Obama Campaign's Stephanie Cutter clarifies President Obama's comments saying the private sector is doing fine.
See the entire transcript after the jump.
O'BRIEN: You heard the president saying the private sector is fine. Then he had to back off of it and say, no, in fact, the private sector is not fine.
Which is it? Is the private sector fine or is the private sector not fine?
STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think American people understand what he was saying on Friday.
O'BRIEN: Which was fine or is not fine?
CUTTER: We have created 4.3 million jobs in the private sector, and the thing that's dragging us down are the continued layoffs of state and local workers. We even lost tens of thousands of police jobs, fire workers and that's dragging down our economy.
So the president was actually speaking to the American people on Friday with a solution of the things we can do to strengthen our economy and protect against some of the headwinds that arte coming from Europe. He's had a plan before Congress for nine months. Republicans in Congress have refused to take action on it. It's really to get teacher back to work, to get construction workers back to work because of the housing bust, back to work building our roads, bridges, and highways, giving tax cuts to small businesses for hiring and increase wages.
These are the types of things we need to do to move our economy, strengthen our economy. There are significant roadblocks not only in Washington but also our opponent's presidential race.
O'BRIEN: We'll play his comment and his ad. I think when the president says something fine and pretty much immediately afterward says, well, actually not fine, the opposite of what he said. And David Axelrod weighs in on, you know, that is going to appear in an ad. So, let's play a little bit of the attack ad that Mitt Romney put together and I'll ask you a question on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weakness in our economy had to do with state and local government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've seen layoffs, cutbacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it's all said and done, I'm making $200 a month.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been looking for a job for two years, haven't found any.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: So, clearly, the president is out of touch if he thinks we're fine and you see people who are clearly economically struggling, we're showing that he's out of touch. Do you thing that's a message that works and why not?
CUTTER: We'd be happy to have a debate about who is out of touch with middle-class Americans with Mitt Romney. I think that the American people understand that the president is trying to move this country forward. He's trying to strengthen or economy. He's the only one out there with solutions of how to do that.
Mitt Romney's solution of how to strengthen the economy: fire more people. He believes that if we fire more teachers, more firefighters, more policemen, we're actually going too grow this economy. Even Governor Walker in Wisconsin this weekend disagreed with him. He said Mitt Romney learned the wrong lessons of Wisconsin.
But none of this should be a surprise. He did this in Massachusetts. He did fire policemen, teachers, and firefighters. And what happened? Massachusetts plummeted to 42nd out of job creation.
So, this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. We've seen this before. Mitt Romney made big promises when he was running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 with his private sector experience, big promise to turn the economy around and it didn't work.
The state of Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50, wan wages went down when they were going up in the rest of the country, jobs left that state, a quarter of a million people left that state because they couldn't find jobs.
So, he's promising the same solutions right now. I think the more they see Mitt Romney's record, that it didn't work in Massachusetts and it's not going to work for the country.
O'BRIEN: There's a question they polled with this question. Did the stimulus help lower unemployment and 80 percent said yes and 4 percent said no and uncertain said 2 percent. These are 42 economic experts who were polled of this.
So, is the takeaway from this, the stimulus work, there be another stimulus? That would be a solution for the crisis that we're in right now or the slowly improving crisis we're in right now. What do you think?
CUTTER: Well, I think those economists said the stimulus worked in stemming off the economic downturn. The economic downturn, according to those economists was much worse than anybody predicted in the fall of 2008. But what the stimulus did is it protected us from going off that cliff. It protected us from falling into a recession and actually resulted in us saving and creating more than 3 million jobs.
But we need to do more. That's the message that the president was communicating on Friday. That we need to do more. We need to keep our foot on the pedal of this economy and continue do things to help it grow rather than put up roadblocks.
And that's the debated I think we're going to have on the campaign trail. President has solutions out there that would jump start our economy now, put people back to work. It's actually according to independent economists, a million jobs that are sitting on the table in Congress if they would move on the proposals.
O'BRIEN: Stephanie -
CUTTER: Unfortunately we need people to put the country ahead of politics and move those proposals forward and so far the House Republicans haven't done that.