tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 7, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PST
that person did not get into any trouble on the very same airplane for tweeting at the very same time that alec baldwin was being penalized for using his electronic device. riddle me that. "up next, "hardball" with chris matthews. the newt salute. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews out in chicago. leading off tonight, is gingrich for real? we've got incredible new poll numbers from "time" magazine that show he's not just a power in iowa. he could be mitt romney's undoing in south carolina and florida as well. could gingrich slingshot out of iowa straight to the nomination? then with just 27 days to go until the iowa caucuses, less
than four weeks, mitt romney is turning up the volume on his campaign, but he did turn it up but perhaps too high today and too obvious. for example, speaking before the republican jewish coalition, romney criticized president obama for appeasement, that was his word seven times today, appeasement, before a jewish group. is romney getting tough or just desperate? plus, ad wars. rick perry is going all in in iowa. his campaign will saturate the air waves in the coming weeks, including a new ad unquestionably aimed at that state's evangelical right. but can ads do what he can't? can they talk for him? we'll break down some of the most telling and most provocative ads tonight and what they really show us about the state of this election. and jerry sandusky, back not by popular demand. the former penn state football coach was re-arrested today on new sexual abuse charges brought by two new accusers, and like some of the earlier victims, the two new ones both met sandusky
through his charity, the second mile. and let me finish tonight with my take on the stark way, in fact wild way, that this election is headed. we start with the power of newt gingrich. howard fineman is the msnbc political analyst, of course, "the huffington post" media group editorial director and michael scherr is the white house correspondent for "time." michael, i want you to go through some of the newspaper. let me begin with this stunning new state numbers out from "time" tonight showing incredible gains in strength for newt gingrich. take a will be at florida, a state where mitt was going to turn it around. newt has blown the other candidates out of the water. take a look an enormously high number, 48% to romney's rather puny 25% down there. third place down there in florida, ron paul at just 5%. in iowa, we're less than one month away from the caucuses there, and gingrich leads there with it's already up to 33%. romney still held down at 20%.
paul in third place. in new hampshire, romney leads the granite state, but with just 35% of the vote, while newt has climbed all the way towards him with 26%. he's getting within slingshot range based on iowa. and finally here's a big one. in south carolina gingrich more than doubles romney's vote down there right now. 43% to 20%. could that be the mormon factor? it could be a lot of factors. rick perry a distance third. let me go right now to michael. let's give it some analysis. why is gingrich flying to the top of this fight in almost every state? >> i think there's two things. one, we always knew there would be an anti-romney candidate, sort of mixed chairs here who would get to have it and gingrich has come in strong when mitt has had a rough couple of weeks. basically been silent doing fund-raisers so you see this big boom. i think the florida number is the biggest number out of these polls.
the romney theory from the beginning is we do well in new hampshire, and then iowa and south carolina won't matter. we'll get to florida and get to the other states. if newt or -- is able to hold south carolina, do well in iowa and go into florida with numbers like that, mitt's in a lot of trouble. >> why does a guy with a diabolic grin, and i'm being completely objective here, a guy who doesn't look like a presidential candidate, looks too nasty for one, why is the nasty guy doing the best of all the candidates right now, the one who is so obviously nasty? >> i think there's a couple things going on here, too. newt is not carrying his own baggage. everyone right now knows why they don't like mitt romney. people don't know yet why they don't like newt gingrich. 15us that's all going to come out in the next few weeks. romney will go tough on him. the other candidates, bachmann and perry will start hitting him in iowa so there will be an interesting turn and if you look at the poll numbers some of that is already showing up. women are far less likely to be supportive of newt. >> why? >> than men.
>> he's got that -- i think that's part of he looks funny, plus his history with several marriages. >> let me go to howard now and character discussion now. it looks to me like if you're looking to cast a villain, someone to go after the marshal, who is president obama, you're looking with a guy with some notches on his belt and newt's got them. look at jim wright and the rest of them back then and with some scars on his face, a guy that does look nasty. i'm not attacking newt right now on that basis. i'm just pointing out his appeal to the right wing haters. they want somebody who looks nasty like a jack palance, some nasty guy that the dogs walk away when they see him. you know what i'm talking about >> i know what you're talking about, and i wrote about it the other week when newt started to rocket to the top because i've covered him from the beginning, and i've always said and i wrote in this piece, that newt's main appeal and his main skill is as a guy who knows exactly where to put the explosive device to blow up the bridge.
he did it -- he did it the to the democratic establishment in the house which it had controlled the house of representatives for 40 years. newt basically invented a new style of semi-intellectual attack politics that was made to appeal to the rising generation of republicans, baby boomers, who had read barry goldwater, read the national review and wanted an intellectual gloss for the all-out kneecapping they were about to commit against the democratic party. that's newt's background. the older generation of republican voters, likely republican voters, remember that newt. they've forgotten some of the bad stuff like the shutdown of the government, et cetera, et cetera, forgot newt the crybaby on air force one. they remember newt the attack dog. they remember newt, the guy who blew up a seemingly, you know, entrenched democratic establishment. >> yeah. >> and they are looking at newt at age 68 to do the same thing all over again to barack obama and his establishment. to them he's not a villain.
they think he's a gunslinger, to use the jack palance terminology, and they like it, especially when all the other conservatives have gone nowhere, and the other thing i would like to say about the "time" poll. it's amazing. chris, you and i have talked about it a million times. mitt romney is mr. 20 to 25. leave new hampshire out of it he gets 120 her 20% to 25% everywhere. not usually less but never any more. just incredible so the other 75% is flocking to newt gingrich. >> and that 25% or whatever, he maybe gets to 35% in new hampshire on a good night, no better than tsongas' numbers because people will discount them. you know what happened to tsongas, he beat bill clinton by eight points back then, michael and everybody ignored it and bill clinton declared himself the comeback kid and that was the end of the game. here's gingrich taunting his fellow republicans for not attending the trump circus later this month. talk about a turn of the dime. let's listen. >> i think if you're afraid to debate with donald trump people are going to say so you want me
to believe you can debate barack obama, but you're afraid to show up with donald trump is it i think it strikes me as kind of a very weak position. i don't know why people would do that. >> that's the evil genius, michael, newt gingrich. >> bingo. >> he's turned around what was a show of -- a profile in courage by mr. romney and not bowing to donald trump and turned it into a weasel act of him walking away from what looks to be a scaredy cat situation. it's a weird thing i've been watching this guy newt. he can turn anything around diabolically to the way he wants to present it. he's an opportunist who lives off the land. this is a great -- howard, do you agree, this is a great example of newt at his best and his worst, depending on who you are. >> what's interesting here is you have newt turning his intellectual superiority act which he's been doing from the beginning of the campaign into an electability argument. he did it again when he talked at length about these debates he wants to have, that goes hours and hours and have no moderator
with president obama and really belittling president obama's intellect and academic credentials and saying he's ready to stand up. his electability argument. he's done it to the other candidates and with the press whenever he talks to the press. it's an interesting gambit. i think a lot of debates up until now for many americans, especially in general electric, this sort of i'm smarter than you conned session can be off-putting, but it seems to be working right now for him. >> but, you know, barack obama was a guy who was the president of the harvard law school. >> right. >> newt gingrich is going to make himself the populist antagonist to the guy who was editor of the harvard law school. also, newt is great at dog whistle politics, chris. you know, he did it just yesterday where he said barack obama would be the greatest food stamp president in american history. >> it's right up there with the welfare queen stuff. ronald reagan talking about the it's right up there with ronald reagan talking about the young buck coming in and buying whatever with his food stamps.
you know what he's doing here. thank you, howard fineman and thank you, michael. good report by "time." jay carney is the press secretary to president obama's. thanks for coming on tonight, jay. you've heard us discussing the possible entrants into this campaign. i don't expect an answer but i've got to ask it. who would the president and his people least like to fight, the street fighter newt gingrich with a knife had his hand or have to go on and take on the genteel, relatively genteel mitt romney? >> well, i'll make a couple of points, chris. one, we're not paying a lot of attention to it honestly from this building here because the president has so much business to do right here, right now with congress and outside of congress to get americans back to work and the economy growing, and that -- that goes right to what he was talking about yesterday in osawatomie, kansas, about his vision, about the debates they were having over the economy, and specifically about the need to pay this payroll tax cut extension and expansion. congress needs to do that and
get it done before the holidays. you know, going to the second question more broadly about political primaries and processes, one of the reasons why we don't think about it, i mean, obviously we have an interest eventually because the president is running for re-election, but these are organic things and it's hard to know who you'd rather run against. we don't pick likely winners or preferred winners and who emerges, when the time is right the president will engage with the republican nominee and -- and go i'm sure toe to toe with putting forward his ideas about where this country ought to be and where it ought to go. >> jay, the president -- i paid attention to the president's speech yesterday, as you advised me to, and it was a very strong progressive appeal. it wasn't just paying tribute to teddy roosevelt. he was very much in sync with what president roosevelt stood for in the last century. here's the question. in tough economic times, can you turn the tough squeeze on the middle class against the opposition when they normally would blame the incumbent?
>> well, look, i think the american people understand that the economic crisis that this country experienced in 2008 and 2009 created a very deep hole, and it will take a long time to climb out of that hole. the crisis, put another way, wasn't created overnight and the american people understand that we can't get out of it overnight, but they do know that this president's policies have resulted in a reversal of that trajectory that he inherited. as we know now, and whenever i think about this, i'm astounded. at the time that the president was sworn into office in january of 2009, economists of all stripes believed that the baseline analysis was that the economy had shrunk in the fourth quarter of 2008 by 3%. we now know through revisions of those statistics and analysis that the economy shrank by almost 9%. that's depression era levels of shrinkage, and that's the kind of calamity that this country was facing when president obama
was sworn into office. these were tough times and he took big decisions and made tough calls to -- to point this economy back in the right direction, and as you know, chris, as we heard from the latest jobs report that we've now created private sector jobs for 21 straight months, and that's nearly 3 million private sector jobs. not enough. >> got a good report card. >> we're going in the right direction, and i think the point that the president was making with regard specifically to his battles with congress right now on economic policy but also i think from what we're hearing from all republicans right now would be presidents included is that they want to go back to the same policies that everyone knows got us into this mess in the first place, and -- and, i mean, you know, i just don't think that's an easy message to sell. >> well, as the leader of the democratic party, do you think the president is wise not to pay attention to what the republicans are saying in these debates? i mean, is he really not paying attention to this fight between newt and mitt? he's leader of the party. obama has acknowledged that
partisan leader, leader of the democratic party as well as being president and he's not paying attention to the republican fight? >> he's paying attention as an observer. he's aware of it. he follows the news. he doesn't watch a lot of tv, i'm sorry, but he does read a lot, and -- and he -- he's fully aware of what's happening in those primaries, and when we get questions from you or i get s questions from the press in this briefing room about charges made by republican presidential candidates, i respond to them if they go to the president's records and his policies. what i'm saying is that we don't spend a lot of time gaming out what outcome we would prefer in the republican process because, as we've seen, you know, it's a -- it's an unpredictable game, right? we don't know who the nominee is going to be and as you pointed out we have one candidate who was nowhere three weeks ago and top of the heap right now so who knows who will be top of the heap in three or four months. >> can i ask you a civics question. is president obama, as well as being commander in chief and
head of state and head of the executive branch, is he also head of the democratic party? >> yes, he is. i mean, he's a proud democrat. he -- he comes from that tradition. i think he -- he's a progressive in the sense that he expressed yesterday in echoing what teddy roosevelt, in many ways the original progressive expressed, even though roosevelt had been a republican, when he gave that speech in osawatomie, he was contending with the republican party that he felt had lost its way. >> that's right. >> much as some critics say that the current republican party has lost its way, sort of lost track of the middle class, the folks that really need washington's help right now in helping making ends meet and growing and expanding their ranks. >> okay, jay. we've got to go. >> all right, chris. >> you just cost me some money. i just lost a bet. you said he was the leader of the democratic party, right out there with no hesitation. >> there you go. >> i thought you would find a sophisticated way of saying -- >> i tell it like it is.
>> two out of three. just two people on my staff, two producers who just made some money. thank you, jay carney, for coming on tonight on "hardball." >> appreciate, it chris. >> mitt romney coming on the attack right now criticizing president obama, and here he is using a word that's very disturbing if you know 20th century history, especially if you're a jewish person and anybody really, appeasement. romney kept saying that over and over again today. is he desperate to use words like that in an american political debate? is he really saying that obama is one of the appeasers? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. if you have high blood pressure, like me, and get a cold... ...you need a cold medicine with a heart. only coricidin hbp has a heart, right here. it's the only cold and flu brand
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president obama has adopted an appeasement strategy, appeasement betrays a lack of faith in america, in american strength and in america's future. like others among the washington elite, he believes that america's role as the leader of the world is a thing of the past, and so he seeks to appease those he believes will balance us or who might challenge our leadership in the future. this appeasement by this administration has taken a lot of different forms over the last three years. it includes offers to engage with the world's most despicable dictators.
>> well, you heard the word there, appeasement, despicable dictators, get the point. by the way, his hair is starting to get messed up a little bit and is actually starting to do a mitt romney equivalent of sweating. i've noticed. disturbing talk from romney earlier today speaking to the republican jewish coalition back in d.c. he spoke of appeasement to our enemies and not standing by israel saying the president doesn't understand america. there's an old ka nard, not one of us. a president that's gone out aggressively to terrorists around the world, increased drone strikes and taken out osama bin laden and al awlaki. aided in the death of moammar gadhafi, and i'm most impressed by this, he stood up and backed israel. not alone in the end. he had people behind him thanks to susan rice and hillary clinton in rejecting palestinian statehood this fall and yet mitt romney chose to use that word, that inflammatory word in front of a jewish group that refers historically and painfully to british prime minister's failure with his umbrella to stand up to
hitler. also, can romney get incredibly aggressive with his chief republican rival now newt gingrich? he says he's only begun to fight. sally bradshaw is a republican strategist down in florida, a key state and served as a senior adviser to mitt romney back in 2008. and david corn is an msnbc political analyst and washington bureau chief for "mother jones." sally, thanks for coming on the show. you've worked with mitt romney. why is he using that inflammatory word appeasement? it has one particular historic reference point, giving away czechoslovakia to hitler. >> it does, and that's exactly why he's using it, because that's exactly what the president is doing. when the fact is the issue is iran. the litany of things that you went through, chris, may all be admirable on behalf of the president. he should have done all those things but someone has to get tough with ahmadinejad in iran and certainly of all the groups he should speak the truth to, it
is this group. >> what does that mean, get tough? >> it's this group. i think it's totally appropriate for him to -- >> define the word carefully. what you mean by tough. >> he is clearly saying the fact that this president agreed to sit down and negotiate with ahmadinejad, a man who may have a nuclear weapon within a couple of years, who has called for the elimination of israel from the the face of the earth is a problem. >> what do you mean by tough? i'm going to give you a couple minutes to do this. define "tough." >> by saying we're not going to negotiate with someone like that, and we're going -- we're going to bring every resource to bear that we have to ensure that this crazy dictator in iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon. it's not just jewish voters who should want to hear that from their leader. it's all voters. all voters are concerned about this. >> okay. >> and i have to tell you, i think it's funny that you think appeasement is an inappropriate use of that word to describe a man -- >> i want you to define it in this sense. what has he done -- what would you do when you said get tough with iran? what would you recommend he do? >> i'm not running for president.
sure. >> you're saying he's not saying what he should say. what is it? >> what he should say is he's not going to negotiate with a terrorist and that's ahmadinejad and he's going to bring resources to bear to ensure that we don't have a nuclear weapon from iran in the next several years. >> you know -- >> okay. let's go back to david corn here. the use of the word appeasement is inflammatory suggesting that we're dealing with hitler and this guy is giving away countries to hitler the way we began world war ii. it's like saying you're soft on communism and a word that destroys the american debate because it basically says the other side is un-american and shouldn't even be in the debate, and ways of dealing with the real power in iran, which you know is not ahmadinejad but the clerics, and how we deal with them effectively, let's go on from that. >> well, you know, i don't want to be rude to sally here but we just saw -- >> thank you. >> her inability to answer the question shows that this is nothing except empty debasing rhetoric. the use of the word appeasement in this context, and -- and your
pal, our old pal mitt romney, who you may come to support in this campaign, didn't just say it was about iran. he said it was about barack obama's entire approach to the world. >> and he's right. >> no, no, no. did we appease moammar gadhafi? do you even know what happened on the asian trip that the president just took about the chinese military influence in the pacific? >> no, but -- i think you're probably going to tell me now. >> do you know? do you know? >> i think you're going to tell me. >> the president got other countries in the pacific region, and they actually ticked off china by pushing back on its growing military influence in the oceans over there, so -- so that's not appeasement so if you're going to talk about this stuff, i think chris is right. you've got to be specific, and if you're going to talk about getting tough, president obama has -- has implemented sanctions, and do you believe -- here's a good trick question for you. >> okay. >> do you believe we should be supporting the people fighting
for democracy in iran? >> i think he should be supporting the democracy of israel which is exactly governor romney's point and he's not doing that. >> let's give sally a chang here. i want you to analyze again, u i'll give you another chance here to go for it and present of time to do it. i am impressed by the secretary of state's success with susan rice at the u.n. and brilliantly i think so far finessing what looked to be an unstoppable move by the palestinians to have a state established unilaterally. they have managed to get the germans on our side, i believe the french and the english are also going to abstain. what looked to be just us and the -- and the israelis against the world which would have been terrible for both of us. they have managed to avoid what would have been a terrible situation. can't you give secretary of state clinton credit for what they have been able to do to prevent what looked like an automatic defeat here? >> but that's not what we're talking about. >> is that appeasement? >> you have -- let me finish, chris. you have thrust me into the role
of state department spokesman which is not what i want to do, but i will tell you this. it is appeasement when we abandon our friend israel. >> how have we done that? >> we didn't do that. >> okay, tell me how we have not done that, tell me where barack obama has been on israel and why -- if he hasn't done that, there is -- >> chris just told you. >> there is very much concern -- >> david, let me tell you. >> there's so much concern among jewish voters about barack obama's policy, you know, towards israel and towards iran and in the middle east. i -- i frankly, you're asking me, i'm giving you an honest opinion. i think there's nothing wrong with calling it exactly what it is, and if you don't understand that, you are fundamentally misunderstanding where voters are in this country. >> you're not -- >> and how they feel about the president. >> you're not using the word correctly. chris just outlined how the united states had israel's back, whether you agree with it or not, had israel's back in the u.n. on this very tricky matter, and then a second later you come
out and say he's abandoning israel and it's appeasement. this is like black is white. how do you justify that? >> because that's exactly what he's done. i mean, your world view may be your world view and it is not my world view. >> you're amazing. >> thank you. it's not the view of the majority of voters, particularly jewish voters, which is a problem for obama and a gain for mitt romney. >> thank you for coming on, sally. >> you're welcome. >> definitely a strong uptick for the president. they are very happy, i believe, and they are very sophisticated voters in this country, by the way. >> just like you. >> the most sophisticated voters, and in many ways they hear these arguments and they are going to see through them. thank you, david corn. think the topic of must-see tv is a non-partisan issue. think again. apparently people pick programs on the basis of their political proclivities. not surprised here. find out which shows top the list on each party divide. that's next in the sideshow. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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>> back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. this one is all about must-see tv. well, apparently the party divide right now, democrat verse republican, goes a lot further than the polling booth. to be specific, how about programming your dvr. that's right, a new study by a consumer research group shows which tv programs top the list for liberal democrats as opposed to conservative republicans. here goes. the top five for self-identified liberal democrats, in first place, "the daily show with jon stewart," followed by "the colbert report," pbs's "masterpiece theater," nbc's "30 rock." and in fifth place, amy poehler's "parks and recreation." that's the big five for the liberals. as for self-identified conservative republicans, in
first place, "barrett-jackson collector car auction," don't even know these shows. that's "barrett-jackson collector car auction," interesting one, followed by, i knew this one, "this old house," get out your tool kit and "the 700 club," pat robertson and "swamp loggers" and finally "top shot," quite a lineup on the right. the list could be quite a guide for candidates on both sides, left and right, on where to drop political ads when this election season really heats up. up next, ad wars. you don't want to miss that one. we'll show you the latest most provocative wild political ads playing right now in iowa, and on the internet. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
sandusky now facing 50 counts, jailed today after he was unable to come up with a quarter of a million dollars bail. rod blagojevich apologizing for what he called terrible mistakes before being sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption today. they've decided to not let 9 plan b pill sold over the counter. authorities are giving -- mexican authorities captured the son of deposed libyan dictator moammar gadhafi. and finally emmy-winning actor harry morgan of dragnet and m.a.s.h. fame has died in los angeles. he was 96 years old. let's get you back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." the republican fight for the nomination for president is coming to tv with a full barrage of ads rolling in iowa now and also new hampshire. we'll go through the latest ads right now and look at what an bob slum is a democratic strategist and mark mckinnon was advertising director in the bush campaign and vice president of hill knollman strategies. gentlemen, let's start our cars and go right to rick perry's big play to get back into the game. new ad going up in iowa, a clear pitch for the state's evangelical christians. can it do him any good, this ad doing what he can't do which is talk? let's listen. >> i'm not ashamed to admit that i'm a christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military and our kids can't openly celebrate christmas or pray in school. as president i'll end obama's war on religion, and i'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.
faith made america strong. it can make her strong again. i'm rick perry, and i approve this message. >> so bob, here we go again. let's get the gays out of the military, back into the closet. let's bring, i don't know, the king james bible back to public school. i mean, this guy is something else! >> well, listen, this is, if i may use the expression, a hail mary pass for him in iowa, an attempt to get to social conservatives. i don't think it will work. by the way, he spent more money on advertising than anybody else, and as mark will tell you, advertising is something in presidential campaigns, real things occur in real time in the real world and that's what happened to rick perry. he proved he didn't meet the presidential threshold in those debates so i don't think he'll be able to ride a buckboard of resentment and bigotry to the white house, and beyond, that all the other republicans in this field are at least running as social conservatives, so i don't think it's going to work, but i'll be interested to see what mark says. >> is there still some paydirt
in the anti-gay vote for perry to be pushing this button right now when he's obviously desperate for any support? he clearly looks like -- you know, it's an s.o.s. really but to go after gays to try to get back to double digits, like the other guys going after the jewish vote by yelling "appeasement"? those look to me like the signs of failing campaigns, not campaigns that are coming on strong. your thought, mark? >> maybe so, chris, but this is the rick perry that we know from texas. it's over the top, it's outrageous, but it's a strong appeal to social conservatives. i mean, it looks like rick perry thinks the way to win the nomination is bring back the crusades, and -- and, you know, he's going to inflame and divide, but, you know, when you look at the mix -- he's spending a ton of money out there, millions of dollars that he's dumping in iowa. this is his only play and, yeah, it's a long shot but when you put in the mix of what ron paul is doing which we'll see in a minute and mix that all together, i don't count rick perry out, this is a very -- this is a laser shot and i'm not
sure it might not have some appeal and strike a match out there. >> wow, that's terrible news for the country if that kind of stuff works. here's mitt romney launching his new ad in both iowa and new hampshire and making it clear an instated contrast between him and the newtster, newt gingrich. let's listen. >> i think people understand that i'm a man of steadiness and constancy. i don't think you're going to find somebody who has more of those attributes than i do. i've been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me, i'll get in trouble, for 42 years. i've been in the same church my entire life. i've worked at one company, bain, for 25 years, and i left that to go off and help save the olympic games. if i'm president of the united states, i will be true to my family, to my faith and to our country, and i will never apologize for the united states of america. i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> i'm going wild here. he has gone after newt gingrich for, quote, changing his religion, coming up with two marriages beyond the one he
started, shows this gorgeous picture of his wife, fair enough, but the message is clearly, bob, that this guy, unlike him, he stayed with his lds mormon religion and the other guy switched religions, i've never seen anything like this in politics, going after this guy for being a religious convert. usually you think that's a somewhat positive thing in some ways. he's knocking him for becoming catholic. it's unbelievable. >> well, gingrich presents it, by the way, as a positive in the sense that he says i've become a catholic. i repent my past mistakes. >> sure. >> and i think there's a tendency on the right, as there should be in all of society by the way, to forgive people their past mistakes. >> sure. >> it's clearly a negative ad dressed up as a positive ad but we'll find out in the next two weeks whether or not newt gingrich is teflon because the truth is he has all of this baggage. conservatives know about it, but they think that at heart he's a conservative. they worry that at heart mitt romney is a con man, so what he's doing here is saying i'm real in kind of a synthetic way.
i'm real. the other guy you've got to go after, but you know what? he speaks in some fundamental way, gingrich does, the voice of the republican party right now. it's the only way to explain his poll numbers. >> let me go back to mark for a bit. do you think he can get gingrich for having as much baggage as jacob marley? i mean, is this really going to work? >> i think this one is ineffective, because first of all, mitt romney is reminding everybody that he's the flip-flopper by raising this issue and i agree completely with bob. this is not an issue you'll get gingrich on. you know, evangelicals, like most americans, love a redemption story, and that's what -- that's what gingrich's personal life story is. there's the ron paul attack on hypocrisy. >> here it is. ron paul's anti-gingrich ad, started on the web and now in iowa, the first republican candidate launching an ad going after gingrich. here's a portion of it. let's listen. >> newt gingrich renewed his support for an individual mandate, a key tenet to president obama's health care
law. >> support for individual mandate. folks, don't ask me to explain this. >> everything that gingrich railed against when he was in the house, he went the other way when he got paid to go the other way. >> demonstrating himself to be the very essence of the washington insiders. >> it's about serial hypocrisy. >> can you get a villainous character like him by calling him a villain? mean, mark, it looks like -- they are showing him to have notches on his belt? isn't that what people want, a proven gun fighter to go against barack obama? >> yeah, they do, but i think that this is a pretty powerful ad. the one thing that voters do find unacceptable is hypocrisy, and if they can lay out a real logical framework of hypocrisy with gingrich, that to me seems the more effective way to go, and i think it's a pretty powerful ad. the fact is that paul doesn't have a lot of money behind that ad, but i think if there was a lot of money behind it, it could work. >> okay. got to go. bob slum, thank you, sir.
rod blagojevich was sentenced today to prison for 14 years in one of the stiffest penalties for political corruption ever. the former governor of illinois was found guilty of corruption that included trying to sell or trade an appointment to the u.s. senate seat vacated by president obama. blagojevich had apologized to the court for his crimes and had asked for mercy, but, there he goes again, by the way, the second successive illinois governor sentenced for corruption. his republican predecessor, george ryan, is still serving a
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we're back. news broke late this afternoon that ex-penn state coach jerry sandusky was arrested again today on new sexual abuse charges brought forth by two new accusers identified as victim number 9 and victim number 10. the new charges include four counts of involuntary deviant assault, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of indecent assault. according to the testimony in front of the grand jury, victim number 9 met sandusky in 2004 through the second mile program
at the age of 11 or 12. hugging and touching eventually escalated into oral sex and anal penetration. sorry about that. victim 10 also met sandusky through the second mile in 1997 and wrestling sessions progressed into incidents of oral sex. we're getting graphic details. sandusky faces 40 counts of child sex abuse stemming from allegations he sexually abused eight young boys over a 15 year period. sandusky is in county jail after unable to post a $250,000 cash bail requirement earlier today. buzz bissinger is writing for the daily beast and author of "friday night lights" and other achievements. buzz, your thoughts and feelings of the case and what it tells us in the latest installment. >> i mean, it just furthers the monstrosity of jerry sandusky and penn state.
the shower incident where allegedly sandusky committed anal penetration on a 10-year-old kid, that was in 2002. now we have a victim who he has apparently done the same with in 2004. that means two years later, because penn state did nothing because either it wasn't taken seriously or miscommunicated or whatever. sandusky is at it again. it makes the culpability of the university inexcusable is a terrible word. this is such a monumental tragedy. chris, you're right. it's going to get worse. it is just going to get worse. they should not play football. they should not go to a bowl. they should not play football next year. they should -- football should be the last thing on penn state's mind. they need to get their act together. >> let's talk about that for a second. you're an expert on sports, too, in the way the awards system seems to shortchange other values we hold a lot more dear than sports victory in this country even if we don't say so.
penn state won eight games this year. it does have a bowl game potential, obviously. >> yeah. i mean, they have a bowl game potential. frankly, i found the stories about what bowl they were going to actually depressing because it was all because of jerry, the accusations against jerry sandusky, they're not going to the bowl they should and they're to some mediocre or minor bowl game. i mean, who cares? you know, at a certain point, with these new accusations, with the fact that sandusky allegedly committed another hideous crime against a minor victim, two years after penn state knew something, and they knew something also in 1998, i say forget football. who cares about a minor bowl game. smu got two years, i think, of the death penalty for payoffs. this is nothing compared to payoffs. this is literally aiding and abetting in the activities of a sexual predator. >> connect the issue of football
royalty at penn state, where it is -- the school thought of its success. penn state had to be good at football. how did that lead to these alleged crimes? give me the connecting point here that has to be broken. >> well, to me the connecting point is, and it's not just at penn state. i've seen it all the time. i've spent a lot of time in high school locker rooms and professional clubhouses. i call it the code of omerta. coaches are very, very tight. they spend a lot of time with each other. they gossip with each other. they always know what's going on with each other. it's like cops. they will not turn in their own. and jerry sandusky was a legend. a great defensive coach. and i think the feeling was, hey, he's a friend, let him go, he went do it again. i think paterno's feeling was, don't want to touch it. i've done my minimal duty and i have a football team to coach. i think penn state bent over backwards not to do anything, anything to harm that football
program. >> boy, you know, it sounds a lot like my church and what happened over the last 30, 40 years. and i, you know, you get into all kinds of psycho babble about why the church recruited certain priests and why the top-level priests and bishops and cardinals covered it up. it sounds a lot like what you're talking about. it's putting the win, if you will, above everything else. thank you, buzz bissinger. when i return, let me finish with this. i think i know where this election is headed in 2012, and it's pretty scary. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. apply fixodent once, and it holds all day. ♪ take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. guaranteed, or your money back.
let me finish tonight with this. i think i now see the way this election is headed. the president, president obama, intends to turn the bad times against the republicans. he will say that republican policies are squeezing the middle class right now. that the country needs to re-elect him to simply offset the power of wall street that he's the progressive champion fighting the good fight against the money people and their power over congress. he, barack obama, is the 21st century's progressive fighter, the theodore roosevelt battling those malofactors of great wealth. that's what teddy roosevelt called them, on behalf of regular people. okay, not bad. maybe it will work. maybe it's truth. if you have faith in obama to put teeth marks into the manifesto he's sporting. for the other side. here's the deal. the red hots are looking for the meanest, nastiest gladiator they can find, a street fighter who
will look obama in the face and verbally spit at the guy. who will show no respect, no remorse and certainly no guilt. this is where newt comes in. as no guilt, no remorse and shows no respect. doesn't expect any. he wants the title shot. the chance to go head to head in the championship ring with the president of the united states. this is where we're going i think, at least right now. i see hatred being the key ingredient of the republican candidate selection process. hope is still the main theme of the obama brigades. hope e. hatred is not about building a better america. it's about hurting obama. hurting him good. beating him up. humiliating him. getting him to lose. concede the presidency. to the true haters out there, their biggest dream, their big night, isn't victory by traditional republican standards of smaller government, it's about watching obama bite the dust. that's what they lust for. that explains why they can seriously get behind the candidacy of newt gingrich. because he promises them what