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CBS "Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer" - Transcript

Interview

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BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now with Congressman Paul Ryan. He's the chairman of the Budget Committee. He's a key Romney supporter. Some say he is on the short list of possible running mates.

Congressman, you are speaking us today from the City of Parks, Janesville, Wisconsin. So we're glad to have you. I take it you're indoors there, you're not out in a park right now but we're glad you're in a good place. You're probably not going to ask this question but I guess I ought to ask it. Are you in fact on the short list? Have you been told that and, if you are, what kind of information does the Romney campaign want from you?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (Budget Committee Chairman): Bob, you are very clairvoyant. I am not going to answer that question because it doesn't do the Romney campaign any favors to speculate in this area. So I just don't want to comment on it because I just don't think it's helpful to their campaign process.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think that Mitt Romney-- let-- let's get right to it. Do you think Mitt Romney could clear up a lot of this confusion over when he was at Bain Capital and when he left and what he was doing there if he just released some income tax returns?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Look, he's already done that. These attacks--

BOB SCHIEFFER: One year.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: --have already been labeled by the independent fact-checkers as untrue. Look, Bob, I'm sitting here in Janesville, Wisconsin. People are not worried about the details as to when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to save the-- the Olympics. Or the details about of his assets which are managed by a blind trust, for Pete's sake. They're worried about their jobs and their families' future. And Barack Obama, he doesn't want to talk about that. He has a terrible jobs result. He has a terrible record to run on. So since he cannot run on this record, he has now gone to dividing the country in order to distract the country to try and win this election. This is not the 2008 Barack Obama we thought we were getting. This is not the candidate of hope and change. This is a candidate who is hoping to change the subject by attacking his opponent with attacks that have already been labeled by independent fact-checkers as deceitful and untrue.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, Scott Walker, your Governor out there in Wisconsin, has been encouraging Mitt Romney to fight harder. He told Dan Balz of The Washington Post, for example, never fight a battle on your heels. Is Governor Romney going to have to put out, I know he's put out fifty-eight points or whatever it is of things he's going to do to improve the economy. But can we expect some time in this campaign where he's going to put an economic plan out that there that people can kind of put their arms around? I mean isn't he going to have to go beyond just saying Barack Obama ought not to be President?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Well, he's been doing that. Look, this is why I think Mitt Romney won the primary. This is why I endorsed Mitt Romney in the primary hearing in Wisconsin because he was more specific than anybody running for President about specifically what he would do to prevent a debt crisis to create jobs, to reform the tax code. To reform these entitlement programs from bankruptcy. Look-- look at the record that Barack Obama has to run on. It's the worst economic recovery on record, the highest deficits and biggest government since World War II, the worst jobs quarter in two years and the highest poverty rates in a generation. That's not a record he can run on and Mitt Romney has been very clear and very specific with how he'll do things differently to get our economy turned around to save us from a debt crisis. And so he will continue to emphasize those things and at the end of the day that it's really going to be a big choice about two futures. Do you want the path the President has put us on? A path of debt, doubt, and decline, a welfare state with a debt crisis or the Mitt Romney path which has been very clear about prosperity, the American idea, turning the economy around and getting us back to growth again?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Again, I go back to-- to my point here. Isn't he going to have to say something beyond we've got to keep taxes low on businesses and to get this economy going again? Isn't he going to take a much bolder plan than that? These things-- this economy is in bad shape. We don't know what's going to happen with the European economies. There are all sorts of factors going into this beyond just keeping taxes low for business. Shouldn't we expect more from him on that front? I mean what would you suggest?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Well, yes and we're getting more. Look, we in the House have already passed a very specific budget, detailing exactly how it would solve this problem. The Senate hasn't passed a budget for three years. President Obama hasn't tried for four years to deal with this problem. Mitt Romney has put out more specifics on reforming the tax code, cleaning up the corporate system, getting rid of special interest loopholes, lowering rates to twenty-five percent on the corporations. He has put out more specifics on how to reform entitlement programs, to save Medicare from bankruptcy, to cut government spending, to reduce the deficits than Barack Obama, the United States Senate has. So he has put out these specifics, so I think this narrative is kind of false in many ways because what Mitt Romney has done has given us not only specific plans but reapplying those core principles that made America great in the first place, on how to restore economic growth and get the American idea with the safety net back on track because I really got to tell you, Bob, the next few years are going to make it or break it for America. We will determine the direction of this country for a long time, what kind of people we're going to be, what kind of country we're going to have and, yes, Mitt Romney has put out lots of specifics on exactly how to deal with those things and, yeah, I think he needs to continue to emphasize those so that we have a real clear choice of two futures about what kind of country we want to have when people go to the polls in November.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What did you make of--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Barack Obama is not going to be able to run on his record.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What did you make of the leak that I guess obviously came from the Romney campaign this week that Condoleezza Rice has emerged as a top possibility for running mate? Would she be good?

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Oh, yeah. I love Condi. I think she's fantastic. I think she's somebody who is absolutely worthy of consideration.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Congressman, we want to thank you for coming this morning out there in the City of Parks, as-- as you all call it. So go and join the parks--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: Thanks for the plug--

BOB SCHIEFFER: --this afternoon.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay. Back in a moment and we'll have some--

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: All right. Thanks for the plug, Bob.

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