The Daily Rundown | October 05, 2012
>>> the unemployment rate dropped below 8% for the first time in the obama presidency hitting 7.8% for september. but the raw job gains are tepid. will the below 8% news do much to change the economic perceptions of undecided voters in the final weeks before the election? meanwhile a shifted swagger as mitt romney waits to see if his numbers swing up after a decisive debate. he certainly has a spring in his step out on the campaign trail. on the whole 47% comment that never came up at the debate romney says he was wrong. as for the president, he put some mileage between himself and the mile high city with much more fiery talk than anything we heard from him at the actual debate. but is the president's tough talk too little too late? good morning from washington. it's friday, october 5th , 2012 . this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd . we'll have much more on the new jobs numbers in minutes with economist mark zandi, texas senator kay bailey hutchison is here, and an exclusive this morning senior adviser to the president david plouffe . but first right to my first reads of the morning. we'll hear from the obama and romney campaigns on the jobs numbers. i'm sure a ton on the campaign trail. they're in the big three battleground states at some point shadowing each other yet again this morning in the old dominion and the president hits cleveland, ohio while romney goes to an evening rally at st. pete in st. petersburg, florida. last night a very confident mitt romney and paul ryan whipped up their base in rural virginia and as much as the romney campaign is determined not to cloak their actual fireworks it wasn't exactly subtle.
>> last night was an important night for the country because people got to -- got the chance to cut through all the attacks and counterattacks and all of the theatrics associated with a campaign and instead were able to listen to substance.
>> romney also picked up the official endorsement of the nra. we didn't know they weren't supporting him. whose supporters were of course a major presence at that very raucous rally. see all the orange there? the campaign is trying to capitalize on momentum with new ads releasing four over the last 24 hours including a new ad in ohio promising a million new manufacturing jobs and a testimonial from a former unlv star greg anthony a college basketball analyst for cbs sports .
>> i voted for barack obama . i thought he would be a centrist. i really lost faith in him. i'm supporting mitt romney . he is a no excuse kind of guy and i think over the last four years we've heard enough excuses.
>> bottom line question for romney is this. does his debate performance move the needle in the three big midwestern battleground states of ohio , iowa, and wisconsin? the romney campaign is clearly still wary about the toxic effect of the obama campaign 's attacks on his personal wealth and also the damage of romney 's own 47% comment. yesterday hailed as a hero in denver romney repeated one phrase he introduced on wednesday night, again and again and again.
>> i saw the president's vision as trickle down government. trickle down government. trickle down government. trickle down government. trickle down government.
>> that trickle down government phrase looks like an attempt to neutralize attacks on his tax plan as just one more version of, quote, trickle down economics . romney did some major cleanup work yesterday on the comment that had been the most damaging to his campaign in the last few weeks, the 47% comment.
>> clearly, in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you'll say something that doesn't come out right. in this case i said something that is just completely wrong. i absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that i care about a hundred percent.
>> that's what he said. everything he said there he said was completely wrong. does raise this question. how many resets can a presidential nominee have? take a look at romney 's shifting responses over the last three weeks on 47% to put it all in perspective.
>> as i point out i recognize that among those that pay no tax approximately 47% of americans i'm not likely to be highly successful with a message of lowering taxes. you know, it's not elegantly stated. let me put it that way. i am speaking off the cuff in response to a question. i've got a very effective campaign, doing a very good job. but not everything i say is elegant. i'm a president for 100% of the american people . that is the real percent people care about. not 99 versus one. not 47 versus anyone else. in this case i said something that is just completely wrong.
>> three weeks to get to completely wrong. widely panned for a listless debate performance president obama tried to get his groove back a little bit on the campaign trail in denver and in madison, wisconsin yesterday with some on the way homer comebacks if you will, a day late. the president almost had to be prodded to rebut romney 's defense on his tax plan wednesday night. yesterday he went right after romney .
>> do you challenge what the governor just said about his own plan?
>> well, for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan. and now five weeks before the election he is saying that his big, bold idea is never mind. when i got on the stage, i met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be mitt romney . the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy and yet the fellow on the stage last night who looked like mitt romney said he didn't know anything about that.
>> and though the president's face did some talking on wednesday night when romney unveiled this line, in fact, watch the president's facial expression in the split screen. i'm sure a lot of you thought the same thing i did, that he was going to come up with something. he didn't. but watch this. watch his facial expression carefully.
>> you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. look, i've been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant but the idea that you get a break for shifting jobs overseas is simply not the case.
>> you saw the eyebrow raise, the accountant thing. i'm sure all of you thought the same thing. he's going to k tax returns right? it wasn't until thursday that the president's grimace actually became a rejoinder.
>> the guy onstage last night, he said he'd never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. never heard of it. and he said if that's true he must need a new accountant. so now we know for sure that wasn't the real mitt romney because the real mitt romney is doing just fine with the accountant that he already has.
>> the new strategy from the campaign was clear. the guy who showed up on wednesday night was not, quote, the real mitt romney . the president virtually accused him of lying.
>> governor romney may dance around his positions. he may do a tap dance and a two step, but if you want to be president, then you owe the american people the truth.
>> briefing report is white house senior adviser david plouffe used the words dishonest or the phrase not being honest nearly a dozen times. that's also the message of a new ad on romney 's tax plan from the obama campaign .
>> why won't romney level with us about his tax plan which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks ? if we can't trust him here, how could we ever trust him here?
>> the romney campaign has taken issue of course with what the obama campaign uses which is a tax policy center analysis. in that ad that draws on the -- to argue that mitt romney 's tax plan depends on a $5 trillion tax cut that's not paid for. the conclusion they drew is the only way you offset those tax cuts over ten years, after handcuffing yourself on the pledges that romney has made to reduce tax rates across the board by 20% eliminating the alternative minimum tax and erasing the federal estate tax is to eliminate deductions that will inevitably touch the middle class . the romney folks say the obama campaign and tax policy center created a strawman. the problem is the romney campaign hasn't created their own and responded with any detail on how they would do it. it becomes impossible at least politically once you account for the pledge handcuffs that romney has made. while the president didn't fully acknowledge he came up short last night, aides did indicate he'll be more prepared for the second debate.
>> it's like a playoff in sports. you evaluate after every contest and you make adjustments and i'm sure that we will make adjustments. you can't allow someone to stand there and basically man handle the truth about their own record and ideas and about yours and not deal with that.
>> i tell you, supporters i talked to at the denver rally were among those disappointed with the president.
>> i think he'll -- he could have done better.
>> i think that president obama is -- needs to put his gloves on and fight back.
>> i didn't know what was quite going on as far as, you know, maybe he is dealing with some crisis in the middle east .
>> i think maybe he needs to rest.
>> again, those were people that showed up for the president's rally in denver . all right.