tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 11, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EST
what else? >> melanie writes the only good thing about having food poisoning is that i'm up topoisy pal willie. >> we get a lot of those. not that i'm awake because i enjoy your show, or you enlighten me in the morning. i'm up because of severe digest digest digestictive digestive problems. "morning joe" starts right now. . this election is a choice between two very different destinies. president obama wants to fundamentally transform america. we want to restore america to the founding principles that made this country great. this president puts his faith in government. we put our faith in the american people. this president has enacted job-killing regulations, i'll
eliminate them. he lost our aaa credit rating, i'll restore it. he passed obama care, i'll repeal it. when it comes to economy, my highest priority as president will be worrying about your job, not about saving my own. i will insist on a military so powerful no one would ever think of challenging it. he apologizes for america, and i will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the earth. >> good morning. it is wednesday, january 11th, and mitt romney -- to win both the iowa caucuses and the new hampshire primary. with 95% supporting, romney won 39% of the vote here in new hampshire, ron paul was second taking about 23% of the vote here. and jon huntsman finished third with about 17%. newt gingrich and rick santorum went back and forth all night
for fourth and fifth place. welcome back, everybody, to "morning joe." we're at j.d.'s tavern in manchester. we have mark haleprin, and national affairs editor for "new york" magazine john heilemann, and many more to come today. but first of all, take us off, joe, this morning in terms of what happened last night. you saw it coming. >> well, new hampshire is the land of romney. you come into j.d.'s tavern, you talk to everyone, they go, i am mitt romney. you can just sense it on the streets -- >> you can shake that narrative. >> i'm getting a lot of people going no, no. but he is as jon huntsman said yesterday, new hampshire's home boy. >> he had a good speech. >> a well-written speech, delivered fairly well for mitt romney. and the fact is that he did make history last night. winning iowa and new hampshire puts you in a position to -- to
walk away with the republican nomination in most years. mika, we've been saying it week in and week out over the past year when we heard sarah palin was going to win it, we heard herman cain was going to be the nominee, michele bachmann, rick perry, newt gingrich was going to be the nominee -- i've always said in politics, there are laws. there are rules just like rules of physics. and you don't break those rules. at the end of the game, it comes down to organization and it comes down to money. and mitt romney has been the only candidate with both of those things. and one other important item. crazy never wins. >> that's right. >> how many times have i said that through the years? >> a lot. a lot. >> crazy never wins. here's the thing, every four years we have candidates far outside the mainstream of the republican party. and i'm not even talking ideologically, and you always hear people on the left talking
about how crazed the gop has become and then you hear talk radio show hosts on the right trying to push a lot of these, i think, illegitimate candidates. and even though most conservatives aren't excited, mitt romney wins because mitt romney had organization and money. >> and he kept it right in the middle of the road in terms of not being too crazy. romney one five of new hampshire's 12 total delegates, ron paul came in second, and jon huntsman came in third. topping the republican field, mitt romney now has a field of 16 delegates, santorum 11 thanks to his near win in iowa. ron paul rounds out the top three with a combined six delegates. the other challengers are vowing to continue their fight for the nomination with south carolina's 25 delegates and florida's 50 still up for grabs. >> mark haleprin, though, there still remains a problem.
yes, mitt romney ran the only organized, legitimate campaign, and yet conservatives still cannot embrace mitt romney because they do not believe for, i think good reason, that mitt romney's not one of their own. >> and the others go to south carolina. >> you have right now, at least among the conservative base a very dispirited group of people that elect republican presidents. >> we knew if mitt romney would move toward the nomination, there would be a moment where conservatives would gasp and say, he's not one of us, we need someone else. it's setting up well for him because the attacks on him and newt gingrich are having the likes of rush limbaugh and others come to his defense. >> rushing into his arms. >> and the party establishment, a lot of whom don't necessarily view romney as too -- not conservative enough, but as simply not as a strong general election candidate, not a man of principle in their view. they're going to be pushed into his arms too. they're going to say this guy's the inevitable nominee, you're
going to see a lot of new endorsements come his way. and he already has a lot in the bank. the party establishment is going to say this thing has to stop now. this is our candidate whether he's conservative enough or not. >> i find it fascinating. i have tape of myself repeatedly saying that 1994 and 2010 are almost identical. in 1994, the conservative movement led to moderate bob dole. >> yeah. >> in 2010, and i predicted -- i don't exactly know why, but i said i expected -- whether i like it or not, the conservative movement of 2010 to lead to moderate mitt romney. isn't it bizarre? that has -- it appears to be happening again. >> it's weird. and i think, you know, part of it is going back to your thing about crazy never wins. crazy kind of multiplies and you get a lot of different variants of crazy. you think about 1996, the sanest
republican to challenge bob dole in 1996 is pat buchanan, and that says something in terms of -- >> pat's our friend. >> i said sanest -- >> you do not say the "e" word about pat. >> here you had a similar thing, a lot of variance of more extreme, i guess some would say, more ardent kind of -- and it got all split up. >> you know what else happens? that's a great point. what else happens, willie, is mainstream conservative republicans are spooked. >> yep. >> and i have heard this from -- i'm not saying who i heard it from, but let's look at mike huckabee. mike huckabee didn't run in part because he thought that some hard right people would say he's not conservative enough. jeb bush considered an extremist in 1994, you know, has been -- has joked to friends, i would be considered a liberal by today's
standards. so, yeah. it multiplies illegitimate extreme candidates, forget about the ideology, they're not ready for prime tirme. it scares off the jeb bushes, the chris christies. >> the good candidates. >> the mainstream candidates that in normal years would run and win. >> and it begs the question we've been asking about mitt romney and conservatives from the beginning which is, yes, you don't like them, you're not satisfied with him, perhaps you don't like him, but he's better than barack obama. and that's something i heard last night. who did you vote for and why? a number of people said i voted for ron paul to make a point, but i'm going to support mitt romney because he can defeat barack obama. i didn't -- i'm going to vote my conscience here, but vote for a win in the general election. >> mika, at some point. >> they've got to get behind
somebody. >> at some point, you've got to be excited enough. it's one thing if i say -- it's one thing if i say i'm going to vote for mitt romney. it's another thing if i'm excited about mitt romney and i go to my neighbor and say, hey, listen, would you mind putting this sign up in your yard? and i spend, you know, ten hours one weekend calling people to say make sure you get out and vote for mitt romney. right now, conservatives have no reason to be excite d about doig that for mitt romney. it's not enough to just dislike the other guy. you have got to be excited about your own candidate. and that's mitt romney's challenge moving forward. >> the romney campaign hopes the current momentum will send a signal to the republican party that it's time to rally behind the front-runner. speaking to supporters, romney turned his attention toward the general election and president obama while also taking a swipe at his republican rivals who stepped up their attacks leading up to yesterday's vote.
>> president obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. and in the last few days, we have seen some desperate republicans join forces with them. this is such a mistake for our party. and for our nation. the country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. we have to offer an alternative vision. i stand ready to lead us down a different path where we're lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success. and these -- if this election is a bidding war, for those who can promise the most benefits, then i'm not your president, you already have that president. if you want to make this election about restoring american greatness, then i hope you'll join us. if you believe that the disappointments of the last few years are a detour not a destiny, then i'm asking for your vote, this election let's go on to fight for the america
we love because we believe in america. thank you so much. god bless america. thank you, guys. you're the best! >> mark haleprin, we were talking about this earlier, that sounded like a nomination speech. on the one hand talking a lot about president obama, but on the other hand flicking away newt gingrich and saying, really? you want to attack me on the bain capital thing? you're making obama's case against me. let's stop that. and as we said before, rush limbaugh made that case, sean hannity told rick perry he sounded like an occupy wall streeter calling mitt romney a vulture capitalist. a good speech for mitt romney last night. >> mitt romney's the nominee, i think the president's a favorite to win. but the speech he gave last night was a lot -- not only like an acceptance speech at a convention, but like his announcement speech in new hampshire last spring. that version of mitt romney, that message, that quality of delivery, the quality of delivery by romney before and
introducing him, that will make this a close race if he can sustain that. but we also saw he has a propensity to say things that will define his image a much different way. we often say the election's just about the incumbent, if mitt romney can perform like he did last night versus the last 48 hours, he'll be in a much better position. >> and mitt romney was great last night. >> this was rick perry on hannity last night, challenging rick perry on going after romney over bain capital. >> when i hear that -- it almost sounds like occupy wall street. it doesn't sound like somebody that is governing the state of texas as a conservative. >> there's a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism. venture capitalism we like, vulture capitalism, no. and the fact of the matter is that he's going to have to face up to this at some time or another. and south carolina is as good a place to draw that line in the sand as any.
to think if they were going to be real venture capitalist, they would save those jobs rather than coming in and picking their bones clean which is exactly what i think they did and then walk away from them with huge amounts of profit. >> and of course, newt's making the same case in south carolina. some of the super pac ads, you see, people fired because of bain capital. >> you know, rick perry is going to be very embarrassed a month from now. after he has made this occupy wall street argument and is kicked out of the race with less than 5% in south carolina. >> this doesn't work. you know, i ran as a populist myself. i'm conservative/populist like a lot of guys and women from 1994. but i would never -- the idea that you attack a republican for engaging in acts of capitalism? it's -- it's astounding. i mean, this -- this is where
the republican party has gotten right now. it is ideologically undefined. it was the party of big spending over the past decade, the party of debts, the party of deficits. the party of medicare part d, of $7 trillion entitlements, military adventurism, the party of a decade-long occupation, and now we are the party that attacks capitalism? there is no center to this party. we are not conservative right now. >> i'm confused. >> and for those of us observing from the sidelines these candidates, let me say, it has been a horrifying decade. >> they're doing obama's work at this point. >> well, they are to some extent. there's no question, south carolina's going to be interesting because the fact you had in iowa and new hampshire two states doing pretty well economically compared to a lot of the country. south carolina not, much more economically distressed down there. we see in south carolina the much more blue collar base of the republican party than we have in a couple of the states we've been in so far.
the tone of it and vulture capitalism is an extreme version. we had newt gingrich on the show yesterday making a more careful version of that argument, which i think you acknowledged yesterday was more -- was still criticizing the bain element of romney's background but was a little bit more -- not quite as occupy wall street. and there may -- he may find a more fertile ground in south carolina amongst voters down there who do feel some that there's a lot of it. >> there's a tactical difference. >> yes. >> between rick perry's approach -- >> i agree. >> which is vulture capitalism. but seriously, let's put that on a sign and take it down to what zicotti park. and what do you call it, mark, when you take a company that's making record profits and then you put money in and then suck it out and you watch them collapse? and then you profit off of that?
if newt does frame it that way, then he just asks the question. maybe that's a better tactic. but rick perry stumbling into that mine field is going to blow himself up politically. >> there's a line of argument about the bain criticism on the republican side which is about electability. which says here are all of these vulnerabilities that would keep mitt romney from being able to win a general election. they'll also make the argument that his gaffes in the last few days in talking about economics would also hurt his electability. the problem is, voters think he's the most electable, the polls show that, that's the most difficult argument to make, but one of the few they have left. the other track, social issues, where gingrich is up with an ad on abortion. and there is a potential vulnerability there, but not in the divided field. >> before we go to break, we want to get to ron paul who came in second. here's ron paul addressing his supporters last night. >> i wanted to thank the union leader for not -- for not
endorsing me. i called governor romney a short while ago before he gave his talk and congratulate him because he certainly had a clear cut victory. but we're nibbling at his heels. but there was another victory tonight, he had a victory, but we have had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight. there's no way they're going to stop the momentum that we have started. >> mika, no doubt, this is a big win for ron paul, and a rep minder to reminder to big-government republicans and there are a lot of big-government republicans in washington, d.c. that the libertarian strain of the republican party is strong. >> yeah. >> it is alive and it is well and it's about a quarter of the party. and a lot of those votes were votes of rebellion against big spending republicans over the past decade.
>> usually these primaries weed out the candidates. so far, though, they're holding on. despite his third-place finish, jon huntsman appeared optimistic vowing to compete in south carolina where he's currently trailing in the polls. >> ladies and gentlemen, i think we're in the hunt. i'd say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen. we proved the point that this state wants its candidates to earn it the old-fashioned way. that's on the ground, handshake by handshake, conversation by conversation, vote by vote. we got it done, ladies and gentlemen! hello, south carolina! >> mark, i was there last night at that event. it sounded like huntsman was trying to convince himself he was still in it. what does that mean for him in the race? >> sounds like he did a better job convincing himself than he
did you. >> i think so. >> he's got a tough, tall order. i think they all want to go forward because they think there's a fragility of mitt romney that hasn't been evidenced yet. but he did not get a win big enough to become a place for the establishment to go. we talked a lot here about how he's more conservative than that lot of people think. he presented himself, but by finishing third, i don't think he's going to attract any new endorsements, any money, any way to go forward in south carolina or florida where he's still not particularly well known. he's way down in the polls. >> john, what does this mean for jon? >> i don't think there's any way he could be the nominee. he had a very narrow path. like a razor's edge path, even coming in second, coming in third, a distant third behind ron paul, i think he's done. the only question in my mind is whether mark said -- not much money is going to flow in because of this. there's still some chance, you know, his dad wakes up today and
writes a big check to his super pac and he could do some damage to mitt romney in south carolina by running more negative ads against romney. he could play it in the race in that way. but i don't think it'll help him become the nominee. >> as we move forward, every one of these candidates need to understand, mitt romney is on his way to the nomination and that south carolina's their waterloo. and they've got a choice. they can either attack mitt romney or they can go asking for positions -- speaking positions -- i'm dead serious. at the republican national convention in tampa because that is the last stop. >> which one do you think newt's going to do? >> i think -- you know what? newt doesn't care whether -- >> he's a honey badger. >> i suspect perry will use whatever money he has left. if huntsman goes down there, he's going to have to -- they're all collectively going to have to beat mitt romney in south carolina or it is over. >> romney has one his campaign on a primal principle, kill
anything that tries to kill you. >> well, they're dead anyway. no, no -- >> you're saying romney will kill his -- >> if anyone down there starts to pose a threat to him in a serious way, he will kill them. >> and what i am saying is, they are dead if they don't attack him. >> this is going to be fun! this is going to be fun! >> so the question is, do you want to cower in the corner? let me take you back to something i said -- and a lot of them were cowering in the corner and they were saying, oh, this was after dick armey turned on us and everybody was exposed. and we were exposed, and they were saying they're going to strip us of our appropriations, and i said, gentlemen, you're either the hunter or the hunted, and let me tell you what, i'm going hunting for a newt.
>> was it thomas hobbs who talked about the war of war against all. >> next week in south carolina. >> there's a little weekend at bernies mixed into it. >> but the serious point to that is, if we had sat back, we would have been killed. instead we went after newt and he left town. and it's the same identical situation now. if they sit back, they will all be killed this next week politically. so i think they have no choice. >> okay. on that note, coming up, we're going to talk to the top two -- mitt romney and ron paul will join us here on "morning joe." after the break, mike allen is back with politico's top stories of the morning and inside details on romney's plan to crush gingrich in south carolina. but first, let's go to bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> good morning, everyone. we actually have a winter weather forecast to talk about for once. it's heading for new england and
chicago and milwaukee. during the day today, though, warm temperatures for new england, rain on the way for d.c. and philly. more or less, this afternoon towards tonight. your morning commute is dry. but northern new england, you're going to see later tonight, it's going to start as snow changing over to freezing rain and ice. we're looking at around 6 to 12 inches. the cities at the lower elevations, though, maybe only an inch or two. at least it's a start. we've got a lot of rain in kentucky and tennessee today. and eventually, that's going to turn to snow tomorrow. we're talking chicago in milwaukee, your first significant snowstorm of the season expected tomorrow. 3 to 6 inches. we're brewed by starbucks.
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mitt will breeze to the white house as long as he never reminds voters what bain capital did. >> i like being able to fire people -- >> what? glad i had my turntable here. romney explains. >> things can always be taken out of context, but as you know i was speaking about insurance companies. >> yes, mitt was talking about giving individual citizens the right to fire their insurance companies, which would hurt those companies' profits, making them vulnerable to takeover, then mitt could fire those people in context. >> turntable. welcome back to j.d.'s tavern in manchester, the morning after
mitt romney's big win. mike allen, he's the best in the business. >> oh, yes. >> he gets every scoop there is. >> always puts it right at the top. >> yes. >> the lead story. you have some breaking news, and i'll let you deliver it this morning, mike. >> siren. >> sources close to "morning joe," a birthday boy, mark haleprin. happy birthday, young man. >> thank you so much. ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ happy birthday dear, mark ♪ happy birthday to you >> and many more. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> you better be right, mike. >> thank you. >> that is good breaking news, mike. >> make a wish. >> blow it out. >> very good. happy birthday, mark. >> thanks. >> now you have to eat that. >> i'll share that with joe.
>> by the way, if it's not your birthday, don't tell us. >> it's next week, we'll do it all again. we've come too far. mike, let's talk about what happened last night. any surprises for you? >> yes, the surprise was the strength of the mitt romney win. he won evangelicals, nonevangelicals, conservatives, all across the board moderates, women, men, cleared the very high 38-point haleprin bar, 39%. in fact, his win is so impressive that romney folks today are going to start going to other republicans, other conservatives saying, look, it's time for the general, it's time to stop this nonsense. we've tested him. everybody's gotten their shot. and it's time to move on, come behind him. >> boy, mike, it was a big win. and let me just say too. we always put a lot of polls up, the suffolk poll. we were talking about him losing a point every day. the suffolk poll picked up a surge at the end. he jumped four points the end of
the poll and they were dead on. this was that big win for mitt romney. >> yeah. and they're going to help this process a little bit. starting today, the romney campaign is going to go very hard against newt gingrich. they say he was never a threat in new hampshire, they do think he has some strength in south carolina. florida, they say he has nothing left to lose, very dangerous in politics, they're very concerned about his kamikaze run against romney on bain and others. so they're going to try to take the paint off newt before he takes the paint off them. they're going to go after him on this unreliable leader idea. >> what does the republican party, mitt romney, do specifically about ron paul who is not going to go away? >> there's very high level concern about this -- great concern about him running third party. i think we've talked here because of his son, senator rand paul, that's probably insurance against him running third party. he would be destroying -- >> explain that a little bit. >> yeah, his son, senator rand paul of kentucky is a rising
star among conservatives. if the paul family were to go independent, which i think we've agreed would essentially reelect barack obama, that would end rand paul's career. so that is probably the insurance against it. the republicans don't want to take the chance and top republicans tell me they need to find a way to bring ron paul people in. and this is not just giving him a speaking spot at the convention. they need to take specific steps to address his concerns. they say there's no reason for these people to be democrats. let's not give them a reason. >> and by the way, willie, i said earlier, this isn't just about ron paul. usually you have to buy off a political challenger to give you a spot at the speaking convention. this is about 20% to 25% of the republican party. and i put myself in this group that has become disillusioned by the medicare drug benefit plan that cost us $7 trillion, by a decade of occupation, by just
the fact that this republican party has become a big government party. ron paul carries with him 20 to 25% of the republican base that is going to have to believe if mitt romney gets elected, it's going to be different. that he's going to fight to cut the budget, to cut entitlements, to stop military adventurism, and eventually balance the budget. >> you can't call him a fringe candidate anymore. he's not getting 8%, 9%. he's cleared 20% in iowa and new hampshire. and not the kind of guy who will be flattered by a speaking spot at the convention. as he did four years ago, he'll hold his own convention if he has to. mike allen, chock full of breaking news this morning. >> happy birthday, haleprin. still ahead, we're going to talk to mitt romney and ron paul both live. also, we'll take you to new hampshire, town of about 13,000
welcome back inside j.d.'s tavern. we're here the morning after mitt romney's big win. if you're waking up, ron paul came in second, and jon huntsman third. we went just north of where we are in new hampshire to find out who people were voting for and why. we heard a range of answers as we set up shop in a town of about 13,000 people. a lot of voters talking about electability. the importance of defeating president obama. >> who did you vote for tonight? >> mitt romney? >> how come? >> i think with the economy the way it is right now, i think that's affecting most people.
hopefully with the way washington is today, we can find someone with a little more business experience. >> who did you vote for tonight? >> mitt romney. >> why? >> primarily with regards to electability. >> was there another candidate you maybe liked better but thought could not beat president obama? >> i did, and it would be former governor huntsman. having he worked for the obama administration, i just don't see how he can compete. >> who did you vote for today? >> rick santorum? >> why? >> well, i think he's a stronger conservative. >> i voted for huntsman. i think he has the best chance of winning the presidency against president obama. >> what was it about huntsman at the end that put him above mitt romney? >> honestly? he was one of the only ones that sounded like he was speaking the truth that he was going to get in there and try his best. >> who did you vote for today? >> i voted for newt. >> why? >> i just think that he has an answer and a plan. >> what are the issues that are
most important to you this time around? >> i think number one would be the economy. >> who did you vote for tonight? >> ron paul. >> what was the single most important issue? >> the economy. you know, i'm a college graduate and i'm still looking for a job. i haven't been able to find one yet. that's the biggest thing for me. >> i don't like mitt romney, i don't like the way he's flip-flopped in the past 20 years. being near massachusetts, we know the true mitt. in the general election, probably romney has the only shot at beating him. and i will be voting for him in the general election. but still here, i don't want this to be a run away for romney. >> so you vote for ron paul here, but you will kind of circle the wagons and come around for romney if he's the nominee? >> yeah. kind of have to. >> i'm not happy with a lot of things he's done for the last two years, three years, and i would like to see him become a
stronger president. given the slate of possible nominees that the republicans have put forward, there isn't anyone i think could do a better job than obama's doing now. >> just one sampling of voters. those from new hampshire. coming up on "morning joe," it's time for joe and our dear friend dan senor to settle a little bet they made about jon huntsman and how he would do in the new hampshire primary. >> flown in from new york city. >> you're a man of your word, dan senor. that's next on "morning joe." ♪ you're singing with a broken string ♪
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>> dan senor and i have a bet. and that bet is what? >> i do not think huntsman will ever exceed his space right now in the republican field. he's at about 2% in the polls. i don't think he'll catch on. >> you're saying that he's going to be held at single digits in new hampshire? >> no better than third. >> and no better than third in new hampshire? >> and here's why. i'm tasting that prime grill steak. >> i know you're wrong. >> all right. welcome back. on that note -- joining us now -- we have the adjunct senior fellow at the council of foreign relations, dan senor is with us now. >> let me just say, this is the
first senor i've won, and i want to accept it on behalf of the huntsman supporters in new hampshire. >> i called the folks at prime grill and warned them the exit polls were such that i was headed for defeat. and i just wanted to arrange for 6:42 a.m. for you to have your steak. >> don't you dare. don't you dare. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> that is a heart attack on a plate. >> and let me just say i like it a lot. so, dan -- >> but i do have another bet -- >> okay. >> we'll get to that. >> you really are self-destructive. >> no, i actually -- i realized this one was a little reckless. >> what is it? >> huntsman isn't going to make it to february 1, we agree, right? >> right. >> so you do agree? or you want to take the other side of that? >> i would be surprised if jon continued past south carolina if hep doesn't do well. >> so you won't actually? >> oh, is that a bet? >> and i bet herman cain's not
going to win the republican -- >> all right. all right. >> mika will take the bet. >> i'll do it. he'll last. he'll make it. >> you think -- >> what are we betting? a bottle of vodka -- all right. let's get to the must-read opinion pages. it's a bottle of vodka. i actually am going to read something from last september. instead of reading what everyone's writing about what happened last night, i'd like to actually give you some props for saying this. again and again and again -- and it's not, again, people have to listen because i don't want your twitter feed to explode with people hating you thinking you're not a conservative. >> no, nothing you can do about that. >> nothing i can do. just read it. what is it? stop talking and start reading. what are you talking about? >> this is your politico piece. in september, crazy never wins gop sweepstakes. despite the crop of nutty right-wing candidates that sprout up in gop presidential fields every four years, despite
the gasps and growls that regularly rise from manhattan cocktail parties aimed at extremists who are hijacking the republican party would never have dreamed hijacking the party despite the prize from right-wing radio hosts predicting the rise of ronald reagan's ghost and the nomination of an unelectable candidate. in the end, this political chatter always proves to be sound and fury signifying nothing. you go on to write, that's why crazy never wins. it never even comes close. back then we were looking at perry, herman cain was about to make his rise, we had seen -- >> michele bachmann was there, sarah palin -- you know, and i always talk about my father. because my father was the one while we were chasing everybody else and john mccain was at 6% who said, watch mccain, he's going to win. mccain is a mainstream conservative with a small "c" candidate. and in this field, back when michele bachmann was in first, herman cain was in first, rick perry was in first, all i sa said -- and this was back in
september was that guys like my dad didn't take chances on texas governors who wanted to secede from the union. didn't take chances on candidates that were not serious. that just popped up -- and if my dad was trying to figure out whether they were trying to run a presidential campaign or on a book tour, he didn't take a second look. >> right. >> and i know you're a romney guy. there are a lot of conservatives like me that aren't inspired by mitt romney, that are concerned he'll be just like george w. bush, who will be a big spender when he gets to office. >> bush was a good president. >> he was a huge spender, he ravaged the republican party, destroyed the conservative movement, and he doubled the national debt. but at the end of the day, though, for too many republicans romney seemed like the only rational choice. >> i do think in 2010, we were watching all of these races around the country and these tea
party candidates winning. these candidates fantastic at the theater of hard right politics. and there's a tendency to look at that profile of candidacy and say that's what's going to resinate in 2012. it worked in 2010. sharon angle wins -- they're going to want that for their presidential candidate. but there's something different in the presidential year even among the base of primary voters. they want to vote for someone who wants to be president. and a lot of these candidates weren't running for president. >> and john heilemann, that goes back to what i said before. what wins in '94, and 2010, in off-year elections that are reactions to a democratic president that conservatives think is extreme is not what happens in 2012 when the voting base expands, when more people go out and more mainstream republican voters go. and so you go from the class in '94 to bob dole, the class of
2010 to mitt romney. >> one thing that's very striking in iowa and new hampshire, the tea party has been a non-existent force in these two races. and that's a striking thing. the second thing i'll say is there may be a reason for that. you know, we had in both iowa and new hampshire the ability for independents to vote in one way or the other. and in iowa, the republicans had to register, here we have independents to vote openly. we're going to start going to primaries where there are only republicans allowed to vote. and it'll be interesting to see whether the tea party rears up again and if that changes the dynamic of the race in any way. as for right now, it's amazing given how much the tea party was the central of republican politics. and so far a non-existent force. >> and the same thing happened in 1996. the same thing happened -- the hard right voters who elected guys like me in '94 elected bob dole in '96. >> people eventually -- voters
want people in office who can get something done, who can achieve something. as we head out of these primaries and we're almost out of the primaries, i think. as we head toward the general election, birthday boy, mitt romney last night, we are lifted up by our desire to succeed not dragged down by a resentment of success. do you see out of that line the shapings of the principle theme of the fall campaign? >> i do. you know, you cannot beat an optimistic incumbent president unless you're optimistic. and the strongest thing i think about mitt romney's speech last night, he believed in his heart every word of it. it wasn't crafted -- he needed help writing it. it wasn't crafted to try to get him to go in a direction he doesn't believe. he's optimistic, and he is at times a good performer. and that message that he can bring the economy back, it's all he's going to want to talk about. >> and dan senor, one of the reasons why as a republican candidate i would want barack obama talking about populism.
resentment never wins. optimism wins. fdr wins, ronald reagan wins. resentment, bitterness, division does not win. and at the end of the day, occupy wall street and the tea party movement on the other side is a movement of resentment. it doesn't win in presidential years. >> and it doesn't inform a plan. when you talk to officials within the administration, you say what is your plan for the second term? what is your economic recovery plan? there isn't one. the next year is about stoking this resentment, fueling this class resentment, and how does it transform into some sort of governing strategy for a second term is lost on people and i think it's a contrast romney can point to. >> that line stood out to all of us last night. >> yeah. because one of the things, the obama campaign obviously hasn't been put together in a full form yet. but off of what joe said, this
is a country about achievement not resentment. and if they head to -- if they take the resentment path, if president obama takes the resentment path, that's not going to bode well for him. people don't resent millionaires and billionaires, they want fairness. >> but that has been your point, though. and it's been fairness. >> yeah. >> fairness is key. and it's a narrow line to draw. >> still ahead, we're going to bring in mitt romney. we'll talk to him about that. and ron paul, as well. later, chris matthews, dan rather, and former new hampshire governor. we'll be right back from manchester, new hampshire. people with a machine.
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new hampshire voters gathered to decide which middle-age white guy looked best in a pair of pleated dockers. and as expected, mitt romney won it with about 38% of the vote. i came up with a -- i came up with a great campaign slogan for mitt romney today. it's time to mitt or get off the pot. it works, right?
this is such a mistake for our party. and for our nation. the country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. we have to offer an alternative vision. i stand ready to lead us down a different path. where we're lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success. >> and allowing these companies to come in and loot the -- the -- loot people's jobs, loot their pensions, loot their ability to take care of their families. and i will suggest they're just vultures. they're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick. and then they swoop in, they eat
the carcass, they leave with that, and leave the skeleton. >> okay. despite the fact that the gloves are off and some of these candidates are making this up as they go along. >> did you see that? perry was just making that up. holy cow. >> mitt romney won 39% of the vote here in new hampshire. it is the top of the hour. ron paul, second place, taking about 22%. >> a great showing by ron paul. >> great showing. >> jon huntsman finishing third with about 17%, you won your bet. gingrich and santorum went back and forth all night for fourth and fifth place. welcome back to "morning joe." >> let's look at the top two for a second here. >> michael steele and sam stein. >> told ya. go ahead. >> you break these results into winners and losers, there's no doubt, mitt romney outperformed most expectations. the tracking polls showed that
he was slipping day in and day out, 39%. he finished strong. >> and he can put iowa behind him now. >> he can put iowa, new hampshire behind him. he did make history last night. ron paul, let's talk about ron paul because very few people have been talking about ron paul for the last week. they've been focusing on huntsman, we've been focusing on huntsman. looking at tracking polls. most people thought huntsman would jump ron paul. ron paul has something this election cycle, michael steele, that nobody else has. >> that's right. >> a loyal, driven -- >> dedicated. >> fervent -- >> -- base. the type of which if i were going to political war -- >> you'd want. >> that is the group i want. they will stay with him no matter what. >> uncle ronnie's in the house. >> yeah, baby. >> he's in the house. >> let me get this straight -- we've got huntsman -- huntsman -- >> keeping track. >> a home boy.
>> you said ron paul is uncle ronnie. he's in the house. >> he's in the house. >> he's in the house. >> and to keep with my buddy barack obama, he's in the hizzie -- all right, we'll bring it back to the house. >> let's talk first of all about mitt romney. i think you and i have been underwelmed at times by mitt romney's performance. >> yeah. >> there's no doubt this was a slam dunk. and go back to iowa. he wasn't even in iowa until a month before. this guy is showing surprising strength. >> he pulled that one -- i don't know where he got it from, but he pulled it, and he pulled it into play and it set him up nicely coming into new hampshire. a lot of people talk about new hampshire really doesn't want to validate iowa. but i think this is one heck of a validation here last night, particularly because i didn't think he'd get the 39%, i was booking somewhere between 32% and 35%.
>> same here. >> he really pulled it together. and the speech he gave. at one point i thought i was in church. he's doing this thing. he was starting to find a rhythm that he's going to need to go into south carolina because on his way there are a couple of traps for him. and he's going to have to get through those traps. one of them will be what gingrich has, the other one as you just played now with rick perry. and then, of course, as we started this conversation, there's ron paul. >> by the way, can you believe rick perry? can you believe rick perry is crudely basically aping occupy wall street. it's stunning to me that the two "conservative alternatives to mitt romney" are both channelling occupy wall street in their attacks of mitt romney. >> i don't get the language here. because, you know, when you go
back to where we started this process, everyone was agreed, reagan's eleventh commandment would be the corner stone. clearly romney had a different plan there, threw a couple of rocks and got this thing going. but there does come a point where like you pointed out, joe, the language crosses over and becomes much more fodder for obama and his team to be using come september/october -- >> they're feeding -- >> they're feeding the script. the dnc is not writing anything, they're just watching tv. >> and david corn's going to be on today. and talking yesterday about how the obama white house is waiting for the gingrich ads to run in south carolina, they're going to pull together focus groups and see which line of attack works best against mitt romney. and they're going to take that, take the $5 million in conservative money, and they're going to use that for testing. and then they're going to focus on how to best kill romney in the general election.
>> if rick perry didn't struggle so hard to find the right words, they could use that clip we played earlier in the night and run it in the election. the irony, of course, by going after romney like this, gingrich and perry have cast him in a much more conservative light. i don't know if anyone heard rush limbaugh's defense of romney. i mean, that is an amazing thing for romney to get two days before the new hampshire primary. one day before the new hampshire primary. somebody not really well loved in the conservative press. by the end of the process, he was the victim. rush and in some cases ron paul. >> rick perry as you were saying before, willie, you're going to have hannity, you're going to have ann coulter, rush, the conservative press. a lot of people really put off by that resentment of success. and it played right into mitt romney's hands. i've got to say. romney hasn't inspired me in many speeches. but last night when he started talking about resentment against those who succeed -- >> yeah.
>> that encapsulates what a lot of us conservatives have seen toward washington democrats for the last 40 years. it puts him on the side of the conservative angels. >> and these attacks from inside his own party get this stuff out there early before he gets to the general election. he's confronting all this now, answering for it now. formulating his defense, his argument, his counter to all of this. and he's getting the help doing that from newt gingrich. he's getting help doing that from rick perry. he doesn't have to wait to meet barack obama. this is getting out in the open. getting vetted out. the bain capital stuff didn't stick to him. >> it's not -- there is a ready attack for gingrich and everyone to make. it's not the one they're making. they can go and say, listen, romney says he knows what it's like to take a risk. he's never taken a risk. he's had well-moneyed interests come in. i need to help buy our firms. he never had to raise it himself. they're saying he doesn't know what it's like to be a job maker. and that's not going to fly.
there's no reason why -- >> mike barnicle, we were together at dinner last night and both perked up during that line about resentment of success. and i think what it does is spin the whole occupy wall street narrative that's being used against mitt romney to actually it's the first time i've heard a republican spin it in a way that could be successful against obama. >> i agree with you. again, it gets to whether president obama's election team are going to misread the mood of the country. people are angry, frustrated. people want fairness. they don't want someone else's money. this is a country about achievement. again, i'll say it again, achievement. people go for jobs -- >> ability and achievement and being able to move up and have success. >> i want a good job, a paycheck, i want to pay for my own home, my children's tuition. i don't care what you're doing. good luck to you. i want mine. i want it to be fair. we're on a level playing field. if they misread the mood of the country and play the resentment
card, that's going to be difficult. >> it doesn't work. >> because at the end of the day -- and i always talk about my dad and, you know, you talk about your parents, mike. at the end of the day, even when my dad was laid off, looking for work, there was never any resentment. they were still driving us past the big houses on country club drive in meridian, mississippi. >> sunday afternoon. >> yeah, after church, and we would sit and drive past those big houses with our mouths wide open and look at the cars in the driveway, look at the golf course behind there. and it seemed unattainable to us. it seemed like another world. we wondered what it was like to live inside those houses to be able to drive those kind of cars. and i'm sure in the backseat coming home from church on those sundays, there were one of two times where we said, wow, we could never do that. and there's my dad in the front seat who worked hard his whole life, unemployed at the time. no resentment. he'd say, let me tell you
something, in this country, if you work hard and you keep working hard, you can do anything. most parents still believe that today. i know we're going through a difficult time. but i've got to say another great line romney had last night. he said if you believe that we're in a detour, and this is not our destiny, then join me. do you know how many americans want to believe this is a detour and who know it can be just a detour. >> this is an optimistic country. >> it's optimistic. >> with a smile on its face usually. the difference between your dad and my dad is my dad instructed us to get out of the car and steal that car -- >> oh, lordy. okay. >> i know. >> we'll be talking to the candidate, the winner of the new hampshire primary in a few moments here. maybe we can lean up our act a little bit. >> just a little bit. >> it'd be nice. >> sam stein, you write for "the
huffington post." and you hang out with a few progressives. i think even progressives don't want their president to be running a reelection campaign that deviates from hope and change. let's look at democratic presidents. four years ago, he had a very hopeful message. bill clinton, what was the punch line of the '92 convention? i still believe in a place called hope. we are a hopeful nation. >> the tough task. and this is not an original thought. i'd love it to be an original thought, it's from stan greenberg. to explain to an economy to people who are suffering that things are getting better or that they will get better because a lot of people don't feel it right now looking around their lives. and so obama's got a tough job. he has to say my policies have not only worked, they're turning around the country, but i know they're not there yet and i want to make it better for you. and for people who have been living on very low paychecks or looking for work for a while. that's tough -- >> that is hard.
>> yeah. >> it really is difficult when you're in the middle of a recession. >> they say -- >> and you don't want to give them a lay speech, but don't want to brag too much about, hey, i saved -- because the president could make the argument -- exactly, the president could make the argument, i saved the economy. you didn't like the bailout, it saved your atm machines. you know, and we made money off of it. you didn't like the auto bailout, i saved, you know, i saved -- barack obama, i saved detroit. i saved gm. i was the one that made these entities profitable again. we made a profit -- he could say all of these things -- >> that's a lot. that's a lot to say. >> if he goes too far and he talks about the jobs created, then for the 9%, 8.5% unemployed -- >> right. >> sounds like he has a tin ear. it's a difficult balancing act. >> you're absolutely right.
because i think mike has his finger on the pulse of the problem going down the line here. and you just really summed it up. and that is that very thin space where it becomes class warfare. and i think for the republicans, that's going to be an immediate knee jerk opportunity. let's go and make that argument. and for democrats, you know, saying they're playing class warfare. democrats playing it off and missing the point that you both just made about talking about the aspirational aspects of it. not focusing so much on what i did as president, but what we did as a country. i still say and includes the bush administration, the fact that neither of these presidents at a time of war or economic distress has asked the american people to sacrifice. >> right. >> and because of that, when you come forward with these policies and this new direction, people are like, well, what's at stake? what's in it for me? >> you went from saying -- talking about class warfare to
the need for sacrifice. whenever the president has said let's raise those tax rates on the upper class because we need to lower the deficit -- >> it's not the saying of it the words, it's everything that leads up to that and how he presents it to the country. >> when you're talking about sacrifice -- >> and that's not -- >> that sounds like an awful lot like huey long. don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree. >> joining us now is republican presidential candidate and former governor of massachusetts mitt romney. the winner of last night's new hampshire primary, congratulations. >> congratulations and, governor romney, what a big night for you. of course, a lot of people are going to be asking what led to this historic performance winning iowa and new hampshire? and we know, of course, because you were on "morning joe" on the past three days. >> well, there's that. >> what a great performance in this state. >> well, thank you so much. i was obviously very, very pleased with what came out of
new hampshire. people gave me a real boost. other campaigns were firing at me very aggressively in the last few days leading up to the vote, but that was rejected. people gave me their support, and it's a good boost going into south carolina where i face a bit of an uphill climb. came in fourth there last time. we're going to work hard to hopefully get to the top of the pile. >> i think anybody that's been involved in politics before, democrat or republican would have to look at the scene last night at your victory party and see the relief in ann's eyes. ann was on fire. you know. you guys were disappointed four years ago in iowa, you were disapointed four years ago in your own backyard in new hampshire, but boy, last night had to seem like vindication on so many fronts for you guys. >> well, it really was wonderful to win in a state where we've spent a lot of our time. we have a vacation house here. we've been coming to new hampshire for about 40 years, teaching our kids to ski here,
to swim in lake winnipesaukee. so winning meant a lot to us. and the size of the win gives us a boost as we go into the rest of the primary season. we're feeling good this morning, i have to admit. >> all right. let's talk about south carolina. what's the strategy there? some of your rivals are hanging on and they're going after you in a way that some might consider a little self-destructive to the party. >> well, you know, we expected president obama to put free enterprise on trial and to continue his rhetoric of envy and class warfare, we're a little surprised to see it coming from speaker gingrich and others. but you know, if campaigns aren't going well, people try new attacks. i don't think that worked last night in new hampshire. i don't think it'll work in south carolina, but you know, take your best shot, i've got president obama coming next if i'm lucky enough to be the nominee. what i'm going to be talking about is keeping america an
opportunity society, a place where government is small, and where people see good jobs and rising incomes again. that's my message and i think the people of south carolina will listen carefully. >> governor romney, it's willie geist, congratulations on your win last night. it has become abundantly clear from newt gingrich to rick perry and also out of chicago if you do go on to become the nominee, their line of attack against you is going to go right to what you did at the head of bain capital. they've made a caricature of you as the boss that comes in and fires people. what is your answer to that criticism about what you did exactly at bain? >> well, every investment that we made, and by the way, we invested in well over 100 different businesses, every investment was designed to grow the business and make it more successful. and some of the big home runs people are familiar with. places like the sports authority, staples, children's centers, and a steel mill in
indiana. and they've added over 100,000 jobs as of today. there are other businesses people have looked at and some of them gained employment, some lost employment, but overall, to be well above 100,000 is very good news. >> what do you say to rick perry? a guy casting himself as a conservative's conservative in this campaign and over the past ten years in texas. what do you not only say to rick perry but also to rick perry supporters? his contributors when governor perry goes out and attacks you as being a "vulture capitalist." sounds like it comes from a sign yanked out of an occupy wall street rally. >> it is strange. those that are calling themselves true conservatives ended up attacking venture capitalism and capitalism in general. it suggests a bit of a desperate time for some campaigns. you know, i don't know the logic behind it to be honest with you.
i think it's the wrong course for them to take. but frankly i'm kind of glad they're taking it. i don't think it'll be successful. it gives people a good chance to understand that my background is in business. that i unlike the other guys in the field, i spent my life in the private sector where, in fact, i understand the success and failure. they spent their life in government. and that's a very different background. frankly, i don't think that's the background that our country needs to have someone who knows how to get us working again. >> next stop, south carolina. how are you going to do we vwit evangelica evangelicals? where it plays a big role in conservative politics here? will conservative evangelicals in that state vote for you? >> well, i was very happy in looking at the numbers last night in new hampshire. that people who designated themselves as very conservative voted for me in the majority and
likewise among evangelicals. i got the largest number of supporters among evangelicals, as well. that's encouraging. and last time i met with bob jones, this was four years ago, he endorsed my effort. there are people who want to elect a commander in chief. they're not worried about electing a pastor in chief. that's not what i'm running for. and i think people who look at the country right now understand the need for america to remain strong morally, economically, and militarily, understand that i have the capacity and the experience to get america back on track and to strengthen the foundations of our future. so i'm hopeful i get great support in south carolina. but i know that i have, you know, a lot of work to do. >> all right, governor mitt romney, congratulations on making history last night. you've won iowa, you've won new hampshire, and now on to south carolina. good luck there. >> the best to ann. >> and the best to ann, of course. >> thanks so much. thanks, joe, mika, the whole team. good to be with you. >> all right.
south carolina. still ahead, we're going to talk to the second place finisher in last night's primary, congressman ron paul joins the conversation. that should be interesting. and up next, david gregory, chuck todd, and andrea mitchell. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ male announcer ] is zero worth nothing? ♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet.
but there was another victory tonight. he had a victory, but we have had a victory for the cause of liberty tonight! there's no way they're going to stop the momentum that we have started. >> 27 past the hour, welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now, the moderator of "meet the press" david gregory. political director and host of the "daily rundown" chuck todd. and nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. >> big night for mitt romney as well as ron paul. >> i think if you sat mitt romney down before the process started and said, look, if you're going to win this time, you're going to have to win in iowa, check. you're going to have to win in new hampshire, not just win, win big. check. you're going to have to go into environments where electability is the key issue because of
dissatisfaction over the economy and president obama, you're going to have to be the guy people turn to, check. and you're going to have to prevail over a conservative opposition, check. there is no conservative alternative thus far to him. it's still a fractured field as he goes down to south carolina. >> chuck todd, go deep inside the numbers. we heard mitt romney talking about the fact that evangelicals and very conservative voters went romney's way. did this bode well for south carolina? >> i wouldn't take anything -- a person who identified themselves as conservative in new hampshire and say that's what conservatives are going to do in south carolina and florida. you had half of this electorate, maybe until we get to hawaii. second is -- is even people that identified themselves as conservative, among very conservative, which frankly is the largest chunk block of conservatives in south carolina and florida. remember, i think he topped santorum, by the way, by about four or five points, and that was a weak santorum.
>> is this not transferable to south carolina? >> in this way, it's momentum, certainly means he's going to be the establishment rally around him a little bit. >> and late deciders around electability like here. >> he's still got to win as somebody tweeted me, on the road. it's the best of five series. he's up 2-0. and he needs one more win. >> let me ask you about south carolina. where we go next. too often people think it's a hard right wing republican primary. it is not. it is the most establishment, the most conservative with the small "c" primary in america. south carolina anoints winners. so does romney go down to the land of bob jones university and win? >> quite likely the economic argument that is very important here is twice as important down there. because there it's jobs. the unemployment is just about twice as high as it was here in new hampshire. and people are worried about
budget deficits and taxes, there they are also worried about jobs and unemployment. so that argument -- if rick santorum had continued his iowa semi-victory, tied victory speech and taken that to new hampshire, perhaps he could've resinated, but he took a detour on social issues, got into an argument with college kids and disappeared from the fray. now, that's history. so there's no one else who can really challenge him there. i think that the speech mitt romney made last night about those who want to tear down -- and he continued today, those who want to tear down the hope and tear down the whole issue of capitalism, that speech is going to resinate in south carolina. >> i think it will. and david gregory, can you imagine south carolina voters just starting to focus last night, looking at this speech, looking at rick perry talking about "vulture capitalism." looking at newt gingrich about to launch $5 million in third-party ads, attacking mitt romney for engaging in acts of
capitalism. suddenly -- and it's almost as if mitt romney's the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. his enemies are painting him as the only conservative. >> yeah. that's exactly right. i talked to a republican who said he was simply baffled by what some of his competitors are doing here on -- >> can you believe rick perry? >> right. venture capitalism -- >> and i also think, you know, romney's super pac is probably going to drop a bomb on gingrich in south carolina. and we saw how that worked in iowa. that was pretty effective. and i just think that, chuck and i have been going back and forth on this. where we disagree a little bit. but i think all the points that chuck makes about the conservative test are totally valid. but are they overcome by some of the momentum arguments? and to your point, joe. remember, it's not just social conservatives down in south carolina, it's midwesterners, east coasters who have retired down there, who are more establishment figures that could really give romney some momentum now.
>> chuck, what are you looking for in south carolina? >> the other thing that -- like i said, we agree more than i disagree a little bit is what do the movement conservatives do and social conservatives? having this big meeting. do they throw all their weight by making the gamble that says we're going to do everything we can to stop mitt romney. maybe we are able to stop him in south carolina, but will it actually mean we stop him for the nominee? and what kind of political enemy have we made with potentially the republican nominee or president of the united states? you don't want that either. >> when talking to some of those religious conservatives who are going to be meeting, they were more comfortable with santorum. watching to see how santorum did here. they are not comfortable with newt gingrich because of his personal history. and now that santorum has not done well here, they're not going to rally behind newt gingrich. i think that train has left the station. the other thing about it is the romney people are ecstatic. they have ron paul as second
place finisher. that is the one person who is not going to attract movement or establishment conservatives around him, and it's the perfect solution. it is the place holder who holds off everyone else and, look, you watch the speech with ron paul last night. i don't think he's going to be easily satisfied. i do think having interviewed rand paul last sunday after your big debate, rand paul does want a career, the paul family in the republican party -- >> exactly. >> i don't see him -- but the father is not going to be that easily satisfied. and nor will this huge force that he has unleashed be satisfied. >> can i make another suggestion that will amuse you? >> yes, please. >> chairman of the fed. >> romney would love that. >> mitt romney's in a very good position going into south carolina, but as andrea pointed out earlier, the difference in the economic situation of the states, the unemployment rates as well as the very vast difference in the electorates,
is that why these others will potentially hang on and go ugly against mitt romney? >> i think it's personal hate. >> good lord, it seems -- >> they can try, but at the end of the day, i don't think it works in south carolina. if you told me that newt was going to spend $5 million showing clips of mitt romney from 1994 saying that he was pro-choice and pro-gun control and pro-gay marriage, then at that point, i would say, yes, he could cut into mitt romney's strength. but going after him for engaging in acts of capitalism, chuck todd, does not see like a bright move. >> you know it's funny, in talking with gingrich yesterday, he thinks he's found the alternative message that could work against mitt romney, the idea of i want to be the conservative populist, right? i want to be the guy who gets the core of what the tea party was about originally. upset about big government, big labor, and big business. anything big, we've got to be careful there, and the unfair deals. is gingrich the right messenger for that?
there's nobody you look in this field that says, oh, they could be the conservative populist, and that could work in an economically distressed place like south carolina and florida, but i don't see that message -- >> let's always remember, david, though, newt gingrich has had a 30-year brand, strong brand in the republican party. you can't go on to a conservative website -- you couldn't over the past decade without going on and seeing across the top a banner for newt.org. he's going to probably have more staying power than say rick santorum if rick doesn't do well in south carolina or rick perry if he doesn't do well in south carolina. i think newt may be around for a while. >> i think he might be, but i think the other side of that is what distaste there may be in other elements of the party that this is the route he chooses to go. make no mistake, team obama is looking at what these republicans have started and said, you know, this is great. exactly where we're going. >> they're hitting record. >> sam stein, what are you hearing from the white house?
>> i mean, they love it. the problem they foresee is that this is going to be over before -- we're talking as if this is going to be prolonged, they think this is going to be over quickly. i'm in agreement here, they can just click record and then replay and it'll be nice for them. because i think their argument against bain capital works better in a general election audience than in a primary audience. and i can't see them running against -- >> what a party you have. all right. david gregory, chuck todd, andrea mitchell. >> thank you, i think. coming up, congressman ron paul is standing by, and we're going to talk about his game plan as the fight moves to south carolina. "morning joe" is back in a moment. so, this is delicious okay... is this where we're at now, we just eat whatever tastes good?
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more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. hey, welcome back to "morning joe." now let's bring in the man who finished a strong second last night in new hampshire. texas congressman ron paul. ron, thanks for being with us. >> congratulations. >> congratulations on a very strong showing. i was saying earlier that i thought your showing here -- same with iowa, was not just about you, but it was about a
large chunk of the republican party that's been disillusioned with republicanism. do you agree with that? >> boy, i think you're right, and i think that is very healthy. and i point this out, why do we allow the big government conservatives to dictate policy in the republican party? you know -- in favor of no child left behind and prescription drug programs. and once we get in charge, we acted like democrats. and there's a large segment of the republican party that think we ought to be conservatives. >> so what's your message going forward to south carolina? you've got a lot of establishment candidates that you're running against that are claiming to be the conservative alternatives that, one, supported that $7 trillion medicare drug benefit plan without paying for it, two, supported no child left behind. and three, are now attacking mitt romney for engaging in acts
of capitalism. >> i'll tell you, all i can do is do my best in speaking out at the rallies. and sending that message out, which we will continue to do. and i feel good that the momentum is building. it used to be hard, you know, to get the message out. but the fund raising is actually getting easier. it's always been pretty good for us to raise money because people do get enthusiastic. comes from the small donors. i think that's a powerful message. i thought they made a serious mistake yesterday on the other candidates. you know, i'm very critical of governor romney for some of his positions because he's not a small government person. but to attack him for, you know, following through on a procedure which is real market oriented to restructure corporations, that's a positive thing on economics. i wonder if they're totally ignorant of economics or whether they're willing to demagogue with hopes of getting a vote or two. that didn't make a whole lot of
sense there what they were doing in the last couple of days. >> congressman, let me tag off of something you just said. let's talk about the front-runner, mitt romney, is he a big government conservative? how would you characterize him? >> i would think so. if you go by his record, he certainly couldn't be governor of massachusetts and really be a strict conservative. and, you know, i think that's been rehashed quite a few times on the positions he held as governor and the positions he holds now. and he may well have changed the position, but it raises these questions, how many times do the republicans get stung? and the last thing we need is anybody who is sympathetic maybe for t.a.r.p. fund bailouts and single mandates. that, i think, i think we'll get demolished in a general election if we're tainted with that because once again like joe says, we've been stung too many
times with people who aren't convincingly enough good conservatives. >> congressman, it's willie geist, congratulations on a good night last night. you are up now above 20%, you did it in iowa, you've done it now in new hampshire, and yet you're talked about often with the caveat, yeah, he's got a strong following, people really believe in him, they're excited about him, but he can't win. is there something about this time around that makes you believe that this year could be different? that you actually could raise somewhere above that 25% threshold where you are? >> yeah. well, i think the facts disclaim that because, you know, that's exactly what they said when i was single digits. he's reached his peak, there's only about 9% or 8% of the american people who really care about the liberty that ron paul's talking about. now, we're at 20% to 25%. so i would say, you know, the evidence is there. but the other thing is the country has changed. this is -- traveling around and talking to people, they are
frightened about the economy. in spite of the fact there's still a lot of wealth in this country, they realize it's based on debt. and they know it's very, very unsteady. and also, they're just tired of these deficits, tired of the wars going on. they're tired of the president going starting new wars and sending more troops around. we're adding country. today he announced that he was going into another country in africa and sending more troops. so this is what the people are sick and tired of. and i think this is why the message of liberty and sound financing and the message i've been talking about is going to continue to dprou. grow. >> mark haleprin? >> dr. paul, congratulations on your showing here. i want to ask you about the liberty agenda and head start. is that a program you think is constitutional? or would you support it continuing it if you were elected president? >> no, it's not constitutional. but i wouldn't put that on the list. you know, if we want a perfectly free society, you can't wave a
wand and get everything you want. so you have to work our way out of this. you know, social security, and these other programs are unconstitutional, but i'm only -- i believe i'm the only one that has a program that would protect us so that we can work our way out of it. and hopefully, you know, take care of these programs. but head start, you know, some conservatives would say, yeah, let's cut head start and say we're cutting something. no, we have to cut the big things. cut five departments, some of this occupation overseas and these wars and try to work our way out and take care of people who have become so dependent. my position isn't to close it down in one day. my position is to give it competition and expose it for what it is and audit the fed and work out of better monetary system. so i think that's a much more reasonable approach than to s say -- pardon me? >> but if you had your way, you'd eliminate head start? >> well, you know, you're just
putting words in my mouth. i don't know what your goal is. i just explained myself very clearly, it's unconstitutional. if we have support of the people and we want to move in that direction and prove that head start program could be privatized or localized, yes, that's the case. but to make everything i'm saying, oh, ron paul's out to stop head start. you're missing my whole point. i mean, it's a total distraction on what you're talking about. >> all right. ron, i want to thank you for being with us. congratulations on the strong showing last night. and when you come back next time, i'd love to talk about what the congress can do over the next year to make sure we don't add another $1 trillion in debt like we did in 2011. i don't think that's why a lot of conservatives voted for their conservative members. back in the 2010 elections. >> yeah. joe, what they need is a backbone. that's what they need. and they need to wake up. and the people need to wake up
to congress so they -- >> amen. >> thank you for being here on the show this morning. >> conservatives in congress do need a backbone. thank you so much, ron. we greatly appreciate it. still ahead this morning for manchester, new hampshire, chris matthews will be on the set. also dan rather and the former republican governor of new hampshire john sununu, plus i'm asking dan senor some foreign policy questions and about some more steak. [ male announcer ] you love the taste of 2% milk.
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♪ all right back inside davy's tavern here in manchester. you did a wonderful job raising your daughter. in the heart of new england. tell me who you voted for last night, diane. >> huntsman. >> and why did you go for huntsman? >> i appreciate that he served for obama. i appreciate that she's willing to cross the aisles and be bipartisan. >> i also voted for huntsman and
diane told some of my thunder but the message he delivered on sunday about the sense of country first and doing what's right for the country resonated with me. >> how did you feel about mitt romney? did you consider him? >> i did. i don't agree with a lot of his economic policies, i have some issues with some of the things that have come out recently, unlike the conversation this morning, i think some of the main capitol issues are going to be brought out further. there is capitalism, but there's local extreme capitalism, highly leveraged capitalism and i think those are issues that need to be discussed. >> john and diane from manchester, new hampshire. we'll be right back here at j.d.'s tavern and tomorrow we'll be back with republican senator jim demint.
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wait, what? i have the hotels.com app so we can get a great deal even at the last minute. ah, well played sir. get the app. hotels.com. well, you do remember when barack obama came to new hampshire four years ago, he prompted to bring people together, he promised to change the broken system in washington, he promised to improve our nation, those are the days of
lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. today we're faced with the disappointing record of a famed president. this guy wakes up every morning and looks across america and is proud to announce, it could be worse. it could be worse? that is not what it means to be an american. what defines us as americans is you are unwavering conviction that we know it must be better and it will be better. >> i wanted to thank the union leader for not endorsing me. i called governor romney a short while ago, before he gave his talk and congratulated him because he certainly had a clear-cut victory, but we're nibbling 59 his heels. but there's another victory tonight, we have had a victory for the cause of very try tonight. there's to way they're going to stop the momentum that we have started.
>> ladies and gentlemen, i think we're in the hunt. i would say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen. we have proved to point that this state wants its candidates to earn it the old-fashioned way, that's on the ground, hand shake by hand shake, conversation by conversation, vote by volt, we got it done ladies and gentlemen. hello, south carolina! >> it is the top of the hour and we have 39% of the vote for mitt romney. ron paul taking about 25% of the vote, jon hunts man taking 17% of the vote. joining us now, we have the host
of msnbc's "hardball," chris matthews who's the author of an incredible book, "jack kennedy, elusive hero jrjsz. . >> chris matthews, you love politics like i love politics. you respect guys that do it right, just like i respect guys who do it right. last night, in the middle of romney's speech, i had to give grudging respect to a guy that was slow and steady, a .250 hilt hilter he's having a .300 season right now. last night he blew the doors off. >> a man with a speech kind of found his voice. >> were you surprised that he did so well? >> i think you saw in the last four or five days this week,
this is his strength if you're just looking at the game films. let's look at the strengths. he has a good team around him. you need people around you that think pop culture. that speech prep last night was really good. that was rehearsed, it was put together. you were smart to use the prompter. it had a completeness to it. it actually was an acceptance speech for the convention. so all that's professional and it's really not partisan, it's just good politics. the weaknesses we saw was spontaneity. the weird, the strange, the unsettling. and if i was his opponent i would try to get him off balance. let him start each day not knowing how each day is going to
go. if he knows i'm going to win and i know i'm going to give an acceptance speech, i'm going to prepare, i'm going to rehearse. so he will do all the good work. can he prepare himself to be spontaneous or is that a contradiction in terms? can you prepare yourself for the unexpected? much of the presidency you could work as a chief of staff you can prepare the day pretty much, a lot of days are your day. you can organize the headline of the day, who you're going to meet and put it together. but things happen. if i was obama, i would be thinking am i better at the spontaneous game or is he. but if it's a premeditated organized game, obama doesn't have a great team. i haven't seen this organizational genius about
putting a great team around him. romney is very well put together. he starts with tremendous assets, genes, the family looks like a million bucks, his marriage is a great success. and successful marriages today are a premium in themselves and rare. they have wonderful things to display. newt haven't been that successful. one reason newt's getting a decent ride on his third marriage here, a lot of people have had marriage troubles. it's also become ordinary, unfortunately. but mitt romney has a wonderful presentation. the question will be, can he go into those debates and look like a president which he can do and perform like a president under stress, president obama's challenge is to create the stress. because if this side just continues with the procession of winning because it's his turn, it's going to be very hard for the president to return. there's a tremendous appeal to get back to what we had. all people want in this room,
all anybody wants right now is get back what they had, the sense of going upward in the '90s, a sense of more accumul e accumulated wealth, job security, your kids doing well, opportunities, everybody wants that back. >> i agree, this is a tale of two campaigns. first of all, romney's team did a great job. and we have had too many individuals in this campaign thinking that politics is a solo sport. it is not. romney had a great team, he outperformed, he gave a good speech, and that was one side of it. on the other side of it, even people close to romney will say, when he was off the cuff, he had a couple of unforced errors. so coming out of new hampshire, coming out of what you have seen the past three or four days, grade romney and his team. >> the team is very strong. and it's mostly the same people have four years ago, a few
differences. but they have worked together there's not a lot of ego. they don't leave the table with any rancor or division that keeps the operation from moving forward. they recognize they need to build something big to beat an incumbent president, in ever since. raising a lot of money, being a major presence on television and not just in the news space but in entertainment and in other places. the danger they have is the candidate. because while he's vastly improved from four years ago, he still does things, as chris said, when spontaneity is required, he's not at his best. every day he can bank where he doesn't say something that sets him back is a day closer to being able to beat an incumbent president. >> obama is one of the most calculated, one of the most tightly wound campaigns ever, he
kept the press away from him and he won on the big stage. >> between now and the day of the general election, does he make a gap that day or not? the number of days he does, can well determine whether he can win. >> i don't think i would put you on the mailing list if i was running the republican national committee and yet you were very impressed with mitt romney's speech and his performance in that speech. >> we were all gathered around this table and we said this is an acceptance speech not a primary speech. he did it in an optimistic way, he used the teleprompter, it was well written, it was well delivered, he looked like a president, he sounded like a president and i thought it was about as good a speech as he can
give. with respect to what mark said, i will take the point that campaigns are different than running businesses. remember, this guy has run big organizations. he's nothing if not a manager. i wouldn't be worried about him being able to manage this organization. but you made the point about obama's team being weak, but obama's team did it last time and did it well. >> they're out doing it well now, they're working hard and getting ready. >> there's a lot of things going on that we need to figure out as journalists. in the white house, there's something going on, is it a campaign team put together by the power head, the david plouffe guys, very erffectively but not very human. both of these candidates are very different in the kind of politicians you are, joe, who love to meet people. who like meeting people. and then there's the politicians
who want people to get the hell out of the way. it sounds so well, but when you want people out of the way in elections, that's weird. >> again, i think it was teddy white who was talking about, you know, he was following around nixon in 1960 and he asked nixon, he said, you're sitting there, you got to shake everybody's hands, are there moments that you would just like to -- and nixon finished the sentence, kick them in the shin? and there are, chris is exactly right, one of the reasons i loved campaigns because i get to meet people, i get to knock on their doors, i get to go in their houses. >> it's an honor. >> i get to talk to them, i get to hug them. mitt romney and barack obama are the opposite of that. >> yeah. >> so how does that match up for romney going forward? >> i spoke to one top advisor of senator haley.
big romney skeptic, and he's been dealing with the romney campaign recently in ruling in haley endorsement. he said i was a skeptic, i'm now a buyer on romney. here's why. what romney the candidate lacks in the spontaneity and the excitement, he and the campaign compensate for in just sheer, tough, ruthless, toughness of the organization, they're willing to play the field and play it big. >> this guy has been there before and i'll tell you, if they match up the community organizer versus the corporate leader, there are a lot of democrats, and you know them, a lot of democratic ceos that say not only no, but hell i will not give barack obama a dime this year. >> there are a lot of democratic ceos and business people that are very upset with the president for obvious reasons, if you've been called a lot offed by names for a long time you get upset.
santorum would alternative. romney not only doesn't scare them, they can relate to romney. >> here's how mitt romney says he'll stack up against obama. he talked about the general election last night in his victory speech. >> this election is a choice between two very different destinies. president obama wants to fundamentally transform america. we want to restore america to the founding principles that made this country great. this president puts hiss faith in government, we put our faith in the american people. this president has enacted job killing legislations, i'll repeal it. when it comes to the economy, my highest priority as president will be worrying about your job, not about saving my own. he doesn't see the need for overwhelming military superiority.
he apologizes for america and i will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the earth. >> chris, is that what you were talking about, a return for normalcy? >> you got to be so careful about anthropology and how you look at things. if you're raised as a mormon for example, this country is essentially unique, this is a country that you don't have to apologize for because it's intrinsically the right thing for the universe. it is such a deep, basic belief that doesn't like complication or challenge. so that's really mitt romney. whoever helped put these together, captured him. don't apologize for a financial success. if you from the lds religion, you've got your family values down, all you focus on is your political career. life is fairly clear.
it's not woody allen country. it's not nervousness or par norfo it's family, isles belief, it's america. this campaign, he'll portray obama as exotic, globalized, foreign, too international. they're still going back to his successful speech in berlin. that rubs a lot of americans the wrong way, why is he so popular over there? what is his deal. i did my european trip, i gave paris a day, they weren't very nice to me. and by the way it smells in venice. the average american is like my dad, i did that for a week, it's over. but this is europe, it's different, it's not america. and there's a lot of shamanism.
all right, i'm not saying it's unique, i'm saying it fits him very well. >> let me follow up on what he was saying, then i'll go to you, what he just described as a, quote, mormon thing, and i think he's dead right. that's my family, that's my dad, that's middle america, it's not just mormons, people on the hudson river and people on the other side of the rof the hudso river and vegas, middle america. >> sure, america is not perfect, sure america is not always innocent, but america is basically a good country. >> sure it is. >> and it's basically making the world a better place and that view of american intentionalism --- >> but there's things like slavery, and those things did
happen, but you don't dwell on them. i agree with it. but it's the simplicity of this argument that's going to be its power. i worked with mormon, frank moss from utah, wayne owens, the congress that you knew. my wife works for bill mahrriot, it's a positive american thing. it's more unapologetic than you say. it's more like this is really great, let's stop the conversation. >> steve ratner, isn't that always the divide, i think, between conservatives and liberals, that liberals think conservatives look at this country with rose tinted glasses on and conservatives think liberals dwell on the negative far too much. ronald reagan was called a simple on the in 1980, but he delivered a very simple message, we are a city shining on a hill for the whole world to see and americans love that. >> i agree with that.
and i think romney's message, his background, the lds, whatever way you want to come at this from is exactly what's going to be called for in this campaign, we had a positive message, we have a president who said he's going to get it done. i don't know if he's going to be your paper trained dog or -- >> he's incredibly trained and he's learned by running. and republicans do elect the guy whose turn it is. we watch this like it's a big surprise story. it was mccain's turn, it was gold's turn, it was nixon's turn. >> mccain's turn. >> and now it's prom any's turn. >> whose turn is it next? >> coming up next, we have the former governor of texas john sununu here. let's go straight to bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> as you guys return back from new hampshire, you'll just be beating a storm that's coming your way and a little bit of
snow for our friends up there, but here in the east, it will be moving into d.c., philadelphia late this afternoon into early this evening. it won't get to new york and new england until later on tonight. when people wake up tomorrow morning it should be snowing and new hampshire and maine. that storm is now located over areas of tennessee and kentucky, thunderstorms on and off today for areas in the carolinas including virginia. and our friends in chicago, milwaukee, all of wisconsin, your first snowfall of the season with three to six inches of snow. it's like winter is returning as we go through this week. you know when i grow up,
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23 past the hour, joining us now anchor and managing editor of hdnet's rdan rather and mike sununu. >> you've been through this quite a lot. >> break it down for us. >> you've reported on new hampshire primaries that have shocked and citizened. talk about what you saw last night here. >> first of all i had a double helping of crow this morning. i missed on this. i thought that jon huntsman would do better than he did. i didn't think that romney would do as well as he did.
big salute to romney, ran a terrific campaign. >> when you say that, you could talk about every other reporter in manchester and across new hampshire because that's what we kept hearing. >> we have fallen in love with the story. but the morning after, what you've got here is a big, mean, mitt machine, that's moving full blast into south carolina. who knows what will happen in south carolina. but giving triple credit, not easy to go through iowa, come into new hampshire which loves to humble front-runners, didn't happen. and i heard someone from the obama camp on send saying mitt romney is the candidate we want. he's the guy we wanted. they better be careful what they dream. because this guy is trouble with a capital t. i'm not saying he's going to win the general election, but it's a big mistake to underestimate him
as we did last night. >> governor sununu, we love politics. it always surprises. and when you saw mitt losing one point after another after another, in the suffolk tracking poll, you started thinking it was going to happen again, then the last day he jumped four points in the tracking poll. what happened last night in the closing argument that solidified a big, big win for him? >> the tracking poll was wrong in the early days and they covered their butt on the last day. you guys missed the whole story here. >> of course we did and that's why we brought you on governor. >> i need to be educated. >> it was in my opinion, i had been saying it all week t numbers were going to be like the bush-gore campaign in '88 which was a 38-29 race. the press didn't want to hear it. you fell in love with a noncandidate who camped out here
for six months and you thought he was going to do something. you missed, in my opinion, the fact that mitt romney came to new hampshire and campaigned new hampshire style. he went up to berlin, he went door to door, he moved into the crowds after his speeches, he shook hands, he participated in the see me, touch me, feel me part of the campaign. he understood new hampshire well, he talked about the issues that resonated. >> what was the difference this year than four years ago when he did a lot of the same, but new hampshire voters sort of flattened out. >> he didn't do that last time. he never really connected last time in my opinion. john mccain had a history of being here, had talked to people for a long time. personal contact, personal communication. i think what mitt romney did more this time and got was the fact that there are lots of pieces to politics including one in which personal contact in some places is a very important part of the process.
>> governor, i think a lot of us have been surprised over the last couple of days that newt gingrich and now rick perry have raised this issue of mitt romney's role of capital. an attack we have already heard from the obama administration, rand expect to hear more of. are you surprised that republicans, conservatives within this primary are going after him on that issue? >> i'm not surprised that gingrich, because gingrich will do anything to elevate himself. but i am surprised at rick perry. he's a much more real republican than gingrich and i think that at some point perry's people are going to tell him to tone it down. you've got folks like national review, rush limbaugh, the club for growth and others pointing out that these guys are attacking the fundamental principles of free enterprise and capitalism which is the way you do create jobs and that sort of thing.
some adult supervision is going to come into the process and tell these guys to knock it off going forward, last night's speech for me was an important speech because we saw a side of mitt that we hadn't seen before. in order to move into south carolina and beyond, he's going to, i think, have to show that vulnerability where we get to see him in a human capacity. we get the corporate guy. we get the ceo. now we want to see the guy who has a hole in the bottom of his shoe like the rest of us who's trying to make ends meet, that kind of connection, do you think he has it with him starting in south carolina to begin to do that, to pull those conservatives who are sitting back saying i just don't know about this guy. >> there are two things that will come out of south carolina, number one, a lot of what i talked about that he matured as a candidate here in new
hampshire will stand him in good stead that way. i think what you saw in new hampshire was a good part of the feedback he got from the see me, touch me, feel me campaign. but another things that's going to be played in south carolina is that number one this guy was a true conservative, he cut spending, he did it without raising taxes, he cut taxes, he stood with the right to life people in massachusetts when the research lobby tried to push a change in the definition of life and he vetoed that bill. he stood with the family values people, the traditional marriage people when the supreme court came down with that and they have acknowledged it with a letter that's been published now in conservative circles and i think you'll see him not flaunting that, but saying i am a conservative, i know people like to call me a massachusetts moderate, but the last time we bought a bill of goods from a georgia conservative, we ended up with jimmy carter. >> dan rather moving forward to
south carolina, what are you looking forward to. >> can anybody stop romney? if he's to be stopped from getting the nomination, i think florida will be decisive. what i'm looking for with governor romney is whether he can do some of what michael just talked about. he's had two big wins. now the question is, can he -- can he convince voters not just for the primaries, but looking ahead to the general election, that he is authentic, people ache for authenticity. one of the ways he does that is with some humility. i'm one to talk about humility. we're not experts on being hummable. >> it's not all it's cracked up to be. >> no, but particularly after you have had a big win like he's had in new hampshire -- >> right. >> he cannot afford to have people think that his ego has
gotten as big as antarctica. if he will win in south carolina or have a good showing and i think he's going to have to concentrate on the eastern seaboard. but south carolina is not imperative for him. florida is. >> let me ask you also, let's say mitt wins south carolina and moves on and wins florida, by the president's state of the union address, america will be most likely looking at the general election candidates. you'll be seeing barack obama matched up against mitt romney. if that's where we end up a month from now, how do you see that matchup? >> i think right now that president obama's at least a slight underdog. and we're talking in january, the election is not until november, unemployment still high, he's got problems. it isn't to say that obama can't win, but it is right now to the advantage of the republicans.
and it is an advantage, i think for governor romney and ron paul. romney is almost ideal for ron paul, because number one he'll keep the race alive, there will be debates. when there's nobody left in the race, it's just romney, there will be a vacuum between, say, february and june or july. so ron paul, he doesn't mean to, but he serves a very important purpose. >> and in november, new hampshire a swing state again. >> if romney is a nominee, the democrats won't even compete here. and nationally, even though the romney campaign won't use it, in a sense this is hope and change and this time we need it. >> dan rather, governor sununu, great to see you. >> yesterday we headed out with a camera just north of here to see who people voted for and what they said.
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tavern here in manchester, new hampshire hp. we headed out yesterday went to a polling site just north of here. we heard a range of answers outside a middle school in this town of about 13,000 people. here's what they said. who did you vote for today? >> mitt romney. >> reporter: how come? >> i think with the economy the way it is now, it's affecting most people. i think we need to find someone with a little more business experience. >> reporter: who did you vote for today? >> romney. >> reporter: was there maybe a candidate that you liked better but you thought could not beat president obama? >> i did. it was jon huntsville.
i just don't see how he can compete. >> reporter: who did you vote for today? >> rick santorum. . >> i voted for huntsman. i think he has the best chance of winning against president obama. >> reporter: who was it about huntsman who -- >> he was the only one who sounded like he was speaking the truth that, he was going to get in in and try to do a good job. >> reporter: who did you vote for today? >> i voted for newt. >> reporter: why? >> i think he as an answer and a plan. >> reporter: who did you vote for today? >> i voted for ron paul. >> reporter: what was the single most important issue to you when you stood in that voting booth, what were you thinking about? >> mostly the economy. i'm a college graduate, i'm still looking for a job, i haven't been able to find one yet, and yeah, that's the biggest thing for me.
>> i don't like mitt romney, i don't like the way he's fli eeh flip-flopped in the last two years. probably romney has the only shot. and i will be voting for him in the general election. but i don't want it to be a run away for romney, i want him to work for it. >> reporter: so you voted for ron paul here, but you will circle the wagons and come back to romney? >> i would like to see obama become a stronger president, given the slate of possible nominees that republicans have put forward, there isn't anyone i think could do a better job than obama's doing now. >> mika is pouring. we're down here at the bar at j.d.'s tavern. shots all around.
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are sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick. and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that and they leave the skeleton. >> oh, my. 44 past the hour, joining us now "new york times" reporter, washington bureau chief david corn mark liebovich. we're were talking about these types of attacks on mitt romney. you take it a step further. >> usually you think they're just doing his bidding because they're attacking romney. these interparty attacks hurt the nominee down the road. that usually isn't the case, but in this instance -- >> you listen to the narrative out there right now. >> it can, it doesn't have to
work that way. but newt gingrich is going above and beyond in terms of helping the president. he's getting $5 million maybe more from sheldon adelson, who hates the president. to run these bain attack ads in south carolina. and so what the obama campaign is going to be able to do. remember these guys they love metrics, metrics, metrics. they go in after these ads appear and do focus groups and polling to see if they worked. and then they'll be able to determine. >> not just if they worked, but to see what part of the message works and then they focus in on that part of the message. it's fascinating, you've got a guy, mark liebovich, who's obsessed with beating barack obama who's going out in the field and basically providing $5 million of research for david plouffe and david axelrod. >> plouffe and axelrod have
their own team and have this thing pretty much wired to begin with. this certainly sets the narrative earlier than the obama team would have wanted to, but it provides a test market, like david said, it lets you see what works, what doesn't work, whether the carcass imagery is going to help. >> vultures. >> turkey buzzards and what have you. it really does help them early on. >> again, we talked about this earlier, though, steve. the gap between a campaign, a populous campaign, and between what the country is, the country is not about resentment. i think nearly everyone agrees. the country is about achievement. how do you thread that needle in terms of the attacks on romney, which you view as some of them being unfair, how do you thread that needle? >> i think it's hard because there are some genuine criticisms you could make about
capital. they are very sophisticated and very subtle. the broad attack that rick perry made is just ron. i think the american people are going to figure it out. this is a little bit like romney care. this is a chance to get his story line together to get past this issue and kind of put it behind him. i don't think it's all bad. >> it's fascinating, steve, you're a democrat, i don't think you have voted for many republicans in your life, and yet when these attacks started against mitt romney on bain capital, you rose immediately to his defense. you said wait a second, this is a firm he built from scratch and he did a pretty darn good job at making money for the investors. >> first of all if you ever run i'll vote for you. >> that will be the first step. >> i think fair is fair. and i am a democrat, i support president obama, i'll support him for re-election, but i think these attacks are unfair.
i think mitt romney not only had a successful career throughout business, but bain capital is managing money mostly for foundations, for endowments, exactly the things rick perry thinks he's trying to harm. and they had good investments, all of which made a lot of money for their investors. >> made a lot of money for people going into their requirement. >> and he did it in a perfectly honorable and appropriate way. there's bits and pieces that you can carp about, but i don't think it's going to be effective. >> you talk about these conservatives trying to coalescing, there are some conservatives out there, but right now, as long as the conservative candidates are split up, the numbers just don't add up, do they? m mitt keeps winning by a mile. >> if perry were out, if santorum were out, if there were one of them, you could put
together a 40% coalition, maybe paul gets his 20 and you have a dogfight. but right now, i moean it looks like it's going to be too late before the coalescing starts. >> you have to coalesce around somebody. in theory you right as far as the numbers. but of all the candidates who have run this year and who have managed to stay in, none of them have the talent, the campaign talent, the strategy, to -- rick perry remains a candidate, but he's a dud. and newt gingrich can't get away from the angry man thing and rick santorum hasn't capitalized on iowa. >> the guy who came in second here is not a viable candidate, e going toing go elect a
76-year-old- >> i know very little about that side of the aisle, why am i left with the thought that ron paul is the republicans' biggest dlem are right now? >> i think ron paul understands what his position is, he wants a bigger footprint in the party, people close to the campaign say that he's not even sure he can move that much further beyond. but he has a strong, hard base of 20% to 25%, sort of the libertarian/conservatives who make up 25% of the republican party, he can keep going, david, can't he? >> definitely. >> because you look at the intensity of his supporters and i think, mark, isn't he the only candidate that has the type of intensity on the republican side -- >> absolutely. >> that obabarack obama had fou years ago or reagan had in 1980?
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hey, welcome back, kids. i can't remember what we were talking about. we were talking about bob crane's untimely death. >> i learned that ben makes god on his bets. we'll see if you come forward on my bottle of vodka. >> what did you learn 25id steve? >> i learned that steve here is willing to make $10,000 bets on mitt romney. >> i hear you can get a damned good kosher steak here at j.d.'s in manchester. >> if you're in need of a laugh line anywhere in america, all you have to do is turn to anybody and say rick perry's running for president. >> yeah. what did you learn today? >> after a long week of politics, it's nice to know you