Obama Rallies Support for Jobs Speech as GOP Contenders Woo Voters in S.C.

Uploaded by PBSNewsHour on 05.09.2011

bjbjLULU JUDY WOODRUFF: The 2012 presidential campaign got going in earnest this Labor Day.
President Obama talked up his jobs plan, and Republican contenders went after him and,
increasingly, each other in response. The president used a Labor Day event in Detroit
to preview the jobs speech he will give Thursday night and to challenge Republicans. PRESIDENT
BARACK OBAMA: We're going to see if we have got some straight shooters in Congress. We're
going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party. (CHEERING AND
APPLAUSE) BARACK OBAMA: We will give them a plan and then we will say, if you want to
create jobs, then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America. (CHEERING
AND APPLAUSE) BARACK OBAMA: Do you want to help our companies succeed? Open up new markets
for them to sell their products. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) BARACK OBAMA: You want -- you
say you are the party of tax cuts? Well, then prove you will fight just as hard for tax
cuts for middle-class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent Americans.
Show us what you got. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: And with Mr. Obama trying to
boost his re-election prospects, the labor union crowd greeted him with a kind of chant
he hopes to hear more of. CROWD: Four more years! Four more years! JUDY WOODRUFF: But
the president is looking increasingly vulnerable on his stewardship of the economy, especially
after last Friday's disappointing report that showed no net job growth in August. And the
field of his would-be Republican challengers has ramped up the criticism. In New Hampshire,
former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney seized on the jobs data as he addressed his first Tea Party
rally yesterday. MITT ROMNEY, (R) presidential candidate: Look, a shutout is OK in baseball.
It's not good when you're talking about jobs. We have zero confidence, zero faith in a president
who created zero jobs. It's time for someone who knows how to create jobs and get our economy
going. And that's something I know. That's in my wheelhouse. And I will get America working
again. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) MAN: Rick Perry. JUDY WOODRUFF: The new Republican front-runner,
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, spoke this morning at a town hall in Conway, S.C., hosted by
Congressman Tim Scott. GOV. RICK PERRY, R-Texas presidential candidate: If this president
wants to have a jobs speech this week, let me tell you what he needs to do. He needs
to stand up and say, we're going to -- we're going to repeal Obamacare. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
GOV. RICK PERRY: We're going to -- we're going to -- we're going to repeal Dodd-Frank, and
we're going to stop the EPA from going forward with any of these regulations they have got.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But Perry and Romney are also drawing a bead on each other ahead of Wednesday's
candidate debate in California. Perry is going after Romney's record of job creation while
governor of Massachusetts. GOV. RICK PERRY: There is no one going to be sitting on that
stage who has the record of job creation that I have. Now, there's going to be some that
are going to get up and say, well, I have created jobs. And that's true. You know, there
is one in particular that's created jobs all over the world. But while he was the governor
of Massachusetts, he didn't create very many jobs. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Romney in turn is
trying to paint Perry, a three- term governor, as a career politician. MITT ROMNEY: But I
haven't spent my whole life in politics. As a matter of fact, of the people running for
office, you know, I -- I don't know that there are many who have less years in politics than
me. I spent four years as a governor. I joke that I didn't inhale. (LAUGHTER) MITT ROMNEY:
I'm still a citizen. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee,
Sarah Palin, is keeping her own prospects alive. She told a Tea Party gathering in Manchester,
N.H., to stay open-minded on the GOP field. SARAH PALIN, (R) former Ala. Gov.: So, I say
let's invite those candidates in who are bold enough to take on the tough challenges caused
by an out-of-touch, out-of-control centralized government and those who are humble enough
to admit they need you and they have seen the light, they who are willing to confront
the challenges that are resulting from Washington's failed policies and incompetent leadership,
namely crony capitalism, because that is the root that grows our economic problems. JUDY
WOODRUFF: A handful of GOP hopefuls courted Tea Party supporters this afternoon at a South
Carolina forum hosted by Sen. Jim DeMint, a favorite of the movement. Minnesota Congresswoman
Michele Bachmann said she would make repeal of the president's health care law a priority.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-Minn. presidential candidate: When the federal government can
tell any American that they can buy -- that they must as a condition of citizenship purchase
a product or service, whether it's against their will, effectively, the United States
government will be dictating that price, and they will become a dictator over our lives.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Texas Congressman Ron Paul warned against the growing size and scope
of government. REP. RON PAUL, R-Texas presidential candidate: Freedom is not the issue anymore.
It's tyranny. It's big government. We're trying to struggle to hang on to this. But I think
we're in a desperate state of affairs, because it's slipping by. And with the economy in
shambles like we have today, I think we're in much bigger trouble than a lot of people
realize. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Republicans now head into a heavy schedule of debates, while
the president takes his jobs plan on the road starting Friday. For more, we turn to NewsHour
political editor David Chalian. Hello, David. DAVID CHALIAN: Hello, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF:
So, Labor Day is the traditional kickoff of the presidential campaign. And they were going
after President Obama, the Republicans were. But they were also starting to differentiate
themselves from each other. We heard a little of that, but there was more of it. DAVID CHALIAN:
That's key. And you can tell that the Republican campaigns, the strategists advising these
candidates, know that, as the calendar flips to September -- and here we are on Labor Day
-- they're just a few months away from those early voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South
Carolina from really having to make a decision about who they want to put forward to take
on the president in the fall. And so it's not just sufficient -- though you will continue
to hear them obviously criticize the president every day, it is not just sufficient for them
to do that. And so that's why you heard in the piece Gov. Perry taking on Gov. Romney's
jobs record in Massachusetts. In addition to that, Michele Bachmann is not just criticizing
President Obama about that individual mandate. Of course, that is one of Gov. Romney's key
weaknesses inside the Republican nomination fight. And so you see how they start developing
these different appeals inside the Republican electorate to differentiate themselves. Another
example of that is, Gov. Romney's been attacking Gov. Perry's immigration record in Texas.
So, I think you will continue to see this differentiation taking place because there's
a big conversation going on inside the Republican Party right now, which is who is best-equipped
to beat the president next November, because they sense a real vulnerability on the president's
part. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, one new thing we saw this weekend -- and we mentioned that
-- was this was the first time that Mitt Romney has appeared before Tea Party groups. That
was Friday and Saturday -- or it was over the weekend. What's the significance of that?
DAVID CHALIAN: Well, first, let's talk about the field overall appealing to that Tea Party
group, to Tea Party groups in general. This is Labor Day, the unofficial kickoff of the
campaign in that way, when it intensifies. All these candidate knows they get extra television
and media coverage on Labor Day. And they all chose to schedule -- or most of them chose
to schedule this, go down to South Carolina and Jim DeMint, and go to this Tea Party group,
and answer questions that that wing of the party is really interested in hearing about.
Mitt Romney, as you point out, the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is not his natural
home. He hasn't been really aligned with them. In fact, he had actually rejected an invitation
to that event in South Carolina today until recently, because he sensed that Rick Perry
is doing very well in this race right now with a lot of Tea Party support. And he sees
that as a real threat. He's no longer the front-runner in this race, Judy. Rick Perry
is. And so Mitt Romney quickly scheduled his first appearance last night with the Tea Party
group in New Hampshire, scheduled this Jim DeMint event in South Carolina today. But
not all the Tea Partiers are happy. There was a protest in New Hampshire yesterday.
Some Tea Party groups pulled out of the event once Mitt Romney was going to agree to speak
because they don't think he really represents their values. This is going to be Mitt Romney's
key challenge. How does he woo enough of those Tea Party Republicans in? Because they are
critical. Look at the prominence they had on a day like today. They're critical. JUDY
WOODRUFF: So, quickly, David, we saw -- we said this is the kickoff. And every day this
week, there's something happening. We have got a calendar we're going to show our viewers.
Tell us what we're looking at here. DAVID CHALIAN: So, tomorrow, Mitt Romney is going
to be out in Nevada, in the Las Vegas area, to deliver his big jobs speech. And he wants
that to be a contrast to President Obama's speech later in the week. He really wants
to show what the alternative is. And then, on Wednesday, the Republicans are going to
be at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., for another debate. It will be their sort
of -- I think it's their fourth debate of the cycle so far. But it will be the first
one with Gov. Rick Perry. And he's the front-runner in that race right now. So this will be a
big moment for him to see if he can withstand that kind of scrutiny inside a national debate.
Thursday, of course, is the president's speech to a joint session of Congress. We got hints
of that today. And on Friday, as you mentioned in the piece, he's going to selling it in
the country, of course, in a key battleground state, Virginia. He will be in Richmond on
Friday. JUDY WOODRUFF: And so he's -- all eyes are going to be on the president by the
end of the week. But he really does begin this campaign, David, back on his heels. DAVID
CHALIAN: Well, there's no doubt. I mean, he is in a vulnerable position. And this is largely
due to the economy. That is hanging around his neck as a big weight. I thought what was
really interesting, what we heard from him today -- and, by the way, no mistake that
he was in Michigan and Joe Biden was in Ohio today. Those are key states. JUDY WOODRUFF:
Right. DAVID CHALIAN: But I thought we heard a president itching for a fight. He wants
to present jobs plans on Thursday, but not as badly as he wants to take those plans out
into the country and really start drawing a contrast with Republicans. He sounded to
me like he was willing to have a fight which his partisans have been asking for. JUDY WOODRUFF:
We're all going to be watching it. David Chalian, our political editor, thank you. DAVID CHALIAN:
Thank you. urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags place urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
State urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags City urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
country-region JUDY WOODRUFF: The 2012 presidential campaign got going in earnest this Labor Day
Normal Microsoft Office Word JUDY WOODRUFF: The 2012 presidential campaign got going in
earnest this Labor Day Title Microsoft Office Word Document MSWordDoc Word.Document.8