Sam Donaldson and Frank Luntz Talk 2012 on ABC's Top Line

Donaldson, Luntz debate importance of faith and economy in the 2012 election.
0:13 | 11/14/11

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Transcript for Sam Donaldson and Frank Luntz Talk 2012 on ABC's Top Line
This a very big top 1% were in the big -- here -- time we have two of the most important friends of the program that we we could ever ask for right here Sam Donaldson. The best political correspondent the world has ever seen here in the set with us and Frank Luntz. The did the message made in the god tells those words that work welcome -- atop one thing differently if you mistreat me whether it well and will Woolsey now. I'll start with if you've got your gonna be the man weaved behind that that this big forum is going to be happening in Iowa November 19. This is this is over the conservative values voters that are -- -- determine who wins the Iowa Caucuses. What what what are you going to be asking he's got. The first question is that it'll be exactly one year and one to its November 19. When you're -- one day since a one of them hopes to take the oath of office and those final four words in the oath of office so help me god. The opening question what does that mean to you when you say those words so help me. -- -- opening Michelle -- let it. -- one out of six. But it's going to be challenging and Gingrich -- candidate have to answer questions about their past. Our Rick Perry's -- to answer questions about its presence. And we'll -- -- had talked about the future but it's an opportunity for them to -- not just about what they think but why. To explain how they come to. Their -- frankly -- you may direct that may be greater opening question but I don't think it's the right questions as a biblical and -- says render to Caesar what is caesar's and to god what is -- I don't think god really cares for the bush tax cuts made permanent and I don't think god really cares with a committee of twelve. We care. Makes a deal or not and so to elect the president the United States yes we want someone who -- talked about supreme being and feels it of course we do. But god really has nothing to do with the temporal values that we ought to be debating in this country. What about faith how do we determine our principles how to we determined to come up with answers when is it morally right to -- -- off to war. When is it morally right to look -- -- restrict the and not telling the truth. Because of national security many moral codes -- -- and religion but didn't need not be based on religion and moral code can let him stay undervalues that's the whole point I want a candidate to stand up it's your right -- run you know. Exactly right does it matter to voters in Iowa elsewhere where -- you seeing that it that it seems like -- we're not talking much about -- -- social issues moral issues. This time around is there's still a segment of voters from that this is criminals are now. And you're right it's been much more economic today because that's number one issue but you've got 13 of Iowa voters had identified themselves as either born again. Evangelical and those that. Do you have a strong belief in god is over 50% of -- Iowa caucus voters so clearly matters there and it's gonna matters South Carolina. We think Romney's got a chance of winning -- was he really gonna make -- wrong and. But it looks like he's gonna make a run sorts bound up on the latest thing that happened this morning for instance but. You know that -- the problem is the basis looking for almost anyone but him do they finally take him I don't know I have a different frank. But I do recall that four years ago at this. Moment I knew that Hillary Clinton would be the democratic nominee in the John McCain was washed up went four years before that I knew at this moment at Howard Dean would be. I don't know what other -- what do you know give yourself credit you did predict that grant would win and I did you -- yeah. Well what I think now is it. None of these candidates are connecting in my view with the broad center of this country politically which elects presidents far right doesn't like them -- -- far left doesn't -- them it's the independents who. Don't know what they stand for one year's Republican when you -- to Democrat and I don't think any of those candidates yet. They might still have connected in -- human way with a group. And he's right because neither is Barack Obama. The fact is an independent and independent because the rejecting the Republicans and the Democrats there rejecting the left and the right they want something different. -- look at congress to look at the White House and look at all of Washington and they say a plate and all of your houses. All of these candidates without exception are doing badly among independents and they're the ones who determine the next election but -- -- just dancing around the whenever for -- Sam's predictions for four years ago from eight years ago because you -- I just don't want us to be dancing welcome challenge but can we just with the stars though frank here they are that he BI on dancing with maybe you -- and that's that's part of his campaign is to dance with. With this team over here no -- is this nominee is nomination Mitt Romney's a loose is tedious -- right now he is -- front runner he's actually been the front runner. For that one brief moment when Perry went up and then went down after the debates Romney has been the front runner. But his challenges to close the deal without closing his opportunity to win that's a very tough thing to do in -- Republican -- -- -- Washington Redskins would love to have him because he grinds out three yards at a time. Now over the long ball never anything that excites anyone at any of the first -- it keeps grinding and if that doesn't stop him. He tries to the -- But let's technology's better today -- he was six months ago his debate performances are better. Art down sessions that we do at each -- he either wins or comes in second everyone he's consistent. And he's capable -- -- -- -- around the country you don't. God knows how many styles tests -- 108. -- -- grenade -- -- also expect anything you spent a lot of time talking to these to these values voters -- -- -- be with on the nineteenth. Does Romney have a chance to win over those evangelicals. And if he doesn't in the primaries was gonna hurt him in the in the general those are those of the -- the first step is to show up and still a question what he's gonna -- -- not. You don't win if you don't show to play. The second aspect of it is that he doesn't necessarily have to win them just can't lose them. They can't turn against some like -- -- against John McCain. The truth is John McCain had an awful election cycle not because he was just losing voters in the center but he is losing voters authors -- as well Ronnie -- -- And I Haley -- -- -- -- which I think is quite true that is until one of -- -- it is. He said more people are telling me that their interest in someone who can win and actually win and that's always the problem with the base of the liberal left of the liberal right. The conservative right they would put up someone they love -- -- and -- couldn't win. So if Haley barbour's -- he's a very Smart -- might just judgment in the -- the Republicans will nominate someone that they think will appeal. That -- section independent. Scientist at your heart -- -- -- right down here got a lighter your guts you know he's not so I -- Surveys but for his campaign on the bus was following very -- -- to take a lot of as matter of fact he did you McKinney's campaign by our costs. Yes that true you know that writing in the -- today's -- -- one show this is getting a frat guys aren't a lot of me had a good. An office I started heir -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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