tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC January 16, 2012 6:00am-7:00am PST
john huntsman calls it quits less than a week before the south carolina primary, he's dropping out of the race today and throwing his support to the man he once called uneelectable. mitt romney. rick santorum gets the blessing of national evangelical leaders looking to coalesce around a single candidate. but with two debates left before saturday's vote, rick perry, mitt romney and gingrich. let's get to the first reads of the morning. john huntsman is dropping his bid giving another boost to the inevitability of mitt romney as the republican nominee. huntsman built his entire campaign on being the
anti-romney, even calling him unelectable right here on "meet the press" on nbc. >> i don't know if he could go on to beat president obama given his record. if there's a question about whether you're running for the white house or the waffle house, you've got a real problem with the american people. >> mitt romney cannot be president obama. >> when you're on too many sides of the issues of the day, when you don't have that core, when there's that element of trust out there, i think that becomes a problem. >> today that man will formally endorse mitt romney at 11:00 in myrtle beach where the five remaining candidates debate later tonight. after a disappointing third place finish in new hampshire, huntsman limped into south carolina. the maverick independent for the nice guy conservative and he tried to run the mccain 2000 playbook without mccain's personality or personal
narrative. already today romney's rivals are angling to use it against him. >> it's the bottom line, governor romney had a leg up on him as being a solid moderate that the establishment could get behind and governor huntsman wasn't able to crack through that. >> huntsman leaving the race really doesn't change the dynamics in south carolina. but look what's doing for mitt romney, he committed to have his own day of dropping out. instead getting his own day to day and also giving mitt romney a moment, the man who almost motivated him to run because of what may be, whatever rivalry there is between the two of them
that has been simmering for a long time. but he's giving mitt romney a moment, could this be the bid for the 2016 run if romney doesn't end up in office? in the 2008 exit polls, 60% of voters in south carolina's republican party identified themselves as evangelicals. 64% said abortion should be illegal. on sunday santorum brcelebrated the endorsement. >> it was a very divided group at the beginning, but as they worked through it, they came to a consensus, over 75% of the people there decided to support me and i think they did that because they know i am the consistent devastate. i beat gingrich and perry in
iowa, i beat them again in new hampshire. we certainly accept anything they'll be able to do to help. we'll be happy to take it. >> newt gingrich had a glass is half full spin. >> i think that report was very highly exaggerated, we basically split that group, i got a very good number of votes. the one consensus was that virtually no one was for mitt romney. >> rick perry didn't even make it past the first ballot. when the five remaining candidates face off in myrtle beach tonight, will we see another pile on romney debate? or the first signs of the other candidates trying to play nice and pay a little deference to the man who's likely to become the republican nominee. sunday gingrich appeared to back off to correct any errors. >> i hope that they will edit it, i hope they will make it accurate and i hope they won't
show the film without being ed dp edited. >> will we heara more careful tone tonight or more of sunday's romney pile on. >> hope governor romney will have his pac that's running against me in south carolina saying that i want felons to be aebl to vote. that's an absolute lie. >> the question is should he be businessman of the year? the question is what is his character, what was his judgment. >> bain capital came in and shut down that steel mill and left with a substantial amount of money. >> governor romney if he plans to stay in the race, he should release his records. >> romney care just disqualifies him. >> how much will the not romneys
unstage attack each other? debuting a new line of attack on sunday saying santorum had the conservative coup against newt. >> if you look at congressman gingrich, three years into his speaker ship there was a conservative revolution because they were concerned he was not promoting those ideas. >> it all may depend on who shows up tonight. sit for romney, is it for santorum. as we have just reported, john huntsman will make it official in just under two hours. he's making sure there's no speculation of him going third party. nbc's embed with the huntsman campaign, jo, what a turn around in 24 hours, you can't find a
single romney video anywhere on the intertubes. >> they have cleaned it all up, they have even taken down their anti-mitt romney website, there was chatter about potentially dropping out of the race, this happened after the new hampshire primary. the family got together and they looked at the infrastructure here and they saw basically nothing. here in south carolina, they have no signs, very little money, a very frustrated staff and so it looked like the path was going to be very difficult and it was going to be very difficult to avoid a last place finish, chuck. >> it's interesting about how the candidate dictated this decision to his staff rather than maybe working with his staff, is that the impression you got in sort of coming to this decision together. >> it certainly seemed like a lot of the staff was surprised what i hear is that it was
supposed to be announced this morning instead of how it was leaked last floigt to the public. so i think they were looking for a little more time for preparation to make this announcement. but this is a good time, if there is a good-time to drop out of the presidential race because huntsman does get a little moment in the sun. >> do we know if mitt romney is going to come to myrtle beach and come to this event? >> as of this morning, no, he will not be here, but that could change, i do know that they're supposed to speak on the phone before he talks at 11:00. i would like to know how that conversation goes. i do know that there was no deal promised to john huntsman before as of last night, no position promised yet, so we'll see what actually happens, chuck. >> jo kent, our embed on the huntsman campaign. good work, joe. lawmakers are back on the hill this week, but many of the
issues they fought about in the 2008 campaign. >> all right, let's talk about what we're going to here on capitol hill. >> another defensive struggle for 2012. >> how much is the house republican conference want to fight the president on this payroll tax extension and how much of it do nay want to just get out of the way. >> it's an interesting question and it revolves around what we saw in 2011. the leadership doesn't want to have this fight. the house and senate to figure this out, speaker boehner's aides have been very vocal about saying that the congress committee will be able to work there will be a bipartisan -- a lot of rank and file members are
angry about the two-month extension, they don't like how it happened. they don't like that another debt ceiling vote is coming up in a few weeks. it's really a disapproval vote. but all of that being said, you have a lot of angry rank and file members with the two-month extension and depending on how much weight they care in this session, will determine how big the fight s. >> and i'm fascinated to wonder how the presidential campaign influences this. obviously on one hand president obama thinks he got the best of house republicans. but if romney is sitting as the inevitable nominee, say two weeks from now and you have the house republicans having this fight, basically amongst themselves, what you just described, rank and file versus leadersh leadership, what does a mitt romney do in this leadership. because he's always got to look over his shoulder as he marches
toward tampa. >> the biggest untold story of this presidential cycle is the fact that the house gop in 2000 passed a lot of legislation that would not set well with moder e moderates. it would behoove someone to ask someone like mitt romney to take up every single vote, would you agree with this, would you agree with this. mitt romney probably doesn't want to have this payroll tax cut conversation going on behind him. that really will be done through the gop leader ship. the other thing to look at is how aggressively does barack obama talk about this payroll tax cut in the state of the union address. >> wasn't one of the deals they were hoping was to get it done before the state of the union. >> that was the deal that republicans wanted to get it done, because he would realize he would take -- his tone will be very indicative about how the
fight will go on towards february. let's do it for the country, let's rally around the issue, maybe you'll see the gop say let's not extend this. if he comes out and says you know what, you're stopping a tax cut for the middle class shame on you type of rhetoric, then the gop is going to be more likely to start fighting. >> the white house says they feel as if the -- >> absolutely and that's sort of the thing that we will see on the state of the union and we'll get all the spin room. >> we will see you tomorrow. you and i will be around a lot this week. >> you see i'm not holding the clip board anymore going into the game. all right, huntsman calls it quits, romney appears to be rolling towards the nomination, but do south carolina conservatives have what it takes to stop romney in his tracks, major evangelicals coalescing around soon for rum.
let's look ahead at the president's schedule. at this hour, the president will participate in a service project in honor of martin luther king day. across the country actually, people are pausing to remember martin luther king and remember his legacy. vice president biden is in philadelphia. >> martin luther king is a reflection of who we are as a people in terms of what we can be, how we can overcome obstacles, how we can give ourselves to be of service to others. >> this is the daily rundown only on msnbc. ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose --
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moderator a conservative as the republican nominee and only by gathering up all the conservatives to support newt gingrich can we make sure that we have a conservative to be the republican nominee. it's that simple. if we split our vote three or four ways, you come up with a moderate who i believe will have a very hard time beating barack obama. >> republican strategist kevin madden is a romney campaign advisor. kelly anne conway is a senior advisor to the gingrich campaign and greg abbott is a gingrich supporter. kelly, let me start with you, you were at the texas conclave if you will over the weekend, a decision by the key evangelical leaders to rally around santorum. how influential was this vote? >> it was really important to
vote that it was not an endorsement and it certainly was not anonymous. so there was a nine-vote difference in the first ballot. it's hardly an anonymous. but on the third ballot, there was a consensus, we're really happy that speaker gingrich went into that with a lot of support and came out of that with the same support. it does go to the sound bite, that there's still divided support among conservatives, but the nonromney vote is well above 16%. the question is whether south carolina voters are going to lean into this issue of electability or if they're going to go for ideas and bold reagan type solutions. >> i understand you're with governor perry, but is it -- in
listening to what speaker gingrich said, is it more important that the nominee be a conservative at this point and do you see conservatives having to rally around one candidate? >> well, the good news is the good folks of south carolina have the opportunity to pick a real conservative, someone who's going to provide a tremendous contrast with the failed administration of barack obama and i believe rick perry is that person. rick perry is the one who is the proven conservative. he did a great job this last week of campaigning in south carolina. if you look at how well he performed at the candidate for result, even mike huckabee said he did a better job than any of the other candidates. you can tell that the people of south carolina are realizing that rick perry does provide that real, genuine proven alternative that will provide a contrast with the failed administration of barack obama.
>> the way the polls are going, rick santorum, governor perry, you're splitting up what may be as much as 60% of the vote in south carolina. mitt romney wins south carolina, it's all but over? >> you make a fair point and that is if the majority of the vote still does not align with romney, that means that there's a lot of votes to go around to try to decide who is the genuine alternative conservative to mitt romney and we're finding that the more time that rick perry spends on the campaign trail, rick perry is doing a better job at retail politics than all of the other candidates in south carolina, we believe he will be able to elevate himself in south carolina. >> kevin madden, how concerned are you that basically the conversation this week is about how mitt romney is not a conservative? >> i think governor romney's conversation with the voters of south carolina and the voters of the republican party at large is
about why he is the true conservative and why he's a true conservative in economic terms, why he's a true conservative in national security terms. i think the difference between governor romney and all these other candidates is they're very, very focused on talking the process of, you know, process of elimination, while governor romney is talking straight to the voters about the number one issue they care about and that's the economy, and because he's good on economy he's the best one to beat president obama. >> the question isn't whether mitt romney is talking like a conservative, the question is his past actions and that seems to be why he can't make the sale. >> these are voters who care very strongly about the issues that they're involved in. what's most important, particularly during this process is that governor romney recognizes that there's a level of accountability during this process and there's going to be a level of accountability as a nominee to conservative voters
and he welcomes that and he accepts that. as he talks more and more about what he will do as president, many people continue to believe that he will be the best candidate to beat barack obama. >> what is tonight's debate about? is it about rick perry and santorum making the case that they're the most electable? >> it's mainly about elect. here's the thing, if these candidates can show voters that electability is not about eight simple letters he can win, which is not true, ask rudy giuliani and hillary clinton when you have people telling you you can win. electability needs to be defined of the person who can beat him in the fall, the person who is
different on health care, on abortion, on guns, if you don't see those bold contrasts then people will stick with what he knows. you need somebody who's sufficiently different, and that's why newt. that electability needs to be redefined. >> mr. abbott, if rick perry doesn't win south carolina, is that it? is it over? >> he believes that he is going to do better in south carolina than what he did in iowa. he's going to continue to have some momentum at hiss back, he's going to find that his retail campaignability is going to improve his prospects and he will be well situated to move on to florida and continue his campaign to prove he is the one candidate that can provide an alternative to barack obama. he's the one candidate that who will continue to grow jobs in this country and i believe that he's in it to win it.
>> kevin madden, very quickly, mitt romney, if he doesn't win south carolina how big a set back. >> this is a campaign that's been built for the long haul. in south carolina, we're going to compete very strongly there, but it's on to florida and the other states. >> i got to leave it there. thank you all three for coming in on this holiday. >> thank you, chuck. mitt romney is bringing in the big bucks, a daily rundown look at just where those tens of millions of dollars are coming from. plus comedy or campaign? stephen colbert hits the super pac with a trivia question. what do william blithe and leslie king have in common.
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just because something's difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be worth doing. i'm exploring right now, i'm a one-man lewis and clark. >> stephen colbert hitting the sunday talk show circuit, talking about a possible run in the republican primary in the state he grew up in, and he also had a response to this pro kolber super pack ahead. >> mitt romney has a secret. as head of bain capital, he bought companies, carved them up and got rid of what he couldn't use. if mitt romney really believes -- >> corporations are people, my friend.
>> then mitt romney is a serial killer. >> you're calling them a serial killer. >> i'm not calling anybody a serial killer. i can't tell americans for a better tomorrow what to do. it's not my super pac, i don't know if mitt romney is a serial killer, that's a question he's going to have to answer. >> kolber says he invites any of the candidates to appear on his show. there's no write ins on the south carolina republican primary ballot. speaking of campaign cash, we're following the money, mitt's money, where is all that campaign cash coming from? that's ahead. and today, we'll be remembering martin luther king, the civil rights icon would have turned 83 this year.
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secretary of state hillary clinton has arrived in liberia for the inauguration of ellen johnson sirleaf. she won a tumultuous election. on this day, the king center has released 200,000 of martin luther king's documents. and a typewritten draft of his famous "i have a dream" speech. the archives can be found at thekingcenter.org. mitt romney is taking a break from a manhattan fund-raiser and the guest list gives us some insight. you got a copy of the invite. >> i do. >> so we know full well, this event which he's going from
south carolina up to new york, a big fund-raiser, he's done well. tell us who the who's who is. >> a 24 -24-event so chair. 2/3 of those co-chairs are from the private equity business, hedge funds. the big one, steve swartzman, the founder and chairman of the biggest hedge fund of all, he was also an co-chair for the fund-raiser last week in palm beach. pops up again here. wayne berman, superlobbiest, he's on the list. and you go down alexander nevab, a big managing partner at kkr,
colbert travis and another one of these private equity firms, he's on the list. what's particularly striking also, you take a look at the names on this and then you look at who's been donating all the money from the romney super pac that's flooding the airwaves now. we're still waiting for that big january 31st deadline when all the super pacs have to disclose what they have raiseded in last two months. you see a lot of these same names, the kkr guy who's co-chairing this event. another interesting name. ed kenard, the capital guy who was the donor of that mystery donation, he's a co-host for this event tonight. the the overlaps are pretty striking. >> four years ago it seemed the
candidate that was having the most luck with private equity money was barack obama um. that's clearly changing this year. >> the obama folks are still getting a fair share of obama's money. it's fair to say if romney has any core constituency here in the financial world, it's that private equity world from which he came and they're a huge source of money, both for the campaign, both for the super pac. a lot of interesting names are going to pop-up. >> thank you, sir. we'll be right back with the bill political panel. but first, the white house soup of the day, there's no soup today. everybody hopefully doing their national day of service there. you're watching "the daily
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you're looking at live pictures now, it's of the brown education campus in washington, d.c. we're expecting president obama to aarrive there at any moment. the president is expected to speak and we will bring that to you live when it happens. in the meantime, we'll talk a little presidential politics. . >> how many times do i hear we're sick and tired of you folks going to washington saying you're going to go one thing and then compromising our values away, right? if that's what you want from us, that's what i want from you. don't compromise. south carolina, vote your conscience. vote your values. don't compromise.
>> karen finneus. welcome to all of you. all right, chris, is it over? >> if i can quote yogi berra, it's never over until it's over. but i think it is essentially over. if you listen to rick santorum, you have had people go to washington, rick santorum has been in washington a lot longer than romney has. is mitt ro romney flawed as a republican primary can he be beat by anyone in this field? certainly not. >> you can't win when you have 2 1/2 people splitting the vote. greg abbott said is absolutely
true. the guy is very good on the retail campaigning, but it's the -- the damage had been done a lot sooner than that. but this lack of coalescing, why does he think it's possible, coalesce around santorum and see if we can stop romney? >> newt gingrich is rolling his eyes. >> i think partially, there are two debates before they actually go to the polls on saturday. i think these candidates have seen that the debates have mattered. the spending matters. you can't turn on the tv in south carolina without seeing an ad right now, so there's that tiny chance that somebody can get in. but you saw this coalescing around santorum at this evangelical's event there weekend. had that happened earlier it might have made a big difference. >> karen fin anefinney, you've
involved in campaigns, he had the nomination sewed up. but he was always looking over his shoulder because jerry brown was still anning around. . >> and certainly newt gingrich has made it clear, he's not going anywhere. even if he drops out, he's still going to be a thorn in mitt romney's size. we have known from the beginning that mitt romney, flawed candidate, probably going to be the nominee, probably going to survive all these attacks and he doesn't have to do that well in south carolina because the expectations are so low given the religious issues. i have had conversations with religious conservatives who said if it came down to romney versus obama even though they believe obama is a christian, they would vote romney. >> they're saying guys you're
overblowing it. last week was about litigating bain, this week i do think we're back to litigating idealogy, in what could be the final week of the truly competitive primary candidates. >> i have talked to on the line republicans last week. they said golly, if you didn't think romney was going to be the nominee, but this period of him going after -- fiscal conservatism where he's actually quite strong, i think that rick santorum and newt gingrich will say this is about the spine of our party, who are we as republicans? i think the cake is baked. if gingrich and santorum split up. romney is the campaign figure, he wins, if he wins south carolina, that's it. >> very quickly and then i want
to speak in a break. >> you haven't seen health care an issue. this is the romney real, real weakness and there you go. >> i have a question i want you guys to think about. romney's nomination, does it signify the end of the tea party? we'll discuss after the break, trivia time, we asked, what go william blythe and leslie king have in common? they both changed their names and became president. th . >> we'll be right back. you're watching the daily rundown only only msnbc. get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
all right. i threw the question out there. chris cillizza, how is -- do you measure the strength of the conservative movement of the tea party movement or weakness by the nomination of mitt romney in the month of january? >> if we wins, first of all, he's made history by winning iowa and new hampshire. if you win south carolina, in 2010, we talked about the power of the tea party because they won a bunch of senate primaries. christine o'donnell won. ken buck in colorado. small electorates. i think the smaller the electorate in terms of raw nerm numbers, the more influence they can have. a presidential primary, these are not millions of people voting. it's still too big an electorate for that relatively small slice to decide who the nominee is. >> in fairness to the tea party movement, clearly, romney changed his tone and rhetoric
enough to make sure he was never trying to alienate the tea party. >> that's the point. he addressed tea party groups, talked about his own values. it's important to define, what is the tea party? is a conservative voter a tea party activist? is tony perkins a tea party activist? i don't know there's a strict definition. one way to judge is strength is what happens to the tea party republican freshman in the fall in these house races. if romney's at the top of the ticket, do these guys get re-elected? what happens? >> karen, there is nothing better than andy typology at the the pew center. conservative votes, not monolithic. you're a democrat and you're going, wait, they're more divided up than the democrats usually are. >> they really are and actually, the differences within their differences are dramatic in terms of the arch, arch, arch
conservative right wing. to those who might consider themselves republican leaning independents who agree with democrats on some things. here's something on your tea party question. i think what we're seeing is the whole tea party movement thing was pretty overblown. they were able to have control among house and senate members because your talking about a small electorate. but in terms of national political power, it's not there. really hasn't be there. >> i want to go to this issue. everybody said we're a conservative country. conservative is a positive brand. you say it with pride if you're republican. you say, yes, i'm a conservative sh even though we're finding out conservative is basically republican. it's synonymous and doesn't have the same identification that it did for instance just 15 years ago. >> and it doesn't have the same and you can blame the media,
whoever you want, the pa jorty that liberal does. that's why we see liberal, i think it was 40% republican -- >> conservative is the -- >> don't forget democrats have done it. absolutely. messed up their branding because they say, no, i'm not a liberal. progressive. so then -- >> the region can be a little mi misleading. yeah, i'm independent, well, you push them, they're almost always. >> moderate vote that's always fascinated me because it's usually 2-1, democrat. a lot of nonliberal democrats. >> socially liberally. >> and where does economic populism fit into that, too. you've got two parties slitting on that as well. >> if you're the president now, it's the state of the union,
karen finney, a campaign speech. >> it doesn't have to be. right? because democrats are coming into january in a pretty strong position. one of the things about this conversation about bain is within the republican party, they've actually been undermining argument that congressional republicans have been using, so the contrast is there. he just has to keep knocking it out of the park. >> it doesn't have to be, but it will be. >> sure. >> i mean, the nature of what he will talk about, the economy. spending. the deaf it. it's an even numbered year. these are things in which the two parties disagree and the issues on which romney and he or someone else will disagree from now until november. so he's setting the stakes. >> it's going to be more about income. >> and they have to view it as this is probably their, they're only going to get one more uninterrupted shot until the
acceptance speech. in many ways, you would assume there is going to be some campaign input. >> and you've seen that with the move he made friday. it's a campaign move, yes, it's following up on state of the union from last year, but this is looking toward november. >> can i just say about this small business, no, right. >> does any speech not have campaign elements by either party? >> this whole small business, the model of his administration is cabinet level, well, that will never change. who's ever going to take that away? and you wonder how politics of the moment expands. >> school uniforms? >> thank you, all. as you can see, the president and his family are coming in. these are live pictures right now. we're at the brown center in washington, d.c. this is their day of service, but we are going to hear from president obama in a few minutes as well. he's there with the entire first family as you can see him. it's one of those days,
especially now in washington, d.c., now that there's a memorial, karen finney, of martin luther king, i feel like there's, everybody's sort of looking at this holiday a little bit different. having that memorial makes a huge difference. outside of atlanta. the fact it's here in the nation's capitol. >> it is set in a wonderful location. a large piece of land. it is a very appropriate -- to the president. >> introduce him. >> i'm not going to make a long speech. because we're here to do some work. but mainly what i want to do is just to say thank you to all of you for participating. there are a lot of organizations represented here today. we are so glad to be at this outstanding school where we're going to be doing a whole bunch of stuff to make it, make the facilities even better than they are.
but you know, this is the third year now that michelle and malia and usually, sasha's here, she couldn't make it today. that we provide or engage in some sort of service on dr. king's birthday and there's no better way to celebrate dr. king than to do something on behalf of others. i know there's been a lot of controversy lately about the quote on the memorial and they're changing it and making some modifications, but you know, if you look at that speech talking about dr. king as a drum major, what he really said was that all of us can be a drum major for service. all of us can be a drum major for justice. there's nobody who can't serve. nobody who can't help somebody else. and whether you're 7 or 6 or
whether you're 76, you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community and you know, at a time when the country has been going through some difficult economic times, for us to be able to come together as a community, people from all different walks of life and make sure we're giving back, that's ultimately what makes us the strongest, most extraordinary country on earth is because we pull together when times are good, but also when times are hard. you guys all represent that. on behalf of our family, we want to say thank you. i'm sure dr. king, were he here, he'd want to say thank you and i look forward to spending some time next to you guys. hopefully, i have good instructions here so i don't mess anything up. if you're putting a paint brush in my hands, make sure i've got