RNC, DNC chiefs battle on Bloomberg TV: Caterpillars, women voters

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“POLITICAL CAPITAL WITH AL HUNT”: Reince Priebus & Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

On this weekend’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing tonight at 9:00PM/ET, Bloomberg TV anchor and Washington, DC editor Al Hunt interviews RNC chairman Reince Priebus as well as DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Watch preview of the show here: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/89971495/

“Political Capital with Al Hunt” airs Friday evenings at 9pm/ET with repeats throughout the weekend, including 8:00am /ET on Sunday.

To find Bloomberg TV in your area, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/tv/channel-finder


Priebus on Democrats saying the GOP is waging a war on women and how big of a problem that is to the GOP:

“For one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and mainstream media outlets talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction and this started a war against the Vatican that this President pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare so I think that’s the first issue.”

“How to we combat it? We make the case to women and everyone in this country, no matter what your background, that number one: this President hasn’t fulfilled his promises. Number two, we can do better in this country in regard to jobs and the economy. People need to be having better jobs. They need to make more money. They need to be more prosperous and it’s the Republican party that wants to help everybody, no matter where you are, whatever income bracket, we believe that jobs should be better, people should be doing better and choices should be more. That’s what our case is going to be and we hope women in this country are going to accept that.”

Priebus on whether it was appropriate for President Obama to comment on why the courts would be engaged in judicial activism if it overturned the law:

“I don’t get that at all as a 13, 14-year lawyer. If anything, what we have is a court that’s looking at the separation of powers and the 10th Amendment. It’s the most fundamental issue in our country as far as federalism…I don’t know if it’s appropriate, I just think it’s foolish. It’s sort of disingenuous and foolish as a lawyer and a former law professor…fundamentally unsound. I think it makes [Obama] look foolish, as a lawyer, to tell you the truth.”

Priebus on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

“I certainly agree with most people, in that the mandate seems to be in real big trouble. I think it’s a matter of our Constitution, separation of power, the 10th Amendment, James Madison; everything foundational to America. I think it will get struck down and I think it will be good for a country that get struck down…”

Priebus on Romney trailing Obama in Wisconsin and whether that signifies that Romney has an uphill challenge:

“I think it’s pretty early out. So first of all, you’ve got a couple things there. Number one, the primary in Wisconsin was a big night…Now obviously I have to be neutral but I don’t have to avoid the facts. It was a good night for Mitt Romney. There’s just no question.”

Priebus on why Romney is behind in Wisconsin:

“I think some of that polling was prior to the election on Tuesday. I would imagine now that if you did a poll this week and over the weekend you’re going to see those numbers close. My only point is, head-to-head is very early to be comparing in these kinds of states, and I think especially in Wisconsin; I think people are focused in on Governor Walker and that situation. I’m confident that it will be a very, very close election in Wisconsin and I think if the Democrats overplayed their hand as they’ve done in this recall election I actually think the Republican nominee can win Wisconsin in November.”

Priebus on the role that money will play in the election and which party has the advantage:

“I don’t know if we are going to be able to raise as much as Barack Obama since he’s in love with raising money, but we are not going to have any money problems on the Republican side of the aisle.”

“In fact, right now we have more money than the Democratic National Committee and I think that once we get our nominee where we will be off to the races, and I don’t believe that at the end of the day the President is going to have much of an advantage over us. So this isn’t going to come down to a lack of money, you’re going to have $1 billion on one side and you’re going to have somewhere near that on the other side.”

Priebus on whether outside supporters like Harold Simmons and the Koch brothers make a big difference for the GOP:

“I think both sides have those outside groups, but I think fundamentally what’s most important now, and I think this is true. This thing is not going to be done on television and radio. I believe that door-to-door campaigning, voter to voter contacts is the only way to truly win these races and it’s going to happen in the battleground states in this country and we’re going to be ready to fight.”

Priebus on the Latino vote and recent polls showing that Obama is beating Romney 5 to 1 among Hispanics:

“I think we can get up to 40% or better. I think if you look at where we are at as far as top-line messaging when it comes to jobs and the economy we do much, much, much better in the Latino communities in 2012 and then we did in 2008. I think that’s easily acceptable, but secondly we’ve got better messengers like Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, and Luis Fortuno [who] in Puerto Rico was the governor there that will be very helpful to us in Florida. So I think we’re doing much better with messengers, but ultimately where we need to go out, what my job is and what our job at the RNC is, is to take our message into Hispanic and Latino communities. That I think is where we need to go and obviously that’s the direction we’re heading. You’re seeing some of the hiring that were doing around the country and fulfilling that mission.”

Priebus on the outcome of November’s election:

“For one thing, and it’s not going to be much of a surprise, but Barack Obama is going to lose. I do think we’re going to win the Senate and I think we’re going to do it not just in places like Virginia and Florida and Ohio, but I think we’re going to win in Wisconsin and I think you look at Linda Lingle out in Hawaii; although she’s not getting a lot of press out in the mainstream media, I think she’s a senator that wins out in Hawaii. So I think we have so many opportunities in the Senate that I think a lot of them are going to come in and we will win the majority of the Senate.”

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Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on saying that Romney will be the weakest nominee in many years:

“There’s no question that this is going to be a competitive and close election. And what I actually said was that [Romney is] coming out of this primary as the most unpopular potential nominee, or likely nominee, in recent history and possibly in the history of polling. And that’s because voters understand that throughout this primary he’s demonstrated that he’s willing to say or do anything to get elected; he’s someone without a core, without any convictions.”

Wasserman-Schultz on whether the Supreme Court will overturn or uphold the Affordable Care Act:

“I’m confident that, like President Obama said the other day, the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold the law as constitutional. Congress has the ability to regulate commerce; that’s part of the United States Constitution. It’s clearly impactful when somebody makes a decision not to carry health insurance, and that decision affects everyone all over America and increases all of our healthcare costs. That is directly commerce-related and I believe it will be upheld.”

Wasserman-Schultz on whether it was a mistake for President Obama to say that the Court would be engaged in judicial activism if it overturned the law:

“What the President was saying – and remember, the President was a constitutional law professor before he was President of the United States, so he certainly understands what the role of the Supreme Court is. But it’s not the role of the Supreme Court, as the President said, to overreach and to look beyond the Constitution. He believes, as I do, that the Constitution is clear on its face and the Affordable Care Act should be upheld.”

Wasserman-Schultz on the role that money will play in November’s election and which party will have the advantage:

“Mitt Romney has been the beneficiary of already tens of millions and will ultimately be the beneficiary of hundreds of millions of dollars in special interest money, Super PACs that are going to dump, just like they did – he’s been doing throughout this primary, hundreds of millions of dollars in negative attack ads. He’s been relentless about that. President Obama’s campaign and the Democratic party is fueled by people. We reached a million online donors six months sooner this time, grass roots donors, than we did in the 2008 election…”

Wasserman-Schultz on whether the Super PAC that supports President Obama will do the same thing as Romney’s supporters:

“Yes. There is a Priorities USA Super PAC that I would bet probably won’t raise the hundreds of millions of dollars that the myriad of Super PACs that exist that will ultimately support the Republican nominee will be dumping into this race. And that’s actually had consequences for Mitt Romney, besides the fact that he will clearly be beholden to special interests.”

Wasserman-Schultz on saying that Republicans are waging a war on women:

“It’s clear in this country that the jury of women across America have ruled, the Republicans have been unbelievably extreme and out of touch and hyper-focused on cultural issues. While we are supposed to be focusing, and should be, as President Obama has been, focused on getting the economy turned around and continuing to move us forward and create jobs, their side is obsessed with cultural issues. Mitt Romney, all he could muster as a response to Rush Limbaugh calling a young woman a slut for standing up for her belief that we should have affordable access to birth control in this country was that those weren’t he words he would have chosen.”

Wasserman-Schultz on whether Democrats have a problem among Catholics in America:

“No, I think on the contrary. If you look at the support for President Obama among Catholics, among most Americans…as you look at the Battleground Poll that came out a few days ago, President Obama is beating Mitt Romney head-to-head in my state, head-to-head in battleground states across this country.

Wasserman-Schultz on whether Romney is a flip-flopper or a hard right conservative:

“That’s the problem with Mitt Romney, is that he is willing to be anything he needs to be at any given time. Throughout this entire primary, he has embraced extremism. The positions that he has taken, which he doesn’t take for very long because he changes them at a moment’s notice, but they’ve been extreme. He’s embraced the Tea Party ideology, supports the Ryan budget that ends Medicare as we know it. But then, you can see that Mitt Romney’s standing in quicksand. None of his positions have any conviction because he’s willing to change them at the drop of a hat. And if there’s anything that we need in America, it’s that we need to have confidence that we know where our president stands, whether we agree with them or not, especially in difficult economic times and especially when times get tough in terms of foreign policy.”

Wasserman-Schultz on Republicans saying that they are poised to take over the Senate:

“My take is that they are living in a fairy tale. The American people have been making it clear and the polling recently has demonstrated that the progress that we’ve made economically, although we have a long way to go, is encouraging…. People are feeling confident again and they want us to work together. And most of all, they want to support President Obama and Democrats in Congress’ policies of helping the middle class be successful and not just focus on people who are already doing quite well and make sure they can do even better, which is what Romney and the Republicans feel and my Republican colleagues in Congress have done.”

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