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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 3, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PST

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signs of aging. [ dog ] i'll never be a bench-warmer. [ female announcer ] new iams senior plus. see the iams difference or your money back. [ dog ] i am an iams dog for life. hello, everyone. it is high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. in the west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." here are the first five stories trending this hour. midwest twisters. rush limbaugh and the gop. lindsay lohan and a new sarah palin ad on game change and the fight for super tuesday. but first we have this breaking news. the second tornado outbreak this week. cameras captured this apparent twister in borden, indiana, late friday and this morning. nbc news is confirming at least 32 deaths in three states. the storms moved east overnight in charlotte, north carolina. the severe weather destroyed homes and damaged others and some brand new video shows several dozen trees laying on
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the ground and debris littering that ground there. many parts of tennessee were affected from the city of ottawa. we just received this video showing damage filling the street and stuck with trees. many homes lost parts of their roof, but most devastation is in southern indiana. this in the town of henriville and we're getting a good look at the damage and entire homes are ripped from their foundations and are surrounded by dozens of downed trees. the most dramatic image may be the school busses tossed around like toys. children escaped to safety just moments before the storm struck. those who survived are stunned at the destruction, but they do remain hopeful. here's what they told lester holt. >> i put her in the basement after i checked on the back of the house and all of a sudden i started hearing the typical tornado, that being the freight train. i saw some debris flying, so i went down to the basement and to
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be perfectly honest it was probably, the devastation you see here was probably in my mind no more than 30 seconds. >> for more on this deadly storm, nbc's tom costelo is in chelsea, indiana with the very latest. good day to you. i know we were together just as dawn was breaking there. how are things looking now? >> reporter: good morning, alex. listen, i have a helicopter that has just landed just a few minutes ago. take a look really quick. this is the governor's helicopter that suddenly landed about three minutes ago and so he has now appeared here in chelsea to tour the damage. let me show you exactly what's happening here. if brandy would come over where i am standing. chelsea is just a farm community, and i'm standing at the home or one of the homes here that was quit literally ripped from its foundation. this is the front -- the front stairs, if you will. the home was picked up off its foundation yesterday and carried 100 yesterdays down into the
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field, and you can see the governor right now, governor mitch daniels is meeting with the family to talk about the damage here. the family who lived here, they survived, however, this is kind of a plot of farms, if you will, and many people here are related and unfortunately, an aunt and an uncle who lived across the road and they had a 4-year-old baby with them, they all died as did somebody else further down the road. however, an 82-year-old woman rode out the storm by herself just a quarter mile that way. it's really hard to imagine. all day here, we have seen this neighborhood come together. the family as well as friends picking up immediately. this has been a massive cleanup operation already trying to gather together everybody's belongings as best they can. to give you a sense of the damage over here, take a look, the trees completely stripped of their bark and you can see across the road, more damage.
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the police have been here and what's really been oppressive, i think, is to see the probably complete strangers showing up here and people who live in indiana showing up to help clean up, to cut down the trees if they can. to cut down the branches and to pick up debris that's in these farm fields and to try to help these people get going again. you know, i can't imagine that these people know the dozens upon dozens of people who descended on this farm to help them out. in jefferson county where we are in southern indiana, four people died and those are the four that live right here. to give you a sense of where we are, we're about 30 miles or so north of louisville, kentucky, state road 62 right there. louisville is a straight shot down that way and lester is a little bit further up that way by another 5 to 10 miles or so, lester holt. so that is a sense of the
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destruction here. this tornado, quite literally, cut a path right through this farm field and right through these people's homes and through their farm area and then it just kept on going and the destruction was really unbelievable. as you know, the talk has been that this may have been an e-4 with 150 mile per hour winds and he thought they were the 1 150-mile-per-hour winds that came roaring through here. >> that's just incredible. all of the people flooding into the community which is such a heartwarming thing and it almost brings tears to our eyes because you can't imagine the hope and inspiration they bring to these folks. >> state route 62, is it blocked up with trees? is it going to be hard for trucks and machinery to get in there? >> no, and in fact, i wish i could thank the helicopter pilot for turning down the engine. no, in fact, you can see, trucks
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are moving here up and down pretty well. i think what's happened here, we had the police here in the last couple of hours because we had looky-loos, people who just wanted to come through ask see the damage and for a time there they were blocking intersections and making it very difficult for some of the heavier equipment to get in and help these folks. for the most part, the roads are open. >> that's one good thing. >> thanks so much, tom costello, incredible pictures. we thank you for the story. now comes the damage assessment and the long cleanup ahead. craig, with a good day to you or otherwise, because this one is a tough one. how does this one compare to other storms and how quickly will fema be able to respond? >> we've been working with our state barters since yesterday. unfortunately, we knew there was a risk of severe weather and unfortunately that came true so working with the states again. most of the response has been met with local officials and
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some of the governors have called ought the national guards and we're working with the governors on what recovery assistance may be needed. the groups out providing immediate assistance and what we see now is we begin the recovery process is the response that we get to the final areas to get into and we start focusing on the unmet needs for recovery. >> how about advanced warning? i know the government does what they can to get the word out, but i've been watching the sister channel, the weather channel you have to tweet, facebook and put all this information out there so people know what the risk is that is likely in their area. i mean, do you find people were able to get out of the way to some degree? >> yeah. the problem with tornadoes is it's not really something that you get to evacuate from. they're so quick and so you have to know where to go, somewhere quick and somewhere safe. i think you heard a lot of
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reports about people getting in their basements and getting down low and in interior rooms and we know that saves lives. as tragic as this was for the loss of life, i think people took a lot of actions that reduced that. again, it's all about getting the warnings and having a plan and knowing what to do and acting requesticly because oftentimes these storms won't give you much warning. >> what's fema going to do for these folks in the long term, craig? >> that's to be determined. not any time when disaster strikes does it warrant a presidential disaster declaration that's always based on need. we're working with the governors as we begin looking for the assessments and what's needed. we'll be looking closely to determine what will be the available assistance and again, that process will begin as soon as the governors are ready to start. there's no focus on response and we're ready to go as soon as they are. >> fema director, craig fugate, thanks for spending time with us. >> thank you.
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front-page politics now. a new reaction from the gop presidential candidates on the controversial birth control comments by rush limbaugh. limbaugh used a derogatory term to describe sandra flock. she talked about the importance of companies, including those with religious affiliations, providing coverage. flock said president obama called her. >> he encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of american women and what was -- what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud, and that meant a lot because rush limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. >> late yesterday, we heard the first response from the gop front-runners mitt romney and rick santorum. take a listen. >> it's not the language i would have used. i'm focusing on the issues that i think are significant in the
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country today and that's why i'm here talking about jobs in ohio. >> well, that was mitt romney. we should have rec santorum. here he is. >> he's being absurd. an entertainer can be absurd and he's taken to the absurd -- the absurd sort of in point of view here as to how far do you go? look, he's in a very different business than i am. >> and ron paul said this about limbaugh's comments, quote, you'll have to ask him about his crudeness. >> joining me now, msnbc contributor and political editor for the grillo.com and it's good to see you both. thanks for joining us. >> we'll go ladies first and put polite decorum into the conversation. we just heard from mitt romney and rick santorum. how would you characterize their responses? >> it's very damaging to the republican brand to have these comments out there, so i would say that they obviously had to
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distance themselves from it as much as they could without alienating themselves from the base that listens to rush limbaugh. so i think it was probably as tough as we're going to hear them get on him, but this is not a good moment, certainly not for the general election when they're really going to need women voters especially independents in the middle to make up the difference and try to beat president obama. >> the extent to which people will forget this conversation, but perry, what about the president calling sandra flock. weigh income with the white house calling limbaugh's comments reprehensible. did this event rise, do you think, to the level of a presidential phone call? >> i was surprised that he did it to be perfectly honest and it sort of galvanized conversation. a lot of people were talking about television off air and rush limbaugh is probably one of those influential people in the country in term of political discussion. i know the president calling was appropriate and what he said and
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in a political sense he's trying to rally women voters who are a big part of the movement. it is a big part of why he made the call. >> how strategic is this on the president's part? or is this a father reaching out to the girl that he sees being victimized? >> think there's a political strategy at play at least in part and rightly so. in 2010, the democrats lost when they did not have the advantage among women that they usually enjoy and there's a significant gender gap that works to the democrats' advantage and they need to get it back in 2012 if they want to win and they see this as an opening and they see this as an issue women will relate to. and they do not believe in being called a slut. they see an opening there to try and reach women who see the reps as not being sensitive toward
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women. >> you know, perry, couldn't one of them gotten the upper hand? with a stronger response to rush limbaugh? >> i think as ann pointed out, limbaugh's impact is such they all to their credit did condemn the remark, but going much further i don't think it would have helped them, once president obama intervened and being in the same place where president obama is, in the same tone is never a good thing. i understand politically why they took the option they did. >> guys, let's move on to super tuesday discussion and i'll begin with you with it being two days away now. if romney win ohio, is it over? if santorum wins ohio does this go to the convention floor or something in between? >> i think something in between at this point. mitt romney has won certain states and it's never been a complete victory that locks it down for him, but if he wins ohio remember i think he'll make the case that he's the
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presumptive nominee and momentum. if you'll recall earlier in the race, winning one state didn't mean anything over wing the next. if he could win michigan and go on to win ohio, i think he'll start to make that case. he doesn't win ohio, i think where he has been previously in this race will be that people just don't like him, but at this point it looks like he has a slight advantage right now or certainly working hard there and we'll see him in ohio a lot over the next couple of days. >> i want to ask you relative to newt gingrich, ann makes the point that if you win one state you don't necessarily win the next one. if he does not win that, is he done? >> probably. he's having trouble with momentum which does matter and also he has to rely on he has a couple of super pac donors who are giving him enough money and his argument is that he's going to win georgia and then the march 13th primaries are alabama
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and mississippi so he can sort of build from there, but as ann said the campaign is not working that way so far. just because you win in one state doesn't necessarily mean you're guaranteed to win two more. that's looking very challenging for him. he's out of the conversation in some ways. >> perry, and corey, thanks to both of you. >> 21 in a row, that's the number of days gas prices have risen. how high will they go? plus -- >> i'll get revenge. >> do you remember the game of "life?" our next guest says that game lied. say it ain't so. why he says that next on "weekends with alex witt." are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ well, it promised you a car, a house, a family and steady paycheck until the day you retired. >> $50,000. >> i had twins. >> i'm on a hundred abbyingers. that's life. >>. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> since it first hit the shelves in 1960, the game of life outlined a simple path to the american dream. spin the wheel in one version of the game and get a college education for 2,000 bucks and maybe become a doctor and earn
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$50,000 a year for life or skip college and head right into the workforce earning $12,000 a year. a new article in the national journal looks at how far the realities have changed. jim tankersly, economics correspondent for "the national journal." thanks for joining me. a fun article to read when you put it in perspective with this game. what happened to the american dream and the game of life version? >> that's a great question. it's the one we'll answer for the next year at national journal and we thought what better way to kick off a series after what's happened to america with the changes in our economy and society with the erosion of fundamental values than by showing what's a better way to do it than by showing how this board game you grew up with has totally no longer represents the america that actually exists. >> right. >> so, i'd be happy to walk you through all of the different
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ways. >> sure. talk about some of them. let's look at the board. >> first off, i don't know if you grew up playing the game, but i did, way too many game nights with this. you start and spin the wheel and it's flimsy, as always. you have a car with your little peg in it and you have a choice. you can go to college like you pointed out a whopping $2,000 net cost or you can go right into the business world and either way you're guaranteed a paycheck and you can win the game either way and the goal of the game of life is to retire with the most money. that's just not true anymore. if you don't go to college, there's a much lower chance that you'll get a good job and you'll make a lot less money now compared to a college graduate than you used to. these are difficult choices that people have to make in the beginning just starting out in life. >> the real world now, right? the game guarantees it to you, but now with unemployment. >> right. >> that's one of my favorite
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things about the game. you can't lose your job in the classic version. you always get a payday. you move along a little bit here along the border and everyone gets married so you get hand torly stopped and you get married. you spin for presidents and you keep going and almost everyone, every kid is born into a married household which is totally not true in america anymore either. it used to be 95% of kids were born into married families. now 40% of american children born out of wedlock. >> you know what i thought was interesting? you talked about the prices that you had to pay for, say, auto insurance, life insurance, fire insurance that are in the game. no mention of health insurance which of course, now, everyone's talking about the skyrocketing prices of health care now. >> there are two big parts of a family budget today that are totally going up. one is health insurance and the other is the cost of gasoline and neither are reflected in the
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game at all and you can move your minivan across the board without worrying about what it costs to fill at the pump and the part of the board is when you accidentally pay for $2,000 for a is the of false teeth. it's a fascinating article. and thank you. >> thanks for having me. lindsay lohan is the guest host on "saturday night live. she had a busy week with the rehearsal and late night with jimmy fallon. it marks a comeback for the troubled star after her court-ordered rehab. this one's for all us lawnsmiths. grass gurus. doers. here's to more saturdays in the sun. and budgets better spent. here's to turning rookies - into experts,
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with alex witt." smartphones now rule. a new pugh research poll finds smartphone users in the u.s. have surpassed cell phone owners. 40% of those say they have a smartphone, an 11% increase since last may. they have a cell phone, but it's not a smartphone. ♪ ♪ my dad and grandfather spent their whole careers here. [ charlie ] we're the heartbeat of this place, the people on the line. we take pride in what we do. when that refrigerator ships out the door, it's us that work out here. [ michael ] we're on the forefront of revitalizing manufacturing. we're proving that it can be done here, and it can be done well. [ ilona ] i came to ge after the plant i was working at closed after 33 years. ge's giving me the chance to start back over. [ cindy ] there's construction workers everywhere. so what does that mean? it means work. it means work for more people. [ brian ] there's a bright future here, and there's a chance to get on the ground floor of something big,
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and an enhanced accident-response system standard in every chrysler 200. no one would know if we didn't. but we would have. and for us, the things you do when no one is looking are the things that define you. ♪ >> welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." we have more breaking news at this half hour. the death toll up to 32 in parts of indiana and other states nearby. officials are trying to determine exactly how many tornadoes struck. witnesses reported seeing 100 twisters. the death toll may rise because there may be trapped and isolated victims. the first fatality from an apparent tornado. this first video shows a funnel cloud forming in athens,
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alabama. the weather channel's mike seidel is live in harvest. tell me what you're seeing there. it looks like destruction you're standing on. >> reporter: yes, indeed. we have three more, unfortunately, fatalities from kentucky. indiana and kentucky taking the brunt of the damage and fatalities. so that brings the death toll of the outbreak toa 35 and you throw in the total for the week and that's almost 50 fatalities from the tornado outbreak. 99 twisters and counting. the weather channel surveys the damage and they'll be thinning out this number and it remains to be seen if this becomes the largest outbreak in march. of the 99 reports, the first one of the day hit right here where i'm standing and not only hit here, but hit in a spot that was hit last year. an ef-5 came through this part of madison county last year and this is north of huntsville killing people last year. this year, seven injuries and
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everyone was ready to go home from the hospital and spent the night out of the hospital and we had a mobile home, and it was blown to smithereens and they left it beyond this debris which is yesterday's image and impact from yesterday's twister. they both came in from the western and southwestern sky, and you can see the debris wrapped around this tree. over here, another house, and what we noticed when we first got here yesterday, a lot of houses being reconstructed. this one was just about finished and it got knicked by the tornado and they were replacing it from the side in the distance and another house which hadn't even been fennished and now they've got a tarp up on the roof. a lot of people basically just getting back into their homes following the horrible outbreak last april on the 27th, ten months later they get hit again. the locals said it was like a dream, and i'm thinking it was more like a night pair. power coming back to 35,000 customers and now down to 300 customers out here on arborough
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road and now very famous in this area because they've been hit twice in ten months. back to you. >> that's not the kind of thing you want to incur in alabama. thanks very much, mike seidel. for more on the story head now to weather.com. let's head into politics and three days to go until super tuesday. the republican candidates are stumping hard. rick santorum and newt gingrich are campaigning in ohio while ron paul stakes his case in alaska. 11 states in tuesday's races and joining me right now republican strategist the national campaign manager from mike huckabee's 2009 presidential campaign. gentlemen, good afternoon. thank you for joining me. >> good to be with you. >> where is the smart money ahead of tuesday's races? governor romney has momentum in
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arizona. there's a lot of money to be spent in those states and rick santorum is doing well in states like oklahoma and competing all over as well and it will be a jump ball on tuesday, i think. >> how do you read things, governor strickland, in terms of ohio. how do you think it will vote in the general election, as well? >> in the general election the president will do well, but in this prime air e i think it's impossible to know which candidate is likely to pull it out. the polling has santorum very slightly ahead, but romney is picking up steam. so it's impossible for me to predict at this point which of those two candidates will win ohio. >> but you know your constituents and with the evangelical vote being in ohio as opposed to michigan this week, is that the more compelling argument that might throw things rick santorum's way or is it the economy that would
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throw things mitt romney's way. >> the economy is improving in part thanks to the rebounding of the auto industry, but it is true that there is a strong religious, evangelical element among the republican primary electorate in ohio, and i think that will be very beneficial to rick santorum. that's why it's almost impossible who will emerge as the winner. >> you correctly state that the business community and much of the political establishment in ohio, the political establishment is in romney's camp, but i want to tell you, i think the tea party group and the religious evangelicals will go heavily with santorum and the polling has the spread about two or three points between the two of them. so it's a dogfight and leading into tuesday's election, i think two candidates are fighting as
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hard as they are to win ohio because they're the essential swing state. >> chip, you're there in tennessee, let's talk about what you have seen on the ground there? have you seen a strong push? we've been monitoring ohio and the candidates there today. have you seen one push of one candidate over another in the state? >> senator santorum and newt gingrich. they're trying to make a big push. polling suggests that santorum is doing extremely well here, but just like in ohio governor romney is putting a strong push. he's putting money on the tv and he's got ground forces here. he has the governor of tennessee and senator santorum supporting them. senator santorum will eke out a win in tennessee. >> chip, do you think mitt romney has a chance to win the state of tennessee. would that be his only southern state win? >> i think he has a chance and certainly pushing hard here and there are still lots of states left. super tuesday's a lot different
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than it was a few years ago. >> southern states -- southern states, too? >> yeah. i think he does have a chance as we push forward into the nomination. there are other states farther down the line and we don't know who will be in the race four weeks from now when some of these states vote. there's a chance here for governor romney. he'll do very well if he's the nominee for the general election, and i think ohio will be on the republican column in november. >> why are we not surprised? >> how about this? >> the $10,000, oh, no, here we go. we have some betting going on. >> governor strickland, how does president obama's campaign take advantage of the divisiveness in the republican party right now? >> the advertising is brutal and the republican candidates are telling the brutal truth about each other, and i think that's going to harm them severely come november. i was watching tv this morning and what romney is saying about santorum and what santorum is
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saying about romney is damaging their brands, and i think it will be very difficult for them to come back, to moderate themselves and to appeal to the common sense middle voter in ohio. ohio is a very common sense state. we shun extremes and what we're seeing out of romney and santorum at this point is very extreme, even radical ideas, and on the other hand -- go ahead. >> i want to chip into the conversation here picking up on what you said, governor, because speaking of the damaging, how does this birth control debate play out in ohio and tennessee, chip? >> i think most of the folks are really focused on jobs and the economy. i think that's really the number one issue and when we talk about birth control and all those other things, i think it's just a small segment of the population and at the end of the day it's jobs and the economy that lead the day. primaries are tough and we've seen that every four years and the obama primary are as tough
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as they've seen. tough primariys make strong election candidates and we'll see the republican party is -- our guys are taking a lot of flack, but at the end of the day it will make them a stronger candidate for the end of the election. >> do you agree that it's mostly about the economy that social issues will not have much effect come november? >> well, it should be about the economy, but quite frankly, the republican candidates are making it about these divisive, social issues. i mean, to think that we're discussing whether or not contraception should be legal in this country is just ludicrous given the fact that we've got all of these economic problems, and i believe we ought to be talking about the economy, but, listen, these candidates decide what's being talked about because they're the ones who are bringing forth these issues and so i think -- you know, i think it will be a problem come the fall. contraception is a pretty basic,
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established citizen right in this country. it's almost impossible to believe that we're talking about contraception in 2012 in the midst 6 an economic crisis. it just shows that these republican candidates, quite frankly, alex, are out of touch with the ordinary ohioan and the ordinary american. >> chip, i'll give you the last word. >> on the contraception issue, this was the obama administration overreaching into what they can or can't do. these candidates are talking about the jobs and talking about the economy. and senator santorum has a great manufacturing plan and that will play in ohio. governor romney has a business plan to get america back to work and i think at the end of the day, economic and jobs issues will be number one in november. >> former governor ted strickland and republican strategist jim salesman. i want you to listen, because here's something we've been asking viewers.
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will the birth control con vo versy affect the controversy in november. yes, it will affect the election and women aren't going vote for someone against them. nicky johnson tweets and yes, this control will affect the 2012 elections and you can't take away our choice and think we won't remember come november. my handle is @alexwitt and i'll get to your tweets later on. >> first up, the automaker getting the highest marks from consumer reports, subaru named the year's best brand of cars. the consumer watchdog also named subaru's impressa, top car among small sedans. toyota third, by the way, japanese carmakers scored the highest overall. on the other hand, chrysler ranked dead last among 13 car brands. general motors ranked second worst followed by mercedes benz. now to the list of the most miserable housing markets. sitting atop the 24/7 wall
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street rankings, nevada where housing prices have fallen 60% since early 2006 and it is the steepest drop in the nation. the situation's not much better in second place florida nor third place arizona. california and michigan round out the top five. misery loves company, right? so now we go to the forbes list of the country's most miserable sports cities. atlanta wins the dubious distinctions with the post-season success for its teams. >> seattle is second most miserable followed by phoenix, buffalo and san diego. >> finally, the survey of the trendiest pet names and you won't find fido or fur ball in the top trend. lola is the top name for female dogs followed by stella and luna, followed by bentley, diesel and tank. >> and stella is also number two with izy ranking third and for the male cats dexter has taken command with cooper and louie, a
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whisper or two behind and those are your number ones on weekends with alex witt. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers.
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anyway, a new generation of children is being introduced to a classic dr. seuss story this weekend, "the lorax" from universal pictures from our parent company nbc universal. it's in theaters now and here's a clip. [ screaming ] >> ow! okay. what are you -- i -- question. what are they doing here? and follow up, if i may, what are you doing here? >> amy palmer entertainment reporter is here with a must see and must avoid. lor ak, must see? >> i saw this with a
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4 1/2-year-old and 8-year-old, they want mead to tell you two thumbs up for this and they loved it. that's great. danny devito plays the lorax and betty white is the voice, zach efron and taylor swift. they're predicting huge box office numbers between $50 million and $60 million. >> definitely at the top. >> go see this if you're looking for something to do with the kids this weekend. >> how about the new release from the director of "the hangover" how this was called project x. what do you think? >> this movie is horrible. i would say stay far away from it. it is absolutely one of the worst movies i've seen this year. they're trying to do "risky business" meets "the jersey shore." it doesn't make it in every level. it made me miss characters with heart that depict teenage angst. it's one long music video, and i have to say it's one of the
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worst movies i've seen this year. >> how do you really feel? >> that's it, alex. especially because it does remind me of the jersey shoresque mentality. >> i am so not going to see that. >> what about lindsay lohan? all of the buzz and making the publicity rounds. >> i think i just saw her downstairs, actually. she's looking really good. this is her fourth time hosting snl and there's so much buzz around this and i think it will be hilarious. now there are rumors that she'll be sing her opening monologue which will be hilarious. she was on imjy fallon and talking about wanting to bring him back for one of the sketches and this is a definitely must see. >> you know what people forget about her with all of the c controver controversy? she's a darn financial res. >> you and i have been discussing that she is so talented and even though we've seen her go through horrible times, we want more do well, and maybe, at the ripe old age of 25
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it will happen for her. >> fingers crossed, i hope. >> amy palmer, thank you. office politics with dan rather and where he got all of his colorful expressions is coming up in our next hour and we'll have more reaction to the rush limbaugh comment about the georgetown law student. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." ♪ ♪e monade ? susie's lemonade... the movie. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast speeds. we'll take all the strawberries, dave. you got it, kid. we have a winner. we're definitely gonna need another one. small businesses that want to grow use 4g lte technology from verizon. i wonder how she does it. that's why she's the boss. because the small business with the best technology rules. contact the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 1-800-974-6006. the calcium they take because they don't taket with fd. itch cial mum ps d.
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and now number five on our first five web story, sarah palin's game change ad. yesterday she released a new video disputing the hbo movie. >> my fellow americans, i introduce to you the next vice president of the united states governor sarah palin of the great state of alaska. >> this is sarah.
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♪ ♪ >> well, i'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. >> going to be an interesting one. 25 and counting, that is the number of days the price of gas has been on the rise according to aaa the national average for a gallon of regular now stands at $3.76 a gallon which is up $1.6 cents from yesterday, up 30 cents from a month ago. financial analyst sarah is here with the growing pain. >> prices have been rising at the pumps for nearly 40 days state. it's just incredible. >> $3.76 a gallon. >> ooh absolutely painful. how high do you think these will go, vera? ? it's starting to look like 2008 all over again. we see a national average and about 25 cents off from that and given that prices rise about 20 cents leading up to the summer months and many analysts say $5 by memorial day is not too far off the market and analysts i've
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spoken to say 20 twefrl will be the most expensive year for gas as of yet. >> about the highest and lowest prices? >> alaska, hawaii, california, if you look at alaska, some residents there and motorists there are paying upwards of $6 a gallon at certain stations and it's just completely out reasoningous. florida is also out there at $3.70 and $3.75 a gallon and some motorists there are paying $6 a gallon, particularly near disney world where prices are ridiculously high anyway and there's been a lot of complaints about high prices in that area. in terms of the lowest we'll end with the good news here, places like montana, colorado, they're relatively low compared to what we're paying in new york which is $3.76 a gallon. don't be gouging. people will call for investigations if you're going to be doing that especially when it's just so painful already, but with regard to the overall
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economy, as we look at how much it costs to fill up the tank, what does this mean? >> yes, every penny cent increase in gas has caused $1 billion in discretionary spending and since we're talking about a 66-cent increase since the middle of december, that is $66 billion a day because when gas prices go up we are forced to cut back at the restaurants and the hotels and the bars and whatever the case may be. i can imagine that we'll hit the demand destruction point where people are saying enough already and they'll be looking at mass transit and banking and walking. it's scary this early in the season. >> it really is because we have a ways to go in the upward trend. >> now a few more items that caught my eye. a 1933 double eagle has landed in london. it is worth more than $7 million. and is the world's most valuable coin and it is the first time it's been on public display in europe. cherry blossoms are expected to
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bloom earlier than expected in washington, d.c. this year. the national park service says the peak bloom should come between march 21st and 31st. and cue the disco music. this bad boy was photographed on the streets of mexico city. this little piggy's name is shy and he's apparently anything, but. he's 6 months old and was following his owners who often take him for walks around the city. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." where else would you get that kind of news? think about it. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better.
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the other office devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up." in business, it's all about reliability. 'cause these guys aren't just hitting "print." they're hitting "dream." so that's what i do. i print dreams, baby. [whispering] big dreams. >> devastation and despair. it is the day after a legal outbreak of tornadoes, parts of the nation's heartland reeling. for now, a long embrace provides comfort and hope to survivors who lost so much, but cling to the hope to a brighter tomorrow. >> we're going to get up, thank
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god we're alive and pick up the pieces and get on with it. >> a series of reports on the deadly twister still ahead. also coming up, the rush reaction. how will a conservative talk show host's inflammatory comments affect the republican race? and the deep divide in d.c. in today's "office politics," dan rather on how political polarization all began. >> hello, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." >> we begin with the latest on the second deadly tornado outbreak this week and new this hour. nbc news confirms 35 people now died in the severe weather and more deaths are expected. weather officials say witnesses reported more than 100 tornadoes yesterday. this brand new video from clark county, indiana shows what may be one of the most destructive twisters. officials would determine how many actually touched down and southern indiana may be the hardest hit. those school busses you just saw
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ov overturned and into buildings and entire towns are destroyed. >> nbc's lester holt is in indiana. good day to you, lester. >> reporter: one of the most remarkable stories of survival and heroism occurred at the school, it's an willmentry school complex. they new administrators were coming and they decided to dismiss classes 20 minutes early. most of the kids were put on busses and taken home. however, some of those bus driver his not finished their routes when they saw the funnel cloud coming and opted to bring the kids back here. several dozen kids huddled in classrooms and offices with members of the faculty as the storm hit. it was a direct hit on the school. as you can see, it's been destroyed and things were flying around and walls collapsing and the library books flying, but miraculously, none of the children and none of the staff members was hurt. this is the scene all around the
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center part of town. as you can see, trees are down, buildings are down. come over here and you'll see actually a bus into a building. that's one of the busses that moments before had brought kids back to the school to take shelter. it's embedded in a restaurant. that's how powerful this storm was. one estimate that the winds might have been as high as 170, perhaps 180 miles per hour when it came through this town and having loss of life in indiana, yet so many stories of survival and heroism, and we expect to continue to see those even as they continue to clean up the streets and get the power back on, we'll be viewing the emotional toll of this for a very long time. alex? >> thank you for that report. indiana governor mitch daniels has been surveying the devastation all morning long and he said residents did heed warning of the approaching tornadoes. >> all of the things that mere mortals can do is hard enough sometimes when mother nature
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takes it and inflicts damage like this. >> what would you say to those watching you and are homeless right now and going through this? >> well, you know, we love you, and we're with you, and all the -- that isn't already obvious, and it will be to a lot of them is not just government, this is their neighbors here to help. >> governor daniels spoke with homeland security secretary janet napolitano and says it will help the people of his state recover from this disaster. >> we'll head to hard hit henriville, indiana. a massive cleanup operation is right there right now. this video showing just widespread damage there. look at that home and colook at that completely empty. the weather channel's jim cantore is there. jim? >> reporter: hey, alex, as you've been reporting the death
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toll has been climbing all morning long and it's for reasons that what we see behind us. homes that have been ripped off their foundations and just pushed and scattered and crunched off in the distance since we're here. fortunately, the good news out of this story is the people that were inside actually survived, but that wasn't the case for so many as we continue to hear about. there's just debris everywhere. huge chunks of trees with huge root balls and cars that have been tossed over the back. nobody knows where those came from and it's the elementary school that presents us with the most interesting story because 30 minutes before the tornado moved in. 30 minutes, those classrooms were full of students. wow! one classroom even got filled again as some of the students came back in a school bus where they saw the tornado and turned around and came back to the school and everybody's fine and unharmed as they took shelter in a building that has no windows, and that's why we tell you to do that, but this school is a total loss. do you think the back side's
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bad? you ought to see the front side which you can't get to. here's the deal. search and rescue is hoping to continue it. the chopper's been flying around all morning long and we expect to hear a word from him tonight as well as the sheriff in henriville. the united states. >> is still breaking and they're having volunteers hold off before they can get some of the final assessments, but the worst news is the climbing death toll. back to you. >> i can't believe the school isn't worse. our coverage of the deadly tornado outbreak continues online. for more on the storm head to weather.com. >> new reaction to rush limbaugh's controversial comments aimed at a female law student over birth control. now president obama is weighing in. sandra flock testified last month about the need for companies including those with religious ties to provide contraceptive health coverage to
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employees. flock appeared on andrea mitch ole friday and said president obama called her. >> he encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of american women and what was -- what was really personal for me is that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud and that meant a lot because rush limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. >> joining me now is "washington post" columnist and sabrina eaton. hello to both of you. sabrina, your focus is on ohio, certainly a key swing state and a super tuesday state. i want to play what mitt rom me and rick santorum said about this controversy with rush limbaugh. >> it's not the language i would have used. i'm focusing on the issues that i think are significant in the country today, and that's why
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i'm here talking about jobs in ohio. >> he's being absurd. an entertainer can be absurd and he's taken the absurd sort of point of view as to how far do you go and he's in a very different business than i am. >> sabrina, how do you see this limbaugh backlash playing out in ohio. >> rush limbaugh certainly has his fans in ohio. i just -- but i personally don't think that attacking a woman like that really looks good for him. >> okay. what do you think about president obama calling sandra fluke yesterday? >> what is the calculation? is it political or a man who has daughters reaching out to somebody else's daughter? >> i think you would be shocked to discover that there's politics going on this election year. the democrats have been putting out the bait for the republicans on this issue over and over again and the hearing that
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occurred in the first place and it was just a democrats-only hearing because she'd been excluded from the other one, but the republicans keep responding to it and conservatives like rush limbaugh keep responding to it and they're digging their own grave because the politics started out on their own favor on exemptions of religious organizations, but it appears that the party and some of the leaders are just taking a position against birth control which is not a winning position in the united states of america today. >> let's move on to super tuesday, specifically, the new quinnipiac poll along the likely gop voters and romney is 31%. can you categorize the sense of momentum right now in ohio? what are your sources there telling you? >> my sources are telling me that santorum may have peaked and that romney's on the ascent. santor santorum, his organization wasn't with it enough to get on the ballot in every single
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congressional district and the way ohio awards delegates is by the congressional district for many of them and he doesn't have anybody representing them and then there are a few where he's just got partial representation, so he's going to lose out on nine delegates and possibly as many as 66 and that puts him at something of a disadvantage. >> you're saying even before the voting starts he's behind? >> that's correct. yes. >> dana what about mitt romney? if he wins ohio on tuesday, do you think the race is over? >> in one sense, alex, it's been over for a while because it was never really a clear path for any of his opponents. it got exciting because they keep shifting back and forth, but certainly if romney can do very solidly here on super tuesday, it's sort of another nail in the coffin for the rest of the pack, and i think people are settling and saying, maybe it's not going to be a brokered convention, and i think people are beginning to accept the
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reality of romney. >> sabrina, how about the ads playing in your state? are they brutal? are they vicious? >> they're not very nice. a lot of them are put out by super pacs. so the candidates can distance themselves from it, but they all want to tear each other down and so their candidate will win on tuesday. >> are you surprised at all, sabrina, with the endorsement that happened, it just came about an hour ago from the dealer -- i'm going to keep saying that, dealer, they'ren dorgs mitt romney for the gop nomination. >> that doesn't surprise me. most of the establishment in ohio has been behind romney for quite some time. he's got the endorsement from senator ron portman. most of the local congressmen have endorsed romney. our end of the state tends to be somewhat more less socially conservative than the southern
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part of the state which would indicate that i think romney would get more support up our way than santorum. >> how do you see them playing on ut? >> well, look, this is where romney's money advantage and where his organizational advantage really kicks in and he's rung up the delegate count where he's significantly ahead anyway and i think the press has a way to focus on the contest and that's what's clear here is ohio this time and assuming romney's ahead there and scores pretty much everywhere else and ron paul will win in washington state or something, but i don't think the storyline changes from here, and it says that romney remains his to lose. >> all right. sabrina eaton, and -- >> be sure to watch "meet the press." david gregory's guests include newt gingrich and eric cantor
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and debbie wasserman schultz. check your local listings for the time. up next, a round of nuclear nightmare and could president obama convince to halt the program? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ toilet flushes ] i come in peace... i come in peace. but you go in pieces. [ female announcer ] you can't pass mom's inspection with lots of pieces left behind. that's why there's charmin ultra strong. versus the ultra rippled brand. so it holds up better for a more dependable clean. fewer pieces left behind. i go in peace. yes, you do my little alien. [ female announcer ] we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra strong? over a million people have discovered how easy it is to use legalzoom for important legal documents.
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sgloor the quarter past. holton, indiana. we are looking at tornado damage there and southern indiana could be the hardest hit. governor mitch daniels called the destruction unbelievable.
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first up, president obama gave an interview in which he said that a, quote, military component could be used to stop i rab from developing a nuclear weapon. jeffrey goldberg of the atlantic monthly did that interview with the president. >> i was struck by how strong he was speaking and how clearly he was speaking about how central this issue is to him. >> and today's second iran headline, president obama will talk to apa, kr, the american israel public affairs committee tomorrow and joining me is david millie, senior adviser at the state department. thanks for joining us, aaron. >> is president obama going further than he ever has before in warning iran using the military option to prevent them from building a nuclear weapon? >> imf on not sure what the united states would do. he's trying to reassure the israelis into stay their hand and that's his major objective
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both publicly to convince israel's supporters here and to convince the israelis and to convince the iranians that should their efforts to acquire a capacity, if not a weapon persists that the united states is not only are all options still on the table, but at some point a military attack will become a reality. he'll try to bridge that gap without truly revealing his hand which he cannot do right now. >> so, as the president gets ready to meet with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, that will happen on monday. did the president make clear or not that he advises israel against attacking iran? >> i think other than actually telling an israeli prime minister and this will be his ninth meeting and not many of them have gone terribly well. i'm predicting this will be the best meeting and an american president will never say to an israeli prime minister you cannot and will not do this. the froms and has advisers have made clear this is messy,
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complex. the risks are extraordinary and the returns by a year or two may not be worth the risks of an israeli military attack. what they haven't done is to give the prime minister the assurance that if israel stays its hand and does not strike then at some point by mutual agreement the united states will. that is what the israelis want to hear. that's an assurance i don't think the president is prepared to offer right now. >> so what do you you think the president will say to,a pac tomorrow? >> i think he'll be as generous in terms of his sensitivity, sensibility for his role in security. he will put the iranian issue as probably the most important foreign policy item in his agenda, and he's going to do everything possible he can to reassure the israelis that if in effect, sanctions and cyber attacks and political isolation
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directed toward iran do not work and at some point the united states may actually have to use and exercise the military optional though he cannot -- i do not believe, explicitly say that. >> how much do you think this being an election year will affect what the president says to apac tomorrow? >> i think if this weren't an election year and you had an impending crisis right now between iran and israel and the israelis were ready, threatening and willing and able and they are able to do some damage to iran's nuclear site. if this weren't issue numero uno to take the iranian threat of developing the capacity in a weapon and israel's determination to prevent that from happening an american president would still have to take this very seriously. >> aaron, give me your best
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educated guess as to how close you think we are to israel making some sort of a military move. i'm not prepared to bet either of my mortgages on this, but i would say this. i think an israeli attack between now and the end of the calendar year is possible, but it is not probable. i think there is more time. i think the israelis will respect the president's wishes to give him more time, but let me say this. without a diplomatic solution and there is none and in the face of it iran's determination to require a weapon, we are sliding. i can't tell you when that will be, we are sliding toward some sort of military confrontation. so, aaron, say israel strikes. what does the day after look like? >> well, you know, getting into wars is a lot easier as we've learned the last administration has been quite instructive on this matter than getting out of them. you open up a pandora's box and you're not sure what is going to
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come out. a couple of things are obvious. if they strike and they couldn't strike repeatedly and it would probably be a one-shot deal and they'd probably do significant damage to some of iran's nuclear sites. they most likely will retaliate against israel. i doubt if they try to block the straits of hormuz and even if they did we would reopen them because they can't keep them closed for very long. the price of oil would be well over $200 a barrel and you'd end up with the financial markets both here and in europe, stunned and shocked by all of the uncertainty. it's conceivable that our own fledgling recovery would be retarded or seriously delayed. the iranians would step up their attacks against american forces in afghanistan and you'll see an increase in regional tensions and end in terror and american assets. it's not the end of the world for sure, but it's not a great
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situation and no american president wants to court some situation if in fact, there is both time and determination to try the other options, but i'll say it again. this year or next iran is determined to require a capacity to produce ultimately a weapon. the israelis will not allow that to happen and ultimately, it seems to me, neither can the united states. >> i want to thank you for the most insightful response to that question as to what the day after looks like. i really appreciate that. you covered all of the bases. >> thanks, alex. take care. still ahead, "office politics." dan rather on the impact of the gop debates and the roots of his colorful, and some call it charming texas language. up next, the latest check on the prices at the pumps. stay with us on "weekends with alex witt." ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> the cost of gas rose for the 25th day in a row today and all estimates are for that trend to continue. according to aaa, the national average for the gallon of regular is up a full 30 cents from just a month ago. the highest is in hawaii where it will cost $4.37. prices could reach $5 over this summer. in a moment we'll bring you up to speed on our top story. the deadly tornadoes across four states. the search for survivors and the hopes for recovery. ouncer ] herbal shifts it. now herbal essences has more styling products to let you shape shift your look from straight to curls... to up-do. the new herbal essences stylers -- this shape shifts everything.
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died in four states and more deaths are expected today. officials are working to determine how many actually touched down. we're looking at some home video right now showing a twister moving across southern indiana. our crews on the ground in henrysville, interiana, look at that man pulling his dog from the debris and rushing it to safety. a woman from a nearby town was reunited with her cat who was hiding scared in the debris. joining me now is nick shelton. nick escaped his business just moments before storms destroyed that building. nick, i know you have an auto body shop. tell us what happened because apparently you didn't know that the storms or tornados were coming? >> well, i mean, i knew they were coming and at some point in time i thought it would be later in the day. >> so what happened? you have a neighbor who came to you and for whom you owe a lot of thanks, right? >> oh, yeah. >> and he came over and told me
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there were 50 minutes away. so what did you see when you went outside? i mean, how quickly does a storm like this come up? can you look outside and say i see it? it's 15 minutes away and it's heading for me. >> when he came over and got me, we walked over and looked to the last and we can see the clouds and we saw a funnel and the funnel lifted and i thought we were going to be okay until we looked back and saw the big funnel behind it. we went to the basement and probably five minutes or so later, and we came out of the basement and everything was gone. >> wow! >> it took five minutes. five minutes and you opened this auto shop, what? just last fall? in five minutes it's gone. >> pretty much. yeah. >> and nick -- he opened his restaurant and he's been open a month. he'd been open a month yester y
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yesterday. and has the reality of this sunk in yet. nick? >> i mean, the reality is it's gone. i hope i can put it back. my family's okay. i'm okay. >> where was your family through all of this? >> my son was at school about 20 miles east of here where the tornado came through first. it missed their school by a couple of miles and then came here. my wife was at work, and she works at a clinic and she was there. >> nick, as a father, that's got to scare the you know what out of you. >> you see the destruction five minutes after you manage to get into somebody's basement and it's not like you can pick up your cell phone. i can imagine service was all out and how long did it take you to put everything together and know that everything was all
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right. >> my sister picked up my song and we found out we could get spotty text messages and every vehicle i own was destroyed and most of them, the business here and my wife was in an accident on her way here, and the truck hit her in the back and we were told the only car we had left and we're all okay and that's all that matters. i tell you, nick shelton, you're someone we really admire for your spirit and it's okay because we're all all right and you have the most prized possessions of your family. i hope you get that auto body shop up and running real quick. thank you. good luck. >> thank you. >> our coverage of the deadly tornado outbreak continues on msnbc.com which includes a further look at what is causing all of this violent weather. to politics. just three days from now, super tuesday a number of scenarios could play out. wednesday the gop picture could
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be clearer or more muddled. voters are hitting the polls in 11 states and there are 424 delegates up for grabs. in ohio alone, 66 delegates are at stake and it is the highest single delegate count of any state on tuesday after georgia. the latest poll out of the buckeye state shows rick santorum holding a slight four-point lead over mitt romney. >> i am joined now by democratic polster fred yank. good afternoon. >> good afternoon, alex. nice to be here. >> let's look at scenarios be n beginning with rick santorum. does it mean that it is merely going prolong the process to mitt romney's nomination or is romney winning the race still not inevitable. >> i think if senator santorum wins ohio, it's almost like all bets are off. for a while people have been talking about romneya as inevitable. if rick santorum wins ohio, he will probably win tennessee and other states. i think the republicans will
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have to reckon with the fact that senator santorum could be a real threat to be the nominee. >> okay, when you look at the trends in the polls over time. fred, what stands out the most since the gop process began as we look ahead to super tuesday? what trend stays with you? >> i think we saw that, alex, last week in michigan. santorum, because he's the new flavor gets a head of steam and romney has to come from behind. he did it well in michigan, you know theoretically he can do it on tuesday in ohio, but it all has to come from behind. that's a tough place to be and in some states you won't be able to make up the difference and to me, that's the biggest trend i noticed. to what do you attribute that rick santorum does not necessarily hang on with that head of steam? why does he not hang on? >> i think media momentum matters a lot in elections.
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i also think organization. i think fund-raising, you know? mitt romney has been running for president for a long time, you can't discount an experienced candidate with a strong team. that's where the other fundamentals and the campaigns come into being. it seems to me as the democratic strategist watching me from the side lines that santorum is doinging this on a wing and a prayer, and at some point in the process, that is not enough. >> what about the concept of electability, fred? the people that say mitt romney is the best one to beat president obama in the fall. how much do you think that plays into the voters that pull the leff everies and punch with their points there when they're in their voting booth. >> i think that for the one-fifth to one-third of voters, republican primaries, alex, were voting for ron paul and newt gingrich. i think that's a factor. i'm not honestly sure, alex, that that's the number one
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factor or motivating factor, but at the end of the day all polls show republicans want to defeat barack obama, and i do think i want to figure out which of these gentlemen have the best chance to do that and it does come into account for some of these swing voters. >> if we look past super tuesday, a lot of primaries are still scheduled. april 24th, we have five primaries with 220 delegates and june fifth, five more primaries. do you think the race will be racked up before we even get to those dates? >> you know, alex, this election year has been so unpredictable and especially as a democrat looking at it, i've given up prognosticating. the longer the process plays out for the republicans and it could play out for a couple of more month, the less time the pare has a focus on president obama and november is a long time away from march, april, may or june,
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but the way these elections are you want to start the contrast as soon as possible and that's the down side to having a prolonged nomination among others. >> democratic pollster fred yang, good to see you. thank you. in week's "office politics" we continue our conversation with dan rather. we discuss the humble origins of his texasisms, but we begin with what's behind the deep divisions in washington. >> i think it started with the polarization of the society. politics adapted that, and some of the deep, dangerous polarization of politics is seeped back into society. this is by far the most polarized politics and to the fact that to the point now where almost nothing can get done and that's something unique for my life time in pol it iks and it may be unique.
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>> you see people that have wonderful tenure in politics who understood how one should get something done with the art of compromise, what happens when those voice are gone. >> the voices they use now are not a perfect example, but a very good example. she came to washington idealistic, wanting to get thing accomplished. as so many people do, young college interns all of the way up and they come primarily because they want to help the country. they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. they want to contribute. when we had the situation where politicians, and i use that word complimentary, i have quite a respect for political office, and she said look, i have to spend time and money to defeat my opponent, the candidate of the other party, but once i have defeated them at the polls, then we're going get together to get things done for our community, our state, our country.
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to a very large extent, that's gone. so we want to -- we have to destroy them. in the current context because you have a sitting democratic president that so many republicans take the view, particularly office holders. our number one priority, our only priority is to get obama out of office. i want to emphasize there is a counterpoint to that democratic side. many democrats felt the same way about george w. bush, but this is poisonous. >> if you look at the gop field, dan, and the campaign in general, is it unprecedented? >> a number of the debates this year and i'll give you an oklahoma guarantee that in 2016 neither party is going have this many debates this early in the
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campaign and what's happened to the republicans in the debate time when they started their debates they were, if not remarkable, very good shape and primarily because of the economy. as a result of the debates taking all of the candidates and taking the party away. now what you see is independents. they're coming back saying, well, i don't know. i just can't get down what these republican candidates are saying, this long denomination process may help them. it's their candidate whomever that may be. once they coalesce behind the candidate, all of these debates and all of these campaigns will have better -- and the republican nomination is not yet decided. >> romney and arizona.
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he doesn't have a lock on it. i don't think he's going to be in a lock until at least some time in may and perhaps as late as early june when the last of the primaries and caucus -- i've heard you say things with the phrases and i was watching a clip with you and you talked about something being as black as a crow's wing. >> i talk the way people allow me to talk. instead of saying it's hot as hell today. it's hot as the laredo parking lot. i spoke on the air the way i was used to speaking and i came to the anchor chair, and i said what you can do is be the best dan rather you can be and if that's not good enough, then so be it, but be yourself, be who you want to be. >> and our "office politics" conversation continues tomorrow. you can watch dan rather reports on hd-net. up next, she got a call from president obama amid the rush
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limbaugh controversy, but should the president have called her? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
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i'm laura mclennan from spruce head, maine, and i sea food differently. sgroo it's time now for the day's big three. the topics, rush reaction, white house call and super tuesday surprisy. let's bring in our panel, deputy national political editor for "the washington post" ann cornblut, and crystal ball and republican strategist susan del persio. susan, we'll bring you in first because we had the reaction to the controversial comments about sandra fluke. here's what they are saying. here it is. >> i would say that it's not the language i would have used, and i'm focusing on the issues that i think are significant in the country today, and that's why i'm here talking about jobs in ohio. >> he's being absurd. thus, an entertainer can be
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absurd, and he's taken the absurd sort of point of view here as to how far do you go. and he's in a very different business than i am. >> so, susan, you're republican. what is your reaction to those responses? >> i thought, actually romney's was quite good. i think looking at santorum, it will be interesting to see what happens because when michael steele gave that same comment about limbaugh being an entertainer he got killed for it and was forced to apologize. i wonder what will happen to santorum. he may find himself in a bit of a glitch. the comments were out reasoningous and should never have been made. that goes without saying. >> why do you think mitt romney's comments are go good and why you think any of the front-runners on the republican side weighed in with a more aggressive condemnation? >> romney could have been a little more aggressive, but you don't pick a fight with rush
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limbaugh. >> is that what it is? >> yeah, to some extent, and plus he was able -- more importantly, politically, he was able to bring it back to the issues. he's going strong into ohio and he should stay on his message and not get tangled up into any of this conversation. >> ann, do you agree with that because my question to you is have one of the candidates stepped up and really condemned limbaugh's comments? might it should helped in the primary in do you think there's political miscalculation here? i think that's to the extent that they were able to distance themselves from it and that was necessary for sure. and to pick a fight with him would have made his own ramifications not necessarily because voters would have to take sides because it would guarantee and response from rush limbaugh and then you would have a conversation which is the last thing any of them needs about the fight you're in with rush limbaugh. i think you're right and try not to answer this question again and they've answered it to get back to other issues on the campaign trail and hope that voters, women and men alike
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forget it ever happened. >> so crystal, from a democratic perspective, does it benefit democrats to keep this story alive even perhaps beyond its path life? >> i think what benefits democrats is the unbelievable overreach in this area and others, but i want to go back to this because i disagree with susan and ann on this, the problem with romney and the reason people have been so frustrated with him is the fact that he doesn't have a backbone. he doesn't have a spine and courage on any issue. the very least he could have said rather than it's not the language that i would have used which calls into question what language would you have used would you have called it rather than a prostitute. it's not what the american people want to talk about. we want to talk about x, y and z. it would have been more forceful, and it would have been more honest and it would have showner mo of a backbone. crystal, then he would have had
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a conversation about this and not where he should have been focused on jobs and the economy and we're still having a conversation about this because he gave a nonresponse, so people are going continue to ask him to respond until he condemns it or says something and the comments are indefensible, and even for the far says something. and the comments are absolutely indefensible. >> i want to stay with you here regarding sandra fluke. she talked about the president having spoke with her for a minute. she called her on the phone and said she had reason to tell the parents they should be proud of her. weigh in on that and how political that telephone call is. >> from a sheerly political perspective, i think it was a smart move. it contrasts the president showing class and showing compassion, versus everyone else on the republican side, who has tried to run away are the issue, like mitt romney and like john boehner. from a personal perspective, i think the president has every right and did the right thing by calling her. she came into the spotlight as a
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private citizen, just wanting to speak up for herself and not share her own stair, but share the story of women who she had spoken with and was close to. >> do you think this rose to the level of p making a presidential personal call? >> it's his prerogative to make phone calls like this. i would suspect there was a personal component to it and when he bounced it off the political advisers, go for it. she has been somebody who has been very local in defending his health care legislation. obviously she's al ally. he saw her under attack. from a political standpoint, in an election where democrats really need a gender gap that they did not have two years ago, they need to get back to where they were in 2008, it was a smart move. he knew this would get on the top of every newspaper, which it did, and it would rise to a new level of attention that benefits the democrats. >> and susan, sit tight.
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be with you in just a moment. in just a moment we have super tuesday expectations. are there any surprises in the works? uhh! [ alyson ] just keep walking... ♪ oh, come on! ♪ ugh, again! [ sniffs ] that's what i'm talkin' about. [ female announcer ] new head & shoulders green apple, with an enticing scent. works on the scalp for up to 100% flake-free hair that's irresistibly fragrant. [ both laugh ] [ female announcer ] new head & shoulders green apple. ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition...
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we're back with the big three. we're talking super tuesday primaries. so we have today's panel. susan, i want to start with you. give me thoughts about super tuesday and the surprises we may be in store for. >> i think romney is actually going to take ohio and the surprise will be that he will win tennessee. >> really? that's a bold one. we haven't heard that one so far today. there you go. out on a limb. how about you, ann? >> certainly going to be looking for ohio, and i think we'll be looking most closely to georgia and the fate of newt gingrich? >> you think in ohio you'll see romney come up from behind? >> i don't make predictions. i'm always wrong. >> how about you? what do you think the democrats hope in terms of ohio?
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that santorum wins and the process is prolonged? >> that's probably the hope. they want to keep this going as long as possible. ohio is a toss-up. i would agree with susan that romney is getting an edge here. santorum may have peaked. >> and what about tennessee? suzanne said tennessee she thought he would take it. mitt romney. >> yeah. i think romney could be stronger than we have been anticipating. rick santorum has gone too far in terms of emphasizing the social issues, and it plays into whether they think he can be electable in the general election. >> let me get the thumbs up and thumbs down from you. >> romney had the best week. santorum had the worst. >> okay. what do you think? >> i agree on romney. it's been a bad week for gingrich, too. because he's increasingly out of the conversation. >> you have a good week. rush limbaugh had the worst. >> do you think he's the democratic strategist?
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okay, thank you so much. thank you to you. that's a wrap for weekends with alex witt. have you're a great day. ♪ [ male announcer ] for our town. [ dog barks ] for our country. ♪ for our future. ♪ this isn't just the car we wanted to build. it's the car america had to build. ♪ the extended range electric chevy volt. from the heart of detroit to the health of the country, chevy runs deep. it's so great to see you. you, too! ahh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did. oh? you did? whoa, ladies, easy. hi. cascade kitchen counselor. we can help avoid this with cascade complete pacs. over time, a competing gel can leave cloudy hard water deposits,
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