David Axelrod defends Obama's handling of economy
President's top adviser on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 14:37
- Date Aug 5, 2012
President's top adviser on 'Fox News Sunday'
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And hello again from Fox News and Washington.
In a few minutes we'll sit down what Ted Cruz the Tea Party backed candidate who shocked the world of politics.
By winning the senate Republican primary in Texas this week.
But first the presidential campaign battle over how to get Americans back to work.
Joining us now from Chicago David Axelrod senior advisor to the Obama campaign and David welcome back to FOX News Sunday.
Let's start with the latest jobs number -- the economy created a 163000.
Jobs in July but the unemployment right.
Rose from eight point two to eight point 3% let's put that in some contacts.
What 123 million Americans are now unemployed have given up looking for work or are working fewer hours than they what Mike and five million.
Have been out of work more than six months given.
That fixing the economy was job one why -- is President Obama deserves reelection given that record.
Well for -- well Chris let's put this in perspective in the six months before the president took office we lust for.
Million jobs economy was shrinking at eight point nine percent in the quarter before he.
Took office we -- 800000.
Jobs the month that he took office the whole that was created.
Is huge and we're gonna have to work very hard to fill it but in the last 29 months we've had 29 straight months of private sector job growth four point five.
Jobs created in this last report -- 173000.
Private sector jobs.
Created a led by the auto industry and manufacturing.
Of that -- would be in a -- depression.
But for the president's intervention -- -- something governor Romney.
Opposed to we've got a lot of work to do that the two sectors by the way that -- work construction and education the president's been.
Urging congress since last fall to pass his bill that would that would integrate both those sectors and that would help but we have a lot of work to do and the real question for voters is going to be what does that choice on the other side.
This week we learned the governor Romney's tax plan.
Would raise taxes for the the wealthy and we've got cut taxes for the wealthy a windfall for the wealthy and raise taxes by 2000 dollars.
On the middle class that's not a prescription for getting our.
Economy moving or rebuilding the middle.
Collapse what David didn't this White House badly misjudged this recovery I remember in in 2010.
Two Summers ago.
You and Vice President Biden were running around talking about recovery summer that was the summer.
Of 2010 and the fact is that your White House sad that if you've got the stimulus the 800.
Billion dollars that unemployment would stay under 8%.
In fact -- stimulus.
Unemployment has stayed over 8% for the last 42 months that's three and a half years.
Chris first hole I wasn't running around saying anything other than that we wouldn't have to be persistent that it took years to get into this mess it was gonna take.
A year -- about recovery summer when it says status as it well you should show me the tape of me saying that I've been very.
Consistent about the fact that we need to be persistent.
In our efforts -- but what we can't do is go back to the -- you know.
-- Moody's analyze governor around these plans and the degree you can because there's very few there aren't enough specifics.
To actually score and what they said was his plan would actually throw as backward and might even -- us back into -- recession.
Because it would ratchet down.
The things we need to two to keep the economy.
Growing so but but what I had a -- -- way we want to think do we think that raising taxes by 2000 dollars on the middle class is a way to get this economy moving to -- cutting education by 25%.
Is -- way to get this economy moving the research.
That creates innovation and technology I don't think most Americans agree with it to.
But David you keep talking about Romney I'm asking you about the Obama record in the fact is that unemployment.
Has been over 8% for 42 months which is three and a half.
There's no doubt about Chris there's no doubt we we we we have faced a -- economic crisis that goes back.
A you've got to go back to the Great Depression.
Two to -- Syria crisis like the one that we walked into in the 2009.
And and as we said van and as I say now.
The hole was tremendous we have to be persistent and moving forward there are more things we can do we wish congress would act on them.
There are more things we can do but what we can't do is go back and the reason I keep bring up governor Romney Chris is because people are faced with a choice.
They need to know they need to make a decision as to whether going back to the policies of the last decade.
Is going to get us to where we need to go all right well I I think most people don't believe.
All right well let's let's talk about the choice because I think you would say he would agree that the biggest policy difference right now between President Obama they're a bunch.
But the biggest policy difference right now between the president and and governor Romney is on taxes Romney wants to extend.
All the bush tax cuts for every one the president says now extend them only for people making less than 250000.
But back in in 2010.
Opposed raising taxes on the wealthy because he said the economy.
Was to try to let's take a look at what the president said back that.
Potentially you see a lot of folks losing business.
More folks potentially losing jobs that would be a mistake.
When the economy has not fully taken off.
David when the president said that the economy was growing at a rate of 2.3.
Percent if -- economy was too fragile then.
For attacks -- on the wealthy why is it okay now when the economy is growing even more slowly at one point 5%.
-- Chris I I was there at the time and let me review a little bit of history the president was.
Prepared to allow the tax cuts at the higher brackets to expire because -- caused.
Billion dollars over a decade and we have to deal with our fiscal situation as well and there's no evidence that those tax cuts are are particularly -- -- To the economy but as a part of a package that was agreed to with the congress to move forward on payroll.
Tax -- data on child care tax credit if I know other things if I may we -- -- we already had a finite because you're mistaking that was in December of 2010 this -- in January.
A 2010 it was before the deal with the sun at this was just on its own merits this is in fact that the Republican.
Conference the retreat up and Baltimore.
And and the president's that it's no time to raise taxes on anyone.
Because the economy is too -- it's on the ground -- 2.3 percent now it's growing up one point 5%.
-- Chris the president has put -- has never argued that tax cuts for the wealthy.
Is is stimulative to the economy the truth -- we have to make a choice.
And the choices.
What we need to do to both grow the economy in the short short run.
And to bring down these deficits in the long run an 800 billion dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy.
Choice we should make especially you -- you neglect one fact and governor rounder which is he wants to add another five trillion dollars of tax cuts on top of that and those -- the tax cuts that were analyze this week.
There would cut taxes on millionaires by 250000.
Dollars and there would raise taxes on the middle class by 2000 dollars.
That is not a way to grow the economy it's the middle class and needs money in their pocket right now that's what's gonna keep this economy moving in the president's cut taxes on the middle class by 3600 dollars on the average for an average family -- you -- You keep bringing up the the Tax Policy Center study and and fair and off but I want to ask you about another study by the respected accounting firm Ernst and young which today as study on all the tax increases that President Obama.
Is proposing and here's what they -- found what they analyze -- that economic growth.
With the Obama tax increases would fall by one point 3%.
Would fall by 7101000.
Jobs Ernst and young -- nonpartisan respected accounting firms says that raising taxes that months.
Would be a drag on the economy right now.
Well first I don't know what they're talking about I haven't seen the study I do know that Moody's -- evaluated the Romney plan.
And said that it with throttle our economy.
Down so you know we can have competing.
We can have competing studies but here's what I know.
Going back to the policies of the last decade huge unpaid for tax cuts skewed to the wealthy.
Is not going to -- produce the kind of economy that we need it's not gonna help rebuild the middle class in this country.
And -- -- not gonna help us grow the kind of economy that we need for the long run so you know yes we have a fundamental difference on this issue.
Okay let's -- a lightning round and now we've done this before and frankly -- not very good about it but I'm gonna give you another chance to try.
To do about a quick questions quick and I appreciate that senate majority -- well we we always get second chances here senate majority leader Harry Reid it took to the senate floor this week.
Does say the word is out Mitt Romney didn't pay any taxes for ten years.
I figure nobody is doing more Oppo research -- you guys in Chicago does the Obama campaign have any evidence.
That reads charges for.
I have I don't know who -- was talking to end the the point here though Chris says.
The Romney campaign and governor -- we can resolve this in ten seconds they can release the tax returns they gave.
23 years of tax returns to John McCain they've given one -- of tax returns to the American people was governor Romney's father.
Who pioneered the release of tax returns when he ran for president gave out twelve years of tax returns because he said one year can be.
Misleading why don't they just put this to rest what is it that he's hiding I agree with what Bill Kristol set on your show he ought to release those tax returns and I agree what what George will said which is.
If if what was in those tax returns wasn't damaging they would be releasing them so.
They ought to release the returns and that would put all of this -- how's that.
Lightning round lightning -- means quick impact.
You're campaign is suing the state of Ohio for giving the members of the military extra time.
To vote early -- the Monday before the election.
While other voters are gonna have only until Friday night.
You don't think that members of the military who were serving this country deserves special consideration.
-- -- -- I absolutely do and the way you stated in the way frankly governor Romney has stated is completely false and misleading.
But what that lawsuit calls for is not to deprive the military of the right to vote.
In the on the final weekend of the campaign of course they should have that right what -- -- suit is about is whether the rest of Ohio should have.
The same right and I think it's shameful the governor Ronnie would hide behind our servicemen and women to try and win win allow it to wait prime other high winds -- deprive -- -- -- -- of.
Writing a note fifteen military groups including the National Guard Association and -- that's are also hiding behind the military -- because they -- -- Romney's side.
In this but if it's true David they are whether -- -- -- -- great candidate I I understand and equipment and what exactly if they don't -- what are within it and there's no and every military.
Our on -- on their slots and the federal law federal law gives special consideration risk to the military on early voting so why not let Ohio do.
First a volatile lightning and so ask your question and let me answer.
They need to know invaded to look at the lawsuit and they need to know.
That that lawsuit.
Oppose it stands up for the right to military's.
Service people to to vote.
Early but it it wants that right for everybody in Ohio I don't understand what it is about the Republican Party.
That they want to keep shrinking.
Participation in our elections that's not a very confident party.
To me why would they want to make it easier for every eligible voter to come to the polls and participate in the end that's what our servicemen and women are are fighting for our democracy our freedom lightning round.
After an attempt to get on this that it's not -- what will Mitt Romney's -- -- -- running mates say about them.
Well I suspect that what his choice of running -- will say about I'm is that he's gonna double down on the economic philosophy that he has that he's gonna have another one of these.
Back to the future candidates who believes that if we just do what we -- in the last decade that somehow it's gonna turn out better for the economy.
In the middle class I'd be very surprised if he went in any other direction.
You mean -- you say is gonna pick somebody that agrees with him.
Yes and someone who will augment that philosophy to an -- and you know as I said before we'll have a very.
Clear choice but whether we move forward or whether we move back whether we're gonna rebuild the middle class -- gonna stick with this top down economics have failed so badly in the last decade.
-- a final questions where is this campaign.
Right now both sides the new the New York Times reports today that that you guys in Chicago has spent 400 million dollars so far.
And that Romney is gonna go into the fall campaign with considerably more money than you guys.
Well I've always said that we're going to be outspent in this campaign has to the times story are we've spent money at all -- -- a lesser rate from the bush campaign did in two.
2004 but we all have our strategies we think go organizing at the grassroots.
Is -- to our our chances they think money is the key to their chances and the super pacs and all the resources that can.
Brings him to -- behind there negative ads and we'll see will see who wins November.
And finally we got less than thirty seconds -- -- this -- by the New York Times.
Shows that in three key swing states Florida Ohio and Pennsylvania -- that the president has begun to open up a late.
Have you been effective in one of the ideas are spending so much money now is to try to define Romney before he defines himself.
Have you been successful in defining Romney to voters.
But put it another way he hasn't been very successful in defining himself to voters and he's left himself.
-- vulnerable to a whole range of questions that I think people are asking about.
-- about him and whether he'll be the kind of advocate for the middle class and advocate for their interest in this economy.
That they're looking for in this election.
David we're gonna have to leave it there thank you so much for joining us and engaging in the lightning round is right -- it right back -- -- I -- but always good talk but necessary.
-- nice talking to you.