David Axelrod Questions Romney's 'Bain Mentality'

Obama campaign advisor hones attack on Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.
8:56 | 01/08/12

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Transcript for David Axelrod Questions Romney's 'Bain Mentality'
Let me bring in the president's top strategist David -- for a great to have you and George welcome back it is good to be back what you saw right out of the box Mitt Romney. Last night walking that tight -- On the economy welcoming the good news and saying President Obama doesn't deserve any credit fort he's made things worst debt is going to be the key -- this campaign he ought to ask what. Point four million auto workers and people who work in the auto industry who are working today because the president intervene when Mitt Romney said we should -- -- from Detroit go. Bankrupt the the he says something worse than that George. And -- more preposterous which is that. The president's policies have made the recession worse the fact is that's his argument well he's into the facts -- he has a lot of arguments none of them are supported by fact. If you look at the history of this president came to office. The quarter before it got to office the country the economy shrunk by 9%. The first month he was there the country lost seven and 50000 jobs we've had twenty. Two months of private sector job growth now it's been a a climb. -- And -- a series of it manufacturing up for the first time in decades I mean we are planning -- work to do we've got big problems they took a long time to. -- in the making they're gonna take some time more time the we'd like to solve but to say that he made his policies made -- recession worse and here's the thing George. He had when he was running for president 2002000. Seven and 2008. He had not -- unkind word one critique of the economic policies of the last administration that led up to and through the worst of this. Recession he thinks that the policies that were -- place them -- the right policies and now he wants to go back to that unemployment still not as -- as -- -- predicted it would -- when President -- first. Came -- and -- according to most projections it's likely to be the highest for any incumbent president. In modern times well we'll see where those statistics -- the direction. Is important here governor Romney may be rooting for. For for a slips and falls here. We are concentrating on a moving this economy forward. But there's a larger issue George which is what kind of economy -- we are we aiming for we have to get people back to work but we also have to make sure. That work -- you know -- that's that's a big distinction between us and governor Ronnie he doesn't. Understand that that is a fundamental issue that is facing this -- She also sort of take some fire last night on his tenure at -- Capital informing you the Democrats democratic -- -- you've really been hitting hard. All through this campaign so far he's not backing down. At all he saw him last night. Governor Romney saying his team at Bain Capital is responsible for creating 100000. Jobs are -- get any quarrel with that number. Absolutely I'm not not me forget about may every independent fact checker who's looked at including the Associated Press last night after the -- said he can't. Back up that number his campaign has conceded he says that -- let -- know I know -- -- it's a net net number and he said I'm a numbers -- the problem is that I'm neither he nor his campaign. Can furnish any evidence -- sport the but let's talk about. -- let's talk about what it was and what he did his partners in the LA times. Our job was not to create jobs -- job was great wealth for our partners and here's what they did. They closed down. More than a thousand plants stores. And offices they outsource tens of thousands of jobs and they took twelve companies to bankruptcy. And on those bankruptcies he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars he says this is the real economy this is the model. For the country I don't think those of the values that people want to animate our our economy he is not a job creator -- -- -- corporate raider. Those aren't the values that we want to lead -- -- you think that's going to be a vulnerability. For governor Romney -- coming out of Iowa coming out of the debate last night going into this primary. Here in New Hampshire are you more convinced than -- he's going to be the nominee. Well I don't know what the answers that I mean there's it's clear that there are are a majority of Republicans who. Who are resistant to him nearly got a quarter of the vote not -- this is his essentially his home state he has one of his homes here. And he was the governor of the neighboring state so we'll see how this. Process goes but his fundamental problem is. One of -- I don't think conservatives trust him and I don't think moderates trust them and you saw last night. -- shifting on a whole. Rain -- musicians -- abortion to China two to taxes but he is getting the support of Republicans who think his best able. To being present Obama is he the strongest candidate well will will will will see George I don't think that frankly. They bring -- being mentality. Two. To this economy to running this economy makes him a strong candidate. I don't think shifting and moving around on positions fundamental positions. Is is one that people don't -- trust is a big issue. In the presidency I think there's a big trust question here -- I don't know is going to be a big issue as -- but others last -- started taking aim at President Obama on the issue of national security. And defense coming off that announcement this week from the president's secretary -- that the military is gonna be downsized no longer poised to fight to -- wars and Governor Perry was tough on them. You cannot cut one trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget. And expect that America's freedoms are not going to be jeopardized. That to me is the biggest problem that America faces is a president that doesn't understand the military. And a president who is allowing the reduction of the DOD budget so that he can spend money and other places. And it will put America's freedom in jeopardy. Where they can make -- -- -- our -- governor -- had a problem with counting before the fact is that. -- the trillion dollar figure he -- includes a trigger that that that is in place but we expect that we're gonna. We're gonna deal -- trigger during the course of this year. So that. He's using inflated number the point here though is is less about numbers and whether we're gonna have the kind of military of the can face the challenges we face. In the 21 century warfare is change the nature of our. Opponents have changed -- high tech. Warfare is is much more important. We have to be Agile we have to be quick. And and we need to develop that kind of military but I must say. I don't think the president needs to justify his national security -- few days to the crowd that was on that podium last night. And I think when you look at at the record ending the war in Iraq. Bringing Osama bin -- to justice. The destroying the leadership. Of al-Qaeda. I think Americans know that this -- and he's made some very tough calls and a governor run as well any president. Would've given the order on Osama bin Laden Bob gates said it was. The most courageous decision -- seen the president making his. -- thirty years in Washington so and I'm not sure Mitt Romney would have made that decision has a very courageous decision. Also this morning new book out about the White House by Jodi Kantor New York Times about the president and mrs. Obama it's called the Obama's own real bit of an excerpt. From bad news Kantor's piece New York Times about it is talking about the First Lady and says news of the ways of Washington. But impassioned about what her husband has been elected to do she saw herself as a guardian of values. She was sometimes hard on her husband's team -- he was eventually urging him to replace them and the tensions grew so severe. That one top advisor erupted in a meeting in 2000 and cursing. The apps and First Lady Jodi Kantor talked to 33. People inside and around the White House it does -- paint a portrait. The very tense White House and -- between the east wing and the west wing is an accurate. -- you know it's not it's in the you know you can take any one incident and exaggerate that incident is true though isn't it. Yes and then the context of it is important it but and then we don't have the time to rehearse it here but George. You were in a White House you understand that that's a very. Every day is a very tense working environment and you can have great collegiality and that doesn't mean that people have. Exchanges. And words I think the First Lady and her staff worked very well when I was there with -- -- the the west -- she's a sensational person and and highly regarded by everybody -- -- -- suggested that time she was reluctant to go on the campaign trail will she be a full partner and in this year's election what she's been reluctant because her first priority is a taking. Looking after her kids and -- I appreciate that. But she's been out quite a bit shall be out more she believes deeply in the president and more than that she believes deeply in this country and what we need to do. To create an environment in which people can work hard. Get ahead. Feel like -- children are gonna do better that's what. This is election election is all about and does so yes she'll be -- -- that's right thanks very much -- it's --

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

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