msnbc | May 15, 2012
>>> states. he'll give you the same thing he gave us. nothing.
>> the pro- obama super pac priorities usa is out with a new ad continuing the hits on the bain of mitt romney 's political existence, bain capital . the romney camp is responding to the latest attacks with a three-minute web ad swiping at the president's record on jobs.
>> when barack was running and all that, everyone believed, everyone had hope. they all thought, man, this guy is going to get something done. when he is in office, now it just seems like nothing is getting done.
>> let's bring in today's political power panel. chris , alice stewart , former campaign press secretary for rick santorum and joe williams , the white house correspondent for politico. it's great to see all 3 of you. alice , mitt romney is going to be in iowa to speak about the economy and the nation's debt. this new romney ad, featured unemployed iowans . the unemployment rate is 5.2%. iowa being the swing state as it is. alice i know you know it well from the primary season. if iowa is on a consistent path right now, what does mitt romney offer to iowans that might make them change course off of president obama .
>> well, no matter what the unemployment rate is in iowa , there's still many people in iowa and across the country out of work, 23 million to be exact. the web out that they put out showed struggling iowans , people that have faced the consequences of the failed policies of the obama administration . they're telling their stories about how they lost jobs and their companies shut down due to the policies of the administration that failed to make things better for people in iowa and across the country. there's a big difference, a sharp contrast in these two ads. first of all, the romney ad directly correlates with the leadership of the obama administration as opposed to the obama campaign ad, which focuses on bain capital , with a situation that happened two years after romney left. so it's a very misleading ad. it's a very ill-timed ad giving that he's attacking private equity firms on the say day he's going hat in hand to receive campaign contributions .
>> chris , i want to show what everybody had -- the romney adviser had to say today about the obama campaign attack ads on bain and we'll talk on the other side. take a listen.
>> i think these attempts by president obama to distract from his own poor record on the economy is the biggest smoke screen since mt. st. helens a arupted.
>> so did they attack romney 's job records and then it exposes them or opens them up for this count counterpunch?
>> listen in, a presidential campaign there's going to be a choice between these two candidates and a contrast made. the president's campaign is absolutely justified going after governor romney 's record. i mean this is part, i think, of his narrative, that he fixes things. but if you go back and kind of scratch at the surface and you look at his record, that's not really the case. and i think exposing that and pointing that out is critically important. you know, the fact is, listen, when you talk to the american people , there are a lot of anxiety anxiety and frustration about the company but they also gave the president a lot of credit in terms of where we started and losing 700,000 jobs a month and where we are now. is there a lot more to do? absolutely. but the big difference here is, is mitt romney the person that can make things better and i think that's not a question that the romney campaign have answered very effectively.
>> the american people have to think which way the pendulum is swimminging tody swinging today.
>>> 74% think the economy is poor. as we look at the numbers are more thinking the obama campaign is improving this economy and they want to stay consistent with the person that they have or are they more likely to be apt to the changes that may come under a president romney and his economic forecast?
>> it's a double-edged sword, to be sure. on the one hand you do have an upswing in the economy. but when you do have an unemployment rate that's north of 8%, that indicates there's still a lot of pain out there. the obama administration acknowledges that and the romney administration is going to try to capitalize on that. speaking of ads, they're ads, not documentaries, and they're designed to play on the emotions. but i think what needs to be remembered in the factual part of the arguments that the two campaigns are making is the fact if you look at president obama 's job creation record, the number of jobs that ended up in the economy as a result of some of the policies that the administration put forth, it almost directly tracks with the policies that he was able to enact during the first couple of years of his first term. when the job numbers start slowing down correlates almost directly with the standoff over the debt ceiling and the debates he had with republicans in congress over direction of government spending . i think that's something the obama administration will try to point out. it doesn't fit neatly on a bumper sticker or advertisement but they can make a strong case of things going in the right direction. when they aren't going in the right direction, it's because the rips are standing in the way.
>> alice , let's talk about jpmorgan chase and the losses that could top $4 billion. in your estimation how would president romney have prevented such a loss because they seem to be more about letting wall street be more of a casino than a bank.
>> well, it all stems back to dodd -frank. the leveraging aspect was not an aspect of dodd -frank and that would have more than likely prevented what we saw with jpmorgan chase . but the fact is, it's a tremendous loss. fortunately, just for the investors in that company and not for taxpayers. but it's a sign that this notion of too big to fail is not the right way to go about it. banks -- we have to let the free market system work.
>> if we don't learn from our history, we're bound to repeat it.
>> well, the key is we certainly don't need more regulation, we need less regulation. the regulation we're having from the obama administration and big government and big spending is certainly not working. this is an aspect where we need to let the free enterprise work. if a company is too big to fail, then we need to let it fail.
>> i want to jump in because that's an absurd notion. regulation is there for a reason, to keep people from losing their life savings if a bank goes under, to keep banks from making risky transactions that would put those life savings at risk. this also underscores the notion that a smaller government issin heron to the american capital system and regulation is necessary to keep things like this from happening and take people down under with it.
>> elizabeth warren , massachusetts senate candidate and former candidate to head up the consumer protection agency, she basically crafted the consumer protection agency, said this about jpmorgan. take a listen.
>> this is wrong. we need accountability in this system. we need a system where we've got a tough cop on the beat. no one should be able to steal your purse on main street or your pension on wall street .
>> she was going to be the top cop but didn't get that job. if you are in the obama campaign , chris , is this good news for your platform, bad news? how do they turn this around to turn what could be a negative into a positive?
>> when you hear about $4 billion in losses, that just recreates that anxiety people felt back during the financial crisis . the argument about less regulation, i mean that sounds good and i think everybody can support it to some degree, but when you're talking about $4 billion losses an a financial crisis that almost brought the entire system down, that is not a very workable argument. and the problem for the romney campaign is how do they not talk about this when you have another glaring example of if you just let individuals do whatever they want, if you let the free enterprise completely run free without some kind of tempering regulation, you could have disastrous consequences. so i think this plays in kind of the narrative that the obama campaign is building up, which is here's -- you know, here's what we are here for. we are going to stand up and fight for the middle class . we're going to protect those who make this country stronger. and i think it puts the romney campaign in a real difficult box.
>> joe, real fast.
>> one of the reasons why dodd -frank didn't prevent this is because bank lobbyists and financial lobbyists were able to weaken it through their own exertion of pressure on congress. that's one of the reasons why dodd -frank wasn't able to put the brakes on here.
>> good to see all three of you this morning. thanks so much.
>>> i want to pass this along to everybody if you haven't gotten it already. nbc news has launched a new nbc politics app for ipad. users can get a look inside the 2012 election with this interactive battleground map, daily tip sheet with the day's most memorable photos and videos, also a collection of the top news coverage from the nbc political unit. you can download the nbc politics app for free from the app store today.