ON STATE OF THE UNION
A preview of vice presidential debate with two people who know the candidates well – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Priebus tried to manage expectations: " I think that Paul is going to do a great job, but I also think it's very important for people to understand... that Joe Biden is a gifted orator. He is very good at rhetoric, and I think he is very relatable."
Nutter agreed on Biden's relatability: "I think the big thing with Vice President Biden is that he speaks from his heart; he's an earthy guy. ... Vice President Biden is the real deal. He'll give it to you straight. He communicates in a way that I think connects with people at a real level."
On the September jobs report, Priebus remarked that the Obama administration is "still getting clobbered" and Nutter said despite high unemployment "African-Americans are going to strongly support President Barack Obama".
And Priebus said the threat of a third party candidate like Gary Johnson "doesn't worry me because I think people understand that they're not going to throw their vote away when we have an election here that's about the future of America. ... It's almost a nonfactor."
Former Ohio Governor and national co-chairman of the Obama campaign Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General and Romney supporter, Mike DeWine spoke about the battle for their state in the presidential election.
Strickland: "If I was as rich as Mitt Romney, I would bet Mike DeWine $10,000 that the president is going to win Ohio."
DeWine: "Romney's going to carry Ohio. It's going to be a very, very close race. But this race fundamentally changed Wednesday night in Ohio."
Plus, breaking down the numbers and politics of the September jobs report with our roundtable.
And CNN political junkies preview what to watch in the week ahead.
STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:
“Paul [Ryan] is a smart guy. He has committed his life to understanding the problems of our economy, presenting a plan for the American people, so I think that Paul is going to do a great job, but I also think it's very important for people to understand, and I think people realize that Joe Biden is a gifted orator. He is very good at rhetoric, and I think he is very relatable.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on whether the improved job numbers means the economy is getting better:
“If you are getting blown out in a football game but you are scoring field goals once a quarter, you can't point to the three points every quarter and say at least we're scoring some points, you're still getting clobbered. I mean, the fact of the matter is the president and Joe Biden are getting clobbered on the policies that they put in place. They promised we'd be a heck of a lot better off than we are today. We're nowhere close.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson
“We don't have a third party candidate anywhere near the name recognition or the popularity of Ross Perot or John Anderson. I just don't see that happening. In fact, I see that it's almost a nonfactor, so I'm not worried about it.”
Mayor Michael Nutter (D) Philadelphia, on Vice President Biden’s remarks on the middle class:
“The big thing with Vice President Biden is that he speaks from his heart; he's an earthy guy. ... I think all he was really trying to communicate is that the middle class has had some rough time. And he's honest about that. But progress has been made.”
Mayor Michael Nutter (D) Philadelphia, on Mitt Romney:
“We recall that [Romney] is the Etch-A-Sketch guy, has transformed himself and, quite frankly, we always have to wonder which Mitt is going to show up. And so, if you just lay out lie after lie after lie about your own plan, as well as what the president has been talking about, of course you can look good.”
Mayor Michael Nutter (D) Philadelphia, on the high unemployment among African-Americans
“I think all Americans know that President Obama has been working very, very hard to put Americans back to work. He has had virtually no cooperation from the Republicans, many in Congress and certainly in the House.”
Ted Strickland (D) Former Ohio Governor
“If I was as rich as Mitt Romney, I would bet Mike DeWine $10,000 that the president is going to win Ohio. ... Romney did well in the debate, I will admit that. I give him a B-plus on style, but I give him a D-minus on substance and truthfulness."
Mike DeWine (R) Ohio Attorney General on the first debate:
“What you saw Wednesday night was the first opportunity that the average person had to see these two candidates head-to-head for an extended period of time. And when they saw that, guess who won? Romney won. He looked presidential. He had confidence. He had a plan. He was confident in that plan. The president, on the other hand, was in a situation where he couldn't defend the last four years... because you can't defend it. You can't defend not getting the job done.”
Ted Strickland (D) Former Ohio Governor
“I believe the president is going to win Ohio because he rescued the auto industry, which is so important to our state. ... Plus, you know Candy, the president tells the truth, and quite frankly, I don’t think Mr. Romney is a very truthful person when it comes to talking about the economy and what he plans to do.”
Mike DeWine (R) Ohio Attorney General
“Romney's going to carry Ohio. It's going to be a very, very close race. But this race fundamentally changed Wednesday night in Ohio, at least. I think it did across the country.”