tv MSNBC Special Coverage MSNBC February 28, 2012 8:00pm-12:00am EST
know who they are, not who they are not, because only if you get to know someone with all their faults, will you take their word on those matters important to us all. that is "hardball" stay tuned to msnbc's live coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries starting now. this should be fun. he here four years ago, led here most of this year by a mile. then came a string of defeats, bad campaign decisions, a democratic crossover campaign for his rival. and inexplicable gaffes. >> i love the state. seems right here, trees the right height. ann drives a couple cadillacs. i have great friends that are nascar team owners. the candidate makes mistakes, i'm trying to do better and work harder and make sure we get the message across. >> tonight, michigan's native son tries to salvage used to look like a sure thing. >> if people think there is
something wrong with being successful in america, they better vote for the other guy. >> rick santorum spent the final weekend before the primaries waging culture war. >> i don't believe in an america with separation of church and state is absolute. president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> as the delegate by delegate battle to the republican presidential nomination continues, msnbc brings you complete coverage with the analysis of chris matthews, lawrence o'donnell of the last word, ed schultz of the shells "the ed show" al sharpton and steve schmitt. mee the coverage begins right now.
>> hello, happy election night from our msnbc headquarters in new york city i'm rachel maddow alongside chris matthews and our friends here on set. the polls in most of michigan, part of michigan in the eastern time zone have just closed, but a few counties on michigan's upper peninsula in the central time zone, their polls close at 8:00 p.m. local time, central time, 9:00 eastern, we have another hour to go before all the polls are closed in the great state of michigan. even though you will see poll results coming in this hour from majority of michigan, where the polls have closed already, there can be no characterization of the michigan race overall until the whole state has the polls closed which will be in a little under an hour. there is as primary tonight in arizona, polls across the state of arizona close one hour from now, at 9:00 eastern. just about to get the first look at what voters said was important to them today when they talked to the exit pollsters. our first look who turned out
today, but before we get that first data, has to be said the stakes are high, nobody would have put michigan in play at the start of the primary season, nobody would have thought anyone would get close enough to mitt romney in his home state to warn any suspense at all about the results of michigan. but tonight, there's suspense. the polls have been wicked close heading in tonight in michigan and this is therefore, a big night for presidential politics. chris matthews, what is your take? >> before we get in the results, we have to remind ourselves through the circus we have been watching the past several months about the stakes of the fight. who makes the big decisions in our country about peace and war, how the burdens of society are shared. future of our health care, you look at a couple candidates who emerged at the top, romney and santorum, you have to think this is scary to some people. first of all you have one candidate, romney, who speaks calmly of going to war without
nervousness. we'll go to war with iran if he's president, they won't have nuclear weapons. what an ultimatum. he talks how we'll let the ought d -- auto industry die. santorum wants to go back before the griswald decision, we outlaw birth control, not just abortion. speaks lightly of that, speaks with strange resentment we discovered now thank god for the long primary season resentment of higher education, this is why i like the campaign, i love kofg it, it's public television, we're learning about the candidates for president. learning the economic elitism of one candidate. another guy who has a very view of the world that goes back to way back in decades, we're learning a lot, this is good for america, also good for the
democrats but good for the country. >> interesting and open question santorum's insistence on sticking with social issues on the campaign trail makes romney look more moderate in contrast or all republicans end up looking like the guys who want to talk about social issues. a totally open question. >> they are part of the team. >> that's right. get the first look at the exit polling to find out who is turning out to vote tonight. and what is motivating them as voters. for that we turn to tamron hall. >> we'll take a closer look at michigan with the help of the msnbc exit poll as you mentioned, and as in most other republican contests so far this year, a majority of voters in michigan, 54% said the economy was the issue that mattered most in their vote. and as usual, take a look here, 24% said the deficit was the thing that mattered most to them. other numbers we're looking at here, in the meantime, you look at what mattered most regarded
electability numbers, 33%, this is unusual, 33% said that was the issue that mattered most. that is far behind what we saw in florida. 45% and in south carolina, 45% as well. 35% that is about the same as what we saw in new hampshire. also, some of the numbers we're seeing as far as voter groups, 50% of the people in michigan described themselves as not having a college degree. 30% said someone in their family lost their job in the last three years. 14% described themselves as a union member. we know what that means in the state of michigan. interesting details coming out already regarding those people, we'll keep an eye and bring you the latest information on the numbers, rachel. >> tamryn, thank you. >> 14% of the electoral being union members, a lot of union members are are republicans, but michigan i the state where anybody can vote in the republican primary, and there
has been some noise about the prospect of cross-over vote mg michigan, happened in other years, we'll look closer at the overall results and the exit polls to find out whether that union members number and some of the other numbers might mean that democratic identified voters were crossing over to vote strategically in the republican primary, not necessarily for who they want to be president but who they want president obama to go up in the general. msnbc has embedded reporters, one of the best jobs in the news, garrett, what are you hearing from the romney campaign? >> reporter: i have been doing this a while since july, as you know, this is the first time in all that time i've seen the romney campaign sweat a state they weren't sure they would win or lose. you had states like new hampshire, florida they knew day of they had the states wrapped up. south carolina they knew wouldn't break their way. at late as this afternoon when i was going to staff members trying to get their take on what was going on, they were asking
me what we were hearing what might happen. a coin flip this would come down to the wire, as much as i've seen them sweat so far i can tell you from the exit polls you mentioned folks talk about the economy as sort of good news for them. these guys took it as a manna from heaven, when rick santorum had the op-ed talking about economic plans, so romney could get back on his primary message talking about jobs. >> garrettt haake, fascinating. interesting there is suspense tonight. andrew raffelty is with the rick santorum campaign. andrew, is santorum side confident tonight? >> reporter: yeah, well rachel, what we heard today, what we heard the last week that is santorum, advisors feel they already have one and that does nl mean they necessarily are are going to get more votes foenlt but the fact thromney had to pu
as much time trks effort and money in his home state, shows this is momentum that can compete in rust belt states. he's making two stops in tennessee, a lot of super tuesday delegates will be i importa important. look for washington, expect santorum to be up there. they have a caucus saturday and speaking to some advisors, they feel doing well in that caucus is a way to steal a headline in a sunday paper going in super tuesday. rachel? >> andrew rafferty, thank you. alex is covering the gingrich campaign, expectations tonight that the candidate is in neither michigan nor arizona, alex is with the campaign in georgia. the former speaker's home state. alex, what are you hearing from the gingrich camp? >> reporter: speaker gingrich took the stage, doing a rally in
georgia, the state he represented more than 20 years in congress, governor and his wife are on the stage with him. he deliberately skipped michigan wanted to focus on georgia, on the southern states, that is where he believes he will be able to get back in the race. if he can get the 50% threshold until georgia on super tuesday, he will be able to get all 76 of the delegates and that what is gingrich think ts he needs to keep going forward in the campaign, he has been pushing gas prices lately and today at his events he had gas cans in the back of the events to have donations, he's asking for a newt gallon, 2.50 even though michigan and arizona are happening today he's focusing on georgia, that is where he sees the campaign going. >> alex, we'll let i get back to it. a newt gallon. $2.50 donation. chuck todd joins us now, chuck, under an hour until all the polls are closed in both of the states. what are you going to be watching for it's interesting to
hear the santorum campaign telling our embed, they think they won by making the romney campaign sweat michigan. oh, i don't think chuck is giving that a long thought. chuck, are you there? >> i am now. i didn't realize that question was dealt for me. they do feel that way because we know it's a tight race and we know it's likely to be a tight race in this instant, for what it's worth, michigan is a large state, a lot of people and always geforget, there way is michigan, this way is wisconsin on the hand. five counties we're watching as we watch results that will tell us the story. detroit suburbs, oakland and mccomb, the myth of the reagan democrat was born in mccomb county. the suburbs of detroit that is where romney should do well. wayne county is fascinating where detroit is, that is where
we find cross-over vote among democrats if they want to play sh shenanigans. kent county, that is grand rapids, you can trace the modern history of the republican party just through grand rapids, home of gerald ford. the moderate republican, sort of dominated grand rapids back in the day. now is grand rapids, home of more conservative republicans, conservative electorate, lawrence will remember some of the guys known to be moderate republicans, and the establishment there is still moderate, where the amway, the devoss family is dominant. the rank and file republican is now conservative. if romney is overperforming there, that is a bad night for santorum. but this is a place where santorum should do well but again i think historically fascinating to think about grand
rapids, it traces the modern growth of the conservative movement in the republican party just in that one county of kent county. >> thank you, chuck. when we return, we'll get first word for the night from lawrence o'donnell, ed schultz, al sharpton, surrogates for santorum and romney campaign join us when we continue in a moment. stay with us. ♪ ♪ what started as a whisper every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility.
right now rick santorum at 48%, mitt romney with 34%. ron paul in third with 14% and newt gingrich at 5%, do not extrapolate from these votes as you can see from the exact match of the numbers and percentages, 100 votes total. don't get excited. those are the first results. i'm joined on set in new york by chris matthews, ed schultz, steve schmidt, lawrence o'donnell, al sharpton. there is more suspense about michigan than arizona. steve schmidtt, when you hear the santorum campaign they think they've won just by making mitt romney sweat michigan, just by getting close, is that spin or do you think that's true? >> i think it's dead-on accurate. rick santorum managed to make this an ideological contest.
a two-person race against mitt romney. no matter what happens tonight, rick santorum has got plenty of reasons to go forward which he's going to do. we will see how mitt romney does whether he wins in michigan, loses in michigan on super tuesday, but the net result of all this is a very pessimistic republican party, and in washington people went from very confident about being able to beat president obama to where they are today, which is very pessimistic. >> ed, you were an early as a liberal and american who has been very supportive of populism on the democratic side, you recognized rick santorum would be more than an also-ran. you saw potential on the republican side. is that coming to fruition, is there a future if he doesn't win michigan or did he raise too many expectations that he might win michigan tonight and maybe mitt romney will get it? >> my coverage of santorum started in iowa, i called the team up, he mentioned about
mussolini in his speech. since then all kind of crazy stuff coming from rick santorum. the biggest fraud committed in the entire michigan run-up is rick santorum is out there convincing people that he is their wage guy, that he's the guy that will be with them. just to double check i called leo gerard of the steal workers, how was he on hey bore, wage earners? terrible. he would throw them a vote but never took the lead on trade issues, big with the unions. never with an issue going to make the vote to give them a make or break situation, he wasn't the arlen specter. arlen specter was great with labor until the anita hill issue came up and then things changed quite a bit. you have right now, raick
santorum telling people he's their guy and he has no record to back that up whatsoever as far as labor is concerned. and so the big word tonight is crossover. how many people will believe the stuff and come over as they did with john mccain in 2000 which that crossover vote helped him beat george w. bush. if he doesn't get the crossover he won't win. as far as romney is concerned, i have a different view of all this. you show me a winner i'll show you a winner. he still is the bain capital guy, still the wall street pick of all these candidates out there, they want no doubt, mitt romney. and if he can go in those offices down down manhattan and say i won michigan that is all they want to know, did he win. >> al sharpton when you look at the way the candidates divided along class lines, we have seen a class divide in all the exit polls out of all the states so far, all of the highest income brackets always go for mitt romney. no matter what state you talk about and no matter how well he
does in the state. ed is talking about rick santorum making a play for the working man vote in the republican primary. has it rung true? >> i think some has rung true but we can't under estimate a lot of the vote for santorum tonight is anybody but mitt romney. do not overestimate that whatever these guys do, that a lot of that vote they are getting is because a lot of those republicans do not want mitt romney, far right, conservatives, working class, mitt romney personifies the moderate in their minds, politics they don't agree with. but i do think that santorum has won tonight either way because i think the question we're going to see tonight is whether or not romney is just wounded or fatally wounded. either way he's wounded. he won't walk out of here without people questioning how
he won and how strongest if he's the nominee. i think santorum we can thank him for that but i really think the one at fault is mitt romney. mitt romney is just a terrible candidate. >> lawrence, do you agree? >> john kerry set the standard for the press on how you win this thing. he won iowa, new hampshire, it was all over. and from that point forward, that is what we have been looking for and with a front-runner like romney, that is what we have been looking for and that is why every one of these election nights has been a referendum, as if he were an incumbent. i agree with what al just said. this cannot be, it cannot turn out to be a romney win tonight because a romney win is defined as it's all over. a romney win is defined as no one else has a chance. and he will not be able to establish that tonight. >> as long as anybody else has a heart beat, romney has failed because everybody expected him to put eigit away so early.
i won't want to be mitt romney because anything other than complete victory is a loss. chris, do you see it that way? >> i agree with everything i've heard, unusual for me. >> it's early yet. i like the argument about the failure of santorum to sell himself as the working class hero. i think a lot of people are used to democratic politics keep hoping the republican party will ak like the democratic party. it isn't the same party cultu l culturally. true north is whose turn it is, it has been the battle between the regulars, establishment if you will, and what they call teddy white the primitives, the prim tifs are always on the war path, always trying to beat the establishment and never do. and we're watching once again that fight where they get up to the level, they get to the edge of the fort to the ram parts and beaten back and the establishment holds the fort because of the moolah, they have the power to keep fighting the fight financially. santorum there is a part of me
that always roots are no the under dog no matter who it. santorum is the under dog in the fight and he has fought the campaign with nothing. he has no organization, no infrastructure, nobody knows who he is, i think he was on the radio which ed does a lot of and refu reverend al does. he used to do a lot of radio in the midwest, that explains how a guy with no infrastructure, no organization, identity, apart from radio can do it. radio is so powerful in the country not just power he full on the right, we're talking about the right. it is powerful on the right. if you're on the radio you have influence on the right like rush does and sean hannity does. if you can get out in the ears hearts of voter, like santorum has done, you can organize tremendous passion around you. how else can you explain his success so far? he was a nobody who lost by 18 points, a political nobody, who shouldn't be in this race. >> at his campaign events, he
gets 1000 people screaming for him and loving his message and nobody takes their e-mail addresses, he's not building the lists and stuff he needs to do and that is going to be a real question. >> that is how weak romney is that this guy can hold his own. >> i think chris when he brings up the radio factor, who listens to radio? i don't think mitt romney and his friends that own nascar teams listen to radio. working class, ordinary people listen. >> truck drivers. >> and romney probably couldn't tell you who the talk show h oftensts are. >> we have former senator mike dewine of ohio, who is a case study in the evolution, former senator from ohio. he used to support tim pawlenty,
welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the michigan and arizona primary, right now with 4% of the vote in michigan, not much at all, rick santorum with 41% of the vote, mitt romney 38%. ron paul in third with 11%, newt gingrich with 7%. in terms of poll closing times in michigan, almost all the state of michigan is in the eastern time zone, and those polls closed about half an hour ago but there are a handful of counties up on the upper peninsula in michigan not eastern time zone that are central time zone, those polls close at 8:00 local, which is
9:00 eastern, no characterization of the race in michigan at all for the whole state until all polls are are closed which is in 30 mines from right now. let's her from surrogates from the santorum and romney campaigns. start with mike dewine, attorney general of the great state of ohio, former united states senator from ohio. initially supported mr. romney for president has since and recently switched his support to rick santorum. mr. attorney general, thank you very much for being here. >> good to be with you, thank you very much. >> you know, i've always been impressed by candidates and surrogates who switch in the middle of a campaign and i wonder how much is personal. i'm dead serious, isn't all ideological. mitt romney comes off as a cool, aloof customer, was that way with you? >> chris, i think i bought in the conventional wisdom that romney was the best and strongest candidate and his organization and money would run
everybody out of the ballpark. and that he was the best candidate in the fall. we run these primaries for a reason and it's become evident to me at least he's not the strongest candidate we have to go against obama in the fall. for all the reasons you all have been talking about the last ten minutes as i have been listening to you, he has gotten no real appeal to the average voter in ohio and i started seeing it a few months ago when friends of mine would come up and say couple things, one they will say this romney, i can't get too excited about this guy, i don't know what it is. and i would have other people come up and sometimes the same people, that santorum guy, they didn't know who he was, i like him. i think he's telling me the truth. i watch him in the debate the other night. i tell you chris, something is going on, and what is going on is santorum is really starting to catch fire. he is going to carry ohio.
i'm southpointe, southern point of at a lincoln day dinner, there are 600 people, he will carry out of that group in there, rick santorum will get three-fourths of the vote i can tell by walking around. i was here to campaign for him. phenomenal what is going on. he will win ohio. i don't know what is going on in michigan. >> how does he get past the religious and cultural stuff to the economic stuff to you in ohio? >> i think the fact that rick is pro-life, that he is pro-gun is certainly very helpful in a republican primary. i think ultimately, though, what we saw this morning when he was in a suburb of toledo right off the bat he's talking about jobs and jobs and jobs, and manufacturing and what his program is for manufacturing. don't under estimate him.
he's someone who understands the importance of these issues, and as you know, chris, when you talk about pennsylvania or talking about ohio, talking about midwestern states, it always comes down to jobs. and i think people believe him, and they like him, and so he starts with a distinct advantage and when he starts talking about his program in regard to manufacturing, he has a dramatic program. >> you're a better spokesman for him than he is. he talks about he would like to have a birth control reconsidered, he brought the issue up, nobody else brought it up. he talks about colleges being snobs appeal. snob appeal. don't most people in ohio like their kids to grow up to go to college and make it in the world? don't most like to use birth control, don't most men enjoy the fact people use birth control. isn't it part of our life, why is he talking like it's 1953 on
nobody goes to college except the elite and nobody uses birth control. how do you explain that? >> i disagree a little bit with you, chris. >> okay, where. >> i listened to him talk, i have been with him all over ohio, the times he has been in ohio i have been with him each time. here's what he says and i think the more people listen to him and the more he has opportunity to get the nuances, people will understand. he's not saying, he's saying i personally, rick santorum, and karen, we don't use birth control. but -- >> that is not what he said, senator that is not what he says reconsider the evils of birth control and going to college, wishing everybody goes to college as the president has done is snobbery. you're better than he is. >> well, what he's saying, chris, about going to college, i think is the same thing you would agree with and i would agree with and every american. we want every child to go to their his or her full potential. that may be college or for that
particular child they may go to art school, they may go to a school they are using their hands in some other way. i don't think there is anything revolutionary about saying we want the best for each kid. but each kid, fran and i have eight kids. each kid is different. >> if he had you translating like in the un through ear phones and microphone he wouldn't have to explain himself for three days, you have to wait for tuesday to find out what he meant on saturday that is a problem. >> i disagree. >> of course you do, you're a surrogate, i'm a critic. thank you. i always liked you mr. dewine, you're very articulate. >> good to be with you, chris, thank you very much. attorney general of the state of ohio, mike dewine is a rick santorum supporter. bobber li bob ehrlich, appreciate your time. >> how are you doing? i would associate myself with some of my comments with chris
matthews, a real marylander. >> governor, the big point why he's saying he jumped ship, he used to be a supporter of mitt romney he woke up and realized people don't like mitt romney enough to vote for him against barack obama. it an intangible allegation, but one that is serious, that mitt romney isn't likeable or trustworthy enough to win, even being levied by -- >> he is going to win michigan tonight. i can break news on your show. we received exit polls, i think we are going to win, we believe we are going to win he's receiving a lot of votes, has deep support. great organizations, super tuesday looks terrific. of course a different story line next week. i will also point out by the way that the white house early on saw how strong mitt romney is, they picked him out for attack.
he is clearly the one candidate they are most scared of, not newt gingrich, not rick santorum, who are both friends of mine, i served with them, i know them, both good guys, but very scared of mitt romney. for what he represents and clearly the white house's actions speak volumes what democrats, how democrats see mitt romney's viability. >> are you saying that the obama white house where the democrats are responsible for mr. romney's troubles in locking up the nomination? >> not at all. we knew this would be a campaign for the long haul, don't let anybody ever tell you, i have been on the inside from day one. don't let anybody tell you that we thought this would end early or south carolina or florida. this was always a campaign built for the long haul. always going to be one alternative, one other option to emerge from a very large field. today looks like rick santorum, maybe after georgia with it look like newt gingrich because it
looked like him two times in the past. mitt romney has been number one from day one. he has been the leader, has been the fundraising leader, organizational leader, idea leader. primaries are ugly, this time four years ago hillary clinton was pounding senator obama as you recall. right before senator obama declared victory, senator clinton pounded him in major industrial states, in democratic primaries, we tend to forget that. they are ugly, when people fight over power never pleasant but at some point in the fear future we'll turn in the intermural uniforms, the varsity uniforms will be given out, president obama, against governor romney and then i'll come back on your show and go through the issues. >> today we didn't hear much from newt gingrich in terms of michigan or arizona but the michigan -- the gingrich camp started lobbying newspaper editors to essentially editorialize against mitt romney
and the romney campaign for what they are describing as a pattern of easy lying on the campaign. they are saying you don't need to take sides between us as candidates but you ought to editorialize against mitt romney being easy on the truth, essentially, willing to lie to win, that is something you should stand against just as an american citizen and newspaper that represents american values, is there romney campaign response to that, do you reject it out of hand or do you see any legitimate criticism? >> i know the speaker very well. one of his top advisors has to give him good advice, don't appear angry, you saw him after what is in nevada, the press conference, voters hate angry politicians. voters do not view angry politicians as viable leaders. and obviously the speaker has had a thing about governor romney for a while. the vitriol has been unpleasant. may get worse now that senator
santorum has emerged and taken leadership role as the alternative to mitt romney over speaker gingrich but the fact of it is, at some point in the very near future senator santorum will be on board, the speaker will be on board, everybody will be on board, mitt romney will be the nominee. >> former maryland governor, supporting mitt romney for president, recreating the air of inevitability. >> you heard it here first. we'll hear from howard fineman reporting from all the campaigns and political landscape at large. also the man responsible in large part for setting up this year's primaries, michael steele. msnbc's coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries continue in just a minute.
tonight in michigan almost all of the polls in the state are closed. the few counties in the upper peninsula in the central time zone, those polls will close in 15 minutes but the reason we have results now is because the rest of the state is in the eastern time zone, those polls closed 45 minutes ago and right now with 8% in, rick santorum and mitt romney each with 39% of the vote. it could not be closer. ron paul in third place with 11, newt gingrich with 7%. 8% in, and we can't characterize
the entire state until all polls in the state of michigan are closed at the time of the hour. all polls in the state of arizona will also close at the top of the hour. this is going to be an exciting night. howard fineman editorial director for the huffington post. he has been talking to the campaigns tonight from our washington bureau, howard, what are you hearing? >> it's interesting, rachel, to get inside the minds of the spinners in the romney camp, which is where i have been over the last hour via e-mail and text and so forth and it's fascinating because even though this is a night they might do well, they want to talk about what santorum did wrong and how weak barack obama is, as a candidate. there is nothing about gee, our message resonated, people are buying our vision. first thing they pointed out in their view rick santorum's vote will be heavily weighted with democrats and independents, they dismiss it.
they so far to say that from what they understand, the santorum campaign the united auto workers own lists to make robo calls. i checked with the santorum campaign, haven't heard back from them yet but the fact the romney people are willing to say that kind of thing just shows how they want to keep their negative spin going as fast as they can. the other thing they are fascinated by and want to point out is the new gallup poll that shows the president's favorable, unfavorable ratings are under water and mitt romney is ahead of the president in a test match-up. what interested me about this is there is very little positive, very little about mitt romney in what they are saying. they are not saying to me we're finally connecting here, doing well in arizona, going to do well in michigan. people are buying mitt's message. what they are saying is rick santorum played dirty and barack obama is vulnerable. >> that is phenomenal.
the fact the conspiracy theory about the uaw lists to make the san tore robo calls is spicey enough, but to ryan shallenberger -- that will be testable in 15 minute, we'll know whether it's true if it turns out not to be true that will look horrible and pitiful and desperate for the romney campaign. >> well, i don't think they view themselves that way at all. they are back in the mode they were in, that they have been in the whole campaign, rachel, don't think about us, think about how terrible president obama is, don't think about us, think about how lousy all the other candidates are are. that has been the two-step mentality of the romney campaign from the beginning. it's what they have done with their money and spent $65 million at least. it's how they organized their campaign from the beginning.
as one of attacking and trying to tear down the landscape around them, rather than to really focus on their own guy, mitt romney. the exact opposite of the way barack obama ran for president four years ago. barack obama added it's all about me campaign. the romney campaign from the beginning has been it's not about me, it's how terrible all the other people are out there. so it's a fundamental message of lack of goes far to say but lack of faith or even a lack of pride in their own candidate. it sounds crazy but that is the way -- that is the message you get when you get in their minds. >> i've never seen a slogan you think i stink? >> mitt romney says this is how much he loves car thirks ts, th dual exhaust speech. if romney does not win tonight, there is likely to be panic in
the republican establishment. for more on that, we'll be joined by msnbc political director k chuck todd and in washington, michael steele the former chairman of the republican party now an msnbc political analyst. mr. steele, mr. todd, thank you for joining us. >> yes. >> hello, rachel. >> you know it's amazing in space no one can hear you scream. when i go to chuck todd silence -- >> i heard you go to mr. steele. >> blank stare time. >> chuck, we hear from you that there is a panic in the republican -- is that true? >> it is and in fact my own reporting today indicates there has been this finger pointing if you will, going on among sort of folks outside of boston, meaning outside of romney supporters that are not part of the boston
leadership team that surrounds him. mitt romney who basically looks at the campaign and strategy and saying this is a mistake, don't just sit here and destroy your opponents, you have to win over kr conservatives, you have to show leadership skills and you have to show an ability to organize republicans in both caucus states and primaries, so there is a lot of second guessing that even if romney gets out of this, there are donors that would like to see some change in strategy. some proof that this isn't just simply going to be the death star that every week they sit and say okay, we had to destroy newt in florida then destroy santorum in michigan, there will be a pivot in how this campaign goes about trying to recruit republicans and there is a concern, particularly among veterans of the campaign from four years ago that these folks don't know what is coming next super tuesday that it won't be with more states on the line, and they are just not prepared,
set up to win early they are not as prepared to go in the long haul, the only thing that saves them from themselves is the fact that santorum and gingrich are less prepared. and that is what is concerning and that is why you may see donors still call, romney might have a money problem come in the next couple weeks. he had no small donor base. >> michael steele, in terms of what chuck said about the design of the primary campaign, you were sort of the guy who did that. was it in fact designed to lock it up early or was this designed to have it be a long, drawn-out fight to properly vet all the candidates? >> it was designed exactly for that purpose, to properly vet all the candidates but moses specially give the base a chance to have their voices heard in states that aren't iowa and new
hampshire and the bigger states that play early. so this is the process and i think it's healthy, i think it's exciting. the problem is that aseludallud campaign thought it would be over quickly. the negative campaigning hits and it hits hard. the death star imagery is very appropriate here because it is sort of taking out that moon and then that planet to clear a pathway to the nomination. the problem is there are a whole lot of stars you have to get through first and that is the base. and they are not lighting up for you right now and he has to figure out a way to make that happen and it's not going to be by destroying newt gingrich or rick santorum, but selling why you are the better guy to do this, because that is the argument that will transend not just the base but go to those reagan democrats in a place like michigan and ohio that you're
going to need. >> thank you, michael steele. thank you chuck todd. we'll check back with both you throughout the night. polls will be closing across michigan and arizona at the top of the hour, we will have first characterization of those races in just a few minutes. msnbc's could have age of the michigan and arizona primaries, continues in just a minute.
it is 9:00 p.m. on the east coast. polls in michigan and arizona are closed. msnbc can project when all the votes are counted in arizona, mitt romney will win the arizona republican primary. it was a different story in mr. romney's home state of michigan. where the race is too close to call. right now with 16% in, rick santorum and mitt romney separated by 233 votes. that is quite obviously, too close to call. here with my colleagues, steve
schmitt, ed schultz, chris matthews, looking at too close to call race is obviously maybe a more interesting result at this point even though not definitive than the arizona result which was widely expected, chris. >> michigan is where it's at tonight. everyone is looking to see whether mitt romney can win in what he cause his native state. for romney to lose in michigan is a big deal we don't know the results yet. the fact it's this close is interesting. >> ed, what is your reaction, too close to call. >> too close to call in michigan, you've got romney leading in three big counties with just 5% of the vote in, leading in oakland, mccomb and also wayne counties, so it's a good start there with just a little bit of the vote in at 5%. as far as arizona goes, i think we're seeing newt gingrich really hurt rick santorum there. that conservative vote was split. if newt gingrich was out of it would have been a lot closer.
and i talked to john nichols he was working the arizona market in tucson and phoenix, and there is no doubt that gingrich has hurt santorum in arizona, and played well for romney no doubt many. >> won't be one of the big story lines out of tonight because newt gingrich got that big new infusion of cash because he didn't try in michigan or arizona all that hard but still that is kind of the question going forward in the republican race how big the field continues to be. >> arizona is a big state for romney to win. there is no doubt about that. he won decisively tonight, there will be strong numbers for him. the question for romney as i see it, he is the best wall street candidate that probably the republicans ever had, but what southern state will he win? i'm looking to next week, does he have a shot in tennessee? will he win anywhere in the south? he won in florida but he had all kind of money he spent down there got after it, what southern state, what is mitt romney's southern strategy, that
has to be asked and answered, because rick santorum is polling well in ohio. >> i bet mitt romney does very well in southern vermont. >> he's almost a native there, too. >> lawrence o'donnell. >> the question has always been how weak is mitt romney and what does this result tell us about how weak mitt romney is. last time he beat john mccain by 9 points in michigan. he may not -- if he wins michigan tonight, no one thinks it will be by 9 points and so he's coming in a weaker showing this type around, the guy he beat by 9 points let's remember last time, became the nominee. so if he is to beat rick santorum by a couple of points, by something less than 9, there is nothing in that result that says rick santorum can't be the nominee. >> do you think rick santorum can be the nominee? >> i think anyone other than romney might be the nominee. i think the fallacy we hear,
they are in denial, as a minister i want to give them an intervention, they keep looking at the fact that he's weak. when they compare the '08 obama-clinton primaries, it was either obama or clinton that was up or down. it wasn't obama, clinton, biden, richardson, everybody had their turn against romney here. they won't accept the fact that romney has a real problem in terms of connecting with their voters and energizing their base. if it was just one or another, like it was obama-clinton it would be an appropriate comparison. the other thing i think they are really telling is when howard fineman says they don't have a message, they are not rallying around him. they are circling the wagons against the opponents. someone has the nerve to say and newt gingrich doesn't like him, he called him the biggest crooks since jesse james. look at the negative ads he put on him. gingrich can't go back to
washington and be a lobbyist now, his career is over because of mr. romney. you expect him to throw a banquet for him? i think this is ludicrous they are in denial. >> you look at the top three candidates all of them that won states, ron paul collecting delegates, gingrich and santorum and romney and the one thing you can be sure of there is no pair in that three-some. there is no running mate pair between them the way they have described one another as the anti-christ and worse. it's -- steve schmitt it's always -- it is always tough and always nasty and the stakes are very high but is the acrimony hurtful? >> michigan is a state that has gone democrat nick recent years but is a state with the republican governor that is always on the border of if it's a good republican year can this
be put in place and expanding map type of state and i think the chances of republicans being able to compete in a general election against the president in michigan have gotten much, much longer after this primary contest number one and number two, four years ago with democrats, the tension in that race was which of two historic candidates the democratic party voters all liked. who were they going to put forward in the general election contest? they liked both of them. they would have been happy with both of them. the longer this goes on, republican voters are saying we don't like any of them. we want somebody new in the race, and that new person isn't going to appear in the race. so i think if you look at the republican contest right now, there is a lot of pessimism in washington and particularly if you consider the scenario that santorum becomes the nominee and the 33 house freshmen in districts that the president won, there is a lot of worry about chances for the senate which republicans began the year in a good position to compete
for the majority, maintaining the majority in the house, that all the stuff starts to come into play in a way that will make republicans nervous. >> but rick santorum has alienated himself to women in the country. >> no doubt. >> you can see that, so that is his downfall right now. he allowed the social issues to become the extremist conversation has hurt him. and i think that there might be a recovery opportunity here for mitt romney. i mean if they are in it for the long slog, sooner or later they have to say well look it will be a brokered convention or this guy will get it done. i just think that santorum has left himself so wide open and has hurt himself on the social issues so much there is an opening this for recovery for romney. i believe that. >> you look at michigan and arizona in the general election in 2008, 54% female electorate in michigan. 51% female in arizona which of
course went for john mccain, even in a state gone republican it is a majority of women voting. one of the things that will be interesting to watch in the exit polls if there is a gender gap, if rick santorum's position particularly being so outspoken on birth control will hurt him with women. i'm not sure it will, that has to be a key part of electability. >> it hasn't so far. republican women voting has bee. they have liked santorum, apparently a group of traditional women who don't work outside the home who think romney, like santorum views, somewhere -- >> or not paying attention yet. >> i wouldn't assume that i think that is a possibility of a sub set, very conservative. >> thaddeus mccotter, thank you for being here, we feel honored
for having you here. >> rachel i don't know if i was dropped so much as pushed but that is nit-picking. >> when you look at your candidate you have to be happy in arizona, in michigan, too close to call after he carried the state by 9 points. in 2008, rick santorum campaign earlier tonight was saying they think they already won by making the romney campaign sweat over what ought to be a sure thing for him. that is too close to call characterization worry you? >> i think lightning will strike me but i do agree with the panel it's too close to call at this point in time. and i think that in his heart of hearts, senator santorum wants to win the state, wants delegates. as you know and the panel know, michigan is proportional you get two per district you win. at the end of the day, two issues whoever faces out of michigan, the overall vote total and delegate count per the congressional proportional
delegate allotment. so i think in the final analysis, we played a critical role, our responsibility will be to bind up the wounds of the party, unite behind whoever the nominee is and put forward a positive message for the voters on the economy so they can consider republicans in november. >> congressman, compare the situation now as we go in march what it was like in november of last year. very, november of 2010, it looked to me and i think most observers the whole rust belt was vulnerable to a big republican win in 2012. now i look at it, i look at your state, something like the 17 to 18 point spread is back again for the president. i look atti the uaw reception, e you hopeful michigan could go republican, that states like wisconsin could go republican? the big states in doubt are in doubt?
>> well, chris, i'm as hopeful as an irishman can ever be but you're making a good point. i remember in 2008 when however loved they were by their own party the primary contest between now president obama and senator clinton was heartening to republicans who thought they would make hay in the general. they came back together. in the midwest, which we like to refer to as the manufacturing base, the issue of the economy and issue of the republican approach in an all candor, we have to say this is probable mat i cal if we look backwards as to what happened with the auto industry as opposed forward with what needs to happen to make it be globally competitive. >> you're sticking to your guns, congressman? >> i support the second amendment, yes. >> i had to say that it's in the advertisement you and i keep doing it in these shows. i keep saying it over and over again. >> where is my royalty check? >> i deserve to give you one. >> the republican position on
the auto bail out that is not maybe as big a deal for michigan republican primary voters as those of us outside michigan would think looking in at the state? you look at the polling in michigan republicans aren't necessarily overwhelmingly in favor of the auto bail out but you were supportive of the bail out and i wonder when you see the president's speech to the uaw, his message based on the success of the auto bail out you know your candidate, mitt romney put out the let detroit go bankrupt op-ed, do you sometimes think it would be better if this nomination or if the general election fight was about god, guns and gays, if it was about social issues, maybe the economic issues might be trouble in states like michigan? >> i believe the economy will be the number one issue and that is what the attention of the voters will be on. i don't think we should mute our principles in any realm but focus on what is sal yent to the voters. in terms of the president of the united states, the speech to the
uaw, they are a supportive group of him, also goes back to the fact that he picked up from the original bridge loan the president put forward. i think any candidate that goes forward has to talk about the economy, has to be able to put forward a message that will resonate with the voters and we can't take any vote for granted. >> congressman, ed schultz here, the bottom line on the automobile loan is jobs were saved, the industry is thriving and mitt romney is parcelling method how it was done. who cares how it was done, a job is a job, an economic turn around is an economic turn around, a sale is a sale, look at what gm is doing now. how does mitt romney get around this? how does he turn to the american people and the wage earners in my ear ka if he's the nominee and say i can do the same thing? is it about method or jobs? >> well, clearly going to be about jobs. i think when you look at the republican field as it currently is constitute and will remain to
the namomination they will have the same position on the auto industry. it's about blue collar jobs, non-union, union jobs, the deindustrialization, if they went in bankruptcy, hard working men and women whose money went to the wall street bail out high and dry we would not northbound -- be in a position if we watch china rise past us as we kick away the manufacturing base that made us great in the country. i think some far-sighted republicans, like paul ryan supported it, it was not a dollars and cents issue, save the taxpayers money in social spending for the displaced workers, and the problem that would have arisen there but allows the economy to grow and try to get it moving at this point in time and we will have globally competitive auto companies that will lead the world and provide an economic
engine. >> what amazes me the republican party in unison was ready to say we don't care about making cars in america, we don't care what the ripple effect is when it comes to plastics, rubber, when it comes to glass, all of the things that go in in the trickle down effect in the suppliers how could they be so wrong and still try to come out and parcel words as to why they are against it to this day? how is that going to be a political winner? >> i'll grant you the majority of the opposition to the auto bridge loan came from the republican party but there were democrats that were against it, too. i think when you look at the base republican voters throughout the country they do understand we need to make things, farm, manufacture, we need to have a healthy, vibrant economy. with the rank and file republicans, they understand it. when you look at what happened with the bridge loan, as we talked about at the time, president bush authorized that money to come out of already appropriated funds targeted to the wall street people who
caused the problems in the first place. so to my fellow republicans i remind them if you were in congress at the point in time or president bush you could leave all $700 billion of taxpayer money with the wall street people could you take some back to main street to keep america balanced. to me there was no choice. >> congressman mccotter of michigan, thank you for your time and again, as a romney supporter, even if you are one who disagrees with him, congratulations on the win tonight in arizona. appreciate your time, sir. >> thanks for having me. >> summarizing the top news, number one, mitt romney has won in arizona. that was the nbc news projection, when all the votes are counted he will be the winner. in michigan, too close to call between mitt romney and rick santorum. i would add the third big news, third item of big news for this hour is that we just spent ten minutes talking with one of mitt romney's top surrogates in michigan about how wrong mitt romney was on the auto bail out.
mitt romney has won the republican primary in the great state of arizona. republican primary in michigan is at this hour too close to call. with 31% of the vote in, mr. romney has a 3 point lead over former pennsylvania senator rick santorum. but again, 31% of the vote in, and nbc's characterization of the race is too close to call. i love nights like this. let's get more from our exit polling from michigan for that
we turn to tamron hall. >> rachel, i'll love this information, we're getting a closer look at michigan with the help of our nbc news exit poll and as in most other republican contests so far this year, majority of voters take a look in michigan, 54% said the economy there you have it, was the issue that mattered most to them and these numbers, and as usual the federal budget deficit came in second. picked by 24%. more voters in michigan earlier contests said abortion was the issue that mattered most. 14% here. we have a lot of numbers to process, rachel, we brought some of those to you. i want to take you back to business, 55% said that business experience that mitt romney has talked about it mattered. 27% gave it up to rick santorum but i also want to show you other numbers here, the break out numbers of what we're looking at. 45% to 29% for santorum said the top issue was the economy, and
for those who see the economy as a really personal issue, the 3 in 10 who saw layoffs in their families, 45% went to mitt romney, 35% went to rick santorum. let's take a look at other numbers we have regarding religion, may come as no surprise to those of you watching and those on the panel, 24% who said that a great deal of importance to them, 32% said somewhat, 18% said not much. let's dig in the numbers, though, when you break it down for the folks who said that religion was a great deal of importance to them, 62%, went to rick santorum. let's go down to the bottom of the screen, when they were asked if it mattered, those reply it does not, 23% went to rick santorum, 49% you see there went to mitt romney. so some interesting numbers, i don't know if they could be categorized as huge surprises but certainly getting insight so would prove to help your night be very exciting rachel.
>> tamron, thank you very much. interesting to see the religion-relate numbered beers on a week when rick santorum went out of his way to make so much news on saying he doesn't believe in the absolute separation of church and state to see him winning by big proportions of people who say it's important the candidate shares their religious views. i don't know if that is surprising or not but one of the new emerging contours of the race. garrettt haake has new information about the change of tactics the campaign used in michigan. what are you hearing? >> that's right, rachel. one of the things we can see well in the position i'm in on the ground is how they changed up what they were doing here in michigan based on what worked for them in the early states. you take the ads and 30,000 feet stuff out of the equation, it was they did successfully in new hampshire, town halls and small business round tables with 10 or
12 people, get back control of the message but also mitt romney who has the reputation for being stiff loosen up and talk to voters. secondly, brought another tactic in florida, that was this idea of bracketing. romney surrogates, supporters up and down the chain, congressmen and rnc members going to santorum events to hang out talk to reporters and see if they couldn't get under the candidates skin. didn't work as as it did with gingrich. something usesing what worked in past contests. >> in terms of loosening up the candidate. one of the things the candidate talked about with reporters over some of his gaffes on the campaign trail, in the last few days, talking about his wife having a couple cadillacs. nascar fandom being reduced to personal friendships people who own teams. he was saying he took responsibility for those things and thought they hurt his campaignful does the campaign see that as the price of letting him go off script or do they
have strategy for him to stop talking about himself like he's thurston howell. >> that is a good reference. the interesting thing, he doesn't think of himself that way. you talk to people close to the governor and he doesn't see him receive as the rich guy that other people do. they come out unscript and don't know what to do with them. this is the guy they have. but as he said today when the question was asked, he really can't change his personality, he's going to say stuff like that from time to time and they have to learn to roll with it. >> garrettt haake, thank you, appreciate it. on that point of whether or not mitt romney knows that he is a rich guy and maybe that affects whether or not he knows how it sounds when he talks about rich guy stuff, how do you change that about a candidate if that is his problem? do you make it like put him up in a mirror and say mirror mirror on the wall you're the richest guy of all, you have to figure it out? >> my feeling is the guy is born with a silver spoon, never been
pressured to give the right answer. never had the big pressure in life where he had to be perfect to make it or overachieve to ma it. he has been successful, how has he done it, will that play with the american people? i think romney we're going to continue to see him not give the perft answer can because he's never had to give the perfect answer, never been in a pressure situation where he's really had to worry about a job and being unemployed and the middle class. >> not talking about perfect answers, talking about get it half right. there is no one in the romney campaign who can explain to any of us what he meant by the height of trees in michigan. or say cadillac, say one instead of -- this is easy. perfect would be great but how about an average answer. >> steve, if that is your candidate, do you get back on script do you carry around a script and say don't adlib?
>> self awareness is an under appreciated virtue in politics. you had the photo out a couple weeks ago the son put out, i have no doubt to the authenticity, where mitt romney was washing his clothes, but the perception of mitt romney and perception is reality, is that he would never wash his own clothes, so you have to have an appreciation not how you view yourself but how other people view you. you have to have focus in every encounter when you're running for president of the united states. >> you also have to worry about -- >> he had a lack of focus in some of these different encounters where these inexplicable statements that all added together have done him harm. >> you also have to worry about not only how people see you but people think you see them. see, the danger of him not seeing himself as rich means he really can't understand people that are not rich. and what they go through every
day and what it is to go to work and worry about your kids health care and worry about your mother's social security. so it's bad enough that you don't see yourself as rich and making $300,000 is nothing. it's worse that i don't think you understand that i'm not making that kind of money and what my life is about. that is what is ultimately the disconnect with romney. >> i think -- >> every where they went, everybody knew this was the richest politician they ever seen and how come it never became an issue like -- >> charm is a factor. back in 1946 in the first race, first a war hero, working class guys in boston, the other guy said he's a war hero we'll look up to him, but there is a wonderful night of candidates night, each guy stood up and said i had to fight this way, i didn't go to college, college of hard knocks and jack's turn he stood up and said i guess i'm the only one that didn't come up the hard way and it was a joke.
i want to tell you about mitt romney he's a boss, always been a boss. he tells john king i'm not going to answer your question. when he ran against ted kennedy, he said i won't answer your question. he's used to the business press where you can success magazine isn't "hardball" isn't any of our programs, you don't have to answer the question, you say the interview is over. look how he dealt with the tree thing. any staffer would have said governor, what is this with trees? cool it. he didn't because he said the same exact thing the other day, several days ago. he doesn't have people around him like you and i have been, you and i have been this, we worked with politicians, you got to get back to the other thing, i love you boss but you have to get back to this thing. i don't think he's trainable. i think if he's president of the united states and still possible he will be, we will put up with an arrogant president will hold press conference where he tells reporters, i answer the questions my way, you can ask the questions you want. he won't answer the questions. i've never seen a presidential
candidate like this fella. he doesn't believe the press has a proper role to quiz him. the other thing is i don't think he's fixable by his staff. anybody saying the things he has been saying is not trainable. >> this is contrary to the initial caricature of him he's a robot programmed to win elections and this fake thing, automaton you're saying he can't focus and you're saying he can't be trained. >> he won't be bossed around by staff or press people. >> john mccain said earlier in the campaign, what is the one piece of advice that you would give? he said get rest. he said every mistake that i made i made because i was tired out on the campaign. and unless you've gone through this it's as physically and mentally demanding as an experience that i think almost anyone could have. and i wonder if he's tired, whether he's not getting enough rest, but when you have these statements pile on top of each
other like they have with him, they create a narrative that get terrible for him which is he's no better than the other candidates in a race against obama. the chances of mitt romney winning versus obama are no greater or less great than rick santorum, and of course that is not true. in the context particularly given santorum's comments over the last two weeks. so it's clearly an area of the campaign that should mitt romney go on to win tonight, should he become the nominee of the party where they have substantial work to do and you have to run a presidential campaign offering a positive message and vision for the future of the country. what does prosperity look like? what is a 21st century conservative vision to create opportunity in this country? and so far, there has been very little of that and if you're going to win, you have to be successful. >> he was singing america the beautiful for a while. you can make fun of him he may not be a good singer, he was
trying to be positive many. >> he had a strong performance in the debate last week. santorum was killing himself with the social issues. romney talked himself down seven points by talking about nascar owners and his cadillacs. he will take defeat out of the jaws of victory it's him. i don't care how tired you are. you can be tired, you don't talk about cadillacs and nascar owners unless it's in you. weariness does not do that to you. >> this is what i find interesting. he talks about the private sector, spent his life in the private sector. where are his business associates coming out being his surrogate. i did a deal with mitt, honest guy, brilliant, where are this is surrogates about all this success he had in the business world? i have been in business a while i've come across guys you can't do a deal with their way or the highway you lay it out for them it can't get done, this what is they will do. it would seem to me mitt romney
right now is at a point he needs somebody that has done deals with him to step out and say he's a stand-up guy, he knows what he's talking about. where are the people? >> as much as politics suggest people care about businessmen and want them to be president, they know it isn't true. if you brought that out on the stage, the question would be what was the deal? really, how much did mitt make? $190 million, really? >> he would say i'm not going to apologize for being successful. i want everybody to have that success. >> bring a couple employees that said he would be a good boss. where are all these businesses with all these jobs, give me two employees that say he was a good boss. he was really somebody that cared. he has not produced anything. here is a guy straps his dog to the roof of the car and can't apologize. and you're wondering if he's tired? he doesn't have it. >> a word about the rich. scott fitzgerald said the rich
are different than you and i but some of them think they are not. they are the kind of classy old world rich that do not get -- they are not vul garians like donald trump or athletes and movie stars who spent all every penny they have, there are plenty of people who don't have romney's money who look like they have more by the way they spend, so yeah, i believe that there are moments when mitt romney does his own laundry and knows how do do it because he's that kind of rich. america has forgotten that kind of rich exists because those people don't draw attention. >> like that senator who shined his own shoes? i remember him on west wing. you created him. >> i think al sharpton's point is the salient one, it's whether you can con receiimagine the ave of an american. >> if you're fighting for cutting taxes on the rich it becomes more awkward to be wicked rich.
>> we have 39% of the vote in the race in michigan, still too close to call, 39% in, a difference of 12,000 votes between the two candidates, mitt romney and rick santorum at the top right now but it's too close to call. when we return, we'll talk with the young mayor of flint michigan, meecoverage continues just a minute.
a forceful defense of the auto bail out in the speech to the united auto workers convention, that bail out both mitt romney and rick santorum opposed, rick santorum robo call trying to make an issue of mitt romney opposing it but not mentioning that mr. santorum opposed it, too. with 40% of the vote in michigan right now, mitt romney is leading rick santorum in michigan but the race is still too close to call. right now at 41% in, difference of less than 12,000 votes between the two candidates. important part here, too close to call in michigan. dayne williams is the mayor, thank you for being with us, we're happy to have you here. >> hey, you're welcome, a lot of interesting happenings in michigan. >> how did we get from mitt romney winning by 9 in 2008 to being too close to call? >> fhe flip-flopped and made comments that we're scratching
our heads about and when you do that the voters take notice. so this should have been a very different day and night for governor romney and instead it's proving that this is also about states not just candidates and michigan is looking better for the president than it was a couple days ago. >> the romney campaign tonight in what they have already told us and what they have told other networks, what they are telling reporters about their plans for the next few days on the campaign trial they are really, really going to go after rick santorum for having attracted democratic crossover voters. there is two ways to think about democratic crossover voters in michigan. some democrats liked rick santorum for whatever reason, the other is shenanigans, they might have been voting for ryan shallenberger becau voting for rick santorum they thought a long primary campaign would be better for the democrats. do you think the crossover vote
happened and do you think rick santorum ought to be dinged for it if he helped it happen? >> it did happen, it happens in every michigan presidential primary this is part of our process, you go to the polls, you asked for the ballot you want or in previously elections you voted in the column where you saw the choice you wanted to make. so this is the same situation that governor romney faced in the past. he knows how it works in michigan, for someone who has said so many times that he's in the best position to challenge the president and reach across the aisle he's flip-flopping and going back and saying somehow another candidate who happens to receive some of those votes has done something wrong. it's hard to follow i think again a lot of michigan voters reject his approach to the auto recovery, and to other economic issues that are are facing our communities. >> mayor, one of the things that is michigan-specific, talking importantly how michigan-spe
michigan-specific dynamics can affect the race, one of the things that emergency financial manager law has been expanded to give unilateral authority to come in and have individual people come in at the governor's direction and take over whole school districts, whole cities, flint is one of the cities affected by this. one of the things that happened before poll closings, michiganers who want the law repealed held a rally to announce signatures to recall that effort. to recall that measure. how much do you think the politics of rick snyder and conservative republicans in the state legislature there have affected how people feel about republican politics in your state? >> it has mobilized democrats and independents who care about the future of our state. it shows that elections have serious consequences and candidates who run on platforms, then work to enact those in those offices.
so elections have serious consequences. michigan voters know that and they are mobilizing and working hard to reverse those changes that were made subsequent to the 2010 elections. with the new opportunity in 2012. >> mayor dayne walling, thank you for being with us tonight. appreciate your time. >> you're welcome, thank you. joining us now is special correspondent tom brokaw, thank you for being with us. >> if you call me mr. brokaw i won't be with you. >> all right, tom. i'm not trained to do that but i will try. tom, when you look at too close to call in michigan is it a waiting game all that matters is who wins or the fact it is at least too close to call right now essentially the headline tonight for mitt romney? >> if it stays at this margin, say mitt romney wins but not by much, you can describe it as just enough for both candidates. romney can claim a victory but
rick santorum said i almost beat him there, i've got the voice of a lot of disenfranchised very angry people behind me, i can go on to super tuesday and well beyond that. i heard you discussing earlier mitt romney and his i guess would you describe it as character flaws as a candidate. i have been watching him as closely as anyone, i suppose at this point. here is a young man who probably thought when he first got out of college there is a good chance i'll run for president some day given my family background, my education, my own intelligence, success in business. given the expectations frankly of my faith, about what you do with your life. but at the same time, he was not prepared for the unexpected on the campaign trail. as steve said earlier the single toughest job in the world running for president. you have to also remember, however, that in a way he comes out of the same gene pool as george bush 41, he had his fair shares of malaplops but beat
mike dukakis handily because he had a warm relationship with the american public. they would forgive him when he made mistakes. i don't think romney has been able to achieve that. rick santorum on the other hand, whatever else you think about him, he's like a character in a bruce willis movie, he stays alive, running through the jungle, shooting from the hip, takes hits, stays angry the entire time. and is giving voice to people whose lives have been up-ended not only about economics but socially. then say i'm not crazy about the rest of them, this guy at least has the moxie, let's go with him for a while. >> i was reading teddy white for the races back in the 60s. terminology may be different by the republican party is sum lar. talked about the establishment, regulars and talked about the prim primitives, the one election
they won was barry goldwater. doesn't it strike you the more things change, the more the republican party has the two big he'll mens in it? >> i think both parties, frankly in fairness, chris, go through cycles. the democrats kind of lost their way as well with my fellow south d dakotan george mcgovern. he came to omaha because he got a good reception. there couldn't have been a more engaging man privately than barry goldwater, completely different than his public persona of the angry guy from the southwest. it was fascinating to watch him, you couldn't help but develop an affection for him. i think if that part of him had shown through he probably would have, i don't think he could have beaten lyndon johnson under the circumstances but emerged as a different candidate and later
in his life in fact he did become a very beloved figure of the senate. >> tom, stay with us if you can i like to bring in david gregory, the moderator of meet the press, also with us from dc. thank you for being with us. >> sure, rachel. >> when you look at this too close to call situation that we've got right now in michigan, that is not a final result but mitt romney won by 9 in 2008. and mitt romney is not a guy who has never run for president before, he has been doing this a long time. was too hard for him to do he should figured it out four years ago. what explains his erosion in his home state? >> well, i think you have been describing it in part which is flaws as a candidate. inability to be an effective disciplined candidate, to show who he really is or showing who he really is should fake it better in some circumstances. he's not an easy candidate to watch in that way. he doesn't have the range that
some of his competitors do. look, he's up against giens in newt gingrich and rick santorum who as tom says, know how to shoot from the hip. are less concerned with all the pieces being in place than the movement they are trying to lead, and don't have as much at stake in this part of it. they can run a momentum contest here, this is republican front runner in romney who came in with great expectations to pull this thing together. and i will note this, about romney today, i thought his comments were significant today when a, he took responsibility for missteps as a candidate, but two, he said look, i'm not going to let my hair on fire, i won't say things just to excite the base. i think one of the biggie row sh big erosion is standing with independent voters. he realizes his biggest strength as a candidate is not now, it's later. it's to be a more center
president. he becomes more formidable, but not if he's mi is mired in the primary fight, when he gets up against president obama if he can get that far. >> david gregory and tom brokaw, thank you for being here. with 51%, the race is too close to call. majority of the votes in 51% in, but a difference of 20,000 votes between mitt romney and rick santorum, it's still too close to call. when we come back we'll check in with the santorum campaign headquarters, msnbc's coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries, continues in just a moment.
when all of the votes are counted, mitt romney will have won the republican primary in the great state of arizona. there are 29 delegates at stake there, the state party would like them to be allocated on a winner take all basis. in michigan, a similar number of delegates at stake, 30 delegates, those delegates will be allocated proportionally and 57% of the vote in, it is too close to call. a difference of just over 20,000 votes between the two candidates. mitt romney ahead of rick santorum, but the important thing, too close to call. nbc's ron mott is with us now. from rick santorum headquarters in grand rapids, michigan. ron, we have been hearing a lot tonight from the romney campaign complaining that the reason that rick santorum has been competitive in michigan is because he got democrats and independents to support him, that he doesn't reflect his support among republicans. what are you hearing from the santorum campaign itself tonight? >> well, hey there, rachel. the santorum campaign is saying, look, we provided a message that
we hope that democrats and republicans can respond to and that's why he made that pitch in those robo calls to get democrats, if they were so persuaded by his message here, his campaigning here to come on over and throw support their way. the numbers, as of right now, are not in the favor of these folks behind me would like to see it. the campaign said, look, we have already won. no matter the results, because we forced mitt romney to defend his home turf, his home state, made him come and spend time here, made him spend some money here that perhaps he won't have down the schedule as we go on to places to the south and to the west. from here, they are going to focus primarily on three states. oklahoma, where they think they have a good chance to win, ohio where he had been pulling pretty strongly and then, of course, tennessee, they would like to compete very hard down there as well. tomorrow morning, once those headlines are written, a lot of folks might say rick santorum had all of this momentum coming out of that triumvirate victory with missouri, colorado and minnesota, had all that momentum coming into michigan and then
blew it over the past three or four days because of some of the things he said on the stump including calling president obama a snob for encouraging people to go to college and for referring to that 1960s speech by jfk to those ministers in houston that he said it made him want to throw up talking about the separation of church and state. today he tried to walk back that particular line, he said he would like to have that back and so some folks may say he probably could have won here if he doesn't ultimately win here, but blew it over the past three or four days. they still think they have a lot of momentum going out of michigan with whatever they end up here, either in first or second, rachel. >> nbc's ron mott in grand rapids. thank you. we'll check in with you again. i appreciate it. >> okay. >> in terms of that santorum walkback it was fascinating. he did not say he meant to take back any of his criticism of jfk's famous speech on the separation of church and state. the implicit point of that speech was that it is okay to elect a catholic president, don't worry, a catholic president won't take direction from rome. rick santorum still against the underlying part of that speech.
it is 10:00 p.m. eastern and with 61% of the vote in, michigan is still, say it with me now, too close to call. yea. 61% in, mitt romney, rick santorum separated by 21,587 votes. and arizona, nbc news can project that when all the votes are counted, mitt romney will win the arizona republican presidential primary. but with that settled, all eyes on michigan. and all eyes on where the vote is in thus far from michigan. and what that might say about the eventual result. more now on that, where the votes are coming from in
michigan, what areas have yet to report and what that means. for that, we go to msnbc news political director chuck todd with us now. >> look, everybody is looking at these totals and i'm sure the junkies are following and going, hey, romney's lead looks pretty good here. what is preventing all you smart guys from calling this race. the big reason is oakland county, one of the largest counties outside of detroit, it is a big place, big place of importance for romney, most of the vote that has been reported is absentee vote and we do know that romney did really well in the absentee vote. our concern right now is that we haven't had enough of the actual raw vote of election day voters and we do know that santorum did better with election day voters. and so that is the big issue there. you've got something like half of the vote in oakland county alone still out, that's another 70,000 plus, maybe more raw vote to count. and if the assumption is santorum does better. so you see why we're within
margin of error territory when it goes with what it looks like now, the absentee vote, and mccollum county, so you have a lot of the romney folks sitting there looking at the county data saying this is great for us, but the problem that they don't tell us is how much of it is absentee and how much it is actually election day voting. that's the concern we have now and that's our problem county that we're watching and why romney looks like he's in good shape, but why we're not prepared to call this race. >> so oakland county, oakland county, just a very populous place, something like 1 in 4 of the votes that were cast in the last republican primary there were from oakland county. can you tell us a little bit about what that county is like? isn't it a relatively wealthy county? >> absolutely. this is a wealthy county. this is a good -- this is why there is so much good absentee vote for romney in the first place. this is -- this is basically home territory for him, but the
banked votes are good for him. the question is is he really going to have the same margin he has now among election day voters. and that's the question here. we know that oakland county will be a romney county. the question is what is that margin. we had it up to like 16 points that romney is winning oakland county. is it going to stay that high as more of this total -- more of the election day raw vote comes in. so that's the -- that's the issue here and that's, you know, why we're all being so careful. >> chuck, one last issue, we heard a lot of politicking, a lot of spinning tonight on the crossover vote and the prospect of democrats voting for rick santorum, either because they like him or because they think he would be a soft target. is there anything you can see in the exit poll data and what comes in -- what has come in that far that can help you quantify whether or not the spin around that issue is justified? >> it is clear that it was worth something like 2% to 4% of those voters who showed up to vote appear to be not republican voters in the -- when you look at things. we looked at strongly oppose the tea party, descriptions of
themselves as very liberal, that that seems -- when you start carving up the vote a little bit. you can't just look at the democratic number and these exit polls because there are a lot of reagan conservative reagan democrats that do participate. four years ago, 7% of the electorate in michigan between when it was romney and mccain was democrats. and this time it is about 10%. so that's where it does feel as if there is two or three points. what did that mean for santorum? probably at least 2 percentage, maybe as many as 2 percentage points. the problem is you can't fully get inside the voters' heads. wayne county is still -- i'll be curious to see what the total vote is in wayne county, detroit, where a big democratic county in general, what that total vote is compared to what it was four years ago. that could be an interesting way to look at it. and the exit polls, the best way to slice it, i think, is taking strongly opposed tea party and that very liberal number and that's where you start finding the totals. >> chuck todd, thank you very much for that. it is interesting. we're waiting for rick santorum to speak.
he should be here shortly, just in the next couple of seconds. but it will be interesting to see if the mitt romney campaign tries to spin the closeness of the michigan race, totally on this allegation about democrats. >> well, the breakdown of the map there is strikingly similar to iowa. i mean, rural michigan, it looks like santorum's going to wipe the map. the same way he did in iowa. and i mean there is something about this guy, when he gets in a rural area, he pushes the social issues, people gravitate to him. the upper peninsula, where you saw on the map there, that's heavy democratic area in michigan. uaw territory, a lot of retired people, a lot of democrats, but the fact is a lot of social issues play right into those folks as well. but i think that's -- in that western portion of michigan, that's always been strong republican conservative territory. >> what that looks like is a population density map of michigan, right, where there is a lot of people, you're having people go for romney where there are fewer people but a lot of big open spaces, rural areas, you're right. >> i think is just the way i
look at politics. it is the way hemingway looked at morality. what is good is what you feel good after. and i think that people who vote for -- >> i don't think about that. >> it is not too deep. it ain't too deep. seriously, i think when you walk out of the voting booth, if you're a christian conservative, evangelical, a person relatively to the right on a social issue you feel good about voting for rick santorum. win or lose. this isn't about some sort of steeplechase, it is about who do you feel good about voting for as president of the united states. i think all these people voting for romney, it is end justifies the means. he can fix this thing. fix that. it is no personal emotional connection to the guy. where there is with santorum. you have an emotional reaction to him negatively or positively. he's a real human being, you can recognize as such. romney, little bit of an android there. >> there is no hangover to voting for romney, though. you don't wake up and think i voted for romney, i feel guilty. there is nothing --
>> wouldn't that be like a bad date or a nondate? wasn't quite a date. >> i think you're right. with rick santorum, there is high positives and high negatives. for mitt romney, there is not much of anything. >> i get back to the basic feeling. i think a lot of people go back to church on sunday, next week, i voted for santorum, i feel okay, i feel okay about myself. >> i think he's right. i think that is good and bad because you have the negative. but i think the positive you don't have on romney there is nothing energizing around a romney vote. there is nobody -- >> you feel like you just voted. you did your civil duty and i just chose this guy. not that i'm going out there to make a statement. and you don't wake up the next morning thinking you did anything right or wrong. you may not remember you did because that's how romney is. >> president obama had that going for him big time last time around. how the voter felt after the vote. >> steve, you have talked about how enthusiasm is overrated, that you don't need the enthusiasm of voters, that you
don't need -- even to win a primary, let alone to win a general what you need is people in the middle to do essentially something that they feel not too strongly about, but they're willing to do anyway. >> enthusiasm is great if you can get it. but it is organic. i don't think there is a lot of enthusiasm for either of these candidates right now in the party, but i don't think that's going to be the reason they win or lose in november. one of the things i'm struck by is when we look back at the santorum speech that he gave in iowa, where he talked about his grandfather, he talked about really a singular focus on the economy, and you have to wonder if he had focused like a laser on the economy, if he had delivered an economic message, and he wasn't talking about contraception as dangerous and the president is a snob for wanting kids to go to college, and that the separation of church and state makes me want to throw up, if he hadn't talked about those issues this last week, you look at where the margin is now, i wonder if he could have been doing much
better in this race. >> it wouldn't be this far. i'm not here because i like doing cross word puzzles. i'm passionate about politics. i have all kinds of different currents about it. some of it is just ideological. some of it is personal. i like certain people. i never go into a voting booth and go, i got to get this over with and i got to get this over with. >> nbc reporting in michigan, gop primary voters who identify themselves as catholics, 30% of the total, voted for romney. 43-37. the catholic vote going early on here to mitt romney. >> not good for santorum. >> not good at all. it has to be the candidate comment. >> we're watching rick santorum's headquarters now in michigan. candidate about to speak. he's given some very polished speech off teleprompter with prepared remarks and more off the cuff remarks. it will be interesting to see what he chooses to do tonight. rick santorum, let's go now.
>> wow. [ cheers and applause ] a month ago they didn't know who we are, but they do now. what an absolutely great night. i am so thankful, so thankful to so many people here tonight. first and foremost, i have to say to the people of michigan, you know, we came into the backyard of one of my opponents and in a race that everyone said, well, just ignore, you you really have no chance here. and the people of michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates and all i have to say is i love you back. thank you. [ cheers and applause ]
i also -- thank you. i also, as i said, you're getting to know me. >> we love you, baby. >> well, thank you. not necessarily exactly through the mediums i want you to get to know me, but you know we have an opportunity tonight to tell you a little bit more about who rick santorum is. i want to thank the folks up here on this stage behind me. my wife karen and my family who is represented here by elizabeth and john and at home, the rest of the family, daniel and sarah maria and peter and patrick and our little bella. i want to thank them for standing him me, not just figuratively but literally every day of this campaign. so thank you very much. i want to tell you about more specifically about three people. first, someone who is not here that i haven't publicly thanked yet and i feel like i have been remiss at doing so.
and that's someone who i know is watching too. and that's my 93-year-old mom. [ applause ] i'm sure she's feeling very proud, one of her first job was in saginaw, michigan, and she was very, very excited i was coming back here to michigan, but my mom's in a very, well, unusual person for her time. she is someone who did get a college education in the 1930s and was a nurse and got a graduate degree as a nurse and worked full time and when she married my dad, they worked together at the veterans administration. that's where they met, right after the war. and later on they were -- they had me and the rest of the family, my brother and sister and my mom continued to work. she worked all of my childhood years. she balanced time as my dad did -- >> i'm sorry to interrupt this speech, but i have to because this is important. nbc news can project that the
winner of the republican primary in the great state of michigan is mitt romney. it has been too close to call since poll closings. but now mitt romney is the projected winner in michigan. and with that, we'll go back to rick santorum's speech. >> -- big heart and commitment. you know, that's probably one of the reasons i ended up marrying the person i married here, karen, someone -- [ applause ] someone who is as strong as they get, someone who is -- i met when we were -- when she was just about to start the practice of law and i was doing the same. i recruited her in more ways than one to my law firm. karen was a professional, worked for a nurse for nine years and after that, she -- we got married and she walked away. and she decided to stay home and raise her children, but she didn't quit working, obviously. raising seven children is a lot
of work, but she found time also to be an author of two books. those books about really went to the heart of the family and something she knows a lot about. she too has been that rock that has been beside me and has been a great example of how it is important to balance that work and family and do so committed to making sure that you're the best at both that you can be. and now i'm proud that i have a daughter here, elizabeth, who is a great part of our campaign. she goes out on her own and campaigns and the feedback i get is you stay home, just send elizabeth out. you'll do just fine. so we have been very, very blessed, very blessed with great role models. for me, someone who tries to go out and do the job i'm doing now, to balance the rigors of running the campaign and trying to maintain a good and strong family. we all have to do that as americans. we all have that responsibility
to make both work and work as well as we can. and it is getting harder out here in america. it is getting harder for people to make ends meet because we have a government that is crushing us every single day with more taxes, more regulations and the idea that they know better than you how to run your life. that ultimately is about what this race is about. it goes down to the very nature of who we are as americans. are we a country that believes in big government? do we believe in the smart and elite in this country to manage us or do you believe in free people and a free economy and building a great america from the bottom up? what do you say? well, we put together a plan and we announced it here in michigan, our first 100 days. what we're going to do, our
freedom agenda, how we get this country turned around. and the first thing we talked about is what on the minds of a lot of people now, that's the rising energy costs in this country. we can put millions of americans back to work if we would unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our energy sector of the economy, we can drive down prices, decrease our dependency on foreign oil, we can do it all. but we have a president who says no. we have a president who when the opportunity to open up federal lands for mining and oil and gas drilling says no, we have a president who we have an opportunity to open up offshore, he says no. deep water, he says no. alaska, he says no. build a pipeline, he says no. we need a president who says yes to the american people and energy production. [ applause ]
it's not just the consumer that is affected by it. but it is many communities across this country. rural communities that have been struggling. you look where the population loss is in this country, you look at where the up employment rate is the highest, it is areas where the government is shut down and made it virtually impossible for us to use our natural resources, to be able to get to that oil, to get to that coal, to get to that timber, whatever the case may be. bureaucrats in washington don't care about flyover country and those sparsely populated areas that provide us the resources upon which we live. i was in one of those areas a couple of weeks ago, in northwestern north dakota, and i went to a little town of tioga, north dakota. i'll tell you how small it is, that's about the fifth time i've mentioned in the speech and i have yet to get a shoutout for tioga, north dakota.
it is a small town. it is a small town. and it could be a boom town. but they're nervous because the present epa is hovering. this is oil. oil, out of rock, shale, it leeches oil. in fact, the highest quality oil in the world, light swede suite crude. it can produce thousands and thousands of jobs up in northwest north dakota, but they have trouble. they have trouble getting investors to come here. why? because they believe. they believe the government is going to shut them down or potentially pull the plug on them. they have a pipeline they would love to be able to build to get that oil to market instead of running truck after truck after truck through the roads of north dakota and then on the rail. this crude that comes out of this rock is a premium product, but not in north dakota.
they have to pay -- they get a $32 discount when they sell their oil. why? because we have a president who won't let them get their oil to market. folks, we need a president who is on the side of rural america, on the side of small town america, and opens up those energy resources for americans. [ applause ] and it is not just the energy industry that is small town rural america thrives on. of course, as you know here in michigan, it is manufacturing. one of the things i think that i feel very good about in -- as well as we did here tonight is the message of creating jobs, manufacturing jobs for small town america, resonated here with the people of michigan. they saw a vision for how their lives could be better. they saw a vision of how their ladder to success now could be
billed down to people with limited skills, but the desire to work hard and be able to upgrade their skills as they work in a manufacturing facility. we lost from 21% of the economy to 9% of the economy, but of workers and manufacturers down to 9%. that's unexcusable. all of it because government regulation and government taxation. we put forward a plan, the wall street journal calls it supply side economics for the working man. the working men and women of this country, to be able to get those jobs in manufacturing, to be able to get those skills, provide for their family, the average manufacturing job in america pays $20,000 more a year than the average job in america. we can get those jobs back. we need to slash the corporate rate for taxes to zero. we need to let the regulatory environment which barack obama is destroying and crushing manufacturing. we will repeal every single one
of barack obama's big government regulations on day one. [ cheers and applause ] and, of course, part of those regulations, the one thing we'll repeal right out is obama care. that is the biggest issue in this race. it is an issue about fundamental freedom. it is an issue about whether you want the government to take your money and exchange, give you a right. give you a right. they're going to give you the right to health care. that's what president obama promised. but, of course, when the government gives you a right, they can take that right away. and when the government gives you that right, they can tell you how to exercise that right. and they do. not just what doctors you can see and what insurance policies or how much you're going to get
fined if you don't do what the government tells you to do. but even go so far as to tell you how to exercise your faith as part of your health care bill. if the government can go that far with obama care, just think what's next. ladies and gentlemen, we need a candidate who can go out and take on barack obama, who is -- who is an author from 20 years ago, the author of free market health care economics, health savings account, has been a fighter for replacing all of the programs across this country and the federal level, with government run health care, with not romney care or obama care, but a program based upon you, called you care, because that's what we believe in in america. [ cheers and applause ] we have got a great conservative
track record. not just health care, but i'm taking on the big problems that confront this country. the deficit, huge expanding and exploding debt in this country. someone has been an advocate ever since i was in politics for a balanced budget amendment fought tooth and nail to get it passed, came within one vote, but have never given up trying to fight. we will work to pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, but in the meantime, we will do something that no one else has ever successfully done. but i did. and that is we go out and end entitlement programs at the federal level, give them back to the states and cut them dramatically to save money. people said we couldn't do it. we did it. i was the author of welfare reform. welfare reform which ended a
federal entitlement, cut the program, capped it, gave it back to the states like we need to do with medicaid and food stamps and a whole host of other programs that are already run by the state and have no business according to, remember that document, what is it called, oh, yes, the u.s. constitution, that thing, right? we need to get those programs back to the states. we need to save the federal government money and more importantly welfare didn't just save money, didn't just cut the roles, but it saved lives, it put people back to work. it gave them something that dependency doesn't give, hope, and that's what america is all about, giving opportunity and hope. [ applause ] all of our economic plan is based on a very simple concept, based on what worked for america
from its very founding. i waive this constitution at every speech and talk about it being the operator's manual of america. it is how america works. it is the how of america. but there is another document equally important, which is the why of america. and that's the declaration of independence. and in that declaration is these words, we hole these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. that phrase is the most transformational phrase ever written in a government document. that phrase said that we are going to be a country with limited government, and believing in free people to be able to form families and communities and churches and educational institutions and hospitals and be able to build a great and just society, a free society from the bottom up. that's how america works best from the bottom up. and that's the solutions that
we're going to propose for america, the bottom up. [ applause ] the men and women who signed that declaration of independence wrote this final phrase. we pledge to each other, we pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor. when they signed that document, they had very little hope, real hope of actually succeeding in a revolution against the british. the british are the most powerful army in the world, the navy in the world, ruled by highly educated noble people. the uniforms were crisp and stiff. they looked good.
but their rulers ruled them from on high. didn't listen to them as they fought the revolutionary war. our leaders were different. george washington, the signature leader of america, was different. he understood that the greatness of this new country was to have leaders who understood that in spite of their breeding and education they didn't have all the answers, that they could trust the people that ragtag group of people who stepped forward to volunteer, to create freedom in this land. and they believed general washington believed in them. in fact, some of his boldest moves came not from him or his generals, but from the ranks. that's how america's freedom was won, leaders believing in the people that they led against
those who just thought all the answers resided in those in charge. ladies and gentlemen, that is what made america free and that is what will make america free in the future. thank you. god bless. thank you. [ applause ] >> pennsylvania senator rick santorum giving what is in effect a concession speech tonight. we got word that although we called the race during mr. santorum's speech, before the speech mr. santorum did call mitt romney to congratulate him on mitt romney's win in arizona and in michigan. again, the big news tonight, mitt romney has won both of tonight's primaries, arizona and his home state of michigan. we don't yet know what the final margin will be in michigan, but rick santorum giving a speech there with every indication that he's not only continuing his campaign, but moving forward with a real populist inflexion,
maybe more so than in the past. >> we just saw it. if romney could have give than speech, no problem winning the nomination. we saw the heart of the republican party separated from its head to the extent there are hearts and heads involved here. they are separated. this guy can give a passionate speech, as you were pointing out, without a teleprompter. >> that's right. >> romney can't do what that guy just did and that's really important. that means on the stump he can't turn people on. he can't turn them on after he wins or loses. we'll watch him give a speech tonig tonight, a good, competent speech. i think he lacks this guy's passion and that's a real loss. barack obama can do both. he has a brain and heart and can cause a thrill in the american people. because he has both. he can have a vision, and he can have a passion to go with that vision. i don't see them getting together here for the republicans. i think it is a real challenge for them. i think that's why this is rocky and, by the way, just on a political point, i think rick santorum said i'm carrying this election all the way to pennsylvania. he's going after marcellus oil,
he'll sell this in oklahoma, he'll sell it in pennsylvania, he's going to be the minerals candidate up north dakota, he's going to sell the fact that he can't maybe win in a big metropolitan sophisticated suburbs where romney has the money people, and the country clubbers. it is coming down to rural areas. >> it is hard to come out of -- michigan loss and say i'm the guy who can win in states that have blue collar power. >> he's going to do it. >> he's trying. he pulled the rock out of his pocket to say he's going to do it. >> i pulled the rock out of his pocket. >> he did. that's what it was. michigan governor rick snyder here speaking. we expect to hear from mitt romney, who will speak soon. you are the or terator on the s with us. do you feel like that was one of his best speechs? >> i feel it was a very good speech for him. not as good as iowa, but i thought it was probably second to iowa. and, but, again, i agree with chris, he's not up against a
great orator. it will be in my opinion a lot better than what romney's going to have unless somebody has done some major change in mitt romney tonight. >> you're hedging there, al. you're hedging. >> they know -- they know how high the stakes are. you can feel it when the guys take the podium. mrs. romney will do what she has done in other speeches. she'll take responsibility for thanking people in the room and mr. romney will start in on the speech without having to do that. >> she's the best part of the speech. >> she'll do the human graceful speech. and he will read a teleprompter because they have not allowed him -- he did one of these, one night, without a prompter and they have not allowed him to go out there without a prompter since. >> i think these guys now know that every time they speak at the end of a primary night, they are speaking to the nation, it is a big deal, the momentum out of these nights is huge and they have been big inflexion points. we have seen the momentum change with who wins these races.
i think mitt romney knows he actually can't just count on having one arizona and michigan tonight. he has to give a great speech. >> jimmy carter used to do that. he would sit down after winning one of these surprise primaries with the top banker person in a hotel room and have a nice conversation. sometimes that's more effective than a stump speech on election night. >> i expect mitt romney to knock it out of the park. it is his moment. it is his moment. there has been so much talk about him not doing well in michigan, he has the victory tonight. the stage is set for him right now for the recovery and to redirect. if he's going to do it, now is the time to do it. >> lawrence, i think you nailed it earlier tonight when you said the problem with mitt romney's candidacy is anything short of perfection feels like a failure. >> certainly anything short of nine, that's what he wanted the last time, against a guy who ended up then going on to get the nomination. so how much do you have to beat santorum by tonight to rule him out from getting the nomination. that would be a wider margin
than romney will win by. >> steve what does mitt romney have to aim for here? >> he was so close to being the de facto nominee of the party until missouri, colorado, minnesota, to the santorum sweep. he was inches away. so i don't think they're taking anything for granted anymore. i think he's got to give a good speech. i think he beat santorum tonight, but didn't break him. i think the drama over michigan now moves to ohio, which is a far more important state and a general election calculus than michigan is for republicans. and so i think when you look out ahead to the week ahead, he needs to start making a case, move beyond the gaffes, get into a clean start for the week to come, because it is going to be a fast moving week. >> and, of course what he's also moving into is a landscape where once again newt gingrich is back. newt gingrich was on hold from -- in terms of his billionaire money for these last two -- these two contests tonight. his billionaire has hooked him up again for the next contest and the gingrich campaign is back on.
so he's back into a field that has newt gingrich who has beat him in the past who complicates the effort to appear inevitable every time he's there. >> once again, romney spent massively more money in michigan on this campaign than santorum. and santorum on the other hand, though, was -- ten days ago, on the verge of winning this thing by a significant margin. imagine where we would be tonight without all of the santorum mistakes that occurred. this was not something that romney went out there and won. this was something that santorum kept away from himself with a lot of in politic comments over the -- >> you don't think the santorum gaffes and romney gaffes evened each other out? >> no, they're very different gaffes. romney gaffes are underlining something you already knew, he's a little odd, he's a little strange, he talks about tree tops. santorum, santorum decides running against romney's not enough, he'll run against john f. kennedy, who is the single most popular president in our -- >> and women. ten points more popular than ronald reagan. >> here is mitt romney speaking
tonight, having won arizona and his home state of michigan. let's listen. [ cheers and applause ] >> okay, first, thank you was first state to call it, thank you, arizona. great victory in arizona. and thank you, michigan. what a win. this is a big night. thanks, you guys. you know, a week ago, just a week ago that the pundits and the pollsters, they were counting us out. but across michigan and arizona i kept on meeting moms and dads and students and grandparents and they were concerned about what is happening to this great country of ours. and i was confident that we could come together today and take a giant step toward a brighter future. so tonight their efforts brought our cause a great victory and we celebrate with people across these states. thank you.
now tonight is also particularly special for me because this is the place where i was born. this is the place where i was raised. my mom and dad lived many years here and loved this great state. and i know that michiganders in this room, we consider you all family. thank you so much for your help. and in this room are the people who knocked on the door and made the calls and went to the polls and it made an enormous difference. we didn't win by a lot but we won by enough and that's all that counts. and, by the way, in arizona, special thank you to governor jan brewer there and senator john mccain. they were tireless, particularly john mccain, he's been all over the country helping. what a hero. thank you, senator, thank you, governor. they're out there -- we have got two sons out there that are celebrating with them. great thing about having so many in our family, we can cover
almost every race. so super tuesday will be stretched, but we'll find a way. our campaign, as you know, is about restoring the promise of america. last week i unveiled a bold economic plan that will jump start the economy and will get michiganders back to work, it is going to get americans more jobs, they're crying out for and we'll have less debt and smaller government and i'll deliver on more jobs, less debt and smaller government. we got to hear that day in and day out, more jobs, less debt, smaller government. you know, there are a lot of people who are saying that if you're running for office, you really can't speak honestly to the american people. well, we did. and i will. and because this is a decisive moment, i believe this is a time that requires real leadership in our country, times are tough, we need leaders who will live with integrity, who have the encourage -- the courage to tell the truth and have the
experience to get our economy back on track. that's the kind of leader i aspire to be. that's the kind of leader i will be if i'm president of the united states. our campaign -- our campaign is about more than just replacing a president. it is about restoring america's promise from generation to generation. americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better. americans have always believed in a tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity. that's what it means to be the land of opportunity. in america, you know if you work hard, you can build a better life. if you teach your kids the right kind of values and help them make the right choices in life, you know their future will be prosperous and secure and that deep confidence of a better tomorrow is a basic promise of america. today that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy, at a failed presidency. four years ago, we warned that the presidency was no place for
on the job training. well, today we have the economy to prove it, all right? this president, by the way, he likes to remind us he inherited an economy that was in crisis. but he doesn't like to remind us that he also inherited a democrat congress. he had majorities in both the house and the senate, he was free to pursue any policy he pleased. did he fix the economy? no. did he tackle the housing crisis? did he get america back to work? no, instead he put us on a path toward debt and deficits and decline. it is time to get off that path and get back on the path of american prosperity. now, these -- these days when he's not -- when he's not spending our money, or infringing on our rights, he's -- he's busy running for
re-election. he believes that -- did you hear this? he believes he ranks among the top four presidents in american history. can you believe that? i find a different spot for him. he thinks he deserves a second term. he says we can't wait, to which i say, yes, we can. today we're $15 trillion in debt and real unemployment stands at 15%. you've heard that old saying about i need a vacation from my vacation? we need to have a recovery from this so-called recovery. you know, we -- as a nation we have survived a great depression. we have weathered two world wars. we made it through tough times. and we have not come all this way to give up now. we still believe in the hope, in the dream, and the promise of america. we know our future is better and
brighter than these troubled times. that unwavering conviction guides our campaign and this effort. it rallied millions of people to our cause and it is a message we'll take to every corner of the country, from ohio and idaho to georgia and tennessee, we have seen enough of this president over the last three years to know that we don't need another five years of president obama, because -- he thinks he's unchecked by the constitution. he's unresponsive to the will of our people and in a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. if there is one thing we can't afford, it is four years of barack obama with nothing to answer to. so we're going to get them out of that office and get him back home where he belongs. now you saw his budget.
you saw the budget, he put it out, it foreshados what we're going to see ahead if he's the president. runaway spending, record debt, they were the warmup act. for an encore, he wants to raise taxes on job creators, and small businesses and families. and we are not going to let him do it. in this campaign i'm offering a real choice and a very different direction. i have a plan that will restore america's promise through more jobs and less debt and smaller government. president obama is making the federal government bigger, more burdensome, and bloated. i'll make it simpler, smaller and smarter and it is about time for that to happen. he raised the national debt. i will cut cap and balance the budget. he passed obama care, i will appeal obama care.
he lost -- he lost our aaa credit rating, i'll restore our aaa credit rating. he rejected the keystone pipeline. i'll get us oil from canada that we deserve. and by the way, i'm going to open up our lands for development so we can finally get the energy in this country we need at a price we can afford. look, when it comes to the economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not worrying about how to save my own. this president -- you -- this president wants to raise your taxes. i'm going to cut them. that will start with an across the board 20% rate cut for every american. i'll also repeal the alternative minimum tax and we will abolish finally the death tax.
and, you know, he has now proposed raising taxes on small businesses and job creators. i'm going to lower the taxes. i'll also lower the corporate rate to larger businesses to 25%. i'll make the r&d tax credit permanent to foster innovation and i'll end the repatriation tax to return investment back to our shores. there is a lot of money off shore that should come back to america. let's have a tax plan that puts americans back to work and i have it and we'll get it in place. now you know he also proposes to raise taxes on savings and investment. and if i'm the president, i'm going to help middle class families save and invest tax free. yeah, good, i agree. i agree. it is about time. and he also has a -- an
extraordinary gap in his policy proposals. do you realize after saying that medicare and social security were in trouble, he has yet to offer a single serious proposal for saving medicare and social security. i have a plan to save them both and unlike him, i have the courage to put my plan on the table for people to see. look, what this campaign is about with my plans are about are creating jobs, and raising wages for the american people. they're going to strengthen our entitlement programs for the next generation. and they will not add to our deficit. we will finally balance america's budget. now, beyond having a plan to get our citizens back to work, i have the experience to get our economy back on track. i spent 25 years in business. i was also the steward of the olympics and the leader of a state. i cut taxes 19 times.
i turned a budget short fall into a surplus. i know how government can kill jobs and, yes, i know how you it can help create jobs. and i stand ready to lead our party to victory and our nation back to prosperity. we'll get the job done. this is a critical time in america. it is our time for choosing. and this time we got to get the choice right. i said it before and i firmly believe it, that this campaign is about saving the soul of america. this election -- this election comes down to two very different visions of america. it is a choice between becoming a nation of and by washington, or remaining a nation of and by a free people. a choice between an entitlement society and a land of opportunity. a choice between squandering america's promise and restoring that promise for future
generations. if you want to make this election about restoring american greatness, then i hope you'll join us. if you believe that the disappointments of last few years are a detour and not the destiny for america, then i need your support. i'm asking for you to get out and vote and i'm asking for you to go on mitt romney.com and pledge your support in every way possible. i'm asking you to join the fight for our freedom, to ensure that tomorrow will be better than today. this election, let's restore america's promise, let's fight for this country we love. we have got work ahead. we're going to do that work, we'll take back america, america's the greatest nation of the history of the earth, we'll keep it that way. thank you, guys. you're the best! god bless the united states of america! thank you! >> former massachusetts governor mitt romney speaking in michigan tonight after winning the michigan primary and after winning the arizona primary.
chris matthews, we said leading into this, perhaps unfairly, raising expectations that this had to be a great speech. we thought that a consensus on the panel here is that rick santorum gave a pretty good speech. was this a good one? >> no, like soul, it is a business proposition. he'll get rid of the death tax. you win a couple of primaries, he'll get rid of the tax, reduce rates across the board. this was an appeal to fund-raising. he said this is a good investment when i get elected for the very rich. who cares about the death tax? what kind of an issue is that? very rich people. >> the very strong bumper sticker for republicans. everything that is wrong with the tax code they will tax you when you're dead instead of the democratic party theory of -- >> they want to leave the wealth to someone. i thought it didn't have any lyrical quality or passion or beauty or vision. it was basically you make a better deal if i'm president and i thought it was a deal making
proposition, the kind of thing that a person working for bain capital would do for a new client. i think it lacked all the santorum qualities. unfortunately or fortunately for the president, these two candidates each have a piece of what a good candidate can be. one is annalytical, one is a daa miner and one is a passionate guy. i think they come together and end up being disintegrated. >> there was not a peep in the speech about rick santorum it was all about barack obama. >> it was all about president obama. look, rick -- mitt romney tonight said he had to win. he did win. that counts. it is an important win for mitt romney tonight. had he lost michigan, there would have been panic, there would have been a meltdown in the republican party. the race goes on, but he goes on today in a better position and he was 48 hours, markedly. i think when you look at the speech, there was a lack of vision. he talked about recruiting people to the cause. listening to the speech, i don't understand what the cause is. he is not outlined an
affirmative vision for the future. he's not defined conservatism and conservative approach to answering problems that are real in people's lives all over the country. and i think until he does that, he's going to continue to be criticized as running a visionless campaign. >> we have got lawrence o'donne o'donnell, ed schultz, reverend al sharpton on deck to respond to both of those speeches, talking about what this means when we come back. msnbc's coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries continues. stay with us.
santorum and mitt romney tonight. reverend al sharpton, you have run for president, you are an orator. your entire life you spent talking to people. either of these men impress you tonight? >> i think santorum is by far the better speaker. i think th he was like reading somebody else's speech that he was trying to get to the end. and i think both of them, though, did not mention the other, which means we're in for a long haul here. not only did romney not mention santorum, santorum didn't mention romney. >> he implicitly talked about the man, right? >> they both went after obama. i think santorum gave more of a vision of where he wanted to go. >> rick santorum has to be wondering where he would be tonight if he hasn't attacked john f. kennedy. last gallup poll, john f. kennedy, 85% job approval.
ronald reagan, 74% job approval. the next one down is bill clinton, into the 60s. couldn't have taken on a more impossible opponent than president kennedy and i think he paid for it in michigan. >> this is a man who went around the state in a car talking about how much he loved michigan and tonight i didn't feel the love at all. he had an opportunity to talk about growing up in michigan and what it means to come home and to win his state, he couldn't do it. he gave the opening speech of the real estate convention in fargo. that's what he did. but here is what i really like. i like the fact that he's going to cut taxes 20% when he only pays 15%. i want to see this. the death tax. you're exactly right, chris. here is the bottom line, he won and he won by just enough. and that's going to give him an opportunity to go back to wall street and say i'm still your guy. >> and he said that, i thought it was two notable things for me from the romney speech, none of
them were poetic. one was started by saying we may not have won by a lot, but we won and that's what counts, telling everybody to stop horse racing this and just credit him for the victory. you do not usually hear him say stuff like that. the other thing, at the end of his speech, i don't know if it is unprecedented for him on a primary, started going back to the other speeches, but giving out his web address, what you do when you're looking for small donors, can't do it with billionaires alone maybe. msnbc's coverage of -- >> better than writing a check. >> msnbc's coverage of the michigan and arizona primaries continues after this. thanks for being with us.
good evening. for the special late-night edition of hardball. mitt romney faced a dangerous proposition, losing a home state and the inevitability his campaign has touted for months. he comes away with two wins. with a 7% of the vote, 41% to rick santorum's 38 kris. 70% of the vote in, he has 48% to santorum's 26%. candace bring back the momentum romney so desperately needs to regain his footing? can he convince the voters of
ohio next week when he has the vision and passion to be president of the united states? great questions. rick santorum might have the heart, but has he shown the voters he can win major metropolitan areas instead of just a rural areas? let's get more from our exit polling tonight. the host of news nation. great to have you on the tonight. >> thank you for having me. the exit poll shows two of the keys to mitt romney's victory in the michigan-primary were electability and experience. among ronny voters, nearly half said that the quality that mattered most in deciding which candidate to support was that he can be president obama. 31% said it mattered most that the candidate has the right experience. take a look at this. when it comes to electability, romney has slipped in recent national polls against barack obama and as no better than rick
santorum for the november general election. in the view of michigan republicans tonight, romney still looks like the strongest nominee. 54% pick romney as most likely to beat obama, twice as many as rick santorum. now for a quick look at which voters supported him. he did very well among older, affluent and better-educated voters. household incomes over $100,000. look at the number, at age 65 and older at 48%. college grads, 45% went the way of mitt romney. there is still some lukewarm feelings toward romney even among those who voted for him. about have strongly favor the candidate they picked tonight. 42% have reservations. we talk a lot about that. the% said that describe their vote mainly as against the other candidates. that is a look at some of the
reasons why mitt romney won tonight. >> well said. thank you so much. the guy joining us right now, steve schmidt, has been through this race before it. what i like is when we see all that data and it matches up with what we think. the people with the big money voted for rummy. the people that won electability, older people with higher education voted for romney. there is a passion deficit here. i wonder, am i right? are we watching a totally different races right now than what we will see in november? barrise right now is who turns you on. the race in november will be, how do you the obama? it does not matter, but how you beat him? >> electability, absent absent passion is a transaction. that is what is happening right now. voters are engaged in a
transaction with mitt romney, coming to accept him as the nominee, not necessarily passionate about him. when he moved into a general election, i don't think enthusiasm will drive the outcome. i think that republican voters will unify around the nominee on the question of getting rid of the president, denying him a second term. in a perfect world, you would rather have a passion for your guidance against the other, but as long as there is some, you can work with it. >> i will ask you something fundamental. we are looking at two different realities, who the republicans like. they don't like anybody. they do know they don't like obama. when it comes time for the fall campaign, won't it all be about how much the republicans want to get rid of him? >> the democrats tried this with john kerry. it was all fired up and all this -- carey had the same sort of issue.
it was never really full for him pretty have to go back to nixon, 6'8" for someone to win without passion in their own pace. part of that was the democrats that were unified in '68. they were upset over body, some over the vietnam war. it splintered that, and nixon was able to get in there. think about every other winning presidential candidate. the year that they won, they had this passion inside their own base, the people that would crawl across broken glass. i do think romney has to figure this out to. this has been the chief complaint i have heard from republicans who would like romney to win this nomination but go out and earn it. get something that fires up the core of the heart of this party. you will not get the cultural warriors, but there is a middle ground in the middle class republican voter who isn't thrilled with wall street but isn't crazy about the cultural
wars. >> let me ask you a human question. have you met anybody who has changed? >> sure. >> i haven't. you are talking about making mitt romney in to the candidate of passion and vision and excitement. i just don't see how he makes that metamorphosis this. >> i think you are talking about change at a molecular level. the answer is no. >> how you get him to fake it? >> i think he is who he is. part of the process of running for president is you are revealed as who you are. the thing that he has control over is what he talks about. there is nothing preventing him from offering a speech tonight where he lays out a vision for the future of the country. all of the examples of his conservatism, about what he did as governor of massachusetts, not about what he will do over the next decade. he has control over power if he could do that.
>> there is a business prep proposition and not a vision. somebody said it a few minutes ago, why didn't he say what it meant to him emotionally to win in the state he was born in? >> you do wonder this. short of that, can he figure out a way to make the technocratic part of his -- i say this in some people will say that you are trying to talk about michael dukakis, but he almost needs to figure out how is that a strength? he needs to figure out how to make things work better. the government doesn't work anymore. i will make it work. he needs to figure out and take what is really bold a weakness and a strength, this cold, calculating part of his brain and use it as a strength to beat mr. fix-it. he. >> he is still focusing. about getting rid of obama as if it is the picture on the mound. you have to replace him with the
guy in the bullpen. it's not about me behind the curtain but that guy on the mound who can't get them out anymore. here he is focusing on obama again in his speech. let's watch. >> four years ago we warned that the presidency was no place for on-the-job training. today we have the economy to prove it. he fix the economy? the note. ticky-tack bolt the housing crisis? >> no. >> these days when he is not spending our money or infringing on our rights, he is busy running for reelection. did you hear this? he believes -- i would find a different spot for him. he thinks he deserves a second term. he says we can't wait, to which i say, oh, yes, we can. >> that is a guy who has been in
a corner with politicians. does he have the personal fiber to stand four or five feed and talked that way to obama? >> we will find out if he is the nominee. what i am struck by is the lack of joy. >> there is no smiles. >> i always thought in 2004 when president bush was giving it to john kerry, he always had a smile on his face. the crowd knew you what he was doing. he was enjoying it. he loved the theater of politics. when you deliver a thrust of your opponent, it's not because you have venom for him or disagree with him, but part of the theater of it. he seems really genuinely annoyed with the guy. >> i think that was supposed to be a punch line. you get it part as a joke. i think that was supposed to be a laugh line, but he didn't deliver it. i do think that was what he was trying to do. >> bob: you are so smart.
i like a man who grins when he fights. a grin. >> i go back to this acting thing. don't try to change him but figure out. this has been a frustration of people that feel like they know romney. he has put himself, i have to do all these things to do the check marks on the conservative vote, don't alienate anybody period. that is what goes into his head. somehow they believe that if you disparage the president in some way, and i will do it in the nicest way that i can, i will get an okay, he wasn't so bad from the mitt romneys and the stuff -- excuse me, rush limbaughs. and stored of taking his core strict and running on positive. >> you first, why didn't either of the candidates competing tonight talk about each other at all in their big speeches? >> santorum, both of them realized i had problems. when you look at what is going
on in ohio, they both realized that more people are seeing them. the more they have gone negative, both of their negatives have gone up. i think we have seen it with all voters. they both have an acceptable rise in that. >> will let supervises do the dirty work. >> let's see. they have to to a point, but i think a lot of the momentum will be drained out of santorum. a lot. >> there was a desire to go a long way. it now includes my home state of pennsylvania. north dakota, oklahoma, trying to make the pitch that they can produce more wealth for those areas. i really heard it tonight. >> these energy issues you night -- unite the republican voters. this is one of the areas with rising gas prices that i think these candidates will talk a lot
more about, particularly as we move ahead to some of the energy states and some of the states with great energy potential. >> you talked -- watch the obama campaign, the first tv ad was a defensive added. they do know this is their soft spot, energy. >> green jobs? >> exactly. the improving economic picture, manufacturing in michigan, there will go for the soft spot. the obama folks know that and is why they are so defensive trying to prevent these attacks. >> did rick santorum when his spot as the alternative to mitt romney, or is it a chance for newt to get back in? >> i do think it has been so volatile that if you look ahead, i think santorum has to win somewhere next week. if he doesn't win any -- >> you guys, let's start with this. ohio, best that? >> let's talk about the one
before super tuesday. washington state to back okay. >> significant woman population is what gives romney some chance. pat robertson won this bacchant '98. >> let's talk about the big states next week. ohio, best chance for santorum? >> that is if they he has to win. >> because why? >> important state, cultural, heart and soul. >> he is from the big ten. >> he is knocked on a you have to vote twice for the delicate state. santorum didn't qualify for the ballot in three cds. he could win the state's. >> i think ever since penn state joined the big ten, they call pennsylvania part of it. we will talk ohio next week. we will talk to you all week about the big states, all ten. >> tennessee is my favorite
southern state. >> also, santorum. okay. thank you, chuck todd, steve schmidt. when i come back and what is next for rick santorum, can he about to back? that is what we will talk about. steve schmidt has been talking about it all night, ohio is what you have to win in november. the michigan and arizona primary coverage will continue in a moment.
santorum talked tonight about economics, not jack kennedy and church and state, condoms and all that stuff about birth control and abortion rights. he talked jobs and economics and minerals, minerals development. is this a pivot point toward economics? >> not necessarily a pivot point. he has talked about this for the entire campaign, you guys cover different parts of the speech. the bottom line is that we were outspent the 6-1 in mitt romney's home state. he did this three years ago. he has the most name idea of anybody and with in three points. we might have more delegates than him. mitt romney and his campaign have a serious problem. after the speeches tonight, rick santorum clearly has a passion for this country, and the voters have a passion for him. that is a big difference between the candidates. you know better than anybody, so much of politics can be boiled down to do i know you, do i
trust you, and do i like you? >> i did notice tonight that it was heavily embroiled with economic opportunities and freedom and the end of taxation. it was very much economic freedom speech. am i right? >> that will be the theme for rick santorum. it will be back to those cultural issues, which he has talked about. he has talked about them. >> yeah, he has talked about the other issues as well. cutting spending, not voting for tax increases, entitlement reform for the welfare system, those are things he accomplished in the united states senate. he can point to those and say he has dumbos before. that is a big difference as well. of course he is talking about manufacturing. he knows that is important. we have a huge problem in the manufacturing sector. it will resonate with everybody. everybody is struggling right now. this economy is struggling. rick knows that. the country knows that. he is offering a plan, a vision,
>> that state much like michigan will be a big battle ground. the bottle ground in the general election. it is a state where the economy is the primary issue. this campaign is touting that the economy was their top issue. mitt romney was the heavy winner here. nonetheless, he has a lot of questions to answer as he goes forward. some he addressed in a conversation with reporters. acknowledges mistakes on the trail. he will have to be a lot better going forward to try to stay on that. it happened again tonight. one thing that was noticeable was as he said throughout the course of the campaign, michigan, a state where he was born and raised, is personal. he stuck around a bit longer than usual, chris, shaking hands and lingering. savoring the win. he still heads to ohio and north dakota. he is going to the state of washington. he has a busy seven days ahead. what we are talking about next
tuesday is just as important tonight's. >> great reporting, peter alexander. let's go now to next week to howard fineman. howard, let's starts with this, it seems to me, howard, you have mitt romney in massachusetts, vermont and virginia. you have newt starting in west virginia. >> the two key ones are ohio and tennessee. ohio is an absolute must win, i think for both rick santorum and for mitt romney. ohio is famous as a bellwether state and a battle ground state. it rick santorum is going to win a big state, it has to be that. it neighbors his hometown of pittsburgh and butler, where he is actually from in western pennsylvania. he will be carrying his manufacturing message and he will have to carry it there. tennessee is a state where mitt
romney has to show he can win southern votes and win in the bible belt. tennessee is certainly nashville with the cosmopolitan of the bible belt. if mitt romney has a message in the south, that is key there. >> let's go to jonathan. if mitt romney wins ohio, is rick santorum having a hell of a long race to go? he cannot win if he cannot win ohio, right? >> that is right. you cannot forget about newt gingrich. he will probably take delegate rich georgia and oklahoma. if he takes tennessee, then we will have him as part of our coverage. this thing will keep going for at least another couple of months, no matter what happens on super tuesday. one of the things to look for, chris, is this rural suburban
split. red america is rural. if santorum, who is not a rural candidate. he is a suburban candidate. if he can transition to pick up all of the small towns with a republican turnout which is heavy, and can get them going against the city slicker mitt romney, he could have some success with the counties that he is not spending very much money in. the other factor is money. if foster frease wants to help him play in ohio, he could be more competitive there. >> listening to the speeches tonight, howard, they were not talking about michigan or arizona. they were talking about the states. what i heard from rick santorum was not just a passionate speech, but a particular call for support from the miners of
north dakota and oklahoma and pennsylvania and ohio. the shell oil thing there. he is going for the anger against washington. >> jonathan said it is small town and mining country. those are two things that rick santorum knows about. he grew up surrounded by and can talk about is energy. digging whether it is shale or fracking. you name it. it is something all republicans can agree on. it is a defining and unifying idea among republican voters. it is something convincing aboue can weave his own background and the grandfather is a coal miner and so forth and he knows it from pennsylvania, and he will carry it across the country, and it is a way to go after president obama and get republican votes as well. >> and tonight, jonathan, he went after money and the
interest, and tonight he tried to talk about big incomes and big wealth, and it may have a symbolic effect on some people, but a tangible effect on some people, and if you want to have $1 billion from mitt romney, it do doesn't bother, you right? >> well, it does bother a lot of republicans. but, he has to figure out how to connect. he just is missing that con neck tiff tiss -- connective tissue e average voter and getting by organization and money, and strength of going after obama, and he is not getting by in the essence of connection to the voters. rick santorum's problem is one of the discipline. if he had started out with the son of a grandfather of a coal miner, he might be in the race,
but he slips back to what he is an social conservative who is obsessed with the social issues which are peripheral to the economic concerns of most voters. if he can figure out how to stay more on message, he can do well, but he cannot catch him, but he can dog him all of the way to the convention. >> well, we love him, because he answers the question. if you ask him a question about birth control, howard, he will answer it for 30 minutes. >> well, i have known rick santorum for a long time and i have covered him for a long time. he is stubborn. h he is a stubborn guy, and if you challenge him rather than trim for most of the time rather than trim, he will come straight at you and double-down on whatever the passionate belief is to mix my metaphors there. >> and it is so dumb politica y politically, and he did in the last ten days he went after sex and jfk and college and three the most poplar things in america. >> and we have a lot of them in
common in all three, i have noticed. >> and mitt romney had kid rock endorsing him. >> so straight ahead we look at the fight, and we only have a week left, howard. it seems to me that i have seen on a promotional thing, that it is the beginning of mitt romney beginning this, or him unwrapped and does it look good for him? >> well, he is always in the process of being wrapped and unwrapped, chris, but now it is on a ten-state scale. it is the first national election in this national election year. ten states on one night, and not as big as some of the other super tuesdays have been, but still darn big. yes, mitt romney has to win ohio, and he has to win a big south certain state. and by the way, georgia was assuming and i assumed, too, that it is in newt's corner, but the polls are fairly tight there, and i know that rick santorum is going there thursday to go to the big carpet factory in dalton, georgia, and talk about manufacturing, because
they lost jobs there, and all of the candidates are going to compete in georgia. it is a big state with more delegates at stake than any other state. >> and ten statuettes next week will win big to be the big artist. >> well, it won't be a silent movie, chris. >> fortunately for us. >> thank you, howard and john. good night. mitt romney is the big winner to night and now the battle is on for big souper tuesday and say i who wins five is the winner. it is a three-way fight. msnbc's coverage of the big primary fight tonight continues in a moment.
you know why i knew this rescue would succeed? you want to know? it wasn't because of anything that the government did and it was not just because of anything that management did, it was because i believed in you. i placed my bet on the american worker. and i will make that bet any day of the week. and now -- [ applause ] -- three years later, three years later that bet is paying off. that bet is paying off for you and america. three years later the american auto industry is back. >> and go g ing back to the spel
late night edition of "hardball" and that was the fired up president of the united states, president obama, being cheered on for a barn burner of a speech before the united auto workers in washington earlier today while romney and santorum fought it out for michigan, the president was reminding everyone out there that he rescued the car industry. can this fiery populist message fuel obama's chances in the 2012 race? well, that answers itself, because steve schmidt, and howard fineman are still with us. howard, being a student of musical theater, you have to remember that is the great line from "how to succeed in business" i believe in you. i can't believe that was not from that play. this "i believe in you" and he was smart enough to give the workers the credit for the industry and not himself. >> well, that is the fall campaign where you had the president although he was speaking to the the united auto workers in washington really aiming at michigan and aiming to play to get into the mix of the advertising on in michigan, and
the obama campaign did, and they wanted to get into the conversation and into the mix and take the other side of the argument about the auto industry bailouts. and they are poplar among democrats in michigan and independents in michigan, but not among the republicans, but it was a lower republican turnout in this primary in michigan, so i think that the president is pretty good shape there. that's part of what he was, what he was doing tonight. >> you know, just a few weeks ago i thought that whole part of the country was in play, but now, steve, i don't i think that it is as you, and michigan is now a democratic state. >> i think that. it is hard for me to look ahead and see how michigan is going to come back into play. this is a state that is pretty safely in the democratic side. >> and what about the other auto-producing states like ohio. indiana, and ohio and wisconsin and those kinds of states? >> well, i think that ohio is a swing state and as close as a tick can be. you know, it is a state that the republicans have to win, and
just like we have seen in the last couple of elections, you are going to see a huge amount of focus and energy by both campaigns. >> howard, a labor-wise thing that you see the uaw celebrating the comeback of an american industry to do well out there, and since the ruther brothers in the 1950s it has been the pioneer and good labor organization, opportunities like good health care and impact iin their lives? >> well, chris, i am an old reporter for the news currier and newsweek and the sad thing is that while the industrial unions while we think of them emblematic of the labor union in general, are really not. the unions that matter are the teachers union, and they are the heart and soul of the party like newt gingrich and others will remind everyone of.
what the romney campaign was focussed on tonight were the gallup poll numbers. the new gallup poll numbers show the president with a 43/50 favorable/unfavorable rating nationally, and also show mitt romney with a test matchup beating the president 50-46. so, the speech that he gave to the uaw today and enjoys the sort of havoc created in mish gab amishgan and the weakness and the division of the republican party, but they should not be deluded at the white thousands that it is anything but a close race, because the unemployment is over 8%, and while the auto industry was saved and thank god for that, there is a lot of work to be done. >> and steve, you seem to be admitting that the real ti of this out there in the country, and as howard is saying tonight from the gallup poll and the white house connection and i think that there is a
disconnect, and this euphoria from washington is misplaced. >> well f foundational element of the race remains the same. both sides have about 48% of the vote, and it is going to be a very, very close election in a closely divided country. it is a clear politics average which is the number that everyone looks at inside of the campaigns which is an average of all of the polls together have the president at about a 48% approval, and you know, 48, you know, 48.9% disapproval. so, i think that it is pretty clear over the past couple of months that the numbers have improve and they would come up and i would take that gallup poll and not bet the farm on it. >> who is the favorite right now knowing all we know about europe, oil prices, gas prices between now and the probability of the unemployment number, and hiking up a little bit closer to
8 or 9 again, given all off that, is the president the favorite or romney? >> if you had to lay the money down on the table right now the president is a slight favorite. >> slight favorite? >> slight favorite as any inc e incumbent would be. and chris, we spend our time talking about the races and the events that have already occurredopposed to events yet to occur, be it iran or occupy wall street or the eurozone cry and wisis and who >> yes, iran could be at war with who knows who. and the arizona primaries is going to continue for a while now. stay with us.
welcome back to the special edition of "hard ball" here, and what did romney's win tonight tell us about the state of the race right now and the strength of the two campaigns or the three campaigns including newt gingrich. msnbc's analyst howard fineman is back and washington post columnist and msnbc political analyst eugene joins us and as does john roberts. and i have that magical word in-fight, and howard, tell us the scuttle. >> well, i think that, chris, it
has been no secret that a lot of people who are friends of mitt romney's presently in the campaign or outside of the campaign in the republican ranks have been on a little bit unhappy with the way that the campaign has been run. and this last week with the ford fiasco and the botched trip to nascar land and various other missteps by what is supposed to be a very professional campaign just kind of amplified it. that, plus the sort of notion that, he has not improved as a candidate and he is grinding out a way here that is costly in the long run, because it has raised the negatives to a high degree, and that is causing a lot of carping, and it is focused on the current staff. you have heard publicly from former romney people like consultant mike murphy also an analyst on the tv and alex castellanos who has had ties to romney's other past campaigns,
and publicly critics of the campaign saying it is a solus campaign without any energy. they say there will be changes and not cataclysmic, because he won the night, but winning ugly this way is not what the friends and supporters of mitt romney wanted. they don't like the way the campaign has been run. >> gene, you are a great writer and pulitzer prize winner, and you have a wonderful way of putting words together, and why can't he find a speechwriter, and where is peggy noonan or landon parvin and where are t y they? are they all employed in journalism now and they can't do the jobs now? is that it? >> well, i can give them gerson's phone number, and he is a colleague of mine and maybe he can write for them. >> a columnist of the
"washington post." >> you are right. no magic to the words. this is what we have got, but it is possible to find a speechwriter who hears romney's voice better than romney does, but who hears the resonances and the cadences of romney's voice and hears in theme menelements something that you can use and clay that can be molding, but it can be done. look, he won two primaries tonight, and imagine the alternative and what we would have said if he had narrowly lost in michigan or had nated in arizona, but winning ugly is so much better from his point of view than losing elegantly that he, you know, he will take it and see what he d do on super tuesday. >> and john harwood, richard nixon never got a great run from historians could give a very, very good speech, and he would
sit down to write them like the great speeches of the '68 convention and '60 convention and they were barn burners and people like ted sorenson would say, wow, what a speech! and why can't romney deliver when he knows it is a big night, some kind of vision or passion? >> well, i think that it goes back to mitt romney's person personality. i talked along the lines that howard was making a moment ago with a veteran house republican tonight, very politically savvy and wants mitt romney to be the nominee, because he thinks he is the strongest general election candidate, but here is the problem, the dogs don't like the dog food, and mitt romney seems to represent, mitt romney seems to represent the establishment, and the base doesn't like the establishment, and therefore he is fighting like crazy to win the very republican voters that any republican nominee will get in november, and he said that he doesn't recall a potential republican nominee with this much difficulty at this stage since gerald ford, and somebody
who had to fight that hard on the republican side in november. >> and the strategy of romney is that if you don't like the dog food, i will starve you until i do. and i will get rid of all of the dog food until you have to eat me. and that is the strategy. and we know next week they will try to beat santorum in ohio and knock him out. >> that is the fundamental strategic doctrine of the romney campaign. it goes back to the very beginning, and the guys i mentioned before, mike murphy and alex castellanos and their further iterations of romney as a politician and carping from the sidelines and saying, hey, we remember a guy who was engaging and dry, but engaging and wholesome and people kind of liked him, and they are sort of saying, we don't like what the campaign has done to a guy that we knew. if the whole purpose of the campaign is to destroy everybody and everything around him, then that takes away what we thought,
and i'm quoting these guys now, what we thought was ultimately not bad about mitt romney which is sort of that we thought he was fun dalt algly a decent guy, and in the world of politics to be a decent guy is an inspirational thing. anyway, that is what they are saying and i agree with gene, what the current campaign structure has to do is to keep winning. if they keep winning, they will keep the hounds at bay here, but they are ready to pounce at any minute. >> john harwood, can you tell us -- >> chris -- >> next week, we have ten races, and it is like the academy awards and numbers who wins the most elections next week? the guy who wins five, is he the winner or six even? >> well, i think that there is going to be special attention on ohio above every other state. rick santorum is going to make a stand there, and try to, he's been leading in the polls, and his campaign told me tonight they don't believe they have been terribly hurt here, and by the way, his campaign, i got off of the phone with the senior strategist a moment ago who said, look out, we may win more
delegates than mitt romney in the state of michigan, because we may win more congressional districts and that has the potential of being like the iowa result that looks a little bit different in the light of day if in fact they do win a majority of the delegates, but you have a bifurcated situation, and ron paul is looking at states like alaska, like the state of washington, like idaho trying to win delegates, and they believe they can win delegates in vermont, and newt gingrich is on the air right now in seven states, his super pac is, and they believe they can win in georgia. >> okay. thanks a lot. ly be right back in a moment, and coming up in the next hour, the speeches tonight from rick santorum to mitt romney. one of the problems of the country is that we have been all basically excused. go grab your tax cuts and let somebody else fight in the army, and i sometimes think about the soldier who is on post right now. maybe in afghanistan in a terrible place scared to death. and maybe one of the things that