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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  January 4, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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thanks for being with us tonight. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> the big winner in the iowa caucus is president barack obama. >> it's not a team sport. >> wonder twin powers activate. it's like a form of bitterness.
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>> i can understand that disappointment. >> you know, i understand the speaker is pretty disappointed. >> having newt out there pounding mitt romney every day. >> i have a target on me now. >> romney is a massachusetts moderate. >> get ready, mitt. the right's coming at you. >> i've got broad shoulders. >> i am really here for one reason and one reason only. >> the massachusetts moderate. >> to make sure that we make mitt romney the next president of the united states of america. >> he's not the most electable candidate. >> let's get that job done. >> he is not going to win the nomination. >> the republican party is becoming the almond joy party. sometimes they feel like a nut. some days they don't. >> i clearly like rick santorum a lot. >> can he deal with the ultimate pro lifer. >> i'm not sure that rick santorum is going to be able to win the new hampshire primary.
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>> what about the fact that with no organization, much less money? >> he's not a guy that can carry suburbia. >> the fact is, it was a pretty loosy goosy process. >> after a statistical tie that left mitt romney and rick santorum doing dualing speeches, without teleprompters so they could continue to ridicule president obama for using his teleprompter. and after the iowa caucusgoers, almost 51% voted against rick santorum and mitt romney.
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the big winner was president obama who continued without fear of ridicule to use teleprompters in ohio today where he campaigned against republican constructionism in congress. today senior strategist david al se axelrod called romney a weak front-runner and that he leaves as a weak front-runner. joining me now is roger simon from poll lit could. former advisor to george w. bush and former dnc chairman and cnbc contributor, governor howard dean. thank you for joining me tonight. governor dean, what the democrats were really hoping for is that there was no decisive winner as there was four years ago in the democratic run. i think president obama getting
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37. obama 37, clinton about 8 points less than that. nothing like that this time around. that is exactly what the democrats needed. isn't it? >> well, it would have been more fun to have santorum win but i would have to say that this problem that the republicans have is pretty extraordinary. 75% of the people in that party just don't seem to want to vote for mitt romney for president of the united states. so this goes on. and as we go on, he moves further and further to the right the most damaging thing that he has said so far is he would damage the dream act. the really important hispanic vote has now disappeared given what the republicans have said over the last few months about this incredibly fast growing group of americans. >> mark, the turnout was not what republicans were hoping for. in fact, if you subtract the increase in turnout just for ron
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paul alone you would get a lower turnout than four years ago. so this is the time when all of america is supposed to be rising up against the owe pros sif rule of barack obama and the uprising will begin in iowa. it just didn't happen. >> well, it's not necessarily surprising that it's lower than four years ago because democrats were the party that were excited about the election four years ago and republicans weren't, particularly. i would disagree about romney just in the sense that a longer drawn-out primary in many ways will make him a better candidate. he's a better candidate today than he was four years ago because he's been around the track. just like it was for barack obama, that long drawn-out primary with hillary clinton made him a better candidate. i would say, yes, it's unsettled. yes, it may go on for a while longer. over time i think that will make romney a better candidate. >> rick perry, michele bachmann the first to drop out. what do you expect from her in
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terms of an endorsement in this race? >> i don't think she will endorse. her voters out there, and they are a dwindling number, they are going to know where to go. i think to santorum. michele is going to look at the fact that maybe she could be a v.p. pick. i don't think that's going to happen. just to keep that option on the table, i think she will keep your powder dry. if romney was, you could sigh there is a female a ticket. that's more conservative. even so, i don't think that would be a likely possibility. so i think she's going to sit and keep your powder dry and run for re-election. >> what about the politics of re-election for her and is she considering going after al frank en's senate seat in minnesota? >> i think she is most likely going to be running for re-election. we haven't come up with a
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redistricting plan. the court will announce those by the end of february. and the likelihood is that the district will be as favorable or more favorable than before and she would be a strong favorite unless there was a horrendous year for republicans to be re-elected. so that is the likelihood. she has an option. every minnesotan would tell you that they would have her run against senator clavature. i don't think that's going to happen. as much fun as it would be to have her run against al franken in two years, i don't think that's too likely either. put her nose to the grindstone and hopefully rise up in the ranks with the congressional republicans. >> roger simon in new hampshire, you were there when the big endorsement came. they leaked it last night. not just leaked it. but during rick santorum's speech, the romney campaign put
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out that john mccain was going to endorse romney. doing everything that they could to undermine the speech as it was happening. you've described the endorsement event today in new hampshire as the campaign event from hell. how did it go so badly? >> everything went wrong. first of all, it was a joint town hall where the crowd presumably turned out to see and share his time on the stage with john mccain. john mccain, frankly, does not like speaking in public, is not terribly good at speaking in public. and he proved it today. the second thing was, virtually every question asked was a hostile question. almost all of which came from the front hauls of the road which romney continued to call on. they had obviously been packed early with either his democratic
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opponents or republican opponents they were his opponents and it didn't create a good atmosphere. >> i thought, is that good for romney or is that the worst thing that could happen to romney at this point? >> i'm not sure. it just reinforceses that he's a moderate candidate and doesn't help burnish the conservative principles that he's trying to stamp heavier. i was a little surprised myself because i know that jon huntsman worked hard for john mccain in the past. on the other hand, i don't think it means a hill of beans to anybody in new hampshire because they are sucht an independent group. they love to turn conventional wisdom on its ear and they rarely listen to endorsement. in the long run, it doesn't make
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much of a difference. to roger's point, maybe it's a negative. >> lawrence, if i can just say, last night as i was driving home from iowa i heard on the radio that john mccain was going to be endorsing mitt romney. and i thought, that is the best thing that could happen in the long run for rick santorum because it really does define this race as a moderate versus conservative and that's what we as conservatives want to get down to a two-person race because 75, 85% of the republican base voting in the primaries are conservatives who want a true blue candidate. if this will help mitt romney in new hampshire blunt any charge by santorum, in the long run it's going to make it him who is already fighting to establish his conservative credentials. it's really going to be an uphill battle with john mccain's help. that really could end up being a problem around his neck. >> howard dean, tell us what an underfunded insurgent candidacy like rick santorum needs coming out of what is essentially a win for him in iowa. >> well, this is a big problem.
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this is why i still think that mitt romney is still likely to be the nominee. santorum basically has no organization and no money and he's going to get a lot of money in the next few weeks presumably and i think he could very well beat mitt romney in south carolina. but trying to organize the whole country after -- when you're having a one primary a week and then soon we're going to have four, five, six, seven primaries in a single week, very big states where you've got to be on television, i don't know how rick santorum gets through florida. i really don't. it's going to have to be some sort of extra ordinary amount of money that they are going to have to spend, millions of dollars. and romney is going to have to do what he did to gingrich in iowa. he's just going to tear santorum apart and santorum won't be able to respond because he doesn't have any money. >> and meanwhile we're going to
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listen to this war within the republican party. let's listen to rush limbaugh today defending santorum against this new attack that santorum is some kind of a big government republican. let's listen to limbaugh. >> big government to the left means universal health care, union government workers, socialism. those are things that santorum vee mentally opposes. he by no means supports big government in that regard. the big government that santorum supports is a government that supports people by following the law. be it the right to life or border, immigration, or anything else. >> can your pals in the romney campaign find a way to make that big government republican thing stick especially when he has big guys like rush limbaugh working for him? >> i think it's going to be hard.
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he's a clear conservative and a long and consistent record with tough for gingrich to go after him. gingrich reminded us that he's a blow hard and a complainer. so i don't think the attacks from gingrich are going to be effective against romney. on the other hand, i don't think that romney's attacks on santorum are big government. it's the last that they've got and they've been through it a lot. >> real quickly, a word on rick perry. can he really go home after iowa and say, i need a night to sleep on it and think about it and then come out today and say, i'm going to continue? isn't that kind of stutter step, something that scares everybody who might want to support a campaign?
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>> yeah, it spooks the hell out of anybody. all of the language that he was going to scoop it up and go home, talks to his wife and says, maybe we should go out to south carolina and see what happens it's hard to imagine how erases an extra dollar there's not a lot of confidence within 24 hours. >> all right, team, stand by. we're going to take a quick break and be right back. does the republican party have a newt problem? newt gingrich was described today as a potential suicide bomber on the debate stage this weekend. and, later, president obama announced the newest member of his administration today not in the rose garden, in ohio. why was the president doing routine white house business in ohio? because it's an election year.
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and why did republican senator scott brown applaud the president's move? because it's an election year for him, too. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for unsurpassed fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion. could've had a v8. c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey!
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just because it's impossible for me to know the winner of iowa yet does not mean that i will be the first to call this race. who will already lose, jon huntsman, who is completely skipping iowa to focus on new hampshire and to add insult to injury, he added an insult. jim? >> they picked corn in iowa. they actually picked in new hampshire. >> yes. new hampshire picks presidents. just ask presidents buchanan, and keith. [ male announcer ] every day, thousands of people are choosing advil.
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hair-tearing-out, and, yes, especially dollars. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. the fact is, three out of four republicans rejected it. romney is a moderate massachusetts republican to the left of the vast majority of republicans. he can't even break out in his own party. >> when mitt romney arrived in new hampshire today, he was greeted by this headline in the
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new hampshire union leader, which has endorsed newt gingrich. the choice, only a bold reagan conservative can defeat president obama. that headline was actually written by newt gingrich in a full-page ad comparing his record to romney's. mother jones, david corn liken newt gingrich to a suicide bomber in his article today, newt the destroyer. gingrich is now on a single-minded mission to blow up the republican party in the process. we're back with our guests. after a small teleprompter failure there. howard, you've done these things before. you know how these things can go. >> i do. >> howard, i don't think we've ever seen this on a debate
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stage. can you imagine yourself on a debate stage with a candidate who is articulate, who is well-armed, who also, by all appearances, knows he has no chance of winning and hates one particular candidate on that stage? >> well, that's actually the problem here. newt is not going to be effective. you can't show your anger and hate. you can do this, because i've had people do it to me, but you've got to be subtele. you've got to do it in a laughing matter. but if it's motivated by what most americans are going to think is bad sportsmanship, i think it's going to be incredibly ineffective. >> newt gingrich is talking about a possible apply generals with rick santorum. >> can you see a scenario under which the two of you would align together to try to defeat the establishment candidate, mitt romney? >> absolutely. of course.
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i mean, rick and i have a 20-year friendship. we are both rebels. we both came into this business as reformers. we both dislike deeply the degree to which the establishment sells out the american people. we both think washington needs to be changed in a number of ways. we have lots of things that fit together and the thing that's interesting is, if you take to that perry and bachmann, youign conservative vote compared to romney. >> the coach answer to that kind of question is never, yes, absolutely. it is always something to the effect of, laura, i'm in this to win this. to hear him openly admit, oh, yeah, if it comes to it, company make my candidacy above nothing other than teaming up with another guy to destroy just one of these other guys. >> yeah. he was using his inside words.
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and they got out. and i agree, to governor dean's point, therefore it won't be that effective. in addition, it won't be that effective because most people in new hampshire have heard this for a while. they are perfectly familiar with them. i think the real opportunity for them here is not the attacks from gingrich but the authenticity so romney is going to rise or fall on how well santorum introduces himself to new hampshire in a period of time but they are open to swift changes because of santorum, not because of gingrich's attack. >> roger simon, has newt gingrich intensified the punk in
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new hampshire that that now it can't work? >> absolutely. there's no point on him going out on saturday and sunday and becoming a human hand grenade. we're all expecting it. the best thing that he can do is to be the intellectual. but there's no point in him tearing down mitt romney. nobody is going to beat mitt romney here. in fact, in south carolina, where mitt romney is vulnerable, the facts that you have both of them in the race t. gives mitt romney a chance to win there before he goes on to win florida. i mean, before the iowa caucus,
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two or three days before, i wrote a column saying if mitt romney comes in first in iowa, he's the republican nominee. if he comes in second, he's the republican nominee and if he comes in third he's the republican nominee. well, he tied for first. i think he's going to be the republican nominee. to do otherwise would be to take off the table the best thing republicans have going for them, the economy. and nominate rick santorum who wants to make this elections about social issues that most of america doesn't want to be talked about. >> on monday and even tuesday night, has romney at 43% ron paul next at second and newt gingrich at 9 and huntsman up there at 7. that's a high point for him in this campaign. santorum at 6. so no santorum surge. no demolition of romney's big lead up there.
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and ron, the 75% of the party that doesn't want to see mitt romney be the nominee, what do you want to see in the debates this weekend and what do you want to see newt gingrich do in these debates in relation to romney? >> well, i think newt gingrich will go after mitt romney. it does serve a role for rick santorum because let him stand back and be a political virgin when it comes to not having to get the long knifes out. let's let newt do the dirty work. i think he realizes he's not going to be the nominee but so much that he's resolved to the fact that if i can't be the nominee, romney's not going to be the nominee. the key to me is romney is going to win new hampshire. let's put it out there. he's going to win by just a margin. the key is going to be south carolina. if romney can roll into south carolina, it is probably over and the conservative tab has a
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real propensity to divide amongst themselves and let the moderate wing of the party conquer even though they are the minority. but why the most critical events here that we haven't talked about tonight is an announcement today that this weekend in texas there's going to be a group of faith-based conservative leaders getting together to talk about can they coelesce to go one on one with mitt romney. that is a big uphill battle to see if everybody can put their allegiance aside and say, let's get behind what i believe will probably be rick santorum. i think that's the one way that it will not be a repeat of 2008 and conservatives then would have a chance to stop mitt romney in south carolina and have an outcome for the nomination. >> ron kerry, i'm so glad you brought up that meeting.
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it's being hosted by rick perry. that's where people are going to have to put their interests aside. if we split our votes, that is the door opening for romney to win south carolina and then basically sprint to the finish line. >> roger simon, ron, dean, you're co-hosting with me tonight. stay with me for one more segment. later, we'll explain to you why republican senator scott brown is praising president obama for the very same thing that republican senate leader mitch mcconnell is condemning president obama. and, later, john mccain's painful you know it was hard for him to do, painful endorsement of mitt romney, his former rival. will he fully explain to us. ♪
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mish mitch mcconnell said that president obama launched on the today and congratulated the president for doing it. that's how weird it can get in an election year. that's coming up, next. and president obama is desperately trying to rewrite the democrats image on illegal immigration and he's doing this by deporting more people than
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when do presidents announce the appointment of the newest members of their administrations in ohio, in an election year? from massachusetts they praise the democratic presidents highly political announcement of that appointment? in an election year. and when does every other republican senator condemn the appointment of the ultimate democracy because the president bypassed the senate after failing to get senate confirmation for their choice and used his executive power to make a time limited appointment without confirmation while the senate was in recess? while republicans in fact democrats, too, would complain about recess at any time, election year or not, the
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president flew to ohio with richard cordray and use the announcement to highlight the theme of his re-election campaign what prevents congress in washington is republican gridlock in congress. >> we kept on saying to mitch mcconnell and the other folks, why isn't he being called up? let's go. every day that we waited was another day when millions of americans were left unprotected. i'm not going to stand by while a minority in the senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. not with so much at stake. not at this make or break moment for middle class americans. we're not going to let that happen. >> joining us now to talk about this is the washington post editorial writer and returning to our discussion former dnc
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chairman howard dean. i just want to go to what jay carney said about this today because there is a little bit of a technical problem in this one. and that is that the republicans are saying, wait main, the senate wasn't really in recess is they had it in pro forma session. so jay carney's response to that is n. an overt attempt to prevent the president from exercising his authority during this period is a gimmick called pro forma sessions which are sessions during which no senate business is conducted but that does not overright the president's constitutional authority to make appointment ts to keep the government running. but your gimmick is my rule. every single thing that runs the united states senate is a rule that someone else can call a gimmick and i for one see a
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dangerous precedent because if the republican president were the first one to do this and this president is the first one to do it, i think there will be a lot of screaming today. >> you and i both have background in chambers. i was in the vermont senate for a while and i know the rules. however, this is a brilliant political move because mitch mcconnell is going to get up there and do nothing because they've been used to thwart any kind of reasonable progress on the economy and any kind of reasonable thing this president is trying to do for middle class americans. so you're right. i think you're right. i agree for that inside the beltway there's going to be a lot of clubbing. outside the beltway this is a great move for the president rich cordray was a very highly popular official. it was brilliant. scott brown did what he did
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because he's running scared. he's running against liz wet bar ren who's an icon for consumer protection and he's got to distance himself from the republican party before she beats him. >> governor, you and i agree respectively because and jonathan it creates for us this situation. i'm go to read, republican senator scott brown's outraged reaction to what the president did today except there's no outrage. here is what republican senator scott brown said. i support president obama's appointment today. i believe he's the right person to lead the agency and help protect consumers from scams while i would have preferred that it go through the normal confirmation process, unfortunately the system is
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completely broken. >> scott brown isn't saying something that the american people don't already know from years of watching what's been happening or not happening in washington. you know, this is a fight that the president should have and needs to have. fine, let the president take him to court. can you imagine taking the president to court because he's trying to -- because he's appointed someone to an agency whose job it is to protect people from fraud and abuse and by having a permanent head of that agency, one of the arguments of the administration is that the reason why the republicans -- well, because richard cordray has not been confirmed, because there's no permanent head of the consumer protection agency, the key
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provisions of the law that protect consumers from payday lenders and predatory lending and things like that, those provisions of the law cannot go into effect. so the president, i think, as we've just said, is on great political ground here and is about to undergo a great political fight. once again, as with the payroll tax cut, he cannot step forward again and say, look, i'm fighting for the middle class. i'm fighting for the american people who have been run over by the banking industry and other people taking advantage of them at a time of economic distress. >> yeah, there's one other point about this. the court is going to be very reluctant to interfere with what the senate rules are. they may ultimately say he can't go forward and enforce the law. but he's probably not going to rule on what the interpretation of the senate rules are. >> exactly. and another political fact to point out is that he did get a majority vote in the senate. >> right. >> on this confirmation. he got 53 votes and the
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president gets to say, he got a majority vote in the senate but in this senate the majority is not good enough and republicans were forcing it into a 60-vote situation. governor dean, two other numbers i want to run by you. tell me if it has anything to do with the reaction today elizabeth warren to take the seat from scott brown and incumbent sitting senator scott brown at 42%. >> yeah. wow. >> elizabeth warren has turned out to be a great campaigner. she is. she's still got a lot to learn. she's never ran for office before. scott brown is in a very difficult position. the republican congress is incredibly unpopular. even though the senate's run by democrats, the republicans are getting all of the blame where they deserve in my view for not getting anything done. and i do not believe if
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president obama wins that the republicans are going to hold on to the house and i think there's a good chance they won't take the senate. even though the math works very much in their favors. people are furious and in massachusetts they are furious at the republicans and scott brown, even though i'm sure his personality favorability is pretty high, it's going to be run at as a republican and that's how they are going to brand him and the republican brand stinks right now. >> jonathan of the washington post and howard dean, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. four years ago they were sworn enemies but today senator mccain pretended to warm up to his former rival, mitt romney. we'll ask megan mccain why her father endorsed mitt romney and she will tell us the truth. that's what she's here for. as they were businessly setting the record for the largest number of deportations
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in history last year, the obama homeland security department managed to deport a 14-year-old african-american girl, texas girl, who they picked up without i.d. and mistook her for a 22-year-old colombian woman who was in the country illegally. and now tonight they have no idea where the colombia woman is but they know that the american woman is stuck in bogatoa. but, hey, they set the record number of deportations in history and that's what is important, right? that's tonight's "re-write." plus, in-branch seminars at over 500 locations, where our dedicated support teams help you know more so your money can do more. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our teams have the information you want when you need it. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
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the obama administration has been busily rewriting on the pesky political matter of illegal immigration. the soft on illegal democratic administration has deported far more people than tough on legal administration before it. in 2011 president obama presided over a record number of deportations. 396,906, which was at least one too many. her name is she ran away from home in dallas in november of 2010 after the death of her grandfather and the divorce of her parents. her grandmother, lor reen turner, started looking for her and never gave up. with the help of the dallas police and through messages on facebook, she has final low found out what happened to her granddaughter. she was arrested in houston in april of 2011. she gave a fake name, as many
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teenagers do when they are arrested without i.d.s. but as bad luck would have it for her, when she was arrested, the name she gave actually matched a colombian illegal immigrant. immigration officials fingerprinted her and deported her to colombia where she was given a work card and released. she was 14 when she got arrested in houston. the woman the immigration officials mistook her for is 22 years old. she is an african-american texas girl who didn't speak a word of spanish. but immigration officials were untroubled by any of that as they rushed her out of the country to try to get that record on deportations. now they say they are fully and immediately investigating this matter and u.s. embassy officials in bogata, now realizing the ridiculous mistake
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to return her home but she will have to pay for the ticket home. that's the department of homeland security. thanks for keeping america safe, guys. [ male announcer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you have to pay for the ticket home. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose.
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it is with some nostalgia that i return and i am really here for one reason and one reason only. and that is to make sure that we make mitt romney the next
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president of the united states and new hampshire is the state that will catapult him into victory in a short period of time. that's why i am here. >> that was senator john mccain endorsing mitt romney. joining me now is msnbc con brib tutor of the daily beast columnist and senator john mccann's daughter. megan, politics is a tough business. here's your father and he's got a choice. he's got two guys he hates and he's got to endorse one of them. he hates romney from the campaign of 2008. he hates him. >> he doesn't. >> every other candidate heated romney and then santorum is stupid enough to say that john mccain doesn't understand things like torture. >> santorum is a moron. there's a difference. >> i love hearing republicans call republicans moron. you have the floor. >> he really does like mitt romney. i was telling you the break --
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>> define the truth. say that again. john mccain likes mitt romney and do a close up of megan. >> come here. >> john mccain likes mitt romney and megan mccain likes mitt romney and cindy mccain likes mitt romney and the whole mccain family likes mitt romney. >> is the pill you take -- >> do you want to hear why i like him? he came on the road with us. >> romney voters don't like mitt romney. >> the thing i found out about him, i had the opportunity obviously to get to know him personally and he's quite likeable and charming. >> he's like a robot. >> no, he's not. he's not at all that's not the conversation that took place. if he had endorsed santorum, i would be like slitting my wrist on the table right now. >> he could have -- >> i don't think that's appropriate. that's lax courage not to get behind someone. i find it quite lacking courage the people that refuse to do it. >> did you get to the studio early enough to hear at the
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beginning of the discussion, is the mccain endorsement worth much this time around? because both parties hate their losers. i heard democrats say the most awful things about john kerry after he lost the presidency by like 60,000 votes in ohio. michael due caulk kiss, like no one has ever wanted to see the man again. you do through the they lose and never want to hear from them again. what's your filing in the mccain family about how that name works. >> i think in new hampshire the mccain name is still very strong. i think my father could run for governor of new hampshire and still win. i think it will carry a lot of weight. what people think about a losing candidate is their prerogative. becoming a nominee is a feet unto itself. >> the thing about a nomination, the truth about every candidacy is they would all like the
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endorsement. >> yes. >> santorum, say what he will, he would have liked to have gotten that endorsement today. even though they say it may be a tarnished endorsement. >> huntsman said it meant nothing. i'm sure it would have meant nothing if he endorsed huntsman. i really do like mitt romney and i used to steal his signs and make fun of his sign back in the day. >> you admitted to an obsession. >> they are just perfect. my family is a bunch of rag tag differenters. >> the mccains are real. >> they are going to have a problem with this. they are a perfect family. >> they are robots. >> they are not. they are just mormon. mormon culture that's very glossed and beautiful which i think could actually play very well. the obamas have the same thing. they look like they have a perfect marriage and perfect family which is not true because nothing's perfect. >> the obamas might be pe


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