AMANPOUR (voice-over): And the Republicans now face a president whose approval ratings are on the rise, thanks in part to better economic numbers and the speech he gave at the memorial in Tucson.
OBAMA: The hopes of a nation are here tonight.
AMANPOUR (on-screen): You guys came in raring to go, raring to push back. Is it going to be more difficult for you now, given that his standing is -- is being raised dramatically in the country?
SCHILLING: As long as President Obama is doing what's good for the United States of America, I hope his -- his -- his favorables go to 100 percent.
LEE: I certainly don't think it changes my agenda or the agendas of those who are elected along with me this year. Presidential polling numbers wax and wane over time, and that doesn't change the way we push forward.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And those improved ratings are also due to continuing tax cuts, a plan the president initially resisted.
GIBSON: He listened to the American people, and he compromised on something that was very important so that our economy was able to move forward.
SCHILLING: He's starting to have to shift to become more of a moderate, which is good.
AMANPOUR: But just how much the president will have to shift in order to work with this new Congress remains to be seen.
AMANPOUR: For now, a shift to the center. And when we return, our roundtable takes up the presidential pivot to job creation. George Will, Paul Krugman, Matthew Dowd, and Donna Brazile, after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCUS: Absolutely they are going to pivot on job -- to jobs, jobs, jobs.
(UNKNOWN): They thought that they could pivot onto the economy.
TAPPER: President Obama would make a hard pivot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... hard pivot to fixing the economy.
KURTZ: ... president tried to pivot from the cost of war to rebuilding the economy...
(UNKNOWN): ... which is a very awkward pivot.
(UNKNOWN): ... questioning, wondering whether or not President Obama can pivot.
OBAMA: We now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now that the pivot has arrived, joining me to discuss it, our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, economist Paul Krugman, political strategist Matthew Dowd, and Donna Brazile.
So, it's happened. And President Obama has named Jeffrey Immelt as head of a new council on jobs and competitiveness. Impressed?
WILL: With the Immelt appointment?
AMANPOUR: With the whole pivot and the appointment particularly, in fact.
WILL: Well, yes. Yes, it's paid off in the following number. The percent of the American population that identifies the president as a liberal has declined 10 points in two months. That's astonishing. And it's a response to his big political problem that was revealed in 2010 elections, that is, Democrats have been losing blue-collar white voters since the 1960s. That's white voters with no college education, basically. In 2010, he lost them 2 to 1, and there was no gender gap, men and women alike, a record loss, and this is the way to get them back. AMANPOUR: You're seeing red, frankly, aren't you, Paul, over this?
KRUGMAN: Not exactly. It's kind of sad. I mean, it's -- the whole competitiveness thing is a bad metaphor.
AMANPOUR: Why? America is all about competition.