tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 4, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EST
out of iowa tonight goes is back to texas. you've been watching msnbc's live coverage of the iowa caucuss. at this point it is still too close to call between mitt romney and rick santorum. right now at this hour with 96% of the vote in, there is only a 113-vote difference between rick santorum and mitt romney. that's just incredible. here's the six-way result. rick santorum, 25%. mitt romney, 25%. ron paul, 21%, newt gingrich, 13%, rick perry at 10% who again we just heard is reassessing his campaign and heading home to texas and michele bachmann placing sixth at 5%, michele bachmann not announcing tonight that she would be suspending or reassessing or doing anything else with her campaign except heading on to the next contest. listening to rick perry there
tonight, i'm not sure 50s a foregone conclusion that he would be reassessing his campaign and heading back to texas if he -- if he placed at this -- placed this far down in the standings, but it was not a surprise. the question is what the implications are of this with rick perry out does anything else move. >> well, something has to move. he has votes that have to move but i think more interestingly, the money, there is a lot of rick perry money out there and he has the capacity to raise a lot. a lot of fund-raiser interest. where do those people go, those that wanted to pump money into rick perry go. >> it's an open question. he is a career politician, a professional politician. his endorsement will go to the person that he thinks is going to win so i don't think you're going to see rick santorum jumping on anybody's bandwagon immediately. i think he'll go back to texas. i think that rick perry are rehabilitate his image and trying to break through telling the texas story which is a story that there's a lot of good to
tell but never -- he never really had an opportunity to tell in his campaign but he has a capacity to raise a lot of money. texas could be an important primary down the stretch so i suspect we've not heard the last of rick perrys as a consequenticons figure. >> does romney reach out to him. >> i think absolutely. they served as governor. governor perry probably got to know north santorum during the debates but he's known i imagine governor romney for a lot longer and it will be interesting to see how it will -- >> the last time we saw mitt romney reaching out to rick perry it was to go like this and half patronize him, half threaten him then make the $10,000 bet and looked like he wanted to rip the guy's head off every time they were on a stage. >> as much as he was criticized, he saved the best for last. the best he's been on the stump. >> other than the long letter. >> he said i'd like you to read
this letter and -- why? >> but i think that the longer perry waits to make an endorsement, the more it won't matter because i think the people that are supporting him are going to start moving wherever they're going to move. >> they're moving tonight. >> i don't think they're rate r waiting for rick perry -- >> i think a lot of them are anti-romney people and will probably go to santorum. i think he will have an impact in a texas primary but i think his supporters, i think, are not -- i can't see any major chunk of them going with mitt romney. >> we're up to 97% of the vote in at this point. still too close to call. look at the vote difference between those two candidates. rick santorum in the lead if you can call it that by 37 votes as chuck todd was pointing out earlier tonight there is no recounting in iowa. there is no provision for a recount. the way this works is that the iowa contest is to allocate
delegates but they're not allocated tonight on the basis of exactly what happens in the republican caucus. that, in fact, happens at the convention which is a ways down the road. it's part of the arcane process which which iowa gets to hole on to being first in the nation, but they've got those delegates to allocate and they will be allocated at the convention. they did not bother to set up a recount process now for what is sort of a nonbinding process that everybody sees as important anyway. iowa, there is a little bit of smoke and mirrors, mostly it is about momentum heading into new hampshire and the rest of these contests but there will not be a recount and talking about a few dozen votes at best between these two front-runners with already 97% of the voighting. >> rick santorum has delivered a stunning defeat to money politics. over $10 million spent between romney and perry in iowa. santorum spent $500,000. he spent one-third of what newt
gingrich spent. he spent less than anybody else there. this is a win for santorum. now that we're down to 37 votes. now that this is going to be a difference of maybe a hundred votes between the two. doesn't matter where santorum comes out on that. this is a santorum win and a big one. >> let me put that hypothesis to chris matthews. last couple dozen votes and no recount ahead. at this point do you chalk this up almost as a -- i guess a de facto win for santorum? >> yeah, i think we have to look at the pattern of the last, well, six months now since june where we've had these winners of the week sort of thing going on every week or two. there's been a new front-runner starting -- go back to michele bachmann. she had her day and, of course, donald trump had his day and later on we saw herman cain and then, of course, more recently newt gingrich and now just in a
little bit of time along came the guy in the back of the pack and that was santorum and now he's had his timing just right and i guess the question is, is this going to be one of those years where the republican party isn't stable where it doesn't reach a point of stability where week by week they see who's on front then they go against that person. the tea party people don't like leaders. i've noticed that over the last couple of years. they like to attack leaders. the smartest of the tea party people lie back. they don't play leader like dick armey. they're smart enough to not try to be leaders because he recognizes they don't like leaders, per se. now, we see santorum up there as a leader for awhile. the question is will they go after him the way they're going after all the previous people who have come up to the fore and assume the role of leader. i think there's something fundamental horizontal about the tea party and right wing. they don't want a leader. i have though throw it over to michael steele. maybe you'll challenge that.
is your party in a period of complete instability now where almost like the french revolution where you put your head up and say i'm the leader, you get it chopped off. >> i don't think so. i think, you know, this is not about the tea party having a decision on who is the leader or not the leader. this is a real vote taken by independent voters and republican voters and representative process. i think this is the first time despite what you just said about, you know, who is up, who is down, this is the first time the voters have said this is who we want. i mean everybody else is kind of the accidental candidate who has kind of fallen into the leadership role because someone else failed. this is the first time they said this is who we want and america better pay attention. >> two or three top tea party people. >> that's not the point. the point is that these voters are making the decisions. this is tonight where the voters are saying we're going to have a say in who comes out on top. not the pundit, not the predictors. >> is this a stable leadership
we're looking at? >> we'll see what happens? >> you betting on it staying stable. >> i will because the voters are now going to have much more sway in this than they've had up to now. no one has taken a vote until tonight. let's see what the voters decide in new hampshire and south carolina. >> i think we can predict a continuation of this week-by-week struggle of who is king of the hill, rachel and very much a pat terng now. nobody stays on top of that hill. like when we were playing as kids for more than a couple of weeks it seems. now santorum will have to hold his position as king of the hill. >> even heading into tonight before this showing in iowa, the gallop organization had described the volatility in this year's republican race as the most volatile race the republicans have had since 1964 when they picked barry goldwater as lawrence was pointing out the last time they picked a first-time presidential candidate. that was before we saw rick santorum coming from behind to win in iowa. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at
santorum headquarters with more on why we have not yet heard from senator santorum tonight and what we might be waiting for, kelly. >> there has been an unusual situation here and one of the supporters, aides to senator santorum came up and said to the crowd in a bit of a humorous tone we have an etiquette problem here saying that governor mitt romney has not called senator santorum and the vice versa and it is tradition that the winner go last, so the crowd has filled the void with singing "ms. grace" chanting thingings like we pick rick. singing patriotic songs. many people here thought it would be a much earlier night. there are a lot of small children in the crowd and a lot of enthusiasm for a candidate and -- now this is the supporter we were talking about so we'll see what happens here. but they have been talking about the surprise here and when you you were talking about what happened with rick perry tonight i can tell you many of the people who have supported rick santorum have told me that they really liked rick perry and they
really liked michele bachmann and with the fates of those two campaigns tonight more clear, many of those supporters seem to be coming over to rick santorum especially those who are motivated by values voting, christian principles, those sorts of things. the gentleman seems to be saying we're only a short time away from senator santorum coming forward. i can tell you he had not prepared a traditional speech. aides say he's been thinking bit for a while and wanting to say thank you to iowa and maybe a bigger thank you depending on how the night turned out and also wanting to make his case for new hampshire and south carolina. buoyed by what happened an entirely different campaign in a very short amount of time. hoping the money would come in and a warning from the gentleman who said to the crowd, we know you're excited but please don't raise those signs to block the camera view because as much as it is an experience inside the room they want people at home in new hampshire, south carolina and beyond to see this speech in
what is arguably the biggest night in rick santorum's professional life. back to. >> you i think that's exactly right. to highlight that, this will be a national introduction for rick santorum. rick santorum obviously did serve two terms in the united states senate. he's not a complete stranger to the american politically minded public but the idea that he might be a potential president santorum will be a new idea to most americans tonight. at least those who are still up at this point to see what will either be his victory speech or maybe a victory speech. iowa in 2008 picked mike huckabee. iowa picked george w. burble and in '96 picked bob dole but picked pat buchanan as a close second and picked pat robertson as a close second so iowa has a history of throwing curveballs particularly for conservative, social conservative and religious-minded candidates. candidates who might otherwise
be seen as on the fringe of the party. but tonight that's not the way that anybody has been talking about this. nobody has been really talking about it as a huckabee-type win or a pat robertson-type win but talking about what it means in terps of trouble for mitt romney. >> we are talking about that way about the ron paul part of it. that is the part that we're kind of ignoring and looking at these other two front-runners which i think makes sense. iowa has not been good at picking presidential winners. for republicans, even worse than picking nominees and so you can exaggerate it but this santorum outcome cannot be exaggerated. this is a big event. >> ed? >> i was proud to call it. i went down there and saw this guy in action and listened to his stump and had a good visit with him. he's well rounded. i'm not stumping for him. i'm telling you who i thought would win the thing. retail politics, he put on a clinic but he did it the old-fashioned way.
fought the big money. never has pollinged well throughout all of this but he stuck to the basics and kept talking to the people he knew he would show up tonight and that was the social conservatives. i think when it's all broken out tonight, you're going to see a lot of undecided that ended up picking rick santorum over mitt romney. >> let me posit one thing that may be uncomfortable. i think this may be the latest non-mitt romney bubble candidacy. the difference that this one happened after people were already being asked to vote. what kelly was talking about, this essentially being rick santorum's introduction to a national political audience is true not only in terms of name recognition and things like that but because nobody has thrown a punch santorum's way this entire campaign. he has not been vetted by the media. he has not been vetted by his fellow candidates or criticized. not been exposed to any of the harsh glare of front-runner status and he's going to get that harsh glare after winning iowa which is a tough time to
get it. >> with people voting now, they may have to settle on the anti-romney candidate they're going to have to stay with, because during the polling and posturing and positioning part of the race, can you have a flavor of the month. now you're committing. this end of the caucus whenever we get the final votes, and new hampshire is going to end the primary. you're not going to be able to flip-flopping if you really want to stop romney and those are committed to stopping romney and according to the vote tonight that's 75% of the people that voted, let's remember, 75% of the people that voted voted against romney tonight. if those numbers hold up, they're going to say it's santorum or we're not going to be able to stop romney. >> they had five years to think about voting against romney in iowa. >> we're waiting right now for senator santorum and for governor romney to speak. they are neck and neck with 97% of the vote counted at this point again look at the difference between them, 34
let's go to it. [ applause ] >> as all of you know i do not speak from notes but there is a couple of things i want to say that are a little more emotional so i'm going to read them as a wrote them. c.s. lewis says a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words. my best friend, my life mate, who sings that song when i forget the words is my wife karen. [ applause ] people have asked me how i've
done this sitting back at the polls and not getting a whole lot of attention paid to us. how did you keep going out to iowa and 99 counties and 381 town hall meetings and speeches? well, every morning when i was getting up in the morning to take on that challenge, i've required the strength from another particular friendship. one that is sacred. i've survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from god. [ applause ] for giving me his grace every day, for loving me warts and all i offer a public thanks to god. [ applause ]
third thanks, thank you so much, iowa. [ cheers and applause ] you, you by standing up and not compromising, by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step of taking back this country. [ applause ] this journey started officially just a few months ago in june when i stood on the steps of the county courthouse in somerset county, pennsylvania, i decided to go there, not the typical
place someone announces for president, it's not where i was born. it's not where i ever lived. but it's where my grandfather came. back in 1925. he came by himself even though he was married with two children, one of them being my father. he came after having fought in world war i because mussolini had been in power now three years and he had figured out that fascism was something that would crush his spirit and his freedom and give his children something less than he wanted for them so he made a sacrifice. he left to the coal feels of southwestern pennsylvania. he worked in the mine at a company town, got paid with coupons he used to call them. lived in a shack, eventually he figured out that that was a trip
to nowhere so he started taking money less so he could start to save. and he did. and after five years he got his citizenship and brought my father over at the age of 7. he ended up continuing to work in those mines until he was 72 years old. digs coal. i'll never forget the first time i saw someone who had died. it was my grandfather and i knelt next to his coffin and all i could do was eye level was look at his hands. they were enormous hands. and all i could think was those hands dug freedom for me and so to honor him i went to somerset county because i believe foundationally while the economy is in horrible condition, while our country is not as safe as it
was and while threats are rising around the world, while the state of our culture under this administration continues to decline with the values that are unlike the values that built this country, that the essential issue in this race is freedom. whether we will be a country that believes that government can do things for us better than we can do for ourselves or whether we believe as our founders did that rights come to us from god and when he gave us those rights, he gave us the freedom to go out and live those -- live those rights out to build a great and just society, not from the top down but from the bottom up. [ applause ]
my grandfather taught me basic things that my dad caught me over and over again, work hard, work hard and work hard. and i think about that today. there's so many men and women right now who would love to work hard but they don't have the opportunity. and we have two parties who are out talking about how they're going to solve those problems. one wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more medicaid and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs and passing obama care to provide even more government subsidies, more and more dependency, more and more government, exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.
and then there's another vision, there's another vision, the republican vision which is let's just cut taxes, let's just reduce spending and everyone will be fine. i believe in cutting taxes. i believe in balancing budgets. i propose cutting $5 trillion from this budget over the next five years. i support a balanced budget amendment that puts a cap at 18% of gdp as a guarantee of freedom for this country. but -- but i also believe we as republicans have to look at those would are not doing well in our society by just cutting taxes and balancing budgets. and thats at's why i put forth plan that iowans responded to,
let's flatten the tax code, replace it with five deductions let's create two rate, 10 and 28. why 28? if it's good enough for ronald reagan, it's good enough for me [ applause ]towns, i then i tak corporate tax cut it in half because it's the highest in the world and i traveled to towns centered around manufacturing and processing. those good jobs that built those towns and those jobs slowly whether it's in hamburg, whether it's in newton or anyplace in between, we found those jobs leaving iowa. why? because our workers didn't want to work, because our workers weren't competitive, no. it's because government made
workers uncompetitive by driving up the cost of doing business here. it's 20% more expensive to do manufacturing jobs in this country than it is in the top nine trading partners that we have to compete with. and that's why we're losing our jobs. and so when republican purists say to me, well, why are you treating manufacturing different than retail? i say because walmart is not moving to china and taking their jobs with them. [ applause ] so we eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturing so we can compete and take every regulation over $100 million and we repeal all those regulations, repeal them all and there's a lot of them. under the bush and clinton administrations they averaged 60 regulations over $100 million a year. this administration hit 150 last year.
you don't want to know what's crushing business, this administration is crushing business. [ applause ] people have asked me, well, why do you think you can win because we've been told by so many people that there's another candidate in this race who is running a rather close race with me tonight. that is a better person to choose because he can win. let me tell you -- >> all: no. >> romney care. >> what wins -- what did you say. >> romney care. >> oh, romney care. i just didn't hear. you what win, what wins in america are bold ideas, sharp contrasts and a plan that includes everyone. a plan that includes people from all across the economic
spectrum, a plan that says we will work together to get america to work. [ applause ] howdy win when i won in pennsylvania? i won because i went out and worked in the communities like i grew up in, butler, papers, a steel town, how was i able to win as a congressman in a 60% democratic district and then in a 70% democratic district which represented all of the old abandoned steel mills in pittsbur pittsburgh, all of them, all along the monongahela river, those mills were in my district and i ran in a tough election year when george bush sr. was losing the election by a landslide in my district and i got 60% of the vote because i
shared the values of the working people in that district, if we have someone who can go out to western pennsylvania and ohio and michigan and indiana and wisconsin and iowa and missouri and appeal to the voters that have been left behind by a democratic party that wants to make them dependent instead of valuing their work, we will win this election. [ cheers and applause ] >> those are the same people that president obama talked about who cling to their guns and their bibles. thank god they do. [ cheers and applause ] they share our values about
faith and family. they understand that when the family breaks down, the economy struggles. [ applause ] they understand when families aren't there to instill values into their children and into their neighbors as little league coaches, as good neighbors of fathers and mothers being part of a community. that the neighborhood is not safe and they are not free. these are the basic values that america stands for and those are the values that we need if we're going to go up against barack obama and win this election and restore the founding principles of our country to america. [ cheers and applause ]
i want to close by thanking all of you. this has been an incredible journey. 99 counties, 381 town hall meetings. 36 pizza ranches. and you're noticing i'm not button my coat for a reason. okay, i love iowa, but the fare can be a little bit thickening. it's been a great journey and i just have to say i always said, you know, the three words i heard most often when i traveled around this state -- >> we pick rick. >> well, that was late. >> welcome to iowa. >> welcome to iowa. [ cheers and applause ]
>> i want to thank the iowans up here on stage who were introduced to many of them. folks who stood up when no one else standing up, folks who when i was sitting at single digits in the polls believed in the message and the messenger, believed in the cause and were willing to stand behind us and do what was not popular in the world today, lead. they led and to each and every one of you, i want to thank you for leading, for doing what was necessary to promote the cause of liberty. thank you including matt schultz. [ applause ] i have to particularly give a shoutout to the guy who really helped us on the ground here as a volunteer late, became a
little bit of a symbol of the campaign, the owner of the chuck tru truck. i love that -- i don't really often talk about "the new york times," but i love that graphic in "the new york times" that had the -- the entourages traveled around the state and there were these long rows of buses and people and airplanes and suvs and people and staff and then all the way at the bottom was the chuck truck, me and matt and one of my kids. that was the most. chuck. [ applause ] i started with this. i'm going to end with it. i have not written a whole bunch of books in my life, one "it
takes a family." i started talking about my wife and i'll end it with my gems. six of my children, elizabeth, john, many peter and patrick -- they have not seen much of their dad over the past several months. yet, they've stood by me every step of the way, encouraged me and loved me unconditionally. there's another little girl who's not here tonight. she is with a little button. she's our little angel that's isabella maria. isabella maria, we don't take her out in crowds. she has a disability. she has a disability that has according to the records the statistics has a 1% chance of survival of 1 year. she is 3 1/2 years old. [ cheers and applause ]
>> so bella is here with us in spirit and is deeply embedded into my heart. people ask me what motivates me and i say the dignity of every human life. [ applause ] god has given us this great country to allow his people to allow his people to be free. has given us that dignity because we are a creation of his. and we need to honor that creation and whether it's the sanctity of life in the womb or the dignity of every working person in america to fulfill their potential, you will have a friend in rick santorum. we are oft to new hampshire.
we are -- [ applause ] because the message i shared with you tonight is not an iowa message or an iowa and south carolina message, it is a message that will resonate across this land. it's -- it will resonate, i know in new hampshire because you think i've been in iowa a lot. i've been to new hampshire 30 times and have been more times and done more events more man jon huntsman and he cheats. he lives there. we will be in new hampshire. we'll leave tomorrow. we'll spend our time there and with your help and god's grace, we'll have another fun night a week from now. god bless you [ applause ] >> former pennsylvania senator rick santorum, while he was speaking tonight we got in our latest numbers, right now as far as we know with 98% of the vote
in, look at this. between him and mitt romney, the difference is 5 votes. as we have been noting over the course of the evening there is no recount provision in the iowa caucuses so whatever that difference is is going to determine the standings. it is quite obviously too close to call with 98% of the vote in. rick santorum there giving a speech that will be seen as his introduction to the national stage. he was a united states senator for two terms. he is not a complete political unknown but winning or coming close to the iowa caucuss and coming to that speech will be a step across the threshold. steve sh schmidt. is he less of a huckabee and more of a nominee. >> that was a major league
speech. he just hit that ball 440 yards, you know, down the middle of the fairway and i think it was dead on for what he needs to do for republican primary voters and i think it's going to be received really he will. that was a high-pressure molt for him. it was his national introduction. he did a fantastic job. i think he's going to be a formidable opponent for governor romney coming down into the early contests. >> right now we are looking at the romney campaign headquart headquarters. nobody can give a concession or victory speech. too close to call even at 40 minutes past midnight. that's ann romney. his wife who has been a constant companion on the campaign trail and a good political speaker on her own on behalf of her husband's campaign. now as governor romney steps up to the microphone himself with his sons behind him -- >> i thought she was going to talk for awhile. what happened? [ applause ] yeah, we don't know what the final vote tally is going to be
but congratulations to rick santorum. this has been a great victory for him and for his effort. he's worked very hard in iowa. we also feel it's been a great victory for us here. and ron paul, as well. ron paul has had a great night. this is -- this has been terrific. i think it's great that here in the heartland of america that a campaign begins all three of us campaigning very hard to make sure we restore the heart and soul of the entire nation and thank you, iowa, for the great send-off you're giving to us and the others in this campaign. look, this is a -- this is a campaign night where america wins. we'll change the white house and get america back on track. [ applause ] i'm proud tonight to have been introduced by my sweetheart, well, i was going to say 42 years but we've been married 42 years, we've been sweethearts longer than that and four of our five sons.
one of our sons, ben is a resident at a hospital and so he can't be here tonight but this has been a family affair for us and in this room we feel like family. you guys have been extraordinary. this -- for those that don't know, this volunteer team has done extraordinary work. i mean i hope you understand. what i ran four years ago, we had 52 members of our full-time staff. this campaign we've had five. and you guys have done the work under the direction of dave kochle and sara craig. they are just heroic. thanks for the work you've done. and you were working and i am working and we're all working together because of our passion for this country and our concern that it's being led by a president who may be a nice guy but just is over his head and you look -- i mean i look at his campaign, four years ago tonight, he was giving a victory celebration speech here in des
moines and he had been going across the state making all sorts of promises, the gap between his promises four years ago and his performance is as great as anything i've ever seen in my life. we face an extraordinary challenge in america. you know that. and that is internationally iran is about to have nuclear weaponry just down the road here and this president, what has he done this that regard? he said he would have a policy of engagement. how has that worked out? not terribly well. we have no sanctions of a severe nature, crippling sanctions put in place, the president was silent when dissident voices took to the street in iran and, of course, he hasn't prepared the military options that would present credibly our ability to take out the threat that would be presented by iran. he's failed on that and then how about with regards to the economy. he went out and borrowed $787 billion and his administration said they'd hold unemployment below 8%. hasn't been below 8% since. you got 25 million people today
out of work or stopped looking for work. or unable to get the kind of job that will allow them to meet their needs. this is not just a statistic, by the way. these 25 million people, this unemployment of 8.5%. these are real people whose lives have been impacted severely. people who lose their jobs over a long period of time. they sometimes lose their marriage, lose their faith, become depressed. this is just a tragedy and didn't need to happen. almost everything the president has done has made it harder for businesses to grow and to hire and put people back to work and then, of course, there's one more aspect of his track record that's been a failure. he was critical of president obama for not balancing the budget and for having such large deficits. his deficits have been three times larger or more. he's on track by the end of his first term, his only term, by the way -- [ cheers and applause ]
>> all: mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt, mitt. >> he's on track -- he's on track to put almost as much public debt in place as all the prior presidents combined. this has been a failed presidency and i'm absolutely convinced if we want jobs in this country it's helpful to have a person who has had a job in the private sector to create jobs in the private sector. [ applause ] >> you know, he said three years ago after being inaugurated he was on the "today" show and said, look, if i can't get this economy turned around in three years, i'll be looking at a one-term proposition, and we are here to collect, let me tell you. [ applause ] i will go to work to get america back to work by making america the most attractive place in the world for job creator and innovators and the jobs will begin to flow like they have in the mast and keep our tax rates
competitive and get regulators to see their job is to encourage enterprise and finally take advantage of the energy resources we have here in oil and gas and coal and nuclear and renewab renewables. [ applause ] and i'll also do the work of finally getting ourselves to cut our federal spending and capping how much we spend and balancing our budget. i think it's immoral for us to continue to spend our kids' future year after year, trillions of dollar, passed on to the next generation knowing we can't possibly pay it back. it's wrong and under my administration it'll end. [ applause ] and you've heard me say this before. i've been asked how are you going to cut programs and i'm going to look at all the programs we have in the federal government and i'm going to ask with regards to each one of
them, is that program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? and on that basis we'll have a lot of problems we get rid of and number one on the list will be obama care. that will be gone. [ applause ] but this election is bigger. even than jobs and a strong economy. it's bigger than a budget that's balanced and deficits and debt that beginning to be reduced. it's really an election about the soul of america. the question is are we going to continue to hue to the vision of the founders when they crafted this country and wrote the declaration of independence, they said that the creator had endowed us with certain unalienable rights among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and that word, that phrase "pursuit of happiness" deals with the opportunity associated with this great nation.
we are an opportunity land. people came here from all over the world seeking freedom electorally but also freedom personally able to choose their own course in life. they came to america and by virtue of their successes, their passion, their energy, their pioneering they helped lift then tire nation and didn't make us poorer but made us as a nation better off. the president has a different view. instead of seeing a merit society, an opportunity society, i the right course for america
economically, permanently, morally is for america to restore the principles that made us the shining city on a hill, our conviction that freedom is a gift of god. our recognition that it's a merit society where based upon their education, their hard work, their risk-taking, their dreams, can lift themselves and lift people around them and lift our entire nation. i love the country, i love the hymns of america, oh burrell for spacious skies and amber waves of grain. corn counts. oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberates strife who more than self their country loved -- do we have any veterans in the room tonight, please raise your hand and be recognized. [ applause ]
one more verse. oh beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the yees, the patriots, the founders of this country had a dream that was not just for their time, but was an enduring dream, it sees unto our time. i don't want to do as the president says to fundamentally transform america into something we might not recognize. i want to restore the principles that made america the hope of the earth. i love our freedoms. i love our constitution. i love our land. i love our people and i love the fact that this is a land of opportunity. let us restore the greatness of america and keep this land the hope of the earth. thank you so much for all your help. on to new hampshire. on to new hampshire. let's get that job done. come visit us there. we got some work ahead. thanks, you guys. >> massachusetts governor mitt
romney having almost exactly duplicated his results in 2008 tonight both it terms of percentage of the vote earned, 25% and almost exactly in terms of the total number of votes he has earned tonight. at this point it is still too close to call between him and rick santorum whith 98% of the vote in there's still a 5-vote difference. for reaction to mitt romney's speech tonight and rick santorum's speech, let's go now to chris matthews who is in des moines. chris? >> rachel, that was a wonderful contrast between the politics of spirit which you got from rick santorum, whether you agree with his philosophy or not or his general politics but it was about spirit and heart and belief and family, sort of the basic varitys hen a merchandiser coming on selling product. he was just showing one product after another. i got this, i got that for you. it was at politics of
merchandising. no spirit. no heart. the other guy was all spirit and all heart and i just wonder what kind of a battle the republican party is really going to face in the next couple of weeks based on what we just saw, spirit against product and i got the feeling that our hearts even ed schultz i think because he is a working guy went with santorum there because there was something -- whether you disagree with everything he stands for there is some heart with santorum and with the other guy, i don't know. he's out of the hall of the presidents. he doesn't seem to have a heart, spirit. there's something merchandisy about that guy that would bug the most material american, i would guess, rachel. >> i would say, i'm in no position to do this if i were a person that could bestow a game ball, i would bestow it on you tonight not only for having picked rick santorum doing so well tonight but for having zeroed in on the part of his campaign speech, his speech tonight that we heard that was unlike anything we heard from
anybody else which was talking about working people, the need of the republican people to be able to speak to working people who feel like the democratic party doesn't speak for them anymore and doing it at length and with energy. you zeroed in on that. >> the thing that impressed me was his sincerity. he was very sincere to the people he was talking to that i saw in iowa and spent a lot of time with them. that's the same guy i saw in the room, the guy speaking tonight. on a scale of one to ten, sincerity, hey, he's as far as you could go on the scale, a ten. mitt romney, i think chris hit it on the head, maybe about a five. he was selling a lot of stuff but he spoke tonight about jobs in a manner that democrats normally do. >> yeah. >> and this is something that i think has been absent from the republican party is they talk about the middle class but then they don't dial down exactly who these people are and tonight i
think we saw santorum do that with a level of believability. now, he is going -- i think the south is going to love this guy. i really believe that. i think that he has a real chance. he's got to get ahold of jim demint as i said earlier and work south carolina. there are some conservatives. he talked about family, he talked about faith. that's going to play big down in the south. romney is going to continue to push that he's the jobs guy. you know what, so is rick santorum. but he's talking about it in a different manner so it's -- plus he has a wing man in newt gingrich now so this is going to be interesting as it unfolds. >> i think that when you deal with just sheer oratory and i can talk about that, i think santorum not only talked about jobs, to describe your grandfather's hands and how big they were to workers, i mean it
compels another kind of emotion that's going to be very hard for romney who comes across so plastic because what impressed me about santorum was he was almost poetic in how he did it and you sense that he believes it, which scares me about santorum is that he believes it because to compare what's going on in the country today under president obama with mussolini with his grandfather, those excesses is what's going to scare a lot of americans in a general election. i think his extremism is going to cancel out some of the impact of his -- >> provided he gets vetted. >> provided he gets vetted but in he gets past the republican primaries he'll have to get vetted. i think he will give willard romney a fit but i think that after that they're -- the media will have to give him a fit because he has some very extreme positions and in -- i mean he
almost had me wooing until he hit me with mussolini then i remembered who he was. >> 30 last seconds from you lawrence and steve. >> when he was talking about his grandfather, he wasn't just talking about his grandfather. every carefully crafted political speech is about the candidate and the opponent. rick santorum is hoping there is a discussion of grandfathers here because mitt romney's grandfather gasp k echl kel cam mexico and his country came long before that but mitt romney's great-grandfather as a polygamist after the mormon church turned against polygamy fled the laws of this country to resettle his entire family in mexico. and so the romney grandfather story is my grandfather came to this country too from mexico
fleeing the mexican revolution because we first went there fleeing american laws, santorum knows this. he knows that romney knows that. ths that's to get under his ski >> romney's entire strategy is built on a fire wall in new hampshire. it will be tested. we'll see how much momentum rick santorum carries forward and then i think you're going to see crucial outcomes in south carolina and florida that will probably determine the outcome of the nomination fight. >> thank you for spending your evening with us. we know you had lots of options. for! committee, edwards schultz, the reverend al sharpton, lawrence owe donl, i'm rachel maddow. we will continue with chris hayes and join joe on "morning joe" on msnbc. 'donnell, i'm rac. we will continue with chris hayes and join joe on "morning joe" on msnbc.