tv The Ed Show MSNBC January 24, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
stroke will likely affect the senator's ability to use his left arm and possibly his left leg and may also cause some facial paralysis. senator kirk's surgeon also says senator kirk is young, is in very good shape, and is very healthy. all of those things are in his favor. we'll keep you posted as we learn more about senator kirk's progress, but in the meantime, of course, all of our thoughts and best wishes are with the senator and with his family tonight. traded blows once again on tax returns, lobbying, their resumes and conservatism. we have response from msnbc's eugene robinson, richard wolf, and rick tyler from the newt gingrich pack and a lot more.
now he's on attack. romney tried to land the latest attack on gingrich for his association with freddie mac. romney hammered him with his pay in the debate. >> you said you were paid $1.6 million as a historian. they weren't hiring you as a historian, and this contract proves you weren't a hiss tore yal. it doesn't say you provided historical experience, you were hired as a consultant. you were making over a million dollars at the same time people in florida were being hurt by millions of dollars. >> this is a good example. as a businessman, you know that the gross revenue wasn't your personal income. we had three offices, the company was being paid. my share annually was about
$35,000 a year, and the fact is i offered strategic advice largely based on history, including my history in washington. >> just one of the many exchanges we'll bring in tonight. let's bring in pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the "washington post," and also richard wolf. richard, did romney lay any hands on gingrich tonight? i think that was ms. mission, to try to regain the momentum, establish himself as a good conservative to florida voters. was that accomplished tonight from romney's perspective? >> yes, i think he did. he did that in what we just saw. he chased him down the line on freddie mac. weirdly, he managed to land some punches on himself, and that's what's weird about his candidacy. he tied himself in knots on taxes again, he came up with this weird phrase of self-deportation on immigration.
how he manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory may be the story of the whole romney campaign. >> that was no doubt a head-scratching moment, self-deportation. and of course santorum followed up saying, we have that right now. eugene robinson, taking a look at the demeanor of tonight's debate, this was a time where i thought that maybe newt gingrich could have put some icing on the cake, but he was -- i don't know if this is the correct word or not -- almost subdued tonight compared to what we've seen in the last two debates where he took real command. what did you think? >> he was subdued. it was odd, because neither candidate seemed to be in his comfort zone tonight. newt gingrich wasn't the fiery newt gingrich who had so riled up the folks in south carolina and who, frankly, i expected to try to do the same with the folks of north florida tonight. he didn't do that. he decided to play the front runner and be above it all. oh, i won't bother myself with
these petty attacks from mitt romney. whereas romney, who i think is better suited for that sort of patrician front runner role, tried to be the attack dog and that's not his comfort zone. he's not great at it. at one point he gave gingrich the opportunity to take credit for medicare part b in florida, telling -- part d in florida, telling retirees, you know that lipitor you took this morning? you can thank me for it. that was kind of a flubbed opportunity. >> you know, gentlemen, we all cover the news differently, and we all have our habits of doing things. i have these msnbc cards i carry with me when i'm at a debate and write notes. the first note i wrote was "controversial when needed." that was one of the first things newt gingrich said tonight, and i thought that was somewhat a code to conservatives and to the tea party that, you know what?
i'm going to be one of these conservatives that's going to come in here and do maybe what anybody else on this stage wouldn't do. richard, what did you think when he said that? >> well, he tried hard and often to point out how long his conservative record was, and personally, i find it kind of crazy when he has to go back to goldwater or every other sentence is reagan. when you stand that up against mitt romney, you're looking at a big contract. when romney tries to show how conservative he is, he has to say, well, i forced ted kennedy to take out a mortgage in my race against him. romney has to try too hard and that fails, and when gingrich tries too hard, you just think, well, he's been there a long time. >> this is gingrich trying to compare his work to freddie mac with romney's time at bain capital. here it is. >> we're talking about freddie mac. and that one did a lot of bad for a lot of people. you were working there, made
over a million dollars with your entities. owned by you. i don't know 100% owned by you, but i presume. owned by you, over 1.6. you said it was 300,000, it was a million six. what's the difference? >> what's the gross revenue at bain capital? >> very substantial. but i think that's beside the fact that you were working for freddie mac? >> you didn't do any work with the government, medicare, medicaid? >> we didn't do any work for the government. i didn't have an office on k street. i've never worked in washington. >> how did gingrich handle that? was he able to deflect the issue of his work with freddie mac? i thought that was the most aggressive moment of the night for mitt romney. >> i actually thought that specific moment was the weakest moment for newt gingrich of the whole evening, because if you're going to bring up bain, you've got to go there. and where he didn't go was the whole vulture capitalism riff,
he didn't go after the question of whether bain was a net destroyer or creator of jobs or, indeed, the financier model or however you want to phrase it. he just kind of left it there, and i thought it was really his weakest moment. >> no damage done tonight, i thought, by any of the candidates. mrs. -- mr. romney also claiming that gingrich was a lobbyist for medicare part d. >> do you have congressmen who say you came and lobbied them with regards to medicare part d. at the same time, you were taking contributions -- >> you just jumped a long way over, friend. >> another area. >> no. let me be very clear, because i understand your technique, which
you used on mccain, you used on huckabee, you use consistently, okay? it's unfortunate, and it's not going to work very well because the american people see through it. i have always publicly favored a stronger medicare program. i wrote a book in 2002 called "saving lives and saving money." i brokered medicare part d for a reason. and the reason is simple. the government wouldn't give american people kidney dialysis. they wouldn't pay for surgery, but they would pay for lipitor. i am proud to say i endorsed medicare part d. it has saved lives. is opened savings accounts for medicare alternatives to escape people's choices. you've been walking around this state saying things that are untrue. it is not correct to describe
public citizenship having public advocacy as lobbying. every citizen has the right to do that. what i did on behalf of medicare, i did out in the open publicly, and that is my right as a citizen. >> here's what's the problem, mr. speaker. here's what's the problem. and that is, if you're getting paid by health companies, if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation and you then meet with republican congressmen and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you'd like, i call it influence peddling. >> i thought that phrase, influence peddling, the two-word culture, i thought for a moment it caught newt gingrich flat-footed. i thought he recovered well. but then it was mitt coming at him again on the offensive. who won on that exchange? >> there are three ways to look at this, right? one is how does a character stand up against each other and show toughness? there was a time when romney sure had it over newt gingrich.
you've got a venture capitalist going against a lobbyist. for republican voters, there's nothing wrong with either of these people. they voted for lobbyists to become senators, they have a lobbyist running a tea party movement, at least in part. being a lobbyist is no worse than being a venture capitalist. the obama folks are looking at these videos and seeing how easy it is to knock either man, both of them, off their stride. romney allowed gingrich to pivot into medicare, which is a big win for anyone trying to reach seniors in florida, and gingrich himself, again, as flat-footed on taxes, i agree with you, and as flat-footed on being a lobbyist as romney was on taxes. so both men are fundamentally flawed debaters here. >> is this a term that's going to follow gingrich, and that would be influence peddler. >> that's certainly a term mitt romney will try to make stick on newt gingrich.
he's also called a lobbyist, he's called a lot of things, and we'll see what newt calls him back. but i think the word that we're all going to remember from this debate is self-deportation. and it's going to be interesting to see how that plays, not only in florida, but beyond, as the gop tries not to alienate every single hispanic voter in the country. >> we also found out that mitt romney thinks he pays a lot in taxes. eugene albertson and wolf richards, stay with us. the gingrich super pack.
sunshine state tonight. the former gingrich campaign spokesman rick tyler joins eugene robertson and richard wolffe. and later, former gop party chairman rod smith will let us know whether tonight was a win for the democrats. later my interview with barney frank at newt gingrich's shot at the nomination. let us know what you think about tonight's debate. we'll be right back.
>> in the 15 years after he left the speakership, the speaker has been working as an influence peddler in washington. when i was fighting to say that the paul ryan plan to save medicare was bold and ripe, he was saying that it was right wing social engineering. >> i'm not going to spend the evening trying to chase governor romney's misinformation. we'll have a site on tomorrow morning. we'll list the things that were incorrect. i don't want to waste the time on him. >> the question is, was his mora -- more aggressive stance bad for him? good to have you with us tonight. we also have mr. robertson and mr. wolffe with us tonight after
we visit with mr. tyler. mr. tyler, how did your candidate do tonight? >> i think he did just fine. it wasn't as exciting as the other night. i don't know what's wrong with nbc, why they won't let the crowds react and boo and hiss and stand up and do whatever it is they do, but somehow they were controlling the crowd, and it's hard to get the reaction of the room. >> it's the answers that people were listening to. quite honestly, i thought it was rather refreshing not having the crowds interfere in the debate tonight, and this wouldn't allow the candidates to play to the crowd. >> i disagree. i think a debate -- you can get the feeling of whether the crowd is for you or against you. we couldn't tell any of that tonight. so, you know, it wasn't as high energy, but i think he did just fine. >> how about that sound bite we just played before we introduced
you about how mr. gingrich was forced to resign because he did not have the support of his own party? do you think he handled that well tonight, and do you think his supporters are okay with his answer? >> i thought mitt romney looked rather erratic to me and unstable. well, almost everything he said was untrue. newt was not forced to resign. he didn't run for speaker, he was not forced to resign, and i don't understand what the charge is about disgrace. newt left the speakership honorably. there was no disgrace. and he's the first speaker since the 1920s, i believe, to actually preside over three winning elections where they kept the majority in the house. so i don't get -- it just looked very desperate to me. >> okay. but it is a fact that 88% of his own party did not want him to continue to be the speaker; is that correct?
>> i think they came to regret that, because as soon as newt left, we didn't have balanced budgets anymore, we weren't paying off debt anymore, we weren't doing any entitlement reform anymore, and we weren't doing all the great things when newt came in. i think people had regretted that. did we get everything we wanted right away? no, that's not the way the government works, but newt got everything done with a democratic president, and i think that's a record to stand on. mitt romney doesn't have a record in massachusetts. he has a very liberal record in massachusetts. that's why he's not running on it. >> rick, you're getting another infusion of money from mr. adelson. $5 million, we're told. is that going to be enough to take florida? >> i think we will have plenty of money to be competitive in florida. we haven't run a single ad here in florida. i'm very confident once we get going in florida, we will be competitive and newt gingrich are win in florida.
>> do you have the $5 million? did that money come into the super pack? >> sitting here right now, i don't honestly know. i've read the same reports that you did. i'm not in touch with finance, so i can't answer the question. >> you run the pack, but you can't confirm tonight that that money is in there? >> actually, i don't run the pack. the pack is run by becky briquette, and she does a great job. i'm a senior adviser. >> so the senior adviser to this pack that supports gingrich cannot confirm there is an influx of money coming in from adelson, correct? >> like i said, i read the same report you did. i think we'll be well funded, but i'm not going to get into questions about donors. it will all be reported just like it's supposed to be. >> okay. here's mitt romney challenging the accuracy of gingrich's ads. here it is. >> there were two ads run by speaker gingrich. outside fact-checking groups said these ads were false, yet
they continued to run them. and one by a campaign, one by a pack, and i don't know he can't control that, so i'm going to point out things i think the people need to know. >> rick, are you prepared to run more ads on romney's record? >> all of our ads are run by romney's record. all the facts are checked by us over and over again to make sure they're accurate. by the way, romney has the same ads raided by the same newspaper, the "washington post." they got four pinocchios, so he should look in the mirror when he's pointing fingers at us. >> rick, thank you. let's go to gene robertson and also richard wolffe. eugene, you first. do you think the gingrich campaign feels pretty good about themselves tonight? >> i think they feel okay. they certainly obviously wish there had been crowd reaction. newt plays well off the crowd.
and that sounded like a guy making the best of an okay debate performance and a debate where there weren't a lot of fireworks whereas he's the guy that likes the fireworks. >> richard, let's just say the report about the $5 million is not accurate. let's say it's less than that. where does that put newt gingrich in florida? >> there is only so much money you can spend on ads between now and voting time in florida. i don't know that you need the full 5 million. i'm sure they could bankroll and borrow it and get themselves through the election in reasonable shape. the fact they haven't put up any ads yet shows how much of a beating gingrich is taking. i think his edge in the polls is giving people like rick confidence in the polls tonight. gingrich did struggle off freddie mac. he should have seen that coming. it happened before when he was in iowa. still, romney has weaknesses and
they can go after them, too. >> gentlemen, quickly, you first, eugene. i don't think this debate moved any of the polls tonight. >> i would be surprised if it did, i really would be. either way i think we wait for the next debate, but i don't think this one really moved things. >> not the earth shaker. richard, your thoughts. >> i agree. they both did a lot of damage to themselves, to each other. it will be hard to tell what was the impact of this debate versus the impact coming out of the last campaign in south carolina. so on to the next debate, and really, it's time for people to vote. >> well, i think we kind of saw about as much street fighting as we're ever going to get out of mitt romney tonight. i'll leave it that way. gentlemen, eugene robertson, richard wolffe, good to have you with us. thank you. >> thanks, ed. coming up, was it a good night for the democrats? former democratic party chair rod smith will weigh in on that.
>> he said he would come in and turn this economy around, and everything he has done has made it harder for the people of florida. he has no plans for nasa. the space coast is struggling. this president has failed the people of florida. we have to have a president who understands how to get an economy going again. he does not. he plays 90 rounds of golf when you have 25 million people out of work. he says gasoline prices doubled during his presidency. he says don't build a keystone pipeline. we're headed for a grease type collapse and he has another plan for obamacare and a stimulus plan that put people out of jobs. this world needs a president who understands this economy. >> next our political panel weighs in on tonight's debate. we'll follow up on housing, nasa and jobs and how it's all obama's fault. is it? stay tuned. [ male announcer ] if you had a dollar for every dollar
you'd have, like, a ton of dollars. but how are they saving you those dollars? a lot of companies might answer "um" or "no comment." then there's esurance. born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency. so whatever they save, you save. hassle, time, paperwork, hair-tearing-out, and, yes, especially dollars. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. huh? you're not my dad ahhhhh!!! hey honey, back feels better, little dancing tonight, you and me? hey boy, you wanna go for a walk? dr. scholl's pro inserts with shock guard technology relieve different types of lower body pain by treating at the source so you're a whole new you. where is everybody? that's not your dad. go pro with dr. scholl's.
welcome back to "the ed show" as our debate coverage continues tonight. i'm joined this evening by rod smith, former democratic party chairman. mr. smith, good to have you with us tonight. in that sound bite we played in the last segment, apparently mitt romney thinks the housing problem, the nasa problem, the problem with jobs is all president obama's fault. how does that rhetoric play in florida? >> i don't think it's going to play well here at all. floridians remember their history pretty well. when this president was elected, he were bleeding jobs at $70,000 a month. we were already in a housing crisis in florida unprecedented in recent history. when this president was elected, between the day he was elected and the day he was sworn in, we bled about a million and a half jobs in the united states. think where we are now, we've had 22 months of sector job growth, 16 months of private sector job growth.
to think this thing was in the ditch, who drove it there? and it's the policies that hadn't changed from the old policies to what they were talking about tonight, so i said tonight i thought it was a good night for democrats. any time the republicans are debating, we're doing better. >> well, the common talk around by the republicans is that the president of the united states has made the economy worse. do you feel, do you get a sense that the president of florida, as tough as the housing market is down there and as much as it has suffered and how homes have been devalued, that they don't think president obama has any responsibility at all for that? >> no. i think, of course, they recognize that this is a tough sled. everybody wishes the recovery was easier and more rapid. but also people know there's no magic bullet to this. and we had dug such a hole, you
weren't going to get out of it immediately. i want to address florida very specifically for a moment. we have a republican governor here, not that popular in the united state. his numbers run somewhere between the high 20s and the low 30s for approval rating. people of florida are upset about decisions he's making that have cost us teaching jobs, cost us public sector jobs, and more importantly, cost us thousands of private sector jobs when he walked away from the opportunity to move us into the next generation of transportation and high speed rail. so i think that -- as i kind of weigh the night, i didn't think there was anything i thought was very decisive, but what i do think is more and more people are being convince bid each of these candidates that their opponent shouldn't be elected president. >> you have a confidante called old wes who said some pretty nasty things about president obama.
we now see that newt gingrich is leading the way in the polls down there, and he arguably has been the most aggressive on president obama. does that surprise you at all that newt gingrich has come almost from the political ashes to where he is in your state right now in the polls? >> not really, because i think that romney's lack of performance -- i think everybody thought there was a certain inevitability factor here, that romney was going to have this thing, it would probably be done by florida if not in florida. the fact of the matter is that he has yet to convince the american people, he has yet to convince his own party that he's the right guy for the job, and i think this thing is wide open. i think that romney suffers from a couple of problems in florida that money can't fix. number one, you know, florida is a place where when you go south, you go north, when you go north, you go south. in the north part of the state,
i think romney -- i don't think he connects with people well. in the south part of the state, i think romney tonight changed his view on the dream act from what he was talkinging about when he was in iowa and new hampshire. he started talking to the audience differently, and i think gingrich has somewhat trapped him there. florida is where it is today in part because of the great history that immigration has played in the success of our state. i think romney is not getting the same audience down there that he thought he was going to get. >> romney clearly appears to be in the wilderness bumpinging into trees wherever he turns. good to have you on, rod. i appreciate your time tonight. >> good to see you. >> let's turn to our panel, joann reed, jimmy williams with us tonight, former democratic senate staffer and democratic strategist, crystal ball. i can ask all of you who won tonight and who did well, but i have to say, how did mitt romney do as a political street fighter? he was supposed to be the tough guy tonight.
he came out and just banged away at newt gingrich. it really didn't turn out that way. he tried hard. >> he grew up on the mean streets of the gated communities of ann arbor. what mitt romney needed to do tonight was score a knockout punch against newt gingrich. he needed to do something to hurt gingrich and set him off his game. i think he did that in a sense. i think he had gingrich back on his heels on the question of freddie mac. i think he did a good job of going after him on the idea that he was a lobbyist and not just a historian. so i think he had some moments where he pushed gingrich back. did he have a breakout performance where he really stopped gingrich? i would say no. >> your thoughts? >> it was like a third grade boarding school yard fight. it was embarrassing, actually. >> where was this tough guy newt gingrich tonight? >> i think newt gingrich is so dog gone tired tonight. you look at the guy, he looks older than he did before
saturday. i think that's the truth. gingrich was still methodical tonight. he was good. he was tired, but good. he answered every question. he defended himself. romney tried to attack. romney drew a little bit of blood but gingrich didn't have to go to the hospital in any of those jabs. he evaded any question asked of him. >> i think romney came at him with a kind of jewel and gold encrusted letter opener. it was kind of sad. you could see him practicing his lines in his hotel room. i have to question gingrich a little bit, because he did seem tired and older, but i think he showed up in this debate wanting to be grandfather. florida is a state known to be at least a third senior citizens. gingrich positioned himself for florida. you've seen him attack a little on immigration.
i think it was a pretty smart strategy. >> romney gained some openings tonight. he played presidential demeanor, is what he did. here's mitt romney's answer to immigration. it's another new one. here we go. >> governor romney, there's one thing i'm confused about. you say you don't want to go and round up people and deport them, but you also say they would have to go back to their home countries and then apply for citizenship. if you don't deport them, how do you send them home? >> the answer is self-deportation where people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to find work here. >> what kind of answer is that? >> i always like to see a politician in the wild, and i think this was an opportunity to really see that. he gave us a sound bite for tomorrow. the sound bite people will remember coming away from this debate is self-deportation. not smart if you're mitt romney and if you have a stance on immigration. >> it's going to work because romney asked him to go.
what do you think of that, jimmy? >> i think i might be speechless, but i'm not. self-deportation, i think there's a hyphen in there, but i'm not sure. mitt romney will change his mind when he gets to a different primary state. he will flip-flop on this issue because that's the craziest answer i've ever heard of taking 22 million people illegally. >> would the economy be so horrible with mitt romney that they would be like, we're out of here? >> on the other hand, i thought newt gave a good answer from a conservative standpoint on americans and how they would handle that. >> he's very smart on these issues. he's very methodical. he knows how to position himself. he always knows what state he's in. he does a much better job than other candidates at bringing upstate-specific issues that will play to the audience. going back to the self-deportation thing, it really points out the
fundamental irrationality uber conservative look on immigration. nobody can be here illegally. what are you going to do with the folks that are here? are you really going to round them up? what's that going to cost? >> and that goes against some sense of where the conservatives are. great to have you all with us. lots more to talk about with our panel. stay with us. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. ♪
what's he looking for? i think he's looking for savings. ♪ i can't watch this anymore. stop! there's an easier way! we compare your progressive direct rate to other top companies so you get a great price. no more running around. ha ha ha! wouldn't you love to see the world through his eyes? i bet i look like the strongest man in the world. the best place to find a great deal. now, that's progressive. call or click today. up next, more from our panel and i have an exclusive interview with the congressman. don't forget to tweet us. he's in the hash tag ed show. let us know what you think about tonight's debate. stay tuned, we'll be right back.
story for a number of different reasons. first of all, it is a big story in florida, but it is also a big story coming up in nevada and the housing bubble, and this is where mitt romney has had a number of different positions and answers. here he is, romney, tonight on the housing how we should help these people. here he is. >> to help these homeowners or not? to help them, of course we help them. pam bonnie in florida is cracking down on people committing fraud, number one. number two, you have to get government out of the mess. government created the mess. number three, you have to help people get more flexibility out of their loans. >> underwater mortgages back in october. >> as to what would you do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things you can do to encourage housing? one is don't try to stop the foreclosure process. let it run its course and hit the bottom.
>> jimmy, what do you make of that? >> well, he continually -- he habitually rein vents himself. that's hard to say at 11:00, isn't it? but he'll do it again, i'm sure of it. you can't waltz into florida, what, one in five homes is under, and say that and then flip-flop it. he's going to head into california and nevada where people are on drugs because they can't afford their homes. >> i think he's flip-flopping. and he's also for the ryan plan, which is unpopular with senior citizens who are overrepresented in florida and overrepresented in nevada, too, by the way. he has no independents who can save him now, and having said on tape that we should let the homeowners fail is not smart in this state. >> today was a big day for taxes and contracts.
we found out tonight that mitt romney thinks he pays enough in tax, actually, too much. >> right. right. and i thought it was really funny where he's saying i'm very proud of the fact that i pay a lot of taxes. which is sort of -- it's actually kind of a liberal thing to say, and then he went another step and attacked newt gingrich saying that under your plan, newt, i wouldn't pay any taxes which, again, is an argument that resonates with me that newt gingrich has an unreasonable tax plan, but i really didn't think that was a smart way of attacking in a very conservative republican primary that your tax plan is lower than my tax plan. >> does this go away, jimmy? >> absolutely not. taxes are lower under barack obama than they were under george w. bush. simple, plain fact. we need to admit it. secondly, under romney's proposed tax plan, middle class folks in america would pay higher taxes. that's a fact. it's not going to go away. >> mitt romney again proves
himself to be completely incoherent talking about his own taxes. he was physically uncomfortable talking about his income and his taxes. he was better when he was going after newt gingrich's income, but i think he's got that tax problem going in and he's got it going out of this debate. >> do you think america accepts what newt gingrich did for a living, or will that continue to dog him? >> i think that will continue to dog him. i also think a debate is just on freddie mac and not get into this legalistic debate about whether he was lobbying or not. >> then he just said four things were wrong. >> he did make an unforced error by saying they had brought in a lobbyist expert to make sure they didn't cross the line, meaning we wanted to walk right up to that line but in the very narrow legalistic sense, not technically lobbying. it's not a very strong remark. >> jimmy williams and also crystal ball. thanks for joining us tonight. what does newt gingrich
next on "the ed show" constitutional man barney frank said back in september that he hadn't lived long enough in life to see newt gingrich become a republican nominee. i'll see if he changed his mind. i'll see if he changed his mind. stay tuned. flavored with real . powerful cold medicine that leaves out artificial flavors and dyes and instead uses something more natural, honey. new vicks nature fusion cold & flu. ♪
i did not think i had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by newt gingrich being the republican nominee. it still is unlikely but i have hopes. >> welcome back to "the ed show." nobody in america is happier to see newt gingrich rise ng the polls than barney frank. i spoke with the congressman earlier tonight. congressman, good to have you with us here on the program. i have to ask you, are you convinced that you've lived a good enough life to see newt gingrich as a possible nominee of the republican party? how do you feel about that? >> i'm going to have to divide the question as you can do in a polymetry situation, leave my life aside. yeah, i think he has a very good chance of being a nominee, and i
think there is an analogy here, as odd as it may seem to some people, to the 1972 democratic race. mitt romney is looking increasingly like ed muskey who was a very responsible guy. i don't mean to dishonor ed muskey by comparing him. gingrich has made himself the embodiment of that anger. the people who are supporting gingrich had not persuaded by the electability issue because i've seen this. often when you have people who are very angry, very committed, they believe that they represent the majority, and they will tell you that, in fact, there are, as we know, millions and millions of people who don't vote. and what happens is the most passionately committed often claim the non-voters as their supporters. i guarantee there are people, tea party and others, who agree that if they nominate newt gingrich and they get this unblemished angry conservative, those who don't speak out will
come out and vote. i guess this in some ways will be a test because the republican establishment is going to try to stop him just as the democrats try to stop george mcgovern. tip o'neal lost a primary in his hometown to be a delegate. so this is a question whether these angry people in the republican party have the courage of their convictions. i think they're wrong in that the country will not welcome them, but let's have that test. let's take that unvarnished conservative that's not just conservative, this angry right wing radicalism, and let's put it out there. >> it certainly seems like newt gingrich is capitalizing on this angry emotion we're seeing coming from republicans, especially from the south who just can't stand the president of the united states. let's talk about, if we can, the gentleman you just mentioned, mr. muskey versus mitt romney. mitt romney, is it in his character to be a political attack dog? i mean, it seems to me that newt
gingrich has got mitt romney out of his wheel house right now. >> he will do it -- i will say this about mitt romney. muskey was a thoughtful, creative man. i didn't mean to compare him with romney. romney does have a great advantage in this race. he is totally unencumbered by any political principle. if do you that to an extreme, it becomes a disadvantage. i think the answer is romney will do anything to be angry with gingrich. romney has made money for 20 years and running for the president for 20 years. a very wise old school president in massachusetts. he said, look, when some people when they become governor of a state they get potomac fever. romney had potomac virus.
he will try, and i don't think he'll be very good at it, but he will try. >> i have the contract newt gingrich had with freddie mac. i quickly read through it before the program tonight. it really is favorable to gingrich in the fact that he could be retained at any time without him even knowing it, they could extend the deal. it's got a nice rollover clause in it, though it's got very strict disclosure language in it. did you know gingrich was kind of tied at the hip at 25 grand a month to freddie? >> we stopped the regulation of fannie and freddie. in fact, as this makes clear, the republican party controlled the house of representatives through 2006. it was during that time that no bill became law. i was originally wrong on that but changed my opinion on the
facts that in 2007, when the democrats took over, that's when fannie and freddie got regulated -- could i just make one point -- if you look at that contract, i bet they stopped paying him when the democrats came into power and they paid him while the republicans were in power, and let's look at the facts. he's getting paid by freddie mac. they gave him a lot of rhetoric about being paid by freddie, but in 2012, a deal will happen that freddie won't want. >> this was in 2006, a year of mid-terms just before the democrats. >> i thought they only paid him for that brief period. >> the commercial that romney took out right now is saying it it paid him $1.7 million. if you go 25 grand a month, my math is telling me it's a little over six years, isn't it? >> that couldn't work. i think the contract was before
that. i'm pretty sure from what i've read, the contract was during the period of republican control. gingrich is forced out of the house by his unsuccessful speaker -- >> is this a problem for gingrich, in your opinion? >> it would be by any normal standard and it will be, i think, in november. but again, gingrich has got behind him people that are so angry that all they want is that you be angry. in some ways the more outrageous the conduct the better they feel because that shows that your anger is what counts, and i believe you tell him he can't be elected and romney can be, and they're going to say, no -- look, some of my friends are the left like george mcgovern, and i think this is a test of whether or not people have courage of their convictions. they honestly believe people of anger and rejection, that they're the majority. if they really believe that, they'll nominate gingrich.