tv John King USA CNN January 25, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
in ireland shot the phenomenon and put it this music. breathtaking. but in la grange, kentucky, they're holding their breath because of the smell from the droppings. and trying unsuccessfully to drive the birds away with noise cannons. forecasts for the foreseeable future are 100% chance of murmuration. jeanne moos, cnn. >> it's really driving all of us crazy. >> reporter: new york. >> that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. the news continues next on cnn. good evening, everyone. i'm john king reporting live in the university of north florida in jacksonville. the site of tomorrow's big republican presidential debate. tonight inside the daring navy seal raid that rescued an
american held hostage for months by somali pirates and a closer look at the president's state-of-the-union hint about the top secret mission. plus brand-new cnn polling ton underscores the stakes of our final florida debate showdown. a tiny mitt romney lead over newt gingrich just as their battle for the gop nomination takes another bitter turn. and put up or shut up. newt gingrich snaps back at nancy pelosi after she tells me if there's one thing she knows it is. this her long-time nemesis, she this her long-time nemesis, she says, will never be president. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com a busy day of politics here in florida and back in washington. but we begin tonight with another stunning navy seal success story that sounds like a made for hollywood spy story. the u.s. military's daring raid to free an american woman and a danish man held by pirates in somalia. our first inkling something was up came as probe entered the house chamber last night for the state-of-the-union address. listen as he greets the defense secretary, leon panetta.
>> good job tonight. good job tonight. >> just hours before a u.s. special operations forces parachuted into somalia near the pirates' compound. the strike team included navy 150e8s from the same unit that killed osama bin laden. they shot their way, in killing all nine of the kidnappers, then rushed the freed hostages onto helicopters and got away without a single casualty. cnn pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is live with us tonight to tell us more about how this daring raid went down. >> reporter: john, the military and fbi had been searching for these humanitarian workers since october. now officials tell us it was only in recent weeks that the sense of urgency really started to rise. part of the reason for that was the deteriorating health of the american woman, jessica buchanan. so when officials got specific intelligence, specifically where the hostages were and who was
holding them, president obama made the call to green light this mission on monday night. on tuesday night, the weather was perfect for an assault. and that's when the military went in. you detailed how they got there, how they shot all nine of the kidnappers. they did find the hostages at an outdoor incampment, rustled then onto a helicopter, got them out of the country and then took them to the american base in jabuti where they were able to get medical care. john? >> and chris, the timing. just pure coincidence? the president's giving his state-of-the-union address in which he takes at least what some would call a little bit of a bin laden victory lap? >> reporter: he certainly worked it into both the beginning and the end of the state-of-the-union address while this raid was going on. i'm told by officials that at the moment that president obama told secretary panetta "good job good job" at that moment both men knew that the rescue team had rescued the hostages, but
mission was not over. in other words, the rescue team had not completely left somalia and gotten safely back to the american base. so the mission wasn't a completely a done deal at that poin point. >> fascinating details. chris lawrence, live for us tonight at the pentagon. thank you. here in florida newt gingrich's top rival is mitt romney. and two republicans went at it today. but the former house speaker also took several opportunities today to fire salvos at another former speaker, democrat nancy pelosi. pelosi had this take on gingrich last night. >> he's not going to be president of the united states. this is -- that's not going to happen. let me just make my prediction and stand by it. it isn't going to happen. >> why are you so sure? >> there's something i know. the republicans if they choose to nominate him, that's their prerogative. i don't think that's going to
happe happen. >> earlier today, gingrich fired back. here he is on "the today show." >> she lives in a san francisco environment, a very strange fantasies, very strange understandings of reality. i have no idea what's in nancy pelosi's head. if she knows something, i have a simple challenge. spit it out. >> took another shot later in the day in this radio interview. >> i have a simple challenge for speaker pelosi to put up or shut up. i have no idea what she's talking about. i don't think she has any idea what she's talking about. but bring it on. >> our senior congressional correspondent dana bash live now with more on this gingrich-pelosi grudge match. dana, the speak gingrich wanted to fire back today. what does the former speaker pelosi say? >> well, she's saying that she's not hiding any secrets. the problem, john, is this isn't the first time where she's maybe sort of suggested that she knows something but her office insists she doesn't know anything that
isn't public record. in fact they put out a statement from her saying any reference i would make to the ethics committee is confined to the public record. the ethics committee. this is really what this is all about. it is an ethics committee report that has been talked about now on the campaign trail that came out while newt gingrich was in office. the issue is that nancy pelosi wasn't just an average member who read it and voted on it. she was part of the investigative committee that looked into it. she has said before she was one of four people on the committee locked in a room reading thousands of pages of his stuff. so that's why she seems to potentially know more than others. maybe she just took the time to read it. but you know, this john, maybe more than anybody that newt gingrich likes to use some entities as foils. the news media and of course the liberal left. what better an icon to use as a foil than nancy pelosi? she's maybe fed into it with some of the things that she said. >> she certainly when i asked her that question her eyes lit up. she was happy, happy to fire back at speaker gingrich. let's move onto the race before us right now. mitt romney, newt gingrich are
in a tight race here in florida, dan that john mccain came to mitt romney's aid on a sneaking spending into bills, earmarks, let's listen on a conference call where he takes after and essentially blames newt gingrich for the explosion of this problem. >> i saw these earmarks explode. i saw the corruption also that resulted from it. it was infuriating. while gingrich was speaker, the number of earmarks doubled to more than 6,000 projects in the range of billions of dollars." >> can't say john mccain would be a tea party favorite, dana, but clearly that's what they're going at here for the romney campaign trying to peel away some of the speaker's conservative support, right? >> absolutely. when rick santorum was on the rise he said the same thing about rick santorum. look, john mccain is a good
messenger for the issue of earmarks and spending because he has been on this crusade for years and years. he also accused newt gingrich of actually writing a memo back in 1996 telling the people who were in charge of the spending committees to make sure that people who are in tough elections were doled some of the most juicy earmarks. so this is something that john mccain thinks that he has a really good handle on. he also is no fan of newt gingrich. he said on this conference call i was on it, john, some of the things that we've been hearing in private from other members and former members of congress about newt gingrich's leadership, specifically reminding people he left as speaker not because he thought it was time to go but because he didn't have the votes to stay in office because people simply didn't think he had the right leadership style to stay there. it is very interesting to listen to john mccain on a conference call on behalf of mitt romney, the guy he was in florida duking it out with almost four years ago to the day. >> dana bash, senior congressional correspondent live on capitol hill tonight. an important fact check on a
story that dates back to last week in south carolina. remember other presidential debate when speaker gingrich lashed out at my question about allegations his second ex-wife made in an interview with abc news. >> the story is false. every personal friend i have who knew it in that period says the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republica republican. >> yesterday i asked the speaker about abc's insistence that no such character witnesses were offered. >> oh, that is just plain baloney. i mean, i'll check with r.c. hammond in a minute. but if they're saying that they're not being honest. because they said explicitly the opposite. i will check with r.c. because he was briefing me on this time whole way through. we had several people prepared to be very clear and very aggressive in their dispute about that. and they weren't interested. >> you heard the speaker there. he said we had several people prepared, and they were not
interested. well, tonight after persistent questioning by our staff, the gingrich campaign concedes now speaker gingrich was wrong. both in his debate answer and in our interview yesterday. gingrich spokesman r.c. hammond says the only people the campaign offered to abc were the speaker's two daughters from his first marriage." proof tonight speaker gingrich perhaps should worry more about mitt romney and florida. our new times cnnorc poll shows a statistical dead heat here. mitt romney has 36% of potential voters, speaker gingrich 34% support. close but the momentum is clearly with governor romney at the moment. speaker gingrich was leading in the first day of our polling, but romney significantly up in the final two days. our debate here tomorrow night is the last face-to-face showdown before tuesday's voting. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here. gloria clearly the nbc debate helped governor romney stop the momentum. he now has it. the interesting thing there at the polling look at the gender
gap. if you look at our polling among men, beginning rich 35, romney 31 slight advantage gingrich. among women, romney 40, gingrich 42. in a bigger, more diverse moderate state looks at the moment the gender gap benefits romney. >> it does benefit romney. he needs to get some men start to vote for him, though. that's really important for him. we didn't see a gender gap for newt gingrich in south carolina because he whomped mitt romney throughout the entire state and did well with both men and women. but generally newt gingrich tends to have a gender gap, whether because of his personal issues or because men like the way he attacks and is very effective at that. but i think that this news with romney's such a wide lead among women is good for him. but he needs to get some men to start voting for him too. >> south carolina very conservative state. tea party and evangelicals. florida a little bit more moderate. a lot more diverse. if you look at that breakdown among tea party voters, those who support the tea party, gingrich 39, romney 35. so again a close gingrich lead
but not as big as he probably would like. among tea party opponents or those who are neutral when it comes to the question of the tea party, romney with a 11-point lead, 37-26. there are more of those people opposed or neutral through the tea party. >> the tea party people really are skeptical about mitt romney because of healthcare. healthcare is a very big issue for the tea party, as you know. look at what mitt romney did in massachusetts. they don't trust him to repeal president obama's healthcare plan. but the entire state is not tea party. and that could be very useful to mitt romney. but here's the key. the key is every republican wants somebody who can stand up against barack obama. and that's where they look at newt gingrich in these debates and they say, you know what, he does very well. the last debate, romney was on the attack. we'll have to see what happens tomorrow night. >> tomorrow night. going to bring gloria back a bit later to continue our
conversation about politics. tune into our big debate tomorrow night. tonight the man republicans want to beat in november, president obama is touring five states to push hit state-of-the-union address. what he's calling the blueprint for an american economy built to last. part of that blueprint includes his call for higher taxes on the wealthy. >> do we want to keep investing in everything that's important to our long-term growth? education, medical research, our military? caring for our veterans? all of which are expensive. or do we keep these tax cuts for folks who don't need them and weren't even asking for them? because we can't do both. >> after that stop in iowa, the president headed west. he's about an hour now away from a speech in arizona. after that onto nevada, then colorado, back toward the east to michigan. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin in chandler, arizona just outside phoenix. jess, tell us, curious looking
at that map why these five states? >> reporter: well, first he's pushing his agenda which is two-fold. to grow jobs in the u.s. and to inoculate himself against anticipated attacks from the republicans. so he's focused on jobs, saying that he's promoting an energy agenda, and promoting skills in the u.s. and these states, 48, that's the number of electoral votes among them, john. three of the states are purple states that he won last time around. nevada, iowa, and colorado. one of them, michigan, is a blue state that he won. but because they suffered so badly in the recession he'll have to spend a lot of time there courting those voters again. they expect to do okay there, though, because of the auto bailout and how much the president's administration helped. but this is the state as you know that is a red state that democrats don't usually expect to compete well in and that this team, this campaign team, thinks they have a shot at because of the big latino vote here. a lot of republicans think that
that's a stretch. some even think it's laughable. but the obama campaign is convinced that they can pick it up with work, john. >> jessica yellin live in chandler, arizona. new state to add to the map this time. off the map last time just because as she noted john mccain. jess, thank you. up next more insight on the training and coordination that goes into the daring raid like that one that freed those aid workers in somalia. we'll be joined by two former navy seals to break down the details. dave. dave. dave. i just saved a ton of money at staples. great job, dave. suck-up. [ male announcer ] in a small business, it's all you. that's why you have us. at staples, we have low prices on everything your small business needs. staples. that was easy.
fascinating throughout the day as we learn more details about last night's stunning rescue of a u.s. aid worker and a danish citizen. we learned today the u.s. strike team in somalia included members of the navy seal six unit the same unit that carried out the raid to kill osama bin laden. a statement from president obama today says "as commander in chief i could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission and the dedicated professionals who is upped their efforts." join meeg now to discuss this
raid, two former navy seals, john mcguire who runs physical training and kade -- it's the same unit that had the bin laden raid in pakistan. what's the difference between a raid on a compound like that and this nighttime parra trooping operation into africa? >> well, i mean, john, they're kind of two very separate operations. we don't know how much lead time we had on the bin laden one. i understand we had upwards of three months on the hostage rescue one here. i won't get into specifics because the world doesn't need to know that. but generally speaking, time is your friend in a situation like this. you're able to look for vulnerabilities, find out best way to hit the target, plan, plan, rehearse. but the guys who did this are so good they could also get the call ten minutes and ten minutes later it's done. that's just how good these guys are. they're a super bowl winning team for the last decade. >> super bowl winning team
indeed. john, you have done this before. parachuting in from a helicopter undercover of darkness into what could be quite hostile tear toy. take us into the training and then the mindset as you jump out of the bird. >> you know, the training for a navy seal is not for the faint of heart. we train to never quit and to always win. and i'll tell you, these guys are focused. sometimes on the news you hear about olympic ath lights, the folks is takes to win an olympic gold medal. these guys have that focus from the time they get into isolation for training until they come home and get a shower. so it's a lot of preparation. a lot of rehearsal. >> and kade, we understand that the original plan hopefully was to capture and take into custody these pirates. go through the briefings, the rules of engagement, and when you make the call and how you make the call. we're not going to be able to do that this has to be a gun fight. >> well, look, rules of engagement are different for every evolution or every operation you go on. but at the end of the day if you
feel your life is at risk you can take appropriate action. if somebody is shooting at me, i'm going to shoot back. and clearly these guys, if they're doing what they've done in my opinion don't deserve to be around. they've got shot at. make them disappear. that's the job we do. >> and john, these seals are getting credit they deserve. the front lines in this attack, this heroic rescue are getting both of the hostages out alive. but take us behind the scenes. people names and faces we'll never know, roles we'll never know about the planning, the intelligence, the support systems. that goes into an operation? >> i heard about 50 people palpated in this raid. obviously for navy seals there was only men. i'm sure behind the scenes there are military men and women from analysts all the way to the seal operator, many people have put a lot of time into this. and like it was said earlier, sometimes you get a two-hour notice sometimes you have two-months notice. we always say in training we train how we fight.
and the more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. so i'm sure they did a lot of rehearsals. and from the analysts back home all the way to the guys boots on the ground these guys do a lot of planning to make it a successful mission. >> and cade, we had the bin laden raid, this dramatic raid. are we just hearing about this a little bit more, or is this the new front lines if you will, the new secret weapon in these wars? troops coming out of iraq, plans to bring troops back from afghanistan. are the wars of the future or engagements of the future more likely to be smaller-scale special operations? >> well, john, these guys, i mean, we've been at war for the last ten years. these guys have been busy. so just because you hear something every couple of months on the news doesn't mean that's all they're doing. they're working around the clock. they'll go, they'll do the op then get ready for the next one. that's how busy these guys are. now, if this is something that you're going to see more of in the future i would hope. so because as we've seen in the recent past it's highly
effective. these guys continually doing it right the first time. and that's why seal training is so hard and so few guys make it. because when the president calls and said, okay, green light, you have to do it right and you have to do it right the first time. and again these guys are phenomenal. they're knocking it out of the park. they're a super bowl winning team every time they go do it. couldn't be more proud. >> cade courtly, john mcguire, can't thank you enough for your service and your help tonight understanding this daring operation. couldn't agree more this is a super bowl winning team. in just a few moments we're going to hear from friends of the u.s. aid worker as well more details on this daring mission. next details about why a cruise ship captain steered so close to land and how he ended up on a life boat when his ship capsized. hey, officer, how's it going? [ horns honking ] not a talker. cool. i'm not either most times. passport.
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welcome back. here's kate bolduan with the latest news you need to know right now. >> reporter: on the road again. you can't sit still. have fun. news to catch you up on this evening, newly published leaked documents from italy's cruise ship disaster give more of the captain's side of the story. he says a company manager told him to steer close to the shore the night his ship hit submerged rocks. the company denies it. the captain also says he didn't abandon the ship intentionally but fell onto the roof of a life boat during the evacuation. and a victory today for advocates of healthier school
lunches. first lady michelle obama and of course agriculture secretary tom vilsac today unveiled new standards that will change lunch plate standards. whole wheat crust pizza, baked potato fries, low fat milk and more fresh fruits and veggies. eat healthier and exercise and you could end up like this 13-year-old girl or maybe not. take a lot of work. abby watson can lift twice her body weight and holds eight world weight lifting records. she started weight lifting three years ago and says most kids think it's "very weird." she's set 23 american and state records recently at an oklahoma competition. they may think it's weird, but i don't think they're going to mess with her, john. >> i'm not going to mess with her, kate. maybe she's eating those healthier school lunches before she goes to the weight room. i don't know. kate, we'll see you in just a few minutes. up next, a close look at a woman many people hadn't heard about until the daring raid by u.s. special forces rescued her from somali pirates.
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helping others. also the truth about what former speaker nancy pelosi knows about newt gingrich. and the government cracks down on online ads that look like news reports but aren't. jessica buchanan's father tells cnn he was flabbergasted when president obama called last night to announce his daughter had been rescued by u.s. special force. she was kidnapped last year working in somalia. to understand why she was there the in the first place, cnn's brian todd visited the small pennsylvania college she attended. >> reporter: professor glen mcclure recommends when jessica buchanan returned from a trip to ken yeah. his former student, he says, presented him with a carved elephant to thank him for helping her land a student teaching job there. after her october kidnapping in somalia he looked at that figure
often. >> i see it often. i just breathe a prayer, lord, help jessica to get through this. >> reporter: his prayers are answered. mcclure, who taught and men toward jessica buchanan at valley forge christian college in pennsylvania, is along with everyone on this small liberal arts campus ecstatic and relieved that buchanan has been rescued by u.s. special forces. >> about 2:00, 2:30 this morning i happened to be check mike computer. i had been up and just briefly looked at it and i saw this note. wow, i can't believe it. >> reporter: valley forge president don myers says the school had been holding a vigil since october when buchanan who graduated from valley forge in 2007 was captured. professor david scalforo's daughter christine is jessica buchanan's best friend and former roommate. >> every day you woke up wondering, is this going to be the day that she could be free or is this going to be the day where you get news saying that she is not coming home forever. >> reporter: buchanan's father, a furnituremaker in bedford, virginia, told cnn off camera
his daughter is doing well considering the circumstances. john buchanan says president obama called him saying "i have great news for you. your daughter has been rescued by our military." >> those here who know jessica buchanan used one common word to describe her, passionate. they say she brought that attitude toward everything. toward her religious beliefs and toward teaching those less fortunate, especially in africa. >> you could hardly talk about africa with tears in her eyes. >> she had a beautiful relationship with the lord, and i think that and god's direction or the holy spirit working with her kind of ignited that passion, and she wanted to continue and follow through with tha that. >> reporter: when i asked john buchanan what he would say to the members of the u.s. special forces who rescued his daughter if he could speak to them tonight, he had five words. "thank you. we're very grateful." john? >> and brian, you also had a chance to speak to a top official at the danish relief
council, the organization jessica worked for. what do you know about her security? the security precautions that were taken at the time the two were kidnaped? >> reporter: that's right, john. i spoke to andreas kahn, the secretary general of that group. he said that jessica buchanan and paul tiestad did have security with them. he said that security team was armed at the time that they were captured in october. he didn't mins many words. he said they are disappointed in what happened given the fact they had a security team with them. he wasn't sure how many members of the team were with them at the time. but he said they're going to investigate this as soon as they get a chance to talk to those two rescued relief workers. >> brian todd for us, brian, thanks so much. we're going to take a quick break. when we do return, big bucks. cnn all week going in-depth looking at all the big money being spent on presidential campaigns. much more just ahead. ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪
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in-depth look at the big bucks that go into financing a presidential campaign and where that cash is really coming from. tonight we wanted to provide a closer look at how this is playing out here in florida. it's not just an issue in the presidential campaign. first florida. the next gop primary battle ground. the so-called superpacs are players in the tv ads this year. at the moment is the heaviest hitters are the groups that support mitt romney. it compares gingrich to his
constant comparisons to ronald reagan. >> ragan rejected newt's ideas. on character, gingrich is no ronald reagan. >> total ad spending in florida so far, about $8 million so far. about $4 million coming from superpacs. you see it right there. you might notice in this map of ad buys there's no rick santorum ad spending here. that's at odds with what he told cnn just six days ago. >> you're definitely no matter what happens saturday you're going to florida. >> absolutely. >> you got money? >> actually we're starting our bye today. >> when you say starting your buy what does that mean? >> we're starting to buy advertising. >> do you have enough money? >> we do. we've done very, very well since our iowa win. >> you heard senator santorum say we're starting our by today. that was six days ago. now the santorum team is being more cautious with resources
because of him polling a distant third here. there are questions tonight about whether senator santorum will be in the state on primary night. you'll see more and more ads once congressional races heat up. in our exclusive conversation yesterday, the house democratic leader nancy pelosi says the democrats will be more transparent about campaign spend zplg we want to disclose and we'll be making a big effort in that regard. and then when we win, we are going to reform the campaign system. democrats will have as their legacy a new politics free of special-interest money. >> our chief political analyst gloria borger back with me here in jacksonville. let's talk a bit about campaign cash. to leaser pelosi's point there. the democrats say they'll be more open, more transparent. they want to make this an issue. i know many of them feel very
strongly about it. no matter your passions on this issue, i can't remember a campaign that has turned on the money issue. >> you're not going to unilaterally disarm in a race. you're going to take the money. you may say this is where the money comes from as we've seen in the presidential campaign these pacs have names that are very amorphous like restore our future so you don't know what candidate they're affiliated with. so the democrats may want to talk about it. but they're not going to turn away this money. and this money is so influential. someone like newt gingrich gets injections of, what $10 million from shell natelson? that helps. >> you guys can put the chart back up showing spending here in florida. here's what i'm curious about. they're obviously planning for the long term. but gingrich is not spending a lot of money here, $45,000 so far on television in florida, big state with several media markets. as of today the romney campaign and pro romney superpac
outspending by millions. is the calculation to try to win on momentum in florida and save for the long haul? they raised about $2 million out of south carolina. are they worried they're not going to be able to sustain that so they're keeping money in the bank? if you want to win florida you have to spend more than that. >> i think maybe what they're doing is, they didn't buy ads early enough. i mean, the problem is they're there are ten media markets in this state. mitt romney was buying ads early on because he knew he was going to come here in a big way. and there's only so much time on television. so that could also be a problem for the gingrich campaign. >> it's also the first place we've seen any advertising aimed at latino voters, spanish language radio ads, television ads. senator marco rubio the new freshman senator from florida telling the gingrich campaign to pull one they didn't like about romney. how important is that constituency? >> usually important. it's about 12% of the republican party here. and what we see between gingrich and romney are jockeying for hispanic voters.
by the way, hispanic voters vote on the economy in this state. jobs very, very important. but also you see romney now saying that he might vote for part of the dream act if it was the children of military families, softening his stance a little bit there. both of them really ardently anti-castro competing for that. so yes, a very, very important part of the voting population here. >> old tip o'neal rule, all politics is local. different when you move into florida. still ahead tonight's truth. last night on this program the house democratic leader nancy pelosi predicted newt gingrich would never be president. a moment of claire voyance or just a long-running feud? plus what prompted a connecticut mayor to say this? >> what are you doing for the latino community today? >> i might have tacos when i go home. i'm not quite sure yet.
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it's no secret that newt gingrich and nancy pelosi don't like each other and don't respect each other. but as democrat pelosi privy to some secret, damaging information about her long-time republican nemesis? to some she left that impression when i asked her yesterday about the prospect of a gingrich presidency. >> let me just say this. that will never happen. >> why? >> he's not going to be president of the united states. it's -- that's not going to
happen. let me just make my prediction and stand by it. it isn't going to happen. >> how can you be so sure? >> there's something i know. the republicans if they choose to nominate him, that's their prerogative. i don't even think that's going to happen. >> within minutes, headlines, reports of a pelosi threat or a promise. and within hours, this. >> she lives in a san francisco environment of a san francisco jir environment of strange fantasies and and understandings of reality, i have no idea what's in nancy pelosi's head. if she knows something, i have a simple challenge. spit it out. >> it was clear to me that what speaker pelosi was saying that she knows in her view, both politics and gingrich and she can't imagine him winning. her spokesman backed that up today saying she knows there's
no way. then did something that underscoring the feud. he included in e-mail to cnn, a link to the full house ethics report that led to a full line against speaker gingrich. truth is, their bad blood runs deep. >> i think he's done plenty dumb things and there's stiff competition for what is the dumbest, of course his violations of the ethics rules of the house of representatives. i think the public record speaks for itself. read the public record. >> let's get some perspective on the feud and the great race here in the state of florida. billy tucker, jeff zellny and rick wilson. it's no question, if you follow politics, you know gingrich and pelosi don't like each other. of course she wanted to respond
to what she said, but it serves him no purpose to be debating pelosi, does it? >> what you see about newt, she understands one part. he's distracted by shiny objects and bam, the minute she said that, he was up there like a shark on tuna. he cannot stop himself from per suing the next flashy thing in front of him. he's talking about nancy pelosi, it doesn't do him any good. >> but they have this. she was on the ethics committee at the time. they have this feud. she has a couple of times said suggested or people have implied from what she said that maybe there's more. maybe there's some secret report she has that she would dump into the public. >> he has responded and sort of given some -- if she says anything, she'll be in violation
of house rules, so he has sort of fueled this. but i'm not sure why she's doing this, but she's sort of playing into the romney hand here by linking pelosi and gingrich. i think a lot of the democrats would be happy to see him become the republican nominee or at least win this florida primary coming up next week. but at the end of the day, the gingrich voters i talk to don't seem to be so concerned about pelosi even though there's someone showing up at every rall di dressing like pelosi. my guess is the romney campaign is sending them. a lot of this is baked in the cake. people who like gingrich like his confrontational style. >> so, what's happening in your state right now? we have a new times orc poll out -- if you look at the last two days of the data, it is clear that romney suddenly, gingrich is way ahead on the first day and romney's way ahead
by the end of the polling. what changed the momentum? >> we don't know what poll you did, but ours, newt gingrich came in at 40% here in jacksonville and actually, romney came in third behind paul. so that was from the tea party. >> in our polling, speaker gingrich does better among tea party voters. this is the most diverse state we will play out. tea party, if he can hold that, it helps. but neutral tea party people are for romney, so the tug of war continues. >> right. >> i think that's right, but i also saw people at a breakfast yesterday. a lot of people in don't tread on me shirts. three women i talked to said they liked what gingrich stands for, but are wrestling with the idea of his elect bability. tea party member rs not quite sure, but they're definitely taken by him. that's why he's getting huge crowds. mitt romney can't build these kind of events.
it doesn't necessarily matter, but it's a sign of something. >> so, there's passion for gingrich. there's a lot of like for mitt romney and not a lot of love. but rick, he came out of south carolina. that was the first state in the exit polling. a more conservative electorate than here. but that was the first state where people thought gingrich was a better candidate. how important is is it for romney in that hall tomorrow night to prove to florida whether you like me or not, i'm the better candidate to debate obama? >> i think the gingrich bump from south carolina has started to fade. we're at an inflection point where if newt gingrich has another night like monday and stands there sort of inert, he's going to be a bad day on tuesday. i think a lot of the things romney has done in the state in advance, when he's brought a lot of media in the state for the month ahead of time, early ballots and people are saying we've got to make a hard choice
now. and really they're having to consider if newt gingrich is conservative as they need. taking aside his ability to go and do wonderful parlor tricks at debates as you saw the other night. >> are you surprised? we showed the the ad numbers. about $45,000 so far in pro gingrich spending. millions for romney. are they late buying or holding their money for later states? >> could be a combination. don't forget, the last reporting period, he was deep in the hole here. florida is the first winner take all state. the romney campaign is making a calculation about how much it's worth for those delegates because one person's going to win them. it's more important for romney to win than gingrich. i would think we would see more ads in the coming days. the super pac is coming to his aid from shellen from nevada. >> you're nodding your head. governor romney, the way i was
saying it, romney was gingrich and rich was romney. he was playing it big. fo focusing on the president and romney, if you asked him the color of his tie, he was going to attack gingrich. >> i think tomorrow night, we're going to have a lot better debate because cnn's doing it. somebody asked us the other night, who do you think won the debate and i said cnn. the debate monday was horrific. it was terrible. we just expect tomorrow night to have a great debate because you guys know how to put one on and it's more engaging and people get to see the candidates better. >> i appreciate your support. i do want to defend my colleagues at nbc news. they're good guys. thank you. all right. thank you. let's check in with kate bolduan with the latest. >> we'll take the compliments where we can get them, right?
sometimes, that's all you can ask for. we'll get back to you in a second. news to catch you up on. starting march 1st, google will combine your clicks and taps through its various websites and products including youtube and android phones into a single pro file. they say it will give you a simpler google experience. advocates are less than thrilled. four east haven police officers have been arrested for allegedly abusing latino residents and business owners. when asked by a reporter, those prompted the mayor to say this. >> what are you doing for the latino community today? >> i might have tacos when i go home. i'm not sure yet. >> there has been a segment of this community that has been impacted by the fbi arresting four officers over alleged discrimination and you tell me today that your priority tonight is i might go have tacos.
>> the mayor is now apologizapo. he says the stress of the situation got the best of him. the federal trade commission today moved to shut down six marketers of online ads selling acai berries. they say the fake newscast look is deceptive, so do consumers who forked over money for the berries. and there were plenty of tears as members of congress said good-bye to gabrielle giffords. part of the letter she handed speaker boehner says i will recover and will return. >> i couldn't prepare anything this morning because i knew that i would not be able to hold it together very long. >> her courage, strength and downright fortitude are an