I don't think in the end it ends up working. I think the spotlight has to be on still, are you better off than you were three-and-a-half, four years ago? The president will try to get away from that metric, but his own standards of measurement stay out there. We were going to create more jobs. We were going to have more growth in this country. Those things have not happened.
NEWSOM: Look, Bain is and was in the business of wealth creation. They're in the business of profit. There's nothing inherently wrong about that. Not job creation, in order to maximize profit, you've got to minimize costs. What's the biggest costs in a business? Personnel. Reducing jobs is the business of Bain, not creating jobs.
This is the proof point of the Romney campaign, that he can create jobs, that he has a better record. He's 47th out of 50 states in job creation when he was chief executive of Massachusetts. He wants to make the case at Bain, and he has made it aggressively for years and years and years. It's absolutely fair game to question that as a basis of his run for president.
So I think it's very shrewd campaign ad. I think it's a very important point in this election, that Obama hit this hard.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you defend against it?
DOWD: Well, the situation here -- I think Mitt Romney is vulnerable on this. He was vulnerable in the Republican primary, if Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum had actually made a well-done message and credible message on this and put weight behind it.
I think the problem Barack Obama is that, one, they haven't done this consistently enough. They haven't done enough behind this. They haven't done enough ads behind this. And as Laura said, I think he lacks some credibility on this. You can't say -- on one hand say how evil these private equity firms are and how bad they are and how bad they are for the country and then say, oh, by the way, because I'm doing good for the country, I'm going to take money from them.
INGRAHAM: The Bain people support Obama. Some Bain people are giving money to Obama.
DOWD: But I think in the end, when we're having -- when we're having an economic argument where people are saying they're tired of government, us losing jobs in government, they also do not like big corporations. And if this is a big corporation's backing -- backing Mitt Romney versus big government backing Barack Obama, that is in independents' minds kind of a stalemate.
BRAZILE: We'll take the money so that we can defend the president's record, because, you know, the one thing that Democrats have to do is to be confident about some of the things that we have accomplished. I mean...
DOWD: But there is hypocrisy, Donna. There is hypocrisy in it.
BRAZILE: Yeah, but -- yeah, there's some there, but there's private-sector growth. There's been a loss of jobs at the public sector, and the Republicans have cut a lot of state and local jobs. Manufacturing jobs are up, 11 good, strong quarters. I mean, Mitt Romney is not going to win by talking down the economy and hoping that the economy goes in the tank so that he can rescue it.
INGRAHAM: Labor participation rate is disastrous.
BRAZILE: Labor -- the labor force...
INGRAHAM: It's down to 1963 levels, Donna. That is not something to stand up and say, "Gosh, I'm proud of it." We had fewer people working in our economy as a percentage of the overall population...