I don't know why these Sunday talking heads show anchors like David Gregory even bother asking politicians questions if they're not going to push them for some actual answers. On this Sunday's Meet the Press, first Gregory had to hide behind the now defunct deficit commission co-chairs to point out the fact that Mitt Romney's math on his economic plan doesn't add up.
And when he asked Romney surrogate Rob Portman to give him specifics to counter their arguments, he got exactly none. All the audience got instead from Portman was carping about how the plan had been mischaracterized, without any explanation as to how. But rest assured, Mitt Romney's going to talk about in the debates. Never mind that the economy was supposed to be the topic of the first debate and we weren't offered any specifics then.
Gregory also managed to feign ignorance about Mitt Romney's six non-existent "studies" that are supposed to support his fuzzy math and trickle down economics. Maybe he was too busy getting ready for his next speaking engagement or learning some more dance moves to take some time to, you know... read. I don't think anyone had any high expectations for Karl Rove's dance partner when he was offered this job. Gregory continues to do his best to keep them right where they belong week after week.
Transcript below the fold.
GREGORY: I want to ask you about the economy. And a key moment from the debate that has to do with Governor Romney’s tax and spend plan, his budget, his effort to reach a balance budget. This is how the president went after it on Tuesday. Let me play a portion of it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Now, Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend seven or eight trillion dollars, and then we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it, you wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal. And neither should you--the American people, because the math doesn’t add up.
GREGORY: Now, here’s the thing. I know the Romney campaign has six studies that say it does add up, but we don’t know exactly how. I’ve talked to Erskine Bowles and Senator Simpson of-- of the Simpson-Bowles commission, and they say it simply doesn’t work that either the middle-class will have to pay more in taxes or you have to blow up the deficit. What can you say, specifically, that has undecided voters out there getting some clarity about why the math works aside from asserting that it does work?
SEN. PORTMAN: Well, David, two points. One, it does work. You mentioned the half dozen studies. The president is talking about a study that is not the Romney plan. That’s what’s been great about these debates, and this is why they have helped Mitt Romney in Ohio and around the country is that Mitt Romney has been able to tell people who he is and what his policies are rather than relying on these 30-second attack ads by the Democrats that, as you said, have been running hot and heavy in Ohio, mischaracterizing who he is, misrepresenting his policies. So the policy does work. It does fit together.
And it’s because it’s tax reform, it’s not just tax cuts. And it does, you know, require looking at some of these deductions, credits, and exemptions, and so on. So it does work. It does fit together. So that’s what these debates have been fantastic for in terms of Governor Romney. Now second is Governor Romney has a plan. And-- and that’s one thing that you’ve heard from a lot of folks already this morning on the show is that the president is out there attacking a plan. Now he’s mischaracterizing it. But at least Governor Romney has got a vision for the future. And he’s got the plan to put America back to work. That’s not what you hear from President Obama. He’s talking about four more years of the last four years. And if you’re an undecided voter in Ohio today, that’s not what you want to hear. You know things are not going well. You know you want a change. Governor Romney has laid out a change, and in these debates he’s been able to talk about what he’s actually for and how it works.
GREGORY: All right. We’re going to leave it there. Senator Portman, thank you very much. We’ll be watching tomorrow night.
SEN. PORTMAN: Thanks, David. Thanks for having me on again.