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tv   2012 Florida Primary  CNN  January 31, 2012 4:00pm-8:00pm PST

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say controversial and not as successful as promised. >> they know they have to defend that record and try to turn the tables and make it ability romney's approach. that is the effort. >> thank you, jessica yellin. this is is a huge state tonight and a huge battleground in the fall, and florida always is, and as we watch tonight, we will learn a lot about the republican race and a lot as we head to florida and stay with us as america's vote coverage 2012 continues right now. the presidential race has been won by governor ronald reagan of california >>eorge herbert walker bush, 41th president of the united states. >> president is now governor clinton. >> and president george bush. >> president barack obama. >> this is cnn. florida is the next stop on the road to the white house. >> buckle up for another decision day in the 2012 decision day in the 2012 presidential race. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >p > tonight the rep
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fr for afor all witpfo of them yet. r >> tp >> the message is this that yop is thata not who will claim victory? r >> thp >> this race i interesting. >> r >> it p >> it is f. newt gingrip newt gingrich bar back back to the newt gingrip newt gingrich bar back back to th top p we have rwe have ran people. p >> a>> and mitt romney neg him p>> he is fr>> he erratic. >> it ir >> it is>> it br but whbut what makesh is at the core. >> no way to stop the momentum that we have started. >> who will return to florida this summer as the republican nominee? >> well, i will go all of the way to the convention and i expect to win the nomination. >> we will be in the race for a long time. >> forget everything that you thought you knew about the
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presidential field. >> in is a beginning of a long hard song. >> we are going to take back the white house and take back our country. >> the nomination is up for grabs. the conventional wisdom is out the window, and florida will change the game again. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. the last polls close in florida one hour from now. i'm wolf blitzer at the cnn election center. it is another critical night for the four remaining republican candidates, especially, especially for mitt romney and newt gingrich, and we have the most crews in the most locations, and our correspondents are out enforce including candy crowley and jim acosta, and first to you, candy, at romney headquarters set the scene. >> well, what is interesting, wolf, as you can see behind me,
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they are be gining to collect early and some of them believe that it is an early night. certainly the romney camp is looking for a strong showing and they would like a big gap between newt gingrich and mitt romney and perhaps in the double-digits, but more than that, they want a broad victory looking particularly at the conservatives and women, because they believe if they can win in those two groups, they will have selling point, as they move forward. wolf? >> and jim acosta over at the newt gingrich headquarters. set the scene over there, jim. >> well, wolf, this is not south carolina and not as celebratory as ten days ago, but newt gingrich says he will fight on to the convention later on in the year. he says he can win the nomination, and he told me earlier today something very interesting about the state of the race. he made the point that mitt romney has not closed the deal with conservatives and he has a point, wolf. >> standby, and of course, anderson cooper with us every step of the way. >> well, florida is unlike any state we have seen so far and
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most of the polling places across florida are closing right now, but voting continues in the panhandle for another hour until 8:00 p.m. eastern when we will get the first glichmpse of this important contest will fallout. the florida results might bring more results and clarity to the republican race, and john king will map out the magic wall and poll data and erin burnett will show us how money is influpsing the presidential race and a ton of money is being poured into ads, and we call it battleground florida. john, what are you looking at? >> the most diverse and ideologically diverse state to vote so far. jim acosta mentioned the conservatives and this panhandle area up here is mike huckabee in 2008, and this is the arena mitt romney needs to match tonight. this is a big popular down here in tampa and orlando and cuban population down here along the coast, and one of the key places
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that we will see is the retirees down here, but evangelicals mostly up here. we are getting some exit poll data today. if we bring this out, remember in south carolina, you had a conservative electorate, and in florida somewhat conservative. 37% of the florida republicans describe themselves as somewhat conservative and 34% very conservative, and this is going to be fascinating how this plays out the night. and what is the biggest issue? 9.9% unemployment in florida no surprise, and the economy. 6 in 10 voters say that the economy is the number one issue, and illegalle immigration, 30%, and 24% for the budget. and the most important quality, anderson, the florida republicans know that their state is in the thick of it in november, so as they voted today, they are looking for a candidate who can defeat obama and that is the number one issue
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for for them. and with the debate a factor, 8f% of the republicans say that the debates were a factor as they cast their votes today, but some of them, anderson, have voted early. >> we have seen it in state after state. erin, what are you looking at? >> well, the economy is the most important issue, and you see it again in the state. we will look at the counties and what the tale is. flagler county and sumter could be ti, ap why did i pick them? the biggest population growth in the states and in the entire country over the last decade almost doubling and unemployment in flagler is 14%, and in sumter it is 7.8%, and they are below the national average and i have an interesting story about the village where they have a close tie to mitt romney. >> and over the break it down is gloria borger and david gergen here in the political center and also our team out in the head
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quarters a at watch party in mia miami beach, and we will look at the focus group in nevada with a group who are going to be watching to thewatch ing to get the results and also to hear from the candidates. >> and we have official votes already coming in, and in most of the states the polls closed at the top of the the hour at 7:00 p.m. eastern. look at this very, very early with 1% of the precincts reporting, but mitt romney is ahead. and 22% for newt gingrich, and almost 6,000 votes ahead of newt gingrich, and 6,931, and rick santorum with 2800 votes around 1 %, an ron paul 1,600 with 7%, and very, very early. this is the very early, and they have been voting for ten days or so in florida. early balloting and absentee balloting and we are getting the early numbers and with 1% in,
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mitt romney is ad h. we go the candy crowley and jim acosta. candy, they are looking at the numbers and applauding at romney headquarters a these are the first official numbers coming n in. >> yeah, i may be only one 1%, but they are absolutely thrilled here obviously. i have to tell you that in fact, these folks are coming in pretty early. that is always a sign of anticipation. they expect a good night, and the romney people expect a good night, again, looking for kind of forward now, wolf, and where they go next and where the toughest states are going to be. this is a campaign that really got renewed life. they certainly weren't dead after south carolina, but they needed a huge influx of some helium to float the campaign again, and certainly, they expect to get it in florida. they'd like a good solid win and they would love double-digits and take any win, but they would like to have a big one. they intend to keep can going,
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and we have heard mitt romney say earlier if he is attacked, he will push back. they really want to keep their foot on the neck of newt gingrich as they move forward. >> big state florida and a lot of people voting and diverse state. candy, standby as jim acosta is over at newt gingrich headquarters. walk us through the strategy for newt gingrich's folks coming back assuming he does not win in florida and taking the nomination? >> well, newt gingrich told me earlier today, himself, that the national polls still show him out in the lead, so to all of the questions of dropping out of the race, he says he is not about to do that, but if you look to the gingrich campaign and internal e-mail that went out to the supporters earlier in the week, it shows that what essentially they feel is a path to the nomination, if you will, and essentially points out that florida, yes, it has 50 delegates and winner-take-all here in the state, but because florida was penalized for moving up the primary in the calendar, those 50 delegates are a smaller
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prize than say what is at stake in georgia with 76 delegates there, and that is is a state where newt gingrich was a congressman and rose to the office of speaker of the house of representatives. so, they see, you know, this race unfolding in a very long drawn out process, where super tuesday with the southern states may favor newt gingrich as opposed to perhaps nevada and michigan. newt gingrich, himself, said earlier in the week, well, nevada has a sizable mormon population and that may favor the former massachusetts governor, but at the same time, wolf, remember out in that race for the senate between sharron angle and harry reid two years ago there is a big tea party force out there in h nevadnevad that could work for newt gingrich. >> yes, it could, jim acosta. over to the gingrich headquarters in orlando, and we have more numbers and precincts
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report reporting. you can see 8% of the precincts reporting with 52% of the majority with 18% of the precincts reporting. 25% for newt gingrich, and 12% for rick santorum, and 8% for ron paul. and a 45,000 vote lead for mitt romney. it is a significant lead indeed. over the john king over at the magic wall. 8% of the precincts is a significant number coming in. >> and yes, quickly, because you mentioned the early voting and the absentee voting and you see that mitt romney is 52% with 8% in. this one of the questions with the romney total if he holds the lead and wins the state, will the romney total as conservatives coalesce and beat him? but when you add it up, that is assuming that governor romney keeps this lead. i want to go back to 2008, because remember, he was a competitor back in 2008 and i want to circle the areas where he did well. he won here and here and that
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lighter red is john mccain from four years ago and the orange is mike huckabee, and the strongholds and couple more, strong areas for romney here, as we come to 2012 he is starting to fill in some of the blocks. you expect him to start from the base from 2008 and how to expand it and deepen it. if you believe the late polls, governor romney went into the election day with a couple of leads. and so the couple of things, the early absentee votes are coming in quickly, and system of tl so here in the panhandle are still yet to close, so we are to be careful what we say about the exit polls, and that. but when you look at how much romney has grown from the 2008 experience, florida was tend of the line for governor romney in 2008, but he hopes it is a rebuilding springboard. >> yes, john, you are making a quick point that these are very, very early pointing. and 8% of the reporting
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complete, and mitt romney maintaining a significant lead and majority, and a lot of the people voted early voting and absentee ballt los and standing by with the new numbers coming in are very, very quickly. remember, all of the -- all of the polls will be closed at the top of the hour, and presumably we will share with you all of the exit poll numbers and see if we can make the projections an all of that is standing by. over the joe johns who is standing by at ron paul headquarters in henderson, nevada, outside of las vegas. isn't that right? the ron paul campaign decided they weren't going to compete effectively in florida and winner-take-all so they are looking to wen a prize in nevada? >> absolutely. that is is very true, wolf. when you think about it, it is a odd. if you listen to it, viewers, we are watching the florida results from nevada. this h is the ballroom of the green valley ranch casino resort in henderson, nevada, just
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outside of las vegas, and one of the big questions here of course is what kind of crowd is ron paul going to get here tonight, simply because they are not really voting, you know, to any great extent here. now, one thing i can tell you is this, if you look out of the door here, you will see ron paul supporters with signs getting ready to come into the room. these are people who a lot of them got to alert of a day and a half ago, the e-mails out and a blurb s blurbs in the newspaper that ron paul would have a rally here, and that is what they are going to see, and get an opportunity to see ron paul. so, why are they doing this? a variety of reasons. he is focusing on nevada, because it is a small state and caucus state, and tonight, he wants to stand up on the stage to give a speech to capitalize, wolf, on all of the media that happens on primary night even though he is not competing in florida, so he wants the cake
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and to eat it, too, and that is the name of the game, wolf. >> yes, the saturday caucuses, and we will cover that as well. dana bash is covering the rick santorum campaign. walk us through santorum's strategy, because he is not in florida either, and he is in las vegas. >> that is right. and just like ron paul, he feels that there is no reason for him to be in florida, because it is very clear that there is no way he will get the 50 wip winner t all delegates. so he is not far from where i am, and this is the headquarters and he will be here in an hour, hour and a half, the first town hall meeting which is the first real event here in the state at all. in fact, this headquarters is new. they got two paid staffers on the payroll and maybe three or four days ago and opened up the headquarters and shows you the kind of the fly by the seat of the pants shoestring campaign that they are running. they do have money. they reported today that they have over $1 million cash on
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hand which is not bad, but that is money that they are going to have to keep in the bank for the long haul if there is any, any chance for rick santorum the stay in and potentially, potentially because this race has been such a roller coaster to take on a surprise. this state is important to him, because it is not winner-take-all and even if he gets two or three delicates in the caucuses, that is something if he wants to add them up. >> his little 3-year-old daughter bella had pneumonia, but she is doing better now? >> yes, that is what he is saying. the senator of course came off of the campaign trail and he was supposed to be in florida over the weekend, but at home with his daughter in the hospital, but he is saying that thank god, she is doing much, much better and that is why she is on the trail. >> all of the viewers wish her the best. anderson, back to you. >> yes, in orlando, the members of the gingrich campaign are working the phones as we countdown the final poll closings as we look at the
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behind the scenes vote counting and take a look at the crucial economy and the influential battle for florida tonight. stay tuned. c'mon dad!
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[ both ] ♪ emma, emma bo-bemma ♪ banana-fana-fo-femma ♪ fee-fi-fo-femma ♪ em-ma very good sweety, how do you feel? good. yeah? you did a really good job, okay? [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. and welcome back to continuing coverage and all of the polls close about 40 minutes from now, and the republican race has been incredibly volatile in florida as it has been in other states. back in october, remember, mitt romney was the clear leader in the polls. newt gingrich jumped ahead of romney a couple of months later, and romney reclaimed the lead in florida in mid january while gingrich and rick santorum duked it out for second place. gingrich surged again after the south carolina win and running neck and neck with romney in florida after the cnn numbers last week, but the final poll today shows he has a sizable
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lead over newt gingrich. the national polls though tell a little different story. romney peaked after the win in new hampshire while gingrich way back in the rest of the pack. and romney lost ground while gingrich made steady gains and then gingrich shot up nationally after the south carolina win, but it has tighteneded up in recent days, so again, that is nationally, and he and romney are running neck and neck when you look across the nation. a lot the talk about. and the correspondents are all over the place, and we will go to them shortly over at gingrich headquarters. let's talk a little bit about what you are seeing so far, and in terms of the turnout and in terms of what people are looking at in florida. >> well, the bitterness of the contest is showing that the candidates don't like each other, but it is penetrating down to the grass roots and a huge majority of the people are voting for gingrich and exit polls say they are not happy at all if romney is the nominee.
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when it was the hillary and barack show, the elites hated each other, but the grass roots, it was i am not for brarack obama, but i can take either one. >> and what do you think about the paul -- >> well, i know that paul thinks it is christmas for the democrats to see the republicans fighting, and it is. but at first we say that the republicans don't have passion and don't like anybody, but we are having a election and liking the candidates and if you ask ask them, they say, no i don't like the other guy, and i like my guy. >> they are not loving gingrich or romney or anybody else, because it is negative ti. >> this is what happens in tough, contested primaries when it is a tough choice between the candidates and nobody has separated themselves. at the end of the day as soon as somebody wins and gets momentum, you will see the republicans come together, because in one way the leader of the republican party is barack obama. he is the guy that we all feel the same about. >> and that is not enough to simply beat president obama in the fall. you have to run a campaign about
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ideas and about issues and on that newt gingrich is absolutely right. >> well, that is what david axelrod said, right? >> well, i am not running hism campaign. >> he said what they want do is to run a campaign that is just a choice, not a reren dumb -- referendum on obama, and that is what republicans want to do, make it a referendum on obama. >> and there is a trend of obama's favorable and unfavorable ratings and down in 47 states compare td to one yea ago. he has dropped and in 47 of 50 states, so paul and donna want to do a dance now and i understand that the republicans have the ball and you are dancing as you watch us run with the ball and sometimes move backwards, but the fact of the matter is once it goes back to barack obama and the steward of the economy and the debt and the spending a on tnd the unemploym- >> you are looking at the metric wrongly. when you look at obama today and four years ago you are comparing
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him to the almighty and not the alternative. he is not theoretically perfection and compared to the hopes and dreams of the supporters he is not doing as well as 2008, but compared to the other side, and that is how these things are run, and they are a choice and a referendum, the republican brand is being damaged by this, and people are watching the the debates, and they are following this stuff, and the republican brand and all of the national polls are going way down, and the in the "wall street journal" it is showing they are going way down. >> and even in the battleground states, you have a vulnerable president in the battleground stat states. >> and we need more and more primaries like this. >> and paul and i have seen these and a lot of experience and we all know that it is like a playoff game, and what happens in one playoff game does not really mean enough about the super bowler to next game, because they are distinct entities and the world changes when you are running against a nominee. and the republican brand will be
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judged in contrast to obama's failure and in the last few year, it will look better. >> well, with the lingering doubts of conservatives about mitt romney's values and that is if mitt romney can get conservatives tole rally behind the campaign, but we don't know if he has the capability, but we know he has the money. >> and no matter what happens the race on the republican side is not over, and we are seeing in newt gingrich's headquarters that they put up a sign. what is it? >> well, anderson, it is um is g up the feeling on the newt gingrich side which says "46 states to go." this is behind the podium where newt gingrich will speak later tonight, and it is a sign of defiance from the gingrich campaign. we were listening to the music which is from the human league's "don't you want me baby" and it is a sign that hopefully they will want him in the days to come contrasted to what it was
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on south carolina's primary night which was the theme from "rocky" and it was a tone from the gingrich campaign. >> and kicking it old school back to the early '80s, wolf. >> could you do some of that for us? >> well, we will wait for the commercial break. >> and we have polls of actual votes coming in, and 30% of the precincts have now reported and mitt romney maintaining an impressive lead of 50% to 29% for newt gingrich. almost 300,000 votes for mitt romney, and newt gingrich with 172,000 vote, and rick santorum 12% and 72,000 votes and almost 7% for ron paul, and now 32% and mitt romney is still way ahead with 50% and 29% and we will assess what is going on. all of the polls will be closed at the top of the hour, and cnn's john king is standing by and we will go to him in a moment.
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most of the polls have closed in florida a half hour from now, all of the polls will close, but take a look at the official numbers already coming in with 37% of the precincts reporting and more than one-third, and mitt romney maintaining a significant lead over newt gingrich, with 49% over 30%, and he is 145,000 votes ahead. mitt romney ahead of newt gingrich. 362,000 to 217,000, and rick santorum is down at 13%, and ron paul, 7%. walking over the john king at the imamagic wall for us. take us inside of the numbers, because mitt romney is doing well, and it looks like he is doing well in most of the state. >> well, at the moment, he is runk up an impressive showing, and i want to draw a line across the state, because the old stay p saying of florida, the further north, the further south you get. and this is part of alabama and
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georgia and you will have retirees from the south here, and they tend to vote like more of the south. but governor romney running up down here, and governor romney running up the impressive margins of miami, naples, and tampa, st. pete area, and these are critical now and in november as well. as you watch the map fill in, and back to 2008 to show you the comparison when you had romney, mccain and huckabee who was the light orange and romney did well, and mccain won the state, and that is the deal-breaker, the clincher there, and coming back to where we are now, romney is filling in and one of the questions that the conservatives will ask, and up to 40% and gingrich to 30%, and sap tomorr -- santorum, and if you add them up including ron paul, you barely catch up with governor romney, so it is interesting to watch the breakdown.
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and 30, 12, 7, and 42% for the candidates who are a better conservative alternative to mitt romney. and the big map, fit stays like this and a margin anywhere like that, a, romney can raise money out thofshgs ais, and b, going month of february supporting him through the contest. one of the important things from the exit polling to tell you about the florida electorate, 72% of the republicans voting are married and at 8:00, we will tell you how it breaksdown and we have to respect the final polls places still open. and by income, the largest group making $150,000 to 200,000 and this is the best mitt romney group, and watching the income break down, and noting that ron paul is out of the state as is rick santorum, and ron paul's group is the 18 to 24 and 24 to 29, and 5% of the electorate today in florida is younger, and you know this, wolf, from personal experience that your
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mom lives down there, and it is older demographic, and if you look here, more than 0% of the electorate in florida today is over the age of 50. so older and bigger and diverse electorate and we will learn a lot. >> 40% of the vote is in, and he is maintaining that impressive lead right now. we will see if it holds, but clearly, when all of the polls close at the top of the hour, we will be able to get into some more exit poll numbers and the numbers in florida are coming in quickly, anderson, and looks like they have the act together in florida right now. a lot of us remember when it was not so together. >> ar ri flii fleisher remember let's not get started. let's go over to the political cube, and we are crunching the numbers, and are we going to be able to project the winner at 8:00 tonight when all of the polls in florida are closed? we would not project a winner until all of the polls are
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closed. how does it look? >> well, anderson, the reason that we are seeing 40% of the vote in right now is because of a heavy amount of absentee ballots cast before people voted today. those votes were counted. once we hit 7:00, they went into the system and spit it out. so we have the statisticians in the quarantine room together crunching the numbers and taking that raw vote, the absentee votes mingling together with the vote that has been cast today, the bit that has come out, and taking the exit poll data that we are looking at, and putting it all together, and taking what we call the overlay, and talk about how confusing this is to t the poor guys downstairs. >> i like the quarantine room, because it sounds like it is hermetically sealed. >> yes. and they are taking the overlays of the specific people who came to out to cast the vote, and matching it up with the exit poll data and if they believe it is good, they will use it and put it together with the real vote and come out.
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>> so there a huge amount of data that has not been revealed because the polls are not closed. >> well, the polls are not closed in panhandle and we don't want to cause somebody to change their vote or not go to the polls. >> right. so we don't want to release this, because it is already being used in the matrix of the formula? >> yes. they are using it to come out with something that they feel is statistically strong enough to make a call. >> how soon will we know if we can make a call? >> that is like the $1 million question. but you know something, we could call it as early as 8:00, because that is when the polls close, but we don't know if that is going to happen, because we have to ask them if they feel comfortable. >> but if we can't call it at 8:00, we will talk about the influx of the data that we have? >> yes, we will have a stronger understanding of why people voted a certain wayer owhy t eo trends are going to mr. romney
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or mr. gingrich. and the trend is toward mr. romney, and the reason why he is expected to do better with the absentee vote, because he had a better organization, and that number could drop and we expect it to drop. >> and already 600,000 absentee votes had been counted before this day. >> yes, it is a lot. >> we will continue to check in with you and see if we can project it at 8:00 and bring in the exit poll information. we want to check in with erin burnett who is tracking the ways that money has influenced the battleground of florida. >> well, one thing that is important is the economy and one thing we know from the exit polls is the economy. one thing we don't know is of the voters who said that the economy is the biggest issue, whom did they vote for? because in florida that the issue. look at the housing prices since june of 2007 when the housing prices peaked nationally, and this is a stunning and terrible picture and says what you need to know about florida. you are looking at home prices in the best case scenario down
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3 47% from the peak. and 1.6 million homes in state of florida is vacant. 44% of the homes are under water. in florida more than any other state in this country, a housing problem is an unemployment crisis. manufacturing in florida is not making cars. it is making cement and homes for all of the people who have mooed ed moved to the state in recent years. when you look at the unemployment picture, you will see it here, and almost in every region in florida is about at the national average of 8.0%, and in the beginning of the program, i highlighted two counties that tell the tale of florida. flagler county, 14% unploem -- un unemployment, and that is a tertiary community, and sumter county which is one of the few
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places where unemployment is below the national average, and i picked it because of this election where there are 50,000 people who live in a place called the villages. when you see the super pacs, you will see renee morris who gave $250,000 to mitt romney, and may not surprise you that he actually spoke there yesterday and i should be careful to say to his super pac and he spoke there yesterday, but right there, one of the oldest communities in florida and more than 40% of the people, anderson, who live in sumter county are 65 or older, and in the state of florida it is only 17%, and where you have more people 65 and older yox u tend to have -- you tend to have people who don't want jobs, but stable to support the people in the community. >> it is stunning to see the percentage of the housing prices dropping. we will check in with gloria borger and david gergen, and in terms of the enthusiasm the longer the race goes on, does
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this hurt the campaign? >> well, it is hurting the romney campaign. and what they are trying to do to get the base of the republican party excited about mitt romney, and we will see tonight whether that is going to happen, whether they can get the tea partiers or the conservative voters excited about mitt romney, but the longer the race continues, and there is a lot of name-calling and the name that newt gingrich is calling mitt romney is liberal by the way which is no good for republican s and he is not even a moderate any more, but a liberal. the question is, will they be able to get their base out? what they will tell you is that you know what barack obama energizes our base more than anything, and they will remain energized, but think that the question remains for mitt romney whether he can appeal to the base of the party and get them out enthusiastically. >> and the other question that is looming ahead of us tonight is whether newt gingrich can survive what is happening. you know, he has come back from
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the dead twice. one more time than lazarus, and you know, you have to give him credit for that and may still come back, but if the shape shapes up anything like the outcome of 20% victory, you know, and that romney beats gingrich and santorum together, one has the sense that is going to change the dynamic of the whole race. >> sure. >> and at some point does the republicans want to focus on barack obama and no longer focus on intrarepublican battle. >> we saw it in florida how the establishment came out for, right, for mitt romney against newt gingrich. you know, they, they want this overwith, but four years ago, mccain won florida and huckabee and mitt romney continued on. >> and here is the other thing though, we saw in florida tonight in the exit poll that the most important quality that drove the voting was electability, and who can beat barack obama. >> and 45%. >> and it was a very large number, and this kind of result is going to be leaving romney competitive with barack obama
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and drive down newt gingrich versus barack obama. gingrich is already behind by double-digits behind obama. >> and i want to bring this the chief white house correspondent jessica yellin and no doubt they will be watching the results of the race closely, and what did the obama team learn from the attacks of romney and how he survived them? >> well, the democrats would say this is not a test, and ses en shalily that mitt romney survived what is an initial attack by newt gingrich and nothing compared to what he might face from the obama campaign, but i'd point out, anderson, that every single attack on bain, and on the ties to the medicare company and all of the fronts were initiated by the democrats and picked up by newt gingrich. so you will see the very same lines of attack in the general election against mitt romney again if mitt romney is the nominee. >> and is interesting, jessica, to hear that, david gergen, because we saw romney the last
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debate standing up to the attack on the income and the taxes in a way we have not seen before and he seemed to hone the message in the face of wafting in or the shrinking in the face of the attacks. >> yes, one thinks that mitt romney operates with a strategy. he had a strategy to work above the fray and it did not work in south carolina, so the team changed the strategy and had him go pummel newt gingrich and not just through the advertising of the super pac, but him, personally, and it worked. newt for all of the wonderfully interesting and brilliance, had no strategy. and i think that it showed up. i think that is why he got beat in the debates. >> well n , in the debate, he didn't know who he was, the front runner or the insurgent, wolf. >> yes, we will see if we can make a projection at the top the hour when all of the polls in florida are closed. we will share that with you, obviously, as soon as we can, and we will be speaking with ann
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romney, the wif of mitt romney and much more of the coverage only just beginning. ugh. [ zipper, heavy breathing ] ♪ [ male announcer ] linens and duvet washed fresh for every guest. real value. from your friends at hampton.
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less than 15 minutes before the top of the hour, and that is when all of the polls in the state of the florida will close, and perhaps, perhaps we will make a projection, but let's show you what we know right now. the official voting is is coming in very, very quickly and almost half of the vote in florida is in 49%. and look at this, mitt romney, 48% to 31% for newt gingrich. he is 173,000 votes or so ahead of newt gingrich. 475,000 to 302,000, and rick santorum with 13%, and 126,000. 67,000 for ron paul, and actually now 50% of the vote is now in, and it changed even as i was speaking, and still 48% to 31%. a very, very significant lead for mitt romney.
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the former massachusetts governor. candy crow lley over at the mit romney headquarters and you had the chance to speak exclusively with a special guest. >> i did, indeed. mitt romney upstairs waiting for the results to become official, but i did have a chance to talk to his wife, ann romney, and she has a sneaking suspicion what the results are going to be. >> reporter: your husband on the trail has sounded very confident of late about his chances in florida and what are you expecting tonight? >> we are expecting to win tonight. the exit polls are already indicating that, so we are looking forward to a win tonight. >> reporter: big one? >> i don't know the answer to that. i don't know the answer to that, but it would be wonderful to have a big one. >> reporter: are you concerned at all about the increasingly negative tone from both sides of the race? do you think it hurts the republican party? >> welk you know, it is always unfortunate that politics has a negative side it to, but i won't be talking about that. i want to talk about the
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positive side of what mitt can bring to the table. i have seen him in all different situations, in my lifetime, and i think that right now the voters care about the economy and about jobs, and i think that they want to turn to someone, and i think that florida is really going to exhibit this, because florida is really hurting. it has been a heartbreaking trip for us to be here. i have to tell you, i love this state, and my parents lived here for a long time and it breaks my heart to see how many people are under water in their homes and out of work. but, i think that people are hoping that mitt once he gets to the right job can actually do something about turning this economy around, and i have seen him do it. i have seen him do the turn arounds time and time again and when the institutions are in trouble, whether it is the olympics or the state of massachusetts or businesses, he is a turn around guy and he fixes things. and i think that people are going to say, it is time for somebody who has experience and knows what they are doing to get in there and turn this country around. >> reporter: and the last question, we have heard your
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husband described as a liberal and moderate and a man from massachusetts or a democrat from massachusetts, and you describe him. >> well, it is funny to me, what is next a communist? it has been humorous. because i know where his values are on a personal level. he is a conservative guy. i know how he has governed from a conservative point of view and i know how he will govern which is from a conservative place to rein in the spending, and help the country. >> thank you. that is an upbeat ann romney. that is a cross, because many of the campaigners in the romney camp are very upbeat, too. >> and i have spent time with mrs. romney in iowa and she is a great lady and great asset for him out on the campaign trail as well.
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candy, at some point tonight, we assume that mitt romney will be speaking at your location. give us a little color or flavor of what is going on there right now. >> well, first of all, i think that maybe you can see behind me, and david, you can pan if you want, that the room has pretty much started to fill up very has started to fill up very early. in general, when a candida candidate -- when you believe a candidate is going to win, you show up early to get a good spot, so you can see and maybe shake his hand. they've already taken the lighting readings the crews all want, but, in general, they usually wait for the loser, and should that be newt gingrich, they usually wait for that speech to come before the winner comes out. they're expecting an early evening here tonight. they believe, from their own internal polls, this will be a pretty good-sized victory for romney. you should probably see him
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fairly early. >> candy is over there at romney headquarters at tampa, florida and we'll get ready to go back to you. thanks very much and for speaking with ann romney as well. in nine minutes, all the polling places in florida will be closed. you will find out if we can project a winner. we're looking ahead to the next contest in nevada where undecided voters will share their thoughts on the republican candidates and their speeches tonight. i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor. numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone,
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all the polls in florida will close in a little bit more than 5 minutes. we'll see at the top of the hour if we are able to project a winner. post of the polls in the state closed an hour ago. let's look at the voting, the official numbers that have come in from florida. 51% of the vote is in.
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they're moving quickly, not even an hour after the polls closed. 49,028. that's 48%. 314,764, 31% for newt gingrich. 13% for santorum. 7% for ron paul. a very impressive lead with more than half of the votes. these are actually votes that have been counted in florida. mitt romney way ahead of newt gingrich and rick santorum and ron paul. anderson, a lot to dissect. we're waiting at the top of the hour. our experts are going through these numbers to see if we can project a winner. >> ary fleischer, you were looking at turnout numbers, from 2008, how it might compare to this year. >> one of the overall numbers is in iowa and new hampshire they broke the records in 2008, small amounts but still record breaking. and south carolina, massive
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shattering by 33%. so far in florida, looks like republicans are running about dead even with the 2008 turnout, which was a record. and as a republican, you hope to boost the number as a sign of intensity going into the general election. >> how did mitt romney turn it around. it was a different story 2 1/2 weeks ago. >> he collapsed and it was the end of the romney campaign. one thing that turned it around, the negative advertising. they defined newt gingrich unacceptably to republican voters with a massive advertising campaign. the other thing, he had a strong debate performance and newt gingrich didn't. that demonstrated strength in presidential leadership. my real question is how did you get to those two places? what happened? at some point after south carolina, the candidate took hold of his campaign, sat down, must have sat down the team and said, look, it's time to focus. usually, candidates get the
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campaigns they deserve and the campaigns they earn. somebody turned around that campaign and in my experience, that kind of leadership comes from the top. i think we're learning something about mitt romney here. >> was it also newt gingrich at the debates taking a different tact, suddenly trying to be more -- going back to elder statesma statesman. >> there's a lot of that. the worst thing that can happen to a political candidate is do something dump and get away with it. newt gingrich didn't prepare for these debates. he kind of relies on his own brilliance, which is considerable. that's great. he got away with it in south carolina. he hit a home run. next time he went up to the plate, he whiffed, next time, he whiffed. you need more discipline than that because politics demands it. >> he didn't have a strategy. he walked into that debate thinking mitt romney was scared of him, not willing to fight back. mitt romney said, you know what, every time you hit me, i will hit you three times and smack
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you over the head so you remember i hit you. it was an amazing show of discipline on mitt romney's part. newt gingrich has to learn in a debate, you walk in with a strategy. in a campaign, you walk in with a strategy. he has not had a strategy to win the debate or win on the ground. instead, he's attacked the media and tried to do that dog whistle which helped him initially in south carolina and didn't help him in florida. >> he could have debated like abraham lincoln and lose florida out-spent 5-1. god is on the side of the big battalions and voters usually on the side of big money particularly when this sort of a asymmetrical spending is going on and mitt romney compounded that effectively by being negative. he was i quite 5th 50ed and negative. as ari points out, we might have a record blowout. this baloney they don't like
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negative, they love it. >> people are watching things with their own eyeballs and making their own judgments this year, the exit polling shows it's more important than the advertisin advertising. >> thyme% said the ads were important. 61% lied. >> the baits have been out of control. republicans love to watch these debates, of course, democrats don't. >> ask people, they say i watch pbs, they don't say i watch "desperate housewives." they're not watching pbs. they just lie in the polls. >> you can make the case the ads canceled each other out, there were so many negative ads. >> 5-1. >> 92% were negative. you could argue they canceled each other out. >> we're getting close to the top of the hour. let me go back to wolf. we may be able to -- >> i think our viewers are probably going to be interested in what we have to report in a few seconds. just want to make it clear, most of the polls closed in florida
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an hour or so ago. all of the polls including the western part of the state in the panhandle will be closed in a few seconds. at that moment, we will be able to presumably make some news right here at the cnn election center. we want everyone right now to stand by. we're getting ready. it's almost the top of the hour. the polls will be closed in all of the state. cnn projects mitt romney, yes, mitt romney will win the florida primary. cnn is making that projection, based on all of the information that's coming in, the official numbers as well as the exit poll numbers. you're looking at live pictures of mitt romney headquarters in tampa, florida. let's listen in. the crowd is very excited. our own candy crowley is on the
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scene for us, as she always is. candy, that crowd certainly expected it, but now we have made the projection, the former massachusetts governor wins the state of florida. >> reporter: yeah. you know, this is the most excited ballroom i've seen. that includes iowa, when we thought he had won the caucuses. it is bigger, it is louder. they actually counted down as they saw the clock going down to 8:00, so sure were they that this was going to be a victory for mitt romney, throughout camp romney, they were pretty certain they were going to get a good victory. they're looking inside those polling numbers to find bragging rights as they move forward. i can tell you inside the campaign, they're feeling good enough to start talking about what's ahead. they say, listen, we've got $19 million. we have a turnout organization second to none and we also have an organization and we're on the ballot in every state, which
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newt gingrich is not. so they are certainly muscle flexing after this win today. we'll have to wait and see how big it actually is as those votes come in. but looking down the road, i have to tell you, wolf, interesting to me, the one thing that was mentioned to me by two senior advisors was the caucuses. they said, you know, looking at the caucuses, we believe those are uphill for us. the one name they mentioned, rick santorum. they thought he's pretty good at caucuses maybe because he turned out to have actually won iowa. nonetheless, they believe he has staying power, particularly in those caucuses. that's where if they're worried, they're most worried. >> caucuses in nevada coming up this saturday. i want to explain to our viewers what's going on, how we were able to make this projection. a lot of the votes are officially in. 58% of the votes have been counted in the state of florida. mitt romney is way ahead with 47% to 31% for newt gingrich. 13% for rick santorum, 7% for
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ron paul. that's a major major lead, just changing a little bit more, 47% for mitt romney. we projected him the winner, 31% for newt gingrich. he's almost 200,000 votes ahead of newt gingrich. in addition to that, all day, we've been asking people as they've been leaving the voting booths who they voted for and now we can share with you the exit poll results. here's the other factor that led us to make this projection. here is the cnn exit poll results, based on the poll, the answers that folks gave us after they actually voted. 46% said they voted for mitt romney. 32% for newt gingrich, 12% for rick santorum, 8% for ron paul. a very impressive showing, at least in the exit polls. not that different from the actual numbers that are coming in right now with about 58% of the vote in. but take a look at the exit poll
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results on all the folks throughout the state that came out, they spoke to us, they told us who they voted for. this was what they told us. 46% for mitt romney, 32% for newt gingrich, 12% for rick santorum, 8% for ron paul. those numbers on the exit poll, almost 16% of the actual vote is in, very similar to what we're seeing right now. >> at the "magic wall," you see the map starting to fill in. dark red is romney and you see newt gingrich up here but these are tiny counties, tiny rural areas where there aren't that many people. mitt romney is winning in jacksonville, miami, where the people live. and 60% of the vote counted and 48%. gingrich and santorum don't match up to mitt romney. let's look at the exit polls. why did this happen? florida voters said, who can defeat barack obama? they know their state will be huge, 29 electoral votes in the
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fall. let's take a look at this. this is a thumping. 58-33%. remember in south carolina, south carolina candidates thought gingrich was the best candidate for the fall campaign by a big margin. florida voters think mitt romney was stronger. that was huge in the romney victory. let's move to other key issues here. the tea party movement. 65% of republican voters today support the tea party. that has been a newt gingrich strength if you look. almost a split. governor romney with a slight advantage, 40% who support the tea party voted for governor romney, 38% for gingrich. roughly even among the tea party. that had been a huge gingrich advantage in other states. that's a big comeback for romney in the state of florida. evangelicals or born again christians. evangelical vote, 40% said yes. they were white evangelicals. speaker gingrich had a slight lead but only a slide lead.
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39-36%. remember this, 6 in 10 florida republicans. that one disappeared on me. and the percent that said they were not evangelicals. we'll bring it back to it. they were not evangelicals. all right. she doesn't want to cooperate at the moment. sometimes the computer goes down. among non-evangelicals, speaker romney shellacked gingrich. i'll get you the numbers in a moment. you look behind this, tea party break breaking even, very important and non-evangelicals, governor romney off the charts. >> we could call it a shella shellacking now? >> yes. >> a thumping in south carolina for newt gingrich and shellacking for romney in florida. >> a technical term, a shellacking. >> and let's go to jim acosta standing by the newt gingrich headquarters very different from mitt romney headquarters. where do they go from here? >> reporter: they go to nevada from here, anderson. i can tell you, looking at this
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crowd right now. there are roughly 50 to 100 people in this room right now. a dramatically different image than the crowd at gingrich headquarters on this primary night hen you contrast that to what happened in south carolina 10 days ago. i talked to somebody inside gingrich world and they said they are not spending the night in florida tonight, leaving for nevada. the former speaker is not doing the morning round of talk shows customarily after these primary nights, moving to an event in reno, nevada and hoping for a big tea party showing in that state. they will be spending a lot of time in nevada. earlier this week, the former speaker said there are a lot of folks in the mormon church who might naturally go for mitt romney in the nevada caucuses. they feel at the same time, there are enough tea party people there they could be competitive in that state. adios, florida and on to nevada. >> thanks very much. we continue to check in with
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you. when speaker gingrich speaks, we'll bring that to you. >> now to miami. we just saw john king was saying amo among tea party voters, they were pretty evenly split and mitt romney has been able to make inroads among tea party voters different than what we saw in south carolina. can the gingrich campaign depend on tea party voters in nevada? >> i'm not sure nevada. i want to see if we can break it out and see what the panhandle did in terms of the rest of the state in terms of evangelicals and tea party. i would argue in the upcoming primaries, particularly tuesday, the tea party of the evangelical s def demographically will be different than southern voters that balanced and what about northern florida. i think that will make a
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difference for gingrich. it will be a hard slog for february because nevada will favor mitt romney. >> the tea party was built on this economic agenda back to ross perot and the reform party and people talking about the debt and issues. that's what it was about. when newt gingrich talks about i am more of a conservative than mitt romney, tea party folks are saying, especially in this state, i want to hear about the economy and jobs. >> they heard about abortion instead. >> if you're newt gingrich, you have to tailor your message in florida different than south carolina. it made no sense whatsoever. it will be economics. i don't grab the motion he can get tea party folks if he has no economic message. >> one thing that gave mitt romney such a win and lead in florida tonight. money was a huge factor, the amount of money spent. do you think this was really a story about the perhaps of debates? >> i think advertising was
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predominant in florida and had more of an impact than anything. debates were key in florida. they got newt momentum in south carolina and really hurt him in florida. i talked to a very senior newt gingrich official shortly before the south carolina debate cnn did and said newt gingrich's strategy, he was not joking was tune the world out, take a nap, relax and think himself as opposed to doing the traditional debate. if that's what he was telling me and he was serious newt has to rethink his debate strategy. >> reporter: the problem was he expected the mitt romney to come who was the same mitt romney. mitt romney finally decided in florida to play to win and not lose. stop being so conservative, not a bad word here, stop being so conservative and all laid back, he finally got far more aggressive and clearly the voters responded. the question is can mitt romney stay aggressive in the next few states, especially on super tuesday. >> that will drive up negatives for him as it did for gingrich.
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>> he has no choice because he has to win the nomination. >> let's go back to our table of republicans and democrats over here. we heard from jim acosta saying gingrich will try to rely on and reach out to tea party voters in nevada. can he rely on them or is mitt romney really making serious inroads with them? >> mitt romney is making serious inroads with them. newt gingrich split the panhandle, to answer the question. the tea party conservatives, a friend of mine jokes jacksonville, florida is the second largest city in georgia, this is really the south of the northern part of florida. newt gingrich didn't do particularly well there. he's tying mitt romney is not what he expected? he's talking about going to the moon and -- >> all over the map is what i would say. newt gingrich was all over the map. there isn't one newt gingrich. he was no concentrated message.
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>> i think that's exactly right. when you get to the panhandle and more traditionally southern votes, you will go republican in the general election. in march, southern primaries in georgia and alabama and mississippi, newt did tie 38-38 in northern florida in the panhandle, a good sign for newt going forward. nevada, mitt won it last time. huge population that votes republican. 26% of primary voters in nevada four years ago were mormon and mitt romney took 95% of them. i don't think anybody can touch mitt romney in nevada. >> the person i would look for in nevada is ron paul we haven't mentioned excels at these caucuses. he's not going to contest that lds vote very effectively. i think santorum and ron paul we have not talked about a lot tonight, i think i like their odds in nevada better than newt's.
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mitt romney with christian conservatives, in a caucus, i think they can do better than gingrich. snow and they said he would be focusing on caucus states. >> you have maine a caucus state and colorado. there's time for ron paul and santorum to get their wings back and time for gingrich to pivot. as long as conservative voters are restless. 4 in 10 saying mitt romney's not conservative enough, 4 in 10 looking for somebody else to jump into the race. i'm trying to keep this going. my popcorn is still hot. >> if you're gingrich or santorum, you look at the numbers of people who voted both either for gingrich or santorum c that gives you hope because you think if one of those drops out, the other guy can get those votes. snow tonight, you look at the florida vote, it looks like romney is getting more votes than santorum and gingrich combined in a state that's a microcosm of the path ahead. that's good news for romney. the person to look for in nevada is not just ron paul, sheldon
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adel son, does he invest again. >> the one bank rolling newt gingrich. >> does he put another wad of cash on lucky number newt. >> that may drag -- the voter train i don't think in nevada is as good for newt. i should say, i've been searching for the dark cloud here. the silver lining for romney is much bigger than a crowd. this is a huge impressive terrific win. >> let's give a little bit of credit to the match mall liigne negative ad. policemen take bad people off the street so they don't hurt us. good negative ads warn us of people americans don't think should be president. >> spoken like a man -- >> what a great idea, the negative ad. we need more, we need more. >> do you guys agree with paul negative ads work and this is a sign of that? >> negative ads work and people
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lie about whether they think negative ads really affected them. i believe in this particular case the last debate had a very large impact. let me say something about newt gingrich. he is hanging onto the fact that the anti-romney people in the republican party still out-weigh the pro romney people. if you look at these exit polls tonight, what's really interesting, is he does not get -- mitt romney, huge win, accolades all around, he does not get the base of the base. he still doesn't get the people who consider themselves very conservative. he won with overall conservatives but not the most conservative. he didn't win with the people who strongly support the tea party movement. overall tea partiers, yes, but not the base of the base. i think that will continue to dog him. the gingrich campaign says, you know what, maybe these are enough people to win us some states. >> we have something that's going to happen tonight. up to 11:59, it's going to be
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really important to see who has staying power. that is the super pacs restore our future for mitt romney, winning our future for newt gingrich and report how much money they raised in the year and they haven't had a report since last summer. we have had six months these guys have been raising money. we don't know who's been giving them money, big donors and we don't know how much. you will get a huge number from mitt romney, $12 million through june. you will see what newt gingrich got, which is really crucial if money is getting behind him. i call it a clean number. to people like newt gingrich, you will see that number. it does not include aid ddelsono gave his money in january. that will determine his war chest because he's already spent $3 million on ads. >> i want to make the case, i don't think negative advertising can win an election. i think it hurt newt gingrich a lot in iowa. remember in south carolina, newt gingrich got hit by an avalanche
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of negative advertising, out-spent 2-1 in south carolina and he still won. he won because he had a strategistrategy that took him to the debate and made the arguments live on television and allowed him to win it. here, he came wander and nobody know what the heck he stood for. did the advertising win it, partly. the debates won it more than the advertising. >> he spent a lot of time complaining about mitt romney's negative ads and complaining about mitt romney. >> it wasn't debates. it was one moment where he came off as a hero against the media, that was what really made people --? the next day people in south carolina said it won them over. >> that's called winning a debate. >> one other huge factor. he didn't buy john king a puppy. bitterly personally attacked him. negative works. >> this is the point aeric erickson has made.
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it broke so late in the primary, newt did such a good job in the debate he distracted attention from it. now that it settled in. mitt romney won men 31-46, women, 51-29, that's for the of all gender gaps. >> you trace that to the allegations about -- >> i think you look at the data, newt gingrich has a big problem with women. and even more pronounced when you dig deeper. >> married women even more than single women but he has a problem with both. >> fascinating to watch. john and wolf. >> as we dig deeper into all these numbers, john has been going through the exit poll numbers to get a better appreciation how he megaheranag win. >> he won with a broad breadth of this victory. the wall took a break earlier. among non-evangelicals, 60%
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said, no, we're not white born evangelicals. 60% of electorate. and romney 53% of the pie to speaker gingrich. among 60% of electorate, 53% of that, that's a victory. and no surprise, unemployment rate near 10%, the most important issue was the economy, a near 20 point margin of romney over gingrich. that is the reason for the shellacking. the number one issue, you win huge and both by marital status what ari fleischer was talking about among men, 40% of the electorate were married men and 37% for romney and 35% for speaker gingrich. governor romney doing better than south carolina, running even with married men. one-third, married women, governor romney with majority, 51% to 28% for speaker gingrich,
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there could be evidence the personal chats questions could be taking a toll. unmarried women only 15% of electorate. another gender gap. 44% to 28%. no matter where you go, a straight-up gender gap, 51% of electorate were men, romney p pin -- winning, by a narrow margin. half were women, 59% to 29%. if you're doing that. that's why you get that huge margin. >> you have florida, the fourth largest state in the country and a state really representative of the country as a whole. i want to show our viewers a picture that was just tweeted by tag romney, son of mitt romney. you can see him right there. apparently the winner of the florida primary is going over his speech, getting ready to delivery that speech in a little while. that picture just tweeted by tag romney a little while ago.
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67% of the vote is now in, john. you look very impressive. 3 47-31 lead by newt gingrich. you look at this state, see the bright red. those are all counties at least right now mitt romney is ahead of newt gingrich on. >> you look at this map, the picture you just shown, governor romney about to give the most important speech in his campaign. he has just won a huge election by a huge margin. he wants to speak to republicans about february and march and make the case, it is time to settle this one and make me your nominee. governor romney is winning where the people are, if you ever studied florida, jacksonville, orlando, tampa, st. pete, naples, miami. tallahassee, to a smaller degree, panama city. any of the big urban areas, population centers, governor
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romney is winning. what is this area here? the areas of speaker gingrich's strength. the tiny rural counties. can you heal the party? this is the tea party in florida. newt gingrich is winning where they are the strongest. this is a sign of the healing governor romney would have going forward. >> turn it off. i want to ask you a question about south florida. these are critical in the general election, miami, dade, palm beach counties, the largest counties in the state. >> miami-dade, getting 63% of the vote of republicans. broward county, 10% of the population, 52%. to palm beach county, 55%. that's the point i was going to make. this is why that speech is so important. look at these areas of strength. remember this area in a competitive election of florida, i-4 tampa to orlando, independent voters, swing voters, these are very important parts of the state.
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i want to make that point come back to 28008 and the presidential race. barack obama won florida but it was a close race and the unemployment race has gone up. look down here, general election, democratic territory, performing very well. split area, mccain doing well and obama some others. when governor romney speaks tonight he is speaking to the people of florida but wants to project a sign of strength to move on. >> this is a close state. only republicans can vote. that does not necessarily bode well in november, if assuming mitt romney gets the nomination for president obama. he needs florida. he needs it desperately. they will both be fighting for the fourth largest state in the country. >> if it is mitt romney, you moderated last week, i talked to a number of democrats to say on this day, they consider president obama to be the underdog almost no matter who
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that candidate is, they believe governor romney would be, as of today would be considered a slight favorite in the state of florida. >> we're getting ready to see and hear mitt romney. he will be walking into that room. the crowd is very very excited. ion ion -- i don't know if you saw that crowd compared to newt gingrich headquarters, a very modest crowd, obviously not very happy at gingrich headquarters. those two pictures, you put them up side by side, anderson, it says a lot. >> it does. another picture, we have seen governor romney watching the results, watching cnn to learn we have projected him the winner. that picture has just been tweeted out. you see the picture there behind the scenes of the romney campaign, as we wait for governor romney to speak tonight and we anticipate him coming out to speak any moment. you guys have helped write a lot of speeches over the years. what is the message for these
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candidates, romney and gingrich. >> romney, clear, focus on obama. he won this by viciously attack ing gingrich. he has to get his head totally into barack obama now and show the party he is the guy that can attack president obama. any attacks on gingrich is wasted time. >> is that just for tonight? >> just for tonight. he still has to deal with these guys. tonight, big audience, be big. >> newt gingrich, i don't know if he can turn off the bitter attacks. mitt romney is. and can do it as his strategy dictates. >> newt seems to mean this. the most interesting thing for me tonight when he hits that stage, what is he going to say? i have no idea. does he continue to bitterly attack mitt romney. >> mitt romney, four things, debt, deficit, jobs spending, rise above the in the trench
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warfare that marks the primary. newt, is newt going to give another attack concession speech. no one knows what newt will do. newt doesn't himself. it's always fascinating tv to watch newt. >> if he continues to do that, he will continue to marginalize himself and distance himself from the big children the oval office. romney has to give the big speech where he will take the country different than gingrich. he has a super pac and still needs keep his foot on gingrich so he doesn't come back another time. >> doesn't he move away from gingrich at his peril? >> not tonight. >> tonight, he has to hug him and love him and say, you know, the guy who ran the better campaign won. there's still something that separates us, big differences where we take the country. a massachusetts moderate wouldn't do what i would do. stick with me, we're going to try again. >> david gergen. >> newt gingrich has to make a very fundamental decision very
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quickly. a lot of the republican party is going to now say, newt, you can't win this. the question becomes does he continue tearing down the likely nominee of the party and go out as the person that's hated within the party or does he look for a way to have a graceful exit to a good future? that's a very important question. >> if you're newt gingrich and your future depends on books sales for republicans, that would weigh heavily. >> he's never had a graceful exit in his life. sorry. it's not in his nature. >> somebody needs to remind him this is no longer the 1990s. the last time he was on the ballot is 1998. it's showing. it's evident to most of us he doesn't have a strategy to win the nomination. he hasn't really settled on a message to take it to conservative voters so he can consolidate the base of the republican party. right now, he's running on fumes. many of us know that can take you but so far.
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look, i want to say something about mitt romney's speech tonight. please, he's no barack obama, he cannot carry a tune, so just recite those wonderful patriotic words, don't sing. >> here's a memo newt's staff put out this week from martin baker, the national political director of his campaign. bottom line regardless of the message mitt romney wants to push and delivery, this race is just getti ting started. either way there is a long way to go before either candidate clinches the nomination and this campaign will continue for months. >> they just introduced governor romney and his family. let's listen in.
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thank you, florida. we are so grateful to all of you for being here tonight and how great all of you are. thank you, this is a very wonderful reception. you know, this experience of mitt running for president has been extraordinary for our family. it's just -- it's just hard to express what it means for a wife and a mother to see these kids like this and on the stage. i will tell you, though, mitt doesn't always take himself very seriously because we have the five boys along on the bus. they keep us humble. only four of them are here tonight. you know my son, ben, he's in
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residency. we're sorry, he's not here. we have made friendships from here all across this country but here in florida, it's been wonderful. >> we're from lajolla. >> you're from lajolla, fantastic. there's so many people we need to thank. the list is long. i will ask you to do something and not to clap until we've gone through the list. i will mention a few people that have made such a difference. so please hold your applause until the end. commissioner adam putnam, our chairman. chief financial officer jeff atwater. pam bondi, attorney general, ambassador john roode. am bad dbassador john sembler. you're not listening to me. senator connie mac and mel martinez. the members that endorse mitt,
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connie mack. jeff miller. maria -- mario diaz vallart. elonia rose. andrew crenshaw. tom rooney, sandy adams, senator john thrasher. senator flores. speaker allen bentz. speaker designate will weath weatherford and ted neil. our friends celebrating in tallahassee, miami, jacksonville and across florida, molly d donlon, brett dostner and anna carbonell. our great grassroots team across the state. finally, thank you all so much. now -- [ applause ] now, let me introduce to you my
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husband, the father of my five sons, the grandfather of my 16 grandchildren and the next president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thanks, you guys! thank you. thank you. thank you so much. >> mitt mitt mitt mitt. >> thank you to the people in this room and to the people all over florida, thank you tonight
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for this great victory. there are -- there are few fewer -- there are fewer candidates tonight than when the race began, but three gentlemen are serious and able competitors and they're still in the race and i want to congratulate them on another hard fought contest in this campaign. primary contests are not easy. they're not supposed to be, as this primary unfolds, our opponents in the other party have been watching, and they like to comfort themselves with the thought a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak. but i've got news for them. a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us and we will win. and when we gather back here in tampa seven months from now for
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our convention -- [ applause ] ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for america. three years ago, this week, a newly elected president obama faced the american people and he said, look, if i can't turn this economy around in three years, i'll be looking at a one-term propositi proposition, and we're here to collect! you know the results. it's been 35 months of unemployment above 8%. and under this president, more americans have lost their jobs and more home foreclosures have occurred than under the administration of any other president in history. in the last ten days, i met with a father, who was terrified that this would be the last night his family would be able to sleep in the only home his son has known.
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i've met seniors who thought these would be the best years of their life and now they're worried day-to-day about how to make ends meet. i met some hispanic infrastructu entrepreneurs who thought they had achieved the american dream and now seeing it disappear. the president said, let's remember now how we got here. don't worry, mr. president, we remember exactly how we got here. you won the election! [ applause ] leadersh leadership, leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. in another era of american crisis, thomas payne is reported to have said, lead, follow or get out of the way. well, mr. president, you were elected to lead. you chose to follow, and now, it's time for you to get out of the way. [ applause ]
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i stand ready to lead this party and to lead our nation as a man who spent his life outside washingt washington, i know what it's like to start a business, i know how extra ordinarily difficult it is to build something from nothing. i know how government kills jobs and, yes, i know how it can help from time-to-time. my leadership helped build businesses from scratch. my leadership helped save the olympics from scandal and give our american athletes the chance to make us all proud as they did. [ applause ] my leadership cut taxes 19 times and cast over 800 vetoes. we balance the budget every single year and we kept our schools first in the nation. my leadership will end the obama
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era and begin a new era of american prosperity. [ applause ] mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt. >> this campaign -- this campaign is about more than replacing a president. it's about saving the soul of america. president obama and i have very different visions of america. president obama wants to grow government and continue to amass trillion dollar deficits. i will not just slow the growth of government, i will cut the spending of government. i will not just freeze government share of the total economy, i will reduce it and without raising taxes, i will finally get america to a balanced budget.
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[ applause ] president obama's view of a free economy is to send your money to his friends. my vision for a free enterprise economy is to return entrepreneurship and genius and creativity to the american peop people! [ applause ] on one of the most personal matters of our lives, our health care, president obama would turn decision making over to government bureaucrats. he forced through obama-care and i will repeal it. [ applause ] you know, like his colleagues in the faculty lounge, who think they know better, president
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obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy. i will make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, for innova r innovators and job creators and unlike the other people running for president, i know how to do that because i've done it before. [ applause ] >> mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt. >> president obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience. i will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedom. [ applause ] >> president obama believes that our role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. he's intent on shrinking our
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military capacity at a time when the world is facing rising threats. i will insist on a military so power effectively no one would ever think of challenging it. [ applause ] president obama has adopted a policy of appeasement and apology. i will speak out for those seeking freedom and i will stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends around the world. [ applause ] you see, you see, president obama wants to fundamentally transform america and make it something perhaps we wouldn't recognize. i want to restore to america the values and principles that made us the hope of the earth, and i'll do it. [ applause ]. >> mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt,
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mitt, mitt. >> our plans -- our plans protect freedom and opportunity and our blueprint is the constitution of the united states. together, we will build an america where hope is a new job with a paycheck, not a faded word on an old bumper sticker. [ applause ] now, let me be clear. the path i lay out is not one paved with ever increasing government checks and cradle to grave assurance government will always be the solution. if this election is a bidding war for who can promise the most goodies and the most benefits, i'm not your president. you have that president today. if you want to make this election about restoring american greatness, i hope you'll join us. if you believe the
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disappointments -- if you believe the disappointments in the last few years are a detour and not our destiny, then i'm asking for your vote. [ applause ] i'm asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an american. i want you to remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future and not to dread each new headline. i want you to remember when you spent more time dreaming about where to send your kids to college than wondering how you'd make it to the next paycheck. i want you to remember when you weren't afraid to look at your retirement saves or the price at the gas pump. i want you to remember when our white house reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what europe has become. [ applause ] that america is still out there. we believe in that america.
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we still believe in the america that is the land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. we believe in the america that challenges each of us to be bigger and better than ourselves. this election, let's fight for the america we love. we believe in america. thank you so much! florida, you're the best! god bless the united states of america! thank you! thank you! [ applause ] >> you've just been listening to governor mitt romney with his victory speech in florida. a really huge win, right now with 74% of the votes counted, 47% for mitt romney, 32% for newt gingrich. paul begala, you said he needed to make a good speech focusing
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on president obama. >> yes, i think he did a very good job. he didn't rise to the inspirational level barack obama did in 2008. but that's a very high bar. >> you have two degrees at harvard, to be mocking the people in the faculty lounge is a little tinny to me. if i had 23 bank accounts in europe, i don't think i would attack the white house for looking like europe. in this main, this is what he needed to do. a little more lift and loft, but good speech. >> bopaul giveth and taketh awa. >> it's complicated. >> this is can you take it to barack obama the way you took it to newt gingrich in the debate this week and he had some really good lines. and it will appeal to conservatives who have doubts about mitt romney. we need a white house the best of what we are than what europe
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is becoming. that's a good line. he's trying hopefully to look ahead to the general and bring the issues back. >> we're anticipating newt gingrich really any moment. >> i think that speech also makes it a lot harder for newt gingrich to try to gang tackle him tonight because he united the party. look, we have our divisions in these primaries. it doesn't divide us, it prepares us. he played the nice guy. that makes it tougher for gingrich. it was a very conservative speech. this is a speech that spoke to the base of the party and focused on obama. this is the kind of speech i think he did need to give tonight. he did something i haven't seen him do before, he reached out to the audience. he said, if you want to make these changes in washington, if you want to get the economy, this is your campaign. causes beat campaigns. a cause is when you give the voter a purpose larger than himself, when you say, it's not just me that's running, it's all of us. i haven't ever seen that before tonight. >> he spent more than two-thirds of his speech reintroducing
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himself to republican voters who will be voting in the upcoming caucuses and primaries. he knows florida was a detour from his campaign strategy of focusing on obama 100% of the time, so he had to use tonight to remind conservatives, remind republicans why he's in the race and what he can do this fall to try to beat president obama. >> as i said, we're anticipating hearing from newt gingrich any moment. we'll bring that to you live, also one-on-one interview with rick santorum, obviously focused not tonight in florida, not even in florida, focused on nevada and elsewhere. our coverage continues in a moment. my name is marjorie reyes. i'm a chief warrant officer.
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mitt romney is projected to win the florida primary. we just heard him speak a few moments ago and he just spoke a few moments ago who came in second, a distant second. 71% of the vote is in. 47% for mitt romney and 32% for newt gingrich! dana bash is in las vegas with the former pennsylvania senator, rick santorum. go ahead and talk to him a little bit. >> reporter: thank you, wolf. the senator actually just walked into his headquarters in nevada. thank you very much. the first question is the obvious question, why did you ultimately decide to come here to nevada when the race right now was in florida? >> well, because we realized winner take all race like florida where millions of dollars are going to be spent and we were not in a position to compete on a financial basis at this point. we had a great financial fund-raising month. we raised almost $4.5 million in
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the month of january and our fund-raising numbers are incredibly strong today. people are starting to realize now seeing the results in florida. newt gingrich had his chance, had a shot. had a big boost, win out of south carolina and couldn't hold it, couldn't delivery in florida. i think they will be looking for a different conservative as alternative to mitt romney now. >> reporter: governor, you said yourself, florida was the first contest the most like the country, had so much diversity in terms of demographics and everything else. the fact you couldn't compete there, what does that say about your electability ultimately? >> it's not a matter of competing, from resources. we came from a shoestring campaign and raised twice as much money in the month of january and previously. our fund-raising continues to be strong. we're in nevada and colorado and missouri and minnesota. you look at early polls in missouri, we are ahead of governor romney and head to head
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and which is what it will be next tuesday. i feel very good that people are now looking and saying, there really is one electable conservative in this race and hopefully the people in nevada will give a little different result than we see in florida. we'll keep building from there. >> things got very nasty in florida. you probably weren't there for a lot of that but they got nasty between newt gingrich and mitt romney. you will have a pretty tough speech tomorrow against mitt romney, you will step it up a notch or two. >> on the issues. that's really the difference. what people are tired of is all this personal attacks on how somebody made money and what they did on kay street or did at bain capital. people don't care about that. they care about what you will do to affect their lives and size and scale of government and freedom and opportunity to get a job and provide for your family. romney care and its progeny, which is the obama-care is really the public enemy number
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one when it comes to job creation and expansion of government. we're going to tie those two together. we have run a very issue oriented campaign and will continue to do so and talk about issues people care about. that's what we will do tomorrow? do you have to have a win in february, not just gobble up a delegate here or there to keep going? >> this is a long race, we raised today, according to my folks, we raised over $200,000 online. an enormous day for us. i think people are realizing it's time to call us. the bickering we've seen and the baggage of both these candidates is not something our party needs going into the fall. >> of course, i can't let you go without asking about your daughter, bella, you came off the campaign trail, how is she doing? >> she's doing just great. i thank everybody for their prayers. it's been a wonderful miraculous recovery. thank god i was home and able to be there to help and she is on
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the mend and i think she will be out of the hospital tomorrow. >> reporter: that's great. obviously, a big part of your campaign is about family and being a father. how difficult was it to leave her to come back out here? >> you know, i laid in the hospital bed with her all that night and, you know, when i get up in the morning and talk to the doctors and everything, they felt she was far past the crisis and she was on the mend and i can get back to work. was it hard, yes, it was very hard. but, you know, you're a mom and you realize it's not easy to get up and go to work and leave, but, you know, that's the responsibility to provide and in our case, to try to serve our country to make sure we have a country that little bellas are respected and loved. that's what we're about. >> thank you so etch. we're all, i think we can say this object jively she's doing very much better. >> we're very happy. everybody prayed for us and very happy to see the reaction across
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the country. >> reporter: thanks, senator. back to you. >> thank you. we're certainly happy little bella is doing fine and will be out of the hospital very very soon. we're waiting to hear from newt gingrich. he's getting ready to speak. he's in florida still and getting ready to move to nevada. we'll take that speech live and we'll hear it and hear what he has to say. maybe we'll get a hint. from the cnn election center right after this. welcome to new nutritionpossible.com...
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we just heard from rick santorum in an interview from dana bash. now, he's talking to his supporter supporters. >> i want to say to everyone on behalf of our family, when we had to jump off the campaign trail to care for our daughter, bella, it was a very trying
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time. this has been a pretty tough campaign and campaigns in politics have gotten pretty nasty on both sides of the aisle and certainly across the aisle. i just have to say on behalf of our family and seeing the out-pouring of support from folks frankly on both sides of the ale across this country of all political stripes toward me and particularly our daughter, bella, i want to say thank you for that support and those prayers. bella had a tough couple of days. she has turned around, recovering and she is going to go home tomorrow from the hospital. [ applause ] thank you. >> this is from the volunteers in the staff at nevada. a big giant stuffed elephant. >> thank you. well, thank you very much for that. it's great to be back here on
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the campaign trail, talking about the important issues of the day. if there's one message i think we got from the campaign in florida, is that republicans can do better. we can do better than this. we can do better than the discussion and the dialogue and the accusations that were going on in the state of florida and, really, this campaign went down hill. i went to florida and, of course, participated in the debates. i thought we did a pretty good job in those debates. [ applause ] while we didn't get into the melee of the negativism. as i said at that debate in jacksonville on thursday night. the american public does not want to see two or three candidates get into a mud wrestling match where everybody walks away dirty and not in a position to be able to represent our party proudly. we're going to have differences on the issues. we need to talk about those differences on the issues.
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but what we saw in the last few weeks in the state of florida is not something that's going to help us win this election. i said it and i'll say it again, governor romney, you have every right to go out into the private sector and use the gifts god has given you and the opportunities you have and made for yourself and hard work and make all the money you can and do it in a way that helps our economy and certainly helps you and your family. i'm not going to criticize you for doing that. that's how capitalism works and i'm all for it. [ applause ] speaker gingrich, you went out and you took the talents that you have, and they're considerable and took the effort and hard work and knowledge and experience you got from working at the highest levels of government and went out and worked with companies that had concerns about a government that was trying to run over them in many cases. there's nothing wrong with that. i congratulate you for the work you did in support of those countries that deserve
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representation as they're entitled to under the first amendment of our constitution. i'm not going to criticize you for that. [ applause ] let's put those issues behind us and focus on the real issue, which is defeating barack obama [ applause ] >> we're not going to do that by mud slinging, we're going to do it by talking about the issues that people at their kitchen tables are talking about. talking about their homes being foreclosed on or jobs not available or promotions not available or the opportunities to be able to start a business without the government breathing down their neck. that's what people want to hear about and they want to know what your plans are and they want to know how you contrast yourself with president obama when it comes to that. that's what this campaign has been about for me and that's what it is going to be about here. tomorrow, we will give a speech
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on romney care and obama-care. [ applause ] >> we will talk about the issues that are important to the people of nevada, important to the people of colorado and minnesota, missouri. the states that are up next in this next go round in the next week. that's what the issues that, again, we need a candidate who can get up on the issues of health care and draw a clear contrast with president obama. we need someone who can get up on the issue of cap and trade and government using environmentlism to be able to crush the businesses of our country and draw a clear contrast with president obama. we need someone on the issue of wall street and the bailouts and all of the -- here in nevada, they've suffered. they've suffered, while the folks in wall street have prospered, the people here who had the loans that are under water continued to suffer while those buying and selling for
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profit bad piper continued to get bailed out by washington d.c. and approved of by newt gingrich and mitt romney. so we need someone who can draw that contrast. we need someone who can be a conservative nominee. you know what, in florida, newt gingrich had his opportunity. he came out of the state of south carolina, he came out with a big win and a lot of money. he said, i'm going to be the conservative alternative. i'm going to be the anti-mitt. it didn't work. he became the issue. we can't allow our nominee to be the issue in the campaign. [ applause ] i say to the people of nevada, in fact, to the people across this country, if you want a strong principled conservative who is not going to be the issue in the campaign, will make barack obama the issue in this campaign. please vote for me and help us out. thank you, god bless, thank you.
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[ applause ] >> rick santorum pledges to continue this race even though coming in a distant third in nevada, the nevada caucuses coming up on saturday. and we will see and hear newt gingrich who came up a distant second in florida despite the fact he made a huge effort in florida, spent a lot of money. clearly, 76% of the vote, mitt romney has 47% to 32% for newt gingrich, 13% for rick santorum, 7% for ron paul. we will be hearing from newt gingrich momentarily and you will hear the speech as well. i'm anxious to hear clues. i assume he will continue to struggle for the presidential nomination. you see the signs at gingrich headquarters say iing 46 states still left to go, suggesting there have been four contests so far, 46 left to go. all the indications are that
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newt gingrich will continue. i got to tell you, when i did hear jim acosta report earlier he's not doing any morning television shows tomorrow morning, i said to myself, hmm, that doesn't sound like the newt gingrich we know, coming after a loss like this, you'd think he'd want to restart his campaign by going on those major television shows in the morning. that raised an alarm bell. i see those signs there, saying 46 states to go, i assume he authorized that. the suggestion he should draw conclusions he didn't do well in florida and drop out, that doesn't sound like it's necessarily going to happen. >> doesn't sound likenessly it's going to happen but anybody who's been watching can see he's tired. you can feel it. ma maybe he will get more energy. let's look at some exit polling. let's look at positive signs for mitt romney. he's obviously winning big among very conservative voters. here's a weakness.
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speaker gingrich, 43%, governor romney, 29%. this is a bit of a warning to governor romney. florida, more diverse and moderate and somewhat conservative voters. even as he gives a big speech tonight and talks about unifying the republican party and that's why he was talking about repealing the obama health care plan and cutting spending. one of his strengths, florida voters think by far mitt romney is the best candidate, florida republicans who live in a big battleground state think he is by far the best candidate to beat president obama. newt gingrich just walked on the stage and we will look at the exit polls in a few minutes. >> they're just beginning the process. it will take a few minutes, i assume for him to shake hands with some of his loyal supporters there. he's over in orlando, florida. you cecal list sta, his wife, always with him by his side, always there. after he receives some of the
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support from former congress bill mccollum there as well, who had endorsed newt gingrich. let's hear what he has to say. i'm anxious to get some clues about where he goes from here. so here he is. >> thank you all very very much. and thank all of you up here. i particularly want to start by tha thanking attorney general bill mccollum, who just has been a great state-wide leader and done so much to help us and he and ingrid have been tremendous. i want to thank mayor krotty and adam levine who helped put this together in a remarkably short time. we're very grateful to all of you. i want to introduce my daughter kathy and her husband, paul, they live down in key biscayne. [ applause ] i'm very proud of kathy, because she did a whole series of
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spanish language media helping us in the miami area, reaching across all the spanish community and my daughter jackie and her husband who are here. [ applause ] >> jackie has been doing speeches and television and radio. she and jimmy are the mother and father of my two major debate coaches, maggie and robert. it's great to have them here. i want to thank floridians. calista and i talked about this. everybody here has been so positive in every part of the state, we just thank all of you for the hospitality and the kindness. we thank the well over a half million floridians who voted for us. i think florida did something very important, coming on top of south carolina. it is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, newt gingrich and the massachusetts
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moderate. [ applause ] the voters of florida really made that clear. you'll notice a number of folks are holding up a sign about 46 states to go. [ applause ] >> we did this in part for the elite media, because, you know, the same people who said i was dead in june and julie and said i was gone after iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the south carolina victory will now be back saying, what's he going to do? what's he going to do. i just want to reassure them tonight, we are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in tampa as the nominee in august. [ applause ] >> newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt.
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>> now, you might ask, in the face of a 5-1 onslaught, how can that be true? i'll give you the answer. it was stated at an historic moment in 1863, in dedicating our first national military cemetery by the president of the united states, abraham lincoln, who said we have government of the people, by the people, for the people. and we're going to have people power defeat money power in the next six months. [ applause ] >> you might say, how are we going to do that? the same way we came back in june and july and by december, we're ahead in the gallup poll nationally by 12 or 13 points with no money. it turned out that if you have ideas and you have solutions and
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you're positive and you can communicate a better future and you have a history of actually doing something in the past, that the combination begins to reach to the american people. let me talk briefly about what this is going to be about. this is the most important election of your lifetime. [ applause ] if barack obama gets re-elected, it will be a disaster for the united states of america. make no bones about it. if he can have a record this bad, unemployment this bad, deficits this bad, policies this bad, gasoline prices this high, and still get re-elected, you can't imagine how radical he'll be in his second term. designing and putting together a people's campaign, not a republican campaign, not an establishment campaign, not a wall street funded campaign, a people's campaign, and saying to every american of every
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background and every ethnic group and every community, we have a better future for you and your family. it's a future of jobs, it's a future of lower gasoline prices, a future of a balanced budget, a future of a smaller washington, a future of more power back home to you and your family and your neighborhood, this is a future we ask you to join us in imposing on the establishment in washington and imposing it on both parties. [ applause ] let's talk briefly about the power of ideas. in 1980, i was very honored to help put together the first capital steps event. at that point, senate and house candidates came together with governor reagan, david broder wrote about it in the "washington post." it was a very courageous
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decision by reagan because he didn't have to run as part of a team. he did something nobody had done before. we won six u.s. senate seats by a margin of 75,000 votes and picked up 33 house seats. in 1994, building on that experience, we got 350 candidates to come and to be part of a contract with america, to stand on the capitol steps. we offered a positive program and we had the largest one-party increase in american history in an off-year. 9 million additional americans voted for a positive vision and we kept our word and every item on the contract was voted on in the first 93 days. [ applause ] there's a core question, both in the primaries and in the general election. a simple question. if you're comfortable with the way america's decaying, then we
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don't have to change much. we can just manage the decay. if you think that's a terrible thing to do to your children and grandchildren, it's a terrible thing to do to your country, and if you are prepared to do what it takes to make sure that we change direction, not just the presidency, but the congress, the bureaucracy, the judges, the policies, so that the entire system gets on the right track, so that america can give our children and grandchildren a more prosperous, a safe and better future, this is how big the gap is. there are folks on both parties quite comfortable managing the decay. i am running, calista and i made the decision to run and my daughters and son-in-laws made the decision to run because we believe it is cheating our grandchildren not to insist on fundamental basic change in washington, even if the establishment doesn't like it. [ applause ]
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>> newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt. >> in the next few days, we're going to develop the equivalent of the contract from 1994, except this is going to be a personal one between me and you, because i'm asking you to make me president and therefore, i have a -- it will come in two parts. part one is conditional and requires your help. part two, i can do if i win the electi election, without having to condition it. part one, only works if you help me and we run a team campaign, which means, by the way, we have to replace bill nelson with a conservative. [ applause ] but if you help us, in addition to winning the presidency, we elect a republican senate and republican house, i will ask
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them on january 3rd, to stay in office, and i will ask them to immediate immediately pass the repeal of obama-care. [ applause ] i will ask them to immediate ly pass the repeal of the dodd-frank bill, which is killing housing, killing small business and killing independent banks. [ applause ] >> i will ask them to pass the repeal of sarbanes-oxley, which is crippling american businesses with no net profit. [ applause ] and my goal is to have all three bills sitting there, waiting, so the minute i am sworn in, i can sign all three and we're off to a pretty good opening morning.
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[ applause ] >> now, those three promises are conditional. we have to win the senate by a big enough margin to manage it and we have to increase our strength in the house. help me do that, i'll do those three. let me tell you some things and we will put this together in a way you will be able to see in writing with my signature and you'll be able to hold my accountable. there are a series of executive orders i can issue that the congress can't stop as long as they're within the law. the very first executive order will abolish all of the white house czars as of that moment. [ applause ] >> we will issue immediately an executive order on the same day. all of this will happen within two hours of the inaugural address. no point hanging out and having fun. before we get to go to the various balls that night, we will have a work period. this is going to be a working
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presidency. i may not get in as much golf as obama, but i'll get in a lot more job creation. [ applause ] >> i tell you up front, i'm not going to compete with obama in singing because i'm not running for entertainer in chief, i'm running for president! [ applause ] and i would say to him now, mr. president, you cannot sing your way past the disaster of your presidency. [ applause ] >> now, we will immediate immediately -- you know, i forgot my teleprompter, i said to my staff earlier, i'm having to wing this because of the staff failure. >> you don't need it! >> so, we're going to sign on that day, the authorization for the immediate deployment of the
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keystone pipeline as of that day. [ applause ] my message to the people of canada is, don't cut a deal with the chinese. help is on the way, by january, you're going to build the right pipeline to the right place. [ applause ] i'll give you a couple more. we're going to put together a package. you will see, this is what a serious conservative president is like, who is bold and is prepared to change washington despite the screams of the establishment on both parties. so a couple more steps. we will on that day, sign an executive order that will instruct the state department that day to open the embassy in jerusalem and recognize israel. [ applause ] >> newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt,
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newt, newt. >> two more examples. i will sign on that day an executive order reinstating reagan's mexico city policy. no u.s. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortion period. [ applause ] >> and finally, many of you may have noticed that the obama administration has declared war on the catholic church and other religious institutions. i want you to know that on the very first day, i will sign an executive order repealing every anti-religious act of the obama administration as of that moment. [ applause ] >> the reason i am comfortable telling you all this is i have been study iing what america nes
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to do since the fall of 1958, when my dad was stationed in europe in the army. i have been working at what we need to do, as congressman, speaker of the house, in the private sector. i believe it is possible to get this country back on track. my commitment is to unleash the spirit of the american people, to find new and innovative and positive things, to do them seven days a week, to do them relentlessly, do them without stop, make sure that we have fundamentally gotten america back on the right track. and i pledge to each and every one of you personally, if you will reach out across the country, if you will use facebook and youtube and twitter and phone calls and even visits, if you will tell all your friends in the other 46 states that there is a chance to nominate a conservative who knows what he is doing, who has done it before, and who has the courage and determination to get
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it done, i promise you, that if i become your president, i pledge to you my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. is the about america. thank you. good luck and god bless you! [ applause ] >> you've been listening to newt gingrich in the wake of his loss in the state of florida. david gergen, gloria borger have been listening in as well. what did you make of his tone, his words. >> strange. let's get past the point there were no grace notes. there was no congratulations to mitt romney, which is normal for this. both romney and santorum have been very gracious. but he's such a changeable figure. if this is the newt gingrich who had shown up two weeks ago, the newt gingrich who had shown up in the debates, he might have done much, much better in
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florida. coming after this massive loss in florida now, to have a speech that sort of doesn't -- it's like he's in a different reality, maybe he's right. maybe he's seeing something we don't see, you have to say, look, he's come back from the dead twice, you have to give him that. it just seemed like, this was a speech he should have given maybe two weeks ago. the contract with america idea is a very very interesting idea but it's very late in the game. >> i thought it was very odd and graceless not to congratulate mitt romney, number one, who won overwhelmingly. number two, he spent the entire speech talking about what he would do his first day in office as president. and then spent the rest of the time railing against the establishment, which is clearly going to be his campaign theme going forward. what he has to do is convince the base of the base that he is the person who can represent the conservatives against the
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establi establishment, and that he is their person. he was making that case over and over again. this is a people's campaign. it's the people versus the money. this is somebody whose super pac is funded largely by one man with a $10 million donation. >> what do you think he should have done? what do you think he should have i tried to get across tonight? >> i am -- i do think he should have started out with being gracious to mitt romney. i do think he should have made the santorum argument, we've had enough of garbage being thrown at each other, i got out-spent 5-1, i'd like to go positive and in the next two or three days, i will come forward with my own view. it was this sense of i will do all these things when he had just massively failed. it was hard to -- the juxtaposition- >> talking about what he would do going to the ball -- >> as if he would do all these things if he were superman
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president who just fell to earth in florida. >> and we will go to ron paul supporters. and we will talk about the speech and ads they've been seeing in florida. >> talk about lack of class and grace, part of that fueled by the pure negativity we heavy seen. 93% of the ads, we keep giving you that number in the state of florida ran negative. $18 million total. obviously 5-1, mitt romney out-spending newt gingrich. i want to play a couple of these ads, those not bombarded and drowning by them in the state of florida. here's one paid for by the romney campaign nbc news asked to be removed. it aired 1700 times since friday. here it is, tom brokaw. >> he has on his own record, the judgment of his peers, democrat and republican alike by an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violations. >> tom brokaw said he felt uncomfortable, a sense of
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negativity, 1700 times since friday. here is one, newt gingrich's super pac on the future put on the air about mitt romney. >> when mitt romney invented government run health care, romney advisors helped barack obama write the disastrous obama-care. >> the president is copying that idea, i'm glad to hear that. >> i agree with mitt romney. >> that was some of the negative tones you have seen in a lot of these ads. when we talk about $18 million spent on television in florida. that's only broadcast television. you look at cable or cnn or fox, that doesn't even count. the amount of money is truly hard to imagine. >> in addition to robocalls and the like. >> we will continue. and national television, poking fun at mitt romney's singing ability. our coverage continues in a moment. this new at&t 4g lte is fast.
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on my journey across america, only from at&t. i've learned that when you ask someone in texas ron paul speaking in las vegas right now. let's listen to him. >> thank you. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> ron paul, ron paul, ron paul, ron paul, ron paul, ron paul, ron paul. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> if enthusiasm wins elections, we win hands down! this is great. this is very very nice and thank you very much for coming out. just a little while ago i called governor romney and congratulated him -- we h had -- no, no. we had a friendly conversation.
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i honestly congratulated him. he ran a good campaign and also said i would see him soon in the caucus states! [ applause ] >> you know, we've been having a fantastic trip, and not too long ago, a few days ago, we were up in maine, fantastic reception up in maine. today, we had three visits in colorado. they were fantastic. we visited with and probably had attendance well over 5,000 today in colorado. looks like we have a few hundred here tonight to say the least. 1,000 people. [ applause ] >> you know, a few months ago, there were -- how many candidates were there? there were nine.
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we're down to four. but tonight, tonight, i saw a statistic we're in third place when it comes to delegates. that's what really counts. [ applause ] and we've only gotten started! now, the counting really occurs. [ applause ] >> we will spend our time in the caucus states because if you have an irate tireless minority, due very well in the caucus state. [ applause ]. >> there's something else the caucus state lends itself to. if you have an energized group of people that are working in a campaign and actually believe in something, it's better to work in the caucus states. this is what's been so fantastic with the campaign. i've been doing a little bit of campaigning for liberty for a
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long time. let me tell you, something big is happening in this country and it's all very favorable. [ applause ] there's a mess-up in washington. they've created a mess, given us a lousy foreign policy, given us a lousy budget and given us a lousy reception. where the wonderful thing is happening in the grassroots. people are beginning to realize the problem is too much government, we need more personal liberty! [ applause ] >> this is where we're winning the hearts and minds of people. the numbers are growing. i tell you what, there are many brush fires of freedom being lit across this country today. we don't even know where they
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are, there's so many. it is being translated into great enthusiasm and change, the change that we need. we don't need to have more government, we need to get rid of some of the honoree process of the government. we for instance, don't you think it's about time we had a new monetary policy? [ applause ] >> end the fed, end the fed. >> right. end the fed! >> end the fed, end the fed, end the fed, end the fed, end the fed! >> would we have to invent something new? all we'd have to do is read the constitution. they would tell us exactly what we're supposed to have. [ applause ] >> what about a foreign policy? we need a foreign policy? do we have to invent it? no, all we have to do is read the constitution. we need a strong national
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defense. we don't need to be the policemen of the world. [ applause ] >> and very simply, we should reject and not get engaged in any more wars that aren't declared properly and supported by the people. [ applause ] >> i've gotten some advice on the internet every once in a while. the advice is, ron, if you would just change your foreign policy, you would get a few supporters. >> if they only knew the support for the freedom movement comes with a sound economic and sound foreign policy that makes sense. [ applause ] >> very simply, very simply, it means bringing our troops home and stopping all these undeclared, unwinnable wars.
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[ applause ] >> what would this do for our economy? i'd like to see all the troops spending their money here at home and not going over there. these last ten years, fighting these unwinnable, undeclared wars, we have spent over $4 trillion, more into debt for this. there's a cost of life and limb but an economic cost as well. the american people are tired of it. they're ready because they know this country is bankrupt. all great nations go down because they overextend themselves overseas. i would say, it's time for us to wake up, don't wait for an economic crisis to hit when we have to come wimping home. we ought towise up, spend our money wisely, defend this country and don't pretend we can tell other people how to live. [ applause ]
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>> the greatest danger when we accept the notion of the government's supposed to take care of is from cradle to grave and we're supposed to be the missmen of the world is it -- the policemen of the world, it is ultimately done at personal liberty. the goal of government should be protection of liberty for each and every one of us. [ applause ] >> we need to reverse the trend on the attack on our civil liberties, repeal the patriot act. we need to repeal -- [ applause ] >> we need to repeal the provision that the president has the authority to assassinate american citizens without trial. >> we need to repeal the provision that says the president can use the military to arrest any american citizen and deny them a trial.
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very simply, the answer is send only people to washington, send only people to the white house that know and understand and read the constitution and enforce the constitution. [ applause ] >> then there would be -- then we would have the full understanding how you have a peaceful thriving nation, is you eps for the concept of liberty. enforce the liberty for each and every one of us equally. this brings people together because people will use their liberty in different manners but we don't have to fight over how they use their liberty as long as they assume responsibility for themselves and the consequences of their actions. [ applause ] >> it also very simply suggests the fact if we have a right to our life and liberty, we should have the right to keep the
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fruits of our labor as well. [ applause ] >> so we don't have to reinvent something, we can improve on our past. we had a great past. we had a great constitution. we had a great middle class, the richest and biggest middle class ever and we've undermined it with excessive spending and excessive taxation and monetary system flawed and foreign policy flawed. all we have to do is return to our roots and in a short time we could have our peace and prosperity and our reliance on ourselves with our personal liberty. [ applause ] >> not only has this been a great day for the campaign for liberty and process, it's been a great week for the campaign and believe me, it's been a great past four years because five,
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six, seven years ago, they really didn't know what was happening. with the crisis that hit, the economic crisis we had four years ago, the realization of significance of our federal reserve system as well as our flaw flawed foreign policy, the people know about it, awakening to this, listening to this message and it's up to us to do something about it. [ applause ] >> the message is loud and clear. the enthusiasm is here but it has to be translated into proper political action. that means attending the caucuses and send a powerful message to this country, we want our freedoms back, we don't want more government! thank you very much! [ applause ] >> ron paul, the texas
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congressman, you see mrs. paul there, the supporters, the ron paul campaign for ron paul, speaking tonight, making it clear, he's not going anywhere. he's got a major effort under way to win some caucuses coming up in november. we heard earlier from newt gingrich, he's not going anywhere either. if there was any doubt about his future, 46 states left to go. here's the question rear going to be assessing when we come back. how does this potential fight go all the way to the convention, to the convention in tampa, at the end of august, potentially a nightmare scenario for mitt romney, the winner of the florida primary. our coverage continues right after this.
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that's smarter power today. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight."
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[ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪ and even better for your customers. ♪ for safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit usps.com/mail all right. let me just update you on what's going on as far as delegates to the republican convention to tampa the end of august. 1 1,144 delegates are needed in order to secure the republican
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presidential nomination. right now, it's very very early in the process. as of tonight, with all 50 delegates from florida going to mitt romney, he has 84, newt gingrich has 27, ron paul has 10, rick santorum has 8. let's go over to john king. a very decisive win tonight by mitt romney. i got to tell you, as far as the all important delegate count is concerned, very early in the game. maybe rick santorum, ron paul and newt gingrich are right when they say they've only begun to fight. >> if you were watching at home when newt gingrich spoke, 46 more to go. it is an impressive win. let's go to the delegate map. give him the florida primary. we're done with january, now on to feb. right now, february is a month that looks like it's built for mitt romney. if you're a ron paul supporter, newt gingrich supporter or rick santorum supporter, you might
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not like this. let's say mitt romney runs the calendar for nevada caucuses, minnesota, missouri and colorado. here's another process later on. maine is a state, watch ron paul. for the sake of argument, give it to him but ron paul could win the state of maine. you get to february 11 and arizona and michigan, a hypothetical, if mitt romney runs the month of february, he gets to 256. 1144 is what you need but it is a very long way to the finish line and why newt gingrich says i will stay in the race. we move to march. march 3rd, i will give that one to ron paul, he may win, give him one, and super tuesday. this is why gingrich is in the race. see virginia flashing, important point, newt gingrich is not on the ballot. a southern state, could come
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back to haunt him and hasn't filed some delegate slates in tennessee. this is a hypothetical, giving some states to romney, southern states, oklahoma to newt gingrich. that gets gingrich, romney pulling ahead. let's go through the month. split there, kansas, virgin islands, come again, this is why gingrich says he will stay in the race. alabama, mississippi, give those to gingrich, we're moving on again, missouri caucus, two-step process, give it to romney, sake of argument, give puerto rico, louisiana, another southern state, give that to gingrich for the sake of argument. here's where gingrich wants to stay in the race, wisconsin, maryland, the big prize of texas. when rick perry drop out, this to romney and newt gingrich, look what happens with texas, wolf, we could get to the point, april 3rd, romney ahead, i'll take this off, closer to the
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finish line, gingrich is in the ballpark and hoping to take it and make a race. keep going, we're into may, i'm splitting this essentially north-south, you could have a scenario, gingrich there, santorum pennsylvania here, we could get to june, keep going. this scenario, romney could win in june, including him winning up here. if someone else were to take a couple states, gingrich, ron paul, you knock him back, we could go to june. >> some states are not winner take all, proportionate. >> we're giving delegates, and giving the winner the delegates and basing on proportion. this is hypothetical, if you're at home, saying wait a minute. if gingrich can hold the southern states, he can stay in this a long time. the question is after tonight convincing victory, if romney runs the map in february, the question is, can speaker gingrich raise money.
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>> he made it clear he's not going anywhere march 6th, super tuesday very important. let's not forget four years ago, the democratic primary went all the way through june, you remember covering puerto rico, who would have thought in june, hillary clinton and barack obama would still be fighting it out. it wouldn't be unprecedented at all. >> it would not be. the conversation being had in the republican party they're watching at the obama headquarters in chicago. back in 2004, yes, hillary clinton and barack obama, senator clinton and senator obama, they went to june. they were fighting, supporters figured if the other wins, fine, i'll be with them. the question is will republicans be more divided or unified. >> good point. anderson. if there was any doubt whatsoever about newt gingrich's plans, he made it clear tonight he's fighting, continuing full-speed ahead. >> as john mentioned, can he continue to raise the money down the road, especially if mitt romney has a good february in
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other states and can he resist what will be growing pressure if romney continues to win? >> yes is the short answer. there's only a few mega donors financing his super pac. not his, but one associated supporting his campaign. he got through a terrible compl him off. he is -- he seemed to be -- not a good speech, first off. seems to be trying hard to become the populist and anti establishment guy in the race, but it didn't do him a ton of g but he didn't seem like a guy who wanted to send out an olive branch to romney and climb off the ledge. >> if he comes back, he's not going to be the olive branch bringing wing. it's going to be the wing of ideas wing. and the one thing that stood out to me is on the first day in august, if congress passes the repeals signed on the 20th, that's exciting for a conservative republican to hear,
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that's the undoing of the obama administration. that's a lot of excitement for republicans to hear that. the power of idea was in newt's speech. you wouldn't hear that meest message, paul, but a lot of people would. >> i can't believe it took $15 million to beat this guy. not a good speech. >> power of ideas. republicans are so hungry for an ideas hungry guy like gingrich that they turned to gingrich. in the concession speech, there's a way you lose elections. when you lose, voters are telling you something, they have rejected you. if you want to go forward, you have to say, i hear you, i know you told me something tonight. i embrace that y i move forward with it. here is what we're going to do different. he doubled down on exactly what he's been doing. i think the guy to watch coming out of all this is santorum. as we go into some of these states coming up, who is the republican who has the highest favorable rating? santorum. if romney has to keep his foot with negative ads on gingrich's
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throat, that means santorum can run loose a little bit. if conservatives are going to unite on an anti-romney candidate, the bet now, santorum. >> we have to take a quick break. we'll hear from donna when we come back. we'll tell you why some people in the obama campaign are worried ability the result out of florida tonight. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power,
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welcome back to our continuing coverage, a fascinating night in the state of florida. let's check in with jessica yellin. is there concern in the obama white house over the results tonight? >> anderson, the most intere interesting number i see there is the overwhelming figure mitt romney got among hispanics.
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54% for mitt romney among latinos. this is a key demographic for president obama to win in november, and if the president loses even 1% in florida or nevada among latinos, he could lose the white house over that. so the obama team is insisting they're not concerned about this because romney's locked himself into position. they can argue that can use it to persade latinos in the election are extreme anti-immigrant position, but if you compare what romney's vote was tonight, 54%, based on exit polls, to the vote he got among latinos in the primary in 2008, 14 pes 14%, an enormous difference. >> romney say aglittle on the campaign trail. i want to play some of that because michelle obama renchlsed it, kind of poked fun to it. first, romney. ♪ oh beautiful for spacious
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skies for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountain majesty >> what did michelle obama say? >> she'll be on the "tonight" show with jay leno. he asked if she had heard this. >> did you hear mitt romney sing? what did you think. >> i saw it in the green room. beautiful. >> beautiful. >> and it is america's song, and it's song that is meant to be sung by every american. >> that is right. >> anderson, she also gave him an apple with white house honey, late for the new year, and if you get the reference, i'll give you a dreidel. >> thank you very much. let's check in with brooke baldwin who has been checking out social media. she's in tampa tonight. brooke? >> i don't get the dreidel
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reference, but i want to talk about the pivot. we found something that will likely be a headline tomorrow morning that is popping on social media. the mitt romney pivot to obama hearing his speech. let's preface this sound bite. he referenced thomas payne. here is mitt romney from just an hour ago. take a listen. >> we were talking about taking responsibility, not making excuses. another era of american crisis, thomas payne is to have said, lead, follow, or get out of the way, well, mr. president, you were elected to lead. you chose to follow. now it's time for you to get out of the way. >> and that line got huge, huge applause if you heard him. by the way, he spoke right at the building across the bay here from us in tampa. take a look aswe like to take a
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look at twitter sendment the day of. take a lack at the green line. positive in the twitter verse, talking about romney. watch the green line with me. you'll see post-speech, even more popular. just to sort of prove our thesis that the pivot works well on social media. we'll pull up a couple tweets first. these are the influential folks on twitter, writing the he headlines tomorrow. your senior writer at "washington examiner." romney complimenting rivals and pivoting to obama. a sure sign that he's confident he has the nomination wrapped up. so again, this sort of theme of confidence, he's been an aggressive candidate in florida. a huge conservative blogger, romney focusing on general election issues in his election speech. warm regard for his competitors, attacking obama. the first time he hasn't attacked his other competitors
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on the rn side. and romney tweeting, thank you, florida. while we celebrate this victory, we must not forget what this election is really about, defeating barack obama in 2012. >> our coverage continues right now with "anderson cooper 360." >> the race has been won by governor ronald reagan of california. >> george hubert walker bush. >> he is now president bill clint clinton. >> too close to call. >> george w. bush re-elected. >> president elect of the united states. >> this is cnn. >> hey, and a good evening to you. what a night it's been. welcome to this special edition of "ac 360." >> 50 delegates. winner take all. and tonight, the big winner in florida by a big margin, mitt romney.
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>> mitt romney, florida's choice. a win that makes him the front runner again. >> a competitive primary doesn't divide us. it prepares us, and we will win. >> a new setback for newt gingrich and his roller coaster campaign. >> we are going to contest every place and we're going to win, and we will be in tampa as the nominees. >> four candidates with the fight for the nomination just beginning. the votes are in, florida has spoken. and now the campaign goes west. >> and again, welcome. kwet 360" is live tonight, all the way to the midnight hour. breaking down the results tonight and looking ahead to nevada. as always, we put together a great team of insiders and analysts, correspondents, to do that, romney, the big winner tonight. the big question s what will happen? what happened tonight, will it
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be another entry in the win c l colu column, or is it a game changer? we'll talk about that shortly. first, a moment from governor romney's campaign speech a moment ago. >> as this primary unfolds, our opponents in the other party have been watching, and they like to comfort themselves with a thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak. but i have news for them. a competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us. and we will win. >> joining us now from romney headquarters candy crowley. what does the romney team atrint their win to? i mean, do they admit the money had a lot to do with it? debate performances, what? >> they think he put in good debate purp foerformances. they point out the debates have been inflew ngsu ngential all t along. they gave rise to gingrich, meaning that romney hit the
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strides during the debadz, but they don't point to a single thing. they sort of point to the whole thing and say, look, you know, we had the better organization on the ground. they called their turnout team, you know, the unqualified best one in the race at this point. they intend to use that going on. they just think that they are better prepared at this point to go the distance. they know that they're on every ballot in every state. new gingrich is not on the missouri ballot, not on the virginia ballot, and they say, lyon, we have $19 million, and you know, they're going to move ahead. they really believe that here in florida and in states going out, that they in fact have the superior team and the superior candidates and will tell you that they raise some concern about caucuses because they're not the same as the primary states, as you know. >> although nevada has a large mormon population, which would work in romney's favor, and he
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made in-roads among tea party members, although they were eveneven ly split with gingrich. maybe that added something to the romney campaign tonight. >> it does. that and the female vote. those were the two things that they were focusing in on as they came into this. they knew they were going to have a good win, they hoped it would be a double-digit win, but they were looking at the tea party numbers because they know the rap on mitt romney has been that the conservatives don't like him. they believe that tonight that was put to rest in terms of, now we know in the very conservative column, newt gingrich did better, but they look at across the board at santorum and gingrich and said, listen, romney did better than both of them. they feel that and the female vote both were key to the victory, and bragging points to move on. >> candy crowley, appreciate it, from romney headquarters. let's turn to gingrich who faced a barrage of attack ads in the last couple weeks. through plenty of punches
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himself. he's vowed to fight until the end, and he repeated that tonight. listen. >> you'll notice the number of folks holding up a sign about 46 states to go. we did this in part for the elite media because you know, the same people who said i was dead in june and july and said i was gone after iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the south carolina victory, are now going to be back saying what is he going to do, what is he going to do? i want to reassure them tonight. we are going to contest everyplace, and we're going to win, and we will be in tampa as the nominee in august. >> gingrich earlier tonight. let's go to jim acosta at gingrich headquarters. is he already on the way to nevada? >> he is on his way to nevada. anderson, and you know, newt gingrich did promise the moon down here in florida, but he got his world rocked by romney, no
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doubt about it. two signs of the fight to come. one is over my shoulder, "fr46 states to go, give or take the virginia primary where he didn't make the ballot, but another sign of the fight to come. consider this, newt gingrich in his speech tonight did not congratulate mitt romney. i also talked to a spokesman for newt gingrich just a few moments ago and confirmed to him that no call was made prom gingrich to romney before the speech to congratulate the former massachusetts governor on his victory in florida. how that sits with voters, conservative voters, republican voters, that remains to be seen, but it's a sirgn of how persona this has become, and i asked, is this a sign of this being deeply personal? he said, no, it's a sign that the race is going to go on. >> thanks very much. wolf, take it away. >> joining us from henderson, nevada, just outside of las vegas, was ron paul, the texas
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congressman. thanks very much for coming in. i know you didn't compete in florida. obviously, it showed. you only got 7% of the vote, but walk us through the strategy for nevada, some of the other states. how do you see yourself getting the republican nomination? >> well, you have to break through and get the attention that you can win some states. we spent some time up in maine, and there's tremendous support up there. we're optimistic about that. now we're -- we went through colorado today. we had three major events, and the crowds were very, very big, and very enthusiastic, so we think we have a good organization there. and that's a caucus state. now we're in nevada, and the same thing goes there, but we'll also be in minnesota and it's easier for us to compete. you need energy, you need hard workers and people dedicated. they need to believe in something. and then you can compensates for not having $30 or $50 million to campaign in a state like
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florida. so it lends itself, and we're fortunate that the system still permits individuals like myself to compete when you compete on the fervor of believing in ideas and having good supporters. >> so is money your biggest obstacle, you can't compete with mitt romney or newt gingrich as far as money and super pacs and all of that, is that the biggest problem you face? >> it's not the biggest. it's a significant one. if we would have had endless funds or i would have had the wealth of ross perot, i could have competed with mitt in florida. so that's a significant thing, but it's also, you know, winning the hearts and minds and getting people to understand that liberty is in their best interest and that we have to give up the spending. you know that i'm the only one who has talked about cutting spending, and republican parties are supposed to be conservative. they want cutting, but getting
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the message out, i have to overcome all of the natural obstacles from getting onto evening news to all these other things, if they want a fiscal conservative, the others haven't even talked about it, and i talked about cutting a trillion dollars. i go, we get a lot of applause. i don't think i have gotten the message out that i actually want to cut some spending. and the others talk about cutting proposed increases over the next ten years. it's so far removed. i think if they had one tenth the concern i had in washington, they would be cutting the spending next year, not pretending they would be cutting over the next ten years. that's a serious flaw that they have no seidea how serious our economic crisis is. >> i would like you to give me one sents or so about your biggest concern about each one of them, mitt romney first. >> i don't know whether you need to name all three, but i think their positions are very
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similar. i think they endorse a lot more, you know, involvement with the troops overseas and are willing to use troops with undeclared wars. so i would say that all three are in that category. nobody is really excited about dealing with the federal reserve. i know there's been some comments made, but i don't think anyone else is serious. and that's a major issue. and personal liberty, this whole thing, how many of them talk about maybe we ought to relook the patriots act and relook at the tsa and the privacy issue of the american people. they're all in the same category, and they don't have concerns for that, and i'm a stickler for the constitution. i think we got in this mess because we don't follow it, we go to war without declaration. we're supposed to have a gold standard. we don't have it. i think we can get out of the mess by having people really read the constitution and obey it. >> even if you don't get the nomination, you have helped set the agenda on the points you
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have been advocating for long time. thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. >> congressman ron paul joining us from henderson, nevada. he's in it for the duration. he really does want to set the agenda, even if he doesn't get the nomination. >> he took part in both debates in florida. he didn't spend any significant time or money. up next, the graciousness factor. we're going to look closer to whether it was missing from gingrich's concession speech tonight, and rick santorum joins us ahead. ! the phillips' lady! we have to thank you for the advice on phillips' caplets. magnesium, right? you bet! phillips' caplets use magnesium. works more naturally than stimulant laxatives... for gentle relief of occasional constipation. can i get an autograph? [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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welcome to the primary night ediction of "ac 360." what are you hearing? >> told by a law enforcement source that romney will pick up secret service protection in the next several days. the decision has been made. trying to figure out how it happened. the campaign can ask for the protection and it's approved. sometimes the secret service comes to the campaign and said it's time to add the protection. it's part of the growth. if you look at the calendar going to february, we go state
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by state, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, florida, now they move around several states at a time, more rallies, more security threats and opportunity. >> is he the only republican candidate to have it? >> herman cain had it, then he drop saped out, romney would bee only one. we'll see if speaker gingrich picks it up in the days ahead. there are ongoing conversations, especially when you get to the multistate, a lot of plane rides. it's not unusual, but it is significant that pretty soon you'll see guys with different pins and ear pierces around governor romney. >> do you make anything of this? >> basically, there are two different reasons you get protection. one is if there are threats and you're a candidate, herman cain was in that category, but the other is if you get momentum and crowds. if newt gingrich would have won,
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he probably would have gotten protection fairly soon. >> it wouldn't be unusual for more than one candidate to get protection. senator clinton had it, and i think obama was the first because senator obama was receiving threats. >> an interesting note about gingrich's tone. he did not directly acknowledge romney's victory or in romney's case have kind words for his opponent. take a look and compare for yourself. >> three gentleman are serious and able contenders and they're still in the race, scomr i want to congratulate them on another hard fought campaign. >> i first want to congratulate mr. romney, he ran a spirited race and he's to be congratulated for his resounding victory in the state of florida. >> just a while ago, i called governor romney and congratulated him, and we had a -- >> no, no, we had a friendly
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conversation. and i honestly congratulate him. he ran a good campaign. >> thank you all very, very much. and thank all of you up here. it is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, newt gingrich, and the massachusetts moderate. >> let's bring the people who do politics for a living, paul begala and donna brazile, ari fleischer and alex. what do you make of newt gings rch not doing that? is that small? >> it wasn't entirely graceless. he congratulated the guy who came in second. but no, that's not how you handle the situation. america understands that the presidency, the buck does stop there. you want somebody who is not prone to instability in the big chair, and angry candidate that when he loses reacts, it seems,
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in anger as opposed with moderation. and he doesn't make you look presidential. that could have been handled a lot better this evening. >> another example of the lack of stability in the public square, but he's nursing a broken nose and a black eye. i think it's going to take some time for him to turn the other cheek and be gracious to mitt romney who just spent more than $13 million demolishing his character, attacking, you know, his campaign. using surrogates to really undermine his message. i think newt gingrich has to retool his campaign and see if he can relaunch it in the states to come. >> there's more to come in those states to come. for newt, much less for the rest of the folks. rick santorum, who didn't really contest florida as much. he had family issues, his poor daughter was in the hospital, he's dogunning for newt in neva. he's running an ad in nevada
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that attacks gingricgingrich. he wants to be the anti-romney conservative, but he feels like to do that, he has to attack gingrich. it's for cap and trade and the wall street bail out. you could make the same claim for romney, but he didn't. this links newt to nancy pelosi and barack obama. >> that is also running in colorado. the fascinating thing, anyone can get romney one-on-one. he becomes increasingly vulnerable, but newt is blocking santorum, san totorum is blocki newt. if it was santorum, the exciting way he went after romney on health care, he took it to him with specifics more than anyone else. >> i think he's standing by. wolf is going to talk to him, wolf? >> thanks very much. santorum has been told again and again by gingrich supporters to get out of the race, leaving the field to gingrich and romney. maintains he's got as good a
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shot as anyone if this turns into a long, draung-out battle. he didn't really focus in on florida. earlier, he told his supporters he's the only real conservative in the race. >> and florida, newt gingrich had his opportunity. he came out of the state of south carolina. he came out with a big win and a lot of money. and he said, i'm going to be the conservative alternative. i'm going to be the anti-mitt. it didn't work. he became the issue. we can't allow our nominee to be the issue in the campaign. so i say to the people of nevada, in fact to the people across the country, if you want a strong principle conservative who is not going to be the issue in the campaign, who is going to make barack obama the issue in the campaign, vote for me. >> rick santorum is joining us from las vegas. thanks for coming in. tough words for newt gingrich. it sounds as if you think he
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should drop out since he came in a distant second in florida. >> i'm not -- i don't do what newt gingrich does, which is counsel other campaigns to their campaign straight strategy. we have gob out and run a campaign. we're going to talk utwhy we're the best candidate to match up against barack obama. why we believe we can consolidate the conservative base and have them enthusiastic about a nominee. i think that's the most important thing we can do in this general election. is to have a base that is solidified and enthusiastic, and that's how we won the 2010 election. and that's how obama won the 2008 election. he had an excited and energetic base, and that attracted the folks in the middle to their side of the aisle. >> gingrich dismissed you and ron paul for that matter. he said it again, this is now a two-person race, a conservative leader, meaning himself, versus a massachusetts moderate. he's not even paying attention to you, senator.
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>> well, i think he will in the next few states. we'll wait and see, as you saw that some of the other states that are on the horizon here, the polling numbers are decent. we feel that national conservative leaders are starting to recognize that newt simply doesn't have the ability to be able to solidify conservatives behind him, doesn't have the ability to run a disciplined campaign or have the stay-on message, talking about moon colonies and talking about, you know, personal issues with the other candidates instead of staying on message about what's important to the people who are going to be voting in the election. we have done that, will continue to do that, draw the clear distinctions and do it tomorrow with a speech on health care contrasting obama care and romney care. that's the kind of campaign the people of this country want, which is one that focuses on them and what's going to be the
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consequence of republican pr presidency versus an obama presidency. >> is it fair to say this is a new strategy that you begin tomorrow? >> you know, as you know, it's like any kind of campaign or military or otherwise, the enemy has a vote, and when your opponents are doing things, you have to counter those things and we've seen what congressman gingrich's strategy has been, and in florida, and as well as mitt romney's, and we feel like we have a good counter strategy to that in nevada and in minnesota, colorado, missouri, which are coming up next week, a week from today. >> we'll leave it there. senator, i speak from everyone at cnn and all of our viewers from the united states and around the world, we're happy your daughter bella is coming home from the hospital tomorrow. good news on that front. thanks for sharing with us. >> thank you so much. as i say all the time, i cannot thank you enough for your
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prayers. they meant the world to us. i know, i know they helped bella. thank you. >> say hi to your 93-year-old mother. i got to know her at the last debate. a loverly woman, very proud of you. as i guess she should be. thanks very much, senator. >> thank you very much, wolf. >> senator rick santorum. anderson, you didn't get a chance to meet his 93-year-old mother. i did, and she's terrific. >> she certainly seems so. we're digging deeper, next, and dlout the hour, going all the way to the midnewt hour on this edition. starting with the all-important evangelical vote. we'll look at the exit poll numbers, looking at what kind of support romney got and gingrich got right after this. we're america's natural gas
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there big winner, romney. one key in florida, the evangelical vote. how did things change in florida for him among evangelicals? we have krinched the numbers. >> in florida, right here, evangelical voters, born again christians, how did they break? 38% for gingrich, 35% for romney. by nowhere the lead gingrich had in the state of south carolina. santorum with 19%. this is one way to look at it. white evangelicals, one way to look at it. if you look at conservative voters, this is about a third of the electorate. speaker gingg rf carrying this, 33% to 29%. we show you the breakdown, let's go over and show how that plays out on the map. up here, this is where gingrich did his best, in this part of the state of florida, small, rural counties, depending on how
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it looks at home for you, but we'll show you the demographics of florida. where gingrich did well, the darker the area, the higher the amount of evangelicals. higher percentage of evangelicals. that area, gingrich did well. and another group, the tea party voters, a more conservative part of the electorate. romney with an impressive victory over the state, the dark red is romney winning in all of the major population centers, winning in jacksonville, in orlando, maples, st. pete, but if you see any weakness for romney tonight, any concern going forward, even with this shellacking he gave gingrich at 46% to 32%, you see gingrich continues to have a base of support among the most conservative voters, especially the evangelicals. and you find them here in the panhandle of florida. >> fascinating. joining me now is the chairman of the faith and freedom coalition, ralph reed.
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how did romney do? he seems to win over a lot of evangelicals than in south carolina. how did he close the gap? >> this is an across the board sweep. a rising tide. four years ago, john mccain, even with charlie crist's endorsement, who at that time, hard to believe, was the most popular politician in florida, only won the primary by five poers. romney won it tonight by 14, without jed bush's endorsement, without marco rubio's endorsement, and he not only split the evangelical vote with gingrich, he won the catholic vote with two catholics on the ballot, he won the latino vote. he won women by a huge margin. that's the huge thing. he won across the board in this constitch waenls. but evangelicals in florida are a more demographically diverse group.
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they're more likely to be rubbing their shoulders with latino catholics and others. so they were more open, and if you look at all of the polling across all of the demographics, because of the mortgage crisis in florida, because it's so tourist dependent, the economy moved to the front. >> what do you think that means for him moving forward involving evangelicals. florida is different than the other statsz. >> what romney has to do is make his case and win his fair share. i predicted before this primary that if he won 33% or more of the evangelical vote, he would win the primary. he got -- he did better than that. so it's unrealistic with santorum and gingrich standing in the race, to think he's going to win a majority of the votes. i don't think he's trying to do that. he wants to get his fair share, he wants to make his case, and most importantly, he wants to adopt some of the themes that santorum and gingrich have been running on so that all of the voters are here for him in the general. if he's going to win florida in the general election, he needs a
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huge turnout of these voters. >> do you think his faith, member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, is that a huge factor, is that still a factor? >> i don't think so. we did not see that question, i think, asked specifically in florida, but in south carolina, i think it was a cnn poll that asked voters whether or not romney's faith was an impediment to them voting for him. 83% said no. i think a bigger issue is the fact he's been pro choice in the past, the fact that, you know, he had a health care plan that gingrich has argued looks a lot like obama care. those have been the issues, but he's making progress. look at the pro life vote tonight. 58% of the electorate, he split it evenly with newt gingrich. they both got 39%. that's a good sign for the future. even though gingrich was carpet bombing him on country and news talk rareio on the abortion
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issue. >> what did you hear when you heard gingrich and romney talk tonight? >> two things stood out. the first is that newt clearly intends to adopt a reagan '76 strategy of guerilla war fare, hopes that he bounces back like reagan did in north carolina and can take it to the convention. i thought his speech was compelling, by talking about what he would do as president, the executive orders, the bills he would sign on day one, was a good message. romney did in a subtle way without asking anyone to get out, he started out talking about unity. he has an eye towards the general. >> his high neecoz he need to f obama, or is it over? >> you have caucus states, which as hillary clinton found out in '08, really helped an activist candidate who is closer to the
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grass roots of the party. romney can under pretend like this is over. he has to go to caucuses and places like nevada and missouri and minnesota, and there will be others. secondly, once the calendar page turns to march, he's got to go to the south on super tuesday, and on that day, the evangelical vote looks a lot more like it did in south carolina than it did in florida. >> thanks. >> thanks very much. let's bring in role nand martind eric erickson. eric, first to you, in miami beach watching what is going on. where do you see this race for the republican nomination after florida? >> well, newt gingrich is serious about staying in this convention, there's a path for him. if you look in north florida, even the counties that romney won, he won those very close. so gingrich in southern states in jourja, tennessee, others on super tuesday, he has a password. he can't outright win anymore
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given the domination of mitt romney tonight, but he can drag this out for a long time to a conviction. you look at the turnout overall, it seems like it was about what 2008 was. 57% of the voters in the exit poll said they wanted another candidate. there's beginning to be an argument among a lot of the candidates, maybe we need to take it to the convection to turn it out. romney is not closing it out, and a lot of talking heads say unity and it's romney's time. the more it's going to excite angry voters and conservatives to drag it out. he's got to walk a delicate balance from here. >> i think you'll agree that mitt romney is a stronger candidate now than he was a month ago or two months ago because of the competition. >> of course. the competition was supposed to do that. also, i think i should caution, they should caution the audience, people who say where does newt go, what does he do,
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what is going on? what happened just a week or so ago when we were talking about south carolina? think about 2008, how the jeremiah white issue really caused the implosion of obama's campaign. we also have a fear of the unknown. so many things can happen over the period of one month. we do not know. romney can stumble again. we don't know. i think we need to stop the whole nonsense of thinking that this race is going to be over when we still only have 5% of delegates by the end of february. so many different things could happen, there's no way this is close to somehow going away. so gingrich and santorum have an opportunity. >> okay, guys. don't have too much fun there. they're in miami beach. looks like the folks around you are having fun. anderson, a pretty good assignment over there. >> my whole image of south beach
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has been shattered by watching them. i don't know. south beach looks more like south cleveland. no offense to south cleveland. up next, how the nevada race is shaping up. piers morgan talking to gingrich's daughters. we'll be right back. look! the phillips' lady!
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the victory night in florida for mitt romney, a bitter defeat for newt gingrich after fighting with attack ads domninated the airwaves, but he said he's in this until the end. another 46 states. >> it is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, newt gingrich, and the massachusetts moderate. and the voters of florida really
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made that clear. >> joining us now is piers morgan, host of "piers morgan tonight." he's joined by newt gingrich's daughters. piers? >> i certainly am, and ladies, it was a bit more cheerful last time i talked to you. you came after a victory. a huge party eresuupting all ard you. looks a bit quieter tonight. >> well, it's a little quieter because our father has left to go to nevada. so there's a reason it's not quite as exciting. we're here, we have the american flag behind us, we're here to talk about what is important to the american people. >> let's cut to the quick. he took a hel of a shellacking, as some of my colleagues have been saying earlier. i would imagine knowing the man as i do now, he wouldn't react well to a big beating like this. how is his mood? >> it's great.
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and i don't know if you were able to watch the speech that he gave tonight, but that's exactly how he feels. to be honest, we had a huge victory in south carolina. we won by 12 points. governor romney has in dorsed us, herman cain has endorsed us. we have had a lot of grass roots really behind us, but we knee that florida with a big media market, with all of the money spent here, this wasn't our state, our town, our place. we also know as the signs said tonight, there are 46 more states to go, that we have lots of delegates to get, and dad was really passionate in his speech tonight. he talked about the america we could have together and the bright future we can work towards together. i think the people were excited to hear that talk. >> tell me this, though, clearly you have had the kitchen sink thrown at your father by mitt romney. he's spending millions and millions of dollars pounding your dad into submission. 99% of romney's ads in florida
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were negative, 95% of your father's ads were negative. it's getting very nasty and personal. on a human level, how do you as his daughters feel about the bombardment coming his way? >> well, it's never actually fun to experience that. i am sure that you can imagine that's not a pleasant place to be. it's especially disappointing because it keeps other people who would be good in public service out of the opportunity because they just don't want to endure it, but it also means we're not addressing the important issues about what we need from an american leader. what we need is someone like our father who has governored, who has done the things that even barack obama hasn't done. reach across the aisle. he was able to cut spending, cut taxes, deal with entitlement reform. they raised 11 million jobs and we were at 4.2% employment. that's the message we'll hear. >> the other message wecopy
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hearing is from your father about mitt romney. he keeps calling him effectively a liar. dishonest, dishonest, dishonest. he's lying. do you ladies think mitt romney is a liar? is it helpful if mitt romney ends up being the nominee, that the message is communicated so forcefully that he's a liar. does that help the republican party? >> i think part of the process of the primary is to go through this winnowing and all of the things you'll see in the general election. i'll give you an example, we talked about his position and what he's done. as a governor, romney raised taxes, that's not a conservative message, not a conservative action. dad has cut taxes, cut spending, he's worked on welfare reform and passed it. part of what we're seeing, what we saw in florida, to point out the negative ads, romney didn't return on the record at governor. he won florida, but what you'll
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see as we go forward to the next states, really entering the next phase. as i talked to dad after the speech, i said terrific speech, it really resonated with people. i have had so many e-mails and facebooks and other people saying incredible speech. he said, you know what, welcome to the next phase of the campaign. this is where we're focusing, where we're going. it's going to resonate with the american people. people want to know what they're getting and what to look forward to. they're going to get that with newt gingrich. >> you two are very polite young ladies as i have spoken to you a few times and you're very polite to me. your father wasn't polite tonight. he didn't congratulate mitt romney or phone him. didn't even mention him in the speech. a bit graceless, wouldn't you think? >> i'm not really sure i would say it's graceless. what it is is the reality that he's moved on and we're looking forward to the next 46 states. that's an important message because everyone wants to know, what is newt doing next? he laid out what he is doing
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next, and he wanted to make sure that everyone heard. >> very quickly, have you bought your tickets to the moon colony yet? >> not yet, but if my two children are really looking forward to it. >> i wouldn't mind coming myself. jackie and cathy, thank you again very much. much appreciated. >> thank you. >> a pleasure. >> back to you, anderson. >> thanks very much. the next contest coming this week in nevada where they'll going to be holding caucuses and you would expect, there will be wild cards. tom foreman joins us in las vegas, a group of undecided voeders watching our coverage. what are you hearing? >> i'm here at the freemont street experience. we have gathered as a rest raunltd, a popular place to gather, spifrk specifically bec
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one is watching more closely what is happening in florida than the people in nevada. let me ask you first of all, how many of you after everything you have heard tonight, are inclined to vote for mitt romney? and how many of you are inclined to vote for newt gingrich? do you see, anderson? anyone for ron paul in here? >> one ron paul, maybe. undecided. and largely, they are undecided here. let me ask you some questions. one other part about this, all of you who are potentially mitt romney voters and tea party supporters raise your hand. some but not necessarily. let me ask you about this idea. is the difficult for mitt romney to get the tea party people as somebody on the coverage referred to, the base of the base, behind him?
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is this an easy decision to make if you support the tea party ideals? >> if he keeps saying he's going to cut federal spending, we had 1,000 days with no federal budget. if he's going to cap spending at 18% and work it down like he said in his speech, that's going to bring a lot of the tea party voters. but everyone is going to coales over who the nominee is because there's enough anti-obama sentiment. >> earlier on, some of you, you're not so happy about the idea of mitt romney being the nominee. >> no, no, because of romney care. because of him running as an independent in the past and now suddenly he's a republican. i think he's going to have a hard time debating barack obama. i don't think he's going to take it to him. >> who do you think would do a better job? >> newt gingrich. newt gingrich will take it directly to president obama. and i would bet that obama would decline debate, too, because he
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fears him. >> really? >> yeah. >> that's a big -- a big statement there. one of the things we noted, too, anderson is that in this state, about 8% of the population is lds or mormon. last time, they gave a big nod to mr. romney. you are the one person who is lds or mormon. you were saying you don't think people were voting purely on religious lines, but it will be an advantage to him. >> they won't vote on purely religious lines because harry reid is exactly opposite from a lot of conservative republican views. >> a democrat and a mormon. >> there's a large diversity within the mormon church politically. >> anderson, that's sort of the general feel of the folks around here as they watched and they watched very attentively and they're terribly interested in what is going to happen this coming weekend. >> i hope they have been given some food and drinks. they have been very nice to sit
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around with us. >> we're sending the bill to you. >> fine. tom, appreciate it. and thank everyone there. >> which candidate won the hearts of the tea party. we'll break down the numbers. also, tea party favorite and former candidate herman cain. his first endorsement was unintentional. he endorsed the people, now newt gingrich. we'll talk to him when we continue. this new at&t 4g lte is fast.
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welcome back. we're live with special "360" coverage of the republican primary. let's see how the tea party voted in florida tonight.
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>> first, i want to take you back to south carolina. this is the south carolina vote. not that long ago. 64% of the electerate identified themselves with the tea party. in south carolina, 45% to 25%. a 20-point advantage for gingrich. remember that, also remember that, 64% support. let's fast forward to tonight. 65% support the tea party. essentially the same amount of support. about two third of the voters say sure, i support the tea party. romney to gingrich. romney actually getting an advantage in the tea party. a huge switch from south carolina. now, people will say south carolina is more conservative. that's true, a different tea party in florida, but this is a huge gain for governor romney. one of the reasons, if you're in florida, a lot of tweet, e-mails from tea party voters, ran into some who said they liked speaker gingrich until he gave the speech about the moon colony,
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that gave them the idea that he's not serious abiliout cutti spending. >> let's show what he said dug that debate. >> by the end of my second term -- [ applause ] we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be american. >> we will have commercial near earth activities that includes science, tourism, and manufacturing, and by the end of 2020, we will have the first continuous propulsion system in
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space capable of getting to mars in a short time because i'm sick of being told we have to be timid and have to be limited to technologies that are 50 years old. >> that was the day before the cnn debate. he did get hammered for it in the debate, and also for going around state by state and talking about local projects. >> and mitt romney said he's pandering. saying this is a government program, this is government spending. romney is winning big in florida, soio don't want to read closely into the polling data, but 41% of the tea party vote, those who support the tea party in florida, that's a big shift in part because of that. that's one of the reasons if you look at people who are neutral to the tea party, governor romney cleaned up here, 57% to 22%. we'll see if the tea party shift continues as we move on to nevada, a very big tea party state in the 2010 cycle. >> one tea party favorite who is
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now endorsing gingrich is herman cain. why doyou think newt gingrich seems to have lost support among the tea party, at least in florida? >> i think that that's one of the big messages out of this whole thing. the question is, will romney be able to maintain that demogra demographic shift as john cane pointed out, relative to the tea party, evangelicals and women. will it hold? and the fact that we're still early in the contest and it's going to take 1,144 electoral votes, i believe the upcoming states and super tuesday will give us more information about whether or not he can hold the demographics. >> as a supporter of speaker gingrich, do you think it was a mistake for him to be talking about going to the moon and going to mar whz a lot of tea party voters are saying let's talk about debt, let's talk ability debt, let's talk about debt? >> let's just say i would have done it differently. i would have said i want to
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regain the leadership of the united states relative to space because this president gave it away consuled one of our major space programs and we have to thumb a ride to get into outer space. i would have said it differently. the point he was trying to make was that we need a bold vision of the future relative to the space program because that would create a lot of other technological advances on the way. john f. kennedy said by the end of the decade of the ''60s, we'e going to walk on the moon, a lot of people said what is this about? it was about challenging our technological capabilities as a nation. that's what speaker gingrich was trying to do with the statement about the colony on the moon. >> john king described the loss as a shellacking. do you think that's an apt description? >> i would say it's a
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shellacking. it was a double-digit shellacking, but the good news is i have gotten shellackings in my life, and i got up and was a better man or a better kid after my dad gave me a shellacking. it's not over, long way from over, and the message i would like to send is don't be fooled for to thinking this is over. congratulations to governor mitt romney. he now has 84 electoral votes, but the total you need is 1,144. it's a long way from being over. so super tuesday, i believe, is going to be absolutely critical. >> do you want your candidate to continue on all the way to the convention regardless of what happens on super tuesday? >> yes, i do. if he stops getting victories, then he should quit. or he should end his campaign. i don't think that's going to happen. but one thing that we learn from the very first contest in iowa

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