Skip to main content

tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 15, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PST

8:30 am
today on face the nation, there is a bad moon rising over the low country as the campaign hits south carolina. >> being hit pretty hard. it struck around 6:00 this morning. we've been slammed with robo- calls and character attack ads. >> schieffer: mitt romney is still the frontrunner but republicans and democrats are making sure no one forgets that slip-up in new hampshire. >> i like being able to fire people. >> the good news is you're fired. you're fired. you're fired. >> schieffer: newt gingrich calls romney the candidate even republicans don't like. >> if we end up splitting the conservative vote, we're going
8:31 am
to stumble into nominating somebody that 95% of the people in this room are going to be very uncomfortable with. >> schieffer: rick santorum claims romney is just a part- time conservative. >> i've run five times. all five times as a conservative. mitt romney has been three times. once as a liberal. once as a moderate. once as a conservative. >> reporter: we'll talk to santorum and gingrich and for context on how it's going, we'll bring in south carolina's very conservative senator jim demint. >> it's kind of a last stand for a lot of the candidates so i think there are some that are desperate. in south carolina i get it gets the bankrupt of it. >> schieffer: all that plus jody cantor, author of the controversial new book, the obamas. why is the white house so upset about her book? this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs
8:32 am
"face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning again. newt gingrich joins us from charles town south carolina this morning. good morning, mr. speaker. >> good morning. good to be with you. >> schieffer: thank you very much. mr. speaker, mitt romney dumped a load of negative ads on you in iowa. you responded by attacks on his veracity and his business record. some republicans are saying you're just doing barack obama's work for him. are you uncomfortable with that? >> well, look, none of those folks were complaining when mitt romney spent $3.5 million on negative ads in iowa because they were for romney. now that all of a sudden somebody is willing to stand up to him and is willing to argue the other side of the case, they think it's unfair. whoever we nominate has to be prepared to take on barack obama, and the president already has $240 million in the bank. he plans a billion dollar campaign that will
8:33 am
overwhelmingly be negative. our nominee had better be capable of standing there telling the truth, withstanding the negative ads and winning the debate this fall. that's frankly i think one of the biggest advantages i have as a good conservative, with a clear record of conservatism i think that i could in fact draw a sharp contrast with obama. >> schieffer: mr. speaker, you toll a crowd in south carolina the other day that if mitt romney is the nominee, that 95% of the people in the room that you spoke to, you said, would be uncomfortable with that. do you think that he would be the weakest candidate that the republicans could field this time out? >> well, i think from the standpoint of the conservative movement going back to goldwater and reagan, when you have a governor who put planned parenthood, for example, the largest abortion provider into the country into romney care by law with no right to life group, as somebody who raised $730 million in taxes, somebody who is for gun control and who had a 400% increase in taxes and
8:34 am
guns i think it's pretty challenging for a candidate once you get to the real record for that candidate to arouse the enthusiasm and the excitement of the conservative movement. look, we're all going to do everything we can to defeat barack obama. a re-election of barack obama in this environment with this record would lead him to be so arrogant and so aggressive that it's hard to imagine what his second term would be like. i want to do everything i can to make sure we defeat barack obama. i just think a clear reagan conservative has a much better chance of defeating him than somebody who comes out of a massachusetts moderate background. >> schieffer: so what you're saying is that he would be the weakest candidate? >> well, i think it's very hard for him. i don't want to pick weakest or strongest. i think it's very hard for him to differentiate romney care from obama care and very hard for him to differentiate appointing liberal judges which he did when he was the governor of massachusetts. these are things that are going to come up. i think for the conservative movement it makes it more difficult frankly.
8:35 am
that's why i think here in south carolina i'm probably going to win next saturday because as a georgia reagan conservative i fit much more comfortably with the average south carolina republican. >> schieffer: mr. speaker, i want to ask you about something you told us when you were out in iowa. you said flatly that mitt romney was a liar. i got to thinking about that. were you talking about what he said about you or what he's been saying about his own background and record? >> well, you asked me a very direct question. i frankly don't think we need people to equivocate. i just think when you look at the total record and you look at various things, what i just said to you about the record in massachusetts. you know, governor romney would like to run for president referring vaguely to his record but not actually looking at it in detail. when you look at it in detail, it is surprisingly more liberal than the average south carolina republican is comfortable with. he would like us to talk about job creation.
8:36 am
the "washington post" gave him three pinocchios. there's no proof of that. i'm controversial at times. i'm very direct at times but i really do try to be very candid and very direct, as you know, from all the shows we've done together over the years. that's just my style is to be very direct and try to level with the american people. >> schieffer: now you have called on your super pac to take down or correct some of the ads that they've been running because there have been some inconsistencies in some things that, among other things, the "washington post" has given pinocchios to. they said they weren't krebt. >> that's right. >> schieffer: why did you do is that that? are they going to comply with your wishs? >> this is all a public conversation because it's illegal to coordinate these kinds of groups. i had challenged governor romney to take the same position when one of his ads was so false that it got four pinocchios in i think 30 seconds. and he didn't do it. i would say that i'm trying to set a standard here. i don't particularly super pacs.
8:37 am
i would much rather have election reform so the money could go straight to the candidate and the candidate could bear the responsibility. you would clean up about 0% of the poison in the system if candidates had to put their names on the ads but i've taken a public position. my understanding is-- again, this is all public reports-- that rick tyler has indicated that he is will to go edit and fix anything that is inaccurate. >> schieffer: i want to go back to the first question i asked you: do you feel though that you are helping barack obama in any way? are you uncomfortable with the republicans who are telling you you need to dial back a little bit? >> look, you know, we're watching the play-off games. they're tough. some good teams are losing because they're up against slightly better teams. the super bowl will be a better super bowl because the last two teams will be really seasoned. i happen to prefer green bay. whoever gets those final two is going to be tough. this is the same thing. what republicans don't want to do is nominate somebody who collapses in september under the weight of barack obama.
8:38 am
i think it's fair to raise any question, including about me or about any other candidate, fair to raise the questions now, get them out of the way now. make sure that whoever we nominate is clear enough, public enough, accountable enough that they can withstand the obama onslaught. otherwise, we'll nominate somebody in a soft process and watch them collapse. i don't want to see that happen. i don't want to see us nominate somebody who can't debate obama, who can't take the heat, who can't answer the questions because then we'll have a disaster in the fall. >> schieffer: just to wrap this up. you're saying that mitt romney is the person who might collapse, who won't be able to take the heat? i mean obviously that's what you're saying. >> look, i'm just saying that there is clear evidence both in his governor's record which is much more liberal than his commercials and in his claim of 100,000 jobs which even now he is withdrawing that he needs to get straight with the country in order to be successful in the fall. i think that's what this electoral process is about is let's have this conversation and let's make sure that whoever the nominee is has
8:39 am
been thoroughly vetted. >> schieffer: mr. speaker, thank you so much. >> great. good to be with you. >> schieffer: and we turn now to another candidate, the former pennsylvania senator rick santorum who is stirring the pot a bit down in south carolina himself. well, senator, you just heard what newt gingrich just said. he seems to say that mitt romney would not just be a bad choice but a real problem for republicans. do you share that feeling? >> i think we need a stark contrast in this race. mitt romney doesn't do that. newt laid out his record as governor which is as a moderate to liberal governor of the state of massachusetts. the most central issue in this campaign is america's freedom and government usurping that freedom. the biggest issue that americans are concerned about is this huge expansion and explosion of health care into obama care. and governor romney's plan, as much as he'd like to say it's not, was the basis of obama
8:40 am
care. he was for an individual mandate. he was for government top-down control of the health care system. it's led to the highest cost health care in the nation in massachusetts. it's led to increased taxes. it's led to increased taxes on the federal level. because we've had to... we've been pumping literally billions of medicare dollars into the state of massachusetts to pay for romney care. it is an absolute disaster. and to have the two of them up against each other on the issue that americans are most... care most about and for us to give away that issue with governor romney would be a case of, in my opinion, malpractice on the part of the primary voters in the states to come. >> schieffer: is what you're saying, senator, is that mitt romney would be the worst candidate that republicans could put forward? he would be the weighingest candidate who would have the least chance to win? >> what i'm saying is he would not have the clear record that i have, that is better than anybody else in the field. that's why i'm running. of being for government out of the health care business, being for a plan that is a
8:41 am
bottom-up private sector health care reform. i've had a consistent record. unlike other folks in this race. i have had a consistent record over that time of not being for individual mandates. that includes the speaker. he has been for individual mandates. i have not. i've been someone who has been a strong, consistent conservative. that's the kind of contrast we need if we're going to take on barack obama and make him the issue in this race, not someone who can cloud the issues and make it difficult for us to make that decisive choice. and also to govern with a mandate. >> schieffer: well, you said the other day to some folks down in south carolina that the establishment is trying to ram mitt romney down our throats, that we've tried it before and it didn't work. what's that all about? what did you mean? >> well, i mean, if you look at where the quote, establish many, all the big money, you look at the hundreds and millions they're now talking about him in this super pac and where that money is coming from.
8:42 am
all of the quote, establishment republican figures in this... in the country are lining up and talking about the inevitability. we've been down this road before of, you know, who is next in line. it's who the people are comfort... this is the establishment that doesn't real he'll mind the way things are going in washington d.c. that much. they're okay with a little bit of change not a lot of change. but when someone comes forward like me who has been a reformer and shaken things up in washington d.c. in the time i was there, who waen part of the club, when someone like that comes around that's a threat to the establish many. that's why i haven't seen them line up behind me. you have seen them line up behind the, you know, the moderate candidate who they would feel comfortable with. well, america doesn't need someone to be comfortable with as far as those folks are concerned. america needs to change that is necessary to get our budget balanced, to get this economy growing, to have a strong moral foundation and a looking forward national security policy that makes america
8:43 am
safe. i bring that to the table. >> schieffer: let me ask you this question. why do you think you would be a better conservative than, say, ron paul or newt gingrich? >> well, ron paul. i agree with a lot of what ron paul has to say on the economy and the amount of cuts that we have to make and some reforms. certainly reforms of the federal reserve and other things. i don't doubt that ron has got some decent ideas on that front. the problem is he's part of the deny us kucinich wing of the party on national security. he wants to completely demill tarize the united states and move all your troops from around the world and create huge vacuums that would be filled by the people who do not have our national security interests in mind. we'd be leaving all of our allies out there to fend for themselves which again would not create a stable world or a stable situation for our country. >> schieffer: annuity gingrich. >> with respect to newt, i'd just say this. newt is a friend and someone whom i have a lot of respect for. we're talking about electing a leader, someone who has a proven track record of going when they're in a leadership position and fighting for the
8:44 am
conservative principles that they say they're for. when i was in the united states senate leadership, every group from the nra, the national rifle association torques the nra, the national restaurant association, from social issues to business issues, national security issues if there is with a conservative agenda item that they wanted to push and get in front of the united states senate, they came to me on the leadership. i was the guy. i was the conservative guy. in case of newt gingrich, there was a conservative coups against him three years into his speakership because he wasn't doing those things. look at the record of leadership and you'll see a big difference. >> schieffer: we thank you very much, senator. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> schieffer: now for his take on how it's going joining us from greenville south carolina senator jim demint who is the author of the new book "now or never" and is a leader in the tea party movement. senator demint, let me ask you first about these charges that are being leveled. newt gingrich says that republicans in south carolina-- and he suggests republicans in
8:45 am
general-- will be very uncomfortable if mitt romney winds up being the nominee of your party. how would you feel about that? >> bob, i'd feel fine about any of our candidates. frankly i think you're going to see republicans and independents unite behind whoever our nominee is because the further we get into this administration, the more worried americans are getting. that's what now or never is all about. we really think we're on the edge of a cliff. so i think republicans are going to be very united. >> schieffer: so far they're not though. the "new york times" magazine this morning, senator, has an article by matt buye in which he interviewed the head of the spartan burg south carolina tea party who says, this is a quote, she does not know a single tea party person who does not despise mitt romney to the very core of their being. is that so? >> well, i don't think there's anyone who can speak for the tea party. that's a very misunderstood.
8:46 am
there are thousands of pea party groups around the country. romney is now pl oning well in south carolina. a lot of tea party folks are for him and gingrich and santorum. frankly he's polling well ahead of what i did in my primary so south carolina is often divided in a primary when there are four or five people. again, i think you're going to see the people in south carolina and all over the country unite behind the republican nominee. they're all good men. i think they'll all do a much better than our current president. >> schieffer: are you planning to endorse anyone before the primary next saturday? and i wonder why not if you're not? >> absolutely not, bob. i'm going to keep my focus on the senate conservatives fund. the best thing i can do for the next president is to help deliver a conservative senate because it's the congress that does the legislation, that does the budgets. if we send good legislation over to any these candidates i think they'll sign it. >> schieffer: senator, in your book, one chapter is titled
8:47 am
"no compromise with democrats." how can government work if there's not a compromise somewhere along the line? >> i know a lot about compromise. i used to teach team building in organizations. ten years ago i would have never said it. but today, bob, the democrat party is the party of those who want more from government, who are dependent on government, who believe in the concentration of power in washington. and the rest of the country that's paying for government, that's working, that knows better, needs to unite. that's why i've said a lot in the last week at the republican party needs to embrace not only the tea party which includes i think a wide cross-section of americans but a lot of the libertarian thoughts that we're hearing from ron paul of individual liberty and his concern about our monetary system. we really need to unitas americans because we're at a tipping point. we've got about half of americans who want more from government. the other half are paying for it. >> schieffer: let me just ask
8:48 am
you about uniting. why is it conservatives are unable to coalesce around one single candidate so far in this campaign? >> well, bob, it's really not unusual. i was telling the truth when i ran for the senate here in south carolina, i got about 23% i think. in the first round of the primary. but we had five or six people running. then we had a run-off. it's not unusual when you have a number of good candidates which i think we do for people to be divided. what i hope is that our eventual nominee will recognize the strengths of the other candidates and take a lot of those ideas and incorporate it into a platform that will unite us. i think they will. we've seen great attributes of people like michele bachmann and herman cain and i think eventually we've got to pull all of those together. >> schieffer: senator, thank you so much for giving us your perspective. we'll be back in just a moment.
8:49 am
8:50 am
>> schieffer: welcome back. we're going to change the subject a little. "new york times" correspondent jody cantor, the author of the obamas, a book that has caused quite a stir at the white house is with us this morning. jody, welcome. i've got to tell you something. i'm a little bit surprised. i'm well into this book. i find it quite complimentary. to mrs. obama in a funny kind of way. you talk about what a strong woman she is, about how strong their marriage is. yet the white house is acting... they don't seem to like it at all. are you surprised about their reaction? >> i am! they've done some strange things. they've anonymously accused me about lying about how many white house parties i've attended but they haven't challenged the central ten hes of the reporting. the book is really a narrative
8:51 am
of arrival and adjustment, about these two people who were appealing to the nation in part because they were so fresh to political life. they come to washington and the white house and they're like strangers in a strange land. and it was reported in cooperation with the white house. it really tells the story of both their personal and political adjustment and their successes and their failures. >> schieffer: it was kind of interesting. mrs. obama did an interview with gayle king on our cbs "this morning" broadcast last week. she said she had read the book, did not intend to read the book. and she is talking in the interview-- i'm going to play a little of it for you here-- about a reported incident between her and her husband's staff. listen to this. >> i guess it's more interesting to imagine the conflicted situation here, and a strong woman... you know. but that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day barack announced that i'm some
8:52 am
angry black woman. >> schieffer: did you try to portray her as an angry black woman? >> not at all. those words aren't in the book. there's nothing that implies that he she is. she is portrayed as a very strong woman. and her narrative is very dramatic because she gets to the white house and her initial landing is quite difficult. but the thing is, we see in scene after scene anecdote after anecdote directly reported with her aides that she really turns it around and the twist of the book is that by the summer when i finished my reporting, aides from both the east and the west wings told me that they put mrs. obama was doing better in some ways than the president because... was because he came to washington on top of the earth and has been descending to earth ever since. mrs. obama came here with low expectations and exceeded them. >> schieffer: you really did, i think, pull the curtain back a little bit about how things work in the white house. low and be hold every white house i've ever known some
8:53 am
people there just don't like one another. but particularly you talked and you had direct quotes from robert gibbs, the president's press secretary, about valerie jared who is one of the obamas' best friends and now serves as a senior advisor. i mean, he really talked to you about that. >> yeah, you know, one thing that my reporting did show is that we've talked so much about the president surrounding himself with this small circle of advisors. my reporting really showed that this small circle is not as united as most of us thought it was. the quotes from robert gibbs are... they're extremely strong. he accused valerie on the record as being manipulative. he says he didn't take her seriously as an advisor to the president of the united states, that she promotes herself at the expense of others. other colleagues defended valerie. to be fair. but i think the question going into 2012 is, a, what kind of management skills has barack
8:54 am
obama shown in the white house? we saw the news a few days ago about his new chief of staff. second of all, is this group still united enough to function effectively in the campaign? >> schieffer: jody, it's a fascinating insight into this wlooit house... white house. thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you. >> schieffer: i'll be back in a moment with some final thoughts. [ female announcer ] goodnight gluttony,
8:55 am
a farewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning unequaled inspiration. [ male announcer ] the audi a8, chosen by car & driver as the best luxury sedan in a recent comparison test. >> schieffer: i'll be showing my age here, but i remember when the rule around washington was think before you speak and don't say anything you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the "washington post." still good but almost plain
8:56 am
advice now that people reveal their most intimate secrets on face book and twitter and some reporters tweet before their sources have finished a sentence yet some of those who find nothing out of the ordinary about those practices seem surprised that the department of homeland security has been monitoring social media supposedly to look for possible terrorist threats. well, of course they have. and of course they went too far which is the nature of human nature. to use whatever is available to help your particular cause. it's why we have laws for which there would be no need if we always followed our better angels. bulletin: sometimes we don't. now that it's out in the open i have no doubt the government monitors will be reigned in. what i wonder about though is the cultural changes that have made social media such a ripe place for juicy and other pickings. why do people find it necessary to share their most inti intimate secrets and their biases? why do even good journalists
8:57 am
feel compeled to tweet before they've had time to consider what they are tweeting? i have no idea. but at the risk of showing my age again, i do remember being taught that the first person to speak usually has the least to say. that lesson was a while back. back in a minute.
8:58 am
>> schieffer: thanks for watching face the nation. we'll be right here same place next week. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
8:59 am