tv The Ed Show MSNBC January 19, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> okay, mitt romney, beat that. >> let me tell you something that was funny, white people voted for george welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. we have breaking news off the top. based upon information from the iowa republican chuck todd, nbc news will mark rick santorum as the winner of the iowa caucus. well, i told you so. i have to say, if you are a republican, today is the best show in the republican race. this is "the ed show." >> what will you do to support the 99% being you're a part of the 1%? >> america's right unless you want to put your money in the cayman islands.
the disaster for mitt romney continues. newt is now ahead in the polls, even though his ex-wife is taking shots at him. >> he was asking to have an open marriage and i refused. >> e.j. dionne and jonathan alter have all the chaos in south carolina. rick perry makes the announcement we've all been waiting for. >> adios, mofo. >> tonight we bid farewell to the texas governor. mitt romney wanted to let general motors go bankrupt. today the car company is back to being number one on the planet. good news on the economy means good news for the president. and we'll tell you all about it. and steven colbert is at it again. we'll bring you the latest. >> i've had it with these money grubbing superpacs messing with our monday to friday elections. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks, thanks for watching. all of a sudden 24 hours has become an eternity for the republicans.
things are a lot different than than this morning. six new polls have been released since the republican debate on monday night. they all show a sizable bump for newt gingrich. mitt romney only leads gingrich by about one percentage point when you average all the polls together, three polls have gingrich winning. six-point lead over mitt romney. gingrich's debate performance clearly appealed to republican voters in south carolina. conservative outlets like the weekly standard are giving the tea party credit for gingrich's turn around. today one of the tea party's favorite candidates got out of the race and supported newt gingrich. >> i've always believed the mission is greater than the man. as i've contemplated the future of this campaign, i have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign. therefore, today, i am suspending my campaign and
endorsing newt gingrich for president of the united states. >> i thought he said he'd never quit. perry's endorsement is a big deal for newt gingrich. newt already has a sugar daddy. he got a $5 million donation from a billionaire. sarah palin gave perry a thumb's up on her twitter page. she called rick perry a true american patriot for what he did. well, the news didn't get any better for mitt romney. one of his wins turned into a loss. rick santorum actually beat romney in the iowa caucuses by 3 4 votes. santorum said romney called him today and finally conceded defeat in iowa, but romney's campaign tried to save some face saying the result was a tie. governor romney called santorum to congratulate him on the iowa results. mitt romney is now 1-1.
his one victory, i guess you could say, was when he was playing at home in new hampshire. romney is on the verge of losing south carolina, what does all this mean? you can understand why romney lost his cool when a 99%er confronted him during a campaign stop today. >> let me tell you something, america is a great nation because we're a united nation, and those who try to divide the nation are hurting this country seriously. the right course for america is not to divide america and try to divide us between one and another. it's to come together as a nation. and if you have a better model, if you think china's better, russia's better, cuba's better, north korea's better, i'm glad to hear all about it. america's right and you're wrong.
>> the only actually good news for mitt romney today was a lady named marianne gingrich. newt gingrich's second wife told abc news about details of their marriage. she said her ex-husband does not have the character to be president. >> he was asking to have an open marriage and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah, that i accept the fact he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no. >> what will jerry followell say if he were here? abc plans to air the whole interview tonight. newt gingrich is trying to win over hard core conservatives in carolina. these accusations violate a lot of conservative values. how can newt gingrich overcome this? here's how. >> newt is not perfect, but who among us is? the fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek god, and i believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet in my faith. >> forgiveness and redemption
carry a lot of weight with voters in south carolina. romney is trying to win over americans by being the 1%. his tax records have become a liability on the campaign trail. polls show him slipping after a terrible debate performance on monday. i think the turning point was when romney couldn't provide a direct answer about his income taxes. >> i hadn't planned on releasing tax records, because the law requires us to release all of our assets, things we owned. that i've already released, it's a pretty full disclosure, but if that's been the tradition, i'm not opposed to doing that, time will tell. but i'm anticipating i'll most likely be asked to do that around the april time period. >> mitt romney just can't close the deal and he can't wait to get out of that state fast enough. a week ago everybody thought he'd be the nominee, that might be the case, but now he could lose south carolina and the door could be open for gingrich to
win other states and notice how today in the news cycle nobody's talking about ron paul. he just seems to be the other guy in all of this. south carolina primary's on saturday. things could get worse for romney. saturday's a lifetime away in this campaign. i'm joined tonight -- get your cell phones out. we want to know what you think. tonight's question, which is a bigger problem, mitt's taxes or newt's infidelity bomb shell? text a for mitt's taxes b for infidelity bomb shell. go to our blog and leave a comment there. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. i'm joined tonight by msnbc political analyst and bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter and e.j. dionne, fellow at the brookings institution and columnist for "the washington post." gentlemen, it's been an eventful day in the world of politics. jonathan, what do you make of
all of this, is it possible for mitt romney to lose the nomination at this point, how big a day was it? >> it's possible if he loses south carolina and the momentum is not moving in his direction, then you have a two-man race and you can say all right, gingrich isn't even on the ballot in virginia and romney has a better organization, but as you indicated a few minutes ago, gingrich has some access to some real money, and he could make this into a real contest. a lot of republicans apparently are willing to see past his marital infidelities, this open marriage thing is kind of mind blowing. can you imagine what would happen if this was a democrat, what rick perry would be saying? >> we talked in our ed newsroom today about what if president obama had dropped a bomb shell on a news magazine saying michelle and i have an open marriage. come on, how low are they going
to drop the bar in this campaign? e.j., what impact will the marianne gingrich interview have? >> well, the key is forgiveness and redemption. i can't resist, ed, because i share your fascination, the iowa caucus results always felt like florida 2000 to me, only this time they allowed a full recount of the votes and we got the actual result. i think that it ain't going to help gingrich, i think the question is how much does it hurt him. the right point is newt is already doing less well among evangelical women than he is among evangelical men, surprise, surprise. the question is, does he sort of lose a lot of votes from this, probably santorum, or does he suffer a small loss and that gets made up for by the momentum and the swing away from romney? given how much people know about newt, i bet on the small loss, although in this campaign, i've
given up making bets on anything. >> jonathan, how much has it helped gingrich to have perry out of the race but also endorsing him. he can raise money. he's got access to oil money in texas and has got some big donors. will he get them to engage? it would seem to me gingrich would play that card pretty fast. >> he doesn't have to have all of them engaged, all he needs is a couple of them and he's in the chips. as far as whether the endorsement actually makes that much difference, very few endorsements do, but the timing of this was very good for gingrich. perry actually had -- i don't know what was it, 5%, 6%, 7% in south carolina? if gingrich gets 2% or 3% of that, that ain't bad, so in a close race, and the polls are indicating a very close race right now, that could end up being decisive. the big thing will be what
happens, i think, in this debate and if gingrich scores again, as he has so many times in the past, then romney's in a world of hurt. >> e.j., what about the tax issues taking a toll on romney in the polls? it's just not a newt campaigning in south carolina. he's taking a beating here and there seems to be a real disconnect as far as americans are concerned about money being offshore, not knowing how much $375,000 is. it would seem to me this state is taking a toll or am i wrong on that? >> i have never -- i don't think i've ever seen a candidate close a campaign as badly as mitt romney has, and he really seems to have a keen ear on this. i've been trying to think what else could go wrong, go out and say he roots for mr. potter over george baily, bad banker over the good banker in "it's a wonderful life"? it's not just stuff has come out, it's romney's own responses
just haven't been good, suggesting that $375,000 is not very much money, the way they've sort of tried to say well, yeah, sort of on the cayman islands, but he's not really taking any tax breaks. i think it's about his personality and how he thinks about this as much as any of the specific revelations. >> it just reminds me of the clinton/dole campaign back in 1996 and after bill clinton won, he beat bob dole, bob dole did some commercials and at the end said you know, i just can't win. in this case, it seems like mitt romney, you know, i just can't close. i mean, he just does not -- he's not the closer that he needs to be. jonathan alter, e.j. dionne, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen, share your thoughts on twitter. i want to know what you think. up next, rick perry had one
of the most disastrous campaigns in history. a couple of good old boys from texas, jim moore and kinky friedman are here to say adios. good news for the economy today, bad news for the republican candidates, and i'll tell you why. stay tuned. ♪ [ female announcer ] philadelphia cooking creme. a simple way to make dinner fresh and new again. creamy philadelphia along with savory herbs and spices. just stir it in.
coming up, we'll say adios to the texas governor after he dropped his bid earlier today. and psycho talk, new jersey governor chris christie backs off after a recount gives rick santorum the edge. and steven colbert's super pac launches an ad attacking steven colbert. okay, comedian john fugelsang joins me later in the hour. we're right back, stay with us. when i grow up, i want to fix up old houses. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant.
well, rick perry's out of the race and the nation of turkey feels a lot safer tonight. don't you think? the texas governor is finally calling it quits after a disastrous campaign. perry was at 38% when he entered the race back in september, but by december, he fell to 6%. and he only has himself to blame. >> those of you that will be 21 by november 12th, i ask for your support and your vote. >> commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there, let's see. >> we fought the revolution in the 16th century. >> commerce, education, and the -- >> and you can always follow me on tweeter. >> and let's see, i can't, the third one i can't, sorry, oops.
>> there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military. >> to expand your tax footprint, you know what i mean. and then -- the coolest thing happens. that! today has been awesome, girl! >> first bite's the best one. >> i cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a cinnabon, hot, yellow kool-aid, and save a pretzel for the gas jets. >> and, of course, we had to cut down the highlight tape. a lot of stuff hit the edit room floor. the campaign of rick perry just never got on a roll. let's turn to jim moore, "huffington post" contributor and writer and author of the book "adios mofo: why rick perry will make america miss george w.
bush." too late now, jim, you can't rename that title. >> you sure know how to embarrass proud texans. >> it was a great book, but you should have told us it was going to fall apart fast. >> it lived up to its title, adios, mofo, he's out of here. >> what happened, did people in texas know something everybody else in the states didn't know? >> well, you know, he on paper -- i think i told you this before, ed, when we talked. on paper, this guy checks all the boxes for republicans. i mean, he's very good with his social conservatives, very good with evangelicals, he's in the right place on gay marriage and abortion and those things and the guy looks good and when he's on a podium and unchallenged and doesn't have to answer questions or think analytically, he does very, very well. but one thing that didn't work well was a series of innumerable debates, and that's not perry's wheelhouse, and it served the
purpose of getting rid of some of these guys. >> i've been thinking about this today, did he show loyalty to the conservative movement by stepping out and not splitting up the vote and immediately endorsing another candidate, in this case, newt gingrich? is he leading the anti-mitt charge right now? >> well, i think that's the role he would like to play, but i really think that this was a bit more pragmatic than that, ed, because truthfully, an endorsement from rick perry is like getting a lead life jacket thrown at you off the titanic or wherever, but i think what happened is he sent out an e-mail last night to his individual supporters asking for $5, $10, $75, we're going on to florida, absolutely determined to press forward on this thing, so the question is, did he get some phone calls from his big dollar people and say come on, rick, you're not moving any numbers in south carolina, we're
not wasting more money down there. you're embarrassing yourself, you're going to have problems when you get back to the state, just stop this. i think that's probably more what happened. >> you mention he had some debate issues. well, he was weak during the debates. here's some of the examples. >> do you believe turkey still belongs in nato? >> well, obviously, when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be islamic terrorists -- >> the third one i can't, sorry, oops. >> i'll bump plans with you, brother. >> on the side of against the second amendment before he was for the second amendment, was it before he was before the social programs from the standpoint of he was for standing up for roe v. wade? i hope i am the tim tebow of the iowa caucuses. >> the fact is, he never debated anybody in texas and came into these debates on a national
level not prepared because he didn't know how to prepare, he had never done it before, or is that an overreach? >> no, that's absolutely true. he did do four debates, but none of these were of this type of nature. that's the thing about parochial state politics, where your opponents are often completely underfunded and inexperienced as well and in the office of the governor standing up there and saying things, it's hard to challenge him. one of his elections, there were four people in that race and the only debate lasted like an hour and he literally winked at one of his opponents that he was so comfortable and confident he wasn't going to have to say anything of any substance. >> so we can clearly say this is probably one of the biggest disappointments the gop has seen in modern time. jim moore -- go ahead. >> i agree with that. >> thanks, jim. jim moore with us tonight here on "the ed show."
thanks so much. governor chris christie warned crowds in iowa there would be jersey-style consequences if they didn't vote for mitt romney, but it turns out he was just full of hot air. newt gingrich's second ex-wife breaks her silence. how will voters react? richard wolffe, joy-ann reid, and krystal ball weigh in on that. [ male announcer ] say goodbye to "ho-hum,"
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steve doocy asked the romney supporter if the fact that rick santorum actually won iowa makes a difference. >> what does this change? >> nothing. >> okay, thank you very much. >> i mean, absolutely nothing. you know, we'll never know who exactly won that race, especially with eight precincts never reporting, did they eat the ballots? i don't know what happened. that will be for the history books as to who won, but in the end they'll be bringing in the context did mitt romney actually win iowa? nobody's going to care. >> really, there was one guy who cared about who won iowa in a big way. >> i'm thrilled to be in iowa, let me tell you, you people disappoint me on tuesday, you don't do what you're supposed to do on tuesday for mitt romney, i will be back, jersey-style, people. i will be back. >> all right, so in december governor chris christie went all schwarzenegger on the crowd in
iowa, but now he's brushing off romney's defeat as no big deal. this guy is all bark and no bite. for chris christie to say romney losing iowa doesn't matter after his bully routine in iowa, that's jersey-style "psycho talk." what brings us here today, that's creating jobs and boosting tourism. >> up next, richard wolffe, joy-ann reid, and krystal ball on today's good news for the president. and the interview newt gingrich called tawdry. >> he said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. callista doesn't care what i do. and the pizza man is not finished. >> south carolina, send steven colbert a message. on january 21st, vote herman cain. >> john fugelsang is here to preview the theatrics.
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i am glad to be at disney world. and i confess, i am excited to see mickey. it's always nice to meet a world leader who has bigger ears than me. >> welcome back to "the ed show." president obama has reason to be happy these days. while mitt romney and newt gingrich are in a death match in south carolina, president obama, well, he went to disney world. he's got reason to do it. his administration is finding new ways to boost tourism and the economy. he may be on a roll. the facts, today after three years, general motors is once again the number one car maker in the world. three years ago, president obama engineered an $80 billion loan for the automobile industry.
he took a huge risk, and it is paying off, and none of the republicans went on board with it. mitt romney wrote an article entitled "let detroit go bankrupt." good plan there, newt -- or mitt. jobless claims to a new low. jobless claims have fallen ever since president obama's stimulus package went into effect, and there's more, u.s. factories are roaring back from the depths of a recession, factory output is up and oh, by the way, since 2009, the stock market has risen more than 50%, and yes, the stock market is part of it all. but newt gingrich says president obama wants to be the food stamp president, obviously, the economy is not yet where everybody wants it to be, but we have to admit that president obama, as he says it all the time, says that, but it's getting there, isn't it? with no help from the republicans despite consistent gop destruction, president obama is getting the economy back on track. there are plenty of indicators. let's turn to joy-ann reid,
msnbc contributor and managing editor of thegrio.com. also msnbc political analyst richard wolffe and democratic strategist krystal ball. great to have you all with us tonight. if the economy keeps rising, richard, what happens to the republican challenger? aren't they kind of hoping on bad news economically? a lot of good stuff is out there right now. >> could be a little bit. especially if you built your entire premise of your candidacy on beating obama on the economy, and that's the position of mitt romney. you know, if you're rick santorum, maybe there's something else you can go for, manufacturing critique, you can go after the social values, but for romney, the whole premise is i understand about the economy, this guy's never even seen the working economy. so, you know, the economy turning around doesn't just affect the underlying numbers,
it's the fundamental premise. think back to the election, by the time he got to the general election, it wasn't iraq, people didn't care about iraq, they cared about the economy. so if the story changes over time, which it surely will, not just because politics never stays the same, but because the economy doesn't either. if this story changes, these candidates, especially mitt romney, have nowhere educational to go. >> the gop crowd have always played down good news. today the obama campaign said this about romney's offshore accounts. why doesn't he just tell voters in south carolina, florida, and other primary states exactly what he's been paying in taxes and what his investments are? it's clear he doesn't want the american people to see these things. joy-ann, this really has been a problem for mitt romney. how's he going to overcome this? >> i think for mitt romney, the biggest problem is the empty narrative.
mitt romney has offered no other reason for running for president, no affirmative reason to elect him other than i am mitt romney, i am a businessman, that means the focus naturally goes to his business background and what he did not biggest business he ran, bain capital, then you have this narrative the 99% versus the 1%, and because he so embodies it, everything that advances that narrative fills in the gaps. as richard says, if the economy gets better, we're going to focus on who are you, mitt romney, and all we've got right now is this 1% narrative. >> staying on the economy, krystal ball, the republican nominee, unless i'm missing the news, they all seem to be pushing the same dog gone policies that bush did that got us into this mess. isn't this easy picking for president obama? >> i think you're absolutely right, ed. one of the things i will say about the obama administration, i don't think they've done a good enough job of cheerleading for their own policies, which
have been incredibly successful. you have a president personally popular and his policies not as popular as he is, but with mitt romney, you have someone who's not personally popular and when americans dig into the fact his economic policy is basically to give himself and his friends another huge tax cut as the expense of the middle and working class people, they are not going to be happy with what they find, so i do think the president is very well set up, and as richard pointed out, previously we were worried the president would have to argue things would have been worse if not for him. now the republicans are having to argue the counterfactual, that things would have been better if not for president obama, and that's a very difficult place to be in. >> i mean, president obama is like a super computer, i mean this guy's got phenomenal recall. his debating skills are just fantastic. he's going to be able to pick apart the republican economic plan and put it to where we were and to where we are. richard, it would seem to me that would be the home run right there and would convince a lot of people, where am i wrong?
>> even if the economy doesn't pick up, say this thing runs out of steam, gas prices break through $5, people don't feel that great. when you look back, why are we in this hole, the polls are consistent, facts are consistent. it wasn't because wall street was overregulated, it wasn't because, you know, there was a president obama there, it all happened beforehand. people blame the bush administration, they blame wall street being out of control. they know why this economy went into the tail spin it did. they may want it to get better quicker, but the root causes of this, the policies behind it, the reckless behavior from people supposed to defend capitalism, people understand it. that's what republicans have to push against. >> there's news tonight newt gingrich just released his 2010 federal income tax return. he reported over $3 million in income, time for mitt romney to release his taxes, joy-ann? does it matter, do we have to wait until tax season, what's his best news? >> just release them already. we know newt gingrich himself is rich too.
it's sort of funny listening to him talk about rich people when he's one of them, but for romney it exacerbates us not knowing much about him personally, so we're interested in his wealth and business background. if he'd release them and get over it, people can vet it and move on, but he's dragging it out in a way that makes it seem he's got something to hide. >> newt's pretty cagey, at least my money's not offshore. krystal ball, we'll come back to you, along with joy-ann reid and richard wolffe. a lot more coming up. newt gingrich's second ex-wife says the former house speaker wanted an open marriage. the party of family values is rushing to his defense. stay tuned. -good morning, dave. -good morning, dave. dave. -hey, dave. -hey, dave. hey. -hey, dave. -mr. dave. -dave. -what's up, dave? -dave. -dave. dave. dave. dave? hi, dave. oh, dave's looking for you. hey, dave. yo, dave! [ male announcer ] in a small business,
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panel in a moment, but first, a brief guide to newt gingrich's marital history. gingrich left his first wife, jackie, for marianne. left his second wife, marianne, for his third wife, callista, now his second wife is telling it all, saying gingrich asked her to consider either an open marriage or a divorce at the same time he was giving speeches about family values and attacking president clinton about his indiscretions. >> i said to him, newt, we've been married a long time, and he said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. callista doesn't care what i do. >> what was he saying to you, do you think? >> he was asking to have an open marriage, and i refused. >> he wanted an open marriage? >> yeah, that i accept the fact
that he -- he has somebody else in his life. >> and you said? >> no. no. that is not a marriage. >> newt's defenders are out in full force. rick perry endorsed gingrich while preaching the power of forgiveness and sarah palin took the opportunity to defend newt and attack the media. >> i call them dumbarses, they thinking that by trotting out this old gingrich divorce interview that's old news, all this does is incentivize those sick of the politics of personal destruction, because it's played so selectively by the media that their target, in this case newt, he's now going to soar even more. >> interesting, the politics of personal destruction. isn't that what the clintons used to say? newt says his mistakes were for the greater good. >> we knew we'd get beaten up, we knew we'd get lied about,
knew we'd get smeared, nasty attack ads, and we decided the country was worth the pain. >> as for south carolina voters, they don't seem to care. one woman telling, i think after the blue dress and clinton, it doesn't matter anymore, ya know? another voter saying i think romney keeping $100 million in the bahamas is more important. joined again by msnbc contributor joy-ann reid, richard wolffe, and democratic strategist krystal ball. krystal, does this really mean anything to any of the voters today? we know that the bar has been lowered in society and when it comes to acceptability about someone's personal life, when it comes to serving in a public office, but at this point and juncture in this heated campaign, do you think this will have an impact on either candidate? >> well, let me start by saying this is far from my biggest
concern about newt gingrich, but we've kind of seen this play before in the republican primary, and i think the response to gingrich and his interview from his ex-wife is going to be very similar with what happened with herman cain, there was a rallying of the conservative base. there was a very loud defense of herman cain from the right. there was very little erosion in his poll numbers, particularly among men. meanwhile, women sort of quietly drifted away from him. so ihink we'll see a similar thing, a loud reaction, a loud defense of him, a lot of blaming of the media, and women sort of quietly looking for another alternative. >> his ex-wife says it's about character. here's how newt defended his character. >> i think that my two daughters are very credible of my character, i think the people who have known me a long time are credible of my character. i'm a 68-year-old grandfather, they see how close i am to my wife and daughters and sons-in-law.
>> joy-ann, does that work? >> i think the response of particularly evangelical voters to newt will say a lot more about them than him. i think voters have been proactive about saying the way that people should behave, and that should uphold traditional marriage. if this is ignored, it says more about the sincerity of social conservatives on that issue, and i'll leave it at that. for newt gingrich, no, what the base in the republican party likes to see is newt gingrich attack anyone who raises this issue. they like to see him put juan williams in his place, they want to know this guy is going to tear apart barack obama if he becomes the nominee. i don't think anything else matters to the base. >> richard wolffe, you could make the case south carolina is one of the, if not the most, conservative state in the south. if gingrich can get past this in south carolina, he might be home free and this might be behind
him, what do you think? >> i think if he can sell his character to evangelicals in south carolina, then florida evangelicals will buy the same thing, ed. here's the thing, general voters, a columnist far smarter than me cited this, but general voters prefer a sinner who found redemption than those who never sinned at all. that's mitt romney's problem, can you imagine him finding a way out of it? that's the narrative we don't know about romney, his mistakes are having caffeinated drinks, and newt gingrich, you can discount all of this, but we can enjoy the rich irony of someone who pursued impeachment with bill clinton, going through this in his personal life. but if you are an evangelical, you prefer redemption and prefer it to someone who's squeaky clean. >> krystal ball, richard wolffe, joy-ann reid, thank you very much. up next, steven colbert's super pac, they are at it again. you won't want to miss this, stay with us. progresso. it fits!
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problem, mitt romney's taxes or newt gingrich's infidelity bomb shell? 87% of you say mitt's taxes. 13% of you say newt's infidelity bomb shell. coming up, comedian john fugelsang joins me to discuss the latest colbert pac ad and herman cain's unusual endorsement. [ male announcer ] this...is the network. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... ♪ [ male announcer ] in here, medical history follows you... even when you're away from home. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the world...work. rethink possible. the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape.
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president of the united states of south carolina is picking up steam. his super pac, run by jon stewart, has already spent $65,000 on ads in south carolina, and his candidacy was a subject of a focus group run by frank luntz. some voters, however, were not amused. >> give me a word or phrase to describe steven colbert. >> i think he's a dandy. >> a good charleston dandy. >> oh, oh, my, lord, lord have mercy. >> now a dandy that when we're fishing we call that a big fish. whatever, nevertheless, the latest public policy polling shows colbert with a higher favorability rating than other republican candidates. colbert's surging popularity prompted colbert's super pac to release an ad attacking steven colbert. take a look. >> america is in crisis, and steven colbert is turning it
into a circus. he's exploring run for president of the united states of south carolina. come on, why is the "t" in his name silent, what else is he silent about? letting murderers out of jail? enough is enough. i have had it with these money-grubbing super pacs messing with our monday to friday elections. >> south carolina, send steven colbert a message. on january 21st, vote for herman cain, we can't afford to have a leader like this. >> joining me now is comedian and writer john fugelsang.
he is also a part of the sexy liberal comedy tour and will be performing his award-winning solo show "guilt: a love story" on january 28th at the queens theater in new york city. john, great to have you with us tonight. >> good to be here, slow news day. >> it's a very heavy news day, i know what you're saying. but this ad, these guys were doing us a favor to get us away from the political exhaustion so we can laugh at all this but also illustrating the absurdity of it all. what do you make of it? >> right away we've made history, but it's unique for three reasons f you're going to tell people the truth, make it funny or they'll kill you. we news nerds and politics junkies can talk about super pacs all day. number one, this entertains us, number two, educates people as to what's going on. number three, what he's really doing, i think, is prolonging
the republican struggle. mitt romney wants to tie it up this weekend and herman cain is signing on to a comedic agenda to keep this race going further. the fact colbert's own pac is attacking him is that it's an open marriage. >> isn't it mean to low-information voters. >> i totally disagree, it's hilarious. herman cain's on the ballot, so a lot of conservatives are really fed up with king romney and the knights of the trickle down table, it's a protest for them. >> the two will hold a rally in charleston, good idea? >> it's a great idea. herman cain's a lobbyist for the fast food joints, trying to keep minimum wage down, so we know he understands comedy. it's a slap in the face to mitt romney, shows he doesn't want a cabinet position all that bad. >> does it prove herman cain wasn't going to run for president? >> herman cain might become the
first black man to get another black man reelected president. that's all he's doing, helping obama. >> herman cain announced who he's endorsing for president. >> my unconventional endorsement is the people. we, the people, of this nation are still in charge. that's who i'm endorsing. >> following that, he was asked about endorsing an actual candidate. >> the american people would be helped the most by which of these four remaining republican candidates? >> whoever gets the nomination. >> you're not going to endorse anyone? >> i didn't say that, i still might endorse an individual, don't know yet. >> at one time, this guy was the republican frontrunner. i mean does this just illustrate and demonstrate to everybody what a joke the republican party is? >> exactly right, they keep saying mitt romney is the flip-flopper, he's not a
flip-flopper, he's been a consistent human wind sock his entire career. the gop base has gone through seven frontrunners during the summer and they want to call gay guys promiscuous? give me a break. >> let's just say mitt romney gets the nomination, it's going to be hard for you comedians. he's a stiff shirt, like wall paper watching it dry. come on, mitt romney's not a happening dude. >> i see the argument you're making and we discuss this on the tour every night, but the thing is, mitt romney is hilarious, as a comedian, i'm donating heavily to possibly a cain/bachmann ticket, i would love to see that happen, but mitt romney is comedic gold. he's not the gop nominee you wanted, but you're stuck with him, comedians, so make the most out of it. >> how much of a bummer is it rick perry's out? there goes half your material. >> the best thing about rick perry was seeing how much he hated mitt romney. these guys hate each other so much they could sing lead for
the eagles. it's a just for men ad gone horribly wrong. >> give him credit for someone getting in a scrap with turkey. >> finally got to secede from something too, that's a dream come true for rick. >> what about newt in this interview with his ex-wife? >> it's fascinating, because she's not revealing anything we haven't heard before. as much as i understand it, this is mistress number one, wife number two, talking about mistress number two, wife number three, who wants to be first lady, i think. >> don't forget the kids. >> it's not really a huge surprise. i don't think it will hurt him all that much. i'd love to see newt get the nomination, because i'm a comic. >> like the movie where tom hanks said, we're an american family. maybe that's his best play right now. john fugelsang, you guys are doing great on your tour, i hear great things about it. >> i want to bring you on stage. >> that won't happen, but thank you for the invitation. that's "the ed show," i'm ed schult