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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 4, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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msnbc contributor, meghan mccain, thank you very much. follow my tweets at lawrence o'donnell. > anybody but romney? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. at the armoire in manchester, new hampshire, where in just six days this commonwealth will hold its first in the country primary. leading off tonight, is he the great contender? who is rick santorum? is he the guy conservatives can rally around to defeat mitt romney, who again last night was rejected by three quarters of iowa republicans or a one-hit wonder, you see this year's mike huckabee? romney has money, the organization and the patience to outrun santorum, but does his
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side have the passion? also, the right-wing empire is about to strike back. michele bachmann dropped out today. her voters are a lot more likely to stick a santorum sign on their yards than a romney one. jon huntsman is all about knocking off romney personally, and for newt gingrich, it's not business, it's strictly personal. get ready, mitt. the right's coming at you. plus, will the republicans sign an abm treaty, anybody but mitt? can a coalition of santorum, gingrich and perry voters be formed to stop romney? and is team obama happy right now? not as happy as you would think. they love that romney didn't win big out there in iowa, but worry that santorum will be just the latest anti-romney whose bubble is going to burst. and let me finish tonight with the importance and big importance of new hampshire. we start with rick santorum, howard fineman is an msnbc political analyst and "the
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huffington post" media group editorial director and steve schmidt worked on the bush/cheney 2004 campaign and ran the 2008 mccain campaign. steve's also an msnbc political analyst. gentlemen, last night was interesting. tonight begins the more interesting test. last night romney came out on top, though only by eight votes and that's not eight percentage points. that's eight individual voters' votes. rick santorum for all intents and purposes tied romney last night. ron paul came in third, and newt gingrich was a distant but important fourth. howard, i think it was important that gingrich grabbed that fourth. he's still in the running, in the top four. not in the money, as you would say. >> yeah. >> but let me ask you about this. let's talk really big now. if you're the president in the white house, you're david plouffe, if you're axelrod, all the big thinkers, valerie jarrett and the rest of them and you're mitt romney, are you worried that you might be seeing the beginning of the end on the right? that they are beginning to realize that one of the two guys will probably be the counter to
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romney, that's either rick santorum or newt gingrich. one of the two will probably have to carry the banner. are they begin to coalesce that 75% that just doesn't like romney? >> the short answer is no. they are not coalescing just yet, and rick santorum has to prove here in new hampshire that he's a guy to coalesce around. if he hits a trough here and does poorly here, that will reinforce the notion that he was only the seventh and last temporary front-runner in iowa. >> right. >> and so, no, i don't think so. i think the fact that rick perry decided to stay in the race, at least until south carolina is not meant as a pro-rick santorum move. if anything, that might benefit mitt romney. mitt romney's whole plan is to keep the rest as divided as long as possible, and rick perry is still appealing to protestant evangelicals in the south. don't forget -- >> he's the only one. >> you have the odd situation here, not to get too theological
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here, but you've got a mormon and two catholics in romney, santorum and gingrich. the southern protestant vote in the republican party is still out there. that's perry's theory, but i think what perry is really doing is doing mitt romney a favor by trying to keep things divided. >> why is he working for romney? >> i don't know that he is. >> that's the first thing i thought of this morning when i heard he's staying in this thing. >> i can't prove that it's a deal, but that's clearly what the intent is. >> steve schmidt, take your romney hat off completely, and i know you're rooting for the guy, because you think he's the only guy that can beat obama, but take the hat off. i know it's a big hat, a heavy one for you. take off the burden of thinking he's your guy and think intellectually. you're romney right now, the brains around him. do you think there's a good or a bad chance the enemy will unite? >> well, i think that you have to be encouraged if you're on the romney campaign, which i'm not a member of, chris, despite that. that rick perry staying in the race in south carolina, i mean,
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four years ago in 2008, the most important thing that happened to john mccain in terms of being able to win the south carolina primary, which set up the florida victory, which set up his ability to be the nominee, was fred thompson staying in the race. it siphoned just enough votes away from mike huckabee to put john mccain over the top. >> what's your thought? >> politicians act in their own self-interest. it's not a team sport. rick perry is saying he wants to go out there and end this on his own terms and see if he can have a couple of good debate performances. hope springs eternal in this business so i don't think rick perry's calculations are about how does it affect rick santorum or how does it affect mitt romney? i think it's about how does it affect rick perry. >> okay. let's take this whole thing, i want you to pick up here and go back to howard on this, steve. you know the republican party. you were very effective up here in new hampshire with mccain winning up here. let me ask you about last time around. let me ask you about this thing what i call sort of the catholic angry vote that came up here, the people who moved up here, not the old yankees that have
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been here for generations, the back to the mayflower people. irish, italian, canadians, different people that moved up here. they liked pat buchanan and pro-life and they are gritty, gritty catholics. do you think that's a vote that santorum can nab in just five or six days? >> i'm not sure santorum will be able to win the new hampshire primary. i think that romney has built his firewall there. i think the question is can rick santorum move into double digits? can he finish second in new hampshire or finish close to ron paul? does he have momentum coming out of new hampshire which sets up a must-win state for him which i think is south carolina. i think that if rick santorum is going to take this primary deep, he has to win somewhere, and he has to win in south carolina, and he's going to have to win in florida, or be close in florida to go the distant. >> be close in florida, but, in other words, that's a good point. i think i think his logic there makes sense. santorum has to do well enough up here in new hampshire this tuesday to be strong enough in south carolina to win. >> absolutely.
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>> can he win if -- if gingrich is still floating around and perry is still floating around? >> well, that makes it difficult. as i said, if rick santorum is going to be the guy they are going to rally around, he's got to do well here. just getting into double digits, by the way, is not enough. i think if he finishes behind ron paul, for example, that's a disaster. >> right. >> for santorum. >> right now he's starting at 43 for romney and he's 5. >> yes. >> how high does he have to climb between 5 and 43? >> listen, politics is not fair. the expectations are raised for him now. >> is 35/25 good enough for him? is that a win? >> that would be a dream come true for rick santorum, are you kidding, if he could get 25%. >> let's set the bar. everybody tries to set the bar and do it here on "hardball." steve schmidt, a 35/25 result up here for romney in first, santorum in second, is that a a win for rick? >> yeah. i think that gives him the momentum he needs to come into south carolina pretty strong, but he's going to need to have a pretty strong second place showing in new hampshire.
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maybe third place, but he's got to be real close to where ron paul is if he's going to be in that third place position. >> going to be tough. >> we're the experts. love having you guys on because i think you know your stuff. back to you, steve. what number does santorum have to get up here to get newt to recognize that he's really a supporting team right now, he's an assister, has to give the ball for the other guy to win the shot down in south carolina? does he have to get up that close, a ten-point spread for newt to say basically this ain't my year. it may be rick santorum's year, and i hate romney so much, i don't care who beats him, as long as he loses? >> boy, it's tough to get inside newt gingrich's head. you saw that speech last night. i thought it was the most remarkable concession speech i've ever seen in politics where he essentially declared i'm going to be the blocking fullback for rick santorum in the race. >> yeah. >> he's clearly very angry. his face was dripping with anger last night in that concession speech. i don't know what makes him tick. he's called himself a world
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historical figure. does a world historical figure get out of the race, throw the reins to, you know, to another candidate? i just don't know, but certainly i think that newt gingrich is going to play a big factor in this race in the days ahead and he's going to play a big role in these debates, which are going to be very important this week. >> it's a far better thing than i've ever done? he's going to give it to santorum? >> no, the word give and newt gingrich don't quite go together. listen. i think steve is right with what he said earlier which is politics is not a team sport, and i think for now newt's rationale is that he is going to stay away from rick santorum. >> not him? >> not him. >> yeah. >> but not push him. >> i don't know that down the road that that's necessarily going to be true. >> those of us who stayed up late last night and were here. here's what happened last night. here's rick santorum attacking the notion that mitt romney is more electable than he is. let's watch. this is the beginning of what he tomes to be the end for mitt romney.
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let's watch and listen. >> people asked me why do you think you can win? we've been told by so many people that there's another candidate in this race, who is running a rather close race with me tonight. that is a better person to choose, because he can win. let me tell you -- >> romney care. >> what wins. what did you say? oh, romney care, oh, okay. i just didn't hear you. what wins, what wins in america are bold ideas, sharp contrasts and a plan that includes everyone. >> steve, let's talk about how the knife comes out. we saw -- we've seen the dagger of gingrich. he's pulled it out. he said the dagger is abortion rights. it's paying for abortion in the massachusetts health care plan, it's putting planned parenthood people on the board up here, all these assaults he's been trying
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to make already at -- at -- at romney, and now the question is can he join with the ultimate pro-lifer, santorum, and bring all those conservative catholics aboard for santorum up here next tuesday and surprise romney by getting up around 25% or more? >> i -- i do think that he's going to come up in new hampshire. how high he goes, i don't know. new hampshire is not a state that's going to be driven by the social conservative message. it's the economic populist message that i think is going to be much more impactful for rick santorum. >> right. >> and i think you saw that message previewed to great effect last night. i thought his first speech to the national audience, looking at him through the prism of a potential nominee was a major league performance. we'll see how he equips himself. >> didn't he sound himself like pat buchanan that buchanan won in '96, almost won against the senior bush and beat dole with that message, a pro-life underpinning, everybody knows
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you're pro-life and then make the economic argument. that's what santorum did last night. >> yes, i know, but i agree with steve. if he goes the buchanan route, that's a dead end. rick santorum thinks of himself as a guy who can marry cultural conservatism with -- with economics, and he's got -- >> yeah. >> he's got to stress the economic message up here, and his 'got to do it in a way 6 that gets a new generation of voters here, and by the way, on the catholic thing, chris, i think it's true as far as you take it. it, but that's not what the main aim of rick santorum is going to be here. he's going to go after secular people who want some kind of new leadership that doesn't seem manufactured and pre-made and phony. >> yeah. >> a big part of what rick santorum is going to do here is appeal to the new hampshirites' love of authenticity saying we don't want a manufactured guy. we want a guy who seems like a real character, and that's something that's different from religion. a different appeal from
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religion, and that's what santorum is going to try to do and that's what he'll have to do here. >> that's what it sounded like last night. i thought that speech last night. >> very real. >> as you said last night, was a wonderful story of a family coming to america two generations ago, the big hands of the grandfather, talking about that in the coffin. that's pretty graphic stuff but it's very american for many of the people up here who come from immigrant pasts just a couple generations ago. thanks very much, steve schmidt. you're a great guy. thank you, howard fineman. coming up. get red for the fireworks. newt gingrich is coming after mitt romney. this is like "the godfather," it is a business, it's personal. huntsman has built his whole career on beating romney and santorum has to. this is three-on-one going after mitt. let's see how he holds up here in his home turf. you're watching "hardball" from the armory in manchester, new hampshire, only on msnbc.
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welcome back to "hardball." newt gingrich starting with my exchange with him in iowa this past sunday has made it clear he's change strategy and now intends to go after romney in the coming days and hopes he can can recover some of the damage inflicted on him by the barrage of anti-gingrich advertising which was done by the pro-romney super pac out in iowa. the political director for wmur joins us, the big tv station and our pro and fellow as the eisenhower institute. thank you, jennifer. let me start with you. she's had the hot hand for this personal stuff. it seems to me if you are mitt romney coming home to new england, a place in lake win pa silkee up here, and there's a lot of regionalism, parochialism, if you will, he's got huntsman who has built his
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entire notion of who he is on the guy who can beat him up here, beat romney up here. you've got santorum who is coming off a virtual tie with romney out in iowa who has to prove himself up here. you've got gingrich who is in kind of a vendetta, got his knife out for romney. do these three people coming up here, can they bring romney down from the 43% he's at starting this fight down to somewhere where they can whittle him down and then one of them can beat him up here? is that doable? >> you know, it's a tall order to beat romney, but i will say they will whittle him down and that's the intent of every one of them, including ron paul who has a solid base of supporters in the state and is erotting eroding part of romney's appeal for independents. i think you'll see romney's fall to earth. he is capped at 25%. 75% of conservatives do not like mitt rom any. i talked to a number of conservative activists in new hampshire today where i'm heading tonight to join you up there, and i do think that the
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catholic vote means something, chris. 60% of new hampshire is catholic. rick santorum is catholic. rick santorum has a great story. he has a personal narrative. if newt gingrich goes negative, rick santorum stays positive, you've got a one-two punch, you've got people pressing the indies on the side of ron paul and huntsman, and you could see romney fall to earth. >> let me ask you about the people up here. my old boss tip o'neill when i worked for him has decided new hampshire is so conservative and so anti-government, they don't like taxes, taxachusetts, don't like the parks or the basic stuff that government does, the fact that romney is associated with romney care, a moderate governor in nearby massachusetts, how come that hasn't hurt him? >> number one, this state is a lot different than back in the tip o'neill days. >> how so? >> number one, we voted for a democratic president, you know, three out of the last four times, had a democrat --
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democratic governor who is the most popular governor in recent history, or in state history in terms of polling and democrats recently have their most successful elections since reconstruction, okay, so this is a swing state. >> the obama people are scared to death they will lose it this time. >> they should be scared to death if the person is mitt romney. i think it's done. if it's not, one of a dozen swing states it always has been and barack obama won it last time. >> where's romney vulnerable tuesday? when you have all these people going after him, santorum, gingrich, paul, and all of them going after him, huntsman. >> a referendum not only on the answer of if not romney who, or why not romney, it's also going to be a test for rick santorum. here's the thing. got to understand this, chris. polls here are very unreliable. we saw this last time. we've seen it in the past. let's go back to 1980. 1980, jimmy carter had a 47-point lead. i mean, ronald reagan had a 47-point lead to beat george w. bush and beats him by 27 points.
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jimmy carter was supposed to win by 29, and wins by 10. when voters in new hampshire make up their minds in the last couple of days, 15% make their minds up in the last couple of days, this place is always unpredictable. >> jennifer, let me ask you about that question, unpredictability. numbers coming in here, 43%, for example, for romney, the former governor up here in massachusetts and 5% for his latest challenger, santorum. i mean, i'm just wondering looking at all these numbers we've got here, who can beat this guy up here. look at this, paul is at 16, huntsman at 10 and gingrich at 9 and santorum at 5. who can catch 43? >> well, you know, i just want to think back to 2008 when we thought that barack obama was going to walk right past hillary clinton, and that's not what happened. >> yeah. >> i'm looking back to 2000 when we thought that george w. bush would beat john mccain, and mccain won in a landslide by 19 points. this is an unpredictable state.
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there are two debates over the weekend, one that usual part of. one that you will be part of. that's going to be huge. that's going to be something that people will be watching. i remember in 2008 when both sides were open and independents were standing in those ballot boxes shifting on their feet, trying to decide who am i going to vote for. this time you're going to see a lot of people who are democrats, who are registered independents pick up ballots for the republican ticket and vote for huntsman and vote for paul. >> okay. >> they are going to send a message. new hampshire always sends a message, you know that. >> what's that poll up here, the american research group, arg? what is that group up here, that poll? >> it's kind of a -- it's leaning right. >> that poll was used up here in '96 saying dole was going to win. sorry, totally wrong because they were polling as if the state was made up of old yankees. >> right. >> didn't have all the new irish-italian and all the new gritty massachusetts emigres up here, and they all voted for pat buchanan. >> and a lot of those people are people who moved out of
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massachusetts because of romney care and because they are tea party voters and don't like the way massachusetts was being governed under mitt romney so there's a real protest vote that could develop. >> see, that's my -- if i were doing the campaign for santorum in here, i would say i'll pick up all the disgruntled massachusetts emigres. >> who is we? >> i'm going to go after the catholic vote. >> right now newt gingrich is kicking the crap out of santorum as we begin this. he has all the buzz. >> okay. >> he's got to consolidate this and jon huntsman has to consolidate this. >> i think you're wrong, james, unless i've not heard something the last 20 minutes. when has gingrich, as you put it, kicked the crap out of santorum? >> right now he has doubled -- >> in numbers, but he won't attack him. >> they are best friends right now. >> kick the crap is a term i use for people who kick the crap out of people. anyway, just a thought. >> can i jump in? >> no, you can't. >> chris, you've got to reject the premise --
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>> can i throw one thing? santorum? >> yes, it's a win for santorum. i also want to point out gingrich is going negative. he said he wouldn't do it, and i think he'll look like the old newt gingrich and when he said romney was lying he sounded like bob dole saying tell them to stop lying about my record. >> sometimes when people say the other guy is lying, they're telling the truth. what do you think 35/25, a win for santorum? >> if he knocks other people out, a good day for rick santorum. >> we've built the bar at 35/25 is a win. ten-point spread. anyway, thank you, guys. thanks you james and thank you, jennifer. see you again soon. up next, jon stewart's take on the republican race is like a candy love ease dream, you know the whitman samplers? that's what it's like. it's a great metaphor. the sideshow is coming from
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, if you know what it's like -- think about what it's like going through a box of assorted chocolates, you know, the whitman sampler type. you keep looking for the good one, the simple good-tasting unadulterated chocolate candy. well, jon stewart compared that process to republicans trying to get through the presidential candidates this year. same thing. looking for a good one. >> republicans are going to try every chocolate in the box? you've got a millionaire, you're going to end up with the plain chocolate. you're gonna, that's where you're going to end up, just are. you tried the bachmann over
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here. too many nuts. all right. no good. perry, oh, perry looks great. almond nougat. who puts that in chocolate? this one. that's santorum, the one you try to pawn off on one of your cousins. look at that. oh, my god! oh, my god, my chocolate was alive, and now it's bleeding! so that's it, you end up with romney the least bad chocolate and by the way when you do ultimately end up with romney, don't try to pretend that this is the chocolate you wanted the whole time. >> brilliant. they keep looking, the republicans, for the perfect chocolate, so is romney the one, the one they are looking for? really? and as the republican candidates wrap up their time in iowa, they are all heading here to new hampshire for that final push for support before next tuesday's primary, but jon huntsman has been here all the while opting to bypass campaigning elsewhere.
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but don't think he didn't keep an eye on last night's caucus results. far from it. how does huntsman think the shockingly tight finish between romney and santorum tees things up for next week? let's watch. >> forgive me if i have a bit of a new hampshire accent. i have spent a little bit too much time here, but i've got to tell you coming out of iowa it was unbelievably ambiguous. i mean, to think that governor romney with his team on the ground for, what, six years now? basically did no better than he did last time, you've got three people basically sharing a tie, and a whole lot of people who were looking for an alternative, and now the marketplace, joe, is going to turn to new hampshire, and nobody here really cares about what happened in iowa. >> you know, of all the strange things in this strange republican race for president this year, jon huntsman trying to knock off mitt romney in new hampshire is the strangest of it all, and i still don't get what huntsman is doing in this race. finally, even though he only won
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by that narrow margin of eight votes, eight people's votes, in yesterday's iowa caucuses, mitt romney's first place finish seems like an improvement from his second place finnish 2008, but let's get to the numbers on this. last night romney came out with about 30,000 votes, about 25% of the total. four years ago romney scored about 30,000 votes, again about 25% of the total. got it? not exactly a big result for this season. hardly a home run for the team of romney. this could be a long road to the nomination for him. up next, last night's results from iowa exposed the fault line in the republican party between those who want their nominee to look and act like them and those who just want to beat president obama. when's the anybody but mitt romney going to get behind a single candidate? they don't want romney, and who are they going to agree on? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" from manchester, new hampshire, only on msnbc.
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if we have someone who can go out to western pennsylvania and ohio and michigan and indiana and wisconsin and iowa and missouri and appeal to the voters that have been left behind by a democratic that's right wants to make them dependant than valuing their work, we will win this election. those are the same people that president obama talked about who cling to their guns and their bibles. thank god they do. >> welcome back to "hardball." rick santorum's success in iowa
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has splintered a fractured republican group. there's a strong abm movement, anybody but mitt. when does this all shake out? joe mcquaid is the longtime very esteemed publisher of the "new hampshire union leader" and he has endorsed newt gingrich, and did so today with a big ad and former senator judd gregg is a romney surrogate and i want you two to discussion this matter. are you the establishment, senator, the old establishment that mcquaid and others are out to beat? is that what this is about? is this a grudge match? >> this is about barack obama and the fact that he's taken the country on a path -- >> you all agree on that. that's not the fight. >> no, of course, it is. it's who can best take on barack obama and make a definitional event here because the american people understand that this country is on the wrong course and what they want is somebody who can bring us back on to the right course and in my opinion mitt romney represents the type of person who can run against
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barack obama and barack obama can't make him issue the way he might other candidates. and you have to keep the focus on -- >> the fact that -- isn't the fact -- senator, you've made my point. the very fact that you can't call him a conservative is because he isn't one. joe mcquaid, is that it? >> i didn't say that. >> i'm a conservative. i think he's a conservative. >> name one conservative thing that mitt romney has ever done in his political career. >> created jobs. i mean -- >> no, conservative things. >> done the private sector job creation. >> that's a pretty good question. where is his credentials from in terms of policy, health care, tax policy, abortion policy? >> in my view, it's from running a state extremely liberal and ran it in a way that's solvent. >> he projected nothing with any conservative credentials in massachusetts. on the other hand, gingrich who paid five grand for that ad that wasn't another endorsement. >> gone on vacation again today, john. >> five grand. >> let's talk about the people because pat buchanan ran up
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here, and i watched that fight with dole. seems like things never change. the gritty sort of catholic pro-lifer against the establishment yankee. >> yeah. >> it does look like that from afar and looks like that when i look at you two guys, too. simplts let's be honest about it. it's pretty hard to call mitt romney an established yankee. >> he is an establishment mormon yankee. >> that's a new phrase. >> okay. look at these numbers. >> what this is about, though, is our party always has these intramural fights. it's like the democratic party, and as you go into a primary season, you expect that, but we'll come out of this primary season and we understand that as a party our person -- >> i do study your party and respect your traditions. it's whose turn is it? that's been the rule since i started watching the party. it's nixon turn again and again and the bush's turn and bob dole's turn. clearly romney's turn. >> it was mccain's turn. >> this is the first election i've been involved in, and i've been involved almost as long as joe. he's a lot older than i am, but
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since '76 when i supported reagan. >> not a conservative, by the way. >> i supported bush and supported bush. >> why is the party rejecting him if it's romney's turn? >> it's a very interesting situation. this is the first time we don't have an heir apparent in our party. >> romney. >> didn't start out as an heir apparent. >> sure he did. running -- >> running. >> he's perfect for you guys, old and a legacy. >> he's the person with the right message which is fiscal conservatism. >> here's newt gingrich on laura ingraham, a perfect launching spot for -- floating an anti-romney alliance with rick santorum. let's watch newt go at it here. >> 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. rick and i, you know, we have a 20-year friendship. we were both rebels. we both came into this business as reformers, and the thing that's interesting is if you
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take the votes that you add from perry and bachmann, you begin to see the size of the conservative vote compared to romney, but if you take santorum and perry and bachmann and gingrich, you get some sense of what a small minority romney really represents. >> a small minority. here he is in politico. by the way, this morning, politico reports on a planned meeting of conservatives to find a consensus conservative candidate, a group of movement conservatives has called an emergency meeting in texas for next weekend to find a consensus republican presidential hopeful. conservatives are concerned that a vote split between newt gingrich and rick santorum among base voters could enable mitt romney to win. senator gregg, they are worried about your crowd. they are worried about moderate republicans. >> well, to describe myself or mitt romney as moderate -- >> by their terms. >> -- is a reach. >> gary bauer thinks you're a moderate? >> you know, obviously within our party -- >> james dobson thinks you're a moderate? >> i don't know what james dobson thinks.
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i haven't read him recently, but the fact is our party's differences are not dramatic. they are not -- there's no chasm between these candidates. all these candidates believe in very fundamental fiscal conservative issues, fiscal conservative policy, and they also believe in socially conservative policy. some wear their social conservative policy on their sleeve and some don't and when i happen to think when you get into a general election it's good to have a candidate who can speak to the general electorate as well as conservatives. >> romney has had a health care plan that provides funding for abortion. that hardly subscribes to the beliefs of gary bauer and james dobson and others. >> and has planned parenthood getting one of the seats on that commission. >> how is that consistent with conservative thinking? romney is a conservative? >> romney is definitely a conservative. >> how did he get elected in massachusetts then? >> because he believed in fiscal responsibility, and you've got a blue collar electorate in massachusetts which often turns to conservatives who believe in fiscal responsibility. reagan ran fairly well in
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massachusetts, if you'll recall. >> yes, he did. >> because he believed in blue collar ideas which are basically fiscal conservatism. >> chris, we have a chat running in sunday's paper with the positions of all the candidates on -- on an awful lot of these issues, and i was struck by the fact that on paper there's no difference between and among candidates. they all say the same things, but i think you've got to go to the record, again, what has romney done that's really conservative versus what gingrich has done that is really conservative? >> would you recommend that your candidate gingrich go after governor romney hammer and tongue this saturday night on the abc debate and nbc debate, go after him with everything he can do? >> indeed. >> how could he sell papers if he doesn't? >> the problem is the spin on that from a lot of media is going to be the hateful, vengeful gingrich, the bitter -- >> yeah, because that's true. >> no, i don't think it's true at all. >> is it possible that gingrich
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can help santorum win up here by going at romney and bleeding him while the votes don't come back to -- to gingrich's advantage but go over to santorum? it happens a lot. >> this piece with laura ingraham, if she asked the same question of santorum, he'd be saying the same thing. oh, yeah, i can get together with newt, and newt saying i can get together with rick. i don't think they will get together. one wants the other to get out of way and i think new hampshire will shake that out. >> i think newspaper newspaper will shake it out, too, as it traditionally has. but have you to remember at the end of the day all the republicans are going to get together because all the republicans are concerned about the path of where we're headed to which is a path towards european welfare social type of governance and basically we don't want that. >> european social welfare type government. >> social welfare state. >> a very accurate phrase. >> i hear it now, as opposed to the austrian theory of what's his name. thank you. >> of ron paul. >> the austrian method. love you guys with these references. senator judd, a good guy, retired from politics, as you can tell. joe mcquaid, a man who knows his enemies.
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up next, what does the white house and team obama think about this republican fight? this is going to be fascinating with the inside guys fighting -- they are not actually socialists. actually, senator -- >> i didn't say socialists. >> social welfare state. >> i know what they think you think. this is "hardball" from the armory in manchester, new hampshire. back in a minute. ♪ [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right.
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for mitt romney, it's a for mitt romney, it's a really tough situation for him because when is a quote, unquote win a loss? when you spent six years and more than $4 million running for the second time trying to win the state of iowa and you spent the most and only beat the person who spent the least by
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eight votes, that -- that demonstrates just how little support there is on the republican side and little enthusiasm there is for mitt romney's candidacy, and he's limping into new hampshire, and i think he's really damaged. >> we're back. that was of course the democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman-schultz, from florida, earlier this morning on fox news giving the democratic spin if you will on mitt romney's showing last night. behind the scenes, team obama may have preferred someone with money like rick perry or more established candidate like newt gingrich to emerge as the anti-romney. joan walsh is the editor at large at salon.com and david corn an msnbc political analyst and d.c. bureau chief for "mother jones." our producers have thought this through ahead of me. this is fantastic thinking on their part. suppose romney is endangered right now, he's scared. he sees the 25% not getting bigger than 26, even nationwide. it's not growing. he's not catching on among the
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republicans. in order to catch on and beat the people leading the forces against him, santorum and gingrich and the rest of them, and perry, too, he will sort of have to become one of them. move to the right, say i'm one of you. me, too, those guys. if he does that, he puts himself into a boxed canyon where the democrats can close the traps on him, say oh, yeah, you right wing s.o.b., we've shown who you really are, we're going to nail you in november. is it that sophisticated as our producers are? >> no one is as sophisticated as your producers are. the white house is pretty smart. i'm sure that's what they were thinking and i'm sure they were eating popcorn and drinking beer last night and saying this is going to be fun. santorum is not the guy with the most money. you have guys with money in the race aiming at mitt romney and want to bloody mitt rromney. that angry newt gingrich we saw last night, man, that was kind of scary. i'm glad he's not coming after me. he's still in it. >> come on, you're glad he's on
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your side. you're glad he's going at the other guy, are you? >> yes. certainly. you know, so he's still in there. perry apparently is still in there. that was kind of a surprise. santorum is a guy who's going to do better in new hampshire than people think. and obama still has these people throwing punches at one another and not at him. this was a great night for the white house. >> well, this drive -- david, will this drive romney to the right where you guys, i think the people who are supporting the president, and i certainly like him, are going to get him in the corner of the right and say, yeah, we always knew you were a right winger because you joined that crowd when you had to, you're not to be trusted. >> listen, last night it looked like mitt romney is a prisoner in groundhog day. four years after the last election, he has the same number of votes. he's not getting any steam. he's stalled at the same point we've been talking about, chris, for six months now, between 20% and 25%. he's not looking like a strong candidate.
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it doesn't matter that much who the non-romney candidate at any given time. now it's rick santorum. maybe he'll give him a run for new hampshire. maybe not. with rick perry staying in, he has four or five people in the debates, they're going to come up this weekend and take pot shots at him. it seems to be newt gingrich's mission in life now to prove, to prove beyond doubt that mitt romney is not a conservative republican. how does mitt romney respond to that? exactly the way you just described it, your producers described. he's going to have to come out there and act more right than he ever was and ever will be and ever was. >> you know, i think there's a couple ways they can pull him to the right, joan and david. he's resisted saying a couple of the far right battle cries. he's refused so far, i believe, i may be wrong on this, to call president obama a socialist. he won't play that game. he won't say, i'm a tea party guy. he will say certain subtle things around it but won't go
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completely whack job. do you think they can get him to do that, as they pose a greater threat to him in south carolina and across the country? >> yeah, i think he'll get nastier toward the president. i think you're already seeing that. he started out his speech last night saying he's a nice guy and rick santorum is a nice guy then it changed over time. i think the more he's cornered, the more he'll say that. despite what they're trying to say about planned parenthood, he's sold out planned parenthood and said he wants to defund them as bad as anybody else. he's going to keep sliding that way. that's going to make him very ugly in the general election. >> i mean, the problem, chris, is that nobody believes what mitt romney has to say when it comes to his ideological credentials which puts a burden on him to perhaps go further than he would otherwise if indeed he feels threatened which seems to be the case at this time.
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>> thank you, david corn and joan walsh. when we return, let me finish with the importance of new hampshire. let me finish tonight with lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪ ♪ i suggest you take a tip from my bro ♪ ♪ and download the app that lets you know ♪ ♪ at free-credit-score-dot-com now let's go. ♪ vo: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™.
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let me finish tonight with this. we're back in new england. for me it's a great place to pick a president. it's cold this time of year, really cold up here in new hampshire, a place where you have to be practical simply to
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live. if you don't prepare for winter, you don't survive long. if you don't have money coming in the door, you don't keep the cold out. shelter has meaning up here. that's a good character to look for in voters. do they have their feet on the ground? do they have a firm grip on what it takes it make a living? a good enough one to keep your family warm when december turns to january, and the long gray winter checks in, when heating oil makes the difference between warmth and survival and freezing to death. again, it concentrates the minds. it makes for a common sense voting habit. it makes for picking a presidential candidate who will be good for your own economic wellbeing, not just the comfort, but the economic survival of your family. new englanders have something else that concentrates their mind, history. you could call yourself a new englander and now about bunker hill and lexington and concord and paul revere. you can't know here and not know about the sons of liberty. and the battle that started this country. so look to new england, to new
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hampshire voters to make a sound decision. by next tuesday, they'll have met romney more than once. they'll have a firm grip on santorum. and the irish, italian, french canadians and yankees of this part of the country will do their duty. what they do will make sense to them and seem like good sense to the rest of the country. it very often does. that's why new hampshire has won this job of holding the first primary. it's done it in the old-fashioned way. it's earned it. this is where ike won, where jack kennedy won, where ronald reagan won, it's where eugene mccarthy upset lyndon johnson and warned the country about vietnam. it's where good things happen. i'm really happy to be here and hope you share the experience between now and next tuesday night. i really think things are going to happen up here. santorum, gingrich and romney are going to go at it. what comes out will be something far bigg just watch

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