ABC "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" - Transcript


By:  Martin O'Malley Bobby Jindal
Date: July 8, 2012
Location: Unknown


Big news this week, that depressing jobs report, new evidence of a struggling economy, truly. And that means more questions about whether President Obama or Governor Romney is the best man to fix things. Our guests are ready to continue that debate, so let's get right to it, Louisiana's governor, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, and Maryland's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley.

Thank you both for being with us.

O'MALLEY: Thank you, Terry.

MORAN: Governor O'Malley, let me begin with you.

JINDAL: Thank you, Terry.

MORAN: And let's -- let's not mince words. The economy stinks. Let's take a look at the trend. This is not just a one-month blip. Look at these numbers. There is the first part of the year. The second quarter, 80,000, 77,000, 68,000. That's the worst quarter of job creation in two years.

So, Governor O'Malley, how does President Obama, how do his supporters answer a voter who says, "You inherited a terrible mess, granted. We hired you to fix it, you failed. You're fired"?

O'MALLEY: Well, I think what you have to look at is where the president started from. I mean, we faced the biggest job losses since the Great Depression. That's what George W. Bush and his failed policies left to us.

We've now put together as a nation, under President Obama's leadership, 28 months in a row of private-sector job growth. Would we like it to be happening faster? You bet we would. And we also have to I think admit that the Tea Party Republican Congress has done everything in their power to try to stall this jobs recovery and slow it before the election.

And you know what? Perhaps they might succeed. But our direction remains a direction forward. And no one can argue the fact that last year we created more jobs than were created in all eight years of George W. Bush, and that happened in 2010, as well.

So, look, we need to keep moving forward. And it would be great if the people of our country make a change, get rid of this do-nothing Congress, and put in some people that will work to create jobs, as the president has urged.

MORAN: So, Governor Jindal, what about that point, this is forward motion, it is job creation, and more, overall, than the Bush administration created?

JINDAL: Well, Terry, let's actually look at the facts for the whole four years now, three-and-a-half years where President Obama has been president, we've lost nearly half a million jobs since this president was elected.

O'MALLEY: Not true.

JINDAL: You look at his numbers, you look at -- at family income, median family income has now decreased now under this president over $4,000, median family worth, two-decade low. By any measure, his policies have been a failure.

The president himself said at the beginning of his term, he said give us three years. If we can't turn this around, this will be a one-term proposition. President Clinton went to Ohio two years ago, 2010, said give us two years. If we can't turn this around, throw us out of office.

Let's -- look, the president himself, his administration himself said this word that words matter. Let's take them at their word. Their policies aren't working. Albert Einstein said it best. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

He passed an $800 billion stimulus package, promised that unemployment would be below 8 percent. It's been above 8 percent for 41 straight months. If we were where they told us we would be -- they told us we'd be at 5.6 percent unemployment under his stimulus -- you would have 8 million more Americans working today than is actually the case.

Look, kids come out of college, half of them are going to be underemployed, unemployed, 23 million underemployed, unemployed Americans. However you measure this, this economy is not growing. This president's policies simply aren't working.

MORAN: It's tough. And, Governor O'Malley, one of the tough things for the president, as Governor Jindal points out, is that he made promises, so he's had to come before the American people and explain what went wrong. Republicans are having a field day with this. Here's Karl Rove's group, Crossroads GPS, an ad that they have put together with some of those statements. Take a look.


(UNKNOWN): America's jobless rate is still too high. Barack Obama's got lots of excuses for the bad economy.

OBAMA: Headwinds coming from Europe. We've had a string of bad luck. An earthquake in Japan, an Arab spring. An ATM, you don't go to a bank teller. Some things that we could not control. You go to the airport, and you're using a kiosk. We've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades.


MORAN: You know, Governor O'Malley, obviously, that's political ad, but doesn't Barack Obama own this economy?

O'MALLEY: Well, I think what he owns is the leadership of our country forward. What he owns is the responsibility to do everything in his power to dig us out of the hole that we found ourselves in.

And, look, President Obama is not running against the almighty. He is running against the alternative. And the alternative in this case is Governor Mitt Romney, who had the 47th worst job creation rate as governor and also has a -- a penchant, a talent for offshoring American jobs, sending them overseas, and also maintaining offshore bank accounts in Bermuda, Swiss bank accounts. And so the question he'll have to answer, Terry, is what is his alternative?

I've never known of a Swiss bank account to build an American bridge, a Swiss bank account to create American jobs, or Swiss bank accounts to rebuild the levees to protect the people of New Orleans. That's not an economic strategy for moving our country forward.

MORAN: All right. Just for the record, I did ask you about President Obama and you ended up attacking Mitt Romney. We...

O'MALLEY: Because this is a choice, Terry, between two gentlemen. Look, President Obama's talked about what we need to do as a nation. It's what our parents and grandparents did, to invest in our country, to believe enough in her to invest in education, in our infrastructure, and also in innovation. That is not the proposal that Mitt Romney has. He wants to make it even easier for very wealthy people to avoid paying taxes, to offshore American jobs, and to maintain their Swiss bank accounts while our roads and bridges and levees crumble.

MORAN: OK. Let -- let me pick up on some of that with Governor Jindal. Mitt Romney does spend most of his time attacking President Obama. That's the nature of this campaign right now. But when he does put forward his own program, in broad generalities, he talks about cutting taxes, especially for the very rich, cutting corporate taxes, deregulation, especially for the financial sector, because apparently they don't need any more regulation. And what do you say to a voter who says that is the precise recipe that cratered the economy in the first place when Bush and the Republicans were in power and cooked it up and ruined everything in the first place? What's the answer to that?

JINDAL: Well, Terry, sure. First of all, let's look at the actual policies he's proposing. And let's correct some of the misstatements that we've just heard. The reality is, we can't afford -- we've got up to over $15 trillion of debt. We can't afford to continue on the same path we've been. You look at Mitt Romney's record when he was governor of Massachusetts. Unemployment rate, it was below 5 percent. Per capita income growth, higher than the national average, their unemployment below the national average, ranked one of the top 10 turnaround states, so he's got a great track record both in the private sector, governor of Massachusetts, creating jobs in the private sector...


MORAN: But the question, Governor Jindal, is aren't these policies going backwards? Why won't voters say, "We tried that"?

JINDAL: Absolutely. Absolutely. Listen to the policies he's actually outlined. He has said we need a lower, flatter tax code, so we need to cut individual tax rates 20 percent. We need a corporate tax rate that is competitive in the world. We now have the highest corporate tax rate in the entire industrialized world.

But he's also said, let's take away some of those loopholes, those deductions, especially for high-income earners, so we're not growing our December.

Secondly, he says let's produce more energy at home. Let's approve that Keystone pipeline, over 100,000 jobs there. Let's do more domestic energy production in the gulf and elsewhere in this country. Let's produce more oil and gas, especially from shale plays, already created over 600,000 jobs, could create another 250,000 jobs, will help secure manufacturing jobs in the steel industry, in the plastics, in the fertilizer industries.

Third, he -- he has also said we can't afford all of this spending. You know, President Obama created a new entitlement program, and we can't afford the entitlement programs we've already got. Mitt Romney has said let's repeal and replace Obamacare, get rid of those over 20 tax increases, $500 billion in tax increases, $500 billion in Medicare cuts, a program the president promised to protect, making cuts now that (inaudible) says are not sustainable, not realistic.


JINDAL: So Mitt Romney has already said on the first day he would not only cut taxes, he would also rein in spending and stop all of these regulations that are killing jobs, while at the same time regulating Wall Street in a prudent way.

MORAN: Well, OK, so, Governor O'Malley, this is a forward-looking program, according to Governor Jindal.

O'MALLEY: The Romney program?


O'MALLEY: You mean the health care program that Governor Romney passed?

MORAN: No, the whole economic recipe.

O'MALLEY: Oh, the economic recipe. That would say -- or an economic recipe for disaster. And it's been proven. You want to talk about insanity, doing the same thing over and over again? You know, nostalgia is not want it used to be. I don't think most Americans want to go back to the days of George W. Bush, record spending increases, record deficits, record unemployment, record job losses.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, while we would all like the recovery to be happening faster, unemployment is lower now than it's been in three years, home foreclosures are now lower than they were before President Obama took office.

Look, the direction's clear. We need to move forward. And we need for the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, to reclaim their party from the radical Tea Party Republicans that would rather kill our economy than -- in order to try to score points in this election rather than move forward.

MORAN: It may be a tough sell for voters to say that the economy is doing as well as you point out.

O'MALLEY: No, I'm not saying -- I'm saying, look, this is hard. The economy is moving in a better direction than it was, but it needs -- the acceleration needs to happen, and that requires both parties to work together for the common good.

MORAN: You know, Governor O'Malley, you raised something I want to raise with Governor Jindal, and that is something the Democrats are going to talk a lot about. Voters still aren't really sure of who Mitt Romney is, and this week, there were two major articles, Vanity Fair, Associated Press, taking a look at his fortune. And as you pointed out, he had a secret company in Bermuda. Not a lot of Americans have that, 12 offshore tax haven funds in the Cayman Islands and that Swiss bank account.

Let me go to Governor Jindal. Is it fair for voters to consider, Governor, what Mitt Romney does with his money outside the United States?

JINDAL: Terry, a couple -- I'll definitely answer that question. A couple things that I just want to again correct...

MORAN: No, no, no...

JINDAL: If you heard my friend, Governor O'Malley -- I will get to that question, but, look, Governor O'Malley, he's talked about President Bush several times now. That election was eight years ago. This election, this is a choice between President Obama and his failed policies and Governor Romney. This past week, David Axelrod tried to run against President Nixon. This is not about the past. This is about the future. Secondly, this...


JINDAL: ... Governor O'Malley is angry at Congress. He needs to be angry at the American people. They elected this Congress to stop some of these Obama policies. And this Congress, by the way...

MORAN: OK, what about his -- what about his...


JINDAL: ... policies about more domestic energy production. They passed policies...

MORAN: Got it. Got it.

JINDAL: ... to say regulations that cost our economy over $100 million...

MORAN: What -- what about...

JINDAL: ... should come in front of them.

MORAN: OK, filibuster.

JINDAL: They passed policies to rein in the NLRB. In terms of Governor Romney's financial success...


JINDAL: Look, I'm happy he's a successful businessman. We've got a president today who's never run a business, never run anything including a lemonade stand before he was president of the United States.

O'MALLEY: Governor, what about the Swiss bank accounts?

JINDAL: We can't afford four more years of on-the-job training. Look, the bottom line is, I'm thrilled that Mitt Romney has been successful in the private sector. I want somebody who's got that private-sector experience...

MORAN: But what about his money out of the country?


MORAN: Is it OK -- is it OK for voters to consider the amount of money that he's put out of the country in tax havens offshore, in secret Bermuda companies? Does that make sense for voters to consider?

JINDAL: Look, I think -- I think voters will consider all of the distractions thrown out by the Obama campaign. But at the end of the day, this election is about two fundamental choices. It's about President Obama, who wants to continue to spend money we don't have. They incurred now $1 trillion-plus deficit every year he's been president, after he promised we'd cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He hasn't done that. Promised unemployment would be below 8 percent, hadn't done that, promised he'd reform the entitlement programs, hasn't done that.

We're going the way of Europe. You may have noticed a couple of weeks ago, the German finance minister actually lectured the America -- actually lectured the American president about borrowing. He said, don't tell us what to do until you get your house in order. It's pretty embarrassing when the Europeans are telling us we're spending and borrowing too much...

MORAN: And -- and with those problems...


JINDAL: There will be a lot of distractions from the Obama campaign...


MORAN: And with those problems...

JINDAL: But this is about two fundamental choices.

MORAN: Got it. So, Governor O'Malley, it is a distraction, according to the Republicans. This is really just sand in the eyes of the American voter.

O'MALLEY: Oh, it's not a distraction at all. Look...

MORAN: What's the relevance? What's the relevance?

O'MALLEY: The relevance is this, that Governor Romney can't can claim that his state actually was great at creating jobs when he was governor, so he's falling back and said, look, vote for me, I was a businessman, I created jobs.

You want talk about going the way of Europe? What went the way of Europe were the -- the Swiss bank accounts and the American dollars that Mitt Romney stuffed in that offshore Swiss bank account, jobs that he facilitated companies in moving offshore, out of places like Ohio, out of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

I mean, this is a fundamental disagreement between two different candidates and their vision for our country's future. Barack Obama believes enough in our country to be willing to work for and invest in it. Mitt Romney bets against America. He bet against America when he put his money in Swiss bank accounts and tax havens and shelters and also set up a secret company, the shell company in Bermuda, which, by the way, in order to avoid disclosure, he put in his wife's name right before he became governor of Massachusetts.

These are legitimate questions that a man who is holding himself out as wanting to lead our country forward needs to answer. He doesn't have an economic policy. And his track record in business was to offshore American jobs and to set up secret bank accounts offshore to shelter his own fair share of paying taxes to make our country stronger.

MORAN: All right, I'm going to let Governor Jindal have a brief last word on that.

JINDAL: I need to respond to that real quickly. Three things. Under Governor Romney, they did create jobs in Massachusetts, top 10 states turned around, unemployment below 5 percent. I'd love to see that for the country right now.

Secondly, independent fact-checker organizations have made it very clear these claims are false about the outsourcing of jobs when Governor Romney was at Bain.

But, third, look at this president's policies. Just this week, a political attempt to try to do something about China, Mitt Romney has said on the first day he would declare them a currency manipulator. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in Ohio -- Democratic senator said, look, this Treasury Department has not done enough against the Chinese. Mitt Romney will create jobs right now in America. I don't blame Governor O'Malley for trying to change the topic. They can't run on the president's track record...

O'MALLEY: Oh, I'm not changing the topic.


MORAN: OK. All right, gentlemen, we're going to have to leave it there.


MORAN: That will -- that will be the last words, I guess. And, Governor Jindal and Governor O'Malley, thanks very much for being with us this morning.

O'MALLEY: Thank you, Terry.


Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.