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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 19, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EST

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>> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> i vote for south beach. >> let's keep it together for my last two minutes of the show, please. i want to remind everybody. back off the florida thing. tomorrow we're going to be joined by presidential -- former presidential candidate herman cain. he'll sit with us and be part of the panel for two hours. that is on "starting point" tomorrow. i'm soledad o'brien. we wrap it up for today and send it right to "cnn newsroom" and it right to "cnn newsroom" and kyra phillips. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning, everybody. we have lots of politics this morning. first, this just got into us. good news on the jobs front. felecia taylor. the lowest level in four years? >> yeah. that's the great news. this is really the kind of numbers that we were hoping to see and hopefully will continue. so new jobless claims plunged to 352,000 last week. that's a huge drop. down by 50,000. this demonstrates there are fewer layoffs. however, jobless claims can be a
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little volatile. for example, we saw claims jump a few weeks ago because of the temporary holiday workers that were laid off. and also the prior week was revised a little bit higher, not much. just by about 3,000. it did go above 400,000. we need to stay below that in order to associate that with actual job creation. today's report is good news. we need to see it continue in the long term. >> all right. felecia, thanks so much. let's get to politics now. we begin in iowa. yes, iowa. just when you thought it was a done deal. well, the "des moines register" is reporting the iowa caucuses were a virtual tie, that rick santorum actually ended up with a 34 vote advantage and that romney did not win. so now we're being told that in about 15 minutes we're going to get the certified results from that nail biting caucus night. shannon travis is in des moines for us. shannon, walk us through what
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apparently happened. some are missing, some just aren't right. what's the deal? >> reporter: well, here's basically what happened. you know that on caucus night, kyra, they put out the unofficial numbers, right? it's a certification process that has to go through the 99 counties in iowa. they're different precincts, over 1770 precincts. all of them have to turn in what's called a form e. it's basically saying, you know what, these are the numbers that we received on caucus night for each one of the candidates. the problem is according to the "des moines register," none of the certification form existed. it leaves a big asterisk over who won. santorum and the successive counting in terms of counting the vote went up by 34 votes. you know on caucus night mitt romney won by 8 by the unofficial count. again, it's these eight precincts that have these missing form e's that leave this
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huge question mark over who actually won here. i'm standing outside the iowa republican headquarters where in a few moments i'll be able to question the chairman about what happened, how did it happen, and whether this will ever be resolved. according to the paper, it seems like this will always be the case in terms of it being a question mark, kyra. >> all right. as soon as you get that interview, shannon, let us know. we want to get that side of the story. we'll check in on what the romney camp and santorum camp are saying to that. thanks so much. meanwhile, newt gingrich is closing the gap in south carolina two days before a do or die republican primary there. a new nbc news poll shows that gingrich is surge, cutting deep into mitt romney's lead. here's gingrich sounding pretty confident in "the situation room." >> i think some of romney's folks start thinking about who could actually debate barack obama and win, i think he'll keep losing a little bit of ground. i think by saturday we'll be ahead and depending on how many conservatives come home, we could be ahead by a pretty
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comfortable margin. >> better believe the pressure is heading into tonight's debate. right here on cnn, political editor paul steinhauser live in charleston. paul, what do you think of gingrich's late momentum? >> yeah, look at this, kyra. this poll you mentioned, nbc marries pole was conducted mon and tuesday. both before and after that debate where a lot of the pundants say newt gingrich had a great performance. mitt romney looked a little defensive especially over the issue of his taxes. let's break down that poll. monday, monday only in that poll, there's romney at 37%, gingrich at 22%. 15-point lead for romney. go to tuesday. this is just the tuesday results from that poll. look at that. romney advantage down to just 5 points. also another new poll out in the last few hours from polico. romney is at the top, seven
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points over gingrich. this was first recognized by our cnn time orc poll, back just, what, not even 24 hours ago with romney's lead going from 19 points down to 10. things are definitely tightening up here. the romney camp starting to step up attacks on gingrich yesterday on the campaign trail. boy, kyra, it is getting really interesting here. two days to go. >> i'll tell you what, in tonight's debate. we have to pump that up. we could see that really make an impact here. >> reporter: no doubt. listen, these debates all cycle long have had such a big impact. the one on monday night seems to be so. 11 hours from now right behind me there at the north charleston coliseum. so much on the line. this is the last showdown for all five of the major republican candidates before that crucial primary in south carolina on saturday. >> paul steinhauser in charleston, thanks. tonight two days before the primary election, the gop contenders debate the issues. the southern republican
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presidential debate on cnn tonight 8:00 eastern. this morning we received some pretty startling insights into that cruise ship tragedy. it comes from this new video shot by rescue crews from the national fire brig gate. for the first time we're seeing how the massive rocky reef split the hull and doomed that voyage. this new evidence also suggests that this was not the first time that the same ship came dangerously close to the shoreline. in fact, a shipping industry newspaper is reporting that they had an investigation showing that the "costa concordia" may have avoided earlier tragedy by sheer luck. >> it didn't go just as close, it actually sailed closer. on the basis of the data that we've looked at, which is exclusive data from shore basis tems called ais, we're estimating it got that close,
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230 meters at one point, the closest point on that voyage. it was actually closer than this voyage up until the last moment when it came in. so our estimate is that it must have come within sniffing distance of the underwater rock that it hit on this voyage way back in august. >> wow. dan rivers is on giglio island where rescue crews have resumed work. any idea how much longer those operations will continue? >> reporter: they're looking for the end of the week here, kyra we're told there are two divers currently on board that are continuing their search. we're told they're going to start using explosives again to blast their way into sections of the ship that they can't get access to. but, yeah, it's tough going. we have also been hearing heart rendering stories of families that have been missing. the family of a little girl, five years old, diana alopti who
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hasn't been seen since this accident. she was on board with her father, william alopti. the mother, who's now remarried, suzy, has been speaking, pleading with people not to give up looking for their little girl. it's a really terrible story. she, the mother, is due to come to the island this evening, we understand. we'll get more information about the search for her daughter. this little girl is one of 23 people we think are still missing in this tragedy. 11 confirmed dead. >> dan rivers from giglio there. we will follow the operations with you throughout the morning. back here the obama administration is facing blistering criticism now for its decision on a controversial oil pipeline. here's the back story. the white house denied a permit to expand the existing keystone pipeline. it would have carried crude oil from the tar sands in canada to refineries on the gulf coast.
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president obama says that congress gave him only 60 days to make the decision and that just wasn't enough time to assess the environmental risks. now republicans say the decision will cost thousands of jobs and make the u.s. more dependent on middle eastern oil. president obama's decision on the pipeline is causing worldwide debate now. zain verjee in london for us. what are you hearing, zain? >> good morning to you, kyra actually, let's start in the united states first. i thought this headline was pretty interesting so i wanted to share that with you. this is from "the washington post," its headline says a kink in the pipeline. it goes on to say this, environmentalists should fight for policies that might actually do substantial good instead of tilting against keystone xl and president obama should have the courage to say so. there's also a big story in the canadian papers, obviously, the "national post" in canada says, delayed, not dead. this is political theater, pure and simple. it's intended solely to solidify
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the green vote behind obama in november's presidential election and for the general electorate to make it appear as if mr. obama's republican opponents are truly to blame for the thousands of jobs that will not be created. a little more global perspective from the "wall street journal" in asia. their edition has this headline. a tale of two pipe lines. it says, if the u.s.ions alberta oil, then canada needs to reach export markets in asia. whoever thought the day would come when ottawa would be more pro-growth than the u.s. government? >> zain verjee out of london. thanks. 12 families in new york desperately seeking answers after their teenagers suddenly start twitching and stuttering. >> she does not have time for i feel, or guesswork, or anything like that. she's deteriorating. >> the mystery illness and possible cause next. and fixing the washington
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monument. a private citizen steps up and cuts the government a $7.5 million check. let's get to paul steinhauser in charleston. i understand you have some breaking news for us, paul? >> reporter: i do have some breaking news from the campaign trail right here in south carolina, kyra. we're learning two sources tellingous cnn's peter ham by that rick perry, the texas governor, he's telling supporters that he will drop his bid for the republican presidential nomination today. kyra, again, our peter hamby, doing some nice work here. two sources telling us that that's what perry is telling his supporters. remember, rick perry, the texas governor, he jumped into the race back in august. he quickly became a front-runner but he had stumbles in a lot of the debates this fall. his numbers have dropped. he's right now just in the single digits right here in south carolina, another southern state for him, only in the single digits in the last three polls we've seen over the last 24 hours, kyra. it looks like we may only have four people on that stage tonight right behind me at the
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coliseum here in north charleston. again, the headline here, two sources telling our cnn's peter hamby that rick perry will announce he's dropping out. >> it's going to be interesting to see how that debate goes now minus rick perry. also all those voters in support of rick perry. where are those votes going to go? you know the candidates will be vying for those. we'll be talking a lot more about the breaking news. paul, thanks so much. we'll take a quick break. snoo ♪ [ male announcer ] linens and duvet washed fresh for every guest. real value. from your friends at hampton. i want to fix up old houses. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant. when i grow up, i'm going to start a band.
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and as you just heard, our paul steinhauser reporting live from charleston. peter hamby working his sources. two sources now confirming to cnn that rick perry is expected to drop out of the presidential
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campaign today. as you know, cnn is going to be holding a debate among the gop candidates this evening. that means four people taking the stage if, indeed, rick perry comes forward today and announces he is suspending his campaign. our peter hamby breaking that story just moments ago through paul steinhauser there in charleston. the two sources confirming to him, rick perry will be dropping out of his presidential run. all right. let's check some other stories happening cross-country. right now at least three people feared missing and dead in oregon. their car went into deep waters and was swept in a canal. melting snow and heavy rains have triggered severe flooding in that state. more weather whoes. roads will remain dangerous there in seattle. a philanthropist is donating $7.5 million to help fix the washington monument. billionaire david rubinstein is
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splitting the cost with the government. stuttering, twitching, sudden outbursts. it's a medical mystery in upstate new york. 12 girls all from the same high school suffering the same symptoms. jason carroll is on the story. >> very heart breaking to me to be honest. knowing that right now i can't do what i love. >> reporter: she was a cheerleader, an honor role student and as a senior at leroy junior high school in upstate new york, well on her way to planning her future. when she woke up from a nap, everything changed. >> i couldn't stop stuttering. >> the stuttering took over. really con torting on the left side. we apologize. we're going to break out of jason's piece there for a second. we'll try to bring that back to
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you. we just reported moments ago through our peter hamby confirming through two sources, rick perry expected to announce today that he's dropping out of his presidential run. gloria borger on the phone with us now. gloria, what do you know? have you been able to talk to your sources as well? let's talk about the impact of this. >> reporter: well, i just made one phone call to a source in another campaign and no one is surprised here in the sense that perry did not do as well as he had anticipated in iowa. and certainly not in new hampshire. and the feeling was that he was staking it all here, where i am, in charleston, south carolina, in this state because he thought that he could make a pitch to those evangelical and conservative voters that he's the one who shares their values. in fact, what we've seen in our polling and everyone's polling is that evangelical voters have split. the pastors last weekend
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endorsed rick santorum. they're giving mitt romney another look as are conservatives. and that electability seems to be a very, very important issue here. even as you see newt gingrich rise in the polls. when you talk to voters here, they say kind of i'm torn. i'm having a gut-check moment because i need to decide who am i going to vote for? somebody who really shares all my values or somebody who can beat president obama? i think that rick perry, particularly given his mediocre debate performances, i would say in the last debate, by the way, kyra, ironically i think he had his best performance, that people never forgave him for his first two or three bad debate performances. in a way, the debates were the first primaries and he lost them. >> gloria, i'm told we've got wolf on the line as well. also peter hamby. he actually broke this story for us. do we have him yet? not yet? okay. peter apparently is calling in.
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we'll talk to him. gloria, please stay with me. wolf blitzer on the line. what's your take on this? where will rick perry supporters go, which camp? >> reporter: i think a lot of them will go to newt gingrich. a lot of them will go to rick santorum. probably not that many will go to mitt romney. he might get some of them, but i suspect that in south carolina where i am right now, where gloria is, where peter hamby is, this will probably be very, very good news for newt gingrich because over the last few days, especially since monday night's debate, he's been searching. he's been really narrowing the gap. romney had in our poll about a week or ten days ago a 19 point lead here in south carolina. the most recent poll a 10 point lead. but if you just look at the last day or two after the monday night debate, it was almost even, if you will. so gingrich has been surging. romney's been hurting a little bit since the debate. i suspect that a lot of the
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evangelical christian conservative tea party types that would have liked to have voted for rick perry, it wouldn't have been a huge number to begin with in the recent polls, he's been getting 4 or 5% or something like that in south carolina. if it's close, it could be significant. i think it's probably going to help newt gingrich and to a second degree rick santorum. it's going narrow the field as far as mitt romney is concerned. >> newt was talking to you in "the situation room" sounding pretty darn confident. now you're saying this is probably going to help him. peter hamby on the line with us now. he broke this story. peter, this has been quite a good week for you. you broke the news that jon huntsman was out. now your' breaking the news that rick perry is dropping out of the race. tell us how you worked the information when you felt confident you knew this, indeed, was gold information? >> reporter: yeah. governor perry, and thanks for the shout out, kyra, governor perry told a handful of top
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supporters and they began sort of making phone calls around south carolina today, which is actually how i heard from someone here in south carolina. there were some staff members that i talked to who are not yet aware that this was happening, kyra, so it's sort of kind of bubbling up around the margins. what i heard was that they're expecting to do a press conference at some point today, possibly as early as this morning, to announce the results. i do not know if he has plans to endorse another candidate so we have to wait and see on that. we're still making phone calls and trying to figure out what rick perry's next steps are. he is here in south carolina, kyra. >> peter, any idea what time this could happen? peter, are you still with me? >> reporter: can you say that again, kyra? i can't hear you very well. >> no problem. where are you now, peter? where are you calling in from? >> reporter: i'm in charleston.
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>> gotcha. do you have any idea, peter, when he might do this, when he might step to the mic and announce this? >> reporter: what i heard was possibly as early as this morning, but there might be a press conference around 11:00 a.m. i'm still trying to nail down details on that. but it still seems kind of fluid right now. the perry campaign and his supporters are still making phone calls and letting people know before they officially put this news out there. >> look, you broke this story, and i know you just mentioned to me you're not quite sure if he's going to come out and endorse somebody when he does make this announcement, but just through what your sources have been telling you, is your gut leaning one way or another? >> reporter: it's hard to say. there is talk, believe it or not, that rick perry could run for president again.
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obviously he planned out spectacularly in this race. does he want to either preserve some political capital with the party establishment that he might need down the road? that would send you in the direction of endorsing governor romney. or does he want to maintain his washington insurgent outsider status, and that might lend him to endorse another candidate. he has been aggressive in saying that he is the only candidate in the race who's not a d.c. insider. it's very tough for him to turn around and endorse somebody like newt gingrich and rick santorum. his campaign sent out a mail piece yesterday trashing gingrich and santorum both saying they're part of the problem in washington, they don't get it. of course rick perry's been very tough on governor romney throughout this campaign. bundled him in with the wall street elites that are in cahoots with washington. it's tough for him to go that way as well, kyra. a lot of people have made comparisons to fred thompson. he kind of didn't do well in
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iowa and went straight to south carolina and then sort of quietly dropped out. didn't really endorse anybody for a few days. he was with john mccain eventually. we could also see rick perry step off the sidelines and not endorse anybody. it's not really in keeping with his brand, kyra, any of these candidates. >> okay. and i'm just getting word, too, as you know our lead story today, stay with me, peter, wolf, gloria if you're still there, stay with me. we reported the "des moines register" going back -- say that again. right. the beginning of the hour we told you about the "des moines register" report that go in iowa actually it was a virtual tie. we had been talking so much about the iowa caucuses. the fact that rick santorum ran a tight second there to mitt romney by eight votes. now the "des moines register" reporting it was a tie. now we're getting word through the certified results that rick santorum actually won the iowa
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caucus. peter hamby broke the story that rick perry is going to drop out of the race. wolf, why don't i take this to you. rick santorum actually winning the iowa caucus. glor yeah, i'll get you to weigh in. wolf, why don't we start with you. >> reporter: it's great news for rick santorum. it's a little late. if he would have come out 20 or 30 or 40 votes ahead right after iowa going into new hampshire, it probably would have given him some momentum. certainly the fact that mitt romney was able to say i won iowa, i won new hampshire, nobody, no non-incumbent republican has ever done that, that was a major talking point for mitt romney. in santorum would have been able to say i won iowa, he might have done better in new hampshire, maybe in south carolina. having said all of that, i think it's going to encourage rick santorum to fight on, especially now that peter hamby is
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reporting that rick perry is about to drop out. i'm sure rick santorum and newt gingrich are really hoping that whatever support rick perry had here in south carolina, as i said earlier, in the moderate single digits, would go to them, at least some of it to them. it's shaking things up. there are four candidates left, kyra there were eight. at one point there were ten, now there are four. i assume that rick perry would drop out after saturday, but he pulled a jon huntsman and decided looking at all these poll numbers, even the moderate to low single digits now is the time to get out and do it on his terms as opposed to being humiliated saturday night when the results come in and he would come in dead last. you know, it's going to shake things up a little bit and it will liven up this contest not only for south carolina, but january 31st there's a primary in florida.
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things are moving. >> we've got candy crowley on the line. two breaking stories, candy. right now. you're seeing it all happen here, unfolding here. where do you want to start? do you want to start with rick santorum winning iowa or do you want to talk about rick perry jumping out of the race? >> reporter: i'm always for the latest news first. rick perry getting out of the race now, i don't think you can look at this without thinking that this is what, first of all, newt gingrich and rick santorum have been pushing all along is for other folks to get out of the race because they've been dividing up this conservative block of the party. they've been unable to overtake mitt romney at this point. so i think it is certainly making south carolina a lot more interesting. it was already pretty interesting. >> roland martin and will cain now i understand jumping in on this conversation. are you guys together? they are together. perfect. oh, boy. yeah, this ought to get interesting.
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okay. roland, weigh in. wherever you want to start. candy obviously with the news of the hour. rick perry jumping out. >> first of all, i think of keith jackson. whoa nelly! >> hang a star on that one. >> here you have a debate tonight, the election on saturday. i think at the end of the day rick perry tried to put everything on south carolina. after a horrible finish in iowa. clearly would get embarrassed. it makes sense from an evangelical standpoint, also for them to meet in texas and say we're going to back santorum and not back him, it makes sense to get out of the race, allow the voters here to be able to choose between gingrich and santorum to go against romney, otherwise, you're splitting the vote. you still have some credibility in terms of being able to impact the election. smart, but he should have got out after iowa horrible finish. >> he tried to. he tried to get out after iowa. >> where do you think the rick
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perry votes are going to go, will? >> that's a tough call. first let me say this, kyra. why would rick perry get out right now? because he is a political animal. he has been a career politician. whether or not he stays in politics or he wants to influence politics in the future, getting out. getting last place in south carolina hurts you. roland said this a minute ago. i agree. participating in this debate tonight doesn't look like it's going to help him based upon past experience. get gs out now he's able to remain a player. where are his votes going to go? that's hard to say. you're asking who would he endorse? as a career political animal he should endorse romney. you back winners. he's got this grassroots feel to him. he doesn't want to alienate that side. i don't know who he would endorse. >> he doesn't have to endorse, kyra. here's why. you look at the latest poll. you've seen the lead shrink between romney and gingrich. by him getting out, if gingrich is able to win on saturday, one of the narratives will be rick
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perry dropping out helped gingrich beat romney. then perry can just simply sit back, bass being in that. later give an endorsement and see what happens in florida. bottom line, he realizes he was not going to do well here. you do not want to be embarrassed. you need to have some kind of sway when it comes to who could possibly win and if this goes to texas, then his endorsement is even more critical if it goes down that particular path all the way to march. >> our candy crowley said south carolina was already getting interesting. now it's getting more interesting. this is what we love, right? our big debate is tonight. wolf blitzer, how do you think the news that is braking this morning is going to impact our big debate tonight? >> reporter: rick perry is obviously not going to be in the debate so there will be four people instead of five people. my own sense is that it's going to be lively. gingrich is really angry at romney. romney is fighting now. he sees there's a real contest in south carolina. rick santorum wants to weigh in.
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ron paul, you know, he's always outspoken. it's going to be a lively debate. i expect fireworks tonight here in charleston. >> what do you think, candy? fireworks and where are those fireworks going to come from? >> reporter: listen, the fireworks always get louder and bigger the closer you get to election day so, absolutely. listen, i think there's a lot of pressure tonight on mitt romney because it was sort of widely perceived that the last debate was not his best. so he needs to be on his game, particularly when we see these polls moving toward newt gingrich after a debate earlier this week. this is newt gingrich's strength. it's where he has pulled from and what has propelled him throughout most of this primary season. it has been his debate performances. i think there was a lot of pressure on mitt romney to put in a, quote, presidential kind of performance as well as a really strong performance because he didn't get that great
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a grade last time. it matters now. this is the last one before the south carolina primary. >> paul steinhauser, i'm hearing you might know when rick perry's announcement is going to happen, is that right? >> reporter: yeah. the perry campaign, which is still around for now, just put out a press release moments ago while you were talking to wolf, candy, roland. it's going to be at 11:00 eastern. only a few miles from here. just a few miles from here. steve rusk, he's making the move. we'll have the cameras there. >> once again, if you're just tuning in, here's the latest news. paul telling us 11:00 a.m. eastern time right here on cnn we are going to hear rick perry step up to the mic and announce that he is stepping out of the gop race. candy crowley, you mentioned as we are gearing up for a big debate tonight, eight people to
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four people. rick perry is going to be out. didn't do so well in the debates. that definitely made an impact on him. you're saying the pressure is going to be on romney tonight. you say he needs to be on his game. what exactly does he need to be working on today to get ready for tonight? >> reporter: look, i think it's pretty clear that his opponents will come after him on taxes, on how much he paid, on, again, why he hasn't released his tax returns now. they are portraying him as one of these rich people out of contact with the normal voter, and i think they're going to go after him, first of all, on economic things, and by that i mean sort of his life, his tax returns. you know, look, this is south carolina so you will also see and you have seen the subtext here has also been some of the social issues. newt gingrich bringing up, again, mitt romney's, quote,
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flip-flop on abortion which took place many years ago but, nonetheless, did take place. i think you'll see them go at him any way they can chip away at that lead. he needs to be forceful without looking as though they've gotten to him. you remember that one debate where it seemed like rick perry got under his skin. that's not good. one of his great strengths, one of romney's great strengths is people look at him and they say, gee, he's acting presidential. he seems presidential. he gives that kind of sort of calm i've got this under control, but he also needs to have some pretty darn good answers to some of these things that are going to come at him, both on social issues as well as on fiscal issues. >> rick perry speaking to our john king last night as this news this morning is coming forward that he's going to be dumping out of the gop race. let's take a listen to what perry had to say last night and discuss. >> the idea that we're going to do anything else other than try
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to impact this election, that's why we got in it. we didn't get in it because it was our purpose in life to be the president of the united states. we did it because it was our purpose to serve this country. that's what we've been called for, and that's what we're going to continue doing. >> okay. playing monday morning quarterback, got in the race to impact the election, not necessarily win the presidency. wolf? did we lose our wolf? kanldy, are you still with me? >> i surely am. >> okay. let's go to you, candy crowley. i guess if you knowing the news now, listening to that interview last night, sort of sounds like he was gearing up for what he was going to say today at 11:00 a.m. eastern without saying it directly. >> reporter: yeah. these are the things you look back on and say, oh, darn, it was all right there. i have to tell you, i talked to him on sunday and said, hey, no matter how you do, come rain or shine in south carolina, are you going on to florida? he said, that's our intention.
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so, you know, the fact of the matter is until they come out and say i'm out, they're always in. you can't ever show any sign of i'm about to get out. i think that was one of rick perry's problems. remember after iowa he did poorly and he came out and said, i'm going to go home and think about, you know, this, about what my future is. then the next day he came out and said, i'm going to south carolina. it just was a chink and he had to put out a web ad saying i'm not a quitter. i'm in this. because people just sort of looked at him and thought, h 'm. he defied the principles of politics, never let them see you sweat, never let them think that you're thinking about leaving. that hurt him in iowa. he performed poorly in iowa, performed poorly in new hampshire. rather than perform poorly in three states in a row, why not pull out now? because you remember, this is a guy who came in, a, never having lost an election.
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b, he came in the day after the iowa straw poll in august or the day of the results, one of the two, but very quickly, and he was the immediate front-runner. so this has been a painful fall for rick perry. obviously one he didn't want to continue. >> candy crowley, thanks so much. will, roland, are you guys still with me? i've got a question for both of you. >> yes. >> two news items here breaking in the hour. rick santorum winning iowa, those certified results are in. we thought mitt romney had won, we thought rick santorum had squeaked in there by eight votes coming in second. turns out, those certified results saying rick santorum won iowa. let's take that happening this hour in addition to us getting the news that rick perry will be announcing 11:00 a.m. eastern time, 1.5 hours from now, that he is out of the race. these two bits of information,
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ho how will it impact the debate tonight? roland? >> 2008 thein sein tore hillary clinton beat thein sein tore obama. he won 14 of the delegates, she won 13. at the end of the day this is about delegates. we can talk about santorum winning iowa by 34 votes, 8 votes, whatever the number is. it doesn't matter. it comes down to delegates. most of the iowa delegates wasn't a woorded on that night. it's not that big of a deal. that's old news because now it's about south carolina. that will not be an issue when it comes to the debate. of course santorum will talk about it because he'll say i won the voters there in iowa but mitt romney's not going to worry about that. the key tonight is simply going to be how quickly will you see them go after romney and how does he handle the attacks? he is going to have to have much better answers than he had beforehand. now that rick perry's out, there's more time and you can't lean on rick perry screwing up.
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>> will? >> time. yeah, first of all on the santorum news, it's just north of inconsequential. doesn't impact the debate hardly at all. roland mentioned the key word, time. the field has just dropped from five to four. that means more time for each can date. as somebody who goes on tv, let me make a promise to you, when you have 30 seconds, can you get away with saying damn near anything. when you have to actually have minutes to explain your position, it weeds out who knows what they're talking about from who doesn't. that means more time to talk about bain, tax returns for mitt romney, it means more time to talk about possible scandals for newt gingrich. time. we'll hear a lot more and know more about these guys with four people in the field. >> kyra, expect rick santorum and mitt romney to say how long they've been married and how much they love their wives and their children and newt's got to stand there and suck it up. >> and he's got an ex-wife that is now speaking with his kids coming to his defense. guys, do me a favor. >> that's my point. >> will mentioned the issue of
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time. we have a lot more time to talk about the two developing stories happening right here in our hour. the first one is our peter hamby breaking the news live on cnn. rick perry going to announce he's stepping out of the gop race. that's going to happen at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. story number two, rick santorum winning iowa. yeah. we're looking back and going to talk about the impact of that as those certified results come in. two big stories breaking this hour. we're going to talk about them more right after the break.
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two big news stories happening right now here on cnn. if you're just tuning in, it's about 9:45 eastern time. in about 1:15 minutes rick perry is supposed to step up the mics and announce that he is stepping out of the gop race. our peter hamby confirming this through two sources. rick perry dropping out of the presidential run. the other story breaking this hour, rick santorum winning the iowa caucuses. here's the deempt you know we reported how tight it was when those results came in that mitt romney did win in iowa and that rick santorum had the surprising bump just squeaking in there in second place by eight votes? well, apparently the certified results have come in and rick perry -- sorry, rick santorum is now the declared winner in iowa.
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so we're following both of these breaking news stories this hour in the "cnn newsroom." we have a lot of players as you can imagine calling in to us and joining us live. let's start with our shannon travis. shannon, you are live in charleston for us this morning. des moines. you are in des moines. i've got to keep this all straight. let's start with the fact that we just got the certified results, right, in the past ten minutes or so? rick santorum declared the winner. what happened? >> reporter: well, we don't really know what happened. we may never know what happened, kyra, but we can tell you what they're telling us. basically on caucus night, right, as you just mentioned the chairman of the iowa gop, i'm standing right outside the headquarters here, he came out and gave the unofficial results that showed mitt romney leading rick santorum by a thin margin of eight votes, right? well, you know that those votes have to go through a certification process, and in the process of certifying these krejci votes that didn't hold up
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apparently. out of the 17,074 promiscuoomip precincts, if you're not good at math, if our viewers are not good at math, there are eight precincts missing their certified official vote tally. so in those eight precincts we don't know if mitt romney led, if rick santorum led or what have you. so this margin that we have here for rick santorum, this 34 votes that he won, he's won, according to these official numbers but, kyra, is that the actual win? we may never know because the eight precincts are missing their official documentation. >> okay. and that night when the numbers were coming in we can't forget what happened in clinton county, right? we talked to the two officials there. there was an issue with the count and the numbers and where were they. so what is this telling us about
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iowa and the system and how everything went down that night? >> well, i think in fairness, i mean, vote counting is never a perfect process, right? we've seen these kinds of problems in other contests in other races in other places. however, i was there on caucus night at one of the caucus sites and it was chaotic, kyra. there were some precincts there in my area that didn't have the right numbers and it took a little longer for them to resolve them. they resolved all of their numbers. it's an imperfect process and it just basically tells you -- again, with this being the closest, the closest count in iowa caucus history, you were bound to have some kind of problems like these, kyra. >> shannon travis in des moines for us. the other big story coming to us this hour, peter hamby calling in. rick perry going to announce he is out of the race. our big debate tonight goes from eight candidates from the very beginning down to four.
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it's going to get interesting. mark preston is life this charleston. so much to talk about the big news here, mark. >> reporter: well, you know what's interesting about this, kyra, is that right after the iowa caucuses i was running to the airport about to get on the airplane. started getting telephone calls from people telling me that, in fact, rick perry was going to drop out of the race. that evening after he did so poorly in iowa he said he was going to give it some consideration. well, the next day there was a movement about that, in fact, he had decided to get out of the race. i've got to tell you, within a matter of about 15 or 20 minutes the ship had turned around and apparently rick perry's wife had a lot to do with it. she did not want him to give up. she wanted him to go on. they had the money. they had several million which they decided to come here to south carolina, invest t saturate the air waves and try to make their stand in sk south carolina. in fact public polls showed he could not get the boost he had hoped to.
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he's making a very calculated decision. we've seen it recently by jon huntsman. get out now and try to save face a little bit. the next question is going to be, who does rick perry endorse, if he endorses at all? i think the betting odds is that he would probably go to newt gingrich. by doing that, will that give newt gingrich a boost heading into saturday? all questions that are unanswered. it's certainly going to be a cloud that will be who have e hr the debate. >> as candy crowley said, now they're getting really interesting. we will stay on these two breaking stories. rick santorum winning iowa, rick perry getting out of the gop race. stay with cnn. we'll be right back after a quick break. with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start.
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two big news stories breaking this hour right here in the "cnn newsroom." we'll start with rick perry, expected to announce he is jumping out of the gop race. that's going to happen about an hour and ten minutes, 11:00 a.m. eastern time. jim acosta is actually traveling with the romney camp. jim, any reaction? i know it's happening fast. any reaction from the camp? >> reporter: not yet, kyra, but you have to think there's going to be some worry setting in over at the romney camp because of what's happening this morning. i mean, perry dropping out right now obviously is going to help newt gingrich. how much remains to be seen. i mean, in our latest cnn/"time"/orc poll, perry is only drawing 6%. look at the politico poll out this morning, perry only has 4%. so you know, how do you measure this at this point? it's really unclear, but the romney camp has to look at this right now and wonder whether or not things are really moving in
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newt gingrich's direction. you heard newt gingrich over the last couple days calling on some of the other un-romneys to drop out. rick santorum is saying thanks but no thanks, but apparently, rick perry has decided to do so. keep in mind, he's been under pressure from conservatives to do what he's doing this morning. eric erickson at redstate.com put out a posting in the last couple days basically saying rick perry could go out of this race sort of like a goat or a hero, a king-maker. he drops out and endorses newt gingrich and somehow stops mitt romney here in south carolina, mitt romney is no longer the inevitable gop candidate, kyra. >> jim, let me ask you quickly before we head over to roland and will -- our candy crowley was saying, look, the pressure is really going to be on romney tonight. he's going to have to be on his game. what is he doing today to get ready for that? >> reporter: he has an event that's happening here in just a few moments from now. it is basically his only event of the day. they have had sort of a lighter schedule in the last couple of days, but i have to tell you, it's been very interesting to
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watch this campaign over the last 24 hours. two of his last three events, kyra, were very sparsely attended, i mean, very small crowds compared to what we have seen from mitt romney in the last couple of weeks. could that just be an odd sort of happenstance? yes, possibly. and at the same time, obviously, he's coming off of a couple of days of missteps. you know, coming out and saying that he pays a 50% effective tax rate. that is not good news for the romney campaign down in south carolina where the state is at 9.9% unemployment rate. at the same time, he could get away with these things up in new hampshire. remember the pink slips gaffe and the "i like to be able to fire people" gaffe. he was able to get away with that up in new hampshire because he had what was essentially an insurmountable lead. you can't get away with that down here in south carolina, not when you're ahead by seven points in this politico poll that came out this morning, and this nbc news/marist poll, on the last day of that survey, it's being reported this morning, it is essentially a
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statistical, almost a statistical tie between newt gingrich and mitt romney. so, this race is tightening right now and rick perry leaving this race helps newt gingrich. it doesn't help mitt romney. and the romney people have to know that right now, and i think that is probably why we're just getting deafening silence at this point. >> all right, well, you let us know if anyone speaks up. jim acosta with mitt romney's camp there. >> reporter: sure. >> thanks so much, jim. roland martin, will cain, let's talk to you, live out of charleston. roland, sparse crowds lately for romney is what jim tells us. >> well, look, i mean, look, you can read a lot into that in terms of what does that mean, but here's something else i think we have to factor in with this news, kyra. if this didn't happen, what would have been the topic all day? newt gingrich's ex-wife and her interview tonight on abc. that's now totally off the radar. from this point on to the end of the debate and after, it's all
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going to be perry impact on gingrich. so, if you're newt gingrich, you're sitting here saying, rick perry, i can give you a kiss. thank you for this gift you just gave me. because now the entire narrative has changed. it is now all perry, perry, perry, gingrich, romney. and santorum, you're like, god! >> will, you heard roland say an endorsement doesn't matter, doesn't matter who perry endorses. however, mark preston's saying he's probably going to come out and endorse newt gingrich. what is your take on that? does an endorsement matter or not at this point? >> no, it will matter. it will matter for newt gingrich. let me say this, though, you also had jim acosta talking about the romney campaign's response to this. let me offer you a silver lining for the romney campaign. pundits have forwarded the narrative that romney has benefited from a fractured field, right? because no one can coalesce behind one alternative, it's helped romney. well, think about the two news stories we're talking about
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today. one rk, perry's dropping out an possibly supporting geng rich, helps gingrich, but santorum might have won iowa, makes him seem like a legitimate alternative. now you have romney, santorum and gingrich, still dividing the field, santorum and gingrich still dividing the alternatives. it does not coalesce behind any mitt romney alternative. i don't think the news is all bad for mitt. >> and i disagree with this whole notion that all the pressure is now on mitt romney. if i'm mitt romney, i'm telling you right now, i'm not going to get into the mud with gingrich and santorum and ron paul. if i'm him, i'm focusing my attacks solely on president obama and i'm constantly repeating the mantra, that's what republicans should be focused on. if you guys want to sit here and tear me down, knock yourself out, but i'm focused on being the president. if he says that, you're going to see a reaction from the crowd, you're going to see i think a reaction from foejz foelks at h. so, he has to be able to turn their negativity back against them and not feel as if i'm under siege.
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>> will and roland, we're going to keep talking about this. you saw it first right here on cnn. our peter hamby calling in to confirm rick perry going to call it kbits an hour from now. you'll see it live right here on cnn. best breaking news. tonight, two days before the south carolina primary election, four gop contenders will now debate the issues. the southern republican presidential debate on cnn tonight, 8:00 eastern. two breaking news stories. we'll talk more about how they're going to impact that presidential debate tonight on cnn. what's he looking for? i think he's looking for savings. ♪ i can't watch this anymore. stop! there's an easier way! we compare your progressive direct rate to other top companies so you get a great price. no more running around. ha ha ha! wouldn't you love to see the world through his eyes? i bet i look like the strongest man in the world.
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welcome back to cnn. just about the top of the hour here. two breaking political news stories right here in the "newsroom." first up, rick perry getting ready to tell all his supporters that he's out. in just about an hour, he holds an event in north charleston, south carolina, where he's expected to drop his bid for the white house. then in iowa, the certified caucus results are in, and guess what? rick santorum won, not mitt romney. i've got the best political team on television with me right now. we're going to start with wolf blitzer on the phone along with our peter hamby, who broke the story about rick perry, mark preston, paul steinhauser also on the ground in charleston. we'll talk more about our debate toght. then we've got shannon travis live in des moines talking about rick santorum actually winning iowa. all right, wolf, let's start with you.
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the biggest news, rick perry in about an hour going to step up to the mike and announce that he is out. are you surprised? >> i'm sort of surprised. i thought he would do it after -- he was almost certainly going to finish last on saturday. i thought he would drop out after that. but to save himself humiliation of coming in last, they took a lot of his terms. he'll have this news conference at 11:00, make a statement, i assume answer some questions. we'll see if he endorses anyone. he's following in the footsteps of jon huntsman, who did the same thing earlier this week, announcing he was stepping out. huntsman, as you know, went on to endorse mitt romney. and let's see if rick perry endorses anyone. but it's a much more gracious exit for rick perry than had he waited and come in a distant, distant, dead last on saturday. that would have been really humiliating. looking back, after he didn't do well in iowa and he said he was going to spend the night, reassess whether to continue on to new hampshire.
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he went jogging the next morning and he said, you know what, i'm going to continue. he did poorly in new hampshire. he almost certainly would have come in last here in south carolina. didn't have much going for him in florida, either, if you took a look at the national polls, the florida polls. so, at least he'll go out with a little bit of dignity. and the question is, you know, whatever support he did have -- and he came in 5%, 6%, something like that in all these recent polls in south carolina. let's see who gets the benefit. i suspect it's going to not help mitt romney. it will either help gingrich or santorum, maybe to a certain degree, ron paul, because it will -- those who were inclined to vote for rick perry will move in that direction. they probably won't move in the mitt romney direction. so, it's less of a division. it's good news for santorum and gingrich and paul. not such good news for mitt romney, although you know, the difference, we'll see how much of a difference it actually makes. >> interesting. within all this breaking news, you're the first one to mention ron paul. >> yeah, well, ron paul, like a
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few of the rick perry supporters, ron paul, like rick perry from texas. they don't have a good relationship. they had a very bad relationship. in fact, i interviewed ron paul on several occasions when rick perry announced he was running. he said i barely know the guy. i don't think i've ever met him. we really haven't had any contact, even though for 10 years, almost 11 years, perry's been governor of texas, same state ron paul has a district in, but they're not close or anything. they barely knew each other. and as they came into the campaign, they didn't like each other on a bunch of issues. one thing is clear, rick perry is not going to endorse ron paul. i can assure you about that, kyra. >> wolf, thanks. and the man that broke the story for us, our peter hamby is on the phone for us. i mentioned, i'll say it again, this has been quite a week for you, peter. you have quite a few political sources. you broke the news jon huntsman was going to pull out of the race. now you've broken the news rick perry is pulling out of the race today. tell us how this all unfolded and when you got the news and
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what does this mean to you moving forward? >> reporter: well, i was working on another story this morning about the robo calls that the romney campaign was putting out, attacking newt gingrich. i got a phone call from a good source of mine who said that he had received a call from one of perry's leading supporters. basically, perry had told some of his top financial backers and confidantes and they started making some phone calls around the country on his behalf. i tried to talk to some staff members there. were several staff members who were not aware that this is happening. the perry campaign still has substantial media buys on television, in the mail, online. so, a lot of people in the campaign were sort of caught off guard by this, but they eventually came around, kyra. one thing i want to point out in this discussion is this is a bad day for mitt romney if rick perry does decide to endorse newt gingrich. there are some reports that that
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might happen. perry has an anti-gingrich website up that was taken down this morning. that's sort of a clue that this might happen. >> interesting. >> reporter: basically, you see that 6% might go to gingrich, if that happens. but romney's had a very bad 48 hours. he had a tough debate. gingrich had a good debate. romney fumbled some questions about his taxes and his personal income. meanwhile, newt gingrich is surging and the romney campaign is trying to hit him. if you see these anti-romney conservative forces start to coalesce just before the primary, it could be a bad saturday for mitt romney. so, that's something to keep an eye on today when we go to this press conference. and we will see. we haven't confirmed yet that he will endorse gingrich, but there are clues pointing in that direction. >> peter, isn't it amazing how absolutely cruel these candidates can be to each other, and next thing you know, they're turning around endorsing each other? >> reporter: it is. sometimes, it's the nature of the campaign. perry, quite frankly, is one of the more affable human beings i've ever met in politics.
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he's extremely kind on a personal level, but he didn't get along with mitt romney very well, i can tell you that much. as wolf mentioned, he and ron paul have a little bit of a frosty relationship. but him and gingrich and him and huntsman, for example, did have nice relationships. perry's wife and huntsman's wife were very close, even before perry jumped in the race gingrich went around the country saying really nice thing about rick perry. newt gingrich wrote the forward to rick perry's book. these guys are friends. so, as much as they've dinged each other in the course of all these debates and on the campaign trail, at the end of the day, you like some people more than others on a personal level. i do believe, and from what i've been told, perry and romney, again, don't have the closest of relationships, though, kyra. >> our peter hamby with the inside scoop, especially today. great job, peter. let's get to mark preston there on the ground in charleston. our big debate tonight, 8:00 eastern time, cnn debate. now it will be four candidates going at each other. what are you expecting to see
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now, mark? this definitely changes the dynamic. >> reporter: it certainly changed the dynamic. really, just to follow up on peter's reporting right there, kyra, i just got off the phone with someone very close to governor perry. they said that in the past hour now, senator santorum's campaign and house speaker, former house speaker newt gingrich's campaign have reached out to governor perry seeking his support. described to me by the source as a very aggressive effort to try to get governor perry to back their candidacy. so, as we want to talk about timing, right now is an extremely important time in this presidential campaign as we speak, because rick perry, although he was only at 6%, 7%, 8% in the polls, he still has a very strong following with evangelical voters who do make up a big part of the electorate, certainly here in the primary electorate, here in south carolina. rick perry also has a lot of big-name donors as well, kyra. as far as tonight for the debate, four people on stage. in many ways, this is the closing argument for these candidates. rick santorum needs to show that he is a strong debater.
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he needs to be able to get into the mix. he needs to be able to try to contrast himself with newt gingrich and with mitt romney. newt gingrich now has a high bar to keep, kyra, because bottom line, he had a good debate the other night. can he keep that up? and for mitt romney, who's the front-runner, even though we've seen him slipping in the polls, mitt romney needs to show that he can weather attacks from rick santorum and from newt gingrich. and as you said, ron paul is still on stage. he has ia lot of support, but doesn't have the support of the gop establishment, and that's why he is very unlikely, and quite frankly, is not going to be the republican presidential nominee. >> it's going to be a great debate. mark preston, thanks so much. we'll be talking more this hour. if you're just tuning in, two big breaking news stories. rick perry set to announce he's pulling out of the gop race. it should happen about 50 minutes from now right here live on cnn. the other big story, rick santorum winning iowa. i know. a lot of you are saying, wait a minute, what? let's get straight to shannon travis in des moines.
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he's been saying that all morning, too. say what? let's explain how this happened. >> reporter: kyra, it's rare that you get days like these, right, where it's just so many big, major political developments, but let's talk about the one that's happening here in des moines. i'm standing right outside the iowa republican party headquarters. rick santorum, according to the iowa gop, has won the republican -- the iowa caucuses. now, say what? what is that about? okay, on caucus night, we saw the unofficial numbers that mitt romney beat santorum by eight votes, but there's a process that needs votes have to go through and be certified. well that certification process has ended, and the iowa gop tells us that rick santorum won by 34 votes. now, there's a huge question mark we have to make sure our viewers understand. there's a huge question mark over this because there are eight precincts of the 1774 here in iowa. there are eight that didn't turn
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in the documentation to certify their results. so, what does that mean? it means that we'll never know whether mitt romney won the bulk of those votes in those precincts, whether rick santorum won or whatever. so, this is a win for santorum, but it's a win with an asterisk, a question mark, if you will. but you can best believe that rick santorum's campaign is playing this up big time. kyra? >> all right, shannon travis in des moines, iowa. thanks so much. two breaking news stories here in the "cnn newsroom." first up, rick perry going to announce he is stepping out of the gop race. that's going to happen about 50 minutes from now, live right here on cnn. he is expected to speak at the top of the hour. the other story, as you just heard, rick santorum, after those certified results came in, winning the iowa caucuses. we're going to take a quick break and talk about these stories throughout the next hour. ♪ you want to save money on car insurance?
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have more fiber than other leading brands. they're the better way to enjoy your fiber. if you're just tuning in to cnn, two breaking news stories for you this morning. in about 45 minutes, we're expecting rick perry to step up to the mikes and announce that he is stepping out of the gop race. our peter hamby breaking this story more than an hour ago. the other story coming out of des moines, iowa, mitt romney not the winner there. apparently, it's rick santorum. we're going to talk about both of those stories. roland martin and will cain is joining us out of charleston. boy, this has changed the dynamic of the day. we'll stay with these stories until we hit 11:00, when rick perry is supposed to step up to the mikes. but if you were to sort of look back and read between the lines,
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let's listen to what rick perry said to our john king, guys, last night. >> the idea that we're going to do anything else other than try to impact this election, that's why we got in it. we didn't get it because it was our purpose in life to be the president of the united states. we did it because it was our purpose to serve this country, and that's what we've been called for and that's what we're going to continue doing. >> okay, roland martin, now that he is going to step out of the race, how is he going to impact the presidential run for the gops? >> well, look, i mean, if he comes out and endorses newt gingrich, it is going to obviously have an impact. remember, south carolina was always supposed to be the true conservative firewall to mitt romney. and so, that's actually what you're looking at here. and so, look, the race has tightened. if newt gingrich wins -- remember, that's the key -- if newt gingrich is able to win on saturday, then we will all say perry was a difference-maker. if romney pulls it out on saturday, all of a sudden, the
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inevitable question comes back, and he will have proven, evangelicals in iowa, strong conservative state in the south, south carolina. he'll be much better. so, a whole lot is riding on what happens on saturday. but this certainly helps newt gingrich. and if you're rick santorum, you're just praying to god right now, or maybe you're calling tim tebow and saying, please, please, don't let him endorse newt. >> you know, a lot of the candidates have been trying to get tim tebow's support. that's no joke. as we all well know. will, what are you looking to tonight in the debate? how is this going to change the dynamic? >> first, let me say, that's nonsense what rick perry said. he got into this race to impact the election, yeah, by winning it. >> right. >> he's not an ideologue. this is not ron paul we're talking about here. this is a politician who got in it to win. how will it impact? we talked a little earlier, kyra, four men are on stage now, not five. that means more time. that means each of the candidates have more time to talk about newt gingrich's possible scandals, romney's bain
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years, his tax issues. time, time will tell us, do you really know what you're talking about? are you really prepared to have a debate or have you got your sound bites ready? because you're going to have a little more time. those won't fly tonight. >> i also think that from a cnn standpoint, we also have some adjustments to make tonight as well, because the dynamics are going to change. and so, you know, i really hope the key is not only allowing folks more time to talk but also pressing them when they begin to make false snamtatements in the debates and holding feet to the fire, saying wait a minute, you're not going to stand up on the stage and say something we know is factual incorrect. let's not correct them after the debate when we do a fact check. so, i think also let's have that kind of dynamic. i expect tonight to be a lot more free-wheeling than had rick perry been on the stage. because as you said, with time, you get to be able to engage more. >> more of a debate, a debate, the actual word, debate. >> newt gingrich and erick erickson calling for rick perry to get out of the race. let's listen to them. >> he's going to drop out.
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he's going to quit the race. the question is, does he quit on sunday or does he quit today? he wants someone to advance his agenda, the make washington as inconsequential as possible. he's not going to be the guy to do it. i think his campaign knows it. they're winding down to drop out on sunday or monday. so, why not do it today? he's got 6% right now. his people really like him. polls show that newt gingrich is the second most viable person for his supporters. there's still a number of undecided people. he could be the guy who makes newt gingrich win the race. >> i'm the only conservative who realistically has a chance to be the nominee. so, any vote for santorum or perry, in effect, is a vote to allow romney to become the nominee, because we've got to bring conservatives together in order to stop him. >> guys, is there a point where, you know, the candidate is sitting back, listening to all of this, and at some point says,
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wow, okay, i've got this person, that person, this candidate, that candidate, it's just time? how much does that really impact a candidate's decision? in this case, rick perry. roland? >> if you're rick perry, you're not listening to erick erickson, you're not listening to newt gingrich. what you're looking at are internal poll numbers showing that after iowa, a disappointing finish by rick perry, only person who did worse, what, michele bachmann and jon huntsman, okay? so, you said i'm skipping new hampshire and south carolina is all of my focus. remember, rick perry launched his presidential campaign in this state. and so, when you look at the numbers showing he's polling at 3%, 5%, you're saying, man, i'm going to get killed! you saved yourself from embarrassment. this is a guy who used to be head of the republican governors association. he's head of a significant state. also, he has been able to raise
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money. if he decides to endorse, not only does he move folks in the state, but he also can move dollars, he also can say i'll be someone's surrogate. and so, that's the trade-off there. but he's not sitting here listening to somebody say get out. poll numbers speak volumes. >> will? >> i just want to say roland might be right, rick perry's not listening to erick erickson, but kudos to erick for this, because we all saw that rick perry probably wasn't going to survive beyond south carolina, which meant he was going to drop out shortly after south carolina. but erick did see, there's no point in sticking in through south carolina. in fact, you have a net negative by staying in, showing up with a disappointing last place, having another bad debate. now's the time. i think erick called this really well. >> it was stunning, first of all, for him not to even come out after iowa. i mean, because literally, i mean, he put a lot on it. his whole message was supposed to be tailored to evangelicals in iowa. it got no response whatsoever. so, to go back to texas, then say, hey, i'm actually going on
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to south carolina, that was still sort of weird there as well. everybody -- show me a politician, i will show you someone who wants to be relevant. and of course, governor perry still wants to be relevant. if he got dusted on saturday and didn't drop out, he would have no relevance whatsoever. and in fact, he could potentially get blamed if romney had won, it was a tight race and he stuck in the race. so hey, you cut base, you move on, you grab your cowboy hat and you take it back to texas and you suck it up and say, oh, well, it happens. >> roland and i are still here to keep the texas quotient up. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> giddyap. >> these two texans will still be in south carolina. one will not. >> roland, will, don't go anywhere, please. don't ride off into the sunset just yet. if you're just tuning in to cnn, 10:20 eastern time. in less than an hour, probably about 45 minutes from now, we're expecting rick perry to step up to the mike and announce that he is officially jumping out of the gop race. that's one breaking news story
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that cnn brought to you this morning. the other one is rick santorum winning iowa. we'll explain that as well. take a quick break. more from the "cnn newsroom." dad, why are you getting that? is there a prize in there? oh, there's a prize, all right. [ male announcer ] inside every box of cheerios are those great-tasting little o's made from carefully selected oats that can help lower cholesterol. is it a superhero? kinda. ♪ c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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10:23 eastern time, but in about 40 minutes from now, live here on cnn, we are expecting to hear from rick perry, announcing that he is pulling out of the presidential race. we broke that news more than an hour ago. our peter hamby working his sources, calling in to us. the rest is history. we're going to talk about this. up until that point of 11:00 a.m. eastern time, when rick
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perry is expected to announce that he is dropping out and no longer looking toward the white house. the other big story, out of des moines, iowa, rick santorum winning. that's right. we talked so much about how close he came to mitt romney, just squeaking in there, a tight second with eight votes. "the des moines register" talks about the story, about, no, the counts were wrong. sure enough, certified votes come in, rick santorum the winner in iowa. two stories that we're working for you right now in the "cnn newsroom." we're going to get straight to and remind you, again, we've had so much -- jim acosta, there we go. i'll tell you what, jim acosta, it's been a juggling act today, all the various players weighing in on these two big stories, but there you are with the romney campaign. i know that about half an hour ago you hadn't gotten word yet if they were going to respond to the fact that rick perry is jumping out, but now there's this talk, possibly rick perry
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is going to endorse mitt romney. what are you hearing? what's your take on all the news? >> reporter: well, i've got to tell you, dead silence from the romney campaign so far on rick perry's apparent decision to drop out of this race. and even more apparent, endorsement of newt gingrich. we'll have to wait and see exactly what governor perry has to said at that press conference to figure out exactly what is going on here. it does sound like he is dropping out of the race, but this is not a good day for mitt romney. he woke up this morning and found out that the news coming out of iowa is, basically, he didn't win iowa. remember that night? he t was reported that he won by an eight-vote margin. he called it a squeaker out on the campaign trail, sort of joked about it. mccain, john mccain, one of his top surrogates at an event in new hampshire referred to mitt romney as "landslide romney," so they were having fun with that. my guess is they're not having as much fun with the fact that rick santorum has apparently pulled out the win in iowa,
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although the folks out in iowa aren't exactly sure whether or not they can declare this a total victory for rick santorum. but i have to tell you, you know, this really cuts into that era -- that air, excuse me, of inevitably that the romney campaign has really been trying to milk over the last couple weeks, coming off of the big win in new hampshire and coming into south carolina. there was talk of maybe mitt romney can't be stopped. and here we go, in 24 hours, we've gone from mitt romney winning in iowa, winning in new hampshire and on his way to winning in south carolina to losing iowa or tying in iowa, winning in new hampshire, which is essentially his backyard and adopted home state. and now with the polls showing newt gingrich right on his heels, perhaps, if you look at the trends, potentially on the verge of catching mitt romney and passing him here in south carolina. so, this has been an amazing 24 hours to watch. not a great 24 hours for the romney campaign, kyra. >> you know, before we head out,
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very quickly, jim, why don't you tell us exactly where you are? is romney expected to come out at this event and speak? >> reporter: yes, he is. >> the pressure's on. candy crowley saying he's got to be on his game tonight. what's he doing between now and the debate on cnn at 8:00 eastern to prepare? >> reporter: this is his one and only event of the day, kiira. and just to look out on this crowd here, i can show you, this is another sparse crowd for mitt romney. now, not every crowd has been this way over the course of the campaign here in south carolina. he's had some big events. but i have to tell you, we've been following him out on the campaign trail, there have been a few events where the crowd just hasn't been that big. there was one event in south carolina where they went into a convention center and there was maybe 100 to 200 people inside, all sort of crowding around him. and the images from that event were not very good. same goes for this event. this event was supposed to start 15 minutes ago. they've got the bus parked here. they've got all the stage crafting set, but they don't have a big crowd in place for
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mitt romney. he is expected to come out here, talk to this crowd, go inside, talk to the staff inside the south carolina headquarters -- or the charleston headquarters. and then he's in debate prep the rest of the day, which is probably not a bad idea for mitt romney. that debate he had on monday night was not his best debate. he sort of hemmed and hawed on whether or not he would release his tax returns, then came out the next day and said he's going to release his tax returns in april then one of his top surrogates, chris christi, comes out and says release them now. so misstep after misstep for romney in new hampshire. he talked about pink slips and i like to fire people. that didn't cost him in new hampshire because he had a big lead. here in south carolina where he's potentially within the margin of error with newt gingrich, he can't afford any more missteps. i would say all the pressure is on mitt romney at tonight's cnn debate, kyra. there's really no other way to look at it. >> jim acosta with the romney campaign.
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pumping up again tonight, two days before the south carolina primary election. those gop contenders debate the issues. it's now going to be four, not five. the southern republican presidential debate on cnn tonight, 8:00 eastern. with the breaking news, we're going to continue to stay on, rick perry going to announce he's pulling out of the gop race in about 30 minutes, live right here on cnn. there is a platform built for the purpose of driving innovation. one that's transforming how companies from every industry-- and of every size-- are doing business. a platform built for now. and for what's next. this...is the cisco intelligent network. cisco.
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it's time for "political buzz," your rapid-fire look at the best political topics of the day. three questions, but we're wiping out the 30 seconds on the clock. the stories are just so good. playing today, democratic strategist robert zimmerman, founder and editor of citizen jane politics, patricia murphy,
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and cnn contributor will cain. first question, guys, and i'm going to kind of split this up, if you don't mind. rick perry dropping out of the race. we've been talking about it all morning now. expected to make his announcement in about 30 minutes. where do his supporters go? robert? >> well, it's important to remember just how small his supporter base is. but you've got to say advantage gingrich in that perry dropping out just contributes to the momentum newt gingrich is gaining and he's got a nationur affinity with the evangelical voters. i would point out, though, i was talking to my republican leadership friends in south carolina, there's a strong collection of retired military personnel who live in that state who vote republican. some of them perry was playing to, maybe some of them a little romney. >> will? >> well, i'm not trying to be cute, but you know, like robert just said, what supporters? we're not talking about a huge number of people here. that being said, it kind of sticks with the same narrative here, kyra, that most likely go to gingrich because he's going
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to probably throw them that way, but they're going to be split. that's the story, it's always split. there's no coalescing here. some will go to santorum, some will go to gingrich, and you know what? some will go to romney. and this thing will stay a fractured field. it's not going to simplify this field. >> patricia. >> i actually disagree with will. this is simplifying the field and this is conservatives coalescing. this is what it looks like. there aren't that many perry supporters, but i do think most of them will go to newt gingrich. these are not people who have not considered mitt romney. they know all about mitt romney. they are ready to back somebody who they believe to be a conservative. they know newt gingrich very well. he's from right next door, a long history in south carolina, and he's starting to get what romney has and what newt gingrich has always needed, the cloak of inevitability, the person who could actually win this race. he may win south carolina. people want to back a winner. they're ready to back newt gingrich, at least in south carolina. i think this is a big day for him. >> all right, i'm going to break -- >> you know, patricia? >> go ahead, robert. >> one point? i think it's worth putting in perspective. as exciting and momentous this
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is right now before south carolina, with tonight's showdown of a debate and possibly the release of newt gingrich's former wife's interview with abc, the momentum could shift back dramatically as well tomorrow morning. we all underestimate the importance of organization in a close race like this, and certainly, mitt romney has amongst the republican establishment and governor nikki haley a strong organization. that's never been gingrich's strength. >> all right, let me ask you guys this. let me change the rules a bit and kind of follow up. i asked you where you think the votes will go. all right, we're talking about south carolina, the debate tonight. but the news of rick perry jumping out, how does this change the game going beyond south carolina? robert? >> personally, it always worries me as a democrat to see republicans drop out. we want this going on much longer. but i think it does have an impact because it does crystallize the choice. it's clearly becoming a gingrich verse romney competition with ron paul getting his 15%, 20%. so, i think it does define the
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issues more clearly. i think what's interesting is to note romney, while he certainly -- while he still can't answer a straight question about superfund pacs or taxes or how many funds bain created, does have organization in place. never been gingrich's strength. >> will? >> let me say one thing, patricia's right, i said simplify the field. when you go from five to four it simplifies it but it doesn't coalesce the field. no matter how you divide this republican electorate, whether or not you divide it by tea party supporters or by evangelicals, there's a narrative out there that everybody's fractured among the anti-romney. that's false. when you look at all the exit polls from new hampshire, they are always fractured among everybody. my point is romney's getting some of these constituencies. he's getting some tea partiers. he's getting some evangelicals. he's actually in first or second place in most of these things and he will get some of rick perry's supporters as well. >> all right, the other big story, guys, this morning happening in our hours here, certified results coming in from
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iowa. rick santorum actually winning iowa, not mitt romney. so, let's talk about these two stories breaking. romney's mindset heading into tonight's cnn debate. will? >> happy. happy mindset. i mean, look, the news cycle today was first about newt gingrich's possible scandals coming out today. that's good, because you know what that means? less time to talk about bain and tax returns. now it's about newt gingrich dropping out, which, honestly, it's not the best news in the world for mitt romney but will be another topic of conversation. and rick santorum winning iowa is inconsequential. it won't have any impact on momentum or election returns in the field. what it will do is solidify that this is a fractured field and it allows romney in the debates tonight to stay on defense. he does well on defense. he does well when the topic is not mitt romney. he does well when the topic is obama or one of the other guys on the stage. that's when he does his best. >> robert? >> look, mitt romney's mindset?
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unless he's taking valium, he can't be in a particularly good place today, because this is really a test when you go beyond the issues of organization and talking points, it's a test of whether he can stand up to the heat and stand up to the pressure. as i mentioned, he's had 16 debates where he's not been able to give straight answers on basic questions. so, now, going into the debate tonight, he's got to be on attack, be on the issues. will's statement about being on the attack against obama, that's true because obama's not in the race. the issue is how he does against gingrich and ron paul. that's the challenge. >> patricia? >> i'm sorry, i have to disagree with will. i think mitt romney's got to be going into panic. he's been playing not to lose, playing as the front-runner. guess what? you lost iowa, you're about to lose south carolina and you can't talk about being a rich guy when the country is struggling. he i think will be in a little bit of a panic mode. he needs to settle down.
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i think it's very smart for him to be going into debate prep, but i think he needs to go on the offense, go after newt gingrich. newt gingrich has a barrel full of skeletons in his closet. why isn't mitt romney talking about them? he needs to start playing to win. >> all right. >> i may have overstated the happy thing, but patricia, the narrative that mitt romney's panicking is going to get out of control. it is not true. >> will, patricia is correct. >> well, he needs to panic. it's time to start panicky. >> thanks, robert. >> robert, you're supporting the panic button? >> i'm supporting patricia on this one, will. >> yes. that means you're running towards the cliff. don't mind following them there. >> all right, well, then, taking that in, let's talk about the debate tonight. all right, let's look at the players, romney, gingrich, santorum, paul. let's see, how do i want to phrase this question? do you guys each want to pick a candidate, or maybe give a piece of advice to each candidate? why don't we try that? will? >> going to start with me. that's great. i get to pick how i answer this
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question. my advice to romney will be, robert hinted into it, you need to come up with direct answers to questions about your tax returns. you have a great answer about bain. stick with it defend capitalism and let the focus be on the others as they mutually destruct as they have for the past six months. advice to gingrich, be nice, be happy, let people identify with you. don't be condescending. you're a good debater, but you don't have to remind us. >> robert? >> okay, will, the issue's not about defending capitalism. the issue is mitt romney telling the truth about whether bain created jobs or not. he's made that the centerpiece of his campaign. not that he's a successful businessman, but that he's a job-creator. let's get a straight answer on that. for newt gingrich, obviously, he's got to stay on the attack and smile while he's doing it, not looking pet lant. that's a problem for him. ron paul has to focus on the domestic agenda, not foreign policy nor his outer space rhetoric. that's his problem from that perspective. and for rick santorum, forget about iowa. you've got bragging rights,
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you've got news clips on it shift your message from evangelical to economic and see if that broadens your base. >> patricia? >> mitt romney, get your tax answer straight. i don't know why he seems surprised by this question. he needs to be able to say tonight what his effective tax rate is and why he doesn't pay as much as everybody else. that is a massive problem for him and he seems so unprepared for it. he's got to be ready for that question. and newt gingrich, keep up the good work. listen, i talked to a bunch of south carolina voters this week. anybody who was undecided came around to newt gingrich the moment in the debate when he went after juan millions. i thought it was not a great moment for him, but south carolina voters really responded to it. gop voters want someone that will fight obama and that's what he was in that moment and i think they'll do more of that tonight. this is his best venue and he should keep doing what he's doing because it's working. >> patricia, will, robert, thanks, you guys. >> thanks, kyra. >> 20 minutes from now, we're expecting rick perry to step up to the mikes live here on cnn and announce that he is no
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longer running for president. just one of the two big stories we broke and are talking about today. the other, rick santorum winning iowa. we're talking about both of these stories more in depth after the break. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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you saw it first right here on cnn, our peter hamby breaking the story. rick perry, in about 15 minutes, he's going to be live here on cnn, 11:00 a.m. eastern time, announcing that he is no longer running for president. mark preston live in charleston for us, where we're getting ready for the big cnn debate tonight. it's gone now from five to four candidates, mark. two questions for you. there's been this back-and-forth, is rick perry going to endorse mitt romney? is he going to show some type of support for mitt romney? what do you know? >> reporter: well, let me just give you the behind-the-scenes, the fog of war, so to speak, in
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politics in the past hour. what we know at this point is that rick santorum's campaign and newt gingrich's campaign have reached out to rick perry, seeking his support. now, this is very important because we are in the closing days of the south carolina primary, and the fact of the matter is, even though rick perry only has 6%, 7%, 8% in the polls, he still is influential, especially with evangelicals, and perhaps he could steer money to either gingrich or santorum. we also know at this point, and from dana bash, she's reporting that rick perry is likely to say some very nice things about newt gingrich at his announcement that he's stepping out of the race, but he will not explicitly endorse. what does that mean? who really knows? because once you actually start mentioning someone by name, that's explicitly an endorsement. also at this point, you're talking about the candidates who are trying to prepare for this debate, this nationally televised debate that's going to be on cnn tonight. a lot of pressure's going to be on mitt romney to be able to try
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to fend off the attacks that he's going to get from rick santorum and newt gingrich. and quite frankly, newt gingrich and rick santorum have got to figure out how they're going to go after one another. so, there's a lot on the table. a lot is happening just in the last hour and we expect actually a lot more to happen in the hours leading up to the debate. >> and one thing we've wanted to know is what does mitt romney think about rick perry jumping out of the presidential race? he's holding a live event, mark, right now in charleston. let's go ahead and take it live. ♪ happy birthday to you >> all right! [ cheers and applause ] >> we wanted to be the first to do that. i was in washington at a hearing, and it turns out that one of the congressmen had a birthday. and i didn't -- i had never heard this birthday song they sang in washington, d.c. they didn't sing that whole, long version that we just did. have you heard the one they sing there? have you heard it? it went like this -- ♪ this is your birthday song, it
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won't go on too long ♪ congratulations. that's it. so -- pardon? oh, yeah, rah. we have a little rah there at the end. i thought this morning that just with family and friends here, that instead of, if you will, telling all about the challenges and the failures of the president and so forth, i'd spend just a moment talking about anne and my life, our personal background, just because i'd like you to know us better on a personal basis. ann grew up not very far from where i lived. we went to the same elementary school. i saw her in high school. we fell in love in high school, have been in love ever since. her dad came to this country as a boy from wales, and his dad brought his family to this country after having an accident in the mines of wales, came here because this is the land of opportunity. this is the land where freedom lovers and people hoping for a brighter future for themselves and for their kids come.
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it's the nature of america. and they found out, and their family, that if they wanted to achieve great things in america, they needed to have education, but they couldn't afford it, for all the kids they had. and so, the four kids came together with their parents and said, you know, if we all work hard and we all save our money, we can afford to send one of us to college. it just happened to be ann's dad. and so, they all saved. can you imagine working all the time and then putting your money, you know, in a vase in the center of the kitchen table every week? >> mitt romney holding a live event there in charleston. of course, what we really want to know -- it's very nice that he sang "happy birthday" to governor nikki haley, but what we really want to know is what he says about the fact that rick perry is no longer going to be running against him. we are going to monitor this live event and see if, indeed, he addresses the breaking news, the breaking news that happened right here on cnn, about an hour and a half ago.
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our peter hamby breaking the news that rick perry is going to jump out of the gop race. as soon as mitt romney mentions anything about what he thinks about that, we'll take you back to his event live in charleston. more from the "cnn newsroom," ahead. so uh this is my friend frank and his, uh, retirement plan. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce. two golden crowns. you realize the odds of winning are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day? frank! oh wow, you didn't win? i wanna show you something... it's my shocked face. [ gasps ] ♪ [ male announcer ] get a retirement plan that works
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well, it happened right here in the "cnn newsroom." our peter hamby breaking the story, rick perry in about ten minutes expected to step up to the mike and tell america he is no longer running for president. you know, it's two more days until the presidential primary in south carolina, and for many
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residents, the end can't come soon enough. they're exhausted from this endless barrage of campaign aids, many of them negative and mean. cnn's don lemon has actually traveled to the state. he's been talking to voters. he's following all the latest and greatest news in politics this morning. so, where do you want to start? do you want to talk about how strong is the reaction to the attack ads? have you got any scoop on rick perry? go ahead, don. >> reporter: oh, my gosh, kyra. i've been watching you and i'm like, i don't know how she doesn't have whiplash, how she is keeping up with all of this. and that's kind of what the voters are doing. i've been talking to them this morning. they're like, i don't know if it's going to make a difference, i don't know what's going on. but you're right, the one consistent thing that they tell me is that they're tired of these attack ads. you cannot turn on a television or radio without hearing that guy -- you know the voice every time -- this guy is bad. do not vote for him. he is terrible. vote for me. i approve this message. they're sick of it. take a listen. >> i am so tired of them.
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>> i'm pretty tired of it. i just don't like to see it. >> i've seen them so much down here, i've just kind of tuned them out. >> pardon my expression, it's a peeing contest. that's what it is. oh, this person did this wrong back then. this one's doing this right, you know. no one's perfect. that's why we're all human, you know? >> i know that this is politics, i know that this is part of the game, but do we really need to bash members of our own party? >> no matter who you listen to, they're going to tell you everybody's bad and everybody's awful and you just won't vote for anybody. >> it makes me not want to vote for anybody, because you know, it's not what it's all about. >> reporter: so, there you go, kyra. you heard it, makes them not want to vote. and they say, you know what, these guys are wasting their money, because when it comes on, i turn it off or tune it out. so, all the money, the millions of dollars they're spending on these ads, they say it's not even worth it because they're so tired of it. >> don lemon, never tired of all
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the politics, though. get, the bad, the ugly, he's always on it. tonight, two days before the south carolina primary election, as you just heard, the debate's happening right here on cnn. the southern republican presidential debate live, 8:00 eastern, right here on cnn. on m, i've learned that when you ask someone in texas if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat... ...'scuse me... ...or a big steak... ...or big hair... i think we have our answer. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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we are about five minutes away from the story we broke right here on cnn, rick perry expected to announce that he is getting out of the run for the presidency. our dana bash joining us. i understand you've got some new information about if he may endorse another candidate, dana? >> reporter: that's right, kyra. i am told by a couple of sources who are familiar with rick perry's decision that he is going to strongly indicate that he is behind the candidacy of newt gingrich when he makes his announcement. now, this seems to be kind of fluid, because one of the sources i talked to said he's going to not fully endorse, but make it pretty clear that newt gingrich is his guy. another source said that it may actually morph into a full endorsement. we'll have to hear how it actually comes out of rick perry's mouth in a few minutes, but the bottom line and the headline is that, you know, when we have been talking for so long about how the sort of social conservative vote has been splintered, with rick perry getting out and making clear that newt gingrich is his guy,
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that's good news for newt gingrich, not so good for rick santorum, who was hoping that he was going to get those votes. rick perry didn't have a lot of votes, but every vote matters, especially in the splintered coalition or section of the electorate in south carolina. >> so, how much does his support -- how much will his support impact things for newt? >> reporter: you know, i mean, look, i think this is the case with anybody who gets out of the race, particularly someone like rick perry, who was in single digits in polls, that you know, obviously, the reason why they're getting out is because they don't have a lot of support. but i think for newt gingrich, it's certainly symbolic because he has been on a roll for the past 24 hours or so with many, many polls showing that he's doing well. this just adds to momentum. and there's something that is hard to quantify about that in politics, kyra, and it really, really matters, especially this close to a primary. so, the fact that this will give a boost to newt gingrich, it will be a big deal.
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one other thing i want to point out that two of my sources told me is that rick perry also has told newt gingrich that he's going to campaign for him in the texas primary. the texas primary is april 3rd. so, you know, that might give you an indication of where newt gingrich thinks he's going to go, or at least try to go. >> dana bash, great job. dana, thanks so much. suzanne malveaux, minutes away from that live news conference. >> this is going to be a wild two hours. >> it just is getting more and more exciting. >> this morning has been unbelievable. so, we'll take it from there. live from studio 7, i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed for this thursday, january 19th. we begin with two major breaking news stories right now in the republican race for president, one candidate ending his campaign, another just got a big boost from the iowa caucuses. certified results were just released a couple hours ago. want to start with the big story cnn broke this morning, rick perry dropping out of the race. perry's expected to speak any minute now, and we'll bring that to you live. his decision comes just two days
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before the south carolina prima primary. this follows his poor showings in iowa and new hampshire. other big story, a reversal in the iowa caucuses. rick santorum actually finished 34 votes ahead of mitt romney. we're going to have more on that. but first, want to start with rick perry's decision to pull the plug on his campaign, what it means for the race moving forward. want to bring in our political team, heavy hitters john king, gloria borger, candy crowley. and john, let's start with you. you're moderating tonight's debate on cnn. they've got one less player. there are now four. how does this impact the debate with perry out? >> it's a fascinating question, suzanne. it's going to be a little lonely up there. we're down to four candidates. this race not long ago had eight. how does it impact the race? you know, governor perry was in single digits here in south carolina. he told me the other day, it would take some supernatural force to get him to quit south carolina before the primary. obviously, though, reality settled in. he's looked at all the polls in recent days. he was getting a very

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