Roundtable I: GOP Convention Recap

George Will, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, Bill Burton and Kerry Healey.
3:00 | 09/02/12

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Transcript for Roundtable I: GOP Convention Recap
So Mr. President. How do you how do you handle. How do you handle promises that you've made when you're running for election and how do you handle. -- -- I mean what do you say to people view. Just. You know I know. People. -- -- -- -- -- I can't. Can't do that to himself. -- were debating an empty chair we've got five -- shares on our roundtable this morning I'm joined as always by George well. Donna Brazil Matthew -- Doctor Kerry Healey lieutenant governor of Massachusetts under Mitt Romney now a senior advisor to his campaign and a former Obama advisor Bill Burton -- the head of the priorities USA action. Action that's super pac supporting President Obama let's talk about the Republican convention's first round -- George we saw three nights one make short because of Isaac. In those three nights -- They do with the not clear. It's question -- of who's watching out why at this point. -- the kind of people who tune in conventions the kind of people were usually interest in politics if so leadership was down about 30% from hours ago. And this matters because the voting starts in this country -- Iowa and 25 days five days after that and Ohio. Third of the American people live in the 35 states 32 states this -- -- -- early voting so we're really. On the edge of something here in the question is did Mitt Romney tell us something we didn't already now. We know he's against -- he says -- borrowed money -- bad idea as we know he's against what they called trickle down government. But did -- tell us something we didn't already know I doubt that he. You know I don't believe he close the deal and I also believe it was a missed opportunity in the George when you. Attend a Republican Convention is a Democrat if you know you you suspect that there they're going to hammer US. What we suffered for three nights is that the Republican Party basically trying to figure out. Their path forward we had the rising -- a -- sixteen. And we had a conversation when -- -- Romney that said look I'm gonna tell you why he made me laugh why we should should trust him. But bidding closed the deal so I think we left there after that was bizarre performance but Clint Eastwood -- really like. We'll update still wondering who was -- One although I would go to doctor Healy have -- -- the enemies he took his medicine and a lot of his personal biography and -- -- that himself on Thursday. Well not only that but you also saw people from throughout his life on Thursday night people who -- I had never met before coming forward to tell their own stories about. The incredible. Charitable acts that governor Romney -- What I'd done throughout his lifetime it in secret I mean often people. Wonder we know why don't we hear more about Mitt Romney's charitable -- obviously he feels of these things are private. But on that night people came forward and said. Let me tell you that -- about the kindness that he he had with that are sick child. Or how he helped our family when we were in need and then -- taught that people came forward and said this is what it was like working with a -- Bain Capital and how we help create jobs and about. -- a side to him that I think most people hadn't seen -- and there are times that have Clint Eastwood. Well I think that was Joliet a decision that the networks made not to cover more of that and I hope that people go online and -- and look at those speeches because that was really. To me some of the most powerful moments of the of the convention will. For me to convention and they're not used to close the deal but they are used to make building blocks in a tight race to be in order to convert people by the time you get to the end I think what the convention dead. Because it didn't fully do I think what they want to do which was convert people from anti Obama. To pro Romney which is what you have to have it raises the stakes for October 3 which is the first vice presidential debate. The other thing if I were the Romney campaign I would be worried about is that normally if you take a look at history. Conventions and messages that are primarily about biography don't usually win. They could that you can think about Bob Dole's convention was primarily about his biography he lost Bob Kerry's convention was prepare without biography -- and John McCain's convention. And so what I think they missed was an opportunity is take the -- connected to a vision and that's the part I think. This site but on the other hand he did Bill Burton make that strong case that'll for a lot of Americans and I feel any better off there were four years ago and -- plus still couldn't give that yes we are better off than we were four years. Well the -- that question is that if you look at when the president took over. We are still losing 800000 jobs -- months of the situation didn't get to the very worst point until into the president's term but since the recovery start yes form. More than four million jobs have been created. But what Mitt Romney -- I think lieutenant governor is right that one of the most powerful parts of their convention was some of personal stories that came from some people -- in prime time. But what he -- was. Was the opportunity to talk about not just how much he loves his family but what he's going to be for the American people and their families there's no specificity. There's no defense his economic strategy and I think that that was the biggest that's -- -- governor -- and because there was a point. Gilbert obviously an Obama partisan but the wall street journal editorial page basically. Made the same point yesterday said that. He didn't lay out his economic policy agenda -- enough specificity that you know I would strongly disagree and I would also disagree with the idea that he didn't get the message across that the whole point of his administration would be. The American people and their jobs and their families he made that very clear that's how he closed his speech. So and he also has been talking about for the for the last month. And also at the convention his policies to expand. The welfare of the middle classes to talk about job creation there to create twelve million new jobs -- Bring down unemployment unemployment now has been over 8% for. 43 months so of course you can't say that you're better off than you -- Four years ago I think he made a very specific. It appeal to people to. It repeal obamacare which -- there ever there's a lot of support for and empowers small businesses lower taxes on every one. Not just upper income folks but everyone and small businesses and and two didn't get us to a point of energy independence just -- he -- lay out this is. But -- only other places that I thought was especially effective George Willis that pitch to the disappointed. Obama voters that -- of the fading Obama posters on the college students law Americans want their presidents to succeed partly because they put them. And they don't want to say they made a mistake. So I thought that tone more in sorrow than in anger. It's all right to change presidents. After all you know if we have a third. Two term president Monroe -- be -- for the second time in American history we've had that. Jefferson Madison Monroe. So it. Turmoil and change is perfectly normal -- the chief executive office and I think that's something that mr. Romney was trying to say don't be afraid we can do this. Is that the best part of the convention. -- the best part of mentioned really was -- Ron Paul people who really left with a bad taste -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Is that two thirds of Mitt Romney's speech -- listened -- speech I love the video because you know we got a glimpse into his his his life his family life I enjoy -- -- sense. The two thirds of the speech was all about emotion it was all about him the man. And the person he didn't lay out his policies on his policy prescriptions until the last fifteen minutes and he did it in such a moving quick way out at a five point plan -- kept thinking you had fifty not going to be reduced to five but there was still no. No -- no big. Good to me that to meet with that whole sort of were disappointed anybody voted for it was actually that the fundamental. Most powerful part of the message I believe in Paul Ryan's speech and -- Mitt Romney's speech because what they who they have to win. To win this election is people that voted for Barack Obama -- -- -- for Barack Obama. But don't like the current direction of the country it's sort of the gold watch strategy for the CEO given a gold watch let him go on its way we need a new CEO in this country if they have that -- -- not -- -- anger not try to get people hate Barack Obama it's a good Mike Barack Obama. But you just shouldn't serve I want to make a point. Which I think people miss -- interpret about the question are you better off here were four years ago. We -- a whole bunch of when I was working for President Bush in 2000 -- for a -- went to research on this question and the question really is is twofold. -- is the country better off not argue with as the country because people won't vote for somebody if even if -- are worse off if they think the country's better off. And secondly almost as powerful will the country be better off. Four years from now. And I think what you're gonna see is Mitt Romney's gonna make an argument that says the country's not better off its worse -- -- it was and I think Barack Obama needs to make the argument the country will be better off if I get for its community -- Bill Burton -- -- is making today. Well clearly I think that you know and this is also what was missing from Romney's speech was you know a very forward looking. Vision for where he's gonna take the country what he's gonna actually do if you look at what President Obama didn't 2008. In his speech where he introduced himself to the American people. People talk about the rhetoric and what a great speech it was -- how was delivered but actually he talked very specifically about things like health -- fuel efficiency standards equal pay. Iraq Afghanistan and -- accomplished all those things. -- -- didn't really lead on the path of the things that he's actually going to accomplish here might be some disagreement accomplishing all those things.

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

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