tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN April 4, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
testings but ultimately what does matter in a primary obviously is if you win, and zpt seem to me anyway, that the down side of this is that i think the independents who decide presidential elections are probably not coming out of the primary feeling particularly warmly toward the republicans. >> mike, let me bring you back in here, you obviously collaborated on this e book. i was fascinated by romney's gym ritual. let's take a look at president obama, mitt romney and rick santorum all on vacation. it's quite revealing. >> most people when they go to the gyms they trust that the person before them has wiped down the equipment. you make sure you do it after you've worked out. not mitt romney, when he was in the mesa marriott and mitt romney almost always stays on
marriotts when he's on the road. right before a debate, when he comes into a gym, he wipes down the equipment before he uses it and after he uses it. when he's making those organic peanut butter and honey sandwiches, he doesn't use a napkin because he thinks it's wasteful. >> i love this kind of thing, it's a classic very rich guy's way of behaving. look after the pennies, the cents, the dollars look after themselves? >> right, but fly jetblue. >> one of the great stories that mike and i would have here as well, is tag romney, governor romney's son talking about how his father will come over and instead of watching football, he'll say, why are your trees dying? is your boiler working? let's go down to the home depot and come back and literally apenantly if you're a romney child, you'll look out the window and your father will be
on a riding mower trying to move rocks around. >> i like all this, this is one the reasons i wish mitt romney would come on the show and do a more personal interview. these kind of details, some people will laugh at. i think would resonate much better with the average american than him talking about $10,000 bets or the rest of the stuff, which positions him as a very rich guy, disconnected. don't you think? >> i think that. but there's a fight within the romney campaign, some people do want him so come out and show a more human side. a lot his handlers fear his propensity for gaffs, statements particularly about his wealth. he's uncomfortable with money. he's a cheap skate in there. one thing about romney, he's easy to poke fun at. he's a good boss. his campaign has not leaked
much, it does not have a lot of back fighting and infighting. remember the hillary clinton campaign in 2008? that was an embroiled mess of people trying to do each other in. that's not romney's campaign. it does suggest he's a good boss, he's fair minded. that's relevant because when you're president of the united states, you're boss of the white house and the whole country. if you're a fair minded guy that your staff likes, that counts for something. and i don't think romney gets credit for that. >> i agree with that. i mean, also, from a personal point of view, he's pretty well unimpeachable, mitt romney. he's been with the same woman almost his entire adult life. he's been an excellent husband, father, not a whiff of scandal in his personal life. he doesn't drink, he's never taken drugs, never smoked. he's a pretty good guy, when it comes to basic normal human values, isn't it? >> that's right. and in our elections, one of the
most important qualities is, do people relate to you? in almost every election, going back to at least jimmy carter, the more obviously likeable person has won the presidency. now there are challenges, how do we translate to people, how do you point out, get people to see that, i think in the next few weeks, next few months, we're going to see a mitt romney this is your life. we're going to see a tour him traveling around the country we're going to bring back people he helped when he was in the mormon church, to personalize him. there are risks that in the book. one his advisers calls it opening up the kimono. they've been very reluctant to do that. he hasn't done a lot interview shows as you point out. they're going to try to find this balance of how do we make him more human? how do we help people connect with him. and yet not fall for the efforts by democrats, that are going to
try to portray him as alien. just today president obama talked about how mitt romney is being someone who was very different. in mitt romney's remarks we just heard on cnn, he was talking about how obama was the one who's out of touch. so we're going to have an argument between two ivy league guys about who's more out of touch. >> interesting details also, i like the fact that santorum's doodles when he was taking part in debates, were religious things. >> the holy spirit, he writes. santorum is nothing if not sincere. he may be a politician and all that, but he believes what he's saying, he may be pretty far to the right. he does believe it, he's a catholic who's animated by it, and you can't doubt his sincerity. that's one reason he's done as well as he has. talk about longshots, he's driving around in a pickup truck
with a cell phone, basically, that was his campaign. he was so far under the radar screen that the romney campaign, which is a pretty well prepared group, when they were getting ready for iowa, romney campaign loves negative advertising. they said, where's the santorum book? there was no santorum book, they weren't prepared for him, they didn't take him seriously. he came out of nowhere, because people think he is sincere, because he is sincere. >> mike, if you were to create a perfect opponent against barack obama, would probably be mitt romney infused surgically with a dash santorum sincerity and authenticity, wouldn't it? and consistency on his statements about issues. the big problem for mitt romney when he gets to the real battle with president obama is going to be the flip-flopping. >> no, it's right. and, of course, mitt romney has the opportunities to do just what you're saying there, in
picking his vice president. and one of the debates within the romney campaign now is, do we pick someone who helps us with the christians? who helps bring together the base? maybe mike huckabee, maybe the virginia governor, bob mcdonald, or do we pick someone who's a little more safe and helps us with the middle, that would be senator portman of ohios there's even some talk about trying to get a youthful excitement with paul ryan, marco rubio, the senator from florida, and so as the campaign shuts into the general election modes as they start thinking more about running against obama and leaving behind the republicans, this is one of their big chances. because something you and i do not have the chance to do, that is a second chance to make a first impression. mitt romney now has that, as he becomes the nominee. people who were tuned out are going to get curious, they're going to tune in, and with his
vp choice, it can say a lot about himself. >> this will be fascinating to see what happens, and the e book, playbook 2012, inside the circus, romney/santorum in the gop race. it's fascinating. thank you all very much. >> thank you for your great coverage. >> thanks. it's been a huge night for mitt romney, his competitors aren't giving up just yet. the santorum and gingrich campaigns fire back in a moment. ♪ ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism. interviewer: you were there the day the priceline negotiator and the human element can solve anything. went down in that fiery bus crash. sister kathleen: we lost a beautiful man that day
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let's not make the mistake of 1976 again. let's bypass that era and move straight to 1980 and let's defeat a democratic incumbent and you can help me here in pennsylvania. thank you very much. >> drawing comparison to what reagan did in 1980. rick santorum has lost all three primaries this evening. he doesn't sound defeated. and he's not backing down either. joining me now, john braverman and kelly ann conway. >> we start with you john. you've taken a good old kicking tonight, a shellacking. how do you come back from this? >> two weeks ago i was here with
you, and you were talking about our big wins and we went on to win louisiana. we won already 11 stateses there's two we've tied in the delegates and we're not going to win them all. we get to move on to much friendlier territory, one being pennsylvania. there's about half the states left to go. you look forward to those and realize you can kick his butt right back. that's what we intend to do quite frankly. >> if mitt romney kicks rick santorum's butt in pennsylvania in his own backyard isn't it game over? >> rick santorum is an italian kid from a steel town. in pittsburgh, we know a little bit about winning. frankly, i think we're going to do well in pennsylvania. i will say this, i have always said that whoever wins pennsylvania is probably going to be the nominee. it's critical to us as well as mitt romney that we win the nominee. if rick santorum wins
pennsylvania and texas, he will be the republican nominee this year. >> let me turn to kelly ann conway, no one's really talking about newt gingrich tonight or indeed for the last few days. he's become the forgotten man. how many times can he come last in these primary battles now, and retain credibility as a candidate? >> barack obama himself called out newt by name today. so he's relevant. and mitt romney sounded an awful like newt gingrich tonight. i think he's been stealing some of his best lines and deepest held beliefs. i have to say mitt romney tonight in his sort of quasi general election speech sounded like a hybrid of santorum and gingrich. i think our campaigns are rubbing o on him. he realizes, front-runner or not, he has to be less allergic to conservatism. i learned two things, one is
mathematical and geographic. we are at half time, we do have these big states coming up. texas could be a winner take all state. that's a big an chienchilada in day. the second thing i learned is that mitt romney can no longer whine and complain he doesn't have a free shot at barack obama. he gave a 10 or 12 minute speech tonight and never mentioned gingrich, paul or santorum. he took it right to obama. i think he said a lot great things that conservatives and people like me will like to hear, however, it all seemed very cut and paste. it seemed all kid tested mother approved in focus groups that string it all together and try to eke out some type of general election strategy. he's going to have to polish that. he had his opportunity to go after obama. we'll see how that works out in the polling. >> would it be helpful to your men if newt gingrich just quit the race and put his support firmly behind rick santorum?
it's a serious point. combined, their traditional conservative support could actually give mitt romney a genuine run for his money now. whereas it seems that apart they're splitting that vote and romney is getting a clean head of steam away. >> it's a critical question. you have two conservatives in this race, and one moderate. what's happening is, if you take the delegates that the two conservatives have, add those together and then add potentially win wither take all as kelly ann said in texas, where you could have another 159 delegates, all of a sudden you have a completely new ball game. i think it's time that conservatives get serious about uniting together and standing up for our principles and understanding it's conservative values that will win in november, not by basically compromising with a moderate. >> okay. well, this seems to me like we've now made progress. kelly ann, a clear offer, i
would suggest there from john. time to join forces. >> john's among the most compelling charming sales men i've encountered. we'll take it straight off the food chain and get back to you on that, piers. >> you said take it off the food chain. it's not a long food change. he has to call newt and say, look, you are getting your butt kicked in these primaries. the game's pretty much up as far as media are concerned. you could actually together be a very formidable force against mitt romney and you could end up with the conservative candidate that newt gingrich actually really wants. even if it's not him. >> well, newt's been talking that way for quite a while. about open convention and going for the entire prize, the nomination. that's precisely why john and i are here tonight. mitt romney, although he is clearly the front-runner, even after these critical endorsements from tea party
favorites, home state heroes, he never quite convinced a critical mass of the voters that they should hang it up and lean into or swallow a romney candidacy. let me just say, with rick and newt also comes a whole slew of conservative stars. i bet they would all line up for that type of open convention, that type unity ticket, if you will. because they -- they're there. i mean, sarah palin said she voted for newt in alaska. perry is with us, those who have been out this year. none them, with the exception of tim pawlenty got out of the race and endorsed the so-called front-runner. we're already unified in principle. >> here's the deal, i totally agree with you. i think you both agree with each other, the only question becomes, of course, who backs who. and surely all the polls tell you, and all the momentum tells you that newt would have to stand down and throw his support behind rick santorum, doesn't it? >> that's what all the pundits
say. newt gingrich has been counted out before, we're going to have a three-week lull now for some it's a lull, for others it's an opportunity to have a conversation, to make sure we continue to unify in message, if not in principle, in process at the moment. >> it sounds to mes that is the nearest i have heard the gingrich camp basically giving you guys a green light to start proper talking. this is the big moment. >> the conservatives have to rally. >> if it happens, certainly, you get the kudos for being the matchmaker. kelly ann said something very important, we can make this about something even bigger than rick santorum and newt gingrich, if we can bring all the superstar conservatives together and we unite as one team, we campaign as one team and promise to gofb earn as one team, we could light a fire under tea party and conservative supporters around this country like has never happened before, and take a critical step in taking back this country.
america. i want to restore to america the economic values of freedom and opportunity and limited government that made us the powerhouse of the world 37. >> a thoughtful speech from mitt romney. it's been a very good night for him. joining me now is the former governor of maryland. and thorough the road map to start america." bobber lick, great night for you, great night for governor romney. what is the road map ahead for the romney campaign? >> it's the power delegates, the power wins, to cut the burn rate on spending. and to get the jv season over and call the equipment manager and get everyone back on the same team for the general election. >> let me ask you this, what point do you think other candidates should pull out of this race? >> you know, it's not my call, it's not governor romney's call,
it's their call. i think it always sounds weak, when with you say, that guy has to get out. threaten folks, it sounds weak and governor romney's strong. i think, however, when you think about it, and wolf was talking about the math. once the math begins to be so tough, so difficult, the fund-raising drys up, the delegates aren't there, you have to think about, why i'm in this race. >> obviously, governor romney's got a problem in the polling with women. not entirely surprising given the social issue debates that have been raging in the republican party have been pretty negatively received. how does he rebuild trust in the female vote? >> i think that's more a function of santorum campaign and the democrats using some of senator santorum's veb yrbiage their advantage. when they see again, and are reminded of governor romney's
real views that gender gap will dissipate rather quickly. >> is governor romney fed up with with waiting? he's clearly the front-runner, everyone assumes he's going to win. is he chomping at the bit to get in? >> a little bit, obviously. no doubt about it, this campaign was built for the long haul. there's a great philosophical divide. you want a great contrast in a presidential election, it's going to be a big time race. obama care, immigration, energy, taxes, spending, deficitses they have very profound differences on these issues. i like philosophical differences between the candidates, it's what the people have a right to expect. they're going to get it come november. >> tell me about mitt romney's mood at the moment. how is he feeling himself, do you think? >> i was with him last weeking as you know, he's here in maryland. i asked him, you don't look tired. i have been through statewide
campaigns. quite frankly, i'm a person that believes this prolonged campaign has helped him be a better debater. the dollars are the down side, he's a sharp candidate. he has to be against president obama. he's a great debater, tough candidate. mitt romney is there, he has the skills set not only to compete, but win. he has the skills set the country is looking for, particularly when it comes to creating private sector jobs. >> no one disputes he's an intelligent man. what they say, there seems to be a slight disconnect still between governor romney and the average american in the street. because he's so wealthy, so successful, he keeps making repeated mistakes which lends sucker to the argument that he's slightly out touch. does he accept that, and what do you think as one his friends he needs to do to stop making those
mistakes. >> the media tends to play the etch-a-sketch stuff. if you have a kid who's 22 years old and $150,000 in debt and is a smart kid, can't get the job he or she needs, you don't care about the etch-a-sketch, two cadillacs compared to one cadillac. it's a feeding frenzy, it helps pay your salary. i'm not criticizing, but it is what it is these days. when it comes down to the general election, clear philosophical differences on keystone, anwar, taxes, spending, deficits. this is the stuff that really counts. but i do believe, piers, ultimately this election is about who is best for my kid to secure that job. who do i trust best to create private sector jobs in this country today? who has done it? who understands the private sector economy better? the president or mitt romney?
if that's the paradigm, if that's the question people ask themselves, i'm pretty confident he'll prevail on election day. >> thank you. next my all-star political panel join me to talk the big win and santorum's refusal to bark. nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious.
another big night for mitt romney. i'm going to bring in amy holmes, dana lash and carol roth. what an exotic lineup, with incredible titles as always. let me start with you, carol. you've always been a romney girl. are you feeling like the wedding's on its way here? >> well, i've always seen this as almost like a prizefight, piers. there are certain fighters who go over the knockout purge, and there are certain ones that do a really good job every round. you go to the cards, it's a little more battered and bloodied in the latter scenario, i think that that's mitt romney's strategy, he stuck to it, that's what we're going to see here. i do think that prize belt is on the way, and i think if you think about it, rick santorum is from pennsylvania, he's kind of like rocky. he was the underdog.
in rocky one, he lost at the end and that's what's going to happen here. >> well, he did, he came back and knocked everyone else out. what i liked about mitt romney's speech, we've always been a nation of big steppers. he's seeing himself as a big stepper here. what go make that? >> i think there was a song called big stepper. i'm not sure. what i noticed behind him was the believe in america banner. when he said that he doesn't want to transform america, he wants to return america, restore america, and that was such a contrast to the tone you've seen coming from the white house for the past week, and many observers have said that the white house has had the worst week in its presidency. tonight mitt romney was buoyant, loosed and clearly focused to borrow carol's metaphor on the prize. you didn't hear any boards about his competitors it was directly targeted at president obama and
trying to project an air opt minimum and moving forward. >> ben smith, there's no doubt that he's gone back to the mitt romney he was at the start this primary race when he refused to talk about his competitors, he just talked about obama all the time. he's now able to do that again. they've come through the social issue squall as i suppose the romney camp see it. let me paint you a picture. i was talking to john brave ebr and gingrich camp about a potential linkup, to form a conservative proper candidate. and to my surprise, they began to be very flirtatious about this idea. i said, of course, you could bring in all the big conservative big guns, the sarah palins and so on, is this feasible or has the horse bolted? >> the horse has bolted. you saw paul ryan, maybe the key conservative big gun on stage tonight the.
i think these are the pipe dreams with these guys that are increasingly minor candidates. they don't together have enough to beat romney. it's not -- even if they teamed up now, it's not -- they're increasingly fighting over the same scraps. >> dana lash, let's assume mitt romney is going to be the nominee, clearly it's not massively popular, even his own party, how is he going to turn around the perception of himself in tough economic times, that he's simply out of touch with the average american? >> i think he needs to do a better job at fighting back against the media. if that's anything the republican nominee has to get better at, and the republican party as a whole, they have to stop fighting while lying down. that's what they did in 2008, they did it in 2010 as well. had it not been for grassroots,ny would have continued to do so. they have to get better at offense, and they're not incredibly great at it. that's one of the reasons the populous narratives have been
allowed to float around about romney. when they were asking him about his earnings statements right there, he could have shut it down right there, by saying, are we have not conservatives, do we not reject this populous rhetoric? he didn't do it. he just went along with it. i want to see more fire in the belly from my candidate. he has a long way to go in terms of being able to have that kind of fire and take it to the general election. >> is he -- let me ask you again, is he nasty enough? is he just a bit too nice, mitt romney? he's squeaky queen? he's never had an alcoholic drink, drug, cigarette. he's been with the same woman for 1,000 years. is he just too nice a guy? >> i think those are all great things i think there's a difference between being nasty and campaigning dirty. which you could argue he does. but also being an aggressive campaigner. aggressive politics, it's a blood sport. he knows how to play it well with republicans, he needs to
play it just as hard with democrats. and that's something we have to see from his campaign, because one of the reasons why newt gingrich exploded after south carolina is because he was aggressive and he articulated what conservatives really want to hear in their candidate. if mitt romney is going to cinch this thing, he has to be able to do both those things. >> piers, if i could jump in. >> let's take a short break -- you can jump in in a moment. hold your thought, it looks power will and evocative. hold it there, in a few moments we'll come back to you. ♪ ♪ why do you whisper, green grass? ♪ [ all ] shh!
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clearly we're already in the beginning months of another long lively election year. there will be gaps and minor controversies, there will be hot mikes and etch-a-sketch moments. you will cover every word that we say, and we will complain vow sie vociferously about the words you write, unless, of course, you're writing about the other guy. >> president obama, the gaffs we've come to know and love. there will be plenty more to
come. back with me, amy, you've been champing here, what did you want to say? >> i wanted to rarg that if you were going to ask gingrich or santorum, they would say romney is plenty nasty when it comes to his opponents. whether mitt romney can get down and dirty to rise above his competitors, in this last primary season has been proefben a little bit. >> and i think, you know, converse conversely, romney, dana suggested you should fight back harder against the media, casting him as an out of touch rich guy. that's what rick santorum has been pounding day after day after day. he may have a media gig. i think that's a big problem for romney, which will hopefully end at this point which is his fellow republicans picking up story lines, many them concocted in chicago by the obama campaign and running with them. >> carol, let me bring you in
here. if you're president obama, there are two schools thought, today he launched his campaign proper. he's in great shape, the economy is recovering, the other school of thought is that today was a terrible day for him, because mitt romney is clearly now the front-runner, he's going to be the nominee. he's got his gander up and he's coming for it. it can't be you. i know you like romney. if you're president obama are you feeling vulnerable or confident ton in the. >> i think we've seen that president obama's having a little bit of a mini-meltdown. he went after the supreme court on the health care ruling and said you dare not turn it over. he started throwing around words like trojan horses against paul ryan's budget. it seems to me he's having a falling down moment here. from my gatherings, it seems like he's having a little bit worry around what's going on right now. >> yeah, let me ask you, amy,
obviously president obama is a very skilled campaigner, he's going to be very well funded. he's a formidable opponent and yet i think only one president in history has ever had this unemployment figure and been elected. been re-elected. >> well, certainly i -- >> what do you think. how do you deal with that? >> the white house is hoping in terms of unemployment that the trend is going in the right direction for them. that is that unemployment is dropping as they head toward november. that's a number that at this point they have very little control over, and as carol mentioned with with the supreme court that's out of their hands as well, and judging from the arguments last week, a lot court watchers thought that what they saw was the white house getting pummelled. the white house getting choppered on the individual mandate, and we've already seen the white house is getting clobbered on that issue with the majority of the public believing the individual mandate is unconstitutional. right now it looks like the white house is feeling vulnerable, defensive, laring
out, they're even suggesting they might run against the supreme court specifically which draws a very negative comparison to fdr when he packed the supreme court or attempted to, and, you know, that was a big fat failure for fdr. that's a bad comparison to be drawing. >> ben smith, i want to give you a million dollars, put it on barack obama or mitt romney to win the election in november. where is your money going? >> you know, i'm not a gambling plan. i do think -- >> it's my money. >> oh, your money. in that case i'd put it on romney. >> we've heard this about lottery tickets before, it never works out. >> i go 50/50, i'm splitting down the middle, piers. >> serious point, ben. at the moment, where would you think the momentum really lies here? mitt romney is not beloved even by his own party. he's a skilled man, good businessman, intelligent. but he's going to run an uphill
battle, isn't he? >> romney is a weak nominee, these things that we saw back and forth, there was a moment last year, people would with say romney's going to win 40 states. there are factors out of obama's control, there will be a moment between now and september when the conventional wisdom reverses itself again, it's hard to predict these things. >> i want to ask you all. this is my favorite part these panels, late at night in the twilight zone for a one-word answer. it can only be a surname to this question. who should be mitt romney's running mate? >> kantor. >> very likely to be rubio. >> well, that wasn't one word, try again. >> rubio. >> carol? >> rubio. >> two for rubio. >> let's come to you, dana? >> rubio, probably.
>> wow! >> romney's sort of in a box here if he doesn't nominate rubio. >> i think eric cantor should be the vice presidential candidate. virginia is a purple state that is in play. >> rand paul and marco rubio, they're both positioning themselves for such a future. i think rubio was vp, that sets him up for 2016 and beyond too. >> is it completely crazy to think that rick santorum wouldn't be a bad option given that he could hoover up the christian -- >> completely crazy, piers, insane. >> beyond, yes. >> well, that settled that. >> why is it so crazy? >> because he didn't -- >> he didn't do a distinction. >> he didn't do the hillary clinton thing and fight romney
hard enough and long enough that he's forced to put him on the ticket. and he doesn't have anything in common with romney, there's no other reason romney would want him. >> if you're going to have someone as the vp, you need to do what mccain did and pick kind like a palin, who would be someone who could bridge that gap between mitt romney and grassroots, he cannot do this without grassroots. >> let me throw another crazy thought in, what about sarah pailen? she's better this time than last time. >> absolutely not. >> she's far too polarizing, and we saw in 2008 that in some those suburban areas where george bush had done well, particularly in pennsylvania, john mccain and the sarah palin ticket did poorly. when it came down to election day, a lot of the promise that sarah palin to make that connection with the grassroots just didn't show at the polls. >> she connected with the grassroots the problem was, she didn't connect with swing
voters. and the magic trick is to do both. >> i think it's appropriate we should leave it with me having two crazy thoughts, my prediction is there will be other crazy thoughts, and craziness is what this campaign's been all about. i'm going to go crazy for a while. thank you very much. oh dear... oh dear! ohh dear... i'm not sure exactly what happened here last night. i was out helping people save money on their car insurance. 2 more! you're doing it!
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