Stephanie Cutter, Obama 2012 deputy campaign manager, joined ABC News in a web exclusive before her appearance on the “This Week” roundtable on Sunday. She discussed working with the president, the 2012 campaign, and a few of her favorite things.
Cutter looked back on her time on the campaign trail and news-making moments, such as when she said that Mitt Romney was either possibly guilty of a felony for misrepresenting his position at Bain Capital after 1999 to the SEC or guilty of misrepresenting his position to the American people. ”I don’t regret saying it. It’s the truth,” Cutter said.
“What I said was there were a series of documents that came out, that came to light in a news report that showed that Romney had signed SEC documents alleging that he was in charge of Bain Capital from 1999 to 2001, when he alleged he wasn’t in change of Bain Capital, and that he was off running the Olympics. But he was signing these documents as the chairman, president, CEO and sole owner of Bain Capital to the federal government. So only one of two things could be true… either he’s not telling the truth to the SEC or he’s not telling the truth to the American people. If he’s not telling the truth to the SEC, then that could be a felony. That’s exactly what I said.”
“Now of course we know what the truth is. The truth is, he didn’t want the American people to know he was in charge of Bain Capital at that time because there were a series of deals that went down that led to outsourcing of American jobs overseas, that led to bankruptcies, Americans losing their jobs here at home, but Bain walking away with a pretty hefty profit. That was the story that he was trying to separate himself from. So, at the end of the day, what we were arguing, which I think the American people agreed with was that, you know, if you’re the CEO, chairman, president of a company, it is very difficult to say that you’re not in charge.”
See more of Cutter’s responses to viewer questions below:
Did you ever say no to the president?
“Well, certainly, you know, if there was a time that I felt strongly about something the president would listen to that and we normally would come to an agreeable solution. But you know, I think that this campaign was remarkable in that we knew what our task was from a year out, two years out we had a strategy and we stuck to it from the beginning to the end. And it proved to be successful. We had minor deviations from it along the way, but for the most part we stuck to the strategy and it worked. ”
How did it feel to be one of the few senior women involved in the campaign? Do you agree with that premise?
“Well, we were actually pretty lucky in that we had a lot of senior women on the campaign. I was a deputy campaign manager, and there were two other deputy campaign managers that were both women: Julianna Smoot and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. And we basically split the campaign into thirds. So we were lucky in that way. There was plenty of diversity at the top of the campaign and all the way down…When you’re in the thick of it and you’re looking around the table, you’re not counting how many men or how many women are sitting around. That’s your team. And we had been together for many, many years. So it was a close-knit team that worked well together.”
Will you ever run for office yourself? There is an open Senate seat in your home state of Massachusetts.
“And there is a great candidate running for that seat: Ed Markey, who’s been the dean of the Massachusetts delegation for a very long time. I think he’d make a wonderful senator. I don’t think that running for office is in my future. I’ve enjoyed working on campaigns, helping other people get elected for offices. I’ve been very lucky to work for some incredible people, from Bill Clinton to John Kerry to Ted Kennedy, who was a great mentor of mine, to President Obama. So I’ve been very lucky to see these great leaders in action and help them get to their elected offices. I don’t think that running for office is for me though.”
Lightening Round: iPhone or Blackberry?
“We’re in Oscar season so I’m gonna talk about my favorite film this year. My favorite is actually “Silver Linings Playbook.” That it’s so real and identifiable to everybody in life. That whether it’s a bad breakup or moving home to live with your parents, I just thought it was a great film the way it used humor to get at these issues.”
“What isn’t? I guess cheese.”
Any specific type of cheese?