tv The Ed Show MSNBC March 6, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
happy super tuesday and it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast, and the race we have been watching in ohio is too close to call. it is former pennsylvania senator rick santorum with a one-point lead over mitt romney right now with 86% of the vote in. it is very, very close. a difference of just over 3,000 votes with 86% of the vote in. in idaho, the caucuses are under w way, and no characterization of
the race in idaho yet. now, to some of the races we have already called. in north dakota, rick santorum is the projected winner of the caucuses in north dakota, and mr. santorum is the projected winner tennessee and the projected winner in oklahoma. mitt romney the projected winner of his home state of massachusetts and nbc news has allocated all of the massachusettsegates to mitt romney who is the former governor of massachusetts. and the strange two-man race where the virginia republican party set such strict rules to get on the ballot that in the strange, strange decision by virginians that effectively took them off of the primary map this year, mitt romney is the projected winner the two-man race over ron paul. mr. gingrich and mr. santorum are not on the ballot in virginia. in vermont which is immediately contiguous with massachusetts, mitt romney is the projected
winner of the republican primary in the green mountain state. obviously, the anticipation for ohio, chris, it is the big story, and what is going to happen there. i am starting to feel like it does not matter what the ultimate result is, but the fact that it is this close is as big of a story as if rick santorum w wins. >> well, there is no major headline in the east coast papers tomorrow, because it is going to be wide open. there is no headline and i have been through races like this where it is not a squeaker, and nothing in the press. look at what happened with poor santorum, because he won the iowa caucuses, and he never got the headline, but days later, and missed the impact. if that thing had been reported in real time what the power might have been. >> well, it was reported that someone won an election by eight votes. i never once reported romney as winning that election, because i understand what the vote counting is like, and that vote counting was not finished, and it is impossible to win that by
eight votes, so steve, i go to that when you say that the number tonight is going to matter if one of them inches out another. after iowa where everybody discovered '08, you can't discover or jump to the conclusion that something is more important than something, because no one can jump to the conclusion that something important has happened if one of them technically has a few more votes counted than other. >> well, lawrence, it is eight votes, it is eight votes and you get into the couple thousand votes and the trend line is continuing that way and narrow and not a tie victory, then at the end of the day, the winner is the winner on this. it is when the candidates go out there and they came in close, and no such thing as close in an election and you win or you l e lose. i have been on both sides of it, and winning is more fun than losing, but you know, a close loss is still a loss. i do think that rick santorum
has had an opportunity in the campaign here. if he comes back tonight, and he wins the state of ohio, i think that it fundamentally changes the primary. if mitt romney wins ohio, as we move out of the coverage from tonight into the days ahead, that it is a big deal for mitt romney. >> i feel like with it this close, i feel that in terms of the basic conception of the race, i feel like we are now at the point, even pfr we get final results in ohio, and 86% in right now sh, that america now to think about the prospect of rick santorum, republican presidential nominee. this is not about weakness of mitt romney, but rick santorum being the guy, and the guy who runs against barack obama for the republican ticket in novemb november, and that is a hard thing to get your head around. >> but that is a debate i want to see. i want to see the hard core republican conservati ser vserip there on a debate stage with
barack obama's practical approach to governing and see the hard-core conservatism crushed, because it represents a minority view in our politics, and if it is crushed that way, then the republican party is going to have the say, we are going to have to listen to more voices than just these right-wing conservatives, and you might eventually get a change in the tenor and eventually the composition of the senate and the house, and it might start to look more like what it looked like back in the early 1990s where you had very strong conservatives like newt gingrich and others, but you had people from states like missouri and states like rhode island who were republicans and who were willing to find a spot to compromise so that you could govern. and you never, ever had standoffs over things like should we raise the debt ceiling ever, because it was a sense of responsible government. >> it is not that way, because if a party is defeated they have no responsibilityt for governing
the rumpp is more radicalized and after goldwater being decimated you end up with the party radicalized in the era of reagan. >> well, it didn't go that way in '68 when they went back to the practical republican senate. >> well, it does not happen in the long term. >> well, if they put santorum at the head of the ticket, they will lose the house, and lose the senate and it will be an immediate impact to lose control of to government. and that could be good for the country and very good because you have a ruling moderate to liberal democratic party running the country for a couple of years to get the job done. and it would be great. >> well, it would be great if santorum was the head of the ticket and we win the house and the senate, and you look at the fact and the reason that i disagree with steve, this man has come with some of the most
m m misogenous, and so it would be interesting because goi back to alabama to go back to the march, and tomorrow, i am endorsing mitt romney tomorrow in alabama, because i want to help rick out. >> and as we are watching the results come in ohio, we don't have a definitive result, but with 86% in, mitt romney has moved into the lead with slightly 2,0 tho2,000 votes and the votes and the race is too close to call, and we are seeing mitt romney in the lead for the first time in a long time if not the firsts e tite over the course we have been watching the numbers. howard fineman has been with us -- >> you see what happened with the conversation, the impact. >> exactly, we just did it.
reverend al endorsed mitt romney, and it happened. and now i understand that we are talking with the romney and the santorum campaigns and howard, what is the latest from them? >> well, let me explain why the santorum campaign thinks it is as close as it is right now, although i should say a week or ten days ago they were behaving like they were the one in the driver's seat before the full extent of the romney air at tack. but, here is what might be under from the campaign manager telling me that the absentee ballots that were filed a month ago were strong for rick santorum, because they had come after rick santorum had won a bunch of races in the midwest and before the carpet bombing air superior ity of the romney campaign hit the airwaves. and what mitt romney said what about individual mandates and
had helped to turn the thing a little bit and santorum on the game. i am fascinated by this sort of smug technical expertise of the romney people. they'll probably pull it out. they outspent rick santorum maybe ten or 12 to 1. it is true. rick santorum and the people don't have the machinery. they don't have the money. but what they have is a finger on the pulse of the republican p party of today. which as michael moore said earlier tonight is a faith-based p party. it is really, i would not call it the gop anymore, but the american faith party. it is a party made up of conservative catholics and evangelical protestants and orthodox jews who look at israel as spiritual and geographical enti entity, and that is the heart of the party, and that is what rick
santorum understands. that is why even though he talked about opposing contraception, and he said that college was for snobs, and even though he backtracked flippantly on some of the accusations that he made and even though he doesn't have the money, and even though he doesn't have the organization, he has fought mitt romney pretty much to a standstill in the quintessential republican swing state. in the end, i think that when you stand back, it is nothing short of remarkable. and while i think that mitt romney looks like he is going to end up pulling this out, and really not surprised if that is the result, because that is what mike endow was telling me earlir tonight, it is the fundamental queasiness about mitt romney at the base of the party. romney has the money and the technical expertise. other people have the soul of the party. those other people are very
imperfect candidates. mitt romney is -- excuse me, "situation roo rick santorum is an imperfect candidate, and ron paul is quickly turning into an asterisk, and with that withstanding, mitt romney has not made that much more progress toward achieving the majority, because both rick santorum and newt gingrich have piled up a fair amount of delegates themselves. >> well, howard fineman, you have coined the new term for how to think about this race. it is the big queasy. that is a big important race that is taking forever and that mostly just reflects up ease. howard, thank you for that. i appreciate it. mitt romney, i should reiterate and underscore what we said a moment ago the dynamic shift that we just saw in the results in ohio, and still watching the results coming n and it is too close to call. but right now with 86% in, and look, mitt romney is ahead, and we have seen this margin rise
and rise and rise as we have seen this shift happen moments ago and right now mr. romney ahead under 6,000 votes. still, it is essentially tied in ohio. that is a difference of 6,000 votes among 800,000 cast. and right now, i was about to go to commercial, but we actually just got a call. i'm able to tell you that nbc projects that in the idaho caucuses, mitt romney has won in the state of idaho. not a huge surprise there, but one thing was important to note there was that ron paul is the only one of these four remaining candidates who has not won a single state. it had been proffered that this might be the place where ron paul could win if he could win anywhere, but right now nbc projecting the idaho caucuses for mitt romney. msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues in a moment.
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. right now in ohio, 88% in now, and mitt romney ahead of rick santorum by a slim 4,500 vote margin. we are hearing from the campaigns that the romney campaign is somewhat optimistic and the santorum campaign is pessimistic depending where the vote is coming in from ohio, and we won't know until the proverbial fat lady sings, and we are warned by chuck todd that it will be such a late call that maybe it won't be called tonight in ohio. former chairman of the republican party michael steele, and you have been a booster for the long drawn out primary campaign and does that apply to long drawn out primary nights like th
like this? do you lick your chops and see this type of night for the republicans? >> i do. actually, i do. because it is part of the american story and we complain about people when they don't get en ga engage and you wonder why and when you create an avenue for them to express themselves and make a choice, we should celebrate that, and i do. yeah, i mean, do you want to be up at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and doing politics? some of us do, but most of us don't, but the point is that the people of ohio like we have seen in idaho and georgia and elsewhere tonight had a chance to get out and to save, hey, this is who we want. think about it this way, rachel, you know, under the old system this contest given all of the other, you know, pieces to it could have been over at the beginning of february. when you go through the iowa caucuses and that process and romney comes out and if he takes the first three, this thing is pretty much done. but the base has said from the
very beginning of this, we want our say. those later states who have always not had the opportunity to be in the limelight, to be the state that could make a difference now come into play. idaho for example will make a difference tonight in the race for romney, because he won it, and it is sort of creates that perception and moves the ball forward for him, so it is good. >> in terms of one issue that i real is somewhat provocative and sometimes hard to talk about is the issue of faith and prejudice. ed schultz highlighted this earlier tonight and he was spot-on for doing so is that 75% of voters in tennessee who said that religion, sharing religious beliefs with the candidate is very important to them or somewhat important to them, those voters went 2 to 1 for santorum and against romney. is there an issue with prejudice against mr. romney's religious faith, his mormon faith that is coming to the fore in not just
the southern states, but the more conservative states, and does the party have a interest in rooting that out? >> well, absolutely an interest in rooting it out, but i can't necessarily put my finger on the reason why the folks who went with santorum, you know, did so because they were against romney's faith. i think that they were more of an evangelical mindset that aligns with santorum which is interesting, because rick santorum is not evangelical in the traditional sense. maybe probably somewhat classify him as anvangelical in that sense, but it is more of an affinity towards someone else as opposed to a rebuking of romney, because of he is not of the same faith they are. i don't believe that is the driver here, but to the underlying question, yeah, both parties should have an interest in making sure that is not the cornerstone of, you know, the political activity in, within their parties.
>> michael, this is ed. i am kind of almost amused at how the republicans have talked themselves to a point where just because the democrats had two great candidates and went through a long process with barack obama and hillary clinton that this is just absolutely going to be the same way it is going to be for the republicans. i mean, the last polling out there shows by nbc that this long drawn out campaign that we are seeing as the guys are out snipping at one another on the road is not good for the republican brand, and it is not good for the process, and the conservation is, well, heck, barack and hillary did it, so it has to be good for us, too. that is the way it is coming across? >> well, that is the way you are perceiving, but it is not the way we intended it or the way that the discussion fwhent twen meetings when we walked through the dal gat process. we looked at the 2008 campaign
and saw it as a model and as as much as everyone in hindsight is praise whging what a wonderful outcome that was, there was a lot of angst and venom in that race. >> so you are telling me that newt gingrich is going to get behind one of these two guys and rick santorum is right there -- >> i can't speak to the individual -- >> and even though he was called a lightweight earlier this week on the stump? >> well, there are a lot, and we can go back and forth on the examples between 2008 and now where the candidates weren't necessarily user-friendly with each other. i do remember barack obama expressing that hillary was likable enough. well, would that make me feel warm and fuzzy if i were a democrat supporting hillary clinton, and so let's move off of that and what the goal is here. the process has nothing to do with how the candidates behave. you can't sit back and say, if we shorten it up, we wouldn't have the numbers in the poll,
but that still would not have prevented the comments of some of the candidates have made, and the perceptions that they have created by the things that they have done or not done in their campaigns. the process is the process. my whole goal as national chairman was to give our base, the activists out there a chance to participate to not have four states or five states or six states out of 50 plus our territories decide who the republican nominee was going to be. how the candidates comport themselves in this process is up to them. how the base and you, and others perceive that, is up to you. and that is what we are seeing played out here with the votes. >> well, i'm not talking about a brokered convention and other candidates in, but the republicans are. the republicans are running around saying they are not happy with the candidates, that they don't like the way it is going. >> ed, we were talking about that before republicans were talking about that before we even started the trek for the nomination. this is a conversation that goes back to september and october of
last year. so, you know, to sit here and say, that, you know, this process and, you know, i'm not saying that you are particularly, but others and i have talked to and said this, it is off base and the reality of it is that people were whining about this field when it was eight and nine candidates back last spring and summer and fall. so, the reality of it is that there is always those who are not happy with who is on the field. i put it this way, if anybody who isn't happy wanted to run, then they should have run for the presidency of the united states. it was a perfect opportunity to do it. you should have done it, otherwise, button it up and get behind one of the four and get busy winning this november. that is the focus we have and the energy that the base is looking for in the process. >> so you are telling jeb bush, and chris christie and mitch daniels, stay out, because we have one of the four here. >> i didn't say anything about staying the heck out, but they have all expressed they will be behind the nomineef of the party, but all of those folks who are still acting as if some
of the great knight is going to come in to save them from what i don't know, that is not realistic. these individuals have put it on the line for close to two years now to run for the office of the presidency, and this process is to allow all of them to get the message in front of the voters so that those voters can decide who among them rises above and can challenge the president come november. that is the final goal at the end of the day. >> let me bring in salonge jo walsh, and there is a difference of less than 4,000 votes and mr. romney is ahead, but this is very, very close race in ohio, and whether or not rick santorum actually wins in ohio or just gets almost immeasurely close in ohio, what about the of rick santorum, republican
presidential nominee, what do you any? >> well, the next time i'm depressed about anything, i am going to call michael steele and have him turn it around for me, and what i think is bad news is good news. michael, i have the number and i will do that. >> call me any time. >> and cheaper than sxanax and much more fun. >> yes. but i want to say that i agree with michael on, i'm happy to have is people in the republican party saying that i don't want the guy who is trying to buy my vote. tlt is -- there is something very healthy about this, and i don't say much positive about the republican party, but it is to be said that the money is in the sewer, and santorum rising above it, and the voters saying, i have listened to the crappy ads and i will vote for him anyway, and something as an
american, there is something encouraging about it. to many, it is interesting. >> and if you look at "restore our future" the huge $2.6 million buy in ohio to basically win the primary for romney, it is on the cheap. okay. let's not spend anymore than we have to here, and they are picking the states to spend the money and did it in tennessee and oklahoma unsuccessfully, but it is interesting that there is something about romney that is very business like and very business-like to the point like he shops for states. he is not going the ping to pay more than he has to. >> he is not paying the shelf price. no. >> and like joe kennedy, i won't pay for a landslide, kid. there is something so prissy about it, and perfect about it, and it is interesting tonight, because he may have picked ohio tonight and got the right price for it and just enough and didn't paymore than he needed to
and wins it by midnight for the new york times and wins in time for the headline, but 11 to 1 and 12 to 1, the numbers are unreal up there, and, joan, i'm not a david against goliath person always in politics, and i like to know that people can have sales resistance, and that the dog doesn't like the dog food. >> the dogs won't eat this dog food. >> they keep saying and putting a new label on it, and saying that the other dog food stinks, rover, and you have to eat this dog food and rover won't eat it if it is the only food in town, he won't eat it. isn't that great to hear, michael? isn't that is what is going on here? your party has a stinky-pooh front-runner, and he has the smile and the beautiful family and no reason to vote for him. >> it is so good to be here with you all tonight. it just is. it really is. >> well, steve is laying awe here. >> and i wouldn't label it as
dog food. but i think that the idea -- >> okay. sales resistance. >> and the sales resistance, but to joe's point, there is a sales resistance there, and they are not buying what romney has been selling, and remember, this is critical as far as the activists in the party that i still talk to and hang out with is that this has been a process for him that has been going on since 2007, so this is -- he is very familiar and this is not someone that they have just, the light bulk came on and they learned about, and there is ri sis tense. this is a resistance that gs back to the last election. in which ironically enough he was considered to be the conservative against mccain, so that should tell you something about where the base is and how the tea party and the whole lot of other things that have impacted on the process have made that sell much harder. >> they don't like him. >> yeah. >> okay. >> bottom line, they don't like
him, but maybe the bottom line from tonight is that you don't have to be liked in order the win. >> that is the pitch that i think that romney is ultimately saying, look, you may not like me, but i am going toe-to-toe to win this thing for you in november. >> or at least -- >> and the place to be. >> and you may not like me, but you dislike me less than the other guys, so therefore, you got me. >> and if gingrich was out of the race and only santorum or gingrich, this would be a problem for romney. >> it would be very close, and tonight is a very great illustration of it. >> and it would not be close without gingrich. >> right. >> and joan walsh, and michael steele, we know it is a late night, and thank you both for being here. >> thank you, rachel. when we come back, we will talk to the chief strategist for the santorum campaign. and this is the headline and i know you are sick of me saying this, but it is more interesting when more time is coming by and i have to say it 90% in and difference of less than 6,000 votes in a too-close- to-call
it is just past 11:30 p.m. on the east coast and 97% of the vote in ohio is in, and there are less than,000 vo 6,000 vote between rick santorum and mitt romney. and recently mitt romney has pu pulled ahead of rick santorum, and it is too close to call in the republican primary in ohio. john braybender is the chief strategist for the santorum campaign, and thank you for joining us. >> i am thrilled to be here on an exciting night. >> are you excited because there is a possibility to win ohio, or
are you excited because even if you don't win ohio, you have had a good night? >> well, all of the above. we had huge wins in tennessee, and huge wins in oklahoma and huge wins in north dakota, and now after being outspent $11 million to $1 million, we are in a dead heat in ohio, and whether we come up a couple thousand ahead or short, it is a big night for rick santorum and declare him a winner for the entire night. >> i keep hearing the argument for everybody who is a santorum partisan, it makes a difference that mr. santorum be losing after having been outspent so greatly, but isn't having the money to spend part of electability argument, and he comes from a lot of money, but there is not his money to be spending, be because he has a giant war chest to outspend your candidate 11 to 1 in ohio. isn't that a case for mr. romney's electability, and not your candidate's? >> well, it is a theme line that
governor romney uses that he has more money than anybody else, but that is not the type of message that america is looking for. they are looking for somebody who relates to them, and somebody who has a message. i think it is a great american story that we are sort of the macgyver campaign, and rick santorum is doing this on message and heart and hard work and somebody can't go out to simply buy the election. >> why can't the rick santorum campaign translate victories like you had in the sort of strange contest in missouri, but also in colorado and minnesota, why can't you guys transfer that kind of victory and that kind of momentum into a win in a place like michigan? why can't you translate that to a lot of money, and why can't you translate to being financially competitive against mitt romney in a place like ohio? >> well, first of all, rick santorum is not the choice of the washington lobbyists and the wall street insiders and that is
where mitt romney gets a great deal of the money. it is interesting that you mentioned michigan, because mitt romney's home state and outspends us 6 to 1, and they walked out with the same delegate, and it is an embarrassment for romney, and frankly rick santorum instead has a message. and you know, mitt romney can buy a lot of things, but he can't buy rick santorum's conservative message and that is the trouble. certainly an enthusiasm gap about mitt romney or he he would be doing better. >> if your candidate wins and as the nominee of the republican party, can he compete financially alongside the barack obama campaign? can he raise the money that he has not been able to raise in the primaries even with the nice surprising wins that he has had? >> well, there is a unique thing going on in the santorum campaign which is that it is fueled by small-donor contributeions around the country. in the last month he raised $9 million not from big pacs or
contributions, but from 130 million contributions around the country who went to ricksantorum.com and made a $25 or $50 donation. and now mitt romney has all of the maxed out donation, and we can keep going back to the $25 donors and even tonight when he gave the big speech, we were watching the website and going through the roof with people watching. and we won't have the money that mitt romney has, but we will get the message out. >> and john, it is ed here. and some of the super pacs that have been bombbarding rick santorum with, and do you feel that if you got into a campaign election with barack obama, you would be in a stronger position than mitt romney would and what evidence in polling or voting
resr results that rick santorum would be stronger than mitt romney against president barack obama? >> well, everyday they track romney versus obama and rick santorum versus obama. and rick santorum has tracked more closely, and that is the problem. and number two, romney has the problem that mccain has. they don't excite the tea party or the conservative base and a republican cannot win if you don't excite your own base. so rick santorum that is certainly not going to be a problem. >> and john brabender, your time is at a premium on a night like this, and i know it is a big night for you and you are wanting to celebrate, so thank you for taking the time to be with us. >> thank you, and i hope to speak to you soon. >> thank you. we will take you up on that. chuck todd is here with the
great poobah and tell us where you think this is going in illinois? >> well, all of the models indicate that romney is probably going the hold this lead that he has right now. we are still waiting and more count to be voted in hamilton and more vote in cuyahoga, but at this point, we do think that our models indicate that the victory would be from 0.75 percentage points to 1.2. what does that mean? way too close. you can't call that at that point, you have to wait for the raw vote, but as everything is coming in, and remember, all of the late vote was coming in from romney counties, we do feel that somewhat confident, if you put a gun to our head that somehow tonight, romney is more likely to be the one to come out on top once the votes are counted over santorum, but we can't say that because of how close the margins r. but i want to make a point about the delegates. one thing that the political unit did on the projection, and
we have romney at 217 at a min moum tonight. what does that mean? 424 and do the math. out of four candidates running to night, this guy has more than 50% of the delegates available. so the perception of mitt romney in tennessee and ohio and all of the things that he wanted to do is still hanging in the balance, but on the math front, he had a good night, and santorum a good night with the states an end up with another 120 delegates, but you have to give romney the due, because when it counted, he will win more delegates out of ohio regardless if he carries the state by a vote or misses it, because he is getting more delegates out of there, and overall the clean sweep out of idaho and all of the delegates, that is a god delegate haul for him, and that perception is a different story. >> chuck, i am sorry to ask you this, and it is the kind of thing i could look up if we weren't on live tv, but what is the threshold in a state runoff
like that? >> well, it is a quarter of one percent, and an hour ago, our guys in the boilerroom were looking up the provisions, and that is why we know it was that close. i don't necessarily always have those off tof the top of my hea, but it was that close at one point, and now we do think that we will get outside of recounter toir. can you imagine recounting a primary that we know the delegates will be divided in a hinky way anyway? >> this year, yes. with what happened in iowa and maine and nevada, yes, i believe it. >> and by the way, i want to make a quick point about the calendar. very fast. look at the calendar here after tonight. very fast. what part of this is gooed for mitt romney? one state. >> i would say illinois is not too bad. >> that is it. look at the rest of these social conservatives and the caucuses are not going well in the heartland and north dakota, and alabama, and hawaii, who knows, and ron paul by the way is up with advertising there, and louisiana, a southern state. so this is the rest of the
schedule for the rest of the month, boy, not a great schedule, if you are mitt romney. he could use this ohio win tonight. >> and i think that if i were mitt romney, and i was making a strategy looking at that calendar ahead, i would go back to the other thing that he can deploy which is the republican establishment and i would get all of the guys booked on all of the tv shows and the cable and the sundays like they have been able to do at will when they want to start trashing the other guys and be the death star and go back to winning it on tv, because he won't win it in the states, and he has to look like he is inevitable, doesn't he? >> yes, that is the only value that the endorsement package has with all of the elected officials is the sensation of inevitabili inevitability. >> not that -- >> well, not that they can persuade voters in their own states here, but it gives an aura of inevitability. >> he will never do "meet the press." >> because of questions. >> and serious questions and follow-up and taken seriously by
the people on it, and of course, david gregory is the best. why won't he face him? he wants to go to war with iran, but afraid of rush limbaugh and david gregory and deflect iing donald trump. >> tonight, mr. romney was asked again about whether or not he wanted to weigh in on the rush limbaugh scandal, and he said he would not use that language implying that everything else that rush limbaugh did was okay with him. >> and slut, and looking for homonyms? >> and there are three solid days of attacks on that woman for speaking in front of congress is not okay with you if just the language is not okay. >> and watch the video, too. and that is not language, but a graphic statement, and he was going after something there. >> and rush never apologized for that. he apologized for two words, but he did not apologize if you use contraception, you need to send
me the videos of you having sex. >> and mr. romney essentially said the same thing, i would not have used that same language, and he was asked about it tonight and he said i will not weigh in on this controversy and given another chance. >> and mitt romney has responded to everything that president obama has said or done and has an opinion about everything. the president made a phone call, and you mean to tell me that mitt romney doesn't have an opinion on that? that is the biggest phone call as chris was saying earlier, and so that the president comes out today and he talks about his daughters, and when is the last time that president obama talked about his daughters the way he talked about them today, and he went right to the issue of any citizen in this case the future of his daughters going up on capitol hill and not worried about being trashed on 400 or 500 radio stations in america for nine hours and there is a thing called show prep. you do the radio show and you go home and prep for the next day and then you do another show and there is another three hours and
prep for the next day and for three days this went on. and mitt romney doesn't have an opinion about how all of that was handled? i have just -- i just find it amazing, and there is a parallel between that and he won't do "meet the press" and also rick santorum pointed out the other day that it is amazing how long romney has gone on the campaign trail without fielding questions. he has not been fielding any questions. it is the same thing. so, maybe he thinks that he has stuck his foot in the mouth so much, he can't afford to do it so much. >> who was on tonight, rachelle, on business deals, he does okay if it is plan a, but the minute there was a diversion from it, and how many times has he told reporters, i will say what i want to say or correcting john king or brent bayer from fox, and remember those? let me cross the legs on that and re-do this one. if he doesn't like it if somebody else defines the event.
with the race in ohio still too close to call, 92% of the vote is in and the difference of the candidates is just over 6,000 votes. mr. romney is ahead of mr. santorum there, and again, this race has not been called. more than 90% of the vote in and it is not called. nbc's ron mott is with us, and we have a report that the santorum campaign is moving on to intimating that newt gingrich should get out of the race to clear the way for rick santorum to actually calling on the party activists and tea party supporters and others to speak to that issue on the santorum campaign or does that seem right to you? >> well, hey, there, rachel. maybe a little divide in the santorum campaign, because the national spokesperson said they
are not going to ask newt gingrich to get out of the race, but a senior strategist is saying that they will ask that of the conservative tea party voters is to persuade newt gingrich to give up the bid. if you look at the scorecard, rick santorum with victories tonight has seven primary caucus and victories to newt gingrich's two, so they want to make the case that he is the conservative choice in the race. the spokesperson is saying that if newt gingrich did in fact drop out of the race, that immediately one would think that rick santorum would be able to poll 10 to 12 points higher in the race, and that could change the tone and the tenor of the campaign going forward, but that is clear think case they will make after the the victories tonight that rick santorum is clearly the choice of the conservative choice in this vote. and if they are going to beat president obama with a conservative candidate, it is rick santorum and not newt gingrich. >> and it is a stick and carrot, and obviously, the tea party activists complaining that newt gingrich should leave the race, but anything that the santorum
campaign that you know of could offer newt gingrich to offer him to persuade him to leave? anything that they could dangle in front of him to entice him? >> well, we'd have to see. you wonder if there are going to be some behind the scenes conversations, because this is a delicate dance at the santorum folks have to make here, because you don't want to offense the gingrich supporters with races in alabama and mississippi and you don't want those folks to go to the polls to vote for newt gingrich to spite rick santorum for pushing their choice out of the race at this point. so we will have to see if there is some sort of talk that we will get under way in the twom cap camps to go forward, but clearly tonight, the rick santorum camp believes it is time for one of the gentlemen to get out, and the scorecard alone shows that newt gingrich would be the odd-man out. >> and ron mott with the santorum campaign, and thank you for that. and kelly o'donnell is in atlanta, and we have to ask you
about the discussion with ron mott that a senior santorum strategist is moving beyond intimating that newt gingrich should get out of the race and actually asking for party activists to pressure mr. gingrich to leave the race, and making it more explicit, and any news of that equation tonight from the gingrich campaign? >> well, when you look at how the gingrich campaign is positioning themselves, they are checking the alabama box, and now they are having a distinction, because lord knows people were asking santorum to get out when he was far man on the end of the stage not so long ago so they don't want to do that, but asking the supporters to peel away from gingrich in effect isolates gingrich's ability to continue and makes that one-on-one with romney in effect with ron paul still in the race. gingrich has a different view,
because he believes he is the best person positioned to debate barack obama, and while he has a lot of nice things to say about the work ethic this that rick santorum has shown grinding it out and doing it on very little money, and putting himself in this most unlikely place where he has had a formidable showing, despite all of that, gingrich believes that there is another chapter for himself. that's the sense we have tonight. now, there is always a front stage and backstage. you are talking to the crowd tonight, and talking to the supporters and victory that you can be happy about in a home state like georgia, but we have to see where it goes. all of the indications that we have that he wants to get through alabama and mississippi, because they vote next week and get a bit of the sense of the number numbers show in places like tennessee and oklahoma where he had hoped to do better, but eventually there has to be some sort of coalescing of the most conservative of voters, and they may do it on their own or they may do it with a little nudging from some of these powerful voices in the tea party
community. certainly, gingrich was talking about the party establishment, and the party elites had tried to get him out before, and here the people backed him helped him to have a good night in georgia and overwhelming in georgia and not so great in other place, but it is a tough dance at this point, because the candidates want to appear like they have vitality, and clearly santorum does, and gingrich does not want to let go at this point and believes because of the volat e volatility of the race, there is room to grow. we talked earlier tonight, rachel, and i could barely hear you because of the crowd and now it is the team striking the room. they are getting breakfast buffet ready. we are the last crew here. so, we will be here until the dogs go home as they say, but it has been an interesting night to see newt gingrich have one more moment in the sun, and we will see where it goes, but certainly that rivalry with santorum is a story to watch going forward. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much for that. this is fascinating, and now ju
to start looking at the interstitial dynamics of the two candidates and mr. gingrich describing rick santorum, and one of the bunny rabbits who has surpassed him, but he is the tortoise and in it for the long haul and wonder if there is something that rick santorum could offer newt gingrich to persuade him to leave the race, and if gingrich does well in alabama and mississippi if that increases the amount of leverage he could exert for in asking for exchange of getting out of the race if that is the dynamic after the races tonight. we will be right back.