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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  January 8, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

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good morning and welcome to new hampshire, the sight of last night's debate, for a special edition of "this week." granite state showdown. >> dr. paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false. >> i wasn't for the big bank bailout. atz as governor romney was. >> can anyone stop mitt romney. >> people who spend their life in washington, don't understand what happens out in the real economy. >> can the conservative close ranks behind rick santorum? >> the commander in chief of this country isn't a ceo. and what does the republican fight mean for their ultimate battle with president obama. questions for our headliners, david axelrod and the winner of
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the iowa caucuses four years ago, mike huckabee. plus, our powerhouse roundtable. george will, jake tapper, matthew dowd and donna brazile. and mary matalin. . >> announcer: reporting from manchester, new hampshire, george stephanopoulos. [ applause ] good morning, everyone. great to be back with you on sunday mornings. great to be here with this live audience right here in manchester. we have got a terrific lineup this morning. right here on the same stage where all of the candidates debated last night. and closing in on his first primary, the stakes were high. mitt romney, as you know, way ahead in this state, he took some early heat from his rivals. zeroing in on romney's corporate background. as ceo of that investment firm bain capital. >> the commander of the chief of this country isn't a ceo.
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you got to lead and inspire. >> i'm not really enamored as a wall street model where you can flip companies, go in and have leverage buyouts. take out the money and leaving behind the workers. >> but no one mounted a sustained effective attack. romney kept to his script. it was battle for second place here in new hampshire. that sparked the night's most tense moments. including this one between ron paul and the man he's called a chicken hawk, newt gingrich. >> i think people who don't serve when they could and they get three or four or even five deferments aren't -- they have no right to send our kids off to war. >> the fact is, i never asked for deferment. i was married with a child and i personally resent the kind of comments that he routinely makes without accurate information and then just slurs people with. >> i need one quick follow-up, when i was drafted, i was married and had two kids and i went.
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>> paul targeted rick santorum, too, trying to stop any momentum from santorum's near-win in iowa. which left romney free to focus on his prime target. >> the president is going to try to take responsibility for things getting better. you know, it's like the rooster taking responsibility for the sunrise. he didn't do it. in fact, what he did, he made it harder for america to get going. with that, let me bring in the president's top strategist. david axelrod. great to have you here. you saw right out of the box, mitt romney last night walking that tight rope on the economy, welcoming the good news, but saying that president obama doesn't deserve any credit for it. he's made things worse. that's going to be the key debate for this campaign. >> he ought to ask the autoworkers and people in the auto industry, who are working today because the president intervened when mitt romney said we should have left detroit go bankrupt. he said something worse than
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that, which is, the president's policies have made the recession worse. >> that's his argument? >> the facts -- he has lot of arguments, none of them are supported by facts. if you look at the history of this, president came to office, quarter before he got to office, the country, the economy shrunk by 9%. the first month he was there, the country lost 750,000 jobs. we have had 22 months of private sector job growth now. it's been a climb up. and there are a series of manufacturing up for the first time in decades. we have plenty of work to do. we have big problems that took a long time in the making and they're going to take more time than we like to solve. to say that his policies made the recession worse -- here's the thing, george -- when he was running in president in 2007/2008, he had not one unkind
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word, one critique of the economic policies of the last administration. he thinks that the policies that were in place were the right policies and now he wants to go back to that. >> but unemployment still not as low as you all predicted when president obama first came in, and according to most projections, it's likely to be the highest for any incumbent president in modern times. >> well, we'll see where those statistics lag. i think the direction is important here. governor romney may be rooting for slips and falls here. we're concentrating on moving this economy forward. but there's a larger issue, george, which is what kind of economy are we aiming for, we have to get people back to work, but we also have to make sure that work pays. that's a big distinction between us and governor romney. he doesn't understand that's a fundamental issue that is facing this country. >> he took fire last night on his tenure at bain capital.
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something that you have really been hitting hard all through this campaign so far. he's not backing down. you saw him last night, governor romney said that his team at bain capital is response -- responsible for creating 100,000 jobs. do you have any qualms with that number? >> absolutely. every independent fact checker said, he can't back up that number and his campaign conceded -- he said i'm a numbers guy. the problem is, neither he nor his campaign can furnish any evidence to support that. let's talk about bain and let's talk about what he did. his partner said in the l.a. times, our job wasn't to create jobs but wealth fur our partners. here's what they did, they closed down more than 1,000 planets, stores and offices. they outsourced tens of thousands of jobs and they took 12 companies to bankruptcy and on those bankruptcies he and his partners made hundreds of
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millions of dollars. he said this is the real economy. this is the model for the country. i don't think those are the values that people want to animate our economy. he's not a job creator, he's a corporate raider. those aren't the values that we want to lead our economy. >> it's clear that you think that's going to be a vulnerability for governor romney. but coming out of iowa and coming out of this debate, going into this primary of new hampshire, are you more convinced that he's going to be the nominee? >> there are a majority of republicans who are resistant to him. he only got quarter of votes in iowa. this is essentially his home state. he has one of his homes here. we'll see how this process goes. his fundamental problem is one of trust. i don't think conservatives trust him and i don't think moderates trust him -- >> but he's getting -- but he's getting the support of republicans who think he's best able to beat president obama.
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is he the strongest candidate? >> well, we'll see, george. i don't think that frankly, bringing a bain mentality to this economy to running this economy makes him a strong candidate. i don't think shifting around on positions -- fundamental positions is one that people are going to embrace. trust is a big issue in the presidency. i think there's a big trust question when it comes to governor romney. >> the economy is going to be a big issue as well. others last night started to take aim at president obama on issue of national security and defense. coming off the announcement this week that the military is going to be downsized. governor perry was tough on that last night. >> you cannot cut $1 trillion from the department of defense budget and expect that america's freedoms are not going to be jeopardized. that, to me, is the biggest problem that america faces is a president that doesn't understand the military. and a president who is allowing
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the reduction of the dod budget so that he can spend money in other places and it will put america's freedom in jeopardy. >> governor perry has had a problem with counting before. accounting before. the trillion-dollar figure is a trigger that's in place. we expect that we're going to deal with that trigger during the course of this year. so that he's using an inflated number. the point here is, though, is less about numbers but have the kind of military can we face in the 21st century. warfare has changed. the nature of our opponents has changed. high-tech warfare is much more important. we have to be agile and we have to be quick and we need to develop that kind of military. but i must say, i don't think that the president needs to justify his national security to
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the crowd that was on that podium last night. and i think, when you look at the record, ending the war in iraq, bringing osama bin laden to justice, destroying the leadership of al qaeda, i think americans know that this president -- and he has made some very difficult calls -- bob gates said it was the most courageous decision that he has seen a president make in his 30 years in washington. i am not sure that mitt romney would have made that decision. a new book out this morning about the president and mrs. obama. it's called "the obamas." i want to read a little bit of an excerpt from her piece in the "new york times" about it. new to the ways of washington, but impassioned about what her husband had been elected to do, she was sometimes harder on her husband's team than he was, eventually urging him to replace them, the tensions grew so severe that one top adviser erupted in the meeting in 2010,
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cursing the absent first lady. jodi kantor talked to 30 people in and around the white house. it paints a portrait of a very tense white house. fights between the east wing and the west wing. is an accurate portrayal? >> no, it's not. >> that incident is true, though, isn't it? >> yes. the context of it is important. we don't have time to rehearse it here. george, you were in the white house. you understand that's very, every day is a very tense working environment and you have great cogeliaty. i think the first lady and her staff worked very well. when i was there with the west wing. she's a sensational person. and highly regarded by everybody who works -- >> the book suggested at times she was reluctant to go out on the campaign trial. will she be a full partner in this year's election? >> she has been reluctant because her first priority is looking after her kids.
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and i appreciate that. but he's been out quite a bit. she'll be out more. she believes deeply in the president and she believes deeply in this country. to create an environment to work hard and get ahead. feel that their children are going to do better. that's what this election is all about. so, yes, she'll be out there. >> david axelrod thanks very much. >> all right, george, good to be with you. now for more on the debate and where the republicans go from here, we turn to the man who four years ago was surging out of iowa. >> a new day is needed in american politics. just like a new day is needed in american government. tonight, it starts here. in iowa. but it doesn't end here. it goes all of the way through the other states and ends at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, one year from now. >> a high point for mike huckabee four years ago. the former candidate and the fox news contributor joins us from little rock, arkansas. now of course, he served governor there. governor, four years ago, right
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after the iowa caucuses, you were on "this week." it's great to have you back again. >> it's nice to be back. thank you for having me today, it doesn't seem like four years ago, but i know it was. thank you for having me today, george. >> did you see anything last night to slow mitt romney down? >> no, if last night was a nascar race, mitt romney had a couple of laps on everybody, he just had to keep from hitting the wall. i would say this, when his car came off the track last night there was no dents in it. it was one of those kind of unexpected debates. because i think everybody thought that it was going to be a pile-up and that mitt romney's car would be right in middle of it. but it appeared that everybody was a little hesitant if not timid of going after him directly. i think everyone who watched the debate was surprised by that. >> how do you explain that? >> you know, i don't explain it. it's inexplicable. the person who's clearly the
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front-runner who has leads not only in new hampshire but surprisingly in south carolina, who could well be on his way to running the tables in the first several states and if that happens, it will be very difficult to catch up to him because it will create an imbalance. in not only the financial contributions, but the momentum. the media has a lot of driving the sense of the inevitable. whether we like it or not, believe me i have been on the receiving end of that, i know what that can mean. as a result, it was almost, just critical that the other candidates did what they could do to dent up his car. and stay close to his fender. they just didn't do it. >> there was some critique from newt gingrich on mr. romney's tenure at bain capital. forgive me i misquote you, wasn't it, four years ago when you were running against mitt romney, he reminded you of a guy who fired your dad. you just heard david axelrod right here, talk about bain capital.
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is that going to be a problem for governor romney going forward? >> let me give you the quote exactly. i never attributed it to mitt romney. i think a lot of people made the attribution and went there with it. my comment was on the jay leno, i said, people are looking to elect a president who reminds you of the person you worked with but not the guy you laid him off. but, you know, i think, here's the point, if mitt romney wants to defend bain capital, the way that he should do it is to say, did some jobs get lost in the process of what we did? of course. when we go washington, we know that there's some downsizing that needs to be done with the bloated federal budget. in our entire history. that may require some serious budget cutting in the government.
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i have experienced it in the private sector. i'm prepared to do it in the public sector. that's the answer i think i would give him. >> let's talk about rick santorum for a little bit. he's trying to strike some of the some of populist blue-collar chords you did four years ago. he ran into a real buzz saw from ron paul. take a look. >> so, you're a big spender. you're a big government conservative. you don't vote for, you know, right to work and these very important things. that's what weakens the economy. to say you're a conservative is a stretch. you have convinced a lot of people of it, so somebody has to point out your record. >> talking to some campaign strategists last night, think they think that rick santorum might have miscalculated coming here to new hampshire.
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pointing to you, skip new hampshire and go straight to south carolina. do you buy that? >> no, i don't, george. part of the reason is, because everybody political writer that's on the a team on the political realm is in new hampshire right now. if rick santorum bypassed new hampshire and gone to south carolina, people would have said he just couldn't compete. four years ago, the decision we made to compete in new hampshire, knowing that we probably would not do better than third, if we knew that if we didn't do that, he's a regional candidate. he can only compete in the south. or he's a demographic candidate. he can only compete with evangelical candidates. rick santorum is doing the same thing. he has to, he cannot somehow be pegged as the guy who can only campaign where there are value voters. that would be disastrous. more so than competing.
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>> lot of conservatives concerned that the conservative vote will be split. newt gingrich going to south carolina. rick perry going to south carolina. rick santorum going to the south carolina. and mitt romney going to south carolina. is this the field? >> i don't think there will be. you have people heavily invested in each of these candidates. you've got a lot of people who have given a lot of money to rick perry, i think that's one of the reasons he's still in this thing. you've got people are very excited about rick santorum and people who are connected to newt gingrich. nobody's going to work this hard to get this far and finally exit the stage because someone suggested they ought to. in fact, four years ago, george, i had people every week tell me, why don't you get out of the way, why don't you quit, leave, you can't win? that just made me more determined. that makes you mad. when you put your whole life on the line. there's not going to be some magic moment where three, four people sit around the campfire
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toasting marshmall lows, singing and giving the nod to one of their competitors. that's not going to happen. >> how long does this fight go? >> i think depending on whether romney wins new hampshire and south carolina, if he wins those two and goes to florida and wins there, there may be some folks limp along for a while. i don't see how they catch up with him if he runs the table in those early states. >> when you see all this, any regrets at all that you didn't get into the race this time around? >> none whatsoever. i watched this -- sometimes i watch it and i say, oh, my. here's what i would have said on that stage. but, you know, you don't regret decisions that in your heart that you believe were right. if you start regretting those decisions, you made the wrong one. and i think one of the reasons i have complete peace about the
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decision i made. the decision was made not from what would have been a good political moment, i think i might have had one. it's a deeply personal one and i'm at peace with it. i think we have good candidates. we end up a candidate who's formidable. i think the biggest issue is that democrats have to worry about a weak field. they only got one candidate and he doesn't have that great of a record to run on and with all due respect to david axelrod who's trying to tell us what a great job he's doing, there are a lot of americans who don't have jobs. so, i think any republican who gets the nomination is going to be at a very good position to take the game to a president who hasn't exactly had a stellar performance because he was not ready for this incredible job that he's inherited. >> it's likely to be a tight race. governor huckabee, thank you for coming on this morning. >> always a pleasure.
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thank you. when we come back -- lots of analysis on from this powerhouse roundtable. ouse roundtable. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress:
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candidate." fun? and if anybody knows fun, it's george will. after all, a bow tie is just a necktie that's doing this. [ laughter ] . >> the new fan for george will, stephen colbert. [ applause ] great to be back with you, george. also here with jake tapper, mary matalin, matthew dowd and donna brazile. george, you just heard mike huckabee right there. he said it was a nascar race. >> it was. gingrich l left iowa incandesce with rage about romney. but somehow lost his fire by the time he got here. but rick santorum standing next to him, he finally earned his place up here, had to face the fact not that much he differs with romney on, except the values they differ on.
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he's for no child left behind, he's a protectionist. he's for industrial policy. he wants special tax treatment for the 11% of the economy that's manufacturing. what he doesn't want to talk about is his involvement in the terry schiavo case, the end of life tragedy that the federal government plunged into and the other issues that may have propelled him in iowa but not beyond iowa. >> mary, did rick santorum miss an opportunity last night? >> i don't think so. that's one part of his record. the other part of his record, that you wrote so well about, in the fun candidate, he's got a lot of attributes. he's blue collar, he's ethnic, he's catholic. he is the one candidate in this field that's connecting the cultural and the economic erosion to government expansion. and he's getting -- he's a full-spectrum conservative. he showed that one side in iowa. he pivoted here.
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he's not going to get out of this race. i think -- he might even beat paul in this state. >> that would be a big move for santorum if he did. >> take a shot at the question that i asked mike huckabee, he said that he couldn't explain why the candidates couldn't bring more fight to mitt romney? >> all of us expected they were going to do that because mitt romney is the front-runner. everybody mitt romney and his folks expected them to take more heat. i think it has a lot to do with this process of this race, which is unexpected people arriving on center stage when they really didn't expect to be there. you started with michele bachmann who arrived on center stage and then faded quickly. herman cain arrived on stage and fades quickly. now, rick santorum, this was the first time he was in the middle of the fight and i think he fanned. i think he may get his feet back under him as the days go on. but i think it's because this race has been so topsy-turvy, they have to sit still and they
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have to move on. nobody has been able to move that forward. >> and jake tapper, i want to talk about jon huntsman for a little, bit, he's really staked his entire campaign here. his most memorable attack against mitt romney was actually in chinese. >> i think it's important to note, as they would say in china, mitt -- he doesn't quite understand the situation. >> i don't know if we got the translation there. he doesn't understand the situation. huntsman has to jump ahead of paul and/or rick santorum. >> first of all, everybody knows that voters in new hampshire speak cantonese to go with mandarin is a big mistake tactically. huntsman's campaign, he didn't do anything. he's staked everything here.
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it was an odd performance by him. you opened the door for him to talk about some differences. it was bizarre for me to see the candidates pass up this opportunity to draw the contr t contrasts that they need to do. lot of campaigns were spinning after the debate. we did talk about it. it's true. if you go through the transcript, you can find little bits here and there. there wasn't a coherent, i'm rick santorum, i'm a conservative. romney is a nice guy, he shouldn't be the nominee for the party. it was a mistake, a tactical mistake. you're going to see them try to rectify that this week. >> and you still have romney facing a divided conservative opposition, donna. >> there's no passion, george. i have been to enough of these debates to know what passion feels like and sounds like. for republicans to beat president obama in 2012. mitt romney is the perfect candidate on paper.
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if you like to see something written on white paper with a couple of exclamation points. but when it comes to revving up the base, getting people excited, bringing more people into the party, mitt romney is not going to bring anybody to the dance unless they're already wearing boots. >> speakipicking up on donna's , you look back at the iowa caucuses this week a few thousands more voters that voted four years ago, but not a jump even though there wasn't anything on the democratic side. >> that's right. because iowa is on everyone's list of 12 to 14 swing states that you have to carry to win the presidency. the republicans should be alarmed at the absence of passion. donna, we all know that the passion and the republican party is in the tea party, the tea party just isn't an important part of the republican base now, it's the party. here,
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i have to my weekly statement, mrs. will is working for mr. perry. the fact is, someone has to find the voice of the tea party. the way you start that is by saying, what got us into trouble isn't barack obama. what got the tea party so kindled and so dry and flammable in february 2009 was the policies of the bush administration. what you have to have now is an argument against big government conservatism and limited government. >> to me, i think the obama folks are setting this race up like this, they have an expectation that it's going to be mitt romney. they want to turn mitt romney into john kerry 2004. they want to mitt romney into the flip-flopper-like john kerry candidate.
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while they always saw george bush's vulnerable, here's the situation that barack obama faces in this election results, he is seven points lower on job approval, he has a 30-point lower consumer confidence rating than george bush had in 2004, and the wrong direction of this country is 40 points higher than it was in 2004. the obama campaign understands that if this is about barack obama they lose. they know they absolutely lose. they can't run a re-election campaign based on their own successes. if it's about romney or another republican, they know they have a fighting chance. >> most of the reason that romney did as well as he did in iowa because they think he's best positioned to beat romney. mary, there's the struggle inside between the republican party, this belief that mitt romney could be the strongest candidate but no real love for him. >> there will be love for him. there will be passion. even in iowa.
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but if you look beyond the 100,000, the voting population is 3 million, the registration for republicans has gone up and the registration for democrats has gone down in that pivotal state. when we get a nominee, as the great late lee atwater said, when you win you're in the winner's circle. there has been passion against obama since the spring of 2009. they are essentially for the same thing. being against is kind of the for almost in this case. there will be passion. a generic republican has been beating obama for months now. >> but i think, part of the process, george, part of the process that's hurting mitt romney he hasn't been fully tested. he hasn't exercised the muscles he needs to exercise to win a general election. he needs to basically his passion. prove that against somebody. >> you know, with self-inflicted wounds.
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republicans won't debate him nor touch him. in fact, last night, ron paul secretary of defense. jon huntsman send it back to china. rick santorum, ambassador to the vatican, and rick perry, okay, energy department. because he can eliminate his own job. >> meanwhile -- >> if he remembers. >> that's right. >> they have been planning on mitt romney the entire year. they did the early ads. matt said they're going to try to make him john kerry. they're going to make his business career front and center. it's a bit of a test. no question that romney sees this as a real strength. it's going to be his major selling point. >> they see mitt romney as the 1% in the 99% versus 1%. i have even had republicans telling me, they don't understand.
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they say they don't understand why romney isn't even trying to outflank obama on some of the economic populism when it comes to corporate america. that corporate america doesn't necessarily need a tax break at this point. why would he stake out that position? he's setting himself up for a fall. the fundamental point is, obama is going to be the referendum. does he deserve a re-election or not? if you look at 2008, barack obama had everything going for him. his opponent did not run a great campaign. picked a running mate that alienated some key voters. everything going for him. you had the media perhaps tilting on the scales a little bit. and still -- >> i think george agrees with that. >> and still, 47% of the country voted against him. all that mitt romney or whoever the nominee is needs to convince the 47% of americans --
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>> a historical footnote, barack obama with all of his advantages got 53% of the votes. the democratic party is the oldest political party in the world. only three democrats have gotten more than 53% of the vote. lyndon johnson, andrew jackson, franklin roosevelt. something about your party that limits things to smaller landslides. >> and only one democrat who sought re-election as president of the united states, has lost in 100-plus years. jimmy carter, because it's very difficult to beat a incumbent. it's difficult to beat a democrat incumbent president. especially in an environment where people want some economic populism. >> as long as things are moving in the right direction on the economy, that's the point that david axelrod is actually banking on. you pointed the numbers out. are pretty dismal on unemployment. >> ronald reagan, under ronald
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reagan, unemployment went to 10% -- 10 .8%. he carried 49 states because it was down to 7.4%. in 1984. take the unemployment rate today, if it improves one tenth of one percent between now and september, it will be at 7.6%. in the right direction. you could have obama in very good shape. >> yeah, you want mitt romney to campaign in suburban philadelphia, saying, as ceo of bain capital, i fired people, i closed down factories and i shipped jobs overseas. >> i don't think he's actually going to say that. i'm just saying. i'm pretty sure that's not -- >> but, look, i think president obama's biggest challenge, of
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course, is to get voting enthusiasm up on the democratic side. i mean, he can't bank on the 53% coming back out. you got to work that. you got to go out and convince people that he's been able to turn things around, he's making progress despite all of the opposition. also, i think this is very volatile electorate, i don't think this is 2004. >> one thing before we -- we all think and the obama administration think it's going to be mitt romney. i think romney is going to face -- they lose somewhere and they have to recover from that loss in order to get that nomination. >> this is the playoffs. bachmann is detroit. i'm sorry to say. huntsman is going to effectively eliminate himself. >> do you think he'll get out? >> he'll stay in it -- i don't know where he goes. but we have a ways to go. and to the point -- this is what
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santorum and newt and all of them are trying to say in different ways, it's more than this is the economy, stupid, it is cultural. the tea party, we're at a tipping point. there's a cultural degradation that's tied to an expanding government. limiting our elects. >> and on those cultural issues, mitt romney had some fun at my expense last night. what role will these issues of gay marriage, abortion, play? >> i don't mean that's what tends to be the conventional wisdom of what the social issues are, but it's bigger than that. it's the number of people on food stamps. the way in which our education system which we have the last -- largest per pupil expenditure. it's flat-lining our education. our poverty programs are impoverishing families.
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those issues stem from social welfare policies. >> it stems from a recession that people are still feeling. >> the programs aren't working. they have been counterproductive when 40% of kids are born out of wedlock versus 40 years ago. it's just bigger. it's not about gay rights and abortion. >> right. i think what mary is touching on, is the idea that this needs to be -- the candidate, the republican nominee needs to be a bold difference from barack obama. that's their selling point. that's rick santorum, he didn't effectively make the point last night, but i have heard him on the stump do it, needs to be a candidate of bold colors not pale pastels. >> what they're facing is that their biography doesn't match up with their language, they're creatures of washington at a time when voters don't want a creature of washington.
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this is why his candidacy was a highlight of many people before he stumbled. >> let me talk about the other x factors. ron paul, on the stage last night, did pretty well in iowa, has a strong following here, didn't fully rule out, it doesn't look like he's going to run as a third-party candidate, but you still that group america elects out there, what impact does that have in past elections, in 1992, the third-party tends to hurt the incumbent. >> absolutely. it gets people who are dissatisfied with the status quo. it would be taking 70%, 80% of potential republican votes against obama. but the successful third-party candidates, have a regional base, a vivid personality and a burning issue. george wallace. >> define successful. they didn't win.
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>> they got votes. >> that's the point. winner take all, you can win 19% of the popular vote as perot did and get nothing. but you make your point. we have had candidates that said, vote for me and i'll send a message. some people want to send a message. >> donna? >> 300,000 undeclared voters in this state, same-day registration, let's see if they go out like they did and vote for ron paul. ron paul has energy. he has enthusiasm. you go to his rallies, you come away with a drive and passion that you want to go out and work hard for this guy. >> how do the democrats handle him? >> where paul is going to hurt obama. he who are enthusiastic are the young people. dropoff for obama were the young voters, young people who are not just voters, they got their parents
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to vote. that's how -- that's what paul is doing to obama. i don't think it's going to hurt the republican party. >> the big decision that the paul family will have to make, if ron paul goes third party, he's going to be messing up his son rand paul's republican future. political future. a republican senator from kentucky. >> he was up here last night. >> he's with his dad all over the place. he actually could be a republican presidential nominee, unlike his father. if dad leaves the party, he's ruining a lot of groundwork -- >> you got mary matalin nodding her head here. >> he's the best cleanup crew. if anybody who's zany in this it's not newt gingrich. paul has been the best sewer -- paul has been the best surrogate. he's been very effective. >> if there's a third party candidate it's most likely to be ron paul.
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george, he basically i'm going to support the republican nominee. he didn't want to promise it. i think that window for a third party only opens if mitt romney isn't the nominee. if it's someone a lot more polarizing. mitt romney, as soon as he can clinch the nomination, he'll turn and become the massachusetts moderate again. if someone polarizing then there will be a third party. >> when does this fight end? >> march. mid-march. >> they're going to florida, you can spend $4 million a week easily campaigning in florida, they're already voting in florida by absentee ballots. that will be the test of anybody's staying power. it's grant versus lee. romney is grant. lee was dashing. nimble and courageous. >> i'm waiting to find out who's lee? that's the problem right now. if rick santorum.
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i think any one of these conservative alternatives, these non-romneys. any one of them could actually beat mitt romney. there needs to be one and he needs to be a force. i have not met him yet. >> only ten seconds left. >> it's going to go on longer and that's good for us. >> february 1st, we'll know if the process that ends that day or goes to june. when we come back -- two new features, jon karl with the surprising political stories that you were talking about online and. later mitt romney and john mccain and demi moore and ashton kutcher, what do these two pairs have in common? john berman explains.
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it wasn't too long ago that we needed polls to track political races. but that is so 20th century.
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this time around, all of the reaction comes in realtime on facebook, twitter telling us all about who's up and down. during our debate last night, our colleagues at bluefin labs were able to tell us which moments lit up the universe. governor huntsman speaking chinese and governor perry saying that he would send troops back into iraq. with help from our partners at yahoo! here's jon karl with a look at your voice this week. >> reporter: on yahoo! former senator rick santorum was searched for twice as often as his nearest competitor. on twitter, ron paul was the hot topic. mentioned three times as many in tweets as rick santorum. people were also searching like mad for doggie sunglasses. what do they have to do with politics? they were part of michele bachmann's iowa concession speech and her husband's shopping list. >> yesterday when we were on
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main street in des moines, he was buying doggie sunglasses for our dog boomer. >> reporter: while there was a lot of interest in rick santorum's family life, there was also tweets about his sweater vests.. santorum's campaign manager tweeted rick santorum is a fiscal conservative he doesn't buy sleeves. one iowa mom sent in a picture of her son in a santorum sweater vest. but the fashion conscious in california weren't buying. a pizza shop declared the vests poor test. when rick perry left iowa for texas even his own campaign staff assumed that was it. >> i decided to return to texas. to see if there's a path forward
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for himself in race. >> reporter: how does this staff learn that he was still in the race? he went for a jog and sent this tweet -- here we come, south carolina. get it, he's running. finally trending president stock market, the ratings measure online sentiment. combined with the ratings of our own superdelegate abc political experts. this week's biggest mover, rick santorum, up 45%. romney is still on top. valued way more than any other republican. no bounce out of iowa. up less than 1%. ron paul holding steady. but gingrich, down 4% and perry down 10% on the otus stock market. now, that otus stock market measures not only the quantity of conversation on the internet about the candidates but also they can look and see whether the conversation is positive or negative. >> this online conversation will continue all week. >> absolutely. we want our viewers to join the conversations.
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two ways to do it is, on twitter and on facebook, facebook.com/thisweekabc. >> jon karl, thanks. we'll be right back with john berman. but first, a moment to honor those who served and sacrificed. this week the pentagon released the names of five service members killed in afghanistan. a second is a very long time. long enough for a train track in taiwan to sense an malfunction and alert the operators. or to spot a power disruption in texas before it spreads.
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or help a global finance company pinpoint fraud and protect customers. smarter analytics is helping companies all over the world predict what's coming and act on it now. that's what i'm working on. i'm an ibmer. let's build a smarter planet. finally this week, what a jam packed start to this election year. so much to cover coming out of that photo finish in iowa and plenty of material for john berman's tongue in cheek take on
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the political news you may have missed. closeup this week. >> sure hollywood has its share of complicated marriages. who needs ben, jen, angelina, when you have mitt, john, rick and rick. in relationships you might say there's love, hate and then there's politics. just look at this happy couple. >> i'm proud to introduce a friend and an american hero, a giant among men, senator john mccain. >> reporter: according to mitt romney, john mccain is a friend, giant, a hero. >> he's consistent but he's wrong. >> reporter: that was 2008 mitt romney. understandable based on what 2008 john mccain was saying about him. >> i understand why he's talking about the future, since he spent most of his time running away from his past. >> reporter: according to john mccain, he's a flip-flopper,
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running away from his past but also -- >> honest, straight talking person of experience. >> reporter: but the only person who seems to love mitt romney as much as john mccain is rick santorum >> if you want a conservative, you must vote for mitt romney. >> reporter: 2008, rick santorum. 2012. >> our mission here is to show that we're the conservative alternative to mitt romney. >> reporter: a year ago, perry was grateful that gingrich wrote the foreword of his book. >> if you will cheat on your wife, then why wouldn't you cheat on your business partner. >> reporter: but is there such a thing as reverse cheating? remember these foes? >> shame on you, barack obama. >> reporter: shame on you until i work for you. >> mr. president-elect, i'm proud to join you. >> reporter: everyone's favorite oscar and felix.
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>> being attacked by governor clinton on character is like being called ugly by a frog. >> reporter: that was until george h.w. bush kissed a frog and now he and bill clinton are best of friends. >> it got so ridiculous that odd-couple relationship that barbara referred to me as her black sheep son. >> reporter: is there anything sacred in politics? hollywood has nothing on these guys. if hollywood was like a campaign, next week, demi moore would endorse ashton kutcher, that's a closeup on "this week." i'm john berman in manchester. >> and that would be a big story. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. rass in arg, change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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only sprint offers truly unlimited data. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better. and anyone who knows the gulf knows that winter is primetime fun time. the sun's out and the water's beautiful. you can go deep sea fishing for amberjack, grouper and mackerel. our golf courses are open. our bed and breakfast have special rates. and migrating waterfowl from all over make this a bird watcher's paradise. so if you missed it earlier this year, come on down. if you've already been here come on back... to mississippi... florida... louisiana... alabama. the gulf's america's get-a-way spot no matter where you go. so come on down and help make 2012 an even better year for tourism on the gulf.
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brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. that is all for us today. i want to thank you everyone here. hope you have a great breakfast. tonight, "world news" with david muir broadcasting here from new hampshire. tuesday night, diane sawyer and i will be at election headquarters in new york with the primary results as they come in. and throughout the week, check out otusnews.com for the very latest from our entire political team. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america."
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>> carolyn: in the news, several late night fires, find out who investigators think is behind the string of arsons. six members of occupy oakland are arrested during a march last night in downtown area. join us

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