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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  February 23, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EST

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someone i knew just a little bit but is a huge hero to a lot of journalists. the world will miss her. >> it looks like she was targeted. a nightmare. >> i learned that governor christie and i fundamentally disagree on marriage equality. >> yes. >> mika? >> i thought it was a fascinating debate actually. what did you learn today? >> i thought it was a fascinating debate and i thought jonathan you gave a very eloquent explanation as to why you believe that marriage equality is the moral equivalent of the civil rights battles from the past. >> thank you, joe. thank you. >> i disagree but i certainly understand. i think it's very helpful that -- to have that discussion. >> thank you. >> even if chris christie was acting like a lawyer. >> he was. >> i wish he would just listen to people like me. i love chuck todd. i owe him a minute now. >> okay. wrap it up. >> the thing, chuck, where i pay you for every second i'm over. i'll toss to him. way too early.
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"morning joe." thanks for watching. we apologize to chuck todd, a great guy. go hurricanes. see you tomorrow. something like that. i like that. pay by the second. anyway. i don't want to be treated that way. consistent, courage, resolute, cheerful. those are four words from the four candidates in debate number 20. did rick santorum sell himself as a front-runner? did mitt romney change the minds of skeptical conservatives? reaction this morning from two of santorum's former senate colleagues, one who has been with romney from the start and one who just abandoned romney to back santorum. meanwhile, did anybody do anything in the debate last night? to the folks residing in sweet home chicago? why team obama believes they were last night's real winners. plus it's one of romney's most touted biopoints. you heard it a lot last night. what did he do as he put it to save the 2002 winter olympics? what exactly was the scandal he had to clean up? we'll take a deep dive into the
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salt lake saga. good morning from washington. thursday, february 23rd, 2012. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd breaking news this morning. nbc news has learned president obama sent a letter to the afghan president karzai apologizing for the unintentional mishandling of religious materials by u.s. soldiers at the bagram airforce base there. more on that later in the show. but we do know this. ambassador crocker hand delivered the letter and it was to do of course with the protests going on there over the discovery of cokorans being burd by u.s. military officials. to my first reads of the morning, team romney wants republican primary voters to pick rick santorum as a creature of washington and last night santorum played right into that narrative by getting bogged down in legi-speak on issue after issue. he tried to defend his past support for earmarks by bringing up romney's request for federal money and earmarks when i charge of the 2002 winter games. >> congress has a role of
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allocating resources when they think the administration has it wrong. i defended that at the time. i'm proud i defended it at the time because i think they did make mistakes. >> i didn't follow all of that but i can tell you this. i would put a ban on earmarks. i think it opens the door to excessive spending. while i was fighting to save the olympics you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> and on the auto bailout santorum tried a line of attack he has used on the trail but romney had opo at the ready. >> he supported the folks on wall street and bailed out wall street, was all for it, and then when it came to the auto workers and the folks in detroit, he said no. i believe in markets not just when they're convenient for me. >> nice try but now let's look at the facts. senator, you voted in favor of the bailout of the airline industry after 9/11. that was the right thing to do. it was an emergency. you also voted for the bailout of the steel industry. i don't think i agree with that one. >> santorum's strongest moment
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came when he hit romney on his massachusetts health care plan but even that attack was turned back on him with a name that is still a sore subject for republican voters. >> there was a study just out about ten days ago, two weeks ago, that listed 15 ways in which romney care was the model for obama care. the real fundamental issue here is government coercion. >> the reason we have obama care, the reason we have obama care is because the senator you supported over pat toomey in pennsylvania arlen specter, the pro choice senator of pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over pat toomey, he voted for obama care. if you had not supported him, if we had said no to arlen specter, we would not have obama care. so don't look at me. take a look in the mirror. >> santorum argued that specter's re-election in 2004 ensured support on the senate judiciary committee for bush's supreme court nominees. now let's remember why santorum supported specter because bush's
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re-election team basically begged him to do it. the assumption was toomey could not win a general election in a presidential election year. romney's most effective hits on santorum were for policies the bush administration needed santorum to support but which are now unpopular with the base. summed up in this exchange on "no child left behind." >> it was against the principles i believed in but, you know, when you're part of the team sometimes you take one for the team for the leader and i made a mistake. you know, politics is a team sport, folks. >> he calls this a team sport. he has to go along to get along and that's the way the team plays. that's the problem with washington. that's what's been going on for so long. >> here's the bottom line on santorum's performance last night. many times he was right on the facts and if you were a debate coach at a university you would say he got the facts correct, won on points. the problem is those facts are now pretty unpopular with republican primary voters.
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romney did his job making santorum seem like a washington insider and he decided and also tried to do some of his own biography but was also helped by a crowd that was clearly on his side. >> we were talking about this issue before of religious conscience and protections but this is -- the whole reason this issue is alive is because of the bill that you drafted in massachusetts, romney care, which was the model for obama care and the government takeover of health care. >> wait a second. >> but if romney struggled to sell himself and his own vision and his worst moments of the night were when he talked about his own record -- >> if you don't balance your budget in business, you go out of business. so i've lived balancing budgets. i also serve in the olympics, balance the budget there, and served in the states and in all four years i was governor we balanced the budget. >> yes, governor, you balanced budget for four years. have you a constitutional
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requirement to balance the budget in four years. no great shakes. i'd like to see it federally but don't go around bragging about something you have to do. michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years. does that make him qualified to be president of the united states? i don't think so. >> and oddly romney only talked about his new tax plan he unveiled yesterday one time and it was in response to a hit by santorum. >> governor romney even today suggested raising taxes on the top 1% adopting the occupy wall street rhetoric. >> i say today that we're going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20% including the top 1%. >> probably one reason why you can't say romney was a run away winner of this debate. could be summed up in this last exchange during the debate of the night last night. moderator john king gave the candidates an opportunity to address any questions or misconceptions republican voters might have about them and instead of being humble or showing a more personal side romney dodged the question and
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oddly decided to snap back as if it was some sort of gotcha. >> is there a misconception about you? the question is a misconception. >> lack, you get to ask the questions you want. i get to give the answers i want. >> finally, in a lighter moment the candidates were asked to describe themselves in one word. romney participated by using a word not a lot of people use in every day english language. >> consistent. >> senator santorum? >> courage. >> governor? >> resolute. >> mr. speaker? >> cheerful. >> and it was a cheerful newt. the happy warrior that showed up last night making even a 20-minute conversation on earmarks feel slightly more lively with this little jab at romney. >> i think it was totally appropriate for you to ask for
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what you got. i just think it was kind of silly for you to then turn around and run an ad attacking somebody else forg getting what you got and claiming what they got was wrong because what you got was right and what they got was wrong. >> the best development for romney may be that gingrich had a decent night going back to the routine that worked for him in the past playing to the crowd and being frankly the only guy on stage that kept his focus on president obama. >> since birth control is the latest hot topic, which candidate believes in birth control and if not why? >> i just want to point out you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why barack obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. okay? so let's be clear here. >> but is the conversation on birth control good for the gop
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whether it was tax to the right on immigration? >> border security is part of the equation. what to do about whether it's 8 or 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. should there be aggressive seek them out, find them, arrest them as sheriff arpaio advocates? >> i think you see a model here in arizona. >> 20 minutes on the earmarks. the uncomfortable conversation on contraception. criticism of the bush administration. nothing in last night's debate appeared to really hurt president obama. it was clearly an exchange on syria even asked whether the u.s. should intervene militarily and arm the rebellion it was what the republicans did not say that to me made news. what is the role for the united states today? >> syria is a puppet state of iran. >> if you were president today what would do you differently from this president tomorrow? >> well, the first thing i'd do across the board for the entire region is create a very dramatic
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american energy policy. >> i agree with both these gentlemen. it's very interesting that you're seeing on the republican platform a very strong commitment to say we're going to say no to iran. >> it was fascinating last night that on syria we're now seeing first pictures of the bloody crackdown of the assad regime in a way we'd heard reports about but to see the bloody crackdown in the ways we've seen hesitancy by all of the candidates on second guessing the administration was very interesting and certainly worth noting. all right. rick santorum got the front-runner treatment in last night's debate, one that spent more time on birth control and earmarks than on jobs and the economy. former u.s. senator and current ohio attorney general mike dewine is now a santorum supporter after switching his endorsement from mitt romney at the end of last week. let me ask you just on that, why were you so gung ho for mitt romney in the first place? or were you never gung ho for him? >> well, you know, i've always thought rick santorum would be a
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great president. but, frankly, i bought into the conventional wisdom early on that governor romney would be the strongest candidate in the fall and have the best chance of beating barack obama. we've run this campaign and to me at least it's abundantly clear that he is not the strongest candidate against barack obama. he's not connecting, you know, as i travel around and talk with people in ohio, the last few months, he is simply just not connecting. rick santorum on the other hand has started at 2%. no one knew him. and i have people day after day tell me, look. i like him. i'm enthusiastic about him. and i think rick has the ability frankly to appeal to what we used to call reagan democrats. he was in steubenville a few days ago. eastern side of the state, which is a very, very democrat area, and had a great reception. and he is going to do exceedingly well among, you know, the more conservative democrats. and i don't think that romney is
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making frankly the case at all. >> let's talk about some of the things senator santorum is campaigning on versus what he supported. it got exposed a lot last night in the debate where santorum himself said sometimes he didn't follow his principles because politics is a team sport. factually -- i understand the facts -- the factual argument he was making but a conservative voter who is frankly upset with washington, what does that answer do to somehow convince him that santorum is going to be a change agent? >> well, i think it's interesting. you know, i can tell who's ahead and who's got the momentum because all three of the other candidates were targeted directly on santorum. romney's big gun of his money now on tv ads is targeted toward santorum. and it's very easy for someone who has not voted in the past such as the governor to go -- to cull through thousands of votes and find something somebody
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doesn't like. it's ludicrous to think for governor romney to pretend that he is the true conservative. no one ever said that rick santorum was not a true conservative. >> but let's talk about two -- >> governor romney has the whole -- the whole obama care or the romney care. >> right. >> which clearly shows where he's coming from. >> let's talk about two specific issues. these aren't just one of thousands of votes, you know, technically certainly thousands of votes but no child left behind was a big debate. it was a big deal for the bush administration. and so was title 10. >> sure. and title 10 funding, look. no one questions rick santorum's principles in regard to social conservativism or family values. i think he's made it very clear on title 10 what his position is. in regard to no child left behind it's pretty easy for us to sit back now and say, oh, there's problems with that. we have to remember where we were at the time.
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and, you know, we had an awful lot of conservatives in the states as well as conservatives in the united states congress who agreed with the president at the time. so romney has this advantage. he's not been in, really in the arena. certainly not in the legislative arena so he can sit back and look back and second guess, look at things how they look in the rear view mirror and not how they were at the time. rick santorum has been in the arena. he's a guy who has taken on entitlements in congress. he is the guy who led the charge, led the charge for welfare reform in congress. he was down on the floor night after night as i was in regard to partial birth abortion. so romney can sit back and talk about what he is -- what he wants to do. rick santorum talks about and can tell you what he's done. he is a true conservative. >> all right. attorney general mike dewine, former u.s. senator, i have to leave it there because of time. thanks for coming on this morning. >> thank you very much. >> all right. promises promises. mitt romney tries to reclaim the tax cutting torch.
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did he do enough to avoid loss in his one-time home state? is it ever a good idea to invoke george kistanza. plus saving salt lake. taking a deep dive into romney's role in the winter games. first a look ahead. the president's schedule. he is about to hop down to miami and give a big speech on energy. if there is one issue and one promise that this administration has made when it comes to energy policy, that he hasn't been able to fulfill, it is on the issue of energy. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] say goodbye to "ho-hum," and hello to "whoa, yum." use campbell's cream of chicken soup to make easy enchiladas, cheesy chicken & rice, and other chicken dishes that are oh...so...whoa. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. campbell's.
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the right course for america is to drop these lawsuits against arizona and other states that are trying to do the job barack obama isn't doing. i'll also complete the fence and make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence. i will make sure we have an e-verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers and to check e-verify. you do that and just as arizona is finding out you can stop illegal immigration, it's time we finally did it. >> mitt romney staked out a hard, conservative position on immigration last night. may help him in arizona. but will it come back to haunt him if he becomes the nominee? former missouri senator jim talent is a romney supporter and joins me now. let me ask you on that very one question there. when it comes to the arizona law, this is a law that is very unpopular with latinos. just very unpopular. did governor romney hurt himself for a general election on that issue in places that will matter in swing states like colorado, nevada, florida? >> well, i don't think so,
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chuck. i mean, he was basically consistent with what he said in the past, which is look. we have to enforce the laws of the country. we have to have border security and make certain employers don't hire undocumented workers but he is strongly for reforming the system so it is the same balance he struck in the past. i think it was part of an effort last night where he showed over and over again by what he said and how he said it that, you know, he wants to be and can be a change agent in washington. >> why are you comfortable supporting mitt romney when everything he is attacking senator santorum for essentially are things you supported and voted for? you were in this same situation frankly particularly on earmarks but on, you know, of course prescription drugs. i mean, this -- >> my record -- my record, chuck, i didn't support for example no child left behind. >> well you weren't in the senate at the time or the house. >> well, but i didn't support it. i didn't make a practice of voting for things that i thought
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were against my principles at the time. i mean, my record and rick's are very different. but the point here is that -- and the debate showed this last night, there is a huge gap between what rick santorum is presenting himself as and what his record shows that he is. and mitt romney made that point last night, ron paul made that point last night. and rick made it himself. a lot of that was self-inflicted. he volunteered the comment with respect to no child left behind so it is not my record that is in issue. the question is, who is the real change agent? is it romney or is it senator santorum? and last night it was just clear as crystal that it was governor romney. >> well, why -- what is it about his record that makes him a change agent? i mean, his biggest legislative accomplishment is something conservatives wouldn't be happy about and that is the impleme implementation of health care. >> he did a very effective job last night of going through his record as governor. i mean, yeah. took a $2 billion deficit and
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turned it into not just a balanced budget but a huge surplus. got the economy going in massachusetts. talked about his record on immigration in mchls. talked about how he went to washington on issues like the whole marriage issue. i mean, went through a long list of what he's accomplished and the other point that he made isn't just what he's done in public life. this is the guy who's been affected in private life and understands how the economy works, how jobs come and go. nobody else has that experience. you could see it in the way they talked last night. romney was the one talking the way people outside washington talk. and the others were all going back and forth about committees and the rest of it. i, again, it shows why he's the guy to come in and change washington. >> well, governor romney wouldn't answer this question. maybe you will for him. what is the biggest misconception about him? >> you know, that's a good question. i think one of the things, one of the reasons he said resolute is that people have said sometimes he is not tough enough. he won't defend capitalism.
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and he's just, he showed last night in how he was making the points about his own record, how he went after president obama on issues like iran and you were talking a little bit about that before. he is very tough. he's very decisive. so i guess i would have said that. i think what -- when i was watching him when he used resolute i would have preferred that he say leader. i think he just went in a different direction with that. but that was the question i would have preferred he answered a little differently. >> let me ask you this. from your understanding of being briefed on the tax plan, does anybody's taxes, tax bill, will anybody's tax bill go up under romney's new tax plan should it get implemented if he becomes president of the united states? >> oh, well i think you can say the vast majority of taxpayers are going to have a net tax cut. and i don't know whether there might be somebody who wouldn't but the big benefit of course is you're going to have this huge, booming economy as a result of
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it and any time you cut marginal tax rates in the country going back to what, 1921, we resulted in a huge amount of economic growth. job creation the rest of it. >> well the bush tax cuts didn't do that. the bush tax cuts didn't do that. >> we got pretty good prosperity during the bush years. i don't think there is an instance where the government has cut marginal taxes across the board without trying to pick winners and losers which what is senator santorum's plan has done where we haven't had growth. >> do you think it's important that governor romney identify exactly how -- he said something about -- an adviser said somebody in the top 1% would see some of their tax bill go up. does he need to identify that before the election? >> he's actually been, i think, pretty specific about how he would -- how he would reduce spending for example, i mean, what he said is he's going to get additional revenue because of the tax cut, going to have
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big cuts in federal spending and then he is going to do base broadening but the base broadening only in the context of a big marginal tax cut, big reductions in federal spending, and then only with regard to upper income taxpayers. he said look. all the deductions are on the table. it's pretty specific and far more honest and up front than anybody else has gotten. >> all right. former republican senator jim talent from missouri. thanks for coming on this morning. >> thanks, chuck. >> the dow dropped back below 13,000. market rundown is up next. plus, an explosion of anti-american anger in afghanistan. the president has now aapologized for it. first today's trivia question who was the first u.s. president to travel abroad to attend the olympics? tweet me the answer at chuck todd and at daily rundown. the first correct answer gets a follow thursday from us. the answer coming up.
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the stories making headlines
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as we just learned that seven u.s. marines were killed last night when two helicopters collided near yuma, arizona. the marines were from the third marine air wing base at miramar in southern california. more fallout from the inadvertent koran burning incident by u.s. forces in afghanistan. eight afghan civilians were killed today during protests while two nato troops were killed. several others were injured. president obama has written a formal letter of apology to the president and the people of afghanistan and has since been hand delivered by ambassador crocker. back here at home a new poll shows that 54% approve of president obama's compromise deal on birth control coverage for religiously affiliated institutions. 38% disapproved of the compromise. and this morning democrats will hold their own hearing on birth control with just one witness, the woman who wasn't allowed to testify at last week's house oversight panel that had an all male panel of witnesses. the opening bell, just rang on wall street. that means it's time for the market rundown.
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cnbc's becky quick is here. all right, becky. now the dow is not so excited as it was earlier in the week. >> no, no. it looks like we'll open down by another 10 or 15 points, chuck. and this comes even after we get good economic news. yesterday we pulled back by about 25 or 27 points so, yes. 13,000 is still there. we didn't quite get to that level at least for a close yet. we'll make another challenge today potentially. right now as i said it looks like things are lowered despite a better than expected economic number and that is the jobs report out at 38:30 this mornin. the number came in at 351,000 for the weekly jobless claims, a lot better than many people had been anticipating right in line with what we saw a week ago. surprisingly strong number just in terms of a better than expected number and well below the 400,000 people look to so often as a real key as to whether we're seeing improvement in the jobs market. again, this is the lowest level tied with last week for the low evident level in four years. we'll see what that means as we get closer to the monthly jobs
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report. >> that's three of the last four weeks we've had the lowest level in four years? >> yes. good news, right? >> all right. thank you, becky. >> sure. did mitt romney really save the salt lake games? "the daily rundown" will be back in 30 seconds with the big deep dive. in case you didn't notice mitt romney likes to talk about his time running the olympics. this is romney just last night. >> i also served in the olympics. look at my record running the olympics. i was fighting to save the
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olympics. something romney has repeatedly brought up while on the campaign trail as well. >> i left that to go off and help save the olympic games. >> but were the 2002 winter olympics in salt lake city in such dire straits that it needed to be saved? the political fact checking website politifact says mitt romney's claim of saving the olympics is mostly true. here's why. in late 1998 the olympic games were embroiled in a bribery scandal that forced several of the olympic officials to quit and the mayor of salt lake to step down. corporations were getting nervous. their donations helped fund the games by early 1999. mitt romney was asked to step in and take over the reins of the olympic committee. >> why take on this problem? why try to fix a salt lake city olympics? >> i said this is an opportunity to make a difference. >> and he did make a difference. romney was able to restore confidence, bring back corporate donors, and in the end tush a
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$100 million profit. but he had some major help along the way. the events of 9/11 occurred just months before the olympics were to start and the federal government decided to pump more money than ever before into the games. $1.5 billion. this money helped romney get out of the red and turn that profit and of course save the image of the state of utah and the 2002 olympic games. so while the bribery scandal was a low point, there was never a threat that the games would end. but maybe more importantly it helped burnish mitt romney's image and reignite his political career. joining me now is nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. all right. so you went through this. you took a deep dive. what is it about, first of all, that scandal? i mean, we call it a bribery scandal but this was not just with money. this was a nasty scandal that wasn't going to embarrass the state of utah. it was the mormon church that felt embarrassed, too. >> right. well, look. the -- at the time people called this the mormon olympics. that's how invested the church
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was in the olympics. and it was a definite taint because what was called the bribery scandal involved money and lots of favors to the international olympic committee members to get a games to come to -- >> let's be clear. this is sex, food, all sorts of -- all sorts of horrible things. >> it was a very messy scandal. and romney at the time who was head of bain capital was brought in as the white knight savior to take over the olympic committee, save it. there was no question when he came in they were facing a huge projected deficit and there were a lot of concerns that the olympic, salt lake olympic committee may have to go into bankruptcy. romney is widely credited with turning things around, cutting costs, bringing in new corporate sponsors, but a big part of that was a huge dose of federal money even before 9/11. in fact, john mccain was on the floor of the senate in 2000 denouncing the salt lake
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olympics as a vast pork barrel project well before the 9/11 attacks took place and it involved money being pumped in for all sorts of things, not just security. repaved roads to the snow basin ski resort. light rail for salt lake. weather forecasting. a whole range of what is often described as pork barrel projects. now, to be fair to romney, most of that was put in by bob bennett the utah senator who was on the appropriations committee well before. but romney defended it. wrote a letter to the gao saying this is all entirely appropriate to promote peace was his words and he stepped up the acceleration of lobbying for federal funds, hired five lobbying firms, spent $3.5 million, and then boasted about how much more federal funds he was able to get for the olympics. >> let's be realistic.
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the taint was so bad. there was some talk that, you know, is it possible salt lake would have to give up the games where they were so embarrassed but it was more on an embarrassment scale and this is how -- this threat of having to lose the games it became sort of an american reputation protector. is that how they ended up -- >> absolutely. there is debate about whether the games were ever really in jeopardy and there are people saying no they weren't, you know. so i mean, it's hard to sort that out. what is clear is romney became the face of the games. in fact, so much so that there were official olympic pins bearing his image. >> let's talk about the pins. >> right. >> the olympic pins, this huge sort of collector's item. there were olympic pins that bore his face? >> yes. and with captions like "we love you mitt" and "how much more time to go mitt" and this did lead to charges that romney was sort of using this for self-promotion and as the spring board for a political career. which is what was widely
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speculated at the time. and of course no sooner did the olympic games end successfully and he got a lot of credit for it that he goes back to massachusetts. >> let's remember what it was. 2002 the games end as we now know, the tenth anniversary, mid february he launches his campaign for governor within weeks. >> yeah. within weeks. and uses this as part of his campaign for governor. in fact, we even found an ad that he was running in which he was talking about not just the olympics but how much in federal money he was able to get for the olympics. all of which nobody raised too many eyebrows about at the time but, you know, cut to today, he's bashing santorum on earmarks, you know, there is a little bit of being hoisted on your own petard. >> michael isikoff, investigative kornlt, thanks for joining us. our political panel joins me next. but of course you want to know, the white house soup of the day. the president is not there so they're just throwing up any old tomato apparently. tomato bisque. maybe with skim milk. you're watching the daily rundown only on msnbc.
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daily flashback to this day in 1945 when u.s. marines raised the american flag on iwo jima. it was three days after the invasion. the battle would go on for another month. 6800 americans were killed. more than 19,000 were wounded. of course the moment of that flag raising 67 years ago today was captured in a pulitzer prize winning photo by photographer joe rosenthal. mitt romney went into last night's debate on the offensive against santorum's increasing momentum and the strain sometimes showed with him during a fairly straight forward question by the moderator. romney's irritation for some reason got the best of him. >> is there a misconception about you? the question is a misconception. >> there is a lack -- you get to ask the questions you want. i get to give the answers i
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want. >> joining me now at the national review is robert costa also a contributor to cnbc's kudlow report. the "new york times" jackie combs and let me start with you. it seems to be the only thing that prevented romney from clear cut victory in that debate last night like a hand down boy he won, were moments like that. the odd moments where he struggled on himself. >> he was the best debater in making an argument for himself and talking about his economic plan but it's his language, persona, awkwardness that raises a lot of questions about whether he is the conservative favorite and i think santorum has a lot of room, a wide open race. romney was great last night and won on points but hasn't won over the gop. >> you know what's fascinating with santorum is that last night i felt like okay. you defended yourself factually. those are some unpopular facts though. >> absolutely. you just think of the independent voters out there if they're watching at all.
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i guess this has been one of the best reality shows on tv lately. they would say really we're talking about contraception in 2012 tan's just, clearly they're still having to speak to the republican base but there is, you know, this is just really worrisome for the general election. >> to continue on santorum it's as if he played into the romney campaign attack ads. >> yeah. he did. he was very much in the weeds talking about committees, legislation and, you know, at a level of detail i'm sure bored the audience and of course played into romney's strategy too of painting him as the washington insider, a creature of washington who came to washington to do one thing and did something else which was raise taxes and vote for the bailout and something like a billion dollars in earmarks. he just wasn't very good at defending himself. this is the santorum you see on the stump often. he is a guy who can do an hour and a half and answer every
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detail. >> he will litigate anything. >> right. >> and the problem is -- though, robert, i thought he showed restraint when contraception came up. he tried to turn it into a values question and really didn't allow himself to get drawn into that. it was probably one of his better moments was how he answered that question. >> definitely. you speak to santorum advisers and they say they have to get their candidate to pivot back to the economy. one reason he really resonated is he has a blue collar manufacturing message but his speech at the detroit economic club last week really fizzled. didn't get many headlines. he has to get back to that message, not get distracted by social conservative issues. >> it's funny. the whole week is being portrayed as this do or die for mitt romney. it could be so do or die that if he doesn't win michigan there is going to be chatter about other candidates. chris christie, i have to play something from "morning joe." if this is who romney has supporting him i don't know why he's got him out there. listen to what christie said about why he is backing romney. >> of the people offering themselves to my party for
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president of the united states it was clear to me he was the best of the group and the only one i thought gave us a good chance of being the president. and so nothing that happened last night or if he were to lose michigan would change my evaluation of that. >> he was the best of the group. right. i'm excited about mitt romney to be president of the united states. >> but the worst part of it is this is consistently what the romney surrogates are saying. even mike dewine who has now flipped from romney to rick santorum in ohio is saying that well -- why did you ever endorse mitt romney in the first place? he says, because i thought he would be the best person to beat the president. and it's interesting also from what governor christie said that he says that he'll -- he still thinks this of mitt romney that he is the most electable even if he loses michigan. it sounds like they're preparing people for that loss. >> i expect the two weeks holdup
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in trenton when christie was mulling this, this is a reminder christie was close to get into this race. >> he just talked again yesterday in another interview. yes i am getting calls but no i'm not taking them about getting back into the race. >> this as problem for romney. he has to have the focus on him and some energy behind him. >> jim talent, when he corrected romney, did you hear what he said? he said i wouldn't have used resolute. i wish he would have said leader. >> this is just -- >> i think it mirrors what a lot of voters think about romney that, you know, maybe he is the best of the group but there's not a lot of energy or passion. and not a lot of rationale for his candidacy. in part i think it's romney fault that he hasn't made a good case for himself. >> newt gingrich, did he do -- >> cheerful. >> right. he was the happy warrior. >> yes. >> but has he got another comeback in him? obviously any vote he gets is good news for romney. >> don't cut him out. super tuesday, georgia, tennessee, he has a couple wins
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there, he is in this hunt. >> he was a statesman last night. >> he's cheerful, pretty sharp. >> this is the problem with all these guys. they're all good. >> until they get in the hot seat. >> they're all good running from behind. stick around because guess who is up on the air with new tv ads in michigan? none other than the obama campaign. we have it for you right after the break. trivia though. we asked who was the first u.s. president to travel abroad to attend the olympics? believe it or not the answer is george w. bush. president bush was the first sitting u.s. president to attend any games when he went to the 2008 summer olympics in beijing. we'll be right back. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] how do you trade? with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start.
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it's more than a slogan, it's a way of life. but when 1 million jobs were on the line, every republican
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candidate turned their back, even said let detroit go bankrupt. not him. >> well, let's bring the panel. robert costa, malika henderson. it wasn't a direct attack on romney, went at the whole republican party. >> yeah, it did, but i do feel like they're getting in there, trying to make the pay in that race, get some democrats to come out and vote in that primary, maybe vote for santorum, of course. i think the democrats want santorum to stay in this thing for as long as he can. to make mitt romney spend more money and drag it out and bloody him. but i think, you know, this is in some ways he's playing that strategy. >> michigan, both state parties have played games in the other's presidential primaries. jesse jackson won thanks to republicans in '88, george wallace, john mccain won thanks for the democrats.
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>> they got to win michigan in the general election. if romney can't win this primary, he's vulnerable if he can't win his home state. >> and jackie, watching this messaging, you're seeing there again, this is what i thought was going to be the bigger challenge for romney. how does he portray some form of optimism while making a negative case against where we are in america right now? >> it's getting harder by the month. and you know, it's tough to be in a position where you're sort of hoping the european bailout falls apart and the economy goes bad. but it's, you know, it's hard to see. especially when he's in michigan and facing that success story how he can, you know, prevail and get his message out. >> very quickly, president's going out to miami to give a speech. you've been on the front lines covering the president. there's no issue that's been a bigger problem for the president than energy policy in general. we can come up with a lot of excuses as to why, but boy, it's
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just like you can't -- no progress. >> yeah, he's made no progress. and he would talk about, you know, turning these manufacturing plants into wind turbine plants and it seemed to work then, but, you know, in terms of the reality and on the ground actually success during his presidency, absolutely none. >> can we expect as republicans to shift when they talk about the economy energy is where they'll go, number one, they'll want to bring up solyndra, but in general, there's no national energy policy and it's something every candidate stood for. >> i think energy is a great issue. you have a solyndra a big obama scandal in a sense but also have a keystone pipeline, a lot of political opportunity there talking that up. >> and this gas price issue. the only thing i can say about it, it does feel like it's sugar high politics. feels good in the moment but always seems to fizzle out a couple weeks later. >> and the fact we're exploiting more than we can use and a lot of this is from speculation and
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of chaos in the middle east. but, you know, what's good for the goose is good for the gander and democrats are quick to jump on the republican administration as they did four, five, and six years back. what goes around, coms around. >> i bet you $5 gas is going to spook them by april 1 we're talking about strategic reserve anyway. shameless plugs. >> my boss at the "washington post" has done a great job leading our coverage and he also has a very fantastic beard. >> there you go. >> read "national review" online, we have a lot going on inside that blog. >> always enjoy it. >> and in a category, boring but important, the center for responsible federal budget today comes out. bad timing for the republicans, but shows that every one of them at least under one scenario would add trillions of dollars to the debt. >> it's depressing. i love this bbi, boring, but
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important. that's it for this edition of the "dailyrundown." tomorrow on the show, former senator arlen spector, he's suddenly the center of the political debate. we'll get him to talk about his former colleague and former supporter, rick santorum. coming up next on msnbc. chris jansing and company will be speaking to debbie wasserman-schultz among others. so uh this is my friend frank and his, uh, retirement plan. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce. two golden crowns. you realize the odds of winning are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day? frank! oh wow, you didn't win?
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there's another way to minimize litter box odor: purina tidy cats. tidy cats premium line of litters now works harder to help neutralize odors in multiple-cat homes. and our improved formula also helps eliminate dust. so it's easier than ever to keep your house smelling just the way you want it. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home. good thursday morning, i'm chris jansing, and the countdown is on to the michigan primary. a potential game changer in the republican race for the nomination. and boy did it get testy last night. a 20th and very likely last debate of this primary season. >> while i was fighting to save the electorate, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years, does that qualify him to be esident

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