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Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript

Interview

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MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president has engaged and is engaging in crony capitalism! It's happening with the National Labor Relations Board, where he's paying back the big unions that helped his campaign.

NEWT GINGRICH, GOP RESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As of today, this president has proven a total willingness to violate the law and to impose an imperial presidency.

RICK SANTORUM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a debate about American exceptionalism. We're having that debate because some have suggested the president doesn't believe in it. One of the people who've suggested the president doesn't believe in it was the president!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: There is heat on President Obama. He wants to keep his job, but now the GOP candidates are targeting President Obama. And they're not holding back, governor Mitt Romney, Senator Rick Santorum and former speaker Newt Gingrich all bashing the president in New Hampshire today. So which candidate do the Democrats fear the most for 2012?

Congressman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins us. Good evening.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, D-FLA., DNC CHAIR: Good evening, Greta. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you for being here. I'm curious, I've been looking at your comments, and since the Iowa caucus, your comments are directed only, at least as far as I can see, at Governor Mitt Romney. Have you decided in your mind that Governor Mitt Romney is the candidate and you need not worry about the other ones?

SCHULTZ: No. As I've said before, Mitt Romney has simply earned this kind of scrutiny. When you are someone who operates without any core convictions, when you are a candidate, like Mitt Romney, who has exclusive focused and trained your attacks and mischaracterizations and distortions of President Obama's record repeatedly, we're not going to take it lying down.

I mean, it's important that people know that Mitt Romney has not stayed consistent on almost any position because he's focused not on creating jobs and getting the economy turned around, but on one job, Barack Obama's. And he's willing to say or do anything to get elected. And that's important for people to know as they decide who they want to choose in the Republican primaries, and ultimately, who they want to be the president of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you then saying by your silence towards the other candidates that they are not doing that?

SCHULTZ: No, they're certainly doing that. But Mitt Romney in particular because he's been at or near the top of the pack for quite some time, has consistently distorted and lied about the president's record. And I think he particularly earns that focus because he has no core convictions.

I mean, I know for me, as an elected official, I pride myself on taking a position, on talking about it in my district. And you know, I think my favorite thing that happens to me is when a constituent will come up to me and say, Debbie, you know, I don't always agree with you, but at least I know where you stand.

No one knows where Mitt Romney stands because he stands anywhere he needs to. And at the end of the day, with the need for us to continue to focus on getting this economy turned around and having someone in the White House who's going to fight for the middle class and working families, the only one that Mitt Romney would fight for is himself.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here's...

SCHULTZ: And that's really something that people need to know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here's what I think. If that is, indeed, true, and you know, the thinking within the Democratic National Committee, that's true, is I would think he would be the one, quote, I would want to run against because the easiest to do is to say that someone doesn't have core convictions if you can back it up.

Your silence as to the other ones suggests to me that while you may not agree with them, you think that they have core convictions, and they are much more powerful or more potent opponent come a general election, and so that you're sort of shooting yourself in the foot in that you're trying to take apart the one that you think is the most vulnerable to you in a general election.

SCHULTZ: No, you know, Greta, quite frankly, the collection of Republicans that are running for president really are pretty unremarkable. And they've all embraced extremism. They've embraced the Tea Party. They've been busy in a circular firing squad, trying to out-right-wing each other. So it really hasn't much mattered which one of them ultimately is their nominee because it's at the end of the day a very dramatic difference in the two directions that this country will choose to go.

The direction that President Obama has been taking us, where we were bleeding 750,000 jobs a month when he first took office, thanks to Republican policies...

VAN SUSTEREN: I think, though...

SCHULTZ: And now we've had 22 straight months of private sector job growth, and someone fighting for the middle class and working families, and all the Republicans, any of them, quite frankly, who want to go back to the failed Republican policies of the past...

VAN SUSTEREN: I think that -- I think...

SCHULTZ: ... that got us into this mess in the first place.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I hear the word "extremism," you know, said about the Republican Party. But I've also heard it said about the Democratic Party. A lot of people who say this has been a, you know, profound change in the direction of our country with the Republican Party. I mean, it really -- you know, it's...

SCHULTZ: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... it's going to pay off, which the voters think.

SCHULTZ: I don't know how...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, that's -- that's...

SCHULTZ: Greta...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... the sort of -- how we throw insults around at -- you know, within our, you know, country, but...

SCHULTZ: But let's just spend a minute going through the differences because I don't know how anyone could...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll give you 30 seconds because then we're going to break and you can have the last word. But go ahead. It's all yours.

SCHULTZ: No problem. I don't know how any one could suggest that it's extreme to give 95 percent of Americans a tax break, which President Obama did, or that it's extreme to pass the Affordable Care Act...

VAN SUSTEREN: He didn't do that alone!

SCHULTZ: ... to make sure that...

VAN SUSTEREN: Just an aside...

SCHULTZ: Oh...

VAN SUSTEREN: Just as an aside, he...

SCHULTZ: You're right, he did it with a Democratic Congress. That's right. He didn't do it alone.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, I mean -- I mean...

SCHULTZ: So it...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... I guess there's...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... about the bipartisan nature of the -- of the -- you know, there was some bragging that is was bipartisan, this last...

SCHULTZ: Greta...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... extension in the payroll tax cut. But whatever.

SCHULTZ: Republican members of Congress have focused on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, most fortunate Americans. And Democrats and President Obama have been fighting to give tax breaks to the middle class, small business owners. That's a pretty dramatic contrast. One is extreme. The other is focused on making sure that everybody in America has an opportunity for a fair shot at the American dream. That's the choice that people have on November 6th.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, thank you. I hope you'll come back.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's going to be a fascinating next 10 or 11 months, whatever it is, or 9-and-a-half...

SCHULTZ: It sure will. I look forward to coming back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.


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