And I think the American people understand this. George, the part of our society that has seen the most creative destruction is the intensive industry of agriculture. A hundred years ago, 30 percent of the American people were working in agriculture. Today it's less than 2 percent. I don't think the Americans are upset by that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But how about on the point that Peggy was making, George, do you think, you know, in order to put this election away, Republicans are going to have to really corral at lot of its blue-collar base who aren't in love with Wall Street?
WILL: They're not in love with Wall Street. They're not in love with the professorial president. And it's going to be very hard for them to fall in love with Mitt Romney.
That's why the Republicans, so far, one of the lessons of their campaign is that the enthusiasm and energy they were counting on to drive their campaign throughout 2012, the enthusiasm is not yet there.
ROBERTS: Except that Obama is likely to give it to them. I mean, that is the case. They're expecting Barack Obama to inject the enthusiasm into the Republican base.
NOONAN: One of the great phrases that has been used in defense of venture capitalism and Bain Capital is Schumpeter's "creative destruction." Whenever I hear Republicans say that, I want to say, you know what, America has been looking for five years at a lot of destruction, creative and non-creative.
They're not going to like that defense. They're going to like a defense that says, guess what, I can create jobs, I have a plan. We can move this thing forward. We can save our country. Treatises on the essential nature of capitalism, I think, won't do it for Mr. Romney.
KRUGMAN: Yes. If we just talk substance about that instead of the campaign for a moment, the fact of the matter is that creative destruction is a great thing when the economy is near full employment and when the issue is clearing away the deadwood and getting new companies, we can make that case.
But that's not the world we're living in right now. We're living in a world that is kind of in a low-key version of the Great Depression, an economy with 13 million people out of work, with 4 million people out of work for more than a year.
What you really need, substantively, is you need something that is about creating demand, about expanding employment. We don't want ruthlessness. We don't want -- you know, and particular, we don't want to be slashing government spending while the economy is still deeply depressed.
So if we actually do end up with a President Romney and if he actually does the things that he says he's going to do, then it would be a total disaster.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that is precisely the debate you saw right at the top of this "Roundtable" between the speech that Mitt Romney gave on Tuesday night in New Hampshire, and the one that President Obama gave in Kansas.
President Obama saying you're going to need government to help invest in certain parts of the economy. Mitt Romney's basic point, get government out of the way. And?
ROBERTS: Well, that's going to be the debate of this campaign. That is your bottom line debate that we are having right here in Washington right now in the capital, and the debate that's going to be out there among the American people is the fundamental question on the role of government.