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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 6, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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show -- i will be on the "today" show monday morning. hope you'll tune in monday morning to the "today" show and also martin bashir and rachel maddow that night. hope you have a wonderful, wonderful weekend and let us enjoy 2012, because if nothing else, anger is very 2011. that does it for me. i am dylan ratigan and ha "hardball" is up right now. mitt's it. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in manchester, new hampshire, four days before the first in the country primary. leading off tonight, chasing mitt. we know mitt romney's extremely hard to beat here in new hampshire, but now a new poll shows my s mitt with a strong ln south carolina as well. rick santorum hopes to be the guy to stop him, but santorum is learning that old ef hutton
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motto holds for presidential candidates too. when front-runners talk, people listen. and santorum is having a sticky time scoring points after his first-place tie in iowa. newt takes on mitt. in just a few weeks, newt gingrich has gone from undisputed front-runner to also ran. and he has mitt romney and his stealth ad campaign to thank for that. i sat down with newt last night after the program and he did not hold back. >> he ought to take those ads home and show them to his grandsons and said, grandpa did this, what do you think about this kind of trash on television? >> newt vows to be the last man in the fight with mitt. plus, politico called it mitt's weekend from hell. the big debate weekend coming up with everyone lacking down -- looking to take down romney. "meet the press" anchor and debate host david gregory looks ahead to what could be a make-or-break battle this sunday. and speaking of republican debates, there was one today, a phony funny or die debate on yahoo!. in fact, sometimes satire is better than the real thing. we'll check it out later in the
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show. finally, let me finish tonight with the fight to fight obama and where it's headed now. we start with chasing mitt romney. howard fineman, msnbc political analyst, and "the huffington post" media group editorial director, and the great joe klein. he's a columnist for "time" magazine. because he is the great, as you are, howard. let's take a look at these poll numbers. basically, the poll numbers out, let's take a look at the latest poll numbers out of both south carolina -- well, south carolina, let's start with that. mitt romney has jumped into a first down there with a dominant lead at 37%. that's up 17 points from early december. rick santorum also got a huge boost. he's in second place now down there with 19, followed very closely by newt gingrich in third. so we have that one. we also have the ney remains in lead at 40% in new hampshire. he's followed by ron paul at 17. rick santorum is in double digits at 11, and moving up, but slowly. the latest national gallup tracking poll out today, mitt romney leads nationally at 29,
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but followed by rick santorum with 21. so joe klein, it looks like rick santorum is slowly edging up to be the number one challenger to romney. >> the south carolina number is really interesting. i mean, i don't want to break any news here, but this new hampshire primary isn't all that interesting this time. you know, the next really big deal is south carolina. except for the two bdebates her this weekend, i might add. >> doesn't what happens this weekend set up what happens on tuesday? it's dynamic. >> but in the past, you could see the dynamic asserting itself in the week between iowa and new hampshire. i don't see all that much happening out here and you can see that in the polls. >> it seems like such a short chasm between the two. i remember that ronald reagan had 80 days to make up what he lost. >> this is one week. one is, as joe says, the debates. everything's kind of stalled, waiting for the weekend --
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>> this saturday night -- >> from the weekend from heck, as mitt romney would call it. the other reason is rick santorum, who should be coming on like gangbusters, should be reaching up toward mitt romney. he's had a difficult day in the past. and even though he raised a lot of money, he's having problems. for example, it turns out that rick santorum can't buy any tv time here in new hampshire. his campaign said that all of the tv time, for every tv station, and i assume that's boston as well as new hampshire, has already been taken. it's a small detail, but it's an important one that shows the difficulties he has catching up with the slow moving, not all that popular, but still juggernaut-like mitt romney campaign. >> and in the free media that he's getting -- >> let's talk about that. let's look at the free media. yesterday rick santorum got into a heated back and forth with a college student about gay marriage. no surprise there, given his very conservative position. let's watch parr part of tt of
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exchange. >> how about the idea that all men are created equal and, like, the rights to happiness and liberty? >> okay. so are we saying that everyone should have the right to marry? >> yes! >> yes! >> okay. so anyone can marry anybody else. >> yes! >> yeah! >> so anybody can marry anybody else. so anybody can marry several people. >> no! >> stop, no, this is not participatory. we're not going to do this. we're going to have a civil discussion or we're going to move on to another question. okay. thank you. >> well, you might have expected that, howard, every time you get into a younger generation, they're going to have a fight. you can generally expect with rick santorum. he's very much for traditional marriage, as he would put it, against any kind of same sex. in fact, against the lawrence case decision about sodomy, he's basically for -- he said the it would be fine with him,
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constitutionally, to outlaw birth control. obviously, he's going to have a -- >> yeah, this is a clash. the thing that rick santorum is most passionate about are these issues. >> family. >> birth control, family, contraception, gay marriage, especially. he walks into a meeting of college kids from all over new england, who are democrats, republicans, and independents, and that is oil and water and the result, you saw. >> and that's not what he wants to talk about. >> that's right. if he talks about that, he's got no shot here. >> i was there yesterday, and it was really remarkable. because he tried to engage these kids in a suecratic dialogue, a phony suecratic dialogue, and during the course of this entire hour he spent with him, he never mentioned his manufacturing plan or his economic policy -- >> or his grandfather. >> or his grandfather with the big hands. >> but he invites it, though, because this is -- i've covered a million of his events. this is what he cares most passionately about. and of course, they fed right into it by asking him about it. >> it's almost like frank
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sinatra. the guy comes in the room, the kids say, do you want to fight about marriage? fine, good, let's talk about it. and as you said, suecratic message, he says, let me give you another case. >> he does it at events, asking questions of the crowd. he asks them if they know the answer to questions. >> it's like bidding at bridge. >> and some young person who's not going to engage in a one-on-one discussion, they'll challenge him as a candidate. >> here's what a professional politician would do. he would say, look, my position on gay marriage comes from my church, i adhere to it, let's talk about manufacturing. >> i think we concluded that he does remind us of the social studies teacher in high school who was really interesting, wanted to engage the kids, until he sort of went off the deep end into something that was clearly an obsession of his. and that's the way it is with santorum. you know, all those teachers.
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and him, it's abortion, gay marriage, and birth control. >> but in all fairness, you can't pick your audience. >> go ahead. >> but these had the final twist on that. he said he was a social studies teacher at a jesuit high school. >> by the way, i don't have -- in college they like to argue. let me ask you about this whole question. i went out to the gingrich event last night before i got the interview with him late last night. you can't pick your audience. the first person up wanted to talk about mia p.o.w.s, and woman said, don't give me that, i'm going to look it up and look into it. the next person said, everybody here going's to be dead in ten years, let's talk about the younger crowd. they want real answers. >> i love new hampshire. i love it. >> they don't want quickies. >> it's not midwest like iowa. here they're in your face. that's the style. >> let's go back to the strategic problem for santorum. he wants to be number two. he wants to be avis and the other guy is hertz. he wants to be, we try harder. how do you get into that
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position? how do you do it if you're him, between here and south carolina? >> he's got to beat gingrich. he's got to get gingrich out of there somehow. >> how do you do it in terms of audience and free media that we're talk about. >> i don't know how he does it at this point. >> give him some help. throw him a line. >> i think he has to have a very concise message, he has to talk about his grandfather, he has to mention that he happens to be a roman catholic in a state with a lot of them, and he has to talk about manufacturing policy in a state where a lot of manufacturing jobs have been lost. >> chris, he made progress as far as he did in iowa by being really earnest and almost long winded with his answers on everything. that's iowa. because you have the house party of house parties and house parties. here in new hampshire, it's a little different. he's got to focus his message better than he has so far. he's got to be concise, stick to it, and not think he's going to get points for -- >> he had a question earlier about health care, where a woman had a child who had cancer, and he was just so tough on his free market solution here -- here it
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is. he rejected in idea of universal health care, noting that people make poor decisions with respect to their health. well, today at a campaign stop, he was confronted by a mother of a cancer survivor. let's watch part of their exchange. >> i'm the mother of a cancer survivor, my son, and your comments that people don't make the right choices, i made the right choices when i was pregnant with him, did everything right, he was 5 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. why do you think it's okay for him to possibly be denied health care insurance or have to pay a fee that he won't be able to afford? >> that's not how insurance works. insurance works when people who are higher risk end up having to pay more, as you say. you say in the case of your son, absolutely, he did nothing wrong. obviously, there are a lot of other people that did a lot of things that increased their health risk that did do things wrong. >> this is where a candidate gets in trouble. they sort of make it an attitude towards bad health.
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everybody smokes and drinks too much. some people have bad health because of bad breaks. >> if you want to talk about changing the health care in the abstract, don't do it when being asked a question by the mother of a cancer survivor. that's not the time to do it. and santorum, sometimes like the other candidates, escalates everything to the theoretical at a time when he should be talking to the person. >> he likes to be a teacher. and he's a truth teller. whatever you think of rick santorum, he gives you rick santorum. he is not mitt romney! >> but the problem is that bad luck isn't ideologically convenient for republicans. >> no. this time he needs to make up ground and he's not making it up this day. thank you, howard fineman. thank you, joe klein. coming up, my interview with newt gingrich. he's taken on mitt romney and it's getting personal. you're watching "hardball" from manchester, just four days before the new hampshire primary. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery?
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welcome back to "hardball." newt gingrich is campaigning hard in new hampshire, following a dramatic fall in the polls, due in large part to a barrage of negative ads run by a pro-romney super pac called restore our future. i caught up with the former speaker in meredith, new hampshire, late last night and i got his criticism of his two chief rivals now, mitt romney and rick santorum. here with me to discuss my interview is john heilemann, national affairs editor for "new york" magazine and an msnbc analyst. we begin, john, with those nasty ads from team romney. and i asked gingrich about the tone of his republican campaign so far. let's listen. >> let me ask you about -- you made some comments about the quality of the campaign. the tone of the campaign, and the tone of the administration that will follow it. you talked about, you compared, i think, what was going on now from the romney campaign with what happened in 2004 with the swift voting of john kerry and
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how that sort of polluted the water, if you will, keeping the metaphor, for what happened in the second bush term. he couldn't get things done like privatization. >> that's right. one of the reasons i began drifting towards running was a paper i wrote in the summer of '04, which said that on 53 issues, john kerry was in the minority by an average of 77-17. that he was to the left of ted kennedy. you could run a clean, straight choice campaign of big issues, and they would have won by a margin like nixon did mcgovern or you know, reagan, mondale. they couldn't break lose. for some reason, they were committed to trying to take on kerry personally. when you do this, when you run negative ads that are personal, you may break the other guy, but you also break yourself. >> and divide the country. >> you divide the country. >> let me ask you about this campaign. i know you want to go positive, but the nature of this campaign, and what was done against you in iowa, let's talk about it. we all watched it. you couldn't turn on a tv set without hearing a negative on you, and they were about you personally, and they were
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written by somebody who did the ad copy, but they were never signed by anybody. > >> that's right. >> there was no name on it, that said, i paid for this ad, paid for by mitt romney. >> that's right. and i took on mitt romney head-on. those were his staff from the last campaign with his millionaire friends paying for it. those were his ads. he just didn't have the guts to admit it. >> he did come out saying, i could have made it less negative, but i didn't. >> here's my answer. he has grandchildren. he ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren. he ought to take those ads home and show them to his grandson and say, grandpa did this. what do you think about this kind of trash on television? wh what do you think of someone being beaten up like this on television? we should run campaigns worthy of our best, not campaigns that demean us to a worse. >> pretty tough. he's accusing the other candidate of trashing another
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person. he said he's swift voting, basically him. he's accusing him of being, in fact, he went after w. to get him. so he nailed w. and his entire republican campaign in '04 to trash romney. >> you know, i am always a little bit hesitant, you know, when we do political analysis to talk about, well, it's personal, so-and-so doesn't like -- i mean, those things exist, but usually there's a greater strategic aim. man, everything newt gingrich is doing right now seems -- >> going after romney. >> seems very personal. and you know, he went from, i think, believing at the beginning of december, he said this, but i think he actually believed it, that he was going to be the republican nominee. and he did. i was in iowa for a lot of december. and it was a carpet bombing that he experienced. and i think he thinks mitt romney is a person without honor. i also think that whenever you see someone saying i will run a relentlessly positive campaign, as gingrich did, it usually means they're broke and they don't have a choice in the manner. >> you're being tough, but i think that's true. you're saying you think he would
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have run a carpet bombing campaign against the other guy. >> i think he would have fought back and been able to respond in a more effective way than he did if he had some money. he didn't really get the surge of cash until after he had the surge in the polls, and by then, it was too late to convert that -- >> it's like nixon coming in his third or fourth campaign and saying, there's a new nixon. it's newt coming in and saying, i'm not going to be a dirtball guy this time. this time i'm going to do it clean. then mr. pure, mr. nice, he's killing him with trash ads, all night long, all day long. meanwhile, not getting his fingers dirty. wouldn't you get mad? >> i would. i would be furious. and when i saw romney on "morning joe" saying, well, we can't tell them to stop, because we'd go to jail for that, it was ludicrous. of course, it's true -- >> on another occasion, he said he could have told them to stop. >> of course it's true you can't coordinate, but there's nothing in the law that -- >> well, as the rumor mill would have said, more of the raw seat of the hurricane. here's newt again in his own
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description of his own campaign. he's doing some trashing here right in this interview. and his take on why the tea party can't stand romney. let's watch him, again. >> well, what was it like sitting in that hotel room, watching these ads? >> i didn't do much of that. i was out campaigning. >> but you heard about them? >> i knew about them, i saw some of them. look, the reason you're now seeing me relentless comparing a massachusetts moderate to reagan conservative is the ad of me on "saturday night live" was one where romney's people questioned if i was a conservative, and i thought to myself, let me get this straight. this is a guy who didn't support reagan in the '80s, who said in '94, he didn't want to go back to the reagan policies, who voted for paul sangus in '92, who appointed liberal judges, has tax-paid abortions, puts planned parenthood into romney care and he's questioning whether i'm a conservative. >> are you running a negative campaign right now? >> no. >> you just went through a list of the tyrannies of the left here, basically, as you see
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them, and you're laughing, but you say you're running a positive campaign. >> well, no, i'm running -- look, i'm running a campaign of contrast on public policy, which i would not have run if romney had been willing to run -- >> if he'd run a campaign of policy ideas, i'd have stuck with -- by the way, i would have beaten him. >> you call him a "saturday night live" joke. >> well, that ad was a "saturday night live" joke. for a massachusetts moderate to put out an ad questioning my credentials as a conservative is the kind of chutzpah that you really don't quite expect to find in someone like romney. i mean. >> let's talk about tampa. i have always thought watching this thing from the other side, watching it from the middle sometimes, and sometimes sympathetically, i look at this tea party phenomenon, which is a real phenomenon. it may be wearing itself, i don't know, here we are today. how do these people and their representatives go down to tampa, come the end of this summer, when it's sweltering down there. always like to get the atmospherics. it's hot, the humidity's 105, and they sit around and they cheer mitt romney. how does that work?
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>> they don't. he's not going to be the nominee. >> could it -- could it work if he were the nominee? >> they would never cheer him. why would you cheer someone -- if you are a tea party person, why would you cheer somebody who raised taxes, created the prototype of obama care, appointed liberal judges to appease the democrats. that's his language, not mine. and put in tax-paid abortions, took care of planned parenthood. i mean, here's an easy question for you guys. name one conservative accomplishment in public policy. >> planned parenthood on his rap sheet. he's hitting them wefrg he's got now. so where are we going here? >> welcome to new hampshire and south carolina, chris. >> well, look at the debates. i'm prepping him. i'm not saying this is what he's going to do sunday night and saturday morning, but you've got to believe that newt's ready, loaded to bear to go after romney tomorrow night and sunday
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morning. >> the relentlessly positive campaign is over. a lot of things they hit newt on, he says, i'm just being factual. they hit newt on taking money. that's a factual claim. there is fodder for him. bob shrum, our friend, wrote a column the other day suggesting what newt should say to mitt romney. >> i think he's ready. >> and going through and saying, look, you have pictures of mitt romney with ted kennedy, signing the massachusetts health care law. pictures of romney with ted kennedy signing no child left behind. so saying, you're a ted kennedy republican. >> so i want to bring this back when we come back in a minute. is it what newt's doing serving up what the republicans can do against him later in the year and conservatives the run third party against him. john heilemann, stay with us. more newt coming up. by the way, stick around, because in a couple minutes,
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you're going to see what newt's probably going to use over the weekend in these big debates. he's waging a two-front war by the way, right now. he's got to get romney, but before he gets romney, he's got to get past santorum. when we come back, you'll see him hitting in both directions. this is like world war ii fighting a two-fight war, and newt's fighting it. back to the armory in new hampshire in one minute. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." we're back with john heilemann and more of the interview we did with newt gingrich last night. gingrich's chief rival now for second place is rick santorum, of course, to go up against romney. but before he can go after romney, of course, one on one, he's got to beat that other guy, rick santorum. so let's look at the criticism coming up right now of rick santorum. it's in the interview. let's watch. you have a lot of common interests now with santorum. in fact, i don't think you dislike him in any way. i don't think there's any personal problem.
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you call him now your junior partner. okay, well, that's a knock. you have to hit him a little. >> i was speaker -- >> how are you going to be the alternative to romney unless you check him out of the fight wm. >> i think it will happen by attrition? i think people are going to look and make a judgment over the next few months. maybe i won't be the judgment. my hunch sis i will be. we have a national campaign, we're organized to compete in a lot more places. i wasn't right to knock rick, he's a good guy. i was the speaker of the house. she was a senator who wasn't in leadership at that point. he did very significant things. he was the key to passing welfare reform, i scheduled it three times. >> you got clinton re-elected. >> well, i created an opportunity for bill clinton to sell out to the left. it was a wonderful moment. >> well, that's the strange part of the whole thing of gingrich. the one good part of his record, i would argue, from a centrist or progressive perspective, is that during the late '90s, he and clinton really did together as they matched with its reduced the federal deficit to zero, created a surplus.
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you can argue what you want, but they did get health care reform through. it worked. that sort of coming together of two great minds, good and bad, whatever you want to call them, it worked. i tried to get him to talk about it. he said, santorum doesn't get a piece of that. he's only my junior partner. >> he didn't quite say that. he said santorum wasn't important in passing health care reform. it's true. he was a freshman senator and newt gingrich was the speaker of the house. i don't think anyone would say that just the fact that santorum has been in the senate made him senior to gingrich. it's a fair comment, also a little bit of a ding, a little bit of a shot, but it's based in reality. he gave santorum a little bit of credit. but the other day, gingrich was saying quite openly that he was ready to make common cause with santorum if he had to. i think the whole key is what happens here in new hampshire. if newt gingrich right now finishes where he is at in the polls, which is in single digits, and rick santorum finishes up over 20, the question will be at that moment, does gingrich decide to lay down his arms and get behind santorum
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in south carolina, because the two of them together right now are even with romney, their vote shares in south carolina. >> and if you through in perry, they're ahead. more of the interview with gingrich. here he is, let's listen to his somewhat optimistic view of things. let's listen to newt. jimmy carter's another one where he ran against four liberals back in 1976 and won the nomination, but was never really the hero of the party. same thing. and romney, look, he's running against a number of conservatives, yourself, santorum, rick perry, different kind of conservatives. he's splitting the conservative vote. 75% of your party and all the polling says they want a conservative, not mitt romney. but you're dividing that up the same way the liberals -- >> but, look, as a real practice technici practitioner of this game, this is the yeerd where you have the longest period of proportional reputation, and therefore he's never going to give more than 25 or 30% of the delegates until april. by april, i think it's going to be gingrich versus romney.
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and at that point, he's going to be down -- he's going to lose. >> so you can deny him majorities up until then? >> i don't think he'll ever get near a majority. >> none of these primaries? >> no. >> what do you think he'll get up here? >> well, he was at 41 this afternoon? i think he'll be very lucky if he's at 41. >> what is it about your party that slid phys around the 41 for romney? why does the party reject them? >> they all know who he is, he just hopes they don't. he goes around saying, i'm really conservative. >> how does the tea party who you're with tonight, how do they know he'll never go to a tea party meeting. maybe a class difference. >> that's why he's not going to get their vote. >> you said you're up against an amateur conservative and an amateurer moderate. who are these people? do you want to put the names --
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the amateur conservative is -- rick santorum? >> when you're talking about trying to create a national majority? >> he's an amateur. who are you talking about when you're talking about amateur conservative, rick santorum. and the amateur moderate, just to nail it down is -- >> mitt romney. >> you'll be the one to make the last stand against romney? >> i think so. >> let me give you the latest polling, just came up here in manchester. it's got romney moving up to 44%. getting close to 50 up here, at least, in a very favorable state to him. ron paul in second place at 20%. and santorum and gingrich still stuck in single digits at 8 points each. that's not a good picture for the challengers. >> it's not. and i will say it again, what we were talking about a second ago, this has been the one state that's been the exception for romney, for a lot of different reasons, where he was able to break through that 25% ceiling that we always talking about, but today in the south carolina poll, it has romney at 37. and if he starts building that out from state by state, if he does well in south carolina, does that in florida.
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i think the ceiling may disappear, or you'll start to see romney rise above it. >> thank you very much, john heilemann, a real pro. up next, it won't just be newt going for romney this weekend. there are two debates, by the way, including sunday's on "meet the press." and everyone's going after mitt. look at the numbers up here. they've got to go after him. david gregory's going to join us in just a minute. and we'll be at barnes & noble this weekend in manchester this sunday. they'll have a signing ceremony for me -- actually, it's a book signing, not a signing ceremony -- for my book "jack kennedy: elusive hero," on top of t"the new york times" best seller list for nine weeks now. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self?
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i'm amanda drury with your cnbc market wrap. the dow ended down 55 points today. the s&p lost 3 points. the nasdaq slightly higher with a gain of 4. the good news was the unexpected jobs report. the economy added 200,000 jobs last month. that helped push the unemployment rate lower to 8.5%, a near three-year low. it was not, however, enough to move stocks higher as investors were worried that some of the gains were just seasonal hires. meanwhile, best buy finishing higher today while sales fell 1.2% last month. the company reaffirmed its earnings outlook that sent the stock up by 3%. netflix shares jumped nearly 9% and they're up more than 20% this week. investors betting the company will be the target of a takeover. while many of us are enjoying the mild winter, it is taking a real bite out of business for ski resorts. the lack of snow means fewer skiers are hitting the slopes. the vail resort says visits are down more than 15%. that's it from cnbc, first in
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business worldwide. have a great weekend, folks. i'm going to hand you back to "hardball." he not only wasted government money, he made it more difficult for entrepreneurs and innovators to come up with new ideas in the future. this president doesn't understand how this economy works. it's time to get a president who does. >> well, that's the heart of it, by the way. welcome to "hardball." by the way, that's mitt romney's strongest argument, maybe his main argument for the presidency, is that he knows the economy and he can get it around. today's jobs numbers show the economy moving in the right direction. the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5%. it's the lowest level since the spring of 2009. employers added 200,000 jobs in the month of december. today, president obama acknowledged the progress while noting there are a lot of people still hurting. >> the american people, i think,
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rightly understand that there are still a lot of struggles that people are going through out there. a lot of families are still having a tough time, a lot of small businesses are still having a tough time, but we're starting to rebound. we're moving in the right direction. we have made real progress. now's not the time to stop. >> well, for a candidate like romney, who's made business experience his calling card, how does improving an economy affect the race? david gregory is moderator of meet the press and this sunday morning will moderate the big republican presidential candidate's debate in concord, new hampshire. and susan page is washington bureau chief for "usa today," which is at our door each morning, i must say. by the way, david, you can't escape "usa today" when you travel. anyway, this chart we're looking at shows the huge jobs mess president obama actually inherited from george w. bush. the economy was hemorrhaging the jobs. the jobs in red are losing jobs, and obama had to climb out of that trough. today's report has 200,000 jobs added this past the december, as i said. look at how the stock market has
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performed during that same time period, going up, up, up, from a low of 6,500 and the dow way up to now well over 12,000. by the way, anybody who's retire ordinary looking a ti knows wha talking about. surprising progress. and david, this is the question. the romney approach is i've got the tool kit, i've got the know-h know-how. let me get at that car, under the hood, and i'm going to fix it. if these numbers continue to progress, not just with the market and the dow, if these numbers continue to go down, how does he campaign in a general election? >> i think get et s a lot harde. i think it becomes a question of credit. can the president only get the blame and none of the credit. can this president combine a positive trend line in this economy by getting big business off the sideline. has he lost them? are they lost to the republican? or can he get them to start committing some of their capital. >> the $2 trillion they're sitting on. >> they're sitting on.
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if we get to the fall of this year, how different could the economy look. >> but you're also asking a very interesting strategic question. are there some people on the sideline who is want to stay there until they get a more pro-market president. >> right. and you're going to get some of that argument from the republicans who say, look, you're not going to get him off the sideline, because they don't know what president obama will do in a second term on regulation. he's already done health care. but on some of these other pieces that they just don't know about. >> let's look ahead to the debates this weekend, including the one david's going to be holding on sunday on "meet the press". it looks like newt gingrich's showing his teeth. he's basically said where he's headed. i'm going after him on taxpayer-paid abortions up in massachusetts, on planned parenthood, the red meat of the republican party. >> and this is newt gingrich's best form. he's really excelled in the debates. his whole candidacy was launched by his performance in the debates. and it sounded in his interview that he's going straight after mitt romney, although in some ways he ought to be going after rick santorum.
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because we have a race for number two in the new hampshire primary. if he doesn't -- if newt gingrich trailed santorum by a significant margin here as he did in iowa, what's his argument for staying in in south carolina and dividing that part of the electorate, taehe anti-mitt romy electorate. >> how are you going to do this? you have to moderate this. he's got to fight two-fight war. >> he is, but newt gingrich is saying that rick santorum is the junior partner. someone's got to slow romney down. if romney is the real front-runner, he's got to demonstrate that he can win big, but he can do it in this state, potentially. >> who's in the debate on sunday, which of the players? >> everybody. >> perry's out or in? >> he's in. >> he's also going to be taking shots? >> he is, and going after santorum. this is really the factor here. is that romney is still up against a splintered field. that certainly is to his benefit. >> what's interesting is to watch the mathematics.
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anybody can watch at how this is developing. looking down at south carolina, you can see romney pick up speed, in the high 30s now. but even in the high 30s, there's three guys, santorum, gingrich, and perry, whose total vote is way over the other guys. there's still all of that wealth of conservative votes. and i guess the question is, at what point is that magic moment in this fight where the conservatives say, we're losing this because we're divided? >> i think that point comes after new hampshire. i think this field is set for tuesday. at that point, i think there will be an assessment. we saw on msnbc earlier today that richard land from the southern baptist said that there would be a movement to try to consolidate behind a real social conservative. >> social conservative. >> behind a sober conservative, behind someone that he would feel comfortable, which means someone who would not be mitt romney, but be prepared -- >> isn't the funny thing, they have to choose among two catholics, the idea of a social conservative didn't used to include that. that's the question. i want to ask you about this debate again on sunday morning. ron paul, the odd man out. we were talking about it before. it seems to me the candidates
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agree on one thing. they don't think paul's one of them. the other candidates. >> they don't. and i think it's a real question as to whether, you know, if they were backed into a corner whether they could really support him. i mean, they recognize his danger and his danger is newcomers to the process, his danger is money and organization. he was taking on rick santorum today in an interview. >> he just raised, what, $9 million or something? some chunk of money. >> it's unbelievable. it's also his strength among independents. what does that do? if you're huntsman, for instance, and you want to make some noise in the state, you're behind an independent, behind ron paul, that's very tough. >> sunday morning. >> i'll be there. >> i've got a thank you for this thing right here, for this -- sunday, it's "meet the press." i'm very grateful. >> not "meet the press," but thereafter, there'll be an hour-and-a-half of well-moderated discussion. by sunday, noon, you will be an expert on what's going on.
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>> i'm not sure to tell them to watch nbc or msnbc. just leave the dial where it is. by the way, susan page, thank you. coming up, there will be a republican debate this morning, by the way. kind of. it was satire. we'll show you a little fun right now for friday night. this was an amazing satire, very well done. we're in new hampshire, four days before the primary. we'll be right back with some fun. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina, change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average.
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i[ male announcer ] what makea car insurance company?yot a talking animal? a talking character? a talking animal character? how fancy their commercials are, maybe? or how many there are? well what about when a company's customers do the talking? esurance customers are saying stuff like "awesome" and "rockin'." and they aren't even paid to. fancy that. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. we're back. it's often said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but that may not be the case when it comes to political satire. early this morning, yahoo! news and comedians at funny or die teamed up for a mock debate
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among the republican candidates. take a look at this clip of the candidates, that's the satiric candidates, being introduced. >> the yahoo! news funny or die gop presidential online internet cyberdebate. starring governor rick perry. former speaker newt gingrich. land's end model, mitt romney. chinese food enthusiast, jon huntsman. child collector, michele bachmann. noted homophobe, rick santorum. leprechaun king, ron paul. the real battle for the gop nomination starts here. >> well, joining us now is jennifer donohue, a fellow at the eisenhower institute and a "huffington post" contributor and msnbc political analyst david corn of mother jones. let's watch right now the candidates on why they want to be president. some of this is quite good. >> why would i make a good president? it's a very good question. but, actually, am i out of time?
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it's okay with me if i am. >> i owe a you've spoken, loud clear. i get it. there's no "i" in iowa. >> i would like to say something for 20 seconds. this is this is stupid. >> i could say i could good at execution, because people like that, or gays give me the heebie-jeebies, but santorum has the homophobic vote. i just don't want to make another mistake. >> i love my dad, he's always been there, or giving me millions when my campaign runs out of fund. >> the internet is -- gosh, it's a dumping ground for gay pornography, during some of nigh own comprehensive research. i found myself lost for hours at a time. >> okay. >> the things you see. >> they said they want smaller government, i want even smaller. look how small i am. how much government do you think i need? >> some brutal stuff, by the way, there about michele bachmann and her husband marcus that's really -- you can watch
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that yourself. i'm thinking the preconceptions we have about the candidates are so strong. we all know about rick perry being, what? >> oops, i don't know what to say. >> that's why he's at 5%. we all know that rick santorum's got a problem with the gay community, to put it lightly. >> yes. yes. that's why it's really heart to do parody, because a lot of these lines could come straight from the debates themselves. so i tip my hat to the people at funny or die and yahoo! to find a way to make what's already funny even funnier. the guy that played huntsman actually looks like huntsman. i thought that was funny. do you think this hurts? i have a long memory about these politics. i think that's one of the few times, though, that you can point to when humorist did in a
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president. david frey was doing richard nixon for years -- >> how about herb block? >> and what about tina faye doing sarah palin. that destroyed her. >> do you think katy cure ik did more with a simple -- >> i think tina faye did more with the satire than katie couric. >> here's the so-called republican candidates, competing for the reagan mthe real live larry king explaining the rules. >> we give the candidates seven seconds. whoever can mention ronald reagan's name the most wins the round. go. >> reagan, reagan. >> reagan, reagan. >> ready dr time's up. and the winner of the speed round is -- jon huntsman. >> you know, the absurdity is as rudy giuliani would say 9/11 in
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every sentence. i have a theory. why do they say ronald reagan? they don't have positive identities. they're trying to be hermit crabs. they're trying to hide in the shell. who wants to be a huntsman? who wants to be a michele bachmann? i want to be a reagan. >> but they also have pretty pessimistic views of the countriened society. if you've will haved to newt gingrich and rick santorum, particularly the last few days, it's darkness and pessimism. ronald reagan is remembered as an optimist and a sunnier figure. >> the most mod rat and most liberate was ending the cold war. here is barack obama, listen as the impersonator tries to entice republicans to vote for him. >> i'm not even your type. you're into conservative candidates. well, let me tell you a little secret.
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i am a conservative. do you know how many wall street bankers i have prosecuted? zero. the health care bill i passed? it's a carbon copy of the one republicans floated as an alternative to hillary care. just extended the bush tax cuts again. you like that, don't you? so vote for me. i won't tell anybody. i promise. [ laughter ] >> the agree seducer. thank you, guys have a nice weekend. great debate this weekend. when we return, let me finish with what the republicans like with mitt romney. it ain't much, but it's something. you're watching "hardball" from manchester, new hampshire, only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] what if that hemorrhoid pain is non-stop to seattle? just carry preparation h totables. discreet, little tubes packed with big relief.
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let me finish tonight with this republican test to see who goes up against president obama. leave it to the republicans to do it differently than the democrats. democrats, as i've had said before, pick the guy with the hot hand, the candidates who seems to have something special to say to the american people, the one who seems just right for the times. republicans pick the candidates whose turn it is, the guy who was rejected last time around or a couple times before, but who's the right republican candidates for the basic reason that his name has become familiar. republicans always prefer a shoe that's been worn into a new one. just out there on the market. they like their presidential candidates scuffed up a little from previous outings. they don't feel comfortable with someone with an unfamiliar exotic name like dukakis or
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barack obama or santorum. they like nixon, bush, dole. they field worn in, scuffed a little, sure the shine is gone, but look how comfortable they feel. romney, nice fella, reagan put him in the cabinet, something to do with housing and that urban affairs. republicans don't do urban affairs, but somebody had to do it. the boy got scuffed up, too. that was good for him. made him a regular guy. this time mitt romney feels just right as a candidate. no rough edges, just good old mitt romney. i have a feeling that rick santorum or newt gingrich will have a hard time breaking into the line. it's his turn, and let ace face it, everybody else in the party seems to get it. is this democracy? well, not if you mean some wide-open thing when anyone can get into the game, not like the democrats when anyone can

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