>> 1:00 a.m. on the east coast, welcome back to a special america's election headquarters, coverage of three states tonight, minnesota, mis scmiz colorado. rick santorum, the big winner in two of the three so far. there is a race for the colorado caucuses as we take a look at the live vote total coming in. 48% of the projected vote. now again, folks, this is not 48% of the precincts. we are well above that. this is the projected vote total tonight. 48% of that, rick santorum with a lead, 38% to 36%. there are could you wanties coming in every moment.
last time i talked a lot came in, now, they are not. [chuckles] >> dispone% of the precincts are reporting, hey, i think this is a trend. 38-35%. let's check in with elysia in a very empty room in colorado, where there was a speech earlier. >> reporter: getting emptier by the moment. but we will keep listening to you talk as the returns continue to come in as quickly as possible. but it has been a slow go. there are volunteers running this process. there are about 3300 individual precincts in colorado. so it is taking some time. as you mentioned, it is coming down to the wire. you know, this morning, newt gingrich told fox -- told the foxes at fox & frens, he expected to finish mid-field. and really predicted that rick santorum would have a pretty good day and something to celebrate in the morning. everyone sort of presumably thought he was just talking
about minnesota and missouri. but lo and behold, here we are, waiting to see exactly what's going to happen in colorado. the romney camp putting it this way, they can't win 'em all. but they want to remind folks, the same number of delegates they had this morning, they will have tomorrow and they remain in the lead with the delegates. >> the speech, as we look at the board there is, from governor romney, was a trimmed-down stump speech. it was basically the stump speech that he makes with a few different liance, praising senator santorum for his wins tonight. what was your sense in the room, whether people were deflatted by this showing early in colorado? or concernd? i mean, what was the sense? >> reporter: the sense of concern, especially when you are talking about the campaign. even within this room, this room itself, because there were only 150 people that showed up for
this event tonight. the anticipation was that they would have a much larger crowd in general. so, yeah, there was some general concern. as you mentioned, in mitt romney's speech, he did say for the first time, we expect a first or a second. there was a lot more confidence leading into tonight's contest than there was obviously, coming out of it. >> thanks so much for staying up late. it is not that late out there. it's really late here. but thank you for sticking around. appreciate it. >> reporter: it's still tuesday here. >> that's right. early wednesday out here on the east coast. back with the panel. let's look at the board again. you never know. we could get more numbers. 56%, 63% of the projected vote is now in. rick santorum still holding on to a 3% lead. you know, when you start getting up into these numbers, a lot can change, the lead can change. but if it spreads out, some of these counties have to be big
counties to make that big of a jump. >> total turnout of 70,000 votes last time. so as we look at this, yes, it is possible that mitt romney could land-- the counties that seem to still be out are the ones where you would expect to have a large mormon population, out in the western part of the state. and then also the stuff immediately south of denver, around there, suburban, which should have more moderate voters, the kind of folks that favored rom niche so yeah, he could do a number. but whatever you do, this is going to be close and it's going to mean that rick santorum has beaten expectations pretty dramatically in colorado, whatever happens from here on in. >> try to put it in perspective, where we have come with candidate santorum? because, think about the almost didn't qualify for some of our early debates. the threshold was 1% in recent
polls and he almost didn't qualify. now we are talking about the winner of the iowa caucuses, a winner in the minnesota caucuses, a winnener missouri and maybe a winner tonight in colorado? >> i think -- i just think it's enormous if he takes colorado. i really do. particularly because he did it all at the same time. he came back after newt gingrich fell again. mitt romney has had a tough couple of weeks, where the establishment that supports him is beginning to get nervous. the turnout discussion that we have had a few times, it can't be understated here that the republicans nationally and in these battleground states are very worried about the turnout, going into november, to press turnout, unenthusiastic republicans blowing off the primaries and not voting. if rick santorum can change the game in just one night and we really see increased turnout in arizona and michigan, 3 weeks
from tonight. and then in -- in the upcoming states, in march, it's a different game. i think that, like i said before, i think, to show up for a straw poll with no delegates in missouri, 138,000 people, knowing that it wouldn't count. i think, you know, that's enthusiasm that he can sell, to really gone a serious campaign to get gingrich out of the way and knock off mitt romney. >> we just got breaking news. out there in colorado, what do you have? >> reporter: hi, we are just on the phone right now with the colorado g.o.p. office here. the republican party for colorado is calling the state for rick santorum. rick santorum has won the state of colorado. the republican caucus is here, a trifecta that he has pulled off tonight. >> wow. that's amazing. the g.o.p. chairman there in colorado saying that rick santorum will win.
we are getting word from the santorum camp that they are predicting a win as well. associated press has not called this race yet. but you are saying the g.o.p. chairman is confident that santorum has the votes to win colorado. >> reporter: yes, bret. we don't have total numbers. as you know, some of the results are still coming in. we're still on the phone, our field producer is on the phone with them right now, we are clarifying the numbers. we don't have the final nbut colorado goes to rick santorum. >> all right. see if we can get the county -- or the state party chairman to come on and talk to us on the phone, if we can, control room, let's work on that. back with the panel. if that's true and rick santorum pulls off three wins tonight, steve, as i was mentioning, what an amazing trip this has been? >> look, this is huge. one of the reasons that this was difficult to predict was because there were so little polling, so
people didn't really have a gauge to tell what they should expect f. he in fact goes on to win, as it sounds like he's going to, in colorado, in a state that mitt romney won with 60% of the vote in 2008, to john mccain's 18%. that's an unbelievable turnaround in the space of four years. if you look at where rick santorum came from to go back to the question that you asked just a moment ago, i think one of the reasons he was counted out early was because of this 18-point loss in 2006. you know, when he lost to bob casey and it was not a good showing and people thought: why would you even run for president, if you have an 18-point loss in your home state? it doesn't make any sense. i would argue that that 18-point loss is now meaningless. it doesn't matter. he has won several contests in a republican presidential primary, in these caucuses. this is the new rick santorum that people are looking at. that loss is old. >> chris, what about the fact that romney in colorado, where
he performs tonight, compared to where he performed in 2008? i mean, you are talking about a 25%, roughly, difference? >> well -- >> i mean, it was a different electorate, it was a different election, it was a different mitt romney. but this is a much different result. >> this is -- right. this is a most unusual kind of result as governor romney might say. look, the takeaway for me in colorado, these are activists, a small turnout affair, but these are the beating heart of the republican party. these are the people who will get out and go out in the cold and go in the snow, even if the weather's nice, they'll go out and do this. if they are willing to march for rick santorum now, that is really good news for rick santorum. but let me just say this, to be naysaying, it is also good news for mitt romney because the longer the primary within the primary persists within the republican party, if newt gingrich comes back and it's
santorum/gingrich, that's okay for romney because he will continue to accrue delegates and he is in the lead and he will continue to go forward. >> charles, quickly? >> look, you can say that the caucuses bring out the most energized. but in missouri twasn't a caucus. it was a vote. and santorum wins by 30 points. that's not insignificantful so i think this is a very strong showing. on the other hand, if i would make the case on behalf of romney, he has been resilient after shellacking in south carolina and he came back and won in florida. he has a three-week gap, the manager of the orioles said the momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher. the momentum for 3 weeks is not going to last. and romney can recover on the ground between now and arizona and michigan in 3 weeks. the real issue is can santorum gather up the resources that a hat trick like this would entitle him to?
we will see if he can do that. >> we will put up the boards. we are going to talk to the colorado g.o.p. chairman on the other side of a quick break. he has told thoughts colorado g.o.p. chairman is calling this state for santorum, saying rick santorum will win the colorado caucuses, as we mentioned, the associated press has not called it as of yet. you can see the numbers, with 64% of the projected vote in. but again, the g.o.p. there on the ground calling it for rick santorum. we will talk to the chairman on the other side of this break.
isn't that good? i was just talking to him on the break. >> good? >> the drama was there. we are going to get ryan to call back on the phone. here's what he just told me. 100%, they are sure that rick santorum will win the colorado caucuses. they said they had 85% in. we have 67% of the projected vote in ryan call tellings that you 100%, rick santorum will win the colorado caucuses as we wait to get him back on the phone because technology is technology. we are back with the panel. you heard it. 100% confidence. i tell you what, that is a confident g.o.p. chairman when you think about iowa, when you think about nevada and you think about vote counts with 3%, 4% difference.
>> i am sure he is 100%, but these thing, often when they are close, mistakes can be made and we have seen lack of organization, sometimes in some of the early contests and a close contest that poor rick santorum found out weeks later that he actually won. >> this is ryan call. mr. chairman, are you there? caller: i essential am, bret; great to be with you. >> 1%? >> caller: we have 99% of precincts reporting. a great turnout. tens of thousandings of colorado republicans participate in the caucuses. woo vegreat results back for you. do you have the numbers? do you need me to break it to you? >> they are coming in slower from the associated press. >> caller: you bet. >> we will definitively say that rick santorum is the winner. but what's the breakdown? >> caller: rick santorum wins
with 40.24%, 36,424 and mitt romney is second with 34.9% of the vote. 22,855 votes cast. newt gingrich comes in third with 12.81% of the vote, 8,390. and congressman ron paul at 11.77% of the vote, 7,708 votes cast. we have a total of about 65,489 votes with 99% of precincts reporting. >> okay, mr. chairman. it's definitive. he's the winner. just characterize the campaign there in colorado for me, if you could? i mean, the romney campaign going in seemed like it felt confident on the ground. did you see a shift in late days, towards rick santorum, besides today, obviously? >> caller: late days, obviously.
rick santorum came into the state of colorado, campaigned very hard, did a lot of events, a lot of personal contact. his message was one of -- a positive message, a forward-looking message. it was one that resonated with colorado republicans. i i think this is the first step in a multi-step process. this is the result of tonight's presidential preference poll do not bind or allocate delegates. those are elected later. but it's a great indication of where colorado republicans stand and the kind of republicans that will be advancing to the next stage. >> we have been explaining that and how this is nonbinding at this point. this is the first step, as you mention. have you a couple more steps before the delegates are appoint to the national convention. for folks sitting at home, what does this mean for those delegates? does rick santorum likely get the delegates appointed down the road? explain that for somebody who is a late person do electoral
politics? >> caller: you bet. what happens, folks cast their votes in the presidential prefers poll. it is generally a good indication of the level of support within the counties. what is going to be interesting is how this plays out over the next couple of months wonly about 4, 4 1/2, 5% separating mitt romney and rick santorum, many of those delegates that are advancing from the precinct caucuses tonight in the party assemblies, will be heavily courted. now it shifts to the effort to win over delegates, county assemblies and at our state assemble neapril. we are probably going to have a couple of rival slates for those 36 delegate spots out of colorado and so, presumably, the candidates are going to have to come back to colorado to compete in a second round in april. >> mr. chairman, 30 seconds here, do you think this is a surprise in colorado in the g.o.p. there, on the ground? >> caller: i think it is a
surprise. it underscores that every single vote matters. the colorado republican votes at the caucuses was also nmy opinion, the referendum on barack obama. the party is energized, enthused, but not necessarily of one mind as to who should be the standard bearer. that's a process that will play out over the coming months. >> g.o.p. chairman ryan call. thank you very much for the information and for your time tonight. >> caller: my great pleasure, bret. thanks for having me on. >> i should say this, morning on the east coast. rick santorum is the big miner in the colorado caucuses, in the minnesota caucuses, in the missouri primary. he has swept tonight, three contests. we'll be right back with analysis.
>> welcome bab, a huge night for senator rick santorum, a big night, hearing from the colorado caucus g.o.p. chairman saying he will win officially with 42.2% of the vote and 34.94% for mitt romney. you can see the boards. he also won in minnesota, won big -- let's take the next board for minnesota. there you see 45%-27%. for ron paul and then in missouri, another big win for rick santorum, in that primary, non-binding primary there, but a huge spread of 20 points. let's check in in minnesota with mike tobin one last time. final thoughts, mike? thanks for sticking around. >> reporter: my pleasure, bret. final thoughts are that things played out the wait analysts
predicted they would. the beating heart of the republican party or the activist who would show up at the caucuses. that is what we are hearing from the caucusgoers, exactly what happened. a lot of motivated, evangelicals and conserve twhoifs showed up. they showed what they perceived to be the most conservative choice on the landscape and the guy they thought could beat barack obama. that played out here in minnesota, to be rick santorum. he worked the ground out here. he made a lot of appearances and he really appealed to that evangelical vote. i am standing here at ron paul headquarters, who was a strong number 2. ron paul, very pleased with that number 2 finish. he called it a win, saying what he didn't win in the straw poll, he can make up with delegates. the people tipped their hand as to what they mean. they are able to position themselves into those delegate positions, moving into the county and the state conventions. they won't be committed on paper to a candidate. but they are committed emotional
tow ron paul as they move forward through this process. >> all right, mike. thank you very much. we're back with the panel now. mike was talking about what analysts on the ground there in minnesota were thinking and he's right in the caucus sense that it mobilizes some of the staunchest conservatives and rick santorum was able to capitalize in minnesota. but very few analysts could have predicted tonight a clean sweep for rick santorum. >> that is true. i think what is going to be interesting about the romney campaign argument that they are having delegates, that's true. it is a long march and flog for delegates. however, if we trail see some santorum momentum off of this incredible night of three victories, surprises as they were, a big bounce for rick santorum and a real threat on super tuesday and february 28 in ohio and michigan and other places where rick santorum's
campaign message is going to play well. then you might hear the hillary clinton argument. this is a guy losing in the states we need to win in. for her, it was ohio and pennsylvania. for santa ana, it will be minnesota, missouri, iowa, michigan and ohio. he can make the play that he energizes the conservative base more. and if the conservative base isn't energized, they are going to lose. >> quickly steve, do you think that the misstep that he, governor romney now calls it, the mistake of the very poor comment in that interview that both newt gingrich and rick santorum jumped on, that he said, "i don't care about the very poor," in context talking about a problem in the safety net, i'll fix t. but both of those candidates jumped on that statement. do you think that that moment changed the lead-up to colrado and tonight? >> yes. it certainly didn't help for two reasons, one, political and the other ideological. on the political front, this is
something that everybody knows the democrats and the obama campaign would use against a general election candidate, mitt romney, heading towards november. on the ideological front, i think there is a long history of conservative who is have made precisely the opposite argument, that conservatives do care about the poor and the morality of capitalism behalf of lifting the poor. and that's not a helpful arguement in that context. >> morthis topic, we will hear from the interview diearly wer senator santorum. this is imfer the colorado win -- this is before the colorado win and after the minnesota and missouri wins. we will hear that at the bottom of the hour. keep it here on fox.
>> 1:30 in the morning, wednesday morning on the east coast. we have a conclusion to the colorado caucuses and rick santorum, the big winner out there, there you see with 40% of the vote, beating mitt romney, 35%, as you take a look at rest of the field in colorado. newt gingrich will come in third, 13% and ron paul, who was expected to do well in some of these caucus stateses finishes fourth out there in colorado. in missouri, this is the primary, basically, a statewide straw poll, rick rick santorum, a huge win, 30 points over mitt romney. ron paul in third, newt gingrich is not on the ballot there.
he is on the ballot when missouri determines the delegates, on march 17. guto minnesota, the other race tonight. those are caucuses. another huge win for rick santorum there. and you see he finished ahead of ron paul, mitt romney coming in third. this campaign chair again, former minnesota governor tim pawlenty. newt gingrich finishing fourth there. earlier tonight, before his colorado win and after his missouri and minnesota wins, we caught up with the former senator of pennsylvania, rick santorum. >> a big win in missouri, a big win in minnesota, thanks for being here. >> thank you very much. it's been a great night. >> what about this night and what it means for this race? we heard your speech earlier where you said, you don't stand here to be the conservative alternative to mitt romney, you stand to be the conservative alternate testify president obama. where do you think this race stands? >> i think what you are seeing, even in the national polls, you
are seeing a coalescing. you know, we are running against barack obama better than anybody else in the race right now. you are seeing in three primary contests that, you know, we are consolidating the conservative and the tea party vote and the people are tired of the negative back and forth between gingrich and romney and they are looking for someone who can do that against barack obama on the issues. that's really where our strength is. our strength is the issues. that's why i laid outer tonight, on the biggest issues of the day, mitt romney is obama-lite when it comes to these very important contrast issues and we need the boated bold contrasts to make barack obama the issue in this race, not our candidate who is, you know, in many respects on the big issues of the day, just where obama is. >> so when you hear the romney campaign say, hey, listen, tonight didn't mean much, it's a beauty contest. the others are not apportioning delegates, it's a process that
goes through a number of stages. how do you sppd to that? >> well, you know, that's the same process in minnesota and colorado that iowa goes through and mitt romney seemed to spend a heck of a lot of time and energy in iwa. these caucuses matter. this primary here in missouri is going to be a huge indicator. i mean, we got over 50% of the vote. we doubled up on governor romney, we more than doubled up on him in minnesota. these are very strong indications as to where republican voters are going right now, the energy and enthusiasm, minnesota, their caucus turnout was higher than four years ago. colorado, we are running very, very well there. mitt romney got 61% of the vote and trumpeted that as a way to revive his campaign. it's sour grapes. bottom line, these contests matter. that's why they have the votes. we did very, very well. i think you are going to see our campaign get a real shot of
energy coming out of this tuesday. >> what's the path from here? you have the main caucuses ongoing. we will get results on the 11th. arizona and michigan, at the end of the month and then, the big contest, a lot of them in march. what is your path? why wheredo you see other states that you accounted win? >> obviously, we feel very good here in the midwest. we are going to go to ojaio and michigan. we think we can do very, very well. tennessee, you know, there are places we think we do very, very well in the south. as you saw tonight, look at colorado, we are doing really well there. we have a message that is going to play well all across this country. you know, we -- in the first five states what you fail to remember, the first five states were preset for a long, long time, all the campaigns that had the risources dumped enormous resource there is and had four years before. so the romney campaign had a huge leg up on the first five
states. they don't going forward. they just haven't run the campaigns in the rest of the country that they ran in those five states this time or the last time. it's a whole new playing field. so the path is through the swath of this country. that's where we are going to work at and we believe we take governor romney on and beat him one on one. >> you said something this week on the stump that raised eyebrows. you said if mitt romney or newt gingrich won the nomination, republicans will lose the general election. do you stand by that? >> i probably got a little wound up there on the stump. i just think that we have a much higher probability of losing. so i will backtrack on that. but i think we have a much higher probability of losing if those two are the nominees. particularly governor romney who is just, on the big issues of the day is just dead wrong. and is for big government. it is not for the values of the tea party and the conservative and it is republican base, and frankly, most american who is don't want government control of
the energy sector, the manufacturing sector, the financial services sector, the health care sector. all of those, governor romney sided on the side of big government, instead of free people and a free economy. that's not a winning message in the general election. >> last thing, how much do you think the cal catholic back and forth with the obama administration has played into your campaigning and to perhaps this race, from now on? >> well, president of the united states has over stepped his constitutional authority. he is trampling on the most sacred right, the freedom of conscience. i don't think -- look, i predict they are going to backtrack. i predict they are going to fold their tent on this one. this simply can't stand. you know, this doesn't happen in america, not by a president who proclaims that he is religiously tolerant. this is the height of religious intolerance, this is the height of government secular state trying to impose its will on
free people. i suspect it will be backed down here rather shortly. but it's a lesson learned of what this president would do if he has another disperm he doesn't have to with worry any re-election. >> thank you for your time, senator santorum. congratulations and see you down the trail. >> thanks. >> senator santor num mis, earlier, before he won a stunning upset, really ncolorado, the colorado caucus there is. back with the panel. what about the campaigning styles of these candidates? and how that factors! i have been at a number of events. in iowa, i went to a lot of santorum events. he takes a lot of questions and he is really detailed, sometimes really detailed. seems to connect, especially in place where is they ask tough questions. what about the campaigning styles? >> it is interesting that the colorado republican party chairman said that senator santorum came in and made a lot
of contact with the voters, doing campaign events. he meets with the voters. he doesn't stand up on stainless steel and do a speech and run out the door. what has happened with the mitt romney campaign, he was meeting with the voters and in mid-january, he stopped doing voter contact and doing rallies. so while they were very organized and controlled, there was questions from voters and the back and forth and a dialogue. and that ended mid-way through the month and he resort to the rallies that were big and exciting and lots of signs. but he his secret service and he looks more presidential, but he is removed he says things and they clap and he sings anthems and scoots ow the door. this will have to change for mitt romney to really try to compete at this enthusiasm race nonow with rick santorum. heville to get back to the voter contact, if rick santorum continues to galvanize the conservative base through taking the last question, staying a really long time, willing to
talk about any topic. >> part of the romney campaign strategy is to project the inevitability. we know we have this contest, but really, i'm the guy who can beat president obama. once you project it enough, the thought is that everybody comes along and the vote goes your way. tonight is a stumbling block to that. going back to the conversation we had before about the very poor comment. it got a lot of coverage. you said some things about the conservative point of view and what he should have said. how much do you think that moment hurt him? >> it hurt him in two ways, it was a tactical error after a huge win in the florida primary. this was going to be his week. then he steps in it in the first hour. he had to spend the whole week recovering and explaining it. so he frittered away what would have been a great advantage and it's a deeper problem. he's a businessman. he said, i came to my politics late. he gave a very honest answer
about his political history. he wasn't like gingrich, a guy in the trenches ideological 30 years. he said, i became a politician later. he's become conservative over time. a very honest way to explain his history. but as a result, since he hasn't been marinaded in the ideology and the arguments, he stumbles and makes a remark about the poor that you wouldn't hear from a gingrich or a reagan or anybody who has been in the trenches, arguing all the time. and that's why, as you said earlier, the campaign tries to protect him. isolate him. he doesn't want him interacting because he's more likely to make a mistake of that sort. >> he said something similar on the stump many times, just not in that exact phraseology. >> right. i think it betrace somebody because the other candidate would say, we don't write off the poor, we don't consign into the safety net, that's the liberal of dye doing t. we don't believe the classes are static.
our ideas torlift all votes. it's an argument that anybody who has been out there would know and wouldn't have made this elementary mistake. but i think now, he -- as we heard from a.b., he can't prevent defense forever. he has to get out there. he has to risk making the unforced errors. i think he can. look, he has the resources. he recovered after earlier defeats. but it looks as if he could have an opponent who could go man to man with him. >> i want to talk about the romney campaign strategy and the idea that they are going to be more aggressive toward senator santorrum and very soon, on the other side of this
congratulate senator santorum, wish him the very best. we will keep on campaigning down the road. but i expect to become our nominee with your help. [cheers and applause] >> so i want to congratulate all of my fellow republicans, particularly senator santorum. and i look forward to the contest to come. but we are going to take our message of liberty and prosperity to every corner of the country. and when this primary season is over, we are going to stand united, as a party behind our nominee, to defeat barack obama and to restore the values that have made america the greatest nation in the history of the earth. now, three years ago, you may remember, barack obama came to rol caddo to accept his party's nomination for the presidency. and he rented out a huge stadium. he got some of those styrofoam
greek columns and two giant tv screens that set the mood. and on this big stage here in denver, he mead made even bigger promises. he said that the democrats had a different measure of what constitutes progress. then he went on to define it. he said, look, under his definition, progress would be measured by how many people can find a job that pays a mortgage. that was his definition. now, what's happend? more americans have lost their jobs during president obama's term than during any other president in modern history and more americans have lost their homes during president obam's term than any other in modern history, under his own definition, president ork 'bama has failed. we will succeed! [cheers and applause] >> governor mitt romney tonight in colorado, before he ended up losing that state to rick santorum. giving a speech to a crowd there in colorado, focuses as he has in many of his speeches on these
election nights on president obama. not talking that much about his republican opponents, but saying he will be the nominee. we are back with our panel, steve, we can probably expect some kind of unloading of some negativity on rick santorum. we already saw the -- the prelude to it this week, ahead of minnesota. there started to be some emails, some ads that mentioned him. what about what we could see? >> well, reluctant to make any prediction in this election cycle at this point. having said that, i guarantee you we will see some serious attacks from the romney campaign and the romney super pac, targeting rick santorum. i think that their they're going to try to make him look like a consummate d.c. insider, much the way they tried with newt gingrich. they will try to wear away the idea that he is in principled conservative who can take on barack obama, he being rick
santorum. i think they will try to make him look like the inventer of earmarks. they are going on hang that around his neck and try to make him look like he himself is an earmark. [laughter] >> i remember when santorum was here a couple of months ago, he defended, to us, his role in earmarking. he said, i was a prodigious earmarker and i am not ashamed of it. he owns the earmarking argument and makes what i think is a reasonable case -- i don't like earmarks, but he goes on to make a reasonable case diswlaiz what matters more is entitlement reform in the big questions. but the earmark comments can be taken. they are not popular with the conservative base. he has already said he is not a fan of the libertarian wing of the republican party. those are words that i think we will likely hear again in the near future. >> wasn't that good?
center seat. it will have to come back. i don't know if we can get -- [overlapping dialogue] >> weil try. >> chris, in a strange way, does newt gingrich's campaign say, here comes the onslaught on rick santorum. perhaps i get a breather and i can make a run to make my third rise from the dead in this election season? >> look, as much as this night is about rick santorum and as much as it is, especially in colorado about mitt romney. it is really, in many ways, more about newt gingrich than anything else because gingrich took an incredible amount of ipcoming in south carolina and florida. the romney campaign brought the kind of trained attack on gingrich, starting in iowa, but really hitting him in south carolina, bringing it to him. and the overhang from that and the scandal stuff from his personal life and the other things, overhang from that, followed him t florida and caught up with him.
the long arm of the law reached out and got him in florida and he fell flat in florida. now people say, what about this rick santorum? now it's santorum's turn in the dunking booth. you are right. that gives gingrich a minute to go to ground, ohio and texas and other state where is he thinks he can do a number later on. >> in the end, romney has to sell himself. that's the problem he's had. he has two points of strength, the idea that he's the businessman, the guy who is capable, steady and all of that. but that's not enough. to say, if the economy were 11% unemployment, that's a winner and it's over. but it's not. it is going to be a lot more difficult. you have to make the case on the issues. second was, the idea that he is inevitable. he can beat obama. but if you look at the stumbles along the way, every time he's up, he runs into tinnitis in three losses. if you want to remain inevitable, you can't be punctured again and again.
>> welcome back to special coverage of america's election headquarters, a big night for rick santorum. the colorado caucus, first of all, a big win there, 40%-35%. there you see in third place, newt gingrich and fourth, ron paul. missouri, this is a primary. no delegates tied to this primary, but still, a primary in a general election swing state. rick santorum aa 30-point winner. and minnesota, caucuses, rick
santorum a big winner. ron paul coming in second and mitt romney coming in third and newt gingrich in fourth. final thoughts from our panel. steve, a.b., and chris charles. hard to believe, almost 2:00 a.m. >> i guess i am struck by the fact that these are not just wipes for rick santorum, but big wins. 18 points in minnesota, 30 points in missouri, 6 points in colorado. those qualify in my view as big wins. newt gingrich's totals are interesting. he wasn't on the ballot in missouri. fourth in minnesota and avoided a fourth-place finish in colorado by only 400 votes, a horrible night for newt gingrich. i don't know how he is going to pick up the phone tomorrow and say, you need to invest in my canned dateidacy at this point. >> i think steve's point about how -- >> how much earlier? it was a long night. [laughter] [overlapping dialogue] >> but i think that his point is that rick santorum needs to wake up tomorrow knowing he will be
attacked, you know, around the clock by the romney campaign as the washington insider and the earmark lover. he needs to be ready and the monet and fire power. he shouldn't do what newt gingrich is doing is become preoccupied about mitt romney and spend his time talking about how mitt romney is attacking him. he needs to be the candidate who can talk about everything from contraception to the coming war in iran and be the articulate policy guy that he has presented himself as being, and not be too negative, the russ feingold who will charge up the aisle and offer this substantive alternative because mitt romney is going to take the fight to him. santorum's won more states than mitt romney. it's game on. >> chris, for the conventional wisdom that mitt romney could potentially hold the ball here, maybe even not do some of the debates or not agree to debates
that might still be coming, that may be changing? >> oh, that's changing. he can refuse nothing, basically. he has to show he's a game bird and willing to see this out. but that being said, caucus is caucus, election is election. on the 28th, if newt gingrich and mitt romney don't do big numbers and rick santorum finds a way to do this, it's a really big deal fhe can take the momentum out of this. but the if i'm thought is on the 28th, when two states vote in real elections with real voters, not a caucus -- >> arizona and michigan. >> arizona and michigan and super tuesday and the week after that in alabama, this game is really fast. we have had a ping pong primary, back and forth with three winners, it's very unusual. we will see what happens next. >> charles? >> tonight reminds me of mckinley in 1896 -- [laughter] >> santorum had a shot after iowa. and he blew it.
now he has a second shot. [laughter] >> you liked that works didn't you? you really did. >> we have no idea how long you have been sitting on that. >> you were waiting on that one. >> i think i will just stop there. >> no, finish the thought. >> i'm ahead. he had a shot after iowa. he didn't do anything in new hampshire. he heads a real shot now. the country's going to watch him. listen to him. he has a three-week period where there won't be anything happening other than people are going to watch him and hear him. he is the most adept on the issues, he stays on the message. he's been consistent. he has a shot, unlike gingrich, he's not a guy who implodes over and over again. romney has a chance. he has gotten off the mat every time. but he can't play d.s he has to do more than sing america the beautiful and define hips as a guy who can win. he has to engage on the issues. >> panel, thank you very much, an entertaining, informative night. it took us a little longer to