tv News Nation MSNBC March 6, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
he made a very strong speech. the new york posttod today, pla of the largest jewish community in new york. hand of a friend. let's hope iran believes it's real. those are the kind of public images around. >> my friend, my colleague, thank you so much. we'll be talking about this all day. now to tamron hall. thank you so much. the "news nation" is following immediate reaction to president obama's news conference. his first of the year, by the way. let me bring in chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. i also understand david gregory is still with us. we also have ali arouzi.
the president hitting a lot of things but the most important is iran. >> it's a political headline where the president said in essence, bring it on. he wants to have this debate with the republicans about the rhetoric that's being abused, about what to do about iran. he seemed both dismissive but almost in a lecturing mode when it came to what he was putting as the republican candidates. this seemed to be a direct response to what mitt romney earlier today at apec said about what he would be doing about iran where he would be moving warships to make sure that iran knew that the military threat that they could visibly see the military threat. it seemed he almost challenged him to think if you think we should start a war, then make the case. >> i think we have the sound from the president discussing this notion of attacking iran. let's play it. >> measure my commitment to
israel is seen in the actions that i've taken as president of the united states and indisputable that i've had israel's back over the last three years. >> i believe we have david gregory with us. are you there. we don't. let me go back to chuck. we have rick santorum who came out swinging. i believe it was david and that's why i wanted to bring him in who said a lot of what mitt romney hazarded regarding israel came off as up and dopandering s willing to say whatever it takes. >> that's the danger i thought the republicans were going to box themselves into. he created one policy red line that containment would not be a strategy. that had been debated in the obama national security team. do you anticipate that iran will. you're going to have a containment policy. if you're ruling that out, it
means you're willing to do whatever it takes to stop the iranians from getting the nuke h nuclear weapon. what did that leave rhetorically. it seemed romney and santorum, at least as far as what the president seems to think went even farther in their rhetoric. policy wise as he points out, and i said to say when you read romney's speech, there's not a lot of difference. it's the rhetoric that seems hot. >> let me play what rick santorum said earlier. >> we need to say to the iranian government, the time is now. you will stop your nuclear production now. you will open up your facilities for inspectors from the united states and other countries so we can certify that those efforts are stopping and being
dismantled now. >> chuck, santorum says he's not warmongering here. he's not trying to promote here. this is war weary country. you have people after the unintentional burnings of the koran who want those troops out of afghanistan, including conservatives and many on the right. >> it's amazing. it's not any of our fault we're in the middle of a super tuesday coverage. we asked the specific questions about what to do about syria and iran. when you give the menu of opt n options on the policy table how majority chose anything not directly with sending troops and getting into some military engagement whether it's air strikes in syria or its u.s. leading. it was only 21% specifically when it comes to iran that u.s. leading the assault on iran. another 26 were having u.s. back
israel. even greater numbers on syria. >> is there any traction to be had for these gop candidates on this issue? is there any gain here for them? >> it depends on what actually happens. rhetorically, i don't think so. if all things are status quo in what's going on. the proof is in the pudding of what's going on in iran. what happens there. do we find out they are farther along. at this point, i think politically the republicans aren't on the best side of this, but if it turns out what we don't know and they are right about it -- >> i'm going to get you to hang on. i'm going to go to ali arouzi. the leaders there know the meetings that took place between benjamin netanyahu and president
obama. how is it playing out through? i think we have lost ali. let's talk about the domestic issues here. the president getting a bit of a laugh line out of gas prices. he was asked if there was master plan to increase, a very strange question, the price of gas. let me play what happened there. well, we don't have that either, chuck. >> we got a lot going on. >> it's super tuesday. just not super audio around here today. the president was asked this very strange question about gas prices and whether this was a conspiracy to bring up the price of gas. >> this goes to comments that were made in 2008 when secretary chew when there's been a lot of talk at some point americans may have to in order to wean themselves off of foreign oil and oil in general so it goes back to comments that were made back in 2008, 2007 by both
members of the obama administration. that's what the conversation about. the president said what president running for re-election would be rooting for high gas prices. i can tell you this, you can tell by their actions, they say they are not worried about this issue, every public event outside of the white house seems to be about energy. they know they are nervous about this. >> when you have a candidate, newt gingrich who is promising $2.50 a gallon gas. >> i don't think they take that seriously. >> if that is the retort coming from that side and that seems to be the loudest voice, is there any traction to be had on gas prices by these people who want to bump obama from the white house? >> it will get traction in six weeks if the number keeps going up. it starts affecting consumer confidence and spending. it was well over 50% said these
high gas prices are having quite a bit of an impact on their families. if that keeps increasing, then the republicans are going to want to have this conversation. >> they're going to want to have the conversation, but isn't it time for something on the table other than as the president said drill, baby, drill. up to put an idea on there and it can't be go to war with iran. >> that's the problem. you look at domestic production up, consumption down. the explanation of the raising prices is less than anything in control here in the united states. it's all this global demand. >> and speculation. >> and nervousness about what's going on with iran. that's the box that both the lawmakers and the president are in. they can talk all they want.
c con sujs is down and production is up. ali, hold up has this played out on state run television there? >> the iranians have been characteristically defined. they said they will not go off their nuclear course despite threats of war and sanctions. state tv have wall to wall coverage today ov obama supporting israel. they made obama look very weak. they said this will weaken america if they attack iran. it's only going to be detrimental to u.s. interest. they kept saying they have an economy that's trying to claw its way back. this would only hurt the united states and europe. they are saying this. an attack on iran would galvanize support for the ruling system here. everybody in iran would have to support the system here. i don't think it would have the
effect of any regime change here either. >> we've lot ali arouzi. david gregory. thank you so much for talking with us. what's the headline from this news conference? >> i think the president warning the republicans to stop talking so casually about war saying clearly the country is not ready for debate about war in iran because we've not gotten to a point where a decision has to be made and this crisis is at that sort of pitch that we ought to be talking about launching war. he's speaking in a way that i haven't heard them. if they think we should launch a war, say so and let's talk about the consequences. he doesn't think the time is now. he's made it clear. sending a message to israel that the united states has its back but trying to pull them back to sap we understand this is a huge threat.
it's a threat to the united states, but we've got to lay more ground work, more time before we get into some sort of debate that's going to take us down the path of war. nobody wants war with iran. >> from the rhetoric we heard today from mitt romney and rick santorum, it may be a difficult case to make when you talk about aligning ships and the language and the rhetoric that we heard from both of those candidates. >> it's easy when you're running for office as opposed to being the president to talk about the idea to pandser, posture and say we ought to be tough and that we have to stop iran from getting nuclear weapon. that was the position ot bush administration. you can argue about the kinds of pressure points that have been put on, what might have been done earlier. the idea that there is a hard military track to follow right now, nobody thinks that's a good idea. i think the unmistakable
headline from the president was stop it, calm down. >> we have that sound. let me play the president and play what mitt romney said on the issue. let's play them both. >> when i see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, i'm reminded of the costs involved in war. this is not a game. there's nothing casual about it. >> i will bring the current policy of procrastination toward iran to an end. i will not delay in posing further crippling sae sanctions. i'll mag sure iran knows of the very reel peril if it becomes nuclear. >> gentleman, compare, contrast. >> i don't know what he was talking about. i don't know what he would do that's not being done. if woultd encourage the israelis
to strike sooner. i think he's trying to sound tough as a nominee. if you go through substantively, there isn't much difference than what the obama administration has done or what the bush administration has done or a romney administration has done. everybody says the same thing. nobody will allow iran to have a nuclear weapon and you take no option off the table. that's been a consistent policy going back now 12 years. >> chuck, how much of the president's tone and what he says today plays into his meeting with benjamin netanyahu yesterday? >> they clearly have come to some sort of agreement on how they will move forward and what happened behind the scene, i think we will continue to learn. they both seem to be comfortable now where the other is on this. i got to go back. that's what's stunning here is this rhetoric. iran is one of foreign policy issues that does resonate with
the republican party particularly with mitt romney. he really has amped up that rhetoric. again, you have amped up rhetoric. the next line of that speech is about moving warships. the policy difference, what sanctions aren't being implem t implemented? it's not us. it's the eu, if i'm not mistaken. >> again, i think that's essentially it. there's not a great deal of difference about policy. i do think what it underscores as much as we talk about the economy, the reality is there could be an event like a crisis with iran, which is not just a military crisis, it's an economic crisis. >> which the president pointed out. >> the world oil markets and effect the european economy and our economy. this is a huge deal. this could reach crisis level at some point. that could completely change what the debate is domestically
here in terms of what our politics is. all of us whether in the media or politician, this is war weary nation. we've been through two conflicts. we're not done with one of them in afghanistan. there's no way to go to war without really laying the long term ground work for why you do it and that everything else has been exhausted. i think just to back up, what the president is saying is let's not get to the crisis mode here. there's a lot of diplomacy left to go that's very delicate, and let not ramp up. >> i've got martin fletcher on. i want to transition on syria. senator john mccain calling for u.s.-led air strikes. obviously, not the situation we're seeing in iran. the president was asked based on the case he made in libya the mass loss of life, how do you make a difference with libya and syria. >> first of all, he said look national security interests which is a different standard than wafs used with libya.
he also noted you had a mobilized global or at least an international community with nato ready to go. the issue with syria is air strike sound like because you sit there and say that's what we did in libya. this is more what assad is doing is on the ground. it's not clear that air strikes would clear an opening for the rebels to have an even chance at toppling assad. i thought the president using national security interests, that to me was code for, we're not going to do much here. >> i also think he did say about libya, you can't stand idly by while a tyrant kills his own people. that is happening in syria. that's true. you have the a rab league that requested to come in. you had france playing a leading role. there's lots of concerns about
what the nature of the opposition is like in syria. you keep your eyes on a country like turkey. again, i think the president's rather clear that there aren't a lot of good options he would like to pursue. >> let me go to martin fletcher. give us an insight how this is playing out. there's not a consensus on what action should be taken. certainly even been spring. >> absolutely. there's nowhere near a consensus. it seems to be the prime minister has not yet made a decision. that's the key point. although there's great talk about israel attacking iran and when that would happen, it's pretty clear no decision has been taken by the prime minister. the defense minister appears to be the most gung ho for an take. those highest levels of government, there's almost no real debate in israel about what
to do. i want to mention one thing, crippling sanctions, that seems to be the term that's been about in the last two days, crippling sanctions. president obama asking for time for the crippling sanctions to take effect and israel is saying the crippling sanctions could work. the question is are they actually crippling? at the time being they are not. until those sanctions are put into effect and bear in mind, even when they go into effect, it will take a few months before they become really effective and at that point how crippling will they be and how crippling can they be in china, russia, india are not taking part in those sanctions? a great deal of hope is being
given to sanction, there's doubt whether they can be effective. if they're not effective, that's the time israel needs to make a decision. >> thank you. very different from what we're hearing sources say the time line of which israel have to launch a strike. the president at tend of the news conference asked about mitt romney saiding he was the worst president said jimmy carter. the president said good luck. what do you think he is watching for as chuck laughs. >> i think he's watching the same thing is rather romney can wrap this up. i think he'd have to see him be blooded as long as he can. he's in a position where he's able to raise money. he's standing by waiting and watching to launch a furious campaign. one more note about iran. there can be a debate about whether the diplomatic track has worked, whether these have been the best decision. i think it's difficult to do in
the heat of a political campaign with all the consequence offense a war would bring. what would happen elsewhere with other parts of iran. there's a lot of consequences. >> i think it's fascinating that the president didn't want to engage in direct questions about mitt romney. he said good luck to him. when it came on certain issues that he did say, fine, i will have this debate. out of this news conference, i think they want to say, i know what mitt romney said today and here is what i said back. they do embrace the debate when they think it benefits them. >> thank you so much. we have a long night. i'm here with you throughout the night probably past midnight and beyond. still ahead, speak sg of the big night tonight, ohio is a must win for mitt romney. will he seal the deal? we're going to take a look at
romney's rocky road to this point. here is a question of the day. which first lady said today that this presidential campaign is the worst she's ever seen. our "news nation" panel will join us. at at least three more advertisers have pulled ads. there's report to 28 companies have said bye-bye. what limbaugh is saying today and what's happening with his honor he was supposed to receive this spring in missouri. is that going to happen? join our conversation on twitter. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition?
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to one. when you look at the demographics of the buckeye state including blue collar community, everything points to it being a huge victory for santorum. our first team points out santorum would win oh and tennessee tonight but romney could win the majority of tonight's delegates creating math problem for santorum and a perception problem for governor romney. have you changed yet, steve? are you still holding on for georgia. i'm still holding on. >> i think he might end up passing rick santorum for the number two spot in the total delegate count when it's said and done. >> you buy that a.b.
you have gingrich saying he hopes to win his home state of georgia by a larger margin than mitt romney was able to pull in michigan. he's not on the ballot in virginia. he and his wife did not stloet. his organization and campaign have not sputtered out at this point. >> i think that newt gingrich is going to win georgia and be happy to do so. he's hoping to go onto alabama and mississippi and louisiana and kansas. that does not a nomination make. i think it's true what you said, rick santorum facing a real problem because he's out the delegates not only in virginia where he's not on the ballot but 18 of 63 in ohio, he would be ineligible for those. he really does have a math problem. there are santorum voters in ohio. if he won michigan a week ago, mitt romney would be in terrible trouble. santorum has seen his poll numbers sink like a stone. mitt romney looks like he could close it in ohio. it's definitely suspenseful but
it's make or break for rick santorum tonight. >> early i'm going to bring you in. i want to go back to steve quickly because he is the conservative. the most conservativive are still not willing to get behind mitt romney. he made the case that if he can wrap this up, then he can focus his attention on the president who held this high profile news conference within the last hour. is that a valid case at all, let me wrap this up so i can focus on the guy you really want out of office? >> no. conservatives loathe the republican party establishment as much, if not more than the democrats. at least they are honest about not liking them or agreeing with them. i think con sefbtives are at the point they don't care how much they bloody mitt romney because they don't think they will get
anything tangibly different. i was listening to the segment u you just did and they were discussing the differences between the rhetoric of romney and obama. when you look at their policy positions, there isn't much difference. con sefbtives want something different than obama not obama light. >> steve, on the issue of iran and israel, if you put santorum or newt gingrich, they're not in office. it's easy to say that you will start to move warships. that doesn't just apply to mitt romney, what you would actually do in office in this war-weary time. people don't want to see war again. >> i agree. i think the president asked a valid question, which is if you want to save a rattle, put your plans on the table. i think that can be turned around on the president and said
if you don't want to confront iran then put your specifics on the table. >> he is. crippling sanctions. that's not true. the president even today pointed out to sanctions, crippling sanctions as a start rather than the start, at least what mitt romney said which is moving warships. that's a heck of a start. >> tamron, your guest from tehran said these would take months to have an impact. that's what we don't know. we don't know how much time do we really have here. i don't think the republican s r the democrats know that. >> earl, steve touched on the fact that this bloody campaign would be taking a toll on whoever emerges. i want to play what barbara bush played a short time ago. she was being interviewed and gave her take on this campaign. >> it's been, i think, the worst campaign i've ever seen in my
life. i just hate it. i hate the fact that people think compromise is a dirty word. >> she was at smu university in dallas, texas. earl, the con sefbtives and the republicans believe it's the worst because the guy that might emerge as their guy, the one steve will be defending in a couple of months if he gets the nomination is mitt romney. so much as been exposed including this issue that won't stop following him, his backing op an individual mandate in insurance coverage. >> we've heard that over and over again that this primary as drug on and drug on. the gop nominee, whoever that will be, and i think it will be mitt romney will be bloodied to the point that by the time ghet gets to the general election, it will be over. it will be walk over for president. i've said along i think it strengthens them. three things have happened. it's kept it going, and that's
in a sense being an advantage because now all the issues, really the hit pieces that the democratic party and of course president obama would hit mitt romney with have been put on the table or most of them. the public have heard much of that already. we could go down things but they have already been laid out there. he's been pretty averse at that. the second thing is money and organization. ultimately that trumps everything and romney has both. i think a third thing too, public exposure. it never hurts because when the more public exposure mitt romney gets during this prolonged primary/caucus campaign is advantageous to him. it keeps him in public view. the bottom line is the brutal reality of this election is, do you want obama who you loathe or do you want mitt romney who you don't like, but he's not president obama in the
democratic party. there's really no other choice. >> a.b., we have a quick minute left here. i want to talk to you about earl's point. he's out spent four to one in ohio. i know there's a lot of if/then scenarios. i want to focus on if mitt romney loses to santorum, what's the ramifications? >> i think it goes on longer. it's harder for mitt romney fo find a president to the nomination. rick santorum and mitt romney know that if newt gingrich had gotten out a while ago, mitt romney could not have become the nominee. rick santorum would have consolidated all the anti-romney vote. newt gingrich has done him a huge favor by hanging in.
that will help romney tonight. >> we'll be talking about the rise of the south with newt gingrich tomorrow morning. i'll see if your headline is right. thank you. i really appreciate you coming on. a.b. and earl i'll see you later when we talk about rush limbaugh. limbaugh loses even more advertisers, and now an honor he was set to receive in his home state may be in jeopardy. we'll tell you how many business, how many kpcompanies e saying bye bye to rush. [ coughs ] what is this shorty? uh, tissues sir, i'm sick. you don't cough, you don't show defeat. give me your war face! raaah! [ male announcer ] halls. a pep talk in every drop.
i don't know what's in rush limbaugh's heart, so i'm not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology. what i can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse. >> that was the president responding to a question
regarding rush limbaugh losing sponsors. he is bleeding companies by the day as a result of his controversial comments about sandra fluke and two stations have dropped his show altogether. four more sponsors pulled their advertising just today including sensa weight loss and bare essentials. the numbers keep changes very fast. there's reports that 28 businesses have pulled their spots. let ea let's bring in our "news nation" panel. before we start up again, i want to play what rush limbaugh said regarding this war on women some believe is happening. let's play it. >> this whole motion of a war on women, it's so contrived. it's so forced. it feels so unnatural. there is no war on women. what there is, is war on freedom. >> obviously, a.b., leading up
to, i think what rush limbaugh is trying to present himself as a victim to his people, so they can come out on the other side and maybe counter the heat that he's getting from women and men regarding this remark. i want to be clear that a lot of people think it's just women and women organizations that are demanding that sponsors pull out. it's men as well here. >> yes, it is. i think that rush limbaugh got caught in his apology by trying to isolate these two horrible names that he called mr eed mis and he didn't apologize for the whole context of his remarks. the sentiment behind his remark, i think beyond those name, the worse thing he did was say that sandra fluke should take videos of herself engaged in sexual activity and post them online so that taxpayers can know what they were paying for. it wasn't just two words. it was everything he said. there are many people in this
country who listen to relinquus limbaugh in their kitchen and car with their children hearing as well. they love rush and they want their children to listen. there was a million things to apologize for. he just picked two words. he really extended this controversy and made it longer and more drawn out than he had to. i don't know, again, that the number of sponsors is enough for him to fold tent and really become more contrite and take the whole thing back. he has said a lot of things over the years and not had this reaction. >> i think that's the key. we don't know if he will fold up tent and hit the road. we know he has never experienced this kind of heat before, and it's primarily for what the president said and many others have said. people think about their own daughter, niece, their mothers. when you hear the comments coming from a man, especially a
powerful man. you heard the president bring up his daughters. this gets personal when you look at the facts and she's not a member of congress. she's not running for office. she's a woman who stood up and spoke out. that's the simple facts of it. >> the other thing is too, you talk about, let's look at sandra fluke for a minute. she's a georgetown law student. in other words, the perfect innocent victim. in other words, here you have someone who has been depicted and that's when he has an been, he's bullied people over and over again on the air waves. he's called people out of their names, and now you take this young, innocent person, i mean it's scripted in heaven that you are going to have to take a hit on this. i want to throw one other thing in. we talk a lot about the sponsors and public reaction. we talk about stepping over the line. we talk about the repurr cushions for limbaugh and others, talk show jocks who use this language and they consistently use it, i think
there's something else that i've kept my eye on which could be a bigger game changer not only for rush limbaugh but the republican party. if you notice one thing that instantly john mccain, george will, newt gingrich did not say anything. rick santorum has been silent on it. mitt romney has been silent but the others criticize rush limbaugh and the point being you have the gop establishment, they have been very uneasy over time with rush limbaugh and george will made a good point. he said he's been the boss of the republican party. in other words, you've u as you wered us. he's not another problem. he's also now got the gop mainstream. >> romney and santorum did comment on it but they were lukewarm. >> very lukewarm. >> santorum said it was absurd and chuckled.
we know romney said it was not the language he would use. a.b., in may, rush limbaugh is set to be inducted into the missouri hall of fame. some kind of bust of him is said to be unveiled. the house speaker raises the money for this golf tournament. is there pressure to not give this honor to rush limbaugh. he said he picked h eed him mon ago. this is coming in a direction he's not used to. he's not used to this kind of push back. >> no, he's not. i don't know that he's be upset if he doesn't get that award because i don't know if he sees himself in a leadership role. he's a businessman. he does well. >> come on. really? >> i'm asounded by that. >> he's influential in the republican party but i don't think he seems himself as a civic leader. >> you don't think he sees
himself as a leader of the party? first of all -- >> i don't think he cares if people make a bust of him. i think he's a businessman. he doesn't want this controversy to continue. he doesn't want to lose his sponsors. he doesn't want this to stay in the news. that's why i wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of an apology to him. >> part of his business is being perceived as a powerful man as the boss. when the boss gets shoved around it makes him a little weaker. it's kind of like people stand up to the bully. thank you. greatly appreciate it. there's five hours until the polls close in ohio. 63 delegates up for grabs. rick santorum and mitt romney started the day in that state. rick santorum casting himself as the underdog while mitt romney focused on last night's pitch of the economy. if the latest polls hold up, it's likely to be a photo
finish. a long night for all of us. romney and santorum in a dead heat. the latest cnn poll has both candidates tied at 32%. terry casey joins me live. thank you for joining us. let me get your feeling about your state tonight. >> well, one key thing is the turnout appears to be pretty light ju light. just before i went on the air i talked to one of top officials, and the word across ohio it's a pretty light turnout. part of that is because ohio only had a one-week window between the candidates getting finished if michigan and coming to ohio. the other thing is traditionally ohio has been a big player in the fall. it's not normally had a meaningful say. >> do you think that's the only window? it's a short window but they knew the candidates were coming. this is not a surprise party.
it's super tuesday. >> until december we didn't know if oh would have two primaries or one primary. >> okay. that is our third technical glitch of the day. i apologize. we'll get it together. we're going to go to a quick break. tennessee congresswoman marsha blackburn joins me. we're talking about the southern strategy. will the prize of tennessee go to mitt romney or rick santorum? we'll be right back. hey dad. see how the carrots i grow make that new stouffer's steam meal so tasty. actually, the milk from my farm makes it so creamy, right dad. ah, but my carrots have that crunch. it's my milk in the rich sauce coating the chicken and the pasta. boys! don't you think stouffer's steam perfect bag should get some credit? my carrots. my milk. my carrots. my milk. [ female announcer ] new from stouffer's. farmers' harvest steam meals for one in the steam perfect bag seal in all the goodness. they taste so good, we'll bet the farm on it. nestle. good food, good life. carrots! creamy!
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oh. let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad! [ laughs ] whoo! oh! you're up! oh! oh! so close! now where were we? ok, this one's good for two. score! [ male announcer ] share what you love with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. they're gr-r-eat! i'm martin bashir. on a critical super tuesday, president obama offers a lesson in leadership for the republican candidates as they attack him and one another. for rush limbaugh a much needed lesson in civility. now back to tamron. back to politics. another big prize in this
tuesday's contest, super tuesday, is tennessee. there's 55 delegates at stake. romney and santorum and gingrich are in a three-way tie. it should show the former massachusetts governor can win support of social conservatives and evangelicals in the south. marsha blackburn joins us. haven't seen you a while. thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> what do you think will happen in your state tonight? >> you said it well. it's going to be tied. it's going to be a couple of hours after the polls close before we know the results. santorum has been in the lead. gingrich has had a strong gain there with the tea party. you have romney who seems to have closed the gap. you're going to have a good solid race. tennessee is kind of a microcosm of america. i think that's what will play out tonight. >> i think you've not endorsed anyone so far. if that's still the case, why not?
>> i have been working with chairman of the rnc, we look toward raising the money that the nominee will have. i've loved the fact that in tennessee we have voters that are so totally engaged in this election cycle, they are vetting the candidates. they are looking at what people stand for. they are weighing in and what we're hearing is that they are showing up at the polls today to cast the vote. >> why does that prevent you from endorsing one of these candidates? i think you're one of most passionate members of congress. you're ready to get on and tussle with anyone. why not tussle with this and give us an answer? >> we're focusing on making sure the resources are there for our nominee to beat barack obama when we go to the polls in november. we're going to continue with that focus. i think that's what you're seeing so many of the voters do. we have had an incredible number of undecided voters who even yesterday were saying well, we're still undecided, but what
they want to do is choose the individual that they think is going to be able to beat president obama in november. i think this kind of participation is healthy. it shows engagement -- >> you think its healthy. barbara bush says this campaign is the worst she's ever seen. do you agree or disagree with the former first lady? >> i think the choice of rhetoric by some of the candidates has been unfortunate. it's not the way i would have done it. as an old county party chairman, i can tell you, when we have contested primaries, when we have people that are out there fighting to get their message out, we end up with a stronger general election candidate. >> the candidates are losing women voters and we know there are more women voters in this country. you're bleeding female voters as a result of not just what rush limbaugh said but this whole debate on contraception. you're also in a place where
independents are being turned off by the candidates, particularly with mitt romney who is forced to go to some of the right who will never really support this guy. >> this yooear, more than ever,e are seeing the ebbs and flows as people go through the decision process of who they will vote. i think you will see that from now until november. the good thing is this, people are paying attention. they are listening. you have had literally everybody in the republican primary -- >> they are listening and some of them are leaving as in the case of some women. >> i think what you'll see is so many of these individuals will come back as we focus on the first two things in this campaign that come up time and time again. jobs in the economy, issue number one. who will be able to really do something about jobs in the economy and number two is national security. who will keep this nation safe
and strong that we pass this legacy of freedom, free people and free markets to future generations. i think that's where we're going to settle out with what are the priorities in november. >> those should be the two priorities. your party has been really lost, according to some in this debate over contraception and women health issues. we'll see if they get back on the track that you say they should be on. we'll see if you give an endorsement in addition to your other busy work. >> thank you. today's "news nation gut check." first lady barbara bush laid down the law saying this presidential campaign is the worst she's ever seen. you heard congresswoman blackburn can't really agree. i don't know where she was. ] der mixes with pollen and dust. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air.
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we want to know what does your gut tell you. barbara bush says this is the worth campaign season she's seen. go to facebook.com/newsnation to cast your vote. that does it for me. i'll see you tonight for a special super tuesday coverage. i'll be handling the exit polling for msnbc and nbc. thank you for join pg us. martin bashir is up next. eaming, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time.
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