tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 24, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, the blitz from one state to the next day and night in the final 13 days of the campaign. tonight, brian williams asks the president if this is where he expected the race to be. a look at the campaign. also on the trail with the romney campaign, and tonight, why he is having to respond to a candidate's comments about race. plus, what it is like living in the most hotlicon tested background state. and new, what could take aim at the east coast. and breathtaking, an awesome
new view of the grand canyon like you have never seen it before. nightly news begins now. good evening, i'm lester holt, sitting in for brian tonight, with the presidential race locked in a tie for the polls, president obama and governor romney are engaged in a fast and furious campaign blitz, the president launching an assault in some of the places vital to his election. he is on a two day trip, spending the night on air force one. romney is calling it a sign of being desperate, even as romney was racking up his own air milings. we'll check in with the romney camp, but first, brian williams has been given full access to the campaign swing. he checks in tonight from
denver. >> reporter: well, lester, good evening, having approached both campaigns about getting access and spending time with them as we get close today finds us in the middle of roughly 24 hours riding along during several stops with the obama campaign. earlier today that meant a stop in iowa. we had an opportunity to sit down with the president, all of that, by the way, for a special package on tomorrow evening's broadcast of "rock center." i started out today asking him where he finds himself in this race right now. how is it that with what 13 days to go -- you are fighting for your life in a 47-47-race? >> well, actually, i think that you know, we always knew this was going to be a close race from the start. and what we have right now is a lead that we have maintained throughout this campaign, and we are going to just continue to drive home the message that there are two fundamentally different choices in this
message about where we take the country. >> so after the power of 2008, being an cummins, you got osama bin laden, not expecting to be in a more substantial race than we were today. >> listen, you guys have short memories, folks in your business were writing me off years ago, saying there was no way i would win. so you know these things go in ebbs and flows, so the one thing i have tried to be is just steady, in terms of what i believe in, who i am fighting for. and you know, i think that one of the qualities i bring to bear in this campaign is that people see, what did i say i was going to do in 2008, and what have i delivered? and they can have some confidence that the things i say i mean. >> mr. president, this document you have put out struck a lot of people as something very basic for an incumbent president to issue very late in the game, combined with this trip we're
on, 48 hours, 5300 miles. it could be viewed as increasing evidence you sure didn't intend to be in this spot at this point. >> brian, i don't know why you say this is late in the game. this is exactly what i laid out in my convention. every point we laid out there is what i said when we accepted the democratic nomination is what we do to build up the middle class in this country. and it has been on our website for weeks. and i hope that everybody takes an opportunity to read it. because as folks now narrow their focus on the election, in fact, people here in iowa are voting, you know, the more informed voters are, and the more engaged they are about how big the stakes are, the better i think we're going to do. >> what is the dynamic like between you and mitt romney? >> you know, i think when you're candidates, that you -- and you haven't really interacted before, you can't say that you
have a real relationship there. >> so the reports, especially just the observations, watching the two of you, you don't appear to like each other very much. you appear to tolerate each other because you have to. >> you know, i don't think that any -- relationship between me and mitt romn is different from previous presidential campaigns. i mean, john mccain, i knew him because i had served with him in the senate. but i think if you look at george bush and john kerry, or george bush and al gore, first president bush or bill clinton, i don't think that anybody would say that while you were in the middle of a campaign that you felt deep affection for the other guy, because you know, look, you're fighting for competing visions. but what i think the american people understand is that this is not about two individuals or even two political parties. this is about two different visions for the country and how we are going to make sure that every single person in america
who is willing to work hard, is going to have a shot at a better life. >> so lester, a bit of our conversation earlier today, the day continues into tonight. into tomorrow, the obama campaign covering 5300 miles in all, on just this trip. we'll have much more tomorrow night, and of course on "rock center" tomorrow evening, back to you lester. >> all right, brian williams on the campaign trail tonight. as we mentioned, mitt romney, as well is moving across the nation, waking up in colorado and making a pitch in nevada and overnighting in ohio. and the important undecided women voters, back in the spotlight today after a republican senate candidate made remarks that got a lot of attention. nbc's peter alexander is traveling with the campaign and joins us tonight. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you as you noted governor romney is campaigning
as well. scheduled to take off for another swing state, ohio. charging into nevada for the second time in as many days. >> what a great welcome. >> reporter: a confident mitt romney is rolling the dice on this mid western battleground. >> i think we all know he is out of ideas and excuses, and in november, you will put him out of office. >> reporter: in recent days, romney has been greeted by very excited crowds, like at this red rock theater outside of denver. now he describes his campaign as a movement. >> you are seeing this movement growing, you're seeing people coming together to say you know, we love america, we recognize we can do better. >> reporter: but today, the romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment by richard mourdock, a republican senator in indiana, speaking about abortion even on
tuesday. >> i think even when life begins from a horrible rape it is what god intended. >> reporter: governor romney endorsed mourdock. but on the trail today, mr. romney who has been carefully courting women voters ignored the controversy, while his campaign insisted that governor romney disagrees with mourdock and that his comments don't reflect romney's views. still, the campaign trying to swing away from the right swing says it will not ask for the ad to be removed. but one republican senator, a romney surrogate, scheduled the meeting today, cancelled her trip. her spokesperson said she disagrees with mourdock's comments, which don't represent her views. for his part, mourdock tried to clarify the remarks in a press conference this afternoon. >> i think that god can see
beauty in every life. but certainly i did not intend to suggest that god wants rape. >> reporter: also today, clint eastwood who got mixed reviews, you will remember, for his conversation with an empty chair endorsing governor romney at the national convention is making a new ad on behalf of the campaign, particularly, the super pac, trying to fire up the conservative base. >> all right, peter alexander, thank you, as you just heard one of the critical battleground states in this contest is ohio. polls there show the race getting tighter and that means residents are facing a daily amount of campaign ads, robo calls and mailers, not to mention the candidates themselves. nbc's john yang has been spending time with undecided voters and joins us from columbus. >> reporter: good evening, the calendar says we're two weeks away, but here in ohio they have
been voting for two weeks, here, voters just want to be done with it after all the 5dads. this person from ohio, the barrage begins before day break, she is undecided, he prefers mitt romney. >> the ads are on from 5:00 in the morning, until we go to bed at night. >> reporter: an nbc news analysis finds there is more money being spent on political ads in ohio than in any other state. $181 million so far. that is one fifth of the national total of $883 million, a figure that could top a billion by election day. in columbus, more than 6600 ads just this month. that is 333 a day. >> mitt romney, on education. >> reporter: for jack mckittrick it is background noise.
>> after a while, it doesn't do a whole lot. >> reporter: the candidates are spending so much time here it is as if they're running for president of ohio, since labor day, 15 in october, why ohio? voters here have picked the winner in every election since 1960. and no republican has won the white house without it. the urban north, heavily in the auto industry, leans democratic. >> this could all come down to ohio this year. >> reporter: political scientist paul beck of the ohio state university says that ohio voters look like america. >> in terms of african-americans, small town, christian, conservatives, liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans, they're all here. >> reporter: for the 800,000 people of ohio that already voted in person or by absentee ballots, some say they just want to get it over with. >> i'm kind of tired of the commercials, so you know it is
good that it is almost over with. >> reporter: almost, but not quite, both president obama and governor romney will be in the state tomorrow. and with so much at stake in this crucial battleground, you can expect the drum beat to keep up, right until the polls close. lester? >> all right, john, thank you. u.s. officials confirm that authorities in tunisia have arrested a man possibly connected to the deadly attack in benghazi last month. and tonight, more e-mails about the attack are making news. our report from chief correspondent andrea mitchell. >> reporter: as a possible suspect for the benghazi attack was being questioned, critics disclosed e-mails obtained by nbc news. the first alert read, embassy tripoli reports approximately 25 people, fired shots, explosions heard as well. ambassador stevens and four embassy personnel are in the compound safe haven.
it said a friendly militia was helping to fight off the attack. soon, another said it was over. the fighting in benghazi has stopped, the compound cleared. on ground, attempting to locate personnel. later, a known terror group was said to be linked. nbc tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter and has called for an attack on nbc tripoli. they denied they were involved, causing more confusion. >> you know, posting something on facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and i think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continues for sometime to be. >> reporter: shortly before midnight on 911, another e-mail reported that the assault on benghazi had escalated. the current shelter is under attack by mortar fire, today,
the white house and state department says there were hundreds and even thousands of reports that night, and in the following days. all had to be analyzed. today, siecretary clinton appealed for patience on benghazi, but the white house knows that any detail can become a new source of criticism. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. still ahead as nbc nightly news continues, the gathering storm, the newest hurricane, churn in the atlantic, and a new threat. and drivers are thrilled, but critics warn there is an accident just waiting to happen. and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today
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. with halloween a week away, there is something potentially scary brewing in the atlantic ocean, a hurricane that could slam directly into the northeast as soon as this weekend. weather channel's jim cantore has more on the weather. >> reporter: yes, 30 in a row here with 19 named storms, this one for 2012 could be the most memorable. let's talk about sandy as it moved across jamaica, leaving 500 in shelters, causing power outages, moving into the bahamas. then we start to watch the impact for the u.s., really ramping up as we go through the day on friday, we could
certainly see hurricane gusts or close to it. big erosion problems there in some of the areas as we approach the high tide on monday. and then the models begin to take this towards the west a little bit. that has been a big, big shift today. so if a storm comes in today that could be big problems for new england, and the new jersey shore. if a storm system comes in a little bit further to new england, we could still have problems here. so for the second year in a row, we face a pre-halloween storm that could leave millions in the dark. >> not good news, jim cantore, up next, guess who is looking for help around the house. enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel®, etanercept, suppresses your immune system,
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here is nbc, janet shamlian. >> reporter: pedal to the metal, and it is legal. >> one, two, three. >> reporter: the nation's fastest road opened in texas late today, with a speed limit of 85 miles an hour. >> it is texas, i don't see anything wrong with it. i mean, it's a safe road. >> reporter: the 41 mile stretch of toll road runs between austin and san antonio, essentially the same road as bottlenecked interstate 35. built with private money, the speed limit was part of a deal. the developer, which wants as many users as possible which collects the tolls, paid texas an extra $100 million for setting the limit at 85. >> i think the future holds more toll roads, whether they're privately developed or publicly developed, because we need to get the passengers out of the traffic. >> reporter: but it is more dangerou dangerous. accidents are dropping, but
critics say speed kills. >> it increases the number of crashes and serious injuries in the crashes and the number of death. >> reporter: there is also concern whether or not drivers will actually obey the higher limit and not consider it nearly a guideline. >> if it is 85, they will do 15-20 over, and stuff, the way they drive out here. >> reporter: the autobahn concept could get them looking for new ways to pay for it. this doesn't come cheap, the toll is six dollars, one way. janet shamlian, mustang road, texas. and the queen of england is advertising for a maid to keep the rooms clean and polished. the job is listed on the website, the ideal candidate will do everything from making beds, running baths and making jewelry. no word if you have to do windows. up next, step by step, a spectacular new look at one of america's crown jewels. ♪
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view of one of america's most magnificent places. ann thompson has more. >> reporter: it is a story nearly two billion years in the making, the grand canyon, made of sand stone and granite, available only to those willing to hike or ride. until this week's invasion of the seemingly alien tracker. product manager wearing the latest evolution of google's different effort, focused on one of america's most popular tourist spots. >> this is what we had in mind when we developed the trekker, the weight, the issues, we knew if we could take it to the grand canyon, ultimately we could take it anywhere. >> reporter: here is how it works, the funny looking metal
ball holds a disk that records the pictures and locations. four and a half million people visit grand canyon every year, but not everyone walks the trails. now with this new trekker technology you will be able to make this hike from anywhere. the technology is helping this seattle resident make this trek. >> another one on the bucket list was the great wall of china and i did that. and i googled all of it. i was there before i got there. >> reporter: exactly google's goal. >> by creating this experience a click away, we make it available to a whole category of people. >> reporter: engineers track this on the phone, but the finished product won't be ready for months, the result of shrinking technology. to today's backpack. >> we're always looking forward to the next thing, technology gets better, everything gets
better. >> reporter: creating the ability to explore without limits, anne thompson, nbc news, grand canyon, arizona. >> that is our broadcast for this wednesday night, thank you for joining us. i'm lester holt, brian will be back tomorrow. from all of us at nbc news, thank you for joining us. and good night.