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CBS "Face The Nation" - Transcript

Interview

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BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now with Republican governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour, he's in Biloxi this morning; and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who joins us from Miami. Well, Governor Barbour, I have to say if there is such a thing as an establishment Republican, I
would-- I would nominate you for that-- for that title. Here you were, chairman of the Republican
National Committee. You were a long-time lobbyist here in Washington and now you are the
popular, I would also add, governor of Mississippi.
So, I want to start with this. If-- if Joe Miller does win in Alaska, it will be the second time this
cycle that an incumbent Republican Senator has been denied his party's nomination to the
Senate, the other being Bob Bennett of Utah. Is this a little bit scary to the establishment types
like you?
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR (R-Mississippi/Chairman, Republican Governors Association):
Not to me. When I was chairman of the RNC, Bob, as you mentioned in the last decade, we
never took sides in primaries. We did not endorse incumbents over challengers. Same way, I'm
the chairman of the Republican Governors Association today. We do not take sides in primaries.
And here's why, the-- the Republicans of Alaska have the right and should pick their nominee,
and they don't need somebody (INDISTINCT) who's sitting in Mississippi to tell them who ought
to be the Senator of Alaska.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we had this big rally here yesterday on the
anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech. I talked to those two candidates
that you just heard about it. What's your take on what happened here yesterday? Is-- does this
suggest that the Tea Party is a major political force now, because a lot of these folks were
members of the Tea Party?
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-Florida/Vice Chair, Democratic
National Committee): Well, it's certainly clear that there is a raging battle going on within the
Republican Party for the-- the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and Tuesday was yet
another example of that.
Really it's hard to know where the Republican Party ends and the Tea Party begins. They--
they've struggled to elect and actually, have not been able to successfully elect their moderate
candidates, the mainstream candidates. The Tea Party candidates seem to be winning because
the Tea Party Republicans are energized in their primaries. So, it's really caused I think, a-- a
pretty difficult problem for them going into the November election because they have candidates
like-- like Miller, who are on the extreme right-wing fringe, who want to end Medicare. As we
know, it yanked the rug-- the-- the safety net out from under our senior citizens.
I mean Americans really are going to have a very clear choice setup in November between
moderate Democrats who are centrists where the country is, and Republicans who are really off
on the right-wing fringe. And there's countless examples of that across the country.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me-- let me ask to Governor Barbour about that.
What about that, Governor Barbour? Because you just heard Joe Miller, who may wind up as
the nominee for the Republicans up in Alaska, saying he's going to go out and campaign on
less money for Alaska, less federal dollars coming in. He-- he has taken--
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR (overlapping): Bob--
BOB SCHIEFFER: --several controversial stands like that. And I must say to his credit, he didn't
back off of them, when I asked him about it this morning.
But isn't that going to make it harder for some of these Republican candidates to get elected?
Because down in Kentucky you have Rand Paul, who's got the nomination for the Senate,
they're talking about; well maybe we ought to rethink the Civil Rights Acts of '64 and '65. You've
got Joe Buck, who won the nomination up in Colorado, who's talking about bicycle pass being
a-- might lead to you in control or something other? It seems to me that you-- you do have kind
of an exotic crew out there this time.
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR: The Obama administration and the Democratic Congress
have taken the biggest lurch to the left in policy in American history. There've been no-- no
Congress, no administration that has run this far to the left in such a small period of time. And
there is a reaction to that. Those hundreds of thousands or hundred thousand, however many
they were on the Mall yesterday, were reacting to that. They are very concerned about where
our country is being driven by the Democratic majority.
And as far as talking about less money, look, my budget this year in Mississippi is thirteen
percent less than it was two years ago. I cut spending 9.7 percent last year. And frankly, nobody
much noticed the difference. We were able to continue to provide services. People weren't
kicked off Medicaid. The fact is the country is going to have to spend less money. And if Joe
Miller was trying to say that in a-- in a different way, he-- he is right if what he's saying is our
country has got to spend less money. We've been on a spending spree that made drunken
sailors have a bad name.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Congressman Wasserman Schultz, what do you think the overriding issue is
going to be? I mean, I-- I guess the conventional wisdom is that all other things aside, a lot of
this is going to hinge on what shape the economy is, come October.
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: There-- there's no question about that.
And, you know, I mean Governor Barbour, I-- I-- I know is certainly an advocate for his state but
it's hard to look at states like my home state of Florida, like his state of Mississippi, and look at
the graduation rate where we're near the bottom or at the bottom when it comes to graduation
rates in public education from high school; when it comes to spending on taking care of the
neediest in-- in America. These are-- are questions that-- that-- that any governor should be
fighting for but, when it comes to jobs and the economy that's the driving issue for-- for the
November election.
We-- we have a lot of-- a lot of evidence that the economy has begun to turn around. We have a
long way to go. And we've got to make sure we continue to push hard. But the American people
are going to make a choice in November between right wing extreme Republican candidates
who want to take us back to where we were when President Bush was in office, backslide
toward the Bush era, change Social Security to a privatized program that invest the money in
the stock market, where would we have been--if-- if we had done that in the last few years,
voucherize Medicare and-- and-- and essentially, change our tax-- tax policy to one that is
again, focused on the wealthiest two percent of Americans.
We gave-- we gave Americans-- ninety-five percent of Americans a tax cut, so I-- I don't know
how giving the-- the overwhelming majority of Americans a tax break is-- is a lurch to the left. It--
It's certainly been moderates and centrists and focused on trying to make sure that this
economy gets a jump-start.
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Let me-- let me--
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We've got a long way to.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask Governor Barbour. One of the big things is going to coming
up here in the fall is whether to extend the Bush tax cuts. Is it your position that all of them ought
to be extended or just those for the middle class?
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR: We-- we should not have any tax increases. Tax increases in
the height of-- Congresswoman says that the economy's recovering, well, I can assure you
eighty percent of the people who are watching us on TV right now know the economy's not
recovering. There's no recovery on Main Street, I can tell you that for sure.
And in a re-- in an economy like this, we don't need to be raising anybody's taxes. And if you
want to know why there was this outpouring yesterday and why the numbers are so bad for the
Democrats, you ask what's the issue? The issue is jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Yet, for more than a
year, the Democrats in Congress and the administration were totally focused on the health care
reform bill that's going to increase the cost of our health care and the American people wanted
to be talking about jobs.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Congressman Wasserman Schultz, I'll give you twenty seconds to just
respond to that because we've run out of time here.
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Ab-- absolutely. If you look at the
month before President Obama took office, we were bleeding seven hundred and fifty thousand
plus jobs a month. Fast forward a year and a half later, and we are adding about a hundred
thousand jobs a month in the private sector. We've-- we've made the auto industry profitable,
we've turned things around. We have a long way to go and we're going to continue to push
hard. But the November election is a choice and the American people are going to continue to
support Democrats because they want to continue to move in the direction that we've been
going, not backslide toward the Bush era.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. The clock has just run out. Thanks to both of you for an
enlightening discussion.
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR (overlapping): Thank you-- thank you, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'll be back with the final thought in just a second.

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