SCHIFFER: And we have Republicans all across the country prepared to speak this morning. And we are ready to poll the delegation. The first thing we’re going to talk about is this week that Herman Cain had here in Washington. Charges of sexual harassment were raised against him. And at one point it was just every stop he would either add or change the story and talk about what had happened.
I want to just play you just a brief clip of his day here or his week in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAIN: I have never sexually harassed anyone. It is totally baseless and totally false. I do remember the formal allegation she made in terms of sexual harassment.
As far as a settlement, I am unaware of any sort of settlement.
I was aware that an agreement was reached.
I got out in front and was direct in addressing this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: So, Ed Gillespie you were the head of the Republican Party at one point. You’ve been a strategist in many campaigns over the years. The Cain people keep saying end of story. Is it the end of the story?
GILLESPIE: Well, I don’t know if it’s the end of the story. And obviously any time you’re talking about sexual harassment instead of your tax reform plan you’re not on the message you want to be on.
I do think, though, that a lot of Republican voters think that, you know, when there’s an anonymous, you know, allegation that there’s a sense amongst many Republicans that there’s, you know, that’s not exactly fair.
Two, I think that conservatives believe that liberals, you know, have kind of a special disdain for black conservatives. And I think that they feel that there’s an unfairness that is at play here. And so I think that actually, you know, this is not as damaging to Herman Cain.
The third thing I would say is that, you know, he is an unconventional candidate but it’s an unconventional year. His response has been unconventional. But I think one of the things you’re seeing at least you’re not seeing yet is as much damage as you would expect in other years or with other campaigns.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you’re right on that. Because the only poll we have since all this began was in the Washington Post. It showed that his support had not lessened at all. But as for liberals being behind it, he was saying at one point this week it was not liberals but the Perry campaign that had leaked this information.
Ed Rollins, what do you think he has to do now? Has he been hurt by all of this even though the polls show he’s generally holding the support he has?
ROLLINS: First of all sometimes it takes two or three weeks for polls or for the incidents to really show up in polls. In this segment of the electorate that he has this 25 percent there’s been seven people have been frontrunners in this campaign since the beginning, and most of them have had that same 25-30 percent that he’s had, everybody from Trump to Bachmann to Perry to and now to Cain. So I think that vote will move back and forth a little bit until it’s solidified. He’s not out of this yet. He can’t basically say I’m not going to answer any more questions on this. As facts come forward even though it’s an unconventional campaign with an unconventional candidate, Republicans want to win. We want basically a candidate who can go up against Obama and beat him. And we think we have an excellent opportunity for that.
So, this is the year to go. There’s less than 60 days to go before the Iowa caucuses so a week is a lifetime in politics, a month is even more so and a year is an eternity. So, I think you’re going to see a lot of things happening. And I think Herman is not basically either answered the questions correctly or has seen the last of this.
SCHIEFFER: Well, to that point, that now seems to be the new strategy. Last night he came down pretty hard on that. Listen to what he said last night when somebody tried to ask…
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Cain, the attorney for one of the women who filed a sexual harassment complaint…
CAIN: Don’t even go there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask my question?
CAIN: No, because….
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I ask a question?
CAIN: Where is my chief of staff?
MARK BLOCK, HERMAN CAIN CHIEF OF STAFF: I’m right here.
CAIN: Please send him the journalistic code of ethics. All right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Well, Ed, what about that? We haven’t gotten that journalistic code of ethics.
ROLLINS: First of all, it’s a tough game. And he reminds me a lot of ten years ago I was Ross Perot’s campaign manager for a brief period of time. And Perot blamed everything on the media as opposed to himself. And he was an unconventional candidate and pretty much self-destructed in the course of his candidacy.
And my sense is the media is a very important part of this process. It’s the eyes of the American public. And you may not always like what they do or what you do. But at the end of the day you have got to deal with it otherwise you lock yourself in a closet and do nothing but commercials on television. That’s not a successful strategy.
SCHIEFFER: Ken Blackwell you’re a Perry man and have been for a long timing. You go way back with him. What about this? I mean, at one point he blamed it all on Rick Perry, said it had been leaked by the Perry campaign, named names and all of that. I think then his campaign manager backed away from that a little bit.
First I’ll give you a chance to say it was not Rick Perry if that’s what you believe.
BLACKWELL: Well, it wasn’t Rick Perry. And I think the Cain campaign has started to walk back from that accusation. It was a shame that he started to point fingers at a time when he said, you know, folks should not point fingers without facts. So, it was a contradiction.
And so I think what Herman has to do is to get everything out in the open. Because this is still an open and a live case. The NRA has basically said that the women who filed the complaints are free to speak on this issue. If they choose not to speak until Cain is successful in winning some primaries, it will hurt him then.
So he has a real interest in getting it out, getting it out as soon as he can and tell the truth.
As long as he tells the truth, gets it out and has a consistent story, IO think he can get through this. And this won’t be the issue. The issue takes away — this issue takes away from us focusing on Obama’s inability to create jobs and high unemployment, and the lack of economic growth that will put us back on the path to prosperity.
SCHIEFFER: Well, Liz Cheney you haven’t endorsed anybody in this campaign. Do you think that Herman Cain can actually survive this?
CHENEY: I do. I think what we’ve heard now are a lot of accusations and not a lot of facts. And having been through campaigns at a very high level, I can tell you that facts are often one of the first casualties. And I think that, you know, Ken is exactly right. The intensity of the focus here is very interesting to me. And the intensity of the focus we’ve seen on the debates in particular on the Republican debates this time around, and the impact that those debate performances have had tells you that what the American voters really care about is the substance.
And I think frankly people are very, very scared. They’re looking for an alternative to President Obama. They see a failing economy and a president whose policies have made this much worse. And frankly they are looking for somebody who is going to be able to talk about how we’re going to create jobs, how we’re going to get the economy growing again.
You know, there’s a lot of kind of interest in, you know, other topics going on right now particularly in the mainstream media. But at the end of the day I think that it’s pretty frustrating to the voters
SCHIEFFER: If you were Herman Cain’s campaign manager, what would you tell him to do? Would you say what Ed Rollins said you need to let this all out as Ken said because it may come back and haunt you later on? Or would you advise him just go right on?
CHENEY: Well, I think it looks to me from the outside like he’s done a good part here towards getting facts out. There were legal ramifications about speaking to this issue. I understand now that the accusers have said at least one of them has said she doesn’t plan to come out and speak publicly. It’s a really fine line.
At some point you’ve got to say, look, here’s the deal. Here are the facts. I think he’s been trying to do that. But then you’ve got to move on. And when you’re in the middle of a feeding frenzy like this it’s often difficult to move on. But I think you have to have the confidence to know at the end of the day, you know, so long as we don’t see more damaging facts come out, this is not the issue that’s going to decide the election. Who can create jobs and grow the economy is what will decide. Both I think the Republican primary and also ultimately the general election.
SCHIEFFER: Well, John Dickerson you’re just — you’ve been on the campaign trail been out in Iowa. How is — what is the reaction out there among people?
DICKERSON: Well, Mr. Cain benefits from something Ed Gillespie mentioned, which is that in the country, the people I’ve been talking to, they look at the mainstream media and the fact that the mainstream media is talking about this as a sign that Cain is being persecuted, that he’s being attacked because he’s a black Republican.
They have rallied around Herman Cain. And anybody who chooses to keep these charges alive, whether it’s the press or an opponent, is going to pay a penalty in the short term.
But what I also hear is people then talking about, well, but has he been thoroughly vetted as a candidate? And Michele Bachmann raised this. And it’s the notion that you can’t have a nominee who goes into the general election who might have questions.
And that’s why, while it would be harmful for Cain to talk about this anymore, because drip, drip, drip just hurts him, if there’s a big question mark, that allows people perhaps to say, you know, we just don’t know.
It’s not just about this issue, but it’s also his positions on foreign policy, on abortion, some other areas, hurdles he has had in his campaign, and just create a big balloon of doubt that hangs over him. And that would be a problem.
SCHIEFFER: Well, all right. Let’s shift just a little bit because I want to talk about Rick Perry, who came — when he announced he shot to the top of the polls. He had a couple of stumbles in the debates, and went right back down.
But while all of this was going on, on national television, out there on the Internet, the story that was getting so much play was this rather, and I’ll use the term, bizarre video of Rick Perry making a speech up in New Hampshire. Just listen to this. I want to get your take on this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today is awesome. Gold is good. If you have got any in the backyard, because, you know, if they print any more money over there in Washington, then gold is going to be good.
I come from a state, you know, where they had this little place called the Alamo. And they declared “victory or death.” You know, we’re kind of into those slogans, man. It’s like, “live free or die,” “victory or death.” Bring it.
You know, this is pretty easy math, subtract it, send it in, it’s awesome. Why not? That little plan that I just shared with you doesn’t force the Granite State to expand your tax footprint, if you know what I mean. Like 9 percent expansion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: So, Ken, you are the Rick Perry man here today. I must say, I was at a forum the other day with a Republican consultant and a Democratic consultant. The Republican Charlie Black, kind of a Republican establishment man, put the best face on it. He said that it was his understanding that Rick Perry had back problems and maybe this was something to do with the medication he was taking.
The Democrat, Steve McMahon, just came right out and said, I think he was drunk. Now I’m just telling you this is what other people said. What — and that is what is going on out in the political universe right now. People are talking about this. What do you think this was all about?
BLACKWELL: I think it’s about a heavily edited YouTube presentation of a 25-minute speech. What they show on YouTube is about three to seven minutes, depending on what version you get.
You know, the crowd responded fabulously to his presentation because in that 25 minutes he talked about how to get America growing again. He talked about his Texas record in terms of protecting the border. He talked about what he believed was American exceptionalism.
And what folks did on YouTube was condense, you know, it down to a very small version. And, look, the guy has been under tremendous pressure. He has been told, you’re uptight, you know, you’re too serious, loosen up.
He does it or a over a span of a speech. Somebody cuts it down and makes it look like that was the substance of the speech, which is totally false. So I think he just needs to keep on going straightforward, be as loose as he wants to be, but keep the focus on getting the economy growing again.
SCHIEFFER: You know, Ed Rollins, we all remember back out in Iowa when Herman Dean (sic) made that victory speech, what people call “the scream” now. And I think a lot of people think that’s what done him in, in that race out there. What do you make of this? ROLLINS: Howard Dean is a good friend of mine. Basically that was sort of the end of his candidacy. I don’t think this is the end of the Perry candidacy. But I think it’s an image that’s going to stay there a long time.
And nobody has made a worse first impression than Governor Perry, who has been an extraordinary governor. He has been elected to office for 25 years, never defeated, three times elected governor of Texas against some very tough opponents.
At the end of the day, his impressions here that the American public has and Republicans have, both in the combination of the debates and this speech, he has got to overcome.
Someone is going to emerge as the alternative to Romney here, and become the chaser. Now whether that’s Mr. Cain or Mr. Perry or one of the other candidates that’s behind, we’ll see. And Iowa will be probably the trigger out. But he’s going to have to live with this.
And what they all need to know is that the day of the old day of the casual speech in front of a New Hampshire audience or an Iowa audience is gone. Everything is now on a camera, on a telephone, or something. And any attempt at humor, if you’re not a comic or any attempt at basically saying something stupid is going to be there, out there with you the rest of the campaign. You have got to live with it.
SCHIEFFER: What do you think, Liz?
CHENEY: You know, I think, again, I find this all pretty frustrating. This country faces huge, huge challenges. And, you know, frankly, watching a morning show like this one where first we’re talking about Herman Cain allegations, and then we’re showing a YouTube mash-up of…
SCHIEFFER: Well, we’re covering the campaign, Liz.
CHENEY: Well, but the issues are what matter, Bob. And with all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They’re afraid that the economy is going off a cliff. They’re afraid that this president wants higher taxes and more spending and bigger government.
And in the midst of all of that, I think that that’s what we ought to be talking about. You know, last night in Texas you had Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have a very substantive exchange about the issues, and a very cordial exchange, but one that focused on how important it is to deal with the entitlement crisis, how important it is to create an environment where the private sector is actually going to be willing to invest again, how important it is to look at what’s happening in Iraq.
You know, Barack Obama likes to talk about what he inherited. He inherited a victory in Iraq. He inherited a triple-A bond rating. And right now you have got a situation where, frankly, he is going down the wrong path on all of these issues. And I’ve just got to imagine the people who are watching this morning, and, you know, voters all across this country want to know who is going to help put this country back on the right track. Not, you know, who was able to put together a mash-up of, you know, clips out of a speech that Rick Perry gave…
SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, I take your point. But I would also make the point that we in the media, it is not our job to make the campaign. That is up to the candidates. The candidates determine what the campaign is going to be out…
CHENEY: But you guys choose what you’re going to cover, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: And we show up and cover what’s there.
SCHIEFFER: So you and I can talk about this for a long time.
CHENEY: All right. We’ll talk about it later on.
SCHIEFFER: We have for a long time.
Ed Gillespie, do you that was presidential? Is Rick Perry going to be able to survive it?
GILLESPIE: Oh, I think — you know, there’s a big difference here between the Howard Dean scream and this YouTube video. For one thing, people were watching Howard Dean live. Remember it was his response to the loss in the Iowa Caucuses, and so there were millions of voters around the country who saw it unfiltered and unedited.
I think that people kind of see this YouTube video and it is a clip job. And they think there’s probably some selective editing of it. According to the reports out of the room that evening, you know, he got rave reviews, standing ovation, as I understand.
That said, you know, it was — you know, Ed Rollins is right. This is the era in which we live. And you can’t just give a speech, even kind of less loose a little bit without understanding that that is out there.
Let me just say too, I think Liz is right. The fact is, you know, these process stories are distracting in many ways from what’s really going on. I’m here in Virginia. I have been traveling with Governor Bob McDonnell. We have elections on Tuesday for the state legislature here.
And I think we’re going to win control of the Virginia State Senate. I think we’re going to win control of the Mississippi State House. We’re going to make gains in New Jersey. People are fed up with what’s going on in Washington and they’re frustrated with the Obama economy. And you’re seeing a harbinger of that here just in these state elections coming up soon. SCHIEFFER: All right. I’m sorry, the clock has run out. Thanks to all of you for a very interesting exchange. Back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: We stirred up quite a fuss here last week when we challenged Republican candidate Herman Cain on whether an ad he showed of his campaign manager smoking a cigarette sent a message that smoking was a cool thing to do.
Here’s just a bit of the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BLOCK, HERMAN CAIN’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We need you to get involved because together we can do this, we can take this country back.
SCHIEFFER: Cain took issue with our criticism, but before it was over, he condemned smoking as a bad habit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: It’s not a cool thing to do?
CAIN: It is not a cool thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Well, three of Jon Huntsman’s daughters came up with their own response…And the stars of that video are in the studio with us today. They are Abby, Liddy and Mary Anne.
So who thought this up?
ABBY HUNTSMAN: I’m going to give it to Liddy this time.
MARY ANN HUNTSMAN: Liddy.
LIDDY HUNTSMAN: Yeah, I’ll take credit for it.
Yeah, I had been receiving e-mails and I had seen the Herman Cain ad all over the place. And I woke up last week — or when was it — two weeks ago, a week ago? Time has flown by. And I was like, this could be actually something we could spoof and make it, you know, age-appropriate and blow bubbles, so…
SCHIEFFER: So — so how many hits has this gotten?
ABBY HUNTSMAN: It’s about 300,000 now. And it’s still growing, so…
SCHIEFFER: And — and will you do a sequel?
LIDDY HUNTSMAN: We’re always up to something.
MARY ANN HUNTSMAN: Something might be coming.
LIDDY HUNTSMAN: You’ll have to tune in.
SCHIEFFER: Where do you all go from here?
MARY ANNE HUNTSMAN: Well, the campaign is now calling us their secret weapon, so…
ABBY HUNTSMAN: We’re the most financially friendly resource they have. We’re all over the place right now.
SCHIEFFER: All right. Well it’s great to have you. I know your dad must be proud of you. And it just goes to show that politics can be fun for the whole family. We’ll be back in a minute.
SCHIEFFER: Finally today, by now you have heard that Andy Rooney died. When he retired last month, I talked about the thousands of things he said on television, but for me, his lasting achievement is his book “My War,” a memoir of his days as a combat correspondent during World War II.
It is at once a coming of age story, an adventure and most of all a book of wisdom.
“Most of us,” he wrote, “use only a portion of our brain since we live our lives at half-speed and on schedule, sleeping when we’re not tired, eating when we’re not hungry.” “But war,” he wrote, “changes all that, causing people to do things they didn’t know they could do.”
Yet he didn’t go to war movies, he wrote, because he didn’t consider war entertainment. He described war, for those who survive, as an experience like no other, but he said, “I’ve tried to empty my brain of those memories by writing them down.”
For all his eccentricities, Andy was a wise man whose work in the age of texting and thoughtless instant discourse reminds us that the English language is among our most precious assets and, properly used, one of the most powerful weapons in the American arsenal.
Andy, you were one of a kind.