Nothing but excuses, excuses from President Obama's most loyal supporters

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 5, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Excuses, excuses. Now supporters of President Obama saying the debate wasn't fair. Why? They would not let him use a teleprompter, at least that was some people. Joining us, our political panel, "Washington Examiner" chief political correspondent Byron York, Lesley Clark of "McClatchy" newspapers, and Sam Youngman from Reuters. First to you, Byron. What do you think about the teleprompter being unfair?

BYRON YORK, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, I think these professional terms, I think these are called low-information voters. They obviously didn't know how a debate is supposed to work. But I think it pointed to a serious issue with the debate, which is that President Obama just didn't seem as well-prepared as Mitt Romney did. And of course, there have been a million teleprompter jokes about him during his presidency. We have seen him at evens where you thought he would be speaking off the cuff and he had these two teleprompter screens in front of him. And there has been a lot of talk about he has not taken the tough, challenging questions that he -- from the press or anybody else that he faced from Romney. So even though it's a jokey video, it does point to a serious issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lesley, I felt that some of his supporters, they almost threw him under the bus with the silly excuses. It's like, there would have been more effective ways to say, look, he has had a lousy night.

LESLEY CLARK, "MCCLATCHY" NEWSPAPERS: A lot of people they talked to in the video acknowledged that he had not had the best of nights and they were on their way to see him in a rally in which he referred and maybe thought of some of the things he should have said the night before, that day.

SAM YOUNGMAN, REUTERS: Clearly, I mean, I am not going to follow Pat Buchanan's lead and --

VAN SUSTEREN: And laugh at me because that's my university. Go ahead. It's Friday. Go ahead.

YOUNGMAN: Governor Romney uses a teleprompter regularly. It's been wrapped around the president as indicative of his inability to sell the last four years. You know, again, I think Byron hit the nail on the head. These are people who are grasping at straws to excuse what was by all measures a very mediocre night for the president.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lesley, the narrative, does it change from the performance at debate to the jobs numbers? Is that trumped everything, so now, at least, he is off the hook, or not?

CLARK: I think that's what the Obama campaign would be hoping that the focus turns to a better than expected jobs number for them. But there is obviously two debates still to come. And there is going to be a lot of pressure on the vice president, as well, in next week's debate to sort of turn the focus back to the fact that they are able to defend their record and it to go after Romney on has plans.

VAN SUSTEREN: I thought it was great to have that number this morning.

YORK: That unemployment number or the unemployment figure is the single most important number in the campaign. You can talk about U6 or the people who are discouraged job seekers or people with part-time jobs, what if you figure which was 8.1 and is now 7.8 percent, that's a huge bit of luck for the president.

VAN SUSTEREN: I've gotten emails from detractors who say we are back to where we started with them and there has been no progress because that's where we were in January '09. It's a good number. But that's what he is hit up with.

YOUNGMAN: That's what Americans have to decide. They will have to decide, was it such an enormous calamity that the president inherited that getting us back to where we were is a success and shows signs of recovery? Or is it not enough? Governor Romney has charged it's a molasses recovery that has barely been a recovery at all. Getting us back to where we were, to the White House is in a lot of way, an enormous victory, considering where we were. Republicans will be the first to tell you it is not enough.

YORK: Romney has said every time he opens his mouth, 43 months of unemployment above eight percent is too much. He can't say that anymore.

CLARK: They will have to remake ads and change the numbers. You can't have that. It's a big psychological boost, as well, being able to say that it's under eight percent, saying it's 7.8 percent on the heels of a pretty decent rise in consumer confidence.

YORK: Although the Romney people would say, what, is eight percent the new standard? They will be making that argument.