Reince Priebus Does His Best to Put a Positive Spin on Current GOP Presidential Field and Herman Cain Straw Poll Win in Florida
Despite the fact that we're still seeing Republicans pine for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to come be the GOP's latest savior of the day and enter into the 2012 presidential primary race and the fact that it's obvious a lot of them aren't content with their current crop of contenders, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus did his best to put a positive spin on who they have running during CBS's Face the Nation after host Bob Schieffer asked him what he thought about Herman Cain winning the latest straw poll down in Florida.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz did a good job of pointing out that there's really not a dime's worth of difference between their candidates and that every one of them have embraced Paul Ryan's budget plan and want to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it.
Priebus' primary line of attack was to go after President Obama's poll numbers and claim he's already losing some states to Republicans even though it's way too far out for any of those polls to predict what's going to happen before we actually have a named candidate for the GOP and before we've had a single debate between President Obama and the winner of their primary race.
There's no doubt that the terrible economy and joblessness is going to hurt the president when he runs next time around, but he's still got an awful lot of time to point out that a good deal of that is due to, as Wasserman Schultz rightfully pointed out, the Bush left the economy in when he left office and Republican obstruction in the Congress and Republican governors and their cohorts in their state governments sabotaging our economy on purpose for political gain.
Voters may be unhappy with President Obama and rightfully so for some of what's gone wrong with our economy, but the Congress' approval numbers are down in the low teens and those of the Republican governors around the country aren't polling a whole lot better.
I'm actually more worried about the GOP doing their best to steal the next election with voter suppression tactics and the kind of thing we're seeing that may happen in Pennsylvania and that state potentially changing how their electoral votes are tallied, if the next election is close, rather than voters turning to Republicans in hordes thinking that they have anything to offer to get our country out of the economic ditch we're in right now.
What we need right now is an actual progressive majority in the Congress and not one with a bunch of Conserva-Dems doing their best to obstruct right along with the Republicans on getting anything meaningful to get our economy back on track passed and something done about the current filibuster rules in the Senate, but sadly given the money it takes to run for office right now, I'm not hopeful of that happening any time soon. I would love to see Reince Priebus have to eat his words on how wonderful this current crop of GOP candidates are that we've got running because I don't want to see what kind of country we become if any of them get elected.
And last but not least, I cannot watch this man on the air without thinking about Stephen Colbert asking, What's a Rance Priebus?.
Full transcript below the fold.
SCHIEFFER: All right. I want to just quickly shift because I want to ask you about some big...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Good talking points.
SCHIEFFER: ... news down in Debbie Wasserman Schultz`s home state, Mr. Priebus, that happened last night. Businessman Herman Cain pulled off an upset in the latest straw poll down there in Florida. He walloped the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Rick Perry, who had campaigned hard down there, and made a big point of saying he was campaigning hard and Mitt Romney, who didn`t officially compete.
Mr. Cain makes a great speech but I don`t see any particular segment of the Republican Party that has been behind him Mr. Priebus. What does that say about the Republican field, that Herman Cain won a straw poll down there?
PRIEBUS: Well, Bob, look, I mean, a lot of different candidates are winning these straw polls. Herman won a couple of days ago. You know, Michele Bachmann won in Iowa. Polling shows Perry and Romney back and forth. Rick Santorum won a straw poll in Pennsylvania. I mean, I know he`s from Pennsylvania. But he won that straw poll.
Here`s the deal. We`re going to have a rigorous debate in this country on our side of the aisle. We`re going to put up an articulate, intelligent alternative to this president. And I think that people are hungry in this country not necessarily for all Republican answers or all Democratic answers. They`re hungry for real authentic people to lead this country. And guess what they have. They have a record to measure this president on and his record is...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Bob.
PRIEBUS: ... Solyndra, just south of me where...
PRIEBUS: ... 1,100 people lost their jobs and the president...
SCHIEFFER: Mr. Priebus, let me ask you this question. Do you think this suggests that somebody else ought to get in the Republican field, maybe Chris Christie of New Jersey?
PRIEBUS: You know, listen, I said before, look, I`m happy with the field. I think it`s a great field. And you know what? Yes, is there a time through a nomination process to technically to still get in? Sure there is.
I mean, it gets harder and harder as you get closer to Iowa. But listen, I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that we`re having the debate on our side of the aisle. The horsepower, the excitement is on the Republican side of the aisle. And the reason why is because people in this country want to save this country economically and this president isn`t doing the trick.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Bob...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Bob, since I`m from Florida, let me weigh in on that. It doesn`t much matter...
PRIEBUS: Where the president is upside-down, too.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Excuse me. It doesn`t much matter which one of the Republicans gets nominated because they`re all the same. This will be a very stark contrast. They are all embracing and bear- hugging the tea party, moving to the right. They can`t move to the right far enough.
No matter which candidate is nominated by the Republican Party, they all favor privatizing Social Security, which would pull the safety net out from under our seniors. They all favor ending Medicare as we know it and embrace the Ryan plan to turn it into a voucher program.
They all are wrong on immigration reform when it comes to Hispanics in the States. So as a Floridian, I can assure you, Mr. Priebus, that when it comes to the dramatic contrast between Barack Obama and his notion that we should preserve Social Security and Medicare, that we should make sure that we acknowledge that there is an immigration problem and we should come together around comprehensive reform, my state will go...
PRIEBUS: Bob, let me respond to that.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... in the win column -- excuse me. Not until I finish. My state will go in the win column for President Obama again because the extremists in the tea party control your party. And this is the second debate in a row now that you can`t embrace...
PRIEBUS: We only have 12 minutes here, Debbie.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That you can`t embrace the candidates that are there now because you know all of them are wrong for America.
SCHIEFFER: All right. One last response from you, Mr. Priebus.
PRIEBUS: You bet. You bet. Here is the problem. In spite of all those words, her problem is that in spite of all of this hyperbole, the president is now losing in Florida. And, you know, you can talk hypotheticals all day long, but guess what, Debbie and the party and the congressional committee on the Democratic side tried all of this in New York 9, in a heavily Democratic district, and guess what? They lost.
So this has already been tested in a Democratic district. These talking points have been tested.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It was tested in a Republican district in New York 26, and we won.
PRIEBUS: And they`re losing. And they`re imploding. They`re imploding. And their base is imploding. Hispanics...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: All across the country.
PRIEBUS: ... aren`t on board. African-Americans are leaving the president.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Ending Medicare as we know it...
PRIEBUS: His base isn`t there, Bob, and that`s his problem.
SCHIEFFER: All right. I could just let the both of you just keep on going here.
Because you`re talking...
... together, separately and so on.
Thank you all both for being with us this morning.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.
PRIEBUS: God bless you, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: ... a conversation to -- to be continued.