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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  February 2, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EST

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and tim tebow pays a visiting, jimmy fallon upstairs in the building. how did tebow say about fallon's thibauee -- tebow-y character? the show that unlike mr. romney is concerned about anyone in any socioeconomic class who is awake at this ungodly hour. i'm glad to have you up with us watching on msnbc or listening live on sirius examine radio. e-mail at or tweet me @williegeist1. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this thursday, february 2nd. a lot to tell you about including news on the facebook ipo and what it will mean for
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that company and for you. plus, he didn't do it again, did he? >> oh, beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain. >> oh, yes he did. mitt romney with an encore presentation of "america of beautiful." you'll hear it a bit later in the show. let's get to the news live at 5:30 a.m. here at 30 rock in new york city. after more than a decade of war, the end of u.s. combat operations in afghanistan we're learning now, could come as early as next year, 2013. well before the last american troops are scheduled to leave the country, more than a year before the end of the 2014 timetable that had been laid out previously. leon panetta said that timetable part of a pentagon strategy to transfer responsibility to afghan forces. he drew comparisons to u.s. drawdown in iraq where combat operation ended 16 months before the final american withdrawal.
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the pentagon plan was met with some criticism from members of congress, including senator john mccain who said the decision by panetta, sends exactly the wrong signal to our friends and enemies in this conflict. it continues the administration's misguided policy of publicly forecasting its plans to withdraw from afghanistan. this decision reflects domestic politics in the united states and not conditions on the ground in afghanistan. mitt romney also critical of the president's strategy and the public announcement by the secretary of defense. >> he announced that so the taliban hears it, the pakistanis hear it, the afghan leaders hear it. why in the world do you go to the people that you're fighting with and tell them the day you're pulling out your troops? it makes absolutely no sense. his naivety is putting in jeopardy the mission of the united states of america and our commitments to freedom. is he wrong. we need new leadership in washington. >> of the 90,000 troops
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currently serving in afghanistan, 22,000 are due home this fall. all u.s. combat troops as i said were expected to be out of afghanistan by the end of 2014. joining us now by phone is nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. thanks so much for waking up early with us. >> absolutely, willie. >> how significant is this, number one? and number two, how surprising was it to you to hear leon panetta say it could be next year that the troops will be out of afghanistan? >> reporter: let's start with number two. nobody was surprised that the u.s. military was going to transition from full combat mode into a training assist mode once the afghan security forces are up to speed. but they'll still need, as somebody once said, the hand on the bicycle seat to guide them through that last year or so. and let's make clear what we're talking about here. we're not talking about the
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withdrawal of american forces by the end of next year. we're talking about the end of the combat mission by the end of next year. there would at least be a year, as many as 18 months, where the u.s. military would still be on the ground there working with the afghan security forces. as we reported last night on "nightly news" and later the pentagon clarified the remarks, this does not mean american forces will be in harm's way. in fact, it's more than likely you will see a number of american forces still embedded, working shoulder to shoulder with afghan forces during combat operations. they will still be in harm's way through the end of 2014. >> the news here, though, it is a year earlier that the core combat group would be taken out before the end of 2014. >> nobody will be taken out. this is just going to be a transition in their mission.
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from direct combat, full combat mode, into an advise and assist mode whereby they train the afghans, but they will also fight with the afghans. and this is exactly the same strategy that the u.s. used in iraq. they, in fact in iraq, ended the u.s. military combat operation 16 months before the final troops came out of iraq. but in that 16-month period when combat was apparently over for the americans, and quite frankly, many americans here at home, including the media weren't paying much attention to what was going on in iraq at the time. everybody thought, well, the war is over. well, the war was over but more than 370 americans were either kill or wounded during that period of time. and when you talk to the soldiers in iraq, they said don't tell us the war was over. they're still shooting at us, we're still dying. >> great.
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that's an important clarification, thanks. a lot of people think everybody is getting out. clearly that's not the case, we'll still be there. >> reporter: the deadline to withdraw is still 2014. in terms of the timing, everybody pounced on the idea and suspected this was for political purposes. that was one of the first thoughts that entered my mind. but also, look at the timing. secretary panetta was on a plane to brussels to try to re-assure many of the nervous nato allies who are already talking about withdrawing their forces early, particularly the french, to say, look, this is not -- there is an end game here. by some time next year and the secretary said no decisions have been made, he's still squishy on the timing. but he said by the end of next year we hope he said to end the direct combat mission and switch into that transition or training mode. there has to be a transition.
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you don't go from full combat one day to the next day suddenly pulling out. this is not vietnam where the u.s. was frantically plucking people off the roof of the u.s. embassy in saigon. this will be, hopefully, an orderly, organized transition from full combat to assist and advise and then finally out by the end of 2014. >> jim miklaszewski boiling is down for us, very important to get all that straight. thanks so much, women jim, for waking up early. i appreciate it this morning. let's move on to 2012 politic where in a matter of hours mitt romney went from celebrating his big win in florida to defending himself, just a few hours later on another unforced error. this is mitt romney yesterday morning. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the heart of
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america. >> you just said i'm not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net. i think there are lots of very poor americans who are struggling who would say that sounds odd. can you explain that? >> finish the sentence, soledad. i said i'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safeny net but if it has holes in it, ill will repair them. >> got it. all right. >> the challenge right now, we're hear from the democratic party, the plight of the poor. there's no question, it's not good being poor. my campaign is focused on middle income americans. my campaign -- i mean, you can choose where to focus, focus on the rich. that's not my focus. you can focus on the very poor. that's not my focus. >> governor romney spent a big part of the day trying to walk back and clarify those comments urging voters to listen to the entire comment not just to the part where he says he's not concerned about the very poor. that's the part his critics have seized on.
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governor romney explained the poorest americans are backed by programs by food stamps and housing vouchers which aren't available to middle income americans. newt gingrich, of course, jumped at the chance to portray his rival with out of touch with americans. >> now, let me say something here. i am fed up with politicians in either party dividing americans against each other. i am running to be the president of all the american people and i am concerned about all of the american people. let me shock governor romney. the founding fathers meant the very poor who they called americans. my goal is to find steps for every american to have a job, every american to work, every american to be able to buy a house. >> newt gingrich went after him, those on the left went after him for saying he's not concerned about the very poor and
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conservative commentators also going after mitt romney. at, eric erickson writes mitt romney plays to the national caricature. jona goldberg's headline reads "what is wrong with this guy"? and rush limbaugh offered his take on wednesday. >> is one of the biggest cultural problems we've got. the safety net is contributing to the destruction of their humanity and their futures. he comes across as the prototypical rich republican. >> wizards of smart in the republican establishment. we can't have newt out there. newt's going to be the topic. we need obama to be the topic. well, what evidence is it -- or is there that it's not going to be about romney with these kinds of statements? >> "the wall street journal"
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editorial page coming to current problems. facebook is pushing forward on what would be the world's largest internet ipo on record. the company filed to go public in a move that could value facebook at $100 billion. let's take an early look at the markets as we get all up this morning. jeoff cutmore this morning.
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>> good morning to you. we're seeing dollars and centses on this story. at the end of the day it's a small offering compared to the size of of the business, only $5 billion being put out there. as you say, it will lead to a valuation on the company that puts it around $100 billion. mark zuckerberg still remains in charge, though. we'll keep an eye just to see how much of a feeding frenzy there is about the ipo. back to you. >> oh, it's coming, geoff. $5 billion, serving notice of that ipo. soul train creator don cornelius has died. he's credited with bringing black music and culture into the homes of millions of americans by giving artists like aretha franklin, marvin gay and michael jackson their first exposure to national audiences. the show's 35-year run is one of the longest in syndicated television history. he opened the soul train dancer boogie with a familiar
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introduction for two decades. >> let's check out the soul train line to the music of earth, wind and fire and mighty mighty. ♪ >> cornelius was found dead in his los angeles home earl yi wednesday, officials say, of an apparent suicide. he was 75 years old. still ahead on "way too early," we shift gears to tim tebow visiting jimmy fallon, giving a review of fallon's tebow character. did he like being mashed up with ziggy stardust? we'll have his reaction. and mitt romney breaks into glorious song yet again. that clip and a check on weather when "way too early" comes right back.
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nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious. 5:47 in the morning. that's a live picture of punxsutawney, pennsylvania, where they're waiting for the groundhog to come out. i can't remember how this works. maybe bill karins can help. if he sees the shadow, the giants win. if he doesn't -- i don't understand. what's the deal on the groundhog again? >> if he doesn't see his shadow, early spring, four more weeks. it's cloudy there this morning. it looks like spring will come early in four weeks even though it's felt like it all winter anyway. >> it came in january. >> maybe even december. maybe it never even got here. good morning, everyone.
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there's many groundhogs, too. there's many groundhogs, but that's the big one, punxsutawney phil. there's general lee in the south. a storm is heading for colorado. this will be the first full-fledged major snowstorm in this country in a while. denver, 8 to 12 inches of snow. some areas will see blizzard conditions in nebraska. omaha to iowa will also get some snow. a little bit of light rain, coastal areas of virginia and south and north carolina. big thunderstorms late today in texas. but finally, a snowstorm to talk with, willie geist, out in colorado. >> dipping down to 48 today in new york. that's downright frigid after it was 65 yesterday. bill, thanks so much. we appreciate it. let's turn to sports now. three days to the super bowl. the rematch, the new york giants and the new england patriots, remember four years ago, the patriots were 18-0. the giants came in behind eli manning and ruined the party. leave it to "the new york post" to fuel this great rivalry.
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front page, not a prayer. what are they talking about here? "the new york post" being the enterprising journalists they are got an e-mail that gisele, the supermodel wife of patriots quarterback tom brady wrote to family and friends, it reads this way, my sweet friends and family, i feel tommy really needs our prayer, our support and love at this time. so i kindly ask all of you to join me on this positive chain and pray for him so he can feel confident, healthy and strong, envision him happy and fulfilled. experiencing with his team a victory this sunday, love g. :). jimmy fallon is hosting his show from indianapolis this week.
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tebow showed up last night to present his book "through my eyes." the first question out of the game was the phenomenon known as tebow'ing. >> it's praying but it's a phenomenon that's just -- well, caught fire. >> i'm not sure but i got to believe i'm probably not the first athlete to get on a knee and pray. [ cheers and applause ] just floating that out there. >> one of the coolest parts was there was a boy who actually twittered me and was saying, you know, i'm tebowing while chemo'ing. he was going through his trouble and i was able to fly him to a game. as cool things happen, that was one of the coolest things, spending time with that kid. >> jimmy fallon had the idea to combine tim tebow and david bowie together in a character he
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called tim tebowy. ♪ commencing fourth down hut hut hike ♪ ♪ snap the football and may god's love be with me ♪ >> that's tim tebowy last month. last night jimmy got tebow's reaction. we created a character, what if david bowie met tim tebow? [ applause ] we called it the tim tebowy. i appreciate you being a good sport about this whole thing. >> absolutely. >> i did it in all due respect. >> the only thing that was messed up about it was, i mean, you were a little bit off tune and a little pitchy. i mean, wouldn't you all agree with that? >> a little pitchy. that kid is good. mitt romney spent the day yesterday explaining part of a comment he made about his
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concern for the country's very poor or lack thereof. does he deserve, though, the heat that he's getting for it? we'll knock that around with our crew. within we come back, we'll huddle around the water cooler to get jon stewart's take on romney feeding the character as candidates out of touch rich guy. "way too early" coming right back. one. -two. -three. -one. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% back on groceries. and 3% back on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. -it's as easy as...1. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] 1, 2, 3 percent cash back for the things you buy most. the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you. all your important legal matters in just minutes. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business... protect your family... and launch your dreams. at, we put the law on your side.
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mitt romney fending off
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criticism of a remark yesterday suggesting he doesn't understand the economic struggles of poor americans, the line. i'm not concerned about the very poor" has been ripped from its context already. we said that on the morning show yesterday and it being used by romney's critics as evidence that he is that out of touch mega rich guy. if you want to sound smart today, tell your friends another 2.6 million americans slipped below the poverty line in 2010. the final u.s. poverty tally that year was 46.2 million people, the highest figure in the 52 years since the census bureau began calculating statistics on the very poor. all right. enough of real news for a moment, let's huddle up around the water cooler to watch the republican front-runner get all glittery. yesterday in egan, minnesota it was mitt romney's turn. there it is. same guy, same glitter. and at the rally, romney took it pretty well. >> there's the guy, wave your
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hand over here, threw the glitter. there you go. how are you? hi there. how are you? good to see you. i'm happy for a little celebration. this is confetti. we just won florida. we're going to win the white house next. oh, i've got glitter in my hair. that's not all that's in my hair, i tell i don't you that, i blew it on every morning whether i need to or not. >> all right. romney went for an encore, same rally, right there, glitter in his hair, he went back for more. remember he was caught singing "america the beautiful" in florida? here he is again in minnesota. >> i love the hymns of america by the way. "america the beautiful," oh, beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain. you want to sing that? okay. not just me now. ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ for amber waves of grain ♪
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♪ for purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain ♪ that's the second time i've done that, you know? if we keep that up -- if we keep that up, i'm going to have to get singing lessons because i'm not so good. >> it's even better i would argue with glitter in his hair. that's the best of the two performances. while you're awake, your bleary eyed tweets, texts and e-mails, next. i was afraid you'd have some cut-rate policy. [ kyle ] nope, i've got... [ dennis ] ...the allstate value plan. it's their most affordable car insurance -- and you still get an allstate agent. i too have... [ dennis ] [ roger ] same agent and everything. [ kyle ] it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah, we are. no...we're not. ♪ the allstate value plan. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
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