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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 22, 2012 10:30am-11:00am EST

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today on face the nation, newt gingrich. yes, newt gingrich pulls it off and wins south carolina and he's with us this morning "face the nation." everywhere you looked in south carolina, there he was. >> what kind of sandwich would you like. >> schieffer: and it worked. he won't have to sell chicken sandwiches full time just yet. >> the order i want is to get your vote today. >> schieffer: you crushed the once frontrunner in south carolina mitt romney in the upset of the year and hints of his next stop. >> we're moving on to florida and beyond. >> schieffer: mitt romney was left to state the obvious. >> we've still got a long way to go. >> schieffer: it all happened in spite of gingrich's ex-wife downloading nasty allegations
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for all to hear. >> he was asking me to have an open marriage. >> schieffer: gingrich turned it around with an attack on the media. >> i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. >> schieffer: south carolina voters seemed to agree and gingrich is with us this morning to tell us what comes next. then we'll bring in former mississippi governor haley barbour and south carolina senator lindsey graham for analysis of a wild political week that had little of everything, including a singing president. this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning again. and it was a stunner. newt gingrich won south carolina in a landslide.
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he beat mitt romney who was leading all the polls at the beginning of the week. he got 40% of the vote. romney got 28%. and the others were far behind. good morning to you, mr. speaker. i'm going to start with the obvious question: how did you pull this off? >> well, i think... i didn't pull it off. the people of south carolina did. they wanted somebody who is tough enough and bold enough to take on obama because they really want to beat obama. they also wanted somebody who was committed to jobs and economic growth because frankly south carolina is really hurting. the obama administration has made it hurt worse with their war against boeing and the national labor relations board and other things they've been doing. in addition, i think south carolinaians were the first state to really understand how liberal governor romney's record was as the governor of massachusetts. i think he lost, i think, probably 15 or 20 points over the course of the two weeks as people began to realize that he had been pro-choice, pro
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gun control, pro tax increase and a whole range of areas that despite his advertising and his pretending, it's clear he was way to the left of south carolinians. >> schieffer: no question he has a lot of money and a lot of organization but i think most people would agree you won this one on the debate stage. i just want to ask you this: do you think in retrospect abc did you a favor by dumping that interview with your ex-wife outright in the middle of all this? >> well, you know, it was so outrageously dishonest. both of my daughters, kathy and jackie, signed a letter asking the president of abc to not release it. then just said it was totally inappropriate. i think what you saw was that the people of south carolina agreed that it was totally inappropriate. my life in that sense is open. i'm running for president. people can criticize, question, challenge. but the way they did it was
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almost as though abc were an arm of the romney campaign, deliberately trying to set the stage and rig the game. what people rejected was that whole premise. it was particularly powerful in the cnn debate when they picked it up. people just repudiated. i mean i was intense amazed how intense the feeling was that night when people repudiated that kind of trash in a presidential campaign. >> schieffer: last night mitt romney suggested that you're too similar to president obama. >> (laughing). >> schieffer: to run against him. listen to what he said last night. >> in recent weeks the choice within our party has also come into stark focus. president obama has no experience running a business and no experience running a state. our party can't be led to victory by someone who also has never run a business and never run a state. ( cheers and applause ) >> schieffer: this morning he adds to that and says that you are just unsuitable to be the candidate or words to that
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effect. i guess i get your response here. >> one or two more defeats and who knows what he's going to say. i have a long level of experience at something called the government of the united states. i have a long period of experience at national defense and national security. i am the only person in this race who has helped balance the federal budget four straight times. i'm the only person in this race who led the effort and negotiated president clinton to get welfare reform the first big entitlement reform of our lifetime. governor romney may be running for ceo. i'm running for president. the president of the united states has to understand the government of the united states. barack obama clearly didn't. candidly i doubt governor romney would. in terms of business experience, i've run four small businesses. they're businesses that require you to meet a payroll, to have customers, to bring in the money. it may not seem like a big deal to governor romney but for millions of small business owners, they'll understand that newt gingrich is a small business owner really
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understands exactly what they go through in a way that i think sometimes big investors and big managers don't understand. i'm happy to have all the small business owners in america understand that i do know what they have to go through to meet a payroll. we'll let governor romney tout his experience which is very different and at a very different level. >> schieffer: why do you think he's had trouble getting his message across? you seem to have made some connections with folks down there in south carolina. he still seems to be having some problem. why do you think that is? >> look, i think the number one thing people look for in difficult difficult times is authenticity. they want somebody who is what he seems to be, somebody who is comfortable with himself. somebody who is able to have force in what he's saying or she's saying. because they actually believe it. i think governor romney's core problem was that the governor of massachusetts moderate which by the standards of republican primary voters is a liberal. he can't relax and be candid.
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romney care is the precursor to obama care. he can't admit that. he had tax increases and ranked 47th in job creation, fourth from the bottom. he can't admit that. he was pro gun control and had a 400% increase on taxes on guns. he can't admit that. he was pro-choice, no matter what he said about his views, he led planned parenthood written into law in romney care. he appointed pro abortion judges. romney care includes a tax-paid abortion. you know, he can't admit that. you end up with a guy who is, i think, a very good salesman. very much wants to sell. but he has a really weak product. i think he's been dancing on eggs trying to figure out how to find a version of romney that will work. the more he dances the more people go, you know, give me... i have flaws. i have weaknesses. i've had a long career.
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but the fact is what you see really is what you get. i'm prepared to stand toe to toe with barack obama and debate him, i think, success this fall. that's the key to beating him with his billion dollar warchest. i think in south carolina began to become really clear that if you want to beat barack obama, the newt gingrich is the only person who has the background, the experience and the ability to get on the stage and drive home a conservative message with authenticity. >> schieffer: are you willing to go so far as to say he's just a fake or a phony? >> look, you and i went down this road once before, bob. i will let you as a very sophisticated senior analyst and reporter draw your conclusions. but if you take what i just said, which are facts, it does show you why he keeps sort of bouncing around trying to find a message. you know, i don't do that. i've had the same message for many many years. reagan once said that he didn't change, that the world came around. i have been saying things like
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this. i've written 24 books. i've given lots of speeches. calista and i made seven documentary films. it's all the same pattern, all the same core beliefs. we believe in america. we believe in free enter enterprise. we believe in national security. we believe in core values that have made this country great. none of that has changed in my career which goes back for almost 40 years. >> schieffer: mr. speaker, i have a proposal for you. we're going to be in miami next week broadcasting face the nation, a special one-hour edition. if i could get mitt romney to come sit down at the table with us, would you come on and debate him for the full hour just the two of you? >> will this be your first hour-long face the nation. >> schieffer: yes, sir. >> i have to consult with r.c.hammond as you know. but i will tell you i personally would like to do that. i have a hunch that if you can get governor romney for the three of us to sit down together next sunday it will be perfect. i would suspect we'd be happy to come and do it. >> schieffer: we'll look for
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you then. i'll call him up right now. thank you very much, mr. speaker. congratulations. >> thank you. >> schieffer: all right. so now we turn to two of the most astute analysts of republican politics in the history of politics. former mississippi governor haley barbour and south carolina senator lindsey graham. senator graham and governor barbour, don't you agree that that would make a wonderful debate if we could get the two of them to sit down next sunday morning? >> senator graham? >> i think you're a dangerous man on tv. i think he just sealed the deal there. that would be a wonderful debate on "face the nation," and i would tune in as watch. i hope you do. >> schieffer: if you can help me and call governor romney, i think we can make this work. senator graham, what happened down there? did... is south carolina just too conservative for mitt romney or is there a problem here that goes deeper than that for his campaign? >> john mccain won, bob dole won. not the most conservative people in the world but good
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americans who impressed south carolyn i can'ts. the debate monday night in myrtle beach was probably the best explanation of conservatism in a bold fashion coming from newt gingrich i've heard in decades. newt not only won the debates. he convinced people that he could beat barack obama in electability was the issue before south carolina primary, during the primary and on voting day. newt won. he's the guy that we saw 40% of us the best to go into the nooen and beat barack obama. governor romney did fine. rick perry did very well. he had some stumbles by romney. we had 600,000 people vote. the largest republican primary in history occurred yesterday. people were energized. they were looking close. they picked newt. this was newt winning more than anybody else losing. >> schieffer: are you ready to endorse him? those were very complimentary words. >> well, here's what i am willing to say. that newt gingrich has changed
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a lot in a positive way. this immigration issue is tough for our party, tough for our country. annuity putting on table an idea that once you secure your borders and control who gets the job and you have to deal with the 12 million, we're going to have a rational system. most of them will have to go back. but if you've had a lady who has been here 25 or 30 years and has done nothing but be part of the community, committed an immigration violation, we're going to give her a second look. she'll have to learn english, pay a fine. she can have legal status, not citizenship. that's a way of thinking that i think will help our party because she may have a young son or grandson who is in the marines in afghanistan. i don't want a party who says to sergeant gonzalez, congratulations, you just won the purple heart. unfortunately we're going to have to deport your grandmother. i hope up get home before she leaves. newt's putting on the table real solutions in a way today that he wouldn't have done in
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1994. that kind of maturing and thought i think is going to help the party and help him. >> schieffer: let me turn to governor barbour here. governor, you heard newt gingrich. he is painting mitt romney has the candidate of the republican establishment. what i'm wondering, what is the republican establishment? these days? >> well, of course, the republican party is a conservative party of the united states. democratic party is the liberal party. becoming more liberal daily under the obama administration. but ours is a very diverse party. you have economic conservatives, social con conservatives. about 60% of the people who voted are like me evangelicals christians. lindsey touched on this. two thirds of them said in the exit polls their first criteria was to vote for the person who had the best chance to beat obama. i think that's what most republicans want. they're looking for the candidate that, as bill
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buckley used to say years ago, we want the most conservative person who can win in november. annuity was really helped by the fact that aate low of people who maybe didn't think he could win three months ago have come to that conclusion. of course, if we would have said three months ago, bob, that mitt romney was going to win the south carolina primary, we'd all laughed at that too. so a little of this was according to hoyle but i think newt had a great week. debates really help him because as lindsey says he can make it very plain why we're for the right things. >> schieffer: let me ask you this. do you now agree with the majority of those who said that they voted for newt gingrich that he is the one now who has the best chance of beating obama? do you think that? >> i think that remains to be seen, bob. newt... lindsey mentioneded that newt has become a much better candidate. he is tremendous in debate.
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he's the best debater by far, not close. romney's strengths are more managerial. and more... there are a lot of people in the united states who understand we need some management after watching this administration. for the last three years. we need somebody that knows how to get things done. romney has in my opinion been very courageous to tackle the entitlement programs of the obama administration. when the president makes his state of the state address this week, i predict he's going to say we need bigger government. we need more of people to be paid by the government. we need more people to be taken care of by the government. romney's had the courage to say that's a losing proposition in the long term. america is not based on an entitlement society but an opportunity society. i think both of them have something really strong to offer. a long primary season, i think, is healthy in many ways as it
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gets personal. that's negative. but not nearly as negative as the democrats are going to be. obama can't run on his record so he's going to make the republican, whoever it is, somebody that his grandma ma wouldn't recognize or vote for. >> schieffer: let me ask you this, governor, before i let you go. you created quite a stir yourself when you left office and pardoned those 200 prisoners. it turned out that the vast majority of them, 180 some of them had already been released from jail. they weren't even in jail. a lot of them on dialysis. but i want to ask you, do you think in retrospect, do you regret the way that was handled? could you have done that better? >> well, sure we could have done it better because we had no idea that the reporting of it and particularly some of the misstatements by political opponents would let the public think we were letting 200-some people out of the penitentiary. we let 26 out of the penitentiary. as you mentioned half of them for health reasons. 189 of these people had been
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ou, most of them had been out for years and years and years. they're no more threat to the people of mississippi now than they were the week before they got their pardon but there's a handful that this is all about. it is becoming public now that the attorney general's office was very involved in this. in fact, if it had anything to do, i would have found out that the attorney general's office had something to do with it and got somebody else to tend to it. >> schieffer: all right. we have to leave it there. thanks to both of you for that analysis this morning. we'll be back in a minute with a little round table. [ man ] i've been out there most of my life.
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you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪ >> schieffer: welcome back to our round table. joining me to try to make some sense of this race, a guy who has watched these things about almost as long as i have, joe clyne of the "time" magazine and the wall street journal's kelly evans who hasn't watched them as long. >> i did get a front row look
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on monday night. >> schieffer: you sure did. i want to ask you about that. this primary was all about debate. what was it like to be asking the questions because you asked it, and, boy, that crowd was going wild. >> the energy was interesting. the crowd was almost as much a candidate or a part of the debate as anyone else. i think to talk about the debates a little bit broadly they've been an opportunity for newt gingrich to really stage his comeback and stage his campaign. mitt romney's folks were hoping he wouldn't have to participate in the debates because it gives air time to newt gingrich who does quite well in them. mitt romney spent so much money. as we're learning that doesn't amount to as much as a good performance does. tomorrow night nbc has a national debate in florida as we turn our attention there. mitt romney will be involved. there will be two more debates. again don't count that out even though mitt romney has raised so much money and spent so much money in florida. these debates are part of the reason why newt gingrich just won south carolina. >> schieffer: where do you think this thing is right now, joe? >> maybe we should go along with what gingrich wants and
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have debates without moderators because he's been really good at beating the moderators in the debates. you know, he's really terrific at taking us to the cleaners. but he hasn't been all that tough on mitt romney. he a couple of good moments, pious balogne was a good moment. if you look at the debate on thursday night, rick santorum took it to both romney and gingrich. something that gingrich hasn't been willing to do. but you've got to say that right now he fits the profile of this republican party better than romney does. because he can do angry really well. >> schieffer: one of the things i asked governor barbour, what is the republican establishment? gingrich says that romney is a republican establishment. but who... is there such a thing anymore? >> well, it sure ain't the one we used to know, bob. it's become a far more populist party. it's a party of the right working class. that's who newt gingrich is representing. any other republican race, the
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millions that i've covered, you know, mitt romney would have a shoe-in. they usually go for the next guy in line. he is the next guy in line. >> part of the problem may be in this case the next guy in line is showing that he's not necessarily as electable as he's supposed to be. it's not necessarily that newt gingrich has suddenly demonstrated his electability even though we heard lindsey graham talking favorably about his immigration policies. it's not necessarily that newt gingrich is going to reach out to i coulds but that yesterday showed mitt romney isn't necessarily doing that. if the g.o.p. feels that its canned candidate can't do that, it has a problem. >> schieffer: will the economy be an issue in florida. you write about housing. is this going to be an issue in florida, say, maybe more so than south carolina. >> florida is one of the states hit hardest by foreclosure. south carolina and florida are very different demographically and economically than iowa and new hampshire. what's really interesting, we've reached this moment where we feel like the economy is getting better, unemployment is coming down. this is supposed to be good for obama's re-election
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chances. don't count out the possibility that the data starts to get weaker in the weeks and months ahead. we've seen this for the last couple of years. if we're heading into the summer maybe being look at the importance of the conventions suddenly in this g.o.p. process, maybe when the economy starts to worsen, that affects the way people vote. people who made the economy their top priority voted for newt gingrich yesterday. >> in florida, entitlements will be important. mitt romney has spent the last months talking about his opposition to an entitlement society. and being in favor of an opportunity society. but you've got a lot of people down in florida who are on entitlements, on medicare and social security and don't want to see it messed with by the federal government. so it's going to be interesting to see how both.... >> schieffer: 20 seconds left. do you think we're going to have a brokered convention here? if we do, will we remember how to cover it? >> i certainly won't. you might. >> schieffer: (laughing). >> but it's not impossible, i think. >> schieffer: all right. we're going to leave it there. i'll be back in a minute with
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some final thoughts.
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>> schieffer: finally today, i love to vote but i never tell anyone who i vote for, not even my wife. nor do i advocate for or against anyone so don't take this as support or opposition to any of the candidates. but when i saw a voter quoted the other day as saying one of the candidates was just too moderate, i had to wonder. how can anyone be too moderate? is moderate like compromise a new dirty word? with all these labels being flung around i went to the dictionary for a campaign year review. well, it turns out moderate is defined as avoiding extremes, calm, can anything or anyone be too much of that? and i hope liberals who derisive liebrandt others conservative and conservatives who are proud to be called just that will not be surprised to know that one definition of conservative is
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one marked by moderation. those who derisive liebrandt their political enemies liberal may be unaware the dictionary defines liberal as open minded. i offer this information as a public service if we're going to call people names it does help to know what we're calling them. by the way i also looked up the term christian. the dictionary says it has to do with jesus and links it to no particular political party. i thought i was right about that. back in a minute. [ female announcer ] goodnight gluttony, a farewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning unequaled inspiration. [ male announcer ] the audi a8, chosen by car & driver as the best luxury sedan
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go national. go like a pro. >> schieffer: that's all our time for today. thank you for being here. be sure to tune in next week for a special edition of "face the nation" from miami. we'll be broadcasting for one full hour just two days before the florida primary. will mitt romney accept our invitation to debate newt gingrich? stay tuned. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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