Rather: Economy Hasn’t Played Such a Large Role Since FDR
HDNet’s Dan Rather on the importance of the economy in the 2012 election.
- Duration 7:57
- Date Jan 10, 2012
HDNet’s Dan Rather on the importance of the economy in the 2012 election.
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Allies -- New Hampshire and a presidential race no matter who the Republican candidate is the race shortly will be about the economy.
Dan rather's been covering presidential campaigns for more than forty years and he is in New Hampshire leading up mark Cuban's HD net -- coverage.
So Dan when was the last time you saw the academy plays such a vital role in a presidential elections.
Where you have to go back to the original appointment though -- victory in 1932 I think to find an American election.
That depended so much one in the balance so much with the economy -- -- -- to -- that bar.
That's extraordinary I -- put it back to 92 I've got it.
Shorter term everybody 92 when bush and Clinton were -- -- and and clearly the it was it was the economy stupid as James Carville said.
-- I would put it -- that but you think it is that fundamental in terms of the direction the country's going.
I do I take your point in 1992 election.
The collar was a big factor but not as big as it is this year in my opinion.
A stand but I think you have to go back to the early thirties -- beginning depression.
And the election frighten old joke to find an American presidential election in which the economy.
Figured as heavily as it.
Does right now and I think we'll continue to do this year this is really extraordinary it's bare -- how historic this election is an.
It's not just the economy it's the role of government in our lives right.
Exactly and that too intertwined as you know as we all know you don't have to understand economics those two things -- very closely allied and those of the two pillars.
-- on which at this this election stands and I think -- be decisive well where do you think the America obviously there's so many choices right now you can't pick who the winners going to be but.
But as far as the government and playing a role in our lives do you think most Americans now think it's gone too far.
Very hard to judge.
I think if you ran a poll published somebody has.
That the majority would say yes has gone too far but then when you start asking -- about specific programs such as Social Security Medicare Medicaid.
-- I think that that you would drop.
But it's always difficult to judge the American public as a whole -- it would have big continental country on the Bursch religiously ethically.
Very hard to side however I do agree.
That this is the big story line of this election and when we get closer to November in the actual general election vote.
I think the the public will solidify of around one of those two views that is to say yes I'm convinced the government -- is too much.
Too much lives and -- vote Republican because of that.
Or that was say I think the Republicans have moved -- for the right what they're talking about there's some truth dupers to.
Quote radical for me.
And go the Obama way you know you talk about how Americans perceive themselves and I think that is critical in this election also it's not just the role of government but how we perceive ourselves I think most Americans.
Perceive themselves as independent yes we like or Medicare yes we like her Social Security but what -- like our independence we like the idea of pulling it.
Pulling -- our own bootstraps rent and -- government do it doing it for a -- we reject.
The idea of an all intrusive nanny state I did not everybody does but I think the majority of people.
Are pretty clear -- that don't you.
I do -- that but then again when you get down to specifics it becomes a bit schizophrenic.
But I think American public opinion is and has been for some little while you put your finger but I don't.
Americans pride themselves on their independence.
We hear -- in New Hampshire primaries you know New Hampshire voters have very.
Rightful reputation of being among the most independent in the country one of the things it makes his primary campaign so unpredictable.
What we see ourselves as you.
Very independent we're.
Self reliant -- ourselves up by bootstraps however we recognize there's some things in which the that -- be good of the country requires government what we're debating now in this presidential campaign.
Is how much is too far.
Right but you know even FDR warned about the problem of government.
Providing too much that is -- the dependency that individuals who were on the dole have a tendency to get.
Which which can be very destructive to their individual needs and of the country as a whole.
Well that's true but just recently read some FDR speeches someone -- you book collection speeches and he spoke about not just once but several times about that.
But fair to say it's been well well over half a century since that time.
And again where individual Americans I think collectively Americans are they say.
Yes that's right that's -- Where it gets into the economic arguments saying look if the government out of our lives get the government out of business and the economy so it can can -- or.
On the other hand when someone's out of work and you talk about but again into unemployment benefits than their opinion swings the other way and so it goes.
All right well the president has clearly set out which side of this divide he saw and I.
Some people thought that he might pull Bill Clinton he -- try to be more moderate as Bill Clinton was after his first mid term election he got from -- got trounced in that.
Instead the president is -- exactly the opposite direction is gone back to his -- said.
All of his speeches recently is that government should do even more than what it is doing now what it's already grown tremendously under his watch so.
Do you think that press which was willing to cut of all all water breaks frankly during the last election 2008 we'll have a similar attitude or might there be a little work.
Little more -- constructive criticism this time around -- Well might argue with people that they -- constructive criticism but that I think that the press we -- more skeptical this time around.
But but but part of the problem that I find most voters most individual Americans have.
They might agree and -- quite a few -- do agree what you just outlined the President Obama has done.
The preceding administration a two term Republican presidency.
All went pretty far but increasing government government spending and after all of -- a great view the responsibility.
Of for the economic situation -- in.
So weakest pretty complicated out there when it sort sort truck trying to decide in this election.
Right don't have a although -- -- forgive me for -- there but I I don't think that this you're you're actually right a lot of libertarian Republicans small government Republicans were were outraged at some of the spending in during the bush administration and of course he was the first one that started with a TARP bailouts.
Which were there -- continued by the president but but President Obama in in terms of of a mountain in terms of degree the degree to which government is grown.
Under -- -- is far greater than agree to Richard great grew.
Well -- would argue with that.
That's certainly people who -- but I -- -- argument that my only point is that when you're trying to decide whether it in 2012 to vote vote Republican or democratic.
You start with the Bush Administration.
Some -- for the back than that there's a space President Clinton made some mistakes economically at all -- -- the economy is very good during his term.
But it's the group that great sweep of history goes forward and -- how you gonna vote Republican it it won't be as.
Quote as bad as the Obama administration and then people Begin to remember President Bush and some of the things that you just outline.
And again and so complicated I think that's one reason this won't be number one.
A very close election I expect to close election November number two I think it will be nasty enough to -- a budget -- the time we get through with the gag a buzzard that's a good Texas express standard that -- Well you're just reported it spoke earlier Newt Gingrich who is you know he's matter -- -- rooster about.
Mitt Romney -- him and Iowa.
Takes what five million dollars out of somebody in Las Vegas or can -- -- campaign.
If you think it's bad now it's gonna get me -- as we go along I agree.