'This Week' Transcript: Stephanie Cutter and Eric Fehrnstrom

A. ROMNEY: If Mitt wins, the country wins. If Mitt loses, the country loses. I really believe that. There is a sense in the country that we are in danger and that we have got to turn this country around.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Michelle Obama, Ann Romney out there this week. We're back with our roundtable. Want to welcome Donna Brazile to join George Will, Stephanie Cutter from the Obama campaign, Eric Fehrnstrom from the Romney campaign.

And, Stephanie, let me begin with you. On the women's vote itself, you see both campaigns going out hard at it. We had a new poll come out at ABC this week on Governor Romney's favorability. It showed a huge shift in the women's vote. He had gone about a 20-point shift in the last month now, only trailing President Obama by about 11 points. It was about 30 back in April. What happened?

CUTTER: Well, you know, George, I think that the Republican Party is consolidating around Mitt Romney now that he is the nominee, and that includes Republican women, but different polls show different things. On the same day that poll came out, there was another poll by one of your competitors that showed the gender gap at -- by a bigger margin than we even won it in 2008.

And there were two, I think, interesting things about the ABC poll this week that is really telling about where the election is. One, women believe that Barack Obama understands their economic problems more than Mitt Romney does and, number two, that he will take care of the middle class and help grow the middle class compared to Mitt Romney, where they would singled out that he would help the wealthy and financial institutions. And I think that really just symbolizes the debate we're having. How do you grow the economy? Do you grow it from the top down? Or do you grow it from the middle out?

FEHRNSTROM: I think women view this election through the prism of their own family. Women, like all Americans, are feeling squeezed by this Obama economy. In many cases, women manage households. They're responsible for paying the bills. And they're scrimping and saving to buy groceries and maybe put a little bit of money aside to send a kid to summer camp.

I think it's about not so much themselves, but about their children and whether or not their children will have it better than they did, and they don't believe that's the case today.

BRAZILE: Well, George, as you well know, the gender gap is alive, it's real, but there's an larger gender gap between unmarried women and married women. And what's driving the conversation, clearly, is kitchen-table issues, the economy...

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Romney coming back among married women.

BRAZILE: Well, look, he's coming back, a little consolidation there, but it's not enough, I believe, to break out in a sweat right now. But here's what's important. The economy, very important for women voters, very important for single women out there. And if President Obama can continue to make the case that he has the policies, the right policies, the right ideas to move this economy along, to keep it healing, to keep it to growing, that he'll -- that gender gap will only grow larger.

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