NewsNation | May 16, 2012
>>> one of president obama 's allies goes on the attack against mitt romney .
>> the budget he put out in the primary according to a lot of independent sources would increase the debt over and above what's going to happen by a trillion dollars or more.
>> that's president bill clinton taking on romney 's budget plan. at the 2012 fiscal summit in d.c., the criticism did not stop there.
>> the moderate republican friend of mine in new york who is going to vote for romney by the way, said, gosh, you know, that etch-a-sketch guy, they ought to give him a promotion. he told the truth.
>> this all of course comes as mitt romney peppered two speeches with references to bill clinton over the last week, both with attacks against president obama . let me bring in senior political editor mark murray . mark, as you know, so many people intrigued by the relationship between the former president and president obama and here in that bill clinton classic way just smoothly slipping in what he wants folks to talk about.
>> right, tamron. you talked about the context. in the past week mitt romney invoking bill clinton 's name saying bill clinton was a guy that supported a lot of things we republicans like and all in an effort to brandish bipartisan credentials and basically say, look, i like bill clinton and i don't like barack obama but i might like bill clinton . as you saw in the remarks there, that is an easy way to swat away the line that mitt romney has been having when bill clinton says i am not supporting mitt romney , i am supporting barack obama .
>> the a.p. put out a report, a fact check on mitt romney 's speech that he gave regarding the debt and fiscal issues and it says that romney falsely claims that president obama doubled the debt according to the ap he actually increased it by half, 10.6 trillion before president obama and now 15.6 now. and they have gone through a list of these things with the speech, mark, which obviously is what we're going to see i think the first he point out mitt romney has put ideas but no real meat behind some of them.
>> what was interesting yesterday and also today that mitt romney really pivoted away from the economy and was talking more about the spending and the deficit and in a state where he was yesterday in iowa where the unemployment rate is 5.2% t makes sense he is going at the debt and the deficit because that's actually one place where things -- there hasn't been a whole lot of progress, the deficit is still very, very high where you're hearing democrats counteract and even that a.p. fact check point out a lot of the drivers of the deficit accrued from the bush administration due to the iraq war , the war in afghanistan , the bush tax cuts and things like that, tamron, and so that's the democratic defense and i will say if the economy does improve, the unemployment rate goes down a tick or two between here and november, you will hear mitt romney talk a whole lot more about the deficit and debt because that is on ground where i think that they feel like they're even stronger.
>> it is interesting in the same a.p. report. it says romney on spending referred to obama's prairie fire of debt pledge to stop it, but they take note that a study by the non-partisan committee of responsible federal budget concluded early this year romney 's plan would not make a dent in the deficit and could worsen them considerably. obviously that being one agency noting this comment by romney when it comes to spending.
>> that's a vulnerability for mitt romney , so he actually does have a detailed plan when it comes to entitlement reforms and how they would have savings in medicare, medicaid, and even social security , but mitt romney in addition to those things has actually said that he wants to keep the bush tax cuts and lower tax rates for the wealthy and increase military spending , and when you do that, it is very hard to see how you reduce the size of the deficit and even balance the budget unless you have huge, huge, huge spending cuts in discretionary spending .
>> and back to the headline with former president clinton . might we see an adjustment in mitt romney 's talking points or speech now that we have clinton responding to some of these things?
>> i think so, probably. it is not -- it wasn't a bad attempt by the romney campaign to actually have a little bit of wedge with democrats and also for mitt romney to kind of stake that independent ground. you will probably see them doing it in other ways. i think it would be worth noting if they decide to put any money behind this and tv ads we know that it would be a real argument, but as we saw with bill clinton swatting that away, i am not sure there is a lot of there there.
>> mark murray , thank you very much for being here now.