David Plouffe on Democratic Convention

President Obama's top adviser on the GOP convention and the week ahead.
3:00 | 09/02/12

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Transcript for David Plouffe on Democratic Convention
Our friend George will calls conventions the seventh inning stretch of presidential campaigns. So halfway through where do we stand. I don't welcome six attic thank you some -- Race is still pretty much a tie early polls show only a slight bounce from Enron -- so far. But his crowds in Ohio and Florida yesterday were huge and the Republican nominee tried to reach beyond his base by admitting his party's mistakes. We're gonna finally have to do something. That Republicans are spoken about for a long time and for awhile. We didn't do well we -- -- -- we let people down. We need to make sure we don't -- -- -- this time I will cut the deficit and -- -- that track to a balanced budget. President Obama was on offense and another battleground Iowa. His take on the Republican Convention he called -- tired TV re run in black and white. When government. Romney -- of the -- -- on his secrets else. Offering a thing. I did. It was just a retread of the same -- Policies that have been -- into the middle class for years. And as the president makes his way to North Carolina for the start of the democratic convention on Tuesday we are joined by his top White House strategist David Clough good morning this plot. Morning George thanks for joining us today you know the -- of governor -- Romney's argument was pretty straightforward. His answer to the classic Reagan question take a look. This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us it was someone else's fault. This president can tell us that the next four years a get a rights. But this president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office. Busy right can the president. Argue unequivocally that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. -- George I think the American people understand that we got into. Terrible economic situation recession. Only. That and the Great Depression joined in the country's ever seem like it so they know we had a deep hole it took us a long time to get into that holds can take us a long time to get out of it. First of all governor rod is -- offering the same exact policies that led to the recession in the first place. What one thing they didn't do last week in Tampa -- explained how huge tax cuts for the wealthy. Cutting back regulations on Wall Street is gonna lead economic growth -- help the middle class because the answer is it's not. So what we're gonna lay out this week is we're gonna explain to the American people in the middle class of this country -- continue to recover but do more than just recover from the recession. To build an economy from the middle out what Mitt Romney's offer America is top down trickle down fairy -- he didn't work then. It's not gonna work now and I don't think he advanced the ball last week in convincing people particularly the middle class in this country. That he would be a president that has them every day in -- he's making decisions like yes sir -- -- are Americans better off today than they were four years ago. Listen George the you know they get a good job or reciting all the statistics every once -- -- -- I think everybody understands we were this close to a Great Depression because the leadership of this president wheat wheat stave that off we're beginning to recover. We have a lot more work to do we need to grow jobs more quickly when you grow -- class incomes more quickly. But the question for the American people is which -- we didn't take if we taking their Romney's path. An economist at look at this. The recovery would slowdown we wouldn't produce jobs he -- give huge tax cuts to people like himself and send the bill to the middle class and seniors. So the question is we're going to be far worse off if Mitt -- is elected president. And he gets a chance to enact the same economic policies that created the mess in the first place so it's okay you know a year ago the president told me I don't think Americans are better off -- were four years ago you still can't say yes. Well we've clearly improve George from the depths of the recession. We were losing -- 100000 jobs a month we're now gaining the unemployment rate was around ten -- it's come down. We're beginning to see in manufacturing sector emerged one of the great bright spots right now is -- manufacturing jobs the American automotive industry was close to extinction. Mayor -- -- -- let it go away by the way we wouldn't have an American automotive industry he was president. The pres Obama secured that we're beginning to really make advances in alternative energy. And things like batteries so we've made a lot of progress in the depths of the recession we have a lot more work to do and that's the question we're gonna lay out for the American people as. -- the Romney path. Would be the wrong path of the middle class the wrong path for this country. We've got to continue to recover -- not just from the recession but again. How do we build an economy from the middle out. So that we have an economy. Tax policy -- centered on how do we make the middle class more secure and let me ask you -- -- question about the president's speech or heard Mitt Romney's pitch to those disappointed. Obama voters does the president need some sort of Mia culpa to get them back. Listen I think this president the next week what we're gonna do today in Colorado. Through the duration this campaign. Is going to explain you know what he did. -- to move us away from again we're -- -- -- -- Great Depression. Health care ending the Iraq War focusing on rebuilding this country. I think of the American people know that we've got a tough economy. Largely what the Republican Convention last week was was hiding their own agenda. Bunch of platitudes and angry insults and reminding people that we've got a tough economy people know that. They want to know how -- gonna move forward and I think we have I think energized. Here in Colorado today. Great volunteers -- is beginning to see great voter registration about ground states so we think we're going to be able to build the kind of excitement on the ground to win this election. But again I think the question for the American people particularly for the middle class. Voters in this country Americans is. Who do you trust. To make economic decisions with you at the court and one of those economic they're -- he's clearly -- clearly met when George Mitt Romney's gonna make every decision. Through the prism he believes that -- people like -- got a huge tax cut somehow that's gonna trickle down everybody else and that's simply not the recipe for growth in this country. Another big economics has never have to make is about Medicare and you have -- has been a political winner for Democrats. For generation but in his convention speech Paul Ryan really seemed to signal that the Republicans are going to cede that ground. It all is essential message -- bring cannot hear you us. In this election. On this issue. The usual posturing on the left isn't going to work Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and -- it. Ladies and gentlemen our nation needs this debate we want this debate we will win this debate. Course he took on those more than 700 billion dollars in savings in the president's health care plan I know we -- know that those same things were included. In congress and Ryan's budget. As well but did the Republicans made some headway with this argument in 2010. Are you worried about it now. George this is a place where were in full agreement with Paul Ryan -- we think this is an important debate to have and were anxious to have it. First -- -- it's remarkable when Paul Ryan was first picked his Mitt Romney's vice president was praised. Because here's someone who's gonna tell our troops -- satellite the second coming of Claude pepper it was last week OK let's be clear about. First of all the president's -- to Medicare which is supported by AARP. Extended Medicare solvency for eight years the savings all came from waste and fraud. And subsidies that should ending on an insurance companies not a dime. Came from Medicare beneficiaries the Romney right approach is to -- rise Medicare. So when you're not you about -- seniors are going to be on their -- It's estimated the Ryan plan would add 6400 dollars to every Medicare that's all the Ryan plan is and it's not an answer that this is. Well George let's be so here's the thing and the Romney right approach would bankrupt Medicare. In four years so you've got solvency through the president's approach of Medicare bankruptcy through the Romney right approach you've got the president. Getting savings from the system from insurance companies from fraud from waste you've got the -- prior -- which is where to get all the money for Medicare beneficiaries so. I think on the question. In Florida Ohio and other states and who do you trust to protect Medicare. And who do you trust as we reduce our deficit. To get the savings from the system not putting it on the backs of Medicare beneficiaries we think that's a debate or well positioned to have to execute and to win. So that's somewhere you agree as you -- -- Colorado a place you disagree with the -- -- -- is the ads they've been sending out on welfare. Reform neither. Governor Romney nor congressman -- -- welfare in their convention speeches but here's the -- they've been running a lot of battleground states. President Obama quietly announced plans to -- welfare reform. By dropping more requirements under Obama's plan he wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for -- job they just send -- your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being -- welfare. I -- I -- you disagree with the -- and a lot of independent fact check isn't backing up on that my question is it doesn't seem to deter governor Ronnie the question is why and many of your supporters have accused. The Romney team of playing the race card. -- -- shows the DNC chair called a quote. A dog -- -- for voters who consider race when casting their ballot. Does the president agree with that. Well first -- on Medicare and clear I don't agree with Paul Ryan I agree that it's important debate for the that's -- that was tonight that's different approaches to Medicare. So so first of all George right now their campaign. Is built on a tripod applies. A welfare attack that is just absolutely untrue. The suggesting were raiding Medicare actually untrue. And then this -- we can't build it nonsense. You know the president as I think everybody in America does believes that a small businesses are built through the drive. And innovation. And hard work. The point he was trying to make -- things like education. Roads -- infrastructure something we all -- together so it's amazing by the way I don't think we ever seen a presidential campaign ever. That's built on a foundation of absolute -- And I think ultimately -- gonna pay a price -- -- on welfare it's. Absolutely untrue. Everyone who look at it is outraged that they're making us the president actually. These waivers strengthen work you'd have to get 20% more work in the state even qualify. Now -- to their motivations all leave that to them it is remarkable that they -- -- Jersey as a dog whistle. Playing on racial resentment. Well listen I think that they'll have to answer what they're trying to do I think they are trying to suggest somehow that. You know we're trying to give a bunch of handouts to people which is just not. True this is a president who believes is in its core. That hard work must be rewarded and if people are -- on the work harder be irresponsible. What we should help them but here's the question George. They are whole theory was worked well our whole campaign just going to be the economies -- -- -- Obama's fault. Now -- on this Medicare thing -- -- on this welfare I think it's remarkable thing. And and so he didn't talk about welfare in his speech on Thursday night the other thing you didn't talk about welfare didn't talk in his speech which I think is remarkable couldn't talk about the war waging an Afghanistan. Or our troops which is an amazing thing for someone who wants to be 66 days from now elected as our commander in chief. Not even talk about our troops. Or the world waging Afghanistan and maybe that's because governor Romney called are ending of the Iraq -- tragic. Has opposed our plans and Afghanistan. In terms of bringing troops -- we were rich were recovered 33000 in September so that was a huge admission. And I think a really remarkable thing. Final question -- -- ask about Clint Eastwood the president said Doug that tweet on Thursday never gonna show it right now. Put it up there but I. Just just there's this seat is taken. I guess governor Romney thought -- was pretty funny the president. Listen I think the president myself what we we all I think everyone in America thinks he's been an amazing actor and director. And an American treasure. I do think that Romney campaign would probably not three days after the convention still -- questions raised about Clint Eastwood. So -- you'll have to ask them how that all went down. I don't think it probably I think they probably had other business they wanted to transact. But there were -- when these things here you'll -- David Clough thank you very much. -- --

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

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