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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  January 3, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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i'm chris hayes in new york with msnbc's continuing coverage of the iowa caucuses. nbc news is still reporting that with 99% of the vote in, the race for first between rick santorum and mitt romney is still at this late hour too close to call.
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congressman ron paul will come in third. our panel for this portion of our coverage includes msnbc contributor melissa harris perry, professor of political science at tulane. rachel maddow is here, you may remember her from live coverage in the last seven hours. michele goldberg and ranesh. glad to have you here. first let's go -- i believe we have chuck todd is in iowa at the moment. he has been tracking very closely which counties are counted and which are uncounted in this nail biter of an election. what is the latest? >> we have a handful of votes left at this point and so there's various reports out there the google site helping iowa run its -- run that counting process claims everything has been counted and still santorum is ahead. that doesn't matter. it's about what's happening over the next week and the santorum
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momentum. what to watch for, we had newt gingrich who gave a concession speech that promised to go after mitt romney in every way that he can. let's not forget jon huntsman who basically has seven days left to prove whether his strategy is going to work in new hampshire. and so rick santorum may get to float above this for another week while newt and huntsman concentrate all their fire on mitt romney. santorum may get this free ride for another week while he sees if he can raise the money, take this momentum and see if it transfers. another thing to watch for, the movement conservatives, will these social conservatives represented by the phyllis schlafly, mike huckabees, things like that, will they see santorum has the last conservative train leaving the station to stop mitt romney or will they still decide to stay on the surveillanidelines. they would would jumped on a
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perry bandwagon. they didn't make an indication whether they will jump on the santorum bandwagon. if they do, it may mean -- give santorum a fighting chance in florida. if they stay on the sidelines worried that they would get marginalized because they might endorse santorum only to see romney and the aircraft carrier that is the mitt romney campaign just crush him down in florida and end the nomination, then this little santorum boom could be short-lived. >> chuck todd, i understand. you're off in a plane in just minute, i understand. >> we will be in manchester in a few hour. >> safe travels. you made a point that i thought was an important one and kind of the denining question i think coming out of this night. which is the pattern of the race that we've all been saying and i think has been borne out by the polling, a series of boomlets or
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bubbles or passes around the carousel of the anti-romney candidate. so the question is, is santorum just getting the timing right as you noted earlier in the coverage which is like peak last this, is the lesson of the night or is there something here in the campaign that he could run that is more enduring than, you know, when we were putting michele bachmann on the cover of magazines three months ago. >> you know, right after we did that with donald trump, there has been an incredible pattern of this. i think there's two things important about the vetting. one is definitely the timing. that rick santorum has -- is getting his bubble right now. has not been vetted at all and is the vetting something that is done by the mainstream media to find out whether a person could be credibly a person or something that is done by the conservative establishment to find out if anybody has any interruptions in their conservative orthodoxy. i mean that's the way we saw newt gingrich get vetted. yeah, there was some stuff in the mainstream media about it.
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oh, we think he's a little sketchy as a guy but mostly conservative there are all these ways in which he isn't conservative. there aren't any chinks in rick santorum's conservative armor. whether they will see him as a potential president santorum. >> i'm turning to you as the conservative voice here. you know, i think that's exactly right. we saw with rick santorum. what killed rick santorum the fact he got nailed from the right by michele bachmann right away. i think that was the first thing that really hurt the perry then, of course, the debate debacles but on the hpv vaccine and attacked right away. if you're working for romney right now you're pulling research that will go to santorum from the right. how vulnerable do you think he is and do you think that's the first thing we'll see the attack on him be in the next week? >> if you compare santorum to the earlier not romney candidates, on paper he has less
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positive, not been a successful governor like huntsman or perry. he can speak knowledgeably and fluently about the issues in a way that bachmann and cain and perry repeatedly failed to do. the chief obstacle people didn't think others would vote for him. once he started taking off in the polls they had permission to start voting for him. that dynamic is not over so i think it's going to be actually quite difficult for romney to attack santorum from the right because romney isn't himself a pure conservative. >> romney has relished at specific moments picking certain issues in which he can get to the right of his opponents on immigration he has steadfastly sort of outanti-immigrationed the other candidates and said he would veto the d.r.e.a.m. act and delighted going after perry. >> one of the things that hurt newt gingrich was all of this lobbying and rick santorum has
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all of those weaknesses, right? there was 2006 citizens for responsibility and ethics -- a crew report that i think named him one of the three most corrupt senators. he's -- there's kind of dodgy mortgages, there's all sorts of things in terms of favor from the financial industry, there's six years of lobbying after he was defeated for his senate seat so you can hit him on a lot of the things you hit newt gingrich on. >> provided that you as mitt romney can stomach making those attacks. and the other thing -- >> he has, you know, a whole -- >> that's the other dynamic we've seen, of course, is the division between the mitt romney as we talked about this last weekend and up, it's hilarious. the ads that mitt romney was runsing in the traditional i'm mitt romney and i approve this message, glossy minute-long things where he stands in front of cornfields like reciting i am america -- not i am america. >> that would have been awesome,
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though. that actually would have been genuinely the most awesome -- tangentially was ron paul's twitter feed trash talking jon huntsman and saying we found your one voter in iowa. you might want to call him and thank him, melissa. >> it is possible though that herman cain had 50 voters in iowa which could be the difference in fact between the two front-runners which would be fascinating. >> who will cain through his support to. >> i'm not convinced the republican party is as potentially volatile as this night and even all of these nights up until this one -- yeah, i mean the fact is they are terribly orderly crew and their caucusing is different. the they run and jump around the gym. i'm convinced part of what happened in '08 president obama then senator obama really had the best cheers and chapters for getting people on his side. that was meaningful because
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people actually get up and move around the room. republicans write it down. even as public as it all is there is sort of a modicum of rule following that is very much the republican way and the fact is mitt romney came in second last time. he's supposed to come in first this time and all of the kind of anxiety that gets produced against the anti-romney candidate is really just supposed to pull romney into position so that he can win that base. >> and i think there's two things here. one is -- people have noted, you know, romney didn't do much better as he basically did exactly the same as he did last time around. >> almost exactly. >> he did spend less time this time around. dropped about 10 million last time around and spent a lot of time in the state and it was for naught. there are a certain percentage there if he comes or doesn't. they're just like romney people and any time romney is on the ballot they vote for him in the
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iowa straw poll. if santorum is going to come out of this as the anti-romney candidate, i was struck when i talked to some people in the obama campaign inside the white house who said if huckabee was in the campaign he would be the nominee and he will be the most forceful candidate because he could unite these sort of different strains of conservatism and i wonder, ramesh in santorum plays that role. >> if you look at the exit polls from 2008 huckabee was never able to reach beyond his evangelical base and can go far with that base but can't win the nomination with just that. i disagree with that view. whether santorum can do it, i think he will have significant upside going into new hampshire. a lot of people say it's a social liberal state but pat buchanan won it at a time when people were saying the same thing back then. there are a lot of italian, catholic, pro-lifers who in the republican primary but he
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doesn't have executive experience and has some of those vulnerabilities. >> rachel, we're getting reports from kelly o'donnell that john mccain will endorse mitt romney tomorrow, this is the breaking news at this hour. your final thoughts for the night about what that means and what we take away from iowa this evening. >> the final thoughts are, one, it is amazing to watch the republican party try to figure out who their post-bush/cheney face is. >> who, of course, is never mentioned. >> dark taboo. >> and john mccain's endorsement, i don't mean anything personal will mean nothing. it would have mattered it he endorsed somebody other than mitt romney. it just goes into the wind and disappears. the thing i'm most looking for other than continuing to watch the republican party find itself. the thing i'm most looking forward to is watching the campaign come around to the fact that rick santorum wants to ban contraception. when we start talking about that -- >> the thing i'm fascinated
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with. it's very rare we've seen in the race a republican candidate attack another republican candidate from the left and i'm curious to see if anyone goes after santorum for that. if anyone says -- >> the left. >> well, yes -- >> is that the left? >> am i that far to the right? >> is there going to be -- will we get a pro griswold act. >> is that going to actually be the breaking point, it's okay to use the birth control pill. >> rachel maddow, thanks so much for sticking around. >> i'm kind of jealous. i sort of want to stay. i'll hang out. you see if you need me. >> we will be right back. thanks for sticking with us.
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joining us here at the desk for the rest of our special coverage another up with chris hayes regular, host of his own daily show "the majority report" on majority.fn. we were talking about rick santorum and his, you know, he is sort of the big story coming out of night. as we went into the weekend, he was really pretty much ignored and written off for most of the campaign, i would say. never had his turn in the seat, the sort of h seat where he was enjoying a lot of media attention and was the kind of candidate we were paying attention to. he doesn't have a lot of money,
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doesn't have a ton of organization. he feels a bit not old in terms of his years on the earth but the last time that he was a real name in politics was a little -- a while ago in terms of the political culture we live in now, the 24-hour news cycle. the question is what are his prospects going forward? is this a blip where he got a few, 10,000 people in iowa that like him, more than that. michele, we were talking about birth control. this seems like a crucial part of what happens is the candidate who is running to be the anti-mitt romney, here's what generally happen they start surging ahead in the poll and a lot of media exposure comes and get attacked by their rivals and get vet the by the press and the press starts looking at their views and herman cain's 9-9-9 tax plan turned out to be a massive tax raise which did not hold up very well.
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i'm wondering will we see the same thing with rick santorum. the obvious thing we might see it in is his views on -- >> is there such a thing as too right on social issues in the modern republican party? i'm not sure there totally is but i'm sure there is in the public at large. so this should i think put to rest the idea that there is some new strain in kind of conservative politics that's libertarian and wants kind of government out of our lives. this is the most big government conservative imaginable. >> why do you say that? >> one of the things he's spoken about he wants to use his role in the oval office to educate people and campaign against the evils of birth control. people will find this clip that you can google and play it over and over again where he says, it's not okay. it's a license to do things in the sexual realm and what he means by it is contraceptives and contraception between, you know, married people -- it's so
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far outside the mainstream i think, you know, it's well upwards of 90% of americans who use birth control and there's something so creepy and prurient about it. it'll be played over and over again. there there has never ban -- as many of the standard bearers have been, there's never been someone who wants this level of intrusion. >> i don't think he'll last that long. >> you're in the -- >> this is latest thing. >> he was in iowa for a year. for a year and has no movement in the polls until everybody else implodes for romney. he was literally the last guy standing. he really rope-a-doped it. he'll have his time and he will be attacked as a big spender. i mean that's -- this guy is the
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most bush-like -- george w. bush like republican on thele state. a neocon. >> rick perry, quoting him, rick santorum talked about being a fiscal conservative but voted eight times to raise the debt ceiling and more than obama has, he is a serial earmarker and stood up as late as yesterday and said he was proud of those earmarks, voted for medicare part d. >> toomey was almost the first prototype of a tea bag -- tea partyer. thank you, thank you. >> even though we're after hours. melissa? >> but here is what iowa does. i agree with you, i think he is a blip. i don't think this was sort of a santorum choice or something. and i think the one thing i disagree with there's not this libertarian resurgence. there was a three-way here. santorum, romney and paul. and although iowa doesn't necessarily pick winners, it does often tell us what the
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agenda will be in terms of the issues going forward and so i look at those three and see the libertarian strain, the kind of small government train that we saw as part of the initial impetus of the tea party. i see this very traditional evangelical christian strain that kept trying to find its place and ended up on santorum and orderly republican establishment. that is what will be fought out. it may not be the personals. one great thing about the santorum birth control stance, of course, there's really only one kind of sexual contact that almost never leads to reproduction and that is same-sex contact so there should be a kind of obvious support for the rights of gay and lesbian individuals who after all will not need to use birth control. >> i'm getting in my ear from my executive producer -- >> to stop saying that. >> he would like you to describe
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in graphic detail what kind of -- what you're saying is the ap is saying announcement is imminent on actually who will come out on top in this thing but ramesh, here's my theory. my theory is that to the degree to which santorum and i said this about gingrich when gingrich was leading the pack, to the degree that gingrich was going to be or santorum becomes the tea party standard-bearer, it makes it much harder to take seriously this neeotion this is about smail government, deficits particularly. rick santorum is a bush conservative. he was there for that entire eight years when we were massively expanding the deficit. he was there for medicare part d which i always harp on and paul ryan, deciding vote in the house of representatives, an unfunded new entitlement out into the future forever projected forward. if he becomes the standard-bearer what does that say about the genuineness about
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it as opposed to a backlash against barack obama. >> one as you suggest, the tea party may not be as pure and anti-government group as some people have been led to believe and second that they're not as powerful inside the republican party as we've been led to believe. i've been hearing for two years now that mitt romney cannot be the republican nominee because the tea party can't stand him and right now i'd say -- >> exactly. >> the problem with santorum, though, to return to this blip question, he's got to do two things. he's got to raise money like he's never raised it before. >> his website was down when i went to it tonight which is not good. >> and he's got to convert that money into organization and a lot of states and he's got to do both of those things very, very rapidly. >> the one candidate who does have the organization and can go deep in this and keep raising money is, of course, ron paul. we do have with us anthony terrel.
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are you there at the poll in iowa with the paul campaign? >> i am, chris. i'm still here. >> look at you. you're the last guy in the room. >> i am. i'm holding down the fort. >> literally there is no one in the shot. anthony, thanks for sticking with us. >> thanks, chris, i appreciate it. >> great to see you, man. my understanding is the -- i think there was a real sense that paul could win this and my sense and tell me if you think this is right. if paul had won or he had been tied for first in the way that santorum and romney seemed to be it would have been impossible for the media to ignore ron paul. that's not the case. all of that attention will go to rick santorum and ron paul will be relegated to the margins and sidelines as he has been for most of the last seven years that he's been running. >> right, well, look, senior
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campaign advisers tell me after that's exactly what they want. sea say santorum just got on the scene and his record hasn't been examined so rand paul the past couple of days has been attacking rick santorum calling him a big government conservative pointing to his support of doubling the size of the department of education with no child left behind as well as pointing to his support of medicare part d, increasing entitlements so rand paul has been on that offense and the campaign is hoping now that rick santorum is in the spotlight, this media attention will draw attention to some of his big government conservative past. >> quickly, anthony, i was talking with rachel when i was on earlier tonight about the fact that paul just has the money and organization to stay in this till tampa and be a real problem in certain senses for whoever the front-runner is. particularly if it's romney. is that your sense of where the campaign is headed? right, well, the campaign tells me they raised over $6 million
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this quarter and think they can go the distance. they have organization, they have offices in at least 12 states. he think they can go the distance where rick santorum can't and one of the national -- one of the iowa co-chair told me they came into this race wanting to be a mitt romney and a ron paul race and believe that's what they got. >> anthony terrel following the ron paul campaign, happy birthday. >> hey, thank you, chris. i appreciate it. >> talk to you soon. with 99% of the vote in, santorum is now 29, 944 vote, mitt romney, 29, 926. santorum leads by 18 votes. be right back.
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all right. a fun fact about mitt romney's performance in the great state
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of iowa and its caucuses. in the year 2008 mitt romney's total was 29,949. now it means he's 23 votes behind his 2008 total, kind of remarkable. he is the front runner. no question. he is also running for president nonstop for four straight years. and this gets to the problem, the people who make the anti-mitt case. basically make the case he has a low ceiling of support among republicans. sam, what do you think about that. >> i think the real story, just how weak mom is going to be. he cannot -- he spent millions of dollars and lost four votes. >> it should be noted he spend considerably less money this time. >> it's not like it wasn't spent in the first place. he's spending it on top of money
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he already spent. theoretically why is he losing support. >> among a much weaker field. you have plausible alternatives last time around. >> huckabee won last time with a much big ir -- i think he won with 40%. no one got near that this time around. ramesh. >> it's a different feel and a different strategy. last time around romney was banking a lot more on iowa. this time he is positioned in a different place. last time remember he was running from the right of the republican field. this time he's running from the center so iowa was never going to be as important to him this time around as last time so compared to how mccain did last time in iowa -- >> he came in fourth. do you think it represents the fact that he has a ceiling problem? >> look, i think there's no question that romney has not closed the deal with republicans. but he does quite well in the those questions about, okay, if you're not supporting him, who is your number two choice?
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people easily assume 75% of the voighters in the republican party are against romney. they're not. they prefer other people to him. >> the thing is what this field tells us is that when high-quality likely gop candidates looked at running against president obama, they decided not to. and they decided to wait until the next round so what we end up with is the guy who came in second next time trying to take his turn at a bunch of other weak folks. this is more than in addition else a victory for someone who ought to be a weak incumbent given the unemployment but who is extraordinarily strong relative to the field. >> we'll talk more about the field including the most passive aggressive speech i've ever seen after this break.
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rick santorum, 29,944. and mitt romney, 29,926. santorum leading by 18 votes. in our tieless portion of your programming. i wanted to play the most
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important speech. michele bachmann sort of made her way through a script that she read off. rick perry announced somewhat surprisingly i thought that he would be reassessing his campaign and howard fine was reporting people were talking about asking her to drop out. we saw mitt romney, we saw rick santorum gave an effective speech introducing himself to people just tuning in. the most interesting one was newt gingrich. he was surging ahead about two weeks ago. he was leading in all the polls, came back from the dead and he timed it exactly wrong. he peaked the just the moment everyone was making their ad buys. 47% of the advertising was against him and newt gingrich is bitter about this. he is bitter about the fact that mitt romney's super pac went after him hard.
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we edited some of his passive aggressive swipes at mitt romney in tonight's speech. >> and i want to take just a minute and congratulate a good friend of our, somebody we admire and family we admire and that's rick santorum. i wish i could say that about all the candidates. conservative who helped change washington in the 1980s with ronald reagan and helped change washington in the 1990s as speaker of the house, somebody who is into changing washington or we want a massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay but has given no evidence in his years in massachusetts of any act to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government. everyone remembers this process survives because young men and women risk their lives to allow us to do this.
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why should act worthy of them. >> just in case that went -- if the subtext was unclear he ended his speech, he ended his speech by saying mitt romney's negative ads dishonor our troops essentially that because they risk their lives for our freedom and the political process that political process, we have to b be -- this is the same one who invented slash and burn politics who is now fainting -- >> did everything to say but that it caused susan smith to drown her kids. >> also i will say managing the decay, mitt romney will be quite good at managing the decay. i thought that was the most brutally sort of effective attack on mitt romney. you know, there's a lot of pathos in the american electorate about decline. we are being beaten. we will lose to china. to say that mitt romney will be the person who effectively
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managing the decay, that is -- those are fighting words. >> nobody has really been attacking mitt romney much. there's been no negative ads and partly because newt gingrich despite his earlier history has -- mitt romney is still the inevitable nominee. they don't have anyone else so newt gingrich knowing that has not gone after him. the other candidates have been too busy going after each other. he's been above the fray. now newt gingrich is wounded. he's angry and even though mitt romney is still going to be the nominee, i think he's going to unleash a whole new level of venom. >> the fact is everybody accepts santorum gave some sort of concession speech tonight. certainly romney's was i'm still the front-runner even though i'm losing by 12 votes. >> he condescending gave santorum a -- >> yeah. >> i was recalling then senator obama's concession speech in new hampshire which is one of the
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most painful ones to give because he expected to be win, up by double digits. he loses to then senator clinton and doesn't give this kind of i will go after and she's dishonored our troops. instead he gives, yes, we can. i mean it is -- i am trying to imagine will.i.am. >> watching out there remix will.i.am to the decay. >> for the most part i considered him a grifter throughout the entire campaign. just literally doing this to sell books, but now it seems like it's personal. the most personal and invested in what he's binghamton say something that now he seems to have like a real mission. i'm going to take out mitt romney. benefits it was about selling books and being able to write off vacations we could take and
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meet people and to maybe increase my speaking fee but now i'm going to do some damage. >> what's interesting, we have seen people -- we've seen people go after mitt romney in debates and relatively hard charging. i mean you know -- gloves off kind of thing but he hasn't really been barraged with negative ads. la is the big test and is anyone going to do that in the next round. >> there's lots of -- >> of course, there is. >> who has the money to do it? that's the real question. rick santorum is going to spend money on clearing the rest of the anti- -- the non-mitt romney people. so no one has the money to attack romney right now. but on these debates that are coming up this week, you're going to see gingrich is going to blow through every question and immediately -- >> frankly, that's whobl what he'll do. he will profoundly and frankly go after mitt romney. >> i read the speech as i will try to take romney down with me. because this kind of display of pet lance will not help gingrich. >> of course, that's why barack
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obama very wisely did not do that. >> but enables santorum to make the positive case for himself while somebody else is making the negative case against romney. >> once again, the race right now, even at this late, late hour, well into, what are we, wednesday morning, too close to call, about, what, 18 votes separating rick santorum and mitt romney. rick santorum up with 29,944. mitt romney, 29,926 votes. 23 votes shy of his 2008 mark. we're going to talk about the other caucuses that happened in iowa tonight, the ones that no one has talked about that happened on the democratic side right after this beak. reak.
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with 99% of the vote in, santorum, rick santorum, now has 29,944 votes. mitt romney has 29,926 votes. santorum is posting an 18-vote lead. associated press said earlier an announcement of the definitive winner is imminent. so we will stay tuned for that. one thing i wanted to add to our discussion about newt gingrich before we turn our attention to the other side of the aisle. michael isikoff had a story talking point fact newt gingrich has his own super pac and that super pac has been in defense to his desire to not go negative, been doing mostly positive ads
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and michael isikoff said we'll turn things around so we could see from that super pac coming into new hampshire we could see those negative ads start to flow. all right. so the story people aren't talking about and it's understandable because there was nothing on the line, the democrats had a caucus tonight, as well. and i was struck by the fact that the republican caucus north of 100,000 or so. the democratic caucus had 25,000 people turn out. that's not 100,000 but that's 25,000 people in the middle of winter in iowa for no discernible reason in the fact there's nothing at stake. the president will be the nominated party and there were pictures from some of the obama organizers of packed rooms and i know that i should say full disclosure of my brother works for the campaign in nevada and i know from him and other peoples,
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they are staging this shadow organizing enterprise. there was a piece in "the new york times" about the best organized candidate in iowa being barack obama and i think it's something that we sort of forg forget about because all the attention is there. even though there isn't the rush that everyone had that night feeling watching the 2008 results in iowa and all of that energy that rushed towards barack obama then, there is still a tremendous amount of organization, capacity and passion that is out there that is on the ground that is being put in place now for the general election. >> it also seems to me, look, for as much as there's a conversation denigrating iowans about the caucus and right wing, the fact is that iowans in the broadest category, people who live in iowas are citizens of iowa are not just a bunch of right wing evangelical groups. there have gone democratic in the most recent elections, they have made a variety of relatively progressive policy
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choices as a state and part of what iowans are are people who take very seriously their role as this kind of first in the nation caucusers and so it's not just an exercise -- on the one hand nothing is at stake but iowa is at stake for a lot of them so for them showing up there's not one set of voices. >> new numbers in. the santorum lead down to 4 votes. this really is about as close as it could be. rick santorum now with 29,968 votes, mitt romney, 29,964 votes. even i can do that math in my head. a difference of four votes. michelle, do you want to respond. >> i think that's true but i also think people underestimate how strong the obama grass roots still is. there's so much talk about disenchantment and hear about it from the pundits, the people who pay a lot of attention for his failure to make recess appointments or some of these
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regulatory things they're disappointed about. obama reached $1 million in small dollar donations in october whereas he didn't do that until february of '08 last time around so he's get more small dollar donations than he was four years ago when it was the big story. all these people going online to give him 50 or 70 or $100. >> i want to bring in sue devorski. >> hi, chris. >> i don't know if you were l t listening to our conversation but if you have to call up a would-be caucusgoer in the winter you should come out to this caucus -- what is the pitch to get meme to come out to caucus in a caucus in which there is no real competition? >> well, i don't know. i can't remember whether it was melissa that said it or not but we are caucusing for iowa. we are here as the loyal
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opposition, if you will in this process, kind of the bridesmaid at the big wedding, at the big family wedding. it's remarkably important that we prepare the real date is november 6th. and this was a high water mark, no doubt bit. there is an enormous amount of affection between iowa democrats and the president of the united states. january 3rd was a remarkably auspicious date for us to have this. a lot of emotion. and so when we called up and started this process, we have had eight offices open across the state since august until about three hours ago we had more offices open for barack obama than the aggregate of the entire field on the other side. the organization of this state is going to be remarkably important as we start the next phase of this process which will really be the general election. when you get to dig down deeper you'll find out that mitt romney coming in second place as you
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say after five years and $10 million and losing four votes and now having the remarkable privilege of actually having beaten bob dole's lazloest percentage win -- >> that was a more passive aggressive aside than even newt gingrich. >> you know why that happened? because i've been standing here wrapping my mind around the will. will. will.i.am remix. 13 are the top performing democratic counties in the state. if mitt romney is indeed the inevitable candidate as i actually suspect he might be, when he comes back, truly i feel very good about our general election chances here to turn over our electoral votes to barack obama once again and turn the state blue and it's critical because iowa is on every list
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that we see of battleground states. some are as short as six, some as long as 12 but in every one we started it here tonight and end it on november 6th. i got to tell you, i feel good about the organization, i feel good about iowa democrats coming out to stand with this president who has stood with them and we're kind of ready to go. >> sue, what exactly -- what does organization look like? when we will come to the caucuses are you hoping to get new people that can be turned to volunteers, canvassers or -- is it a recruiting event. >> the caucuses on both sides started out their lives as organizational party events. >> right. >> the presidential preference piece of it certainly takes up -- captures the imagination of the national process. it's still fundamentally an organizational tool.
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we caucused in all precincts, 99 counties corner to corner and moved people into about 300 groups and we did a fairly heavy technological lift given the wide disparity of technical expertise on the part of our volunteers and activists and had the president live stream into those sites. >> every single one of them. >> yeah, and it really went pretty well. of course, there was, you know, it speaks to why broadband connections should be upgraded all across rural america. but the president's high speed connections are very good, i will tell you. >> sue dvorsky. we have new numbers. the chair of the iowa democratic party. thank you so much for joining us tonight. i really, really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> all right. right now the race is still too close to call. the ap said earlier this hour an absolutely definitive declaration of the winner in the 2012 gop iowa caucus would be
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forthcoming in an imminent fashion. rick santorum with 29,968 votes. mitt romney, 29,964. a measly difference of four votes separating the two. we will be here discussing the -- how the general election is going to be formed coming out of tonight looking ahead to what is going to happen in new hampshire and questioning maybe the narrative coming out of tonight to make sure we do a check and don't overstate what the results will be. all of that will be right here at this desk when we come back at this desk after this.
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