[Note: this piece is intended as satire, based on the actual CBS transcript from Bob Schieffer's interview of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on "60 Minutes" on August 8, 2012. If Ryan, Romney or Schieffer were actually thinking the things in the bubbles... well, stranger things have happened.]
Thought-bubble moments from 60 MINUTES: Romney & Ryan: The first interview
Bob Schieffer: Governor, I want to start with this, you have been going through this process of deciding who you wanted as your running mate for about three months, very methodical, all of it conducted in secret. What I would like to know was there one point where there was one moment when you said, “This is the guy. This is my guy.”
Mitt Romney: …I was impressed with his understanding of the issues that we were facing and also his political acumen. But then we spent some time on the campaign trail. I got to meet his wife and three children and was very impressed.
Bob Schieffer: Has this sunk in on you yet?
Paul Ryan: It has. Because I’ve felt for a while now that our country is in a very perilous position. And I’ve done everything I could in my career as chairman of the Budget Committee to try and make a difference to tackle this economic and fiscal challenge before it tackles us. ….And I really think we can turn this thing around.
Bob Schieffer: And what did the governor say when he offered you–…
Paul Ryan: –that we share the same values and that I have the kinds of experiences that complement his skills. …
Bob Schieffer: How long had you been thinking Paul Ryan?
Mitt Romney: Well, you know, I’d been given a number of people consideration. And there’re some terrific people who could become president of the United States as Paul– I mean Paul could become, if it were necessary, could become president. He has the experience and judgment, capacity and character to become president. And that was the first and most important criteria.
Bob Schieffer: Now I understand you’re also gonna run for reelection in your congressional seat. Are you kind of hedging your bets here?
Paul Ryan: No, I’m already on the ballot. You can’t even go off the ballot. So I’ve already filed. Our filing deadline was in June. I’m already on the ballot, so it has nothing to do with that…..
Bob Schieffer: Does fairness dictate that the wealthiest people should not be paying the lowest taxes because that’s what happening many times?… You say of course the wealthiest people pay the larger share, but don’t they also pay at a lower rate? When you figure in capital gains and all of that?
Mitt Romney: Well, it depends on the individual, what their source of income is. But if you look at the top one percent or five percent or quartile, whatever, they pay the largest share of taxes. And that’s not something which I would propose making smaller.
Paul Ryan: What we’re saying is take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets so they can’t shelter as much money from taxation, should lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.
Bob Schieffer: How many years of tax returns did you turn over to the campaign?
Paul Ryan: Well, it was a very exhaustive vetting process. It’s a confidential vetting process, so there were several years. But I’m going to release the same amount of years that Governor Romney has. But I got to tell you, Bob–
Bob Schieffer: And how many was that?
Paul Ryan: He’s– two. He’s– I’m going to be releasing two, which is what he’s releasing. What I hear from people around this country, they’re not asking where the tax returns. They’re asking where the jobs are. Where’s the economic growth?….
Bob Schieffer: Governor, there was really a funny moment yesterday at the rally when you introduced Paul Ryan as the next president of the United States.
Mitt Romney: Yes.
Bob Schieffer: When did you realize you had done that?
Mitt Romney: You know, I couldn’t believe I’d done it. …. I understand President Obama did the same thing in introducing Joe Biden–
Bob Schieffer: I think that’s true.
Mitt Romney: Four years before. I guess it’s– we hear the phrase so often — “The next president of the United States” — that those words just come tripping off your lips.