tv The Last Word MSNBC December 6, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
just approved the steal of alcohol on sundays. beer and liquor sold from here on out as of a vote this month. extra special happy repeal day to medicine lodge, kansas. that's the best new thing in the world. that does it for us. time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." you had to know it was only a matter of time before the pretend historian met the pretend billionaire. >> how can you turn down the donald? >> donald trump and newt gingrich. >> climbing the tower to cusp his ring. >> newt gingrich is the candidate of the moment. >> a man with a tab at tiffany's. >> you're talking about the godfather of gridlock. >> i found his leadership lacking. >> he's as establishment as you get. >> i'm not inclined to be a supporter of newt gingrich. >> con artist. >> the latest republican hopeful to meet with businessman donald trump. >> i'd want to go for the entertainment. >> the rise of the super ego. >> the ring master of the republican clown show.
>> he wants to engage in this circus. >> i think we have incompetent leadership. >> to call this barnum & bailey is to raise it in status. >> it has a bill following of people. >> he'll moderate a republican debate. >> most candidates are going to join. >> i say don't do it, boycott it. >> don't you think this is harmful overall to the republican brand? >> ruins the brand of the republican party. >> mr. trump joins me now by phone. those poll numbers which i think that you wanted to respond to -- >> you said donald trump wanted to respond to a poll. well, i didn't even know what poll you're talking about, number one, chuck. number two, i didn't call you, you called me. >> yes, i did. >> endorsement from donald trump could hurt a republican candidate. >> republicans will be less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by trump. >> i know a lot about polls. >> karl rove, this is what he said this morning before your appearance on fox -- >> after my appearance. >> he was on -- okay. it was my understanding he was on before. >> get the facts straight. he was on after my appearance. not before my appearance. >> donald trump, i'll leave it there, mr. trump, always a pleasure.
>> thank you very much, chuck. the obama re-election campaign watched fleefully today as the republican party continued careening toward disaster. with the republican presidential debate scheduled that will be immoderately moderated by reality show judge, donald trump. and while the latest misguided republican front-runner, newt gingrich, debased himself by meeting with trump in new york. now, it is not easy for newt gingrich to debase himself these days. in the republican presidential primary, he's been surrounded by people of demonostrably more dignity, and yes, that includes herman cain. it must have been a relief for gingrich today to finally be hanging with a guy who is tied with him on marriages at three each. gingrich explained the visit with trump this way.
>> sometimes we have to get a certain sense of humor in politics. the donald has had the number one show in the country, okay? he is a genuine american icon in his own right. why wouldn't you want to come and hang out with him? >> okay, newt, first of all, donald does not have and has never had the number one show in the country. in fact, last year he had the 113th show in the country. then in the next season after spending months lying to the country about the possibility that he would run for president, trump managed to push his tv show up to 42nd in the ratings. the number one rated show in the country is, of course, as everyone except newt gingrich knows, "american idol." there is no word tonight on when newt gingrich is meeting with steven tyler. conservatives who know something about winning elections are
panicked by the trump effect in republican politics. george will saw the announcement of a trump-moderated debate as the perfect, perfect opportunity for the republican candidates to finally do something presidential. >> now we have a december 27th debate proposed that would be moderated by donald trump. surely it's time for the candidates to do something presidential, stand up and say we're not going to be hijacked and participate in this. >> karl rove, the mastermind of president george w. bush's election and re-election, simply cannot believe that republican candidates would enter a republican debate moderated by someone who continues to make noises about running for president as an independent if he doesn't like the republican nominee. >> what the heck are the republican candidates doing shows up at a debate with a guy who says i may run for president
next year as an independent? i mean, i think the republican national chairman ought to step in and say we strongly discourage every candidate for appears in a debate moderated by somebody who's going to run for president. it's going to be a giant ego trip. >> viewers of the program know rove's worries are misplaced. trump will never run for president, for many reasons, including the two most important. one, he knows he would lose. and two, he simply does not have enough money to finance a presidential campaign. among the many things that trump lies about day in and day out is his modest wealth. he is, of course, not a billionaire. he simply plays one on tv. an nbc news poll released yesterday shows the value of the republican candidates' poison handshakes with donald trump. 32% of likely iowa caucus goers
say trump's endorsement will make them less likely to vote for a candidate. 21% say it will make them more likely to vote for a candidate. 44% simply don't care who donald trump meets. the numbers are a bit worse for trump's endorsement in new hampshire. 37% say trump's endorsement would hurt the candidate. 19% said it would help the candidate. 42% don't care what donald trump does or who he meets. chuck asked trump to respond to the polls showing the harm his endorsement would do. >> it depends on how the question's asked, because i know about polls. i know a lot of about polls. i studied polls at the wharton school of finance. you can ask a question, do you mean to tell me somebody is going to be worse off if i endorse them? i don't think so. i have a huge following of
people that are tired of seeing our country ripped off by china and opec and virtually every other nation. i don't really think you believe somebody's worse off if i give them -- because i have a big following of people. >> donald, i do really believe that somebody will be worse off if you endorse a republican candidate for president. and i don't believe you studied polls at wharton. and i don't believe you know a lot about polls. you're an undergraduate at wharton for two years in the mid 1960s. that's practically before polls were invented. and wharton teaches business, not political science. but that's just donald being donald. a reflexive liar in everything he says about everything. joining me now, nbc news political director and chief white house correspondent and host of msnbc's "daily rundown," chuck todd. chuck, that was a great way to begin your day, getting in a
little discussion with the donald this morning. republicans must now be very worried. we've heard from karl rove and others about the trump effect in their politics cannot be helpful, especially with these polls we now show in iowa and new hampshire. is there any way, or any republican force that can do an intervention here and keep these candidates away from donald trump? >> well, you heard -- what karl rove is pushing for is to get the rnc to officially get involved. they have to figure out how to do it. it's not clear that they've made the decision yet to try to get involved. you know, they've kind of had one foot into the debates. they tried to help organize this process. a lot of the campaigns have been complaining about it, particularly the front running campaign, mitt romney, feels it's hard for a candidate individually to get into a shouting match with donald trump. none of them want to do that. there may be an effort, for instance, to come up and say, if you pledge not to -- say you'll
not run for president at all under any circumstances and will not endorse anybody, then maybe you can moderate. they're hoping to come up with some sort of -- if he agrees to those terms and you create a set of terms that he won't agree to, thus nixing the debate, but, you know, i can tell you that with every -- it seems like with every hour another candidate agrees to the debate. i think our lone holdouts are mitt romney and rick perry. >> it's run by, sponsored by newsmax, which is a right wing website, and it's going to be on a tv network channel i truly to this moment have never heard of. i heard about it today for the very first time. i don't know where to find it. i'm told it's on my system somewhere. december 27th, two days after christmas. not a likely high viewer debate. >> that's right. if you remember, ion network is part of, if you remember the pax and communications company, sort of a christian conservative
media conglomerate at one point, used to be pax tv. this is what they changed their name to is my understanding about this. but in fact, it's funny you bring up december 27th. originally there was going to be an iowa republican party debate sanctioned for the week between christmas and new year's. and the iowa republican party decided not to do that because they thought it would offend and upset iowans. that, you know, yes, they know they're already jamming up new year's a little bit. they thought, we better at least give iowans, give folks there that are following this a break between christmas and new year's. so they forced the -- it's the fox news debate, i believe it is. they forced that debate up to the 15th to avoid the week between christmas and new year's. >> only thing they're going to produce here, i don't see them getting a big audience, but they will produce stuff for us to use the next day and i just don't see in this debate, with donald trump involved, how there's
going to be anything in there that can be counted as some great score by a candidate. it looks like it's a situation where all you can do is end up with some sort of varying degrees of levels of embarrassment that the candidates can experience. >> that's what i've heard from the two people i've heard from in sort of what i call the establishment world. i'll leave it at that. they're concerned with trump saying he's going to endorse after the debate that it is ade facto episode of "the apprentice." he's going to declare the winner after, by who he endorses, and that's the -- like i said, all these campaigns is what i would call the professional campaign handlers, hate this debate process. they feel like it's gotten out of hand and looks too much like a reality show. too many voices involved. frankly, as somebody -- and lawrence, you know, on one hand
we want debates, too. every news organization wants a debate. how some of our friends at other news organizations have gone about this, they've made the process kind of ugly. >> the democratic national committee must be trying to offer any kind of help they can in putting on this debate. if you need logistical support, anything they need. chuck todd, thanks for joining me. tomorrow on "daily rundown," you going to have simon cowell or bruno tonioli or a reality show judge to start your day tomorrow? >> maybe. why not? everybody's got to -- maybe i'll do the "survivor" guy. >> donald won't admit it, but bruno and simon are much, much higher rated shows than donald's. so, you know, you could get a little spike in your ratings. >> isn't he a summer insert? i'm just saying. >> that's correct. nbc's chuck todd. thank you for joining me. >> you got it, brother. joining me now, senior political writer for politico, maggie haberman. thanks for joining me, maggie.
>> thanks for having me. >> i want to read to you, i love the way serious republican world is going crazy about donald trump. i want to read to you what the editorial board of the "national review" wrote this morning about trump and gingrich. "as a serious contender running a campaign with maximal in its own seriousness, gingrich lowers himself by association with this consummately unserious man. romney should renews to follow suit. the nominating process must be about which candidate can lead the country back to fiscal and economic reality, not about which candidate can best truckle with a reality tv star." maggie, is there any chance that mitt romney would be smart enough to read that guidance from "the national review" and actually score some points with oldline conservatives by shunning the donald trump debate? >> no, i think it is virtually
impossible that mitt romney doesn't do this debate. mitt romney is the candidate whose campaign said debates matter and put out a memo after rick perry stumbled and bumbled in his first outings. he's in a box. chuck hit on an important point. they're afraid of the soap box donald trump has and going to criticize them and say bad things about them. in his new book, he has a section where herman cain said something to that effect, after his meeting with trump, i don't want him to say bad things about me. i don't think mitt romney wants to take a risk. he's dealing with a momentum candidate in newt gingrich. gingrich, you played the clip of him today. he was very clear and loved hanging out in new york and hanging out with trump. there are a lot of republican hardliners, conservative elites that are upset about it. i don't think it's going to keep mitt romney away. i really don't. >> why wouldn't a republican candidate want to take on donald trump to show their strengths
and show they're presidential timber? >> you saw jon huntsman and ron paul do that. jon huntsman has had an ongoing war with donald trump playing out on twitter and elsewhere for a while and ron paul had an ongoing thing with donald trump, back to the conservative political action event where donald trump appeared in february and took aim at ron paul to never win the nomination. jon huntsman is having a harder time getting traction on it because jon huntsman is not doing well in the new hampshire polls. ron paul is in second place in "the des moines register" poll this weekend. ron paul is using it in that way. ron paul tends not to be the candidate who the other candidates like to be like. i don't think you're going to see many of them decide not to go along with this. >> profiles and courage. maggie haberman of politico. going to stay with us for the next segment. we're going to talk about this more and talk about herman cain. in the next segment, we'll talk about the end of the cain train. jonathan capehart and i miss him already. so jonathan's going to join
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herman cain ended his presidential campaign this weekend. a month before a single vote will be cast. most of the diluted voters who had been supporting cain in the polls had abandoned him long before he surrendered. an nbc news marist poll of likely iowa caucus goers released sunday showed newt gingrich leading with 26%. mitt romney in second with 18%. ron paul in third with 17%. and rick perry and herman cain tied at 9%. here's what happens when cain supporters are reallocated to their second choice candidate in the nbc marist poll. newt gingrich and ron paul each move up two points. mitt romney and rick perry each move up one point. joining me now, jonathan capehart for the "washington post" and msnbc contributor and still with us, maggie haberman of politico. you know, when i was watching herman cain do that statement coming in, i realized way too late we should be doing this
segment in sunglasses just as an homage to the late candidacy of herman cain. jonathan, i know you're going to miss him. your closing words here on "the last word" about the herman cain campaign. >> i want those 45 minutes of my life back on saturday waiting for him to come out there and make that very tortured statement and concluding it by quoting pokemon. he should have quoted my favorite line from the movie "mahogany" which comes from the theme song, which is "do you know where you're going to, do you know the things life is showing you, do you know?" because clearly herman cain doesn't exactly know. >> maggie, it is my theory, which i'm just going to assert as what will now be historical fact here on "the last word" that this was really the lawyer, that herman cain's criminal lawyer controlled the outcome here.
in that on thursday last week we saw him in new hampshire at the editorial board meeting. there was exactly one question he could not answer on advice of counsel which was, how much money did you give her? later that night, i had ginger white on the show and asked her that same question, how much money? her lawyer said, don't answer that question. she did tell me that all, all of the money was in cash. which raises very interesting irs questions in terms of gift tax liability for herman cain, in terms of income tax liabilities for ginger white. and just exactly how much cash was moving there. that's the question that i think herman cain's lawyer told him, you cannot go out there and expose yourself to that question ever again. >> yeah. i think that's exactly right. i think this was becoming -- forget about the drip, drip, drip of information which had been going on for a month essentially since politico reported on the sexual harassment allegations against him at the national restaurant association. as you say, there were serious implications that were not going
to go away, were going to get worse in terms of focus and attention on him. i was not surprised he suspended him campaign. i was surprised it took as long as it did. he had a week of publicly denying ginger white's allegation while acknowledging he gave her money, while acknowledging he hadn't told his wife about it. what will be interesting now, a couple of things, where his vote goes and who he endorses. the assumption in he's going to endorse newt gingrich. newt gingrich is making the most overt play for his endorsement. others are hoping for his votes. newt gingrich wants his backing. they've known each other a while, they're both from georgia. what's interesting to see going forward, now that the herman cain train wreck is essentially gone in terms of news coverage, what does the race look like? who gets focused on? do mitt romney and newt gingrich come under renewed scrutiny? are we entering a new phase of the race? >> jonathan capehart, if you're
a republican candidate for president, do you want herman cain's endorsement? do you want to go up there in front of the microphone with your arm around herman cain? >> that's a tainted endorsement unless you're newt gingrich and you are brimming with self-confidence and can figure that the one or two votes you might get from getting herman cain's endorsement are well worth whatever knocks you might get from folks like us who think that it's not worth having. i think maggie's analysis is exactly right. i think what we're seeing is newt gingrich riding -- he's now the flavor of the month. because he's peaking less than a month before the iowa caucuses, he could ride his front-runner status all the way to january 3rd. whether he wins iowa is a whole other question. >> jonathan capehart of "washington post" and maggie haberman of politico. we're really going to miss the guy. we're going to miss him. and so with one less
candidate in the race this week, are the republicans any closer to finding their nominee for president? is the gingrich surge the final surge? or is ron paul going to be the next surge? is he going to have a turn as the front-runner? and how long will donald trump use the republican presidential campaign as his own self-promotional tool? republican strategist steve schmidt is coming up. of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la [ man ] whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. the best [ male announcer ] approach to foodle solutions. is to keep it whole for better nutrition. that's what they do with great grains cereal.
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mitt romney was so upset about the questions he was asked in that fox news interview last week that the always helpful folks on twitter decided to help mitt find questions he would like. questions mitt likes and his answers are in the "rewrite." and why one iowa political reporter believes there could be a dark horse come from behind upset -- i want to use every cliche there is -- upset victory in the iowa caucuses this year. that's coming up. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief?
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are you considering the possibility of still running for the white house? how can you do that and host a debate in iowa? >> the debate is december 27th. i'm looking to endorse somebody after that debate. i'm not looking at anything. if the wrong person gets in, that's different. >> in tonight's spotlight, who's
got what it takes to win the republican presidential nomination? the clock is ticking down to the iowa caucuses and the new hampshire primary, but you'd never know that from the candidates' travel schedules. newt gingrich was wasting his time in new york today with donald trump. as politico reports tonight, virtually no one is in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina or even florida. if you're looking for a gop hopeful, try new york or arizona or washington, d.c. and other than rick santorum in iowa and buddy roemer in new hampshire, they're not heading there for days. for states that are used to seeing their presidential candidates up close and repeatedly, seeing candidates opt for fund-raisers and televised debates instead of chicken dinners and town halls is a big change. joining me now is msnbc analyst steve schmidt. steve is the former senior adviser to the mccain/palin '08 presidential campaign and senior strategist in the bush/cheney '04 presidential campaign and
managed governor arnold schwarzenegger's 2006 re-election campaign. steve, with herman cain out of the race, how long do you think it will take for polls to stabilize in the migration of voters from cain's support to wherever they're going? they seem to be heading possibly to gingrich more so than romney. >> i suspect what you're going to see, lawrence, is a consolidation of support to newt gingrich. he will continue to rise in the polls, but he'll level off at a point. one of the things in some of the surveys out of iowa, today, is that there's no awareness, for example, that he took millions of dollars from fannie mae and freddie mac. it's a story that just hasn't penetrated into the electorate yet. what i think will happen is that there's going to be a very rigorous period of discussion between the reality of newt gingrich's record and his rhetoric out on the campaign trail. then i think you'll start to see his numbers come down a little
bit and we're going to have a sock 'em, crash 'em, bash 'em real tough campaign in the weeks ahead. >> the bashing hasn't started yet. let's listen to mitt romney on michael medved's radio show talk about newt gingrich. >> steve, is this a pro-gingrich trend already out of control from a romney campaign perspective and do they have to start making different kinds of sounds about newt gingrich in those opportunities? >> look, i think that this race could ultimately come down to a
long contest through the fall -- through the winter into the early spring between romney and gingrich. it's not there yet. i think mitt romney's being smart not to take the bait. not to get in a dynamic where newt gingrich is out there attacking the president and mitt romney is attacking newt gingrich. and gingrich can come back and get him on the counterpunch. i think at the end of the day mitt romney needs to be patient here. we're now in the stage of the campaign where you have to see where the ball's going to be. and for sure, there's going to be intense discussion between the two newts. there is the newt gingrich that can stand up on a stage and say that the politicians in washington who vetted fannie and freddie should go to jail and there's the newt gingrich that took a couple million dollars from them. there's going to be a robust discussion of this in the weeks ahead. i think mitt romney is well served to be patient about it. i think panicking, i think getting pushed like he's getting pushed by a lot of people in
washington to attack him now would be a fatal mistake for him. i think he's doing the smart thing. >> do you think there's a possibility of another candidate surge here? have we seen the last of the republican surges? >> i'm interested to see if rick santorum makes a run in iowa. there's rumblings he may receive the endorsement of governor sarah palin. for example, they both have special needs children. that's a bond between them. she's said glowing things about him. he appear ed today on the radio program of one of her biggest fans. she could certainly weigh in in a way that would have some effect among some of the core iowa caucus goers. but i think it's too early to -- i think it's too early to rule out that both huntsman and santorum might get a second look. people are so upset right now. when you look at the circus playing out, the donald trump reality series that a couple of days before the iowa caucuses, we're going to essentially have
an "apprentice" episode then the donald will render his judgment for all us. i think people are wringing their hands about it and upset about it. i think it's a fluid situation, lawrence. >> the gingrich campaign lost a lot of staff over the summer. it was down to bare bones. now they're starting to try to gear up again. especially going into iowa. where they need organization or so says everyone. i've never run one of those campaigns. i've never been sure about exactly how much the organization matters. i want to read you this, what was reported in "the new york times" about the organization issue for gingrich. trying to get the organization to catch up with the polls. it says "he's scrambling madly to build the kind of organization mitt romney has methodically put in place for a year. the reality is we're flying by the seat of the pants." can gingrich win iowa flying by the seat of the pants? >> absolutely.
he can. my former colleague, matthew dowd, had the most succinct explanation of what matters going into iowa, and it's no momentum. newt gingrich has momentum but iowa is 30 days out. it's an eternity in politics. if this was a football game, we're six minutes into the third quarter. we'll be at the two-minute warning on christmas day. it will be flat-out and a close race all the way through iowa, through new hampshire. >> msnbc political analyst steve schmidt, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> you bet, thank you, lawrence. coming up, it isn't just the newt surge in iowa. ron paul is holding his own. we'll show you why he's appealing to iowa caucus goers. but first, mitt romney doesn't like being asked questions. he doesn't really like a lot of questions. so we'll ask him the questions he does like. that's in tonight's "rewrite."
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why no one-on-ones for romney, because he's running a classic political gambit called the marilyn munster strategy. romney appears only in debates surrounded by munsters. aka, the other republican presidential candidate. and instantly voters think, that pretty one seems normal. ♪ i think i'm falling ♪ i think i'm falling ♪ i think i'm falling [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ for you [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store. take up to an extra 15 percent off storewide now through tuesday. at bank of america, we're lending and investing in communities across the country, from helping to revitalize a neighborhood in brooklyn to financing industries that are creating jobs in boston or providing funding for the expansion
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well, bret, your list is just not accurate. one, we're going to have to be better informed an my views on issues. bret, i don't know how many hundred times i've said this, too. this is an unusual interview. all right. let's do it again. you're wrong, bret. the tape out there, continue to read the tape. >> it's time to rewrite all the tough questions mitt romney doesn't like into questions mitt likes. a topic that popped up on twitter after romney's disastrous fox news interview. bret baier gave bill o'reilly the inside scoop on romney's reaction immediately after that interview. >> he said he thought it was overly aggressive. >> he did. he said that to you? he said it was overly aggressive? >> he did. >> wow. >> as we were walking in the walk and talk, after we finished, he went to his holding room and then came back and said he didn't like the interview and
thought it was uncalled for. >> since then, the robot mechanics who run romney and his campaign have become even more phobic about reporters. on saturday night at a fox news candidates forum, "the new york times" reporter jim rutenburg was allowed access backstage at the event to do one of those harmless what it feels like backstage stories. but rutenburg ended up filing a story mostly about how romney's mechanics refused to allow reporters to talk to him. "mr. romney's aides sprang into action asking where this reporter worked and what he was doing there and then insisting that he not physically approach mr. romney before or after he was questioned on television." as questions mitt likes continue to pile up unanswered an twitter, "the last word" staff dug into our video archives and came up with the best romney answers they could find.
democratic party communications director brad woodhouse asked, is the location of your pacific ocean mansion pronounced la jolla or lajola? >> well, before i could make a decision of that nature, i'd have to have a very thorough top secret briefing by our military to understand what our option are. >> oliver griswold offered this question mitt likes. how rad was joseph smith? >> good man, but a very different person than i am based on our life experiences. >> democratic party press secretary melanie dnc asks, parlez-vous francais? >> bonjour. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> scott cooper wants to know mitt's favorite ice cream. vanilla or french vanilla? and here's a question mitt really likes from don drennon. who has greater experience at getting divorced? you or newt gingrich? >> speaker gingrich. >> mark abanto tweets, a new raz poll reveals voters want a candidate whose views are best described as pliable. your reaction? >> i'm absolutely firm. >> and another question from brad woodhouse. okay to wear white after labor day? >> i will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose. >> the pro choice group emily's list says, so we hear you want more right wing judges. most women won't mind overturning roe. i mean, privacy is so passe,
right? >> of course. >> julie just wants to know, is that you, mitt, on the hair color for men box? >> of course. >> pilot josh martin has a question mitt likes about private jets. gulfstream iv or v? >> five. >> from frank and no relation to me, frank o'donnell, frank o'donnell, was reagan a good president? >> look, i was an independent during the time of reagan/bush. i'm not trying to return to reagan/bush. >> and frank asked mitt's favorite question. should obama be re-elected? >> of course. absolutely. no question about it. absolutely. his thoughtfulness and his deliberation and his intelligence shone through. what's up with these sorry tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the personal attention
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what's up with these sorry politicians? lots of bark. when it's show time, whimpering like shih tzus. you want big cuts? ron paul has been screaming it for years. budget crisis? no problem. cut a trillion bucks year one. that's trillion with a "t." department of education, gone. interior, energy, hud, commerce, gone. later, bureaucrats. that's how ron paul rolls. want to drain the swamp, ron paul, do it. >> i'm ron paul. i approve this message. >> that was republican presidential candidate ron paul's latest tv ad in the early voting states of iowa and new hampshire. ron paul is one of the few republican candidates who has not had his turn as front-runner, but he's now polling in second in iowa and
third in new hampshire. ron paul, the only anti-war and anti-torture republican candidate, is now the most eloquent anti-trump candidate. he issued this statement in response to the announcement that donald trump would moderate a republican presidential candidates' debate. "the selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity. to be sure, mr. trump's participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere." yesterday congressman paul added this observation about the constant stream of desperate republican candidates going to new york to meet donald trump. >> yeah, i don't quite understand it. i don't understand the marching to his office. i mean, i didn't know that he
had an ability to anoint people, but, you know, i have to just do my thing. >> and today ron paul's campaign e-mailed this statement to politico. "we are sure two average americans like speaker gingrich and donald trump will have a wonderful time picking out gifts for their wives. we suggest a place called tiffany's. we hear it is quite nice this time of year, and given their celebrity status, they can probably get special deals and $500,000 lines of credit." joining me now is a reporter who thinks ron paul has a real chance of winning in iowa. at least. cathie, political columnist for "the des moines register." cathie, how will ron paul pull it off in iowa if he does? >> well, ron paul has a serious campaign organization in iowa. he never really disbanded his campaign in iowa after he ran in the 2008 caucuses and came in fifth.
he actually has members of the republican state central committee who are supporting him. he's been working for the last couple of years developing a campaign organization in iowa and he has continued to come to the states. so he has been slowly inching up in the polls and bringing new people into the caucus process. that combination means he's a real threat to win the caucuses. >> cathie, i just want to explain to our viewers, if they think they're hearing a phone call, it's because they are. we couldn't get our audio working correctly out of your studio. thanks to your personal cellular device, we are hearing every word you say loud and clear. now, ron paul's appeal in iowa, is it to young voters -- he certainly has that appeal since he's kind of a libertarian type on drugs and on the debt issue is one that appeals to young conservative voters. but what's the young turnout in
iowa caucuses? >> the young turnout is unpredictable, and so is the turnout of people who have not been to the caucuses before. it's different than just going into a voting booth and pulling a lever. you really do have to have a weighty campaign organization to really work on these people, get them to understand what the process is and get them out on caucus night. so, yes, it is not a tried and true type of group ron paul is attracting, but it is a group that doesn't have the same kind of ceiling republicans have kept saying ron paul is bound to bump up against. he can keep trying to bring more and more new people into the process. >> and did ron paul do the right thing or make a mistake, do you think, in his boycotting of the trump debate? >> i'm not hearing it. >> i'm asking, can you hear me now, kathie?
kathie cannot hear me now. we've lost the phone. do we know if kathie can hear me? anyone in our control room know if kathie can hear me. >> i can her you now. i lost you on the phone. i can hear you. >> kathie, you're back. >> sorry about that. i lost you on the phone. i can hear you on my ear. >> so what about the boycotting of the trump debate? was that a good move for paul at this point, do you think? >> i think it's a missed opportunity. donald trump is a guy who attracts a big audience. and what ron paul needs going to the caucuses is a big audience. he needs to have a lot of people interested in him and interested in his candidacy. and i think that donald trump brings in a lot of interest from people looking for something completely different in politics. >> but do iowans give -- will they give ron paul credit for standing up to this new yorker who doesn't know anything about
iowa and just saying, no, i'm not going to do what everybody else is doing and kowtow to you? i'm my own man. does he get any of those kinds of points with iowa caucus goers? >> i think so. ron paul has been very consistent over the years. he has not hurried favor. he gets credit from people for actually really standing up to his views. even when he is really the only person who votes the way he does. a lot of times. and so, yeah, i don't think it necessarily hurts him for not wanting to be in donald trump's debate. but i still think it's a missed opportunity for him to be seen by a lot of people who might be tuning into the first republican debate they'll watch. >> kathie obradovich with "the des moines register." thanks for joining us tonight. thanks. sorry about the audio. have the last word online at the lastword.msnbc.com. follow my tweets @lawrence. up next, "hardball" with chris matthews.