TODAY | October 03, 2012
>>> stephanie cutter is president obama 's campaign manager . stephanie, good morning to you.
>> good morning.
>> let's talk about the debate. you just heard rick santorum talk about the president's strengths as a debater. this is something that american voters seem to agree with. most polls show they expect the president to prevail tonight by a large margin. does the president have a very high bar to pass tonight in the view of american voters?
>> well, i think the test for both candidates tonight is who is going to lay out a vision and a detailed specific vision of how we're going to move this country forward. i think the candidate that does that will win that test. american people sitting at home in their living rooms are looking for details, and i think you'll see president obama continue to do that. he's been having that conversation with them for some time. mitt romney has not done that. tonight offers him an opportunity to do that. he's got 90 minutes to clarify some comments that he's made recently, some policies that are left open, some tax cuts that he won't say how he's going to pay for, and we're very much look forward to this.
>> you're looking to plan to press him for specifics. turning that on you. will the president offer specifics on how he plans to rejuvenate the economy and why he thinks he'll be more successful in a next four years than he was able to be in the first four years?
>> i think you'll hear him talk about the past four years and what we've been able to do to right the economy. remember, when the president took office we were losing 100,000 jobs a month. now we've created more than 5 million jobs over the past years with 30 straight months of growth.
>> let me stop you right there. the president has said what he wants to do but what he hasn't said is why he'll be more successful politically if the makeup of congress stays exactly the same.
>> well, i think he actually, savannah, he has talked about that. i think he said it's up to the american people . the american people need to see this election as a moment to break that fever, to send a message to washington that it's time to get things done, to work across the aisle. the president has continuously reached across the aisle to get things done, whether it was reducing taxes on the middle class , you know, reducing our deficit, cutting $1 trillion worth of spending. he's open and ready to do that, continued to do that over the next four years, but on election day i think americans will send a very strong signal to the people in washington, that it's time for republicans to drop their intransigence of protecting tax cuts for the wealthy, come to the table and -- and get some stuff done.
>> i want to ask you about vice president biden's remarks yesterday. conservatives have seized on them. he said that the middle class has been buried for the last four years. your campaign has pointed out he meant because of republican policies. that said, do you wish the vice president had chosen different words?
>> no, absolutely not. in fact, we'll probably debate this tonight, that the middle class has been pressed over the past four years because of the very same policies that mitt romney and paul ryan are promising to go back to. let's talk about that tax cut that mitt romney won't tell us how he's going to pay for it. that's a tax cut geared towards the wealthy. wants to give a $250,000 tax cut to multi-millionaires, but in order to pay for that, even mitt romney 's own economists say we'll have to raise taxes on the middle class . that's exactly what crashed the economy and punished the middle class in the first place. you'll hear the president talk about that tonight, and we shouldn't return to those policies. we have to continue moving forward on the path that we're on. the president is rebuilding this economy in a way that's meant to last, with a strong middle class at its core. the last thing we should do is go back to the policies that crashed the economy in the first place.
>> all right.
>> that's what mitt romney and paul ryan are promising to do.
>> stephanie cutter , we're out of time for the moment. thank