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Sunday Study Guide: The Roundtable and Schwarzenegger

Special Discussion: Has the Race Changed?

Gibbs, Gingrich, Rosen, Murphy, and Todd

  • Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs was the former White House press secretary from 2009-2011. Before the first presidential debate, Gibbs said, “I don’t think, you know, snappy slogans are what`s going to win it. I think good, honest discussion of the issues are and the plans moving forward and I think that’s going to be okay for President Obama.” Here is Gibbs’ latest Meet the Press appearance.
  • Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) recently wrote that this week’s debate was the “most important single event in Mitt Romney’s political career” and outlined what Romney had to do including staying on offense, using humor and being honest. He also said Romney had to “draw a sharp contrast” between himself and President Obama and their ideas for economic recovery. Watch Gingrich’s latest appearance.
  • Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said the debate “wasn't just like etch-a-sketch, this was a complete clean slate that Mitt Romney went for.” However, she said, “[I]t really didn't change [voters’] view of Mitt Romney or President Obama. The substance is going to be what matters. And I think the president was trying to let it speak for itself and kind of make the point.” Watch Rosen’s last Meet the Press appearance here.
  • Republican strategist Mike Murphy said Mitt Romney’s debate performance will result in a surge in enthusiasm and money for the GOP nominee. Murphy said, “I think he won something bigger than one debate. He had a campaign that was in trouble and with this debate, I think he broke through the stage villain persona that negative advertising had created around him and now he’s going to get what he really needs to get the race back which is a second look in October.”  Here is Murphy’s last appearance on the show.  
  • NBC Political Director Chuck Todd said on The Daily Rundown, “The bottom line question for Romney is this: Does his debate performance move the needle in the three big Midwestern rustbelt battleground states of Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.” Friday’s First Read also said that while monthly jobs numbers have had little impact, the new numbers, which have unemployment below 8 percent, have a bigger impact on short-term coverage which “helps the Obama campaign change the subject from Wednesday night’s debate.” 


Fmr. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is the former Republican governor of California, winning the recall election in 2003 in which Gov. Gray Davis was ousted. Schwarzenegger served two terms in office, from 2003 until 2011. He was California’s first foreign-born governor since 1862, immigrating from Austria in 1968 and becoming a U.S. citizen in 1983.
  • He helped fund the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California. It will focus on moving beyond partisanship in several areas: education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform. He will serve as chair of the institute’s Board of Advisors and as the first Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy.
  • Schwarzenegger is currently on tour promoting his new book, “Total Recall.” The book covers his careers in bodybuilding, Hollywood, and politics, as well as his personal life.
  • Watch his last Meet the Press appearance here.


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