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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  Current  January 31, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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romney. >> romney drops out tomorrow and it's between gingrich and santorum. [ laughter ] >> all right. thank you everybody. >> which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? singing in the sunshine state. ♪ america america. god shed his grace on thee. ♪ >> romney serenades supporters while he is ahead by a wide margin but newt gingrich whistles a different tune. >> six months. unless romney drops out. >> the polls are closed and the results are rolling in with analysis from elliott spitse and live from florida with craig crawford, countdown's david
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shuster, coverage of the 2012 florida primary begins now! ♪ from sea to shining sea ♪ >> good evening. it's an exciting night. good to have you with us. thanks for joining us tuesday january 31st 281 days until the 2012 presidential election. i am bill press sitting in for keith olbermann. this is our "countdown" coverage of the 2012 g.o.p. florida primary and what you want to know at this hour. cnn, fox and msnbc have all called the florida primary for mitt romney. no surprise there. maybe the only surprise is they called did so early. romney started the day leading his arch rival newt gingrich scoring double digit leads, looks like that's how it's going to turn out. now with just 43% according to associate press, not
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just -- that's a big block of votes in. romney is ahead of gingrich 48 to 31%, seventeen point spread. rick santorum and ron paul trailing as expected. santorum with 13% of the vote at this point and ron paul with 7% of the vote. last week's campaigning saw a brutal ad war dominated by romney who out spent beginning rich nearly 5 to 1 along with volleys of personal attacks from both men. gingrich accusing romney of being pro-liberal. hard to tell which is worst, liar or liberal for some republicans and romney who seemed to enjoy unhinging gingrich attacked him as a desperate washington insider with more baggage than the airlines who was, of course, forced to resign as speaker in disgrace for ethics violations. in this hour it will be a moving
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target. we will discuss the outcome. we will look at the numbers. hopefully we will hear from some of the candidates. we will examine the issues and talk about where we go from here with our crack team of analysts tonight including former new york governor, eliot spitzer "countdown's" david schustever and florida congressman and salon news editor, steve kornacki. onset with me for the entire hour eliot spitzer, good to see you. >> pleasure to be here. thank you. >> there it is. mitt romney is the winner, mark rubio said earlier today that whoever wins the republican primary is the republican nominee. do you agree? >> not only do i agree. i think this is the first of many dominos to fall in the in connection couple of days. the establishment, the elected officials, senators governors, those outside from, you know karl rove on down who speak for the leadership of the republican party saying not only he is the nominee but implicitly and sometimes explicitly saying to
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newt gingrich, you are staying in this race is an act of narcissism, get out. end it. let us coalesce. mit i don't meanney is having the night he wanted. one last point, after south carolina and that was probably the worst week of campaigning he has ever been through, you know, from his taxes to the tax, it was a disaster. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, an old cliche but kind of true. he has bounced back and now trial by fire he is saying look, i am here stronger better, tested. you better be on my team . >> all right. let's go downing to tampa, florida. david shuster, look at that crowd. it's a crowd waiting for mitt romney there in the tampa convention center which is right behind david shuster, across that pond or whatever it is down there. david shuster, good to see you tonight. so it came out kind of the way we thought it was going to. didn't it, david? >> it did.
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and the exit polling, bill, reviewed sort of the secret of success for mitt romney. the voters decided much earlier than other primary states and the two debates here mattered according to the exit polling. four out of 10 voters, bill decided before the start of the month. so, in other words, 40% of the voters were making up their minds well before south carolina. in other words, based upon the results in iowa and new hampshire when mitt romney was doing well. only 25% of the voters here in florida decided just in the last few days and to put that in context, in south carolina where newt gingrich won, 55% decided in the last few days. now, as far as the debate again, 2 out of the 3 voters here in florida, republican voters said the debates were important and that was very significant to the romnie campaign because as you know the romney campaign was convinced he turned in a strong debate performance in both debates here in florida and newt gang rich was something off of his game. the other issue which is so important, bill, for the romney
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campaign as they try to now spin the victory and that is elect ability, 45% of the voters here in florida in this primary said elect ability, the ability to beat barack obama is the number 1 issue for them in deciding this race. the romney campaign had hammered newt gingrich suggesting he was too much of a lightning rod, wasn't disciplined, would flame out. gingrich kept trying to hit back saying romney is not conservative enough. the voters decided no, romney even though he is not as conservative as gingrich he is nori electable in a general election and that's why they gave mitt romney the victory today. >> the indicators from the exit poll looking at those who voted by absentee or who voted early, arg today released polls. 605,000 votes cast before the polls opened today and of those votes, 51% said they voted for mitt romney. 29% for newt which is a bigger spread, i think than we are going to see tonight.
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doesn't that indicate that mitt romney was there early with a lot of money and a lot of organization, both of which newt gingrich lacks? >> that's right, and, also he was up on the i have a waves much earlier than newt gingrich. we recall of course, after new hampshire, never mind south carolina being the next stop mitt romney was on the air and his super pac was on the air here when you look in the early start and the advertising and the frequency and intensity between mitt romney and his super pac, an add attacking newt gingrich ran something like 13,000 different slots that the romney super pac and the company blocked here in florida. newt gingrich bought 400 slots. it wasn't just money. the intensity, the frequency was all on the romney's side. one other thing intriguing with the exit polling, you had newt gingrich hammering mitt romney for producing two years worth of tax returns and all of his -- the money that he made at bane
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capital and profited from companies that went bankrupt but when the voters were asked who understands the average voters' problem one out of three said mitt romney. only one out of four said newt gingrich. in other words, the attacks on romney with bane capital didn't have the effect newt gingrich thought it would. >> now, we look at new hampshire. and newt gingrich's amazing swing from being 12 points down to 12 points ahead in south carolina and now this swing from gingrich being up 12 points in south carolina and it looks like losing by double digits in florida. was it the money that made the difference? i mean mitt romney vastly out spent gingrich in florida. >> yeah, that's right. i mean it was something like between rom ney and the super pac, it was over $15 million in as compared to 3 million dollar. newt gingrich is trying to spin
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it as this was an election that was essentially bought by mitt romney and mitt romney lied about his record and he is not conservative enough for the republican party. but the fact of the matter is that mitt romney turned in a sort of organization the advertising, the overall campaign he had hoped. he started early. he had a lot of the local sort of precinct leaders across the state. he had far more district offices across the state and so in a state where, of course organization is, you know pretty important and it's also more ethnically diverse and important to run the spanish language ads the issues that are important in south florida, they are not as important here in north florida, the romney campaign had that figured out and the gingrich campaign by most accounts was flailing on some of those organizational issues and that made something of a difference today. >> "countdown's" david shuster on the ground in tampa, florida. david, hold on. we will be back with you later in the hour. thanks so much. so governor you're newt
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gingrich? >> don't do that to me. >> what do you do right now. what are you thinking? >> he needs to put a positive spin. it may be their best argument. we were out spent 5 to 1. this was not a state hospit alan to us but give us a few more weeks. there are southern states states demographically more like south carolina and he will say look at that board right there. romney is only getting 48% of the vote. the majority of republican voters still don't want mitt romney. they are looking for somebody. i am that person. it won't persuade many people. newt gingrich negative pile it on by crusteations on the bottom of the bode. if it were possible for jeb bush to make that argument may be a different dynamic but mitt romney is on a roll. he has in the public mind won everything but south carolina. people forget, rick santorum won iowa but right now newt gingrich is flailing away without a
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meaningful argument. >> he did say if this is going to go on for another six to eight months with typical newt irony he says unless romney drops out first. >> you have got to love the guy's bravado. he is like a cat with nine lives, comes bouncing back, different incarnation, a slightly different look and kradzier ideas each time arguably but the public will respect thatcrazier ideas each time arguably but the public will respect that but he isn't looking presidential. look at the different feel. newt gingrich is done. >> speaking of not looking presidential, this is newt gingrich last evening going after mitt romney. i mean the question is whether or not this really sells with voters and the newt that we have seen in the last week particularly getting more and more desperate. here is a quick clip: >> every time we nominate a moderate, we lose. you know. so 1996, we nominated a moderate. bill clinton wins reelection by a big margin.
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2008 we nominate a moderate. barack obama wins. why would anybody in the establishment think a massachusetts moderate, which is a liberal by republican standards, pro-abortion pro-gun control, pro-tax increase, pro-gay rates, why would they think that he is going to be able to debate barack obama? >> a little desperation in his voice? >> a little desperation, and, you know, he may get a job as a pundit somewhere, you know. >> he used to have one. >> that's true. maybe he will go back to it. >> that could be. could be. >> but i mean, the idea of labeling romney as not just a moderate but that then he moved it to a liberal and a liar. will that hurt romney with the tea party people that he is going to need? >> look. there is a harsh reality here that newt gang rich has to face up to. there is, unfortunately from my perspective, your perspective, i think i can say that to you, a lot of venom deathed towards president obama. the tea party votes are going to
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go well republican nominee barring some third-party surge we don't envision. so mitt romney will harvest those votes and it makes more sense for the republican leadership to put somebody a bit more moderate in the middle who can take advantage of the anti-obama sentiment and not be so alien to moderate voters who would be worried about newt gingrich or rick santorum. it is smart for the republican party and john mccain may look at newt gingrich saying who are you calling moderate? john mccain views himself as a down-the-road, straight conservative. >> one thing about florida is if you take the 50 electoral votes in florida, even though they were cut in half because florida moved its primary up. >> convince the delegates, right. >> that's still greater than the total of iowa, new hampshire and south carolina combined plus florida is much more reflective of the population of the united states as a whole.
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so for mitt romney and newt gingrich looking at this but this is sort of how they might run nationwide. it has to mean something, i guess, to the republican party. >> mitt romney and the leadership of the republican party are looking at the map, put aside santorum'swin and they say he won iowa, new hampshire, florida. >> that's a pretty good cross section of the nation that mitt romney needs to win in november to win the election. so they are saying south carolina went to the right. okay. they are going to come back. we are not worried south carolina is going to president obama. >> that's fine. give that to newt. they are saying we are positioning ourselves to make that sent rift argument let the tea party scream and shout a little bit but we think we can now win maybe ohio maybe pennsylvania some of the real -- florida, pennsylvania, ohio, the traditional three determinative states, you have to get two of them to win in november. they are saying mitt romney can win in florida. this matters. >> it buttresses his elect
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ability argument. >> absolutely. >> we will be back to you again. and in florida, again, cnn and fox and msnbc have all called the winner mitt romney as the winner. huge win over newt gingrich. not sure exactly what the numbers will be. but now with 52% of the vote in it's 47%, holding kind of steady there, for mitt romney over 31% for newt gingrich. this big win for mitt romney in florida, what does it mean? maybe for president obama in florida in november? nobody knows better than formter congressman alan grayson who will join us next on the "countdown".
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newt gingrich's best hope was to keep it under double digital. he did not succeed. look at the numbers on your screen with 53% of the vote and 47% for romney 31% for gingrich. rick santorum, 13%. ron paul at 7%. you can see the mitt romney had a taken over the tampa convention center. his supporters waiting for him to show cheering the news as they see it on the screens. what does this mean? joining us is the former congressman from florida and currently running to get his seat back again. we will give him all of the help we can, good alan grayson. great to see you. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> give us your reaction as a flor i hadian and elected official theredian and elected official there for what this means for the republican party that mitt romney could come in with such a stunning win tonight. >> somebody had to win. somebody always does but frankly, i think they are all losers. if you want to know what a president looks like, what a
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president sounds like you saw it a few days ago during the state of the union address and they have been so unpresidential during this race. mitt romney thinks newt gingrich is a liar. newt gingrich thinks romney is a liar. maybe they are both right. but the contrast to president obama has been very, very dramatic and will stay in people's minds for a long time to come. >> seniors in florida went according to early polls, went overwhelmingly for mitt romney 46% to 32%. congressman, you know this is a party that -- and mitt romney supported it that voted for the paul ryan plan to clearly end medicare as we know it. so they are is that going to present a problem for them in the fall? >> without any question. i think that there is already a big problem for them. in fact it's hard to believe that in any real sense they are running for president of the united states. you know, when the governor of
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texas is running, ron perry, it seemed like he was run as president of the confederacy and santorum running for pope and gingrich is running for president of the moon. none of the people want to be the leader that america needs. they don't talk about jobs. they don't talking about housing. they don't talk about education. they don't talk about healthcare. they talk about whatever the fantasies are that are in the minds of a tiny fraction much people that vote in republican primaries in america these days. >> i might point out, i found it interesting that on the lunar colony, the latest ppp poll in florida showed only 21% of republicans supported it and 53% opposed the lunar colony even though as you point out, nut gingrich might have been one of the first people to be sent to the moon. let's look at the big picture here i mean, it's not just reelecting president obama or the election for the president of the united states.
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every house seat is up and the control of the united states senate as well. with a mitt romney at the head of the ticket, you have been out there not only trying to get your own seat back but to help other democrats win, raising money for other democrats around the country. what are the chances of the house getting back democratic control room particularly given it looks like romney is the nominee? >> well i guess that's probably true but we felt that way so many times before. >> true. >> in iowa there were eight leaders in the polls in seven months. things seemed to change pretty dramatically among the -- how can i say this? the manicgressive element of the electorate so that from time to time, it looks like somebody is winning but you really can't tell. i think they are all one scandal away from being eliminated from the race but if romney is, in fact the nominee, i think he will be a formidable one. there will be an enormous amount of money sewer money, pac
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money, lobbiest money and that will be against the democrats. if the election were close but i think you would see the democrats winning the house, the democrats winning the senate and the democrats also keeping the white house. >> we are told that mitt romney is just minutes away from coming to speak to his supporters there in the convention haul in tampa. well, of course, bring you that live if that's the case. that was interesting that he is kind of rubbing newt gingrich's nose in it one more time by not waiting as candidates normally do traditionally for the one who is not successful to give a concession speech first. we will see how that plays out. but congressman, i also wanted to ask you in terms of another issue that has come up is republicans are back again with english-language only. english-only, as the official language of the united states. they have introduced that legislation in the house. again, given the big percentage of latino vote in florida and in
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other key states how do you think that plays in november? >> i mentioned a weekiago national t.v. only four years ago newt gingrich said spanish is a ghetto language and he wanted to take english out of the schools, out of the motor vehicle schools, out of the police stations and in a state that is almost a quarter spanish speaking it's a terrible imposition. >> that's across the southern tier of the united states. it's overt racism and i think newt gingrich is running the most overtly racist campaign at the presidential level since george wallace. it can only hurt republicans. it will continue to do so. >> the ever outspoken alan grayson, good friend. good to have you with us. thank you and good luck in your race. >> thank you. >> we will take a quick break and hopefully come back with mitt romney on the other end in tampa, florida. it's "countdown"!
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[ cheers and applause ] >> this "countdown" t primary. see the crowd. there is ann romney walking up to the podium. we are seeing the 62% of the vote in. 47% for romney. 32% for newt gingrich onset with us, governor eliot spitzer. i guess we are going to hear ann romney introduce her husband. so let's listen in. >> thank you florida! [cheers] [cheers]. >> we are grateful for being
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here tonight. thank you. this is a very wonderful reception. [cheers] . >> you know, this experience of mit running for president has been extraordinary for our family. it's just -- it's just hard to express what it means for a wife and a mother. >> governor, while we are waiting for governor romney to come up, and listening to ann romney, we have been looking at these numbers since we got on the set. it's now 62%, still 47 to 32. i mean this is locked in. it's going to be 15% or more. >> absolutely. when one gets 62 it's hard mathematically for it to shift. this is an overwhelming victory for mitt romney huge repudiation for newt gingrich. a lot of questions ahead but mitt romney got what he he wanted and newt gingrich is sick to his stomach. >> in terms of bragging rights if newt were able to get within
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six, seven, eight, he could say, look. i am still a viable candidate. can he still say that now? >> only to the true believers. i don't think that he has any sxaesty outside the voters. he has a broad enough appeal to really challenge mitt romney and over the next couple of days we will see the establishment coalesce saying we are our depression congressman grayson said this will be a doozy battle. every week with new economic data, new political facts changing the dynamic a little bit. this will be a long drawn out tough fight. >> i think we can ignore, also the significance that this is ann romney married to her for 42 years. this is a message to republicans about newt gingrich. >> look, not only with respect to newt gingrich but everybody
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knows how a partisan democrat this is a nice-looking family that speaks to what people want to see in a family where the father or the mom, some day, let's hope, is running for the presidency of the united states. it's going to be a real serious contest. mitt romney is a smart, effect i have guy. view him as a flip-flopper whatever the facts may be. this will be a campaign between two capable contestants. mitt romney after the past week has shown he can bounce back, play tough and throw a punch. >> there are a lot of tourists among the -- may be getting close here to introducing her husband. >> now, let me introduce to you my husband. >> i think we are going to -- >> my five sons the grandfather of my 16 children and the next president of the united states. [cheers.]
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>> thank you guys. [cheers.] >> thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you to the people in this room and to the people all over florida. thank you tonight for this great victory. [cheers.] >> there are -- there are fewer -- there are fewer candidates tonight than when the race began. but three gentleman are serious and able con pettors and they are still in the race and i want to congratulate them on another
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hard-fought contest in this campaign. primary contests are not easy and they are not supposed to be. as this primary unfolds our opponents in the other party have been watching and they like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak but i've got news for them: a competitive primary does not divide it. it prepares us and we will win. [cheers.] >> and when we gather back here in tampa seven months from now for our convention ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for america. [cheers.] >> you know, three years ago this week, a newly elected president obama faced the american people and he said
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look, if i can't turn this economy around in three years, i will be looking at a one-term prop 6 and we are here to collect. [cheers.] >> and you know the results. i mean it's been 35 months of unemployment above 8% and under this president, more americans have lost their jobs and more home foreclosures have occurred under the administration of any other president in history. in the last 10 days i met with a father who was terrified that this would be the last night his family would be able to sleep in the only home his son has known. i have met seniors who thought these would be the best years of their life and now they are worried day-to-day about how to make ends meet. i met some hispanic entrepreneurs who thought they had achieved the american dream and now they are seeing it disappear. in the state of the union address, the president said these words. he said let's remember now how
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we got here. don't worry, mr. president. we remember exactly how we got here. you won the election. [cheers. ] ]leadership -- leadership is about taking responsibility not making excuses. another era of american crisis thomas paine is reported to have said lead, follow or get out of the way. mr. president, you were elected to lead. you chose to follow. and now it's time for you to get out of the way. i stand -- i stand ready to lead this party and to lead our nation as a man who spent his life outside washington, i know what it's like to start a
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business. i know how extraordinarily difficult it is to build something from nothing. i know how government kills jobs and, yes, i know how it can help from time to time. my leadership helped build businesses from scratch. my leadership helped save the olympics from scandal and give our american athletes the chance to make us all proud as they did. my leadership cut taxes 19 times and cashed over 800 vetos. we balanced the budget every single year and we kept our schools first in the nation. my leadership will end the obama era and begin a new era of american prosperity. [cheers. ]] ]]
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[chanting, "mit mit, mit"] . >> this is about saving more about the soul. president obama and i have very different visions of america. president obama wants to grow government and continue to amass trillion dollar deficits. i will not just slow the growth of government. i will cut the spending of government. i will not just freeze government share of the total economy. i will reduce it and without raising taxes, i will finally, get america to a balanced budget. [cheers.] >> president -- president obama's view of a free economy is to send your money to his friends. my vision for a free enterprise
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economy is to return entrepreneurship and the genius and creativity to the american people people. [cheers.] >> one of the most personal matters of our lives, our healthcare, president obama would turn decision making over to government bureau accuratey bureaucrats, force to obamacare and i will repeal it. you know, like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better president obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy. i will make america the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, for innovators for job creators and unlike the other people running for president, i know how to do that because i have done it
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before. president obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience. i will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedoms. [cheers.] >> president obama beliefs our role as leader in the world is a thing of the past intent to shrinking our military capacity at a time b the world is facing rising threats. i will insist on a military so powerful no one would ever think of challenging it.
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president obama has adopted a pol of appeasement and apology. i will speak out for those seeking freedom and stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends around the world. you see -- you see president obama wants to fundamentally transform america and make it something perhaps we wouldn't recognize. i want to restore to america the values and principles that made us the hope of the earth, and i'll do it. our plan -- our plans protect freedom and opportunity and our blueprint is the constitution of the united states. together, we will build an america where hope is a new job
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with a paycheck not a faded word on an old bumper sticker. let me be clear. the path i lay out is not one with ever increasing government checks and cradle to grave hopes government will be the election f this is a bidding war, then i am not your president. you have that president today. but if you want to make this election about restoring american greatness, then i hope you will join us. if you believe the disappointment -- if you believe the disappointments of the last few years are a detour and not our destiny, then i am asking for your vote. [cheers. ]] ]] >> i am asking each of you to remember how special it is to be
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an american. i want you to remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future and not to dread each new headline. i want you to remember when you spent more time dreaming about where to send your kids to college than wondering how you would make it to the next paycheck. i want you to remember when you weren't afraid to look at your retirement savings or the price at the gas pump. i want you to remember when our white house reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what europe has become. that america is still out there. we believe in that america. we still believe in the america that is the land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. we believe in the america that challenges each of us to be bigger and better than ourselves. this election, let's fight for the america we love. we believe in america.
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thank you so much, florida. you are the best. god bless the united states of america. >> mitt romney in tampa, florida giving not so much a victory speech as an acceptance speech at the tampa convention. i think that's the same speech you will hear a few months from now when he does accept the nomination and it looks like he wrapped it up tonight. governor spitzer, i think the key phrase at the end is when mitt romney said, i ask for your vote. these people have already voted. >> right. >> he was really talking to the rest of the country. >> this was -- >> right away, smartly, i think. >> to take on president obama and to -- the themes of the 2012 campaign. >> he dealt with his primary opponents in a completely cursory way. he was gracious to them then dismissive and said we will be unified and he immediately laid the foundation in what i view as a purely vapid but good speech geared toward november touched all of the dush pushed the
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buttons, a lot of soaring rhetoric, gauzey in the right place. didn't tell you anything about how he was going to do it. >> that's what the nature of these speeches happens to be. he delivered it naturally. newt gingrich is saying i am still here. mitt romney is saying you are not. >> craig crawford, this is "countdown", mitt romney now still with 73% of the vote up over newt gingrich by 15 points. we haven't heard yet from newt gingrich. >> maybe we won't. we will be back on "countdown".
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who really had a great war room when he ran the first clinton campaign. the documentary, if any of you are political junkies and you've seen the movie, the war room, well that's what we're calling this. it is a battle. it's a battle for the future of the country, it's not quite the same kind of combat when you think about war, but it is war, nonetheless. we want to make sure that we arm our viewers with the ammunition that you need to be able to be informed in battling
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yourselves across kitchen tables across america, on the internet, you name it. we want you to have the latest and greatest. we strongly believe that this war room has a purpose, and the purpose is to make sure that citizens have the information, but also have motivation to change the world. >> as you know, the polls had no sooner closed in florida than msmbc, fox news, and associate press called it for mitt romney with 15 point spread and mitt
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romney coming out thanking the crowd and giving what we had to say was a presidential-sounding address at any rate. at least laying out the themes he plans to run on. and listening downto in orlando florida, craig crawford crawford no bright spot for newt gingrich at all tonight? hum? >> i just heard that south carolina announced it will sucede from florida. the really bad news for newt gingrich and the really good news for romney other than the bright line numbers here are that the exit polls show two out of three voters today self-identified as tea partyers. maybe romney is bringing that vote in. 40% is he said they are very conservative. he beat gingrich by 22 points among women. the only bright side i can find so far for gingrich is that they tied among evangelicals.
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that doesn't make a big difference because 60% of these folks said they are not evangelical but we are moving to deep south states that are evangelical-rich and they tied among that vote. that might be the only glimmer of hope for gingrich if there is one. >> and craig the unspoken message of mitt romney's address tonight seemed to be the primary is over. right? i mean now, here is what we are going to talk about. it's all going after obama. >> yeah, i think he just launched newt gingrich to the moon tonight. at least in his own mind. but you know, republicans have something to worry about. the reason they tried to design a primary system backloading the primary to later in the year was they didn't want a situation where you had a presumed nominee in february and who now has to fight for media attention for the next 10 months. they tried to design a stem that did not do that. now we may have that situation.
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you have a sitting president with much more ability to command the news and control the news agenda and hear romney is going to be having to figure outweighs to get a tension. romney is also going to have to start expecting some incoming fire from the obama campaign and we saw the first part of it in a very, i think, funny way. david alexrod tweeted yesterday a tweet, how loving owners transport their dogs, and then you put this photo on it. you can see the photo as president obama in the presidential limousine with bo looking out the window. a not so subtle way of saying bow is not strapped on top of the car in a kennel. >> you know, those things are funny, but that's part of what i see as the psychological warfare of thecial politics and mitt romney proved he is very good at it in florida against gingrich. and that's what the obama folks
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are going to do. i think i believe -- i would be interested in how the governor feels about this. i think democrats should go negative early and often and it may be right now because mitt romney is going to get a lot of media attention in the short-term and defining himself i think democrats need to define him on their own terms but before romney does it for himself. a lot of americans haven't paid that much attention and they are going to start paying attention and this is the time the define okay democratic party terms with lots of television ads. bill clinton did that against bob dole early, turning to mit gingrich and said medicare should die on the vine. they did that early and spent a lot doing it. >> don't wait until the convention to get started. craig crawford "countdown" contributor thanks for being with us. coverage of the florida primary. we will be right back. we're going to have guests that are very smart and very interesting, so i hope you'll tune in become part of this war room family.
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cc >> welcome back to "countdown". for mitt romney, a 15 point lead over newt gingrich. news editor, steve kornacki. short on time tonight but let me just ask you: in florida,
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romney out-spent newt gingrich by 5 to 1. was that what made the big difference? >> you know, i think it's a critical part of it, but i don't think it's the only part of it. i think it would be a mistake to chalk this up to the money. i think there was sort of a winning formula that the romney people stumbled upon but what the republican party establishment. romney took the lead in leveling all sorts of attacks on newt gingrich talking about his past leadership, the ethics controversies, all of the reasons why republicans won't want to nominate this guy, amplified with the advertising romney put on the air. i think the key piece that doesn't get talked about enough is that the sort of opinion-shaping class of the republican party, whether that's elected officials, you know, commentators, pundits, the people who hold sway when it comes to the opinions of sort of the rank and file the party holds, that class was basically split in two camps here the first camp amplified further the charges romney was making basically echoed everything
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romney was saying. the rest of them sat on their hands while gingrich got mugged for the past week, which i think said a -- it sent a clear signal to me this is a party establishment that isn't that enthusiastic about mitt romney but that really at its core, even, you know, sort of tea party friendly establishment fear newt gingrich and don't trust him as a leader and aren't going to lift a finger to help him. so in the absence of any help except a little from palin and cain, this is a strong formula for mitt romney the longer this race goes on if it goes on at all. >> when the super pac -- huntsman had his. newt has his, romney has his. there are some on the democratic side will this be the super-pac election of all times? >> so far, we are 1 for 1. the big question going forward is what's the future of the gingrich super pac because the gingrich super pac, you know is out in nevada if this guy
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decides to write another $5 million check he is still in the game. >> all right. steve, thank you so. sorry we have to run but short on time. and want to wrap here with governor spitzer again, so we are going to -- mitt romney is going to be the nominee. i will state that. >> up against president obama and the issue is the economy. >> right. >> so mitt romney is going to come across as a guy who can fix it or the guy who is so out of touch to the average joe he can never relate to the 99%. >> they will be screaming and shouting, the white house will say which mit are you electing? mit is multiple person alternatesties, mit versus mit will be a white house line. 3 numbers will determine which way this economic argument cuts. unemployment. does it could not to so the approximately can build a sense of success? the trend is the critical issue there. does it need to be blow 7.5?
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housing prices, we see they are continuing to drop for most of the american public, that is the single biggest as net their portfolio. with housing prices continuing to drop, people feel poorer. that is bad news for the incoming president -- incumbent president. a wild card gas prices drifting down a little bit but something in the middle east could send them through the roof. that obviously is a wild card. those three numbers, i think, form the backdrop of how we feel about the economy. that will dictate the terms of this debate. >> that being said, of the whole crew mitt romney was the strongest candidate. >> never any doubt. >> that's why we called it prematurely time and time again. newt is like a cat with 9 lives. you have to believe at some point it's game over. >> governor spitzer thank you for being with us. >> that's "countdown" for tonight. a big night for mitt romney a disappointing night for newt gingrich. on behalf of keith and all of us here at "countdown" thank you for watching our coverage of the florida primary and our coverage continues with the war room now
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