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DNC, RNC chairs debate economy; key lawmakers on effort to repeal ObamaCare
Written by John Roberts / Published July 08, 2012 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Reince Priebus, Tom Price, Xavier Becerra
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JOHN ROBERTS, GUEST HOST: I'm John Roberts, in for Chris Wallace.
With another weak jobs report out, the presidential campaigns do battle over how best to get America back to work.
We'll discuss the stalled economy and the race to the White House with leaders of the national political committees, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC, and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
And Capitol Hill Republicans set a new vote to repeal ObamaCare. We'll talk policy and politics with key House leaders -- Republican Tom Price of Georgia and Democrat Xavier Becerra of California.
Also, top unemployment numbers for President Obama and criticism from his base for Governor Romney.
We'll ask our Sunday panel where the race stands now with four months until election day.
All right now on "Fox News Sunday."
ROBERTS: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
For the third straight month, the job creation numbers have been disappointing. It's a sure sign that the U.S. is still struggling to get the economy back on track.
Are voters making up their minds about the economy at this point and the presidential race?
In a few minutes, we'll talk with the chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus.
But, first, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
And welcome back from New Hampshire, Congresswoman. It's good to see this morning.
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIR OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Good morning.
ROBERTS: I think the headline of the day is that you just drove 2,000 miles from Florida, all the way up to New Hampshire with four dogs, the cat, and kids and the husband. How are you after all that?
SCHULTZ: And lived to tell about it. And all of the dogs were in the car. So I prove it can be done.
ROBERTS: All right. Very good.
We do have another headline, though, and that is the economy, of course. The job's number came out on Friday, 80,000 net jobs created. Is that a record that the president can run on and win reelection next November?
SCHULTZ: Well, absolutely. If you look at where we were when the president first took office, the economy was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs a month. And now, after President Obama's policies in place for the last three and a half years, we've had 28 straight months of job growth in the private sector, 4.4 million jobs created. The progress that we are making is moving us forward.
We need to continue to make more progress obviously and, you know, we haven't far enough. But we need to keep pressing forward and continue to focus on middle class tax breaks and making sure that we can create jobs and make sure that we get economy moving forward and great if Republicans would join us in that effort. But, you know, President Obama is focused on making sure, as he singles out like a laser, getting jobs created and our economy turned around with or without help from the Republicans.
ROBERTS: You know, the number of jobs that have been created brings you about 50 percent of the way back to where we were in 2007. Let's break down the numbers, so take a look.
The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent. But if you look at the overall number, which includes people who stopped looking and those who are underemployed, it's 14.9 percent. And look at this, African-American unemployment up to 14.4 percent. That's up almost full point. Eleven percent for Hispanics.
If the president hopes to win, Congresswoman, in November, he's going to need a very motivated minority population out there. Are African-American and Hispanics going to look at those numbers and say, there's a person I really want to vote for. Not that they will go over to the Republican side, but maybe they might just stay home?
SCHULTZ: Well, as I travel the country, I've seen tremendous enthusiasm from African-Americans, as well as Hispanic-Americans. And I think, if you look at the same point, John, where we were in the recovery from 2001 recession under President Bush and where we are in the recovery now, we're actually 2 million jobs ahead at the same point in both recoveries.
So, while we have a long way to go, we have made progress and President Obama has been committed to not just getting the economy turned around and creating jobs, but closing the achievement gap in education for Hispanics and African-Americans, investing in education and innovation, and making sure that we can keep folks in their homes.
And if you compare that to Mitt Romney's focus, which was, let's let Detroit go bankrupt and not rescue the American automobile industry, African-Americans have been devastated by that in particular. More than a million jobs would have been lost.
When it comes to policies like immigration reform, Mitt Romney is the most extreme presidential candidate on immigration policy and that is why there is a 40-point deficit between him and President Obama among Hispanic-Americans because when it comes to the policies that those two groups care about, but really when it comes to the policies that Americans care about, this is not politics, John. This is important for the lives of the Americans and we need to all be fighting to move the economy forward like President Obama has been doing. ROBERTS: You know, on the wake of the jobs numbers on Friday, one of the campaign senior advisors, David Plouffe, said that the job numbers were, quote, "what everybody expected."
Which drew this response from the Romney campaign, "One month after declaring the private sector is, quote, 'doing fine,' the Obama White House has doubled down, calling the struggling economy what everybody expected as a step in the right direction. With millions of Americans facing what even Vice President Biden called a depression, it's clear that President Obama is simply out of touch with the difficulties facing middle class families."
Do you think people who are at home, Congresswoman, who are sitting around the kitchen table at the house desperately looking for a job, look at those job numbers on Friday and said, well, it was what was expected?
SCHULTZ: Well, I think like President Obama, everyone acknowledges that we have a long way to go. We have made significant progress, 28 straight months of job growth in the private sector and more than 4.4 million jobs created. But, you know, what we certainly don't need to do and I think folks at home are sitting and listening to Mitt Romney say, we should go back -- the answer is let's go back to the failed policies of the past. Let's repeat the same playbook that got us into this economic mess in the first place.
ROBERTS: Well --
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney's budget would actually make sure that the wealthiest, most fortunate Americans get more and more tax breaks.
ROBERTS: But --
SCHULTZ: And again, another incentives to send jobs overseas. President Obama is focusing on in-sourcing, incentivizing companies to bring jobs back here in the United States. So, that's what Americans' reaction to what Mitt Romney say about the economy and our recovery.
ROBERTS: So, then is the suggestion that we should just keep doing the same thing? You know, there's that old definition of doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
SCHULTZ: I am pretty happy about straight 28 months of job growth in the private sector --
ROBERTS: Are you happy about 80,000 jobs last month and 69,000 the month before that? Are you happy with those numbers?
SCHULTZ: Like I've said -- we -- and President Obama has said, we continue -- we need to continue to improve and we need to do more and we need to work together. But I am pleased that the manufacturing has had a resurgence and created 500,000 jobs in the last 28 months. That the automobile industry which Mitt Romney would have allowed to go bankrupt is still here in the United States. And that all three automakers have actually had record increases in job creation. They had a record June -- a month of June, 7,000 auto jobs created. We've -- we have begun to move in the right direction. But we need to focus on middle class tax breaks on the 18 -- on policies like the 18 different tax breaks that President Obama has signed into law for small business owners by making sure that we can continue to make investments in education and innovation and incentivizing people to remain in their homes.
Where Mitt Romney would -- by embracing the Romney-Ryan budge, would actually make sure that the wealthiest, most fortunate Americans get more and better tax breaks, that we would end Medicare as we know it, that we would blow more of a hole in our deficits than they already exists now.
So, we need to look at the two paths and the two visions. That are being laid before Americans. President Obama's vision and path which would moving us forward and Mitt Romney which would drag us back to the policies that us got into this mess in the first place.
ROBERTS: You mentioned manufacturing jobs and I think that bears looking at a little more closely, 11,000 jobs were created in the month of June in manufacturing.
But take a look at this. Still, there is a net loss even though you come back somewhat. There's a net loss of 590,000 manufacturing jobs across the country. In the battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Ohio was 17,900 behind, Pennsylvania 43,500 behind.
So, even though you are touting some increase, you're still a ways to go.
SCHULTZ: Well, of course there's ways to go. But look at --
ROBERTS: And manufacturing contracted in the last three months.
SCHULTZ: In Ohio, 80 of 82 counties in Ohio actually have an auto manufacturing facility. So, if it was left to Mitt Romney, they essentially would all have gone out of business because he would have left those folks twisting in the wind. The entire supply chain of 1.4 jobs would have been gone in America, and the investments that we have been able to make in trying to get the economy turned around and moving our economy forward that President Obama has committed to has helped us make progress.
If it were left to Mitt Romney and let's look at how Mitt Romney's private sector policy when applied in the public sector did for Massachusetts. Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 in job when he was governor. They actually lost manufacturing jobs at twice the national rate.
So, his record that he touts is not so successful. It's not something to be brought on the national stage.
ROBERTS: We are just out of time. But just on that last point, it's true, on average, he was 47th out of 50th. But he was 50th when he came in office, 28th when he left office. So, there was a definite improvement there.
And if we can put up a graph over job loss and creation over President Obama's 3 1/2 years, he was suffering massive job loss in the first part of his term, got up there to some pretty positive numbers about half-way through and has been kind of middling since.
ROBERTS: So, would you want him to be known over the average? Because that could look unfortunate, too.
SCHULTZ: Actually, we are at a point now where we are in a net positive in jobs, in private sector jobs from when President Obama office took office, if you compare that to when President Bush left office, he was net negative. So, we are continuing to move in the right direction.
But, John, I want to raise another point that I hope folks would --
ROBERTS: Quickly --
SCHULTZ: Sure. You know, I'd really like to see Mitt Romney release more than one year of tax records, because there's been disturbing reports recently that he's got a Bermuda corporation, a secretive Bermuda corporation that no one knows anything about, investments in the Caymans, kind of Swiss bank account. Why -- Americans need to ask themselves why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that? Just something, a thought that I'd like to live folks with.
ROBERTS: All right. And if I could, finish off and leave folks in this segment with something that we got from the Romney late last night about those offshore investments.
This comes from Romney spokesman Kevin Madden who says, "He hasn't paid a penny less in taxes by virtue of where these funds are domiciled" -- talking about this Bermuda and Cayman Islands accounts. "His liability is exactly the same as if he held them directly in the U.S. As a U.S. citizen, he is accountable for U.S. taxes. Some investments in foreign countries can be tax havens. But Mitt Romney does not hold any such investments."
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, we got to run. But thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it.
SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.
ROBERTS: All right. And joining us now from Las Vegas is Reince Priebus. He's the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Welcome to you, sir.
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Hey, John. Thank you very much.
ROBERTS: First, what's on the top of your mind after listening to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee?
PRIEBUS: Wow, I don't know if she is on vacation in New Hampshire or on Mars. I can't figure it out. But the fact of the matter is, people are not better off today than they were three or four years ago.
And statistics bear it out. I mean, we can mind -- we can numb everybody's mind watching this with then numbers, but the fact of the matter is, is that there are almost half a million more people unemployed today than four years ago.
And if Debbie and President Obama were good on their promises on the stimulus -- remember, they said if we pass this trillion dollar stimulus that we'd have 5.5 percent unemployment today. What that means, if they kept their promises, there would be 8.5 million more people employed today than there were -- would be four years ago.
The fact of the matter is, this president can't fulfill a promise. They're living in fantasy land. And you know what? We're going to put this dream to an end of theirs in November, save America, fire Barack Obama and hire Mitt Romney. That's the best stimulus plan for this country right now, John.
ROBERTS: Mitt Romney came out strong on the job numbers on Friday. Is that an issue he can win on?
PRIEBUS: Well, not only is it an issue that he can win on. But it's an issue that we have to win on. Look, the 80,000 job number that they are talking about. Do you that that includes 30 percent of those jobs are temporary employment?
So, I mean, these jobs number is so bad Debbie said that her -- somehow their jobs numbers were good as the recovery from 2001 to 2003. There is a 6.3 percent employment rate in 2003. What that means is that you'd have over 6 million people employed more today than when Barack Obama took office.
Listen, the fact of the matter is, all of this stuff is small ball that they're playing. All of this nastiness and division about investments and money and rich versus poor, this is going to come down to how people feel in November, how do people feel about this president? Did he fulfill the mission that he promised this country? Did he meet the promises? Did he live the cause of America?
The fact that it's not a question of whether Mitt Romney can win. The question is -- the statement is, Mitt Romney has to win for the sake of the very idea of America. Mitt Romney has to win for liberty and freedom and we have to put an end to this Barack Obama presidency before it puts an end to our way of life in America.
ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, you talk about feeling and Steve Schmidt, who was one of the top officials at the McCain campaign, also worked for the Bush White House said this. He said, "There's a lot of anxiety about the economy in the voters. The campaign that wins is the campaign that can best address the anxiety. It's a comfort argument."
But if you look at polling in the battleground states, President Obama leads on the economy by nearly 10 points. So, obviously, the feeling at the moment is with the president. Why can't Mitt Romney get some of that feeling as well?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think, John, when 00 I mean, I don't know what poll you are looking at. I am not doubting one of the polls, but I know that there are a lot of polls and many of them that we have -- that we get every single day that actually show the opposite, that actually people are tired of this president. They're tired of the speeches. They're tired of the words.
The fact of the matter is, is that people understand that the president is the head of this country, the fish rots at the head. And the president right now hasn't fulfilled the promises that he made to the American people. And the reality is, is that this president is going from battleground to battleground, asking the question to his own crowds saying, are you satisfied? And these crowds are cheering back, no, we're not satisfied.
He's acting as if he's not the president. The American people are going to hold accountable the president of the United States for the current state and condition for this country. And I don't think a whole lot of people were cheering when the fireworks were going off, we were not excited about this country, but we're also not excited about what's happened over the last four years.
I don't think people are begging for another four years of this misery, John. And that's what they're going to be thinking about in November. Do we want another four years of this stagnant job growth where the president that acts like he's not living on Earth.
ROBERTS: You know, Mr. Chairman, there's an argument that's made here, is this election going to be about President Obama or is it going to be about Mitt Romney's policies and how he would be different?
I want to show you something that Speaker Boehner said the other day at a fundraiser in Wheeling, West Virginia, somebody said to him, "How do you fall in love with Mitt Romney?" He said, quote, "I'll tell you this: 95 percent of the people who show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama. Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons, some people that are going to vote for him. But that's not what this election is about. This election is going to be a referendum on the president's failed economic policies."
Is that an indication that the alternative in the election doesn't really matter? And as chairman of RNC, are you prepared to fight a negative campaign from now all the way through to November?
PRIEBUS: Well, first of all, this president has already shown that he's not who he said he was. He claimed that he was going to bring everyone together. He's going to be this uniter. He's been the most divisive, nasty, negative campaigner that this country has ever seen.
ROBERTS: What about Mitt Romney though?
ROBERTS: The alternative really isn't being put up there as much as just tearing down the president.
PRIEBUS: Well, wait a second. I mean, Mitt Romney first two ads what would Mitt Romney's presidency look like on day one? Keystone Pipeline, energy, end Barack Obama -- excuse ObamaCare and European health care, passed tax code reform. I mean, it's all positive.
The fact of the matter is, is that what this country is going to be faced with are two questions, to your question. Number one; Has the president live fulfilled the mission that he promised this country? Has he performed his job up to the standards that we've all expected and that he promised he would reform?
That is a referendum on Barack Obama. And, of course, that's the first box that people have to ask themselves.
And then after they decide look, we don't want another four years of this misery. The next question is: have the Republicans put up an intelligent, articulate alternative to this president that can fix the problem? That's the next question. But you don't get to number two without getting to number one.
The fact is this question -- this election is going to be a referendum on whether or not we want to save the greatest country in the face of the earth and preserve what makes America unique, more than any country in the world, which is the idea that liberty, freedom and opportunity is there for everybody to reach, achieve and go to the stars with.
But, unfortunately, with this president, the American dream is not where it should be.
ROBERTS: We've just got a minute left, Mr. Chairman. I want to bring up another point. The Obama campaign is aggressively trying to define Mitt Romney as outsourcer-in-chief. They have a new ad that just went up. Let's take a quick look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: The newly published documents show Mitt Romney's firms were pioneers at helping companies outsource their manufacturing to countries including China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now, "The Wall Street Journal" had a tough editorial against Mitt Romney the other day, in which it said in part, quote, "If the Boston boys let that one go unanswered," that is the charge that he's the outsourcer-in-chief, "they ought to be fired for malpractice."
Do you agree? Does the Romney campaign need to more aggressively push back against these attempts to define him?
PRIEBUS: Well, first of all -- I mean, they did put out an ad, I don't know if you saw the ad last week featuring Hillary Clinton of all people saying that Barack Obama should be ashamed of himself for ads like this back four years ago. Number one, this ad has been proven false by every fact-check organization in America.
ROBERTS: That may be true. But to the point, does he need to aggressively counter this type of ad and this type attack? Otherwise, he'll find himself come in the middle of August defined by the Obama campaign with a little place to go.
PRIEBUS: John, we're not going to let that happen. That's why the RNC, in spite of the fundraiser-in-chief's work, we've got enough money in the bank to be able to fight these ads. We're going to do that. Mitt Romney is going to do that.
The only job that we need to make sure we outsource in this country is Barack Obama's job. And we have to do that because number one, he hasn't been truthful to the American people, hasn't fulfilled the mission. And as far as China goes, to your question, I mean, Barack Obama hasn't done anything in regard to what he promised he would do and making sure that we have a level playing field with China.
He's in the sand box with China every day. He hasn't stood up to China. So, you know -- and as far as outsourcing goes, what about Fisker?
And what I'm talking about is Barack Obama using taxpayer money, sending millions overseas to companies that aren't giving jobs to any Americans in this country. I mean, as far as outsourcing goes, the bigger crime is taking taxpayer money, by millions and millions of dollars, sending them overseas and then those companies file for bankruptcy. That's Barack Obama's legacy.
Mitt Romney's legacy is success in business and making businesses and keeping promises. And that's something that this president would only dream of being able to campaign through November.
ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I know it's early in Las Vegas -- thanks so much for getting up for us. Appreciate it.
PRIEBUS: Thank you, John. God bless.
ROBERTS: Up next, the fall out of the Supreme Court's ruling on health care. We'll ask two key congressional leaders about the House's upcoming effort to repeal ObamaCare.
ROBERTS: This week, the House of Representatives will vote once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Here to discuss that measure and what can be done about the stalled economy are Congressman Tom Price, the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, and Congressman Xavier Becerra, the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.
So, you've got this repeal vote, Congressman Price, coming up on Wednesday. You've been there many times before, the outcome not likely to be different. Why do you feel the need to go back and do this again?
REP. TOM PRICE, R-GA, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN POLICY COMMITTEE: Well, it's a really important question because the status quo on health care is unacceptable. As a physician, I spent over 20 years taking care of the patients. And I can tell you that the current system out there doesn't work, doesn't work for patients. It doesn't work for doctors.
Now, the president's law takes in the wrong direction. It violates all of the principles of we hold dear in health care, whether it's affordability or accessibility or choices or quality. The Supreme Court has said that it's constitutional, and it doesn't make a good policy for the country.
So, what we believe we need to do is to provide that contrast, that positive upbeat contrast for the American people to say, hey, those are the folks that are fighting for us in Washington for patient-centered health care, which means patients and families and doctors making medical decisions, not Washington. That contrast is important so that people, as they move in to the fall, recognize that they have a choice here in Washington.
ROBERTS: But because the vote won't go anywhere in the Senate, nothing will change. So, Congressman Becerra, is this more of a political show than anything?
REP. XAVIER BECERRA, D-CALIF., VICE CHAIR, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: That's where we come, John, is to the point where we're going to re-litigate what we did two years ago. That's the point we've reached, the state of denial where now the three branches of our democracy have spoken and said, guess what, the affordable care law is not just valid, it's sound. And so, we should move forward, try to help, what is it, 6 million Americans who get Medicare who are now paying less for the prescription drugs because we're closing the donut hole, talk to the 3 million Americans who are young adults, who got to stay on the parent's health insurance as a result of affordable care law.
All those folks ware benefitting, we are getting rid of preexisting conditions which the insurance companies used to use to discriminate against individuals applying for health insurance. All that's going, what we should be doing is building on that. But quite honestly, John, job one in Congress should be creating more jobs, working with the private sector, to build an economy that will create the jobs.
ROBERTS: We'll get to that in a second.
But, Congressman Price, you're chomping at the bit here.
PRICE: Look, what the chief justice of the United States said in his ruling was the court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people. And the people understand that they don't want Washington running their health care. That there are wonderful ways to solve the challenges that we face, whether it's affordability or pre-existing, or getting folks covered.
But you don't have to put Washington in charge to do that.
ROBERTS: All right. So, you want to repeal the law. I know that you've had your bill, HR-3000 for a while. It hasn't gone anywhere yet.
But to Congressman Becerra's point, if you start to lose some of those things that people do like and decide the preexisting condition. And I think more than 80 percent of the population likes that idea, what do you replace it with? Because there is no concrete plan yet.
PRICE: Well, the point about this, the Affordable Care Act, is that what preexisting condition will be covered is what Washington says will be covered. What we believe is that the way that you solve that challenge, without putting Washington in charge, is to make so that you have robust pooling mechanisms around the country, so that individuals who are in the individual and small group market, those are only ones that are challenged by --
ROBERTS: How do you that, though, when the ability to buy health care insurance across state lines is very limited this time?
PRICE: And that's why you need positive patient-centered reform. As I said, the status quo is unacceptable. You need to be able to purchase across state lines. You need association health plans to be able to pool together so that you get the purchasing power of millions, let insurance work the way it's supposed to work, not Washington working for health care.
BECERRA: John, that's what the affordable care bill does. It's let you pool together and have these exchanges where you can buy insurance. Exactly what Tom just talked about.
You don't have to go back and re-litigate what we did two years ago. That's the change that we need.
But on top of that, we are busy bringing on bills that are going nowhere, while we have Americans who want to go to work. We can fight, we can argue, we can have these political debates, but the court, the Supreme Court, the executive branch, and now, the congressional branch, have all said this law is sound, let's move forward and build on it.
ROBERTS: So, are you saying let's move beyond this now?
ROBERTS: Would you tell your colleagues in Congress to run on this in the fall, to run on this -- what the Supreme Court determined was a tax in the fall?
BECERRA: We should build on the reform that is we saw in the Affordable Care Act, because we want to make sure that every American has the quality health care they want. But on the penalty -- it's a penalty not a tax. Ask Mitt Romney who for six years say it was a penalty.
ROBERTS: The Supreme Court clearly said it's a tax.
ROBERTS: In his opinion the chief justice said, you know, Congress wants to call it a penalty. You can call it anything you want. You can call it a penalty, you can call it a horse, it's still a tax.
BECERRA: That's right. The Supreme Court's role and justice's role is to tell us whether a law before it for debate is constitutional. And when he said it is --
ROBERTS: As a tax.
BECERRA: How the justices decide to interpret that is up to them. But the bottom line, is it constitutional? The Supreme Court, some of these justices --
ROBERTS: He said, though, it's constitutional as a tax.
BECERRA: If some of these justices also said that money is equal to speech, so therefore if you're wealthy, you have more freedom of speech under the First Amendment than if you're not so wealthy. So, the court has interpreted many different ways --
BECERRA: If I could just make this one point, the point is this -- we should be moving forward. Why are we going backwards and talking about what was already done, litigated, debated, passed and also affirmed by the Supreme Court. We should be talking about jobs.
You're talking about jobs in you first segment. We should be talking about jobs --
ROBERTS: One quick response from Congressman Price.
PRICE: Again, just because it's constitutional doesn't make it the right policy for the land.
PRICE: And the American people, whether it's a penalty or a tax, what they know is that they're going to pay it. And -- and that's the problem. People are...
BECERRA: One percent of Americans.
PRICE: People are having extreme...
BECERRA: One percent...
PRICE: That's the estimate prior to -- prior to the ruling.
BECERRA: It's only those Americans who decide to be irresponsible and be freeloaders. You don't pay the tax. Tom, you won't pay it. John, you won't pay it...
BECERRA: I'm saying it's not a tax. You don't pay this unless you're a freeloader. And you're being penalized if you decide to be a freeloader and ask someone else to cover your insurance.
PRICE: John, "irresponsible" in Xavier's definition means that you don't buy the insurance that the government says you must buy. That's hardly irresponsible.
ROBERTS: Gentlemen, we'll be covering this all week. So we do have a lot more to say on this debate.
Let's -- let's move to jobs. The lackluster jobs report, 80,000, 69,000 in the month before. You know, can President Obama go out there, Congressman Becerra, and say "This is my record; re-elect me in November"?
BECERRA: Any time you can -- you talk about 28 months of job growth; any time you can talk about creating a job, 84,000 jobs.
ROBERTS: But we're not even treading water at this point.
BECERRA: Eighty-four thousand Americans went back to work last month, John. I think that's pretty good.
ROBERTS: But we needed 125,000 jobs to stay just above...
BECERRA: Four years ago -- what happened four years ago in June 2008 with jobs, we lost 280,000 jobs. What happened the first month that Barack Obama took office, or the last month, if you want to look at this way, that George Bush was in office, we lost nearly 800,000 jobs.
So when you gain 84,000, it's not enough, but it's sure better than losing 800,000 or 230,000. We're making progress, 28 consecutive months of jobs growth, but you've got to build on that.
But if Republicans would take their foot off the brake of the economic recovery, we probably could move a lot faster.
PRICE: Remember, John, what the president said. He said "Pass my stimulus bill" and the unemployment rate at this point, under his proposal would be 5.6 percent. Right now, we're at 8.2 percent and it's really a whole lot higher than that, as you pointed out previously.
The fact is that we're not putting in place the policies that will allow the job creators to create jobs.
Keystone Pipeline, for example -- the president has -- refuses to allow that. This is going to create 20,000 to 200,000 jobs, doesn't cost Washington a dime, and the president won't allow it. The red tape oppression that's going on across this country to keep small businesses and large businesses from expanding, making it so that they can't create jobs, the tax uncertainty and the tax increases, not just in ObamaCare but in all of the president's policies, increase taxes on businesses large and small and make it more difficult for jobs to be created.
ROBERTS: One quick point, and then I just want to move on to one other topic.
BECERRA: One quick statistic. I know my colleagues on the Republican side say that the health care law, which now has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, is a job-loser. Since its passage over 600,000 jobs created in the health care industry since the passage of the Affordable Care law. And so what we see is that jobs are increasing; we just have to work together to make sure that they increase for everyone.
ROBERTS: Let me throw one other thing out there quickly because this is a big problem that's living in front of us, as Congress goes back to work next week, and that is the fiscal cliff that we're going to hit at the end of the year.
There's been some suggestion, Congressman Price, and you've made it, that we signed something and kicked the can down the road for another year. Is that the right way to approach this or should the hard work get done to solve this problem?
PRICE: No, this is where the cooperative nature of Washington needs to exist. We have a huge fiscal challenge, over $500 billion in increasing taxes at the end of the year. There are also sorts of taxes that are coming due. You've got marginal rates going up; capital gains going up; dividends going up. And what we need to do is to work and solve those challenges.
What we will do in the House of Representatives is pass a piece of legislation before the end of July that says we ought to keep those rates exactly the same for at least a year, something that Governor Romney supports because he believes that that will stimulate the economy and provide certainty out there in the job market. What we hope...
ROBERTS: Do you agree with that?
PRICE: ... cooperation from the other side.
BECERRA: As I said before, these are bills to nowhere.
Tom knows they won't become law. And what we're doing is saying that we're willing to take the time of the people of this country, taxpayers' money to run a House of Representatives with...
ROBERTS: So what do you do? Do you let it expire? Is that the right thing to do?
BECERRA: No, you work together to come up with a real proposal that can pass both houses and get signed by the president, not just put bills up there that you know are going nowhere. It's time for us to do something together, rather than work against each other.
PRICE: John, you know, I couldn't agree more. You know, the process that allows that to happen is for the House to act and then the Senate to act. And then you come together and solve that...
BECERRA: ... bills that have a chance to pass in both houses, not just doing something that's a message piece and then dies.
ROBERTS: Gentlemen, we've got to go, but thank you so much for coming in this Sunday. We really appreciate it.
Up next, do the tough job numbers for the president mean momentum is shifting to Mitt Romney? We'll ask our panel where the race stands when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Business has created 84,000 new jobs last month. That's a step in the right direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a time for America to choose whether they want more of the same. It doesn't have to be this way. And American can do better. And this kick in the gut has got to end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: That was President Obama and Governor Romney on Friday, reacting to the disappointing news about job growth in our country.
And it is time now for our Sunday group, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard; A.B. Stoddard of The Hill newspaper; Chip Saltsman, campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential run; and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.
So you look at the jobs numbers that came out on Friday. I don't think we need to go back over them again, but we should point out that, historically, when voters make up their minds about who to vote for, they look at the economy in the year preceding the election.
Juan, the first three months looked pretty good in terms of job creation, but the last three have looked pretty dismal. Is this something that is going to be a problem for the president going forward, particularly if things don't get better?
WILLIAMS: Of course it's a problem. I mean, that's the whole kit and caboodle. I mean, he's got to deal with that and he's got to persuade the American people that he's got them moving in the right direction. I think that's what we saw this week on the bus tours through Pennsylvania and Ohio. He's saying, if you look at the numbers, we're adding numbers. I think that was the talking point this morning in your interviews coming from the Democrats, John. I think they're going to say, look at Ohio and Pennsylvania; unemployment numbers there are in the 7 percent range, lower than the national average. And guess what? President Obama bailed out the auto industry and it has resulted in -- had good results here in these states.
ROBERTS: But it's like keeping your money in the bank as opposed to investing it. You know, you may not be losing like you would if the economy -- if the markets went into a downturn, but you're still losing because you're not making up for the cost of living increase. So if you can't get that jobs number to the tread-water level of about 125,000, how can you go forward saying we're creating a lot of jobs in a robust fashion that's moving the country forward?
SALTSMAN: Yeah, you have got a lot of problems. And that's where the president is having the biggest problem in his campaign. I mean, there's people around the kitchen table right now that are hurting. They can't figure out how to make a job. And when they hear the president's adviser say well that's what we expected nobody cares about what they expected, they care about when am I going to be able to get a job, when am I going to be able to make the mortgage payments, when am I going to be able to start saving for my kid's future again and that's not where the majority of the people are out there right now. It's a struggle out there. That's why this race is so close.
It shouldn't be close. Mitt Romney should be doing better right now. But I think we still have got 30, you know, we've got three months, four month to figure this thing out.
ROBERTS: And we'll talk about that in the next panel when we look at the Romney campaign. But AB, when you break down the numbers, we did that with Congressman Schultz, earlier this hour you are looking you've got 8.2 percent unemployment, but you have got 14.9 percent overall unemployment, 14.4 percent for African-Americans. Those are people who are going to have to be very motivated to come out to the polls for the president in November if he hope to win.
STODDARD: That is true. And obviously this is not 2008. They are not going to be as lifted, as inspired, their hopes have been dashed. But he definitely is going to need to make up for working class white vote with minority votes. He's hoping to galvanize the Latino electorate with his recent announcements and also the Supreme Court ruling on the immigration law in Arizona should be a very big boost to Latino turnout, because that is a very energizing issue for them.
But when it comes to African-Americans it is going to take a big part on team Obama to convince them that this is a long slog, but that they're heading in the right direction.
ROBERTS: Bill, when you look at numbers on the economy, nationally Mitt Romney is slightly ahead of President Obama, it's about 47 to 46, but in the battleground states a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll that we showed Reince Priebus, it's 51-42 for Obama. The president doesn't seem to be too affected by these jobs numbers .
KRISTOL: Well, as you pointed out at the show, it has been a rough three months economically for the country, and therefore for the Obama administration, three disappointing jobs reports in a row. On April 8, exactly three months ago, the Rasmussen poll of likely voters it was 45-45 between Governor Romney and President Obama. On July 8, today, in the Rasmussen poll it's 46-46. So President Obama has had three disappointing months, but he's holding his own. And if I were in the Romney campaign that would worry me.
And I think the Fox News poll actually has the key to what the problem is for the Mitt Romney campaign. Do you think Barack Obama has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 41; no 53. It's not great for an incumbent president. The economy is slow. And you are only at 41-53.
Do you think his challenger, Governor Romney, has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 27; No, 55.
I don't think you can beat an incumbent president, even if the economy is slow, if 27 percent of the voters think you as the challenger don't have a clear plan for improving the economy.
ROBERTS: Yeah, I don't want to cross over too much with the material that we're going to get to in our next panel, so let's hold that thought and come back to it.
But why do you think, Juan, that the president doesn't seem to get stung too badly by these economic numbers? George Bush in 1992, even though the economy was beginning to improve, was flailing at this point.
WILLIAMS: Right, but remember Gallup had a poll this week that indicated 68 percent of the Americans right now today in 2012 blame President Bush for the economy versus 52 percent who say that it is President Obama's responsibility. And these numbers haven't changed in the last two years.
So we talk about the recent unemployment numbers. And when is it going to kind of fix in the American voters' mind going towards September. Are they going to say is this a bad economy, good economy? I think they have already established they are anxious about the economy, anxious about the job picture, anxious about retirement, anxious in life. But part of that is saying, you know what, what President Obama says about trying to get out of the deep hole is true in the American mind.
They say, you know what, he got a bad deal coming in the economy was in bad shape and I think he's trying to hammer that point home time and time again. I mean, that's why when you see him on the campaign trail, he talks about Romney as a guy who is a rich guy, doesn't understand you, doesn't relate to you and that shows up also in the favorability ratings where Obama again really is miles ahead of the challenger.
ROBERTS: Chip, President Obama has been president for three and half years now. If you were to bring in a CEO to turn around a company that was failing and he didn't do it, or he or she didn't get it done in three and half years do you think they'd still be -- the CEO is time to stop blaming George Bush for the country's troubles and take some responsibility for himself?
SALTSMAN: Of course it is. And instead of CEO I'm from the south I would say football coach. Three and a half years you ain't won an SEC title you're gone, let's move on.
STODDARD: I would argue that 68 percent of the respondents in those polls who believe that it is not Obama's fault have decided that presidents don't controls the growth economy and that can't turn it around quickly from the place we were at in the fall of '08 to where we are now.
And so that, if there is true, and there's a shift in the thinking of the electorate that he is not entirely in control of where growth is coming from and how quickly he can spur hiring, then that is not good news for Mitt Romney.
ROBERTS: We've got to take a quick break here. But when we come back Mitt Romney and his campaign face sharp criticism from fellow Republicans. We'll be right back with that. Stay tuned.
ROBERTS: Check out foxnewssunday.com for behind the scenes features, Panel Plus, and our special Monday preview of the week ahead. You can find it all at foxnewssunday.com.
And be sure to let us know what you think. We'll be right back with more from our panel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty.
ROMNEY: The Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is that ObamaCare is a tax. So it is a tax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And conflict within the Romney campaign after the health care ruling caused heart burn this past week among fellow Republicans. Here is how the Wall Street Journal editorial page reacted to the mixed messages on the health care ruling from the Romney camp. Quote, "if Mitt Romney loses his run for the White House, a turning point will have been his decision Monday to absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class. He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts' ObamaCare salvage operation that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax into a second political defeat."
Bill Kristol, some pretty tough words from the Wall Street Journal for the Romney campaign. They seem pretty frustrated.
KRISTOL: I think they are frustrated. And a lot of conservatives -- not even only conservatives -- I actually don't even care that much in a sense what exact plan Mitt Romney offers in health care or tax reform or energy. And he's got a lot of details out there, but I think what a lot of people would like to see -- a lot of people hope Mitt Romney wins the presidency in November, which I certainly do, is like to see him stand up and say I have a plan and I am going to aggressively address these problems and fix the economy.
They seem to be playing prevent defense. And as a friend of mine said if they're playing prevent -- prevent defense doesn't work that well even in the fourth quarter when you're ahead by seven, 14 points, if you're playing it in the second quarter and it's in a tie game it just seems awfully risky. They're very risk-averse, but being risk- averse can be risky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, now we don't need to read the quote from your latest column.
KRISTOL: I've said everything I have to say many, many times. But, yes, (inaudible). I think -- but, look, they have a theory. I'm too fair. I don't believe it is a staff problem. I think Eric Fehrnstrom was a very competent guy, actually. He's a smart guy and does what Governor Romney wants to do.
They have a theory of the race. The theory of the race is the economy is bad. The economy gets blamed. If the economy bad, we have to stay out of the way and let the voters do what they naturally do, which is blame the president, the incumbent, for a bad economy and we will win. It is a theory. It's not an unintelligent theory; it just makes me nervous.
ROBERTS: So you don't agree with Rupert Murdoch when he said last week that he needs to push off some of the people who have been with him for a long time.
What do you think, Chip? You're the campaign guy here.
SALTSMAN: Well, look, being a campaign manager for a presidential campaign, I used to love going on, watching TV on Sunday and having Bill Kristol tell me what a bad job the Huckabee campaign was doing and how bad I was.
Now he just happened to be right on that one.
SALTSMAN: Look, the good news for the Romney campaign is they have all the pieces of the puzzle to win on the board. Now they have to put those pieces together to win. And there's a lot of good things going in that direction. And they're trying to grow exponentially right now, and they've had a small-knit family who's come through a very tough primary and done very well.
And now they're adding all these new people on board, and it's very hard to grow that way. But I think they'll get there. They've got lots of good things going for them, and this is a time of transition for them. But they have got a good core team and I think they're going to end up doing really well.
ROBERTS: Maybe more specificity needed?
STODDARD: Yes, I mean, look, as for last week's flip-flop on the penalty and tax, that was an entirely avoidable mistake and it never should have been made. It was the true meaning of unforced error.
And when it comes to a compelling message of his own on the economy, selling himself instead of bashing the president all the time, they actually do acknowledge that they need to have a narrative about his own agenda, that they -- that in the 59-point plan he is talking about repealing ObamaCare, certain regulations, cutting the corporate tax rate, increasing trade with Latin-America. He just never talks about it.
So Bill is right. He is going to have to make the case to voters at some point, particularly if President Obama remains popular in the battleground states, more popular than Romney and 8.2 percent unemployment come September or October.
He is going to have to make the case a year from now, if I am president, a year from today the economy will be better for these reasons. I estimate 4 percent growth for these reasons. And if he can't sell that, I don't know that he can make the sale if things continue to look as sort of hearty (ph) for Obama in these key states as they do today.
ROBERTS: Juan, what about this tip by the Obama campaign to paint Romney as an outsourcer, to compare him to Nixon? Obviously, they're trying hard to define him before the convention comes along.
If they manage to get those labels to stick, is that real trouble for Mitt Romney?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, and I think that's what we are seeing already. And especially in the swing states, where you're seeing the ads run.
The ads that portray Mitt Romney as out of touch, a rich guy and now, you know, in the last week, this business about there have been secret accounts offshore, more offshore accounts that you had to force him to release the 2010 tax returns and there were like 20-something accounts there that had not previously been disclosed, seven of them overseas.
This whole -- and then, of course, it didn't help Mitt Romney to be on the power boat this week. I think Laura Ingraham said, you know, get off of the boat. Come back and campaign. Get in the fight. I think that's where you see the frustration coming from conservatives, who think, well, how -- respond to this Bain attack, respond to the idea that you're a rich guy who's out of touch. Don't reinforce it.
ROBERTS: Right. I want to finish out this week with something else that Bill wrote about, and that is the potential veepstakes and Ann Romney saying we're looking at a woman.
Do you think that woman is... ?
KRISTOL: I think it could be Condoleezza Rice. And I think Ann Romney is very close to Mitt Romney, in certain respects (ph). I know she's a very impressive woman in her own right. I don't think she's just talking. I think if she says the Romney campaign is looking at a woman as a possible V.P. pick, (inaudible) --
ROBERTS: But Condi just said time and time again, no thanks, don't want it. It's not me.
KRISTOL: Well, Dick Cheney said no, thanks, I don't want it in 2000. And the truth is, if you just step back -- and, I mean, I have -- I, myself am for Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio and other types like that. But if you are -- as the Romney campaign is -- data-driven and you look at polls and you look at Condoleezza Rice as favorable and unfavorable ratings, including among swing voters, women voters, et cetera, you could make a case that -- and she's totally qualified. But she also be an exciting pick. You could talk yourself into picking Condoleezza Rice.
ROBERTS: We have 45 seconds left with a hook at the end.
Do you think it will be a woman?
STODDARD: I don't. I think -- I still think it'll be Rob Portman for the reason also that not only is this sort of a competency election, but Rob Portman really -- he needs Rob Portman in the Congress. He really needs him to help him legislate and govern.
SALTSMAN: Yes, I think he is going to follow the first rule, do no harm. He's going to go very safe. I think that's what he's done his whole life, and he's going to go very safe on this pick. I think Portman.
WILLIAMS: Well, I would love to see Rice. I think she's an impressive person and conservatives like Condi Rice. I am not sure that the Romney team likes Condi Rice.
Kelly Ayotte, the senator from New Hampshire, would be another exciting female pick, more so than Nikki Haley or Susana Martinez, Republican governors.
ROBERTS: All right. Thank so much for joining us today. Really appreciate it. Great to see you.
See you next week, by the way.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @FOXNEWSSUNDAY.
Coming up next, one more look at the spectacular 4th of July celebrations across our nation.
ROBERTS: As we close out this 4th of July holiday week, here is one more look at some of the celebrations from sea to shining sea on that star-spangled night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Always an inspiring sight. And, of course, there was San Diego that went poof all at once, unfortunately.
That's it for today. I am John Roberts, in for Chris Wallace. Thanks for joining us. Have a great week.
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Sunday: in the wake of the deadly Egypt Air crash, Egyptian officials now say they believe terror is likely to blame. As the crash highlights the security challenges we’re facing at home, we’ll speak to the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX), about keeping America safe even as frustrated travels already face long lines at the country’s airports.
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