tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC January 31, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST
general election. if the president could sit back for the week and smile. newt gingrich. or banking a lot of video foota footage. john heileman, we are fwguessin by what margin the mitt romney need to end this thing and put it away? those are two different questions, alex and first of all, i want to make sure that i'm to record predicting what the outcome will be. i believe the margin will be 2.7394. >> i think that is pi squared by pi. i'm kidding but i like the decimal points. please continue. >> i offer that.
i think that there are two different questions one is what the media narrative is coming out of florida. and what is coming outside of newt gingrich's head, if romney wins in double digits i think a lot of people in the press will call it a huge victory, i don't think that they will say that he has wrapped the nomination up, he will not have done that, and the fact that the media has a rooting interest in keeping the race going, there's people that want to see the race go on. they will be abetted by point number two hwhich is to say, i don't think that there's anything that will stop gingrich from fighting another month or at least into march. he is angry, and he has been treated unfairly and he is a
little nuts. and i think he is series when he says he wants to fight all the way to tampa. >> he is a little nuts may be my favorite understatement of the day. joining me now is chuck todd who has -- >> he is stealing my money >> i know. >> he wants nothing to do with this retro -- we are talking numbers, we have a t gingrich r in january and $10 million in the quarter. that gives him juice. >> i want to see where the money went. i do not feel i've seen $15 million worth of campaign being run by gingrich and i don't see that. but going to this size of
victory, i guess what i'm surprised at the most is that mitt romney's campaign team decid decided to set their own bar. but to say we really -- >> you are referring to the sunday story. >> where they took all the credit and the ndid not say i wo do it this way. >> this could be a message to donors that have been ringing their hands ups s upset about h romney team dealt with it. they set this expectation that they want to win florida by a greater margin than newt won south carolina. what has mitt romney done to fix mitt romney and that has not happened and in many ways they are not ready to end this. we know newt will not be ready
to get out and i don't think that the romney campaign is ready yet. they have work to do before the general election. >> not only that, the buzz feed story. it's now about destroying institute gingrich, in going go that way, don't you go after the people that support newt gingrich and say we don't respect you and we will end the only guy that you support. >> can you actually attack gingrich. he is like the blob from a movie, is there anything left that could discredit this man. let hear what mitt romney had to say earlier today. >> we responded to the attacks. if you are attacked i'm not going to sit back, i'm going to fight back and fight back hard. >> john, you are this miami, you
have a lot of time that you logged with the romney campaign. has mitt romney learned to be a better candidate in this last weekend, do you think he takes the lessons with him going forward into nevada? >> well, alex, first of all, my connection is not that great, i'm pretty sure you referred to me as the blob. that is not a very nice thing to say. >> never, a lean mean fighting machine. >> no question, mitt romney was not a good negative campaigner in 2008 and it turned voters off. in this campaign, no question in florida, what we have seen is that mitt romney and his team are very skillful and brutal in the act of beheading newt fwini gingrich, i don't know that he has learned to sunday out a positive message that is attractive to the conserve base. chuck todd and others talked
about what happens next. i think, you know, the battle lines have been drawn pretty clearly. you have a establishment, elite candidate in mitt romney supported by the washington beltway crowd and newt gingrich supported by herman cain who will be on the show and sarah palin and rush limbaugh. that is an ugly fight going forward for mitt romney and he has got to, if he will have that group, if he is the nominee, he has to figure out a way to appeal to them in a positive way, not just approve that he can beat newt gingrich into submission. >> thank you for the herman cain tease. thank you. coming up if mitt romney joins florida, can party afford a drawn out battle, we will break down the delegates. next on "now ".
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is chuck, i want to throw this to you, what can stop newt gingrich at this point mitt romney the not age. that could have been from yesterday. he is, >> there was a debate of putting more money, his own personal money into that campaign going into super tuesday, and he decided not t. for fwigingrich, his only optios his own earning power. when does he decide that he will turn off the -- he the not have
the same snopportunity of maybe can do this four years from now. you will stick around if you are newt gingrich for a bit time and romney has yet to rally the talk radio crowd. they are the talk radio part of the party, this is a significant chunk of the party and until he courts them, which he has not done, they are not for newt. they are just not yet for romney and they are almost saying, romney come court us and until we do, we are not going to be for us. >> isn't that who mitt romney is, to pivot and become this type of can p date, would anybody buy it if he did? >> the calculation i look for when it comes to gingrich is sort of the middle of match.
it's widely thought, it sets up well for romney, the calendar. >> we know that we have eight contests between florida and super tuesday, 224 delegates at stake. let's talk a little bit about who will to what where according to that calendar. >> you have the state where mitt romney was born and his father was governor and the state that he won in 2008, you have two states, arizona and nevada and there's a large mormon population and he won a big victory in nevada. he got a state where it not a nonbinding vote, newt is not on the ballot in missouri. you have stating where ron paul is organizing well, if somebody is poised there to break out, probably not gingrich. >> newt's problem may finish third in more contests in
february than first. >> and that's a big deal. >> that's a problem. >> i fwguess the question is, c you hold on until there are southern states and get more juice going forward? >> that's the day looking forward. the one thing i would like for is how irrelevant do you want to be, if you can get to mississip mississippi, alabama, you risk like being jerry brown is staying in and getting crushed. >> wes, go ahead. and the thing that we need to watch is when we are looking at the states coming up and even what happened in florida, florida is the first that we have thus far that is a genuine swing state. >> don't tell iowans that. >> iowa, right. but it a state very much up for
grabs could tilt the way the general election goes. that is why they have put so much money into florida we will see the same thing in the states coming up. he will pick and choose where he will put the emphasis. >> we are missing the emotional part. with hillary clinton there was talk that she stayed in too long. her supporters were not ready to stop. i do not see that newt gingrich has got to that point. i see him sticking out, there's a hot lot of losing in february newt gingrich. >> i think of this scene in indiana jones and the last crusade. >> chuck, take it away. >> they are so close to grabbing treasure and the problem is that is newt. he saw it, and touched it and he was right there and he was the
front-runner for a second. you will not give that up. and again, why should you? i think he is making a mistake skipping arizona. yes, there's a large lds population, but when you look, yes, you could argue that gingrich's immigration position will not fly very well there and that is why romney was delivering a fine line. it is a conservative electorate if you play it right, but the problem is, newt maybe on immigration, newt can't do it there. it like a one market state. it not as expenseive to play there. st >> i think of the brass ring grabber in chivas mi-- in chief
as mitt romney. as the race exposed more weaknesses in the republican party? that is next on "now ". time out. sweet. [ female announcer ] with charmin ultra soft, you can get that cushiony feeling while still using less. designed with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent and you can use four times less. charmin ultra soft.
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prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ '80s dance music plays ] [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. tea party supporters have chosen the winner of the first three contests so far. in just hours we will see if florida's tea party wields the same influence. we have been talking about throwing the tea party, i want to say red meat, but perhaps a bi biscuit. this was said yesterday in florida at a senior is citizen's ho -- senior citizen's home. >> i understand a few of you are
on medicare. that being the case, i hope you tell your friends that fear that republicans will go after medicare, you can tell them we will never go after those programs. >> we will protect those programs. this seems to fly in the face of what the tea party is about in a loti itof respects. if mitt romney runs away with this is it going to show that the control of the tea party has waned? >> absolutely. what i do not understand is that mitch daniels gave the speech that mitt romney needs to start giving. well written, and they want this sort of fiscal -- tea party wants, they want to use the debt to shrink government and you can have a debate about whether it the cause of the debt problem or
not, leave it aside. this is what they want to hear. mitt romney doesn't know how to speak to them on this. he is coming across, but you have to be careful there, it sounds like a pander. >> and what does it mean for the agenda in the long-term? he c they are making waves in congress. there's been blow back there. what does it mean for the tea party if you have somebody like mitt romney? >> i think cahistorically, mitt romney, his nomination would be a defeat for the tea party. >> it the republican party in some respects. >> if you look at the platform that would be adopted this summer if he is nominated, he gives the rhetoric we do on not want to go after your medicare. the platform would approve it
with mitt romney as the nominee -- >> the same thing happened, the delegates in a convention were more conservative than bob dole was and we will see the same thing. >> he is on record for, he is saying that because in florida. he is with an electorate that is super seniors, he has to appeal to them and the ptea party are older. they are by and large, seniors themselves that do not want their medicare cut. it's just those other people that are giving government programs that they want cut. >> and that is right. that is what the concern is about mitt romney. you are right, he has gone on record saying something opposite of the quote just played. people have concerns about, if he ends up winning the nomination, what is going to be t the policy that will be adopted. and people are concerned about that. that clip right there highlights a large er concern and challeng. >> a broad concern shared by
many corners of the republican party. chuck todd you thank you for the answers the movie trivia, and witt. >> movie trivia. >> watch for the florida results and analysis right here. coming up. he is endorsing the american people and now newt gingrich but is herman cain open to the idea of a romney nomination. we will ask him about that and month when he joins us live in studio. next on "now ". capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus! so you earn 50% more cash. according to research, everybody likes more cash. well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no! but it's more money.
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is the people. i here by endorse newt gingrich for president of the united states. yes i could be very comfortable with mitt romney. >> that was the evolution of herman cain's endorsement. he joins us now, mr. cain, welcome to the set. >> thank you, happy to be here. >> thank you for joining us, you have been on the road a bit. mr. cain, i want to start with the national re richard cosentencohen said that endorsement was a blip on a scope. he said of of your endorsement, one clown endorsed another. what role do you think you have played in this contention that the gop race? >> name calling is not necessary. name calling does not help the american people. i think that is an irresponsible
way to talk about what is going on in this race. there were a lot of people still on the fence as late as this weekend. we know that. and i simply had gone through a process where i arrived at the decision that i wanted to endorse speaker gingrich for several reasons. i have nine reasons but i'm going to give you three. >> i can get what three of those nines represent. >> his tax proposal is the one comes the closest to my plan and the others tinker around the edges of the tax code. the big thing i wanted to do was replace the tax code. >> let's talk about that. it was said that newt gingrich said he has only cast, sort of skeptical of the 9-9-9 plan in previous statements and he has only endorsed 2 of the 9s. does that, you are now throwing your weight behind someone who has not given a full throated endorsement on your program. >> that is okay, the others do
not throw out the current plan. my first 9, he has 12.5 and the second he has 13 -- and the third he has zero. >> then they are right. >> this is my point. the big point is, he supports throwing out the current tax code. and even if it's his figures, they are closer to mine than the others. >> let's talk more about the gingrich endorsement and specifically newt gingrich as a candida candidate. newt gingrich came under fire from a lot of folks regarding the comments that he made about the minority communities. whether it's calling president obama the food stamp president or how minority communities to not understand work ethic, getting into a verbal debate with juan williams. >> let's play sound from newt
gingrich. it a full screen and i'll read the quote saying i had a very interesting dialog monday night in myrtle beach about the idea of work which seemed to juan williams to be a strange concept and his comments regarding spanish and what are your comments about that? >> nothing. i have known newt gingrich since the early '90s. he appointed me. people that are looking for rational over tones, there's nothing there. >> you find none of it devisive? >> it doesn't exist. i have known newt gingrich for decades. when i first met him as speaker of the house in washington, d.c., we sat down and had a one
on one conversation, we had conversations over the years. no, i do not think he has anything in his heart that comp implies that he has anything against the minority population. >> the thing i have to say about that, your personal friendship aside, the comments that he made about this specific issue and not only are they inaccurate, they are offensive. and they are not just offensive against minority groups but all people and all americans that believe there are a lot of people out there, white, black, or a variety of different colors poor and middle class who are all trying to find, trying find a piece of the larger american pie. when they hear comments like those from speaker gingrich, they see somehow this wall is built against them and people with positions of power are continuing to pull out this kind
of nasty language. so regardless of your friendship, i can't understand how you can hear the comments. >> i take issue with you calling it nacsty. if you want to look at it as that, you will. here is what i know newt wants to do. bring down the walls that you are talking about. he believes in opportunity zones. he wants to help people to empower themselves. i know this first hand not first hand. >> a journalist is somehow lazy by indicating that -- >> he didn't say that. >> -- by saying that -- >> i'm sorry to take issue with you. he did not imply that. to say he was trying to insult juan williams did not take it that way. and a lot of black people didn't take it that way.
if you are looking for something that you think points to a racial over tone, you'll find it. >> for people that did feel it was a racial over tone, you say you are wrong. >> they are wrong and i don't know what to tell them to get over it. if you are looking for that, you will find it some way. i am interested in bringing people together. >> let talk about why newt gingrich, beyond the comments that he has made. you predicated a lot of your candidacy on the notion that america needed a businessman and business experience was great background for being the commander and chief. >> yes. >> mitt romney is running a lot of the same message so far as he is a former executive and this is why he is qualified. you did not endorse him you endorsed newt gingrich who has
been trying to tear down mitt romney's record as a businessman. how do you square that? >> first of all, there's no perfect candidate. secondly -- >> there's one with business experience. >> allow me to finish. >> okay fwlm. >> when i was talking about a business ceo, i was talking about me. >> so it specifically -- >> let me finish. >> okay. >> i was talking about me being a businessman. i beg to differ, mitt romney had has been out of the business for years. he was the ceo of a company that he built, he was a carrier politician up to 1999 and then he built a successful business. gingrich has experience building a business and what he gained by getting out of politics it allowed his head to clear. once the head clears -- then he can look at things a lot more
objectively. >> the business that he created, mr. cain, isn't that a washington influenced pedaling business? >> no. >> how do you describe it? >> it was a solutions driven business. he was focusing on big solutions to the big problems we face. he was not building a business that was washington influenced pedaling. >> so freddie mac would be a big part of the solutions to the problems we face? >> i'm here to defend the endorsement of newt gingrich and we the people and the fact that he wants to replace the tax code, energy independence and sound money, the things that i believe are critical. >> let's talk about opening the doorway to a mpotential romney endorsement are you worried that
because you endorsed gingrich that it under mines the endorsement of romney? >> no, i am hoping that people stay inspired and engaged in the process. voter enthusiasm has been dropping because of all the negativity and all of the attacks. i have said all along i'll support the you ultimate nominee of the republican party. people will endorse one person and then when the nominee comes out they get behind that nominee. i don't know why it's so odd that i would do the same thing that people always do. >> i think, mr. cain, we are a boring set of traditional i aat. >> that is why they call me the unconventional guy. >> we will have more from mr. cain after the break.
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building whiter, stronger teeth. welcome back, we are back with former presidential contender, can p date, spokes person for the people, chair of the solutions revolution. >> i like that, spokes person for the people. >> herman cain, we were just talking about the solutions revolution. something we touched on a few weeks back, now that you endorsed newt gingrich, we know you'll be involved in his campaign. >> people can find out about solutions revolution at cain connections.com. we have 420,000 people that have signed up to be a part of that. we will organization by congressional district such that they can put pressure on their representatives before they get elected to get them to support major tax reform.
it may be 9-9-9, we are calling it the 9-9-9 revolution. real regulatory reform and real monetary policy reform. my objective, alex, is to try to get the voters refocused on fixing things. solutions, the negativity, attacks, i believe, they have been counter productive. i don't agree with it. i want to maintain the focus on real solutions to hard problems. >> are you working in conditice with the gingrich campaign to do that? it interesting, you have signed on, you are performing in an advisory role and you are trying work outside of the race, is there any tension there with newt gingrich not having a plan that sort of fits your goal? >> there's no tension. i am just thrilled that his plan is as close to mine asit itasit
it is. the reason i have been involved is we have had discussions and he is open to moving more toward 9-9-9. he did not commitment to it but he is open to it. he is open to a bold solution. so that that is encouraging to me. >> one last question for you. you look ahead to 2012 and there's a lot of back and forth, are you optimistic that this race will leave the republican field with a strong candidate? >> i do. i happen to believe it will be newt gingrich or mitt romney. both have their negatives. all candidates do. ultimately both of them are very good kmookt communicators and i to believe for mitt to win, if he gets the nomination, he will have to be more specific his proposa
proposals, especially his employme employment plan. these are changes he will have to make and lastly i believe at the convention, where the candidates have been all over the place on different policy, trying to set themselves apart. the purpose of the convention is so that it can come together and then they can go forward in the general election. >> mitt romney's campaign, if you do not hear that, that was a suggestion from herman cain, 9-9-9. we look forward to hearing more from you in the months and weeks to come. >> thank you very much. >> what now we will ask the panel about gingrich's endor endorsement and the role in the race. that is next. the employee of the month is...
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candidate, herman cain and that brings us to our post experience, herman cain endorsement and sarah palin endorsement, we are seeing these former candidates, come out with their views on this race. and as we talk on this, how much does this stuff matter? how much the a herman cain -- cain endorsement matter? >> there's a risk of over stating it. one thing, yes the money from the romney side and attacks and yes, the sort of republican opinion shapers but it's the bulk of the republican opinion p shaping class. people with influence in the party. the bulk of them sat on their hands and let gingrich get mugged and that is telling. there was a politico article
about the tea party freshman and all the talk on the bus coming back from the retreat was about what a disaster it would be if gingrich is the nominee. you have a lot of people that gingrich need that are staying quiet. >> having watched that interview, the bottom line is i do not think it matters for gingrich, because they all play in the same wing of the party. the conservative white male branch, that is who newt appeals to. the extent of minority republicans have on appeal to the same white male conservative base. that is why sometimes a herman cain can sound discorded to the points you were making when you were talking to him to an african american community. he is appealing to their group. i think in a way it hurts mitt romney, because that wing the not accept him.
>> and it reinforces that mitt romney has not won over those folks. >> i do not think it matters at all. gingrich's numbers went down, they are not appealing to the republican electorate, it matters with the talk radio folks. that is true, at some point mitt romney needs to bring those people in. he should have a forum in boston with rush limbaugh and hannity and all the guys and sit down and say, this is why you should like me. i don't know that he will be there number one idol. but i do not think that who herman cain endorses matters at all. >> and i think, just piggybacking on that, one of the tape aways from florida, the question is mitt romney prepared to make himself a better
candidate and that has not been answered. when you look at hillary clinton and barack obama, the reason that obama came out a better race was because he forced himself to. he looked at the issues that the voters may have a hard time addressing, and he addressed it head on. he gave a great speech in philadelphia, and addressed it head on. mitt romney has not addressed the core issues that voters have with him. >> he needs to get to income inequality. there's a large, on the right, cohort that is concerned that wall street gets ahead while they are behind. he needs to say, the wap iy i'm going to get you ahead, i will lower the barriers to income equality. he may believe it but he has not sold it. >> he has not been forthright about them. when you talk about religion.
it's something where he danced around it. he has found a place where he is comfortable but unlike obama who came out and tackled it head on, romney is not a confrontational candidate and not forthcoming with things that make him uncomfortable. speaking of president obama, he has been labeled the most polarizing president ever a 68 gap of those that approve and disapprove. clinton and reagan, if you look at the first and second years of their presidency polarizing. does not come as a surprise. >> not at all. when we elected our first african american president we should expect that there would be a backlash, the hatred of
barack obama is intense >> i saw a lot of similarities of the first two years of the clinton administration and the obama administration. >> thanks again to steve, joyann and benn. i'll see you here tomorrow, for full analysis of the florida primary results. but until then, you can follow us on the old twitter machine at nowwithalex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next.
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