How much does the truth matter to voters in 2012 election?
Our Focus Group weighs in
- Duration 12:21
- Date Aug 21, 2012
Our Focus Group weighs in
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-- complaints in recent weeks that this election cycle has been one of the most negative in history.
But does that matter the fact checkers have accused both the president and governor Romney of stretching the limits of the truth.
But neither campaign has done much to -- the claims.
We put together a focus group representative of vote -- both voters up from both parties I should say and we put the question to them.
Panel welcomes would get Democrats and Republicans out here and there's grist for the mill on both sides but we're gonna start with the president because he most recently came out yesterday.
After two months of not speaking to the white house press corps and was asked about some of the negativity -- has been in the news took some time.
And asked to sort of take responsibility for some of -- -- not in particular.
He was asked about this charge made by his deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggesting that Mitt Romney may be up -- Take -- -- what president.
Obama said followed by the comments from Stephanie Cutter that campaign -- that led to the question.
Are you comfortable with the tone that's being sent by your campaign have you asked them to change they're taught it comes to find mr.
What's more -- for all those characterizations that you you laid out there or accurate.
For example nobody accused mr.
Romney being a problem.
Either Mitt Romney threw his own words and his own signature.
His position that vein to the ftp.
Which is a felony.
Or he would misrepresenting.
His position that days to the American people to avoid -- responsibility.
For some of the -- -- -- -- it's an investment.
It's a fact if you're citing federal documents knowing them to be -- it's a felony anybody -- worked in the federal government knows that.
With President Obama being perfectly truthful with us yesterday that the question we put to you to -- that southwest -- with -- Tony sayegh.
Absolutely not -- not only is the contradiction from Stephanie Cutter Robert Gibbs himself one of the presence key spokespeople has basically asserted that.
Mitt Romney did something illegal by having bank accounts overseas this -- been -- -- Harry Reid is -- to from the senate floor not paying your taxes is a federal crime has a felony.
This has been part of the consistent narrative that we've heard from this White House part of that whole.
An idea to kill Romney which was reported as a strategy political last year so that the attention is not being focused on the Obama record.
And the problem for the president is that there is way too much evidence to prove to the contrary of what he said yesterday including on this whole being.
Attack -- that comes from priorities USA which asserts that somehow mr.
Romney is now.
Also culpable in the death of a woman will be -- most democratic.
Yeah yeah Democrat on the panel whether.
Okay so -- you Brad -- -- -- what do you make of that this law does not W there was absolutely no problem pointing out the facts that he signed documents.
When he says he had no participation in company -- whatsoever okay but let's change cooler weather isn't as President Obama said nobody accused anybody of being a felon.
Listen there's going to be some missteps along the way but the big part of this is the fact that we can't just say.
You know you can't say anything negative you can't call out some of these things.
There are plenty all -- It's.
It's amazing ladies here is look -- -- left so there's going to be negativity but here's the question then do you man up and say.
What we said was that he's either a felon or a liar.
And I will tell you American people I think it's -- I think he was dishonest with you when he said he wasn't running being during those -- -- -- but you stand behind.
The position that you're deputy campaign manager put out there or not and he can get away with sort of the sleight of hand let me ask you -- -- -- I think that's that's important -- this there's this game of innuendo.
He technically shouldn't say he was -- a felon but that it felony was committed I could see some as well reading Cuomo found would you sort of found when he may have been committed.
Networks in a -- -- not included in the court of public opinion.
I don't think it works I think that people are sick and tired of this level of of campaigning in and throwing -- is the larger issues that this country faces that we won't know.
And the fact that the president United States and his competitors are dealing in the stuff he's really -- Problem is -- and that's what you're a Democrat what do you make it of that.
What what we just saw I certainly think it's interesting that she said he may have committed a felony and then you say you have the president saying.
Nobody called -- the -- obviously that's problematic however.
I think that in the bottom line is that a lot of these questions could be answered if Mitt Romney would be transparent by releasing his tax return I think by giving I -- -- -- but no matter how are gonna send it back on until I wanna do -- this is about -- truth matters and trust -- we're about to get to the running campaign as well.
But this is -- the truth matters and whether the president owes us a duty.
To be honest and he's gonna make -- charge does he need to stand up -- usually worked for a president.
-- Republicans general point is Winston Churchill said.
A lie gets halfway around the world before truth gets -- chance but -- -- on.
The specific thing is when we talk about political ads they use words people practice your sound -- that the word felony is that deliberate choice that you can dress it up.
In ways week where as you say the court of law you wouldn't be.
Convicted of libel but that's what it's meant to do but the same effect I think happened on the false charge that President Obama is the Muslim.
The more if you bring in -- -- President Obama is not a Muslim in fact increasing number of people that think he has because you use of what people remember is that word.
And the president and these are very deliberate choices.
It happens a lot happens on on different sides but it's not a slip of the -- people.
Are looking for words are looking for sound -- to leave impressions not necessary to persuade -- Now governor Romney to catch on if he's under governor Romney -- get ahead of the third sound by controlling.
But governor Ronnie has also been accused of misleading the American people in his ads in particular.
Now -- -- as we've got one of them teed up one -- that he just has out right now that's talking about whether President Obama stripping the work requirements out of the welfare program in this country.
Put a place by President Clinton.
And the other one is whether in his ad attacking President Obama on -- -- -- he inaccurately suggested that an inspector general had found some nonsense going on.
Those claims were given for Pinocchio -- by the Washington Post and pants on fire designations by political fact.
Here's the First Act.
Under Obama's plan he wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job they just send your welfare check.
And welfare to work goes back to being played -- -- All right so that's one of them in England to be having inspector general one controller -- -- so much.
-- -- Always have gone to companies like -- -- -- -- The inspector general says contracts for students.
The fact checkers tell -- those are not truthful Kevin.
If they're not then the Romney campaign knows an explanation and an apology to the public for doing that and I and I'm not gonna shade.
This because I'm probably gonna support Romney punishing my view of that truth does count.
The problem with this narrative and for the president in particular is that you have got a history of running the country in which deception.
Ideas or facts took precedent for instance and and Health Care Reform.
Measure we're gonna put it on C span and everybody's gonna see it and they do it in private.
There's little there's more.
But there are things yeah.
Promise and honestly -- -- and an affirmative Lee -- represented.
And we can having this debate on the show for a -- does truth matter anymore this debate today Canada telling us -- Let me ask you child star that it doesn't matter and I -- I was -- North Carolina on assignment last week and people are fed up with with what's happening in Washington both parties.
They say give us the banks give us the truth and stop shovel in this fertilizer.
And yesterday when the president said what he did we -- a lot of fertilizer coming from 16100 Pennsylvania Avenue.
So people want both parties -- to get stick to the facts stick to the facts and stop all this pettiness.
Think we got it I couldn't put you believe media line you know in this game that -- video Bernard Whitman when it's all on camera rallied Stephanie Cutter and thought.
You know does it undermine the president's credibility and Mitt Romney's credibility.
One who is our leader one who wants to be not just -- Honest the trip actually does matter it's critical to the American political process of democracy the great.
Those unfortunate truth for Mitt Romney is that despite running for president for eight years.
The American public really doesn't know who he is any talk about what if I commit to that its independent Pulitzer Prize winning -- they -- the -- they times.
Rated one and a ten statements in the nominees -- pants on fire lies OK also if she can tell -- -- -- and I think about her kids is important so it's.
Could see what you think they can whether Obama was not being straight with us on that felony clap.
I actually I don't -- I mean what Stephanie Cutter said was she positive either this was true where that was true of -- She called -- -- I think what's important do you get if you -- our president be splitting hairs with us now that the charges I think we should pay attention to answer my question please respectfully.
I think he'd be president I think the president could have said I think I actually think the president could have -- -- that you know what.
Either Mitt Romney lied to you rather like the Americans can't.
-- stand -- you're gonna make it charges in an act like Negron needed or in an -- it in as President Obama did to his deputy campaign manager.
Do you need -- standby as Stephen Sigmund.
Look I don't think either of these campaigns got to get accused of having a race at the top in particular -- the top on.
On rhetoric and in his next three months but.
When you go back to accusations of innuendo -- what kind of narrative has been out there of the Republican Party -- Mitt Romney have been attacking this president really since the moment you before -- the president but certainly since the moment it became the president.
They call them a failure they've called them unpatriotic.
That accused of being a socialist and make -- of not being born in the United States -- so -- so.
Yeah that's exactly right.
Little problem that.
I have a lot of.
Yeah the real problem for Democrats and by the way I love when I hear Democrats say political fact because it is nonpartisan and it's also -- -- -- -- scare campaign conducted against Paul Ryan in 2011 the biggest live 2011.
There continue that like today.
But the biggest problem Democrats is they're stepping on their own communication talking points Paul big gala -- try to convince Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.
Basically -- that -- some of the -- he's like I'm sure Mitt Romney has this great moral conduct.
How high caliber and that's why you should have anything to -- -- tax returns.
But then all this and what it comes to something like his tenure they capital when it comes to -- potentially die because we want.
The information you can't make an informed judgment as a voter I'm a voter I wanna know.
If he has done anything nefarious and that would be information and his tax return don't you can play and I got to go Madonna going doing the -- average -- home is not spending all the time that politicos are.
Trying to find out whether this is true that is true did you see the ads or BC's ethnic cutter the -- the runny stuff and they just.
Believe they just as an early adulthood so even -- -- And you know part of the design you listen to what everybody says about Obama -- the anti Obama voters out there and that the citizens United States that don't like him.
They're -- they make up all kinds of stories to get the Muslim wasn't met him he wasn't -- I.
I -- -- the -- not had a great.
And he called for by the Republican.
Problem is the American voter we've got a bigger problem there's a lot of sources of information today people are struggling for are so I don't think that that.
It's good to not tell the truth and a political campaign that haven't worked in White House I'd say.
It's and it's a sign of the leader that's -- to respond to that because this is not a nice world people are gonna say a lot less nice things about you.
In it reveals something about how people respond that whether they get their own message out.
And so forth and it tells you where the leader is I mean it's been like this also Thomas Jefferson is only job as they are handling.
When you go back and look at the history this is not the first I'm -- -- -- I didn't run great job thank you.
Interesting as always weren't they -- taking your thoughts on all of that on me on Twitter let me know what you think at Megyn Kelly he with a --