do.
>> it has only gotten worse. i would hope that we say this every couple years that the next cycle ends this bitterness, this rancor, this divisiveness and we can only hope that and hopefully people like jeb bush -- look, i don't agree with a lot with any one of the bush philosophies but they are good american public servant who is have dedicated their lives and president george bush '41, a 19-year-old fighter pilot in the second world war , that's a family america should be proud of and listen to. they've done something. they're not just sitting in their basement or sitting on tv all day being annoyed at somebody.
>> who are you talking about?
>> or a business guy who sits in his office and made a lot of money and thinks because he made money thinks he knows something.
>> i know you have to go but it's so important to remember the lead horse, who breaks out, that's who represents the party. if jeb bush was that guy, we'd be saying you know, what it's a conservative party . if chris christie would have won, he would have been out front. there is a market for people like jeb bush . i mean it.
>> i don't think so.
>> we'll see.
>> former white house chief of staff bill daley , thank you so much. good to see you. sta still ahead, rahm emanuel will join us. and warren buffett on what it it takes to make local economies grow. you're watching " morning joe " live from chicago! [