tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC January 8, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EST
rs? uh-uh. a superhero? ♪ kinda. [ male announcer ] and we think that's the best prize of all. ♪ [captioning made possible by nbc universal] >> from manchester, new hampshire, this is a special edition of "the chris matthews show." today -- >> chris: mitt romney does ok with republican voters but they're just not that crazy about him. they'll spend some time with him but aren't ready for marriage. do they want more time or wish someone else had come along? is mitt the luckiest man in the america? can you win the presidency without breaking a sweat? in a year like this with rivals like there, maybe you can. will ron paul's liberty-loving fans drive him to run third party? even if that means barack obama
wins? has paul got what ralph nader had? with us today, "new york magazine"'s john heilemann, nbc news' andrea mitchell, the "washington post"'s nia-malika henderson and "the huffington post"'s howard fineman. if mitt romney wins in new hampshire, this would be the first time a republican has ever won the first two, iowa and new hampshire. but he still can't win those who call themselves very conservative. just 14% of them voted for him in iowa. that enthusiasm gap is a young problem for republicans this fall. they're asking themselves what would it look like if the republican convention come tampa time with the more moderate romney accepting the nomination? would republicans by rallying
around him or dying inside? howard, that's the question. what would it feel like for a mostly tea party, conservative republican party, angry at obime with all kinds of attitude and gut feeling to put a guy like mitt romney on the stage who's so cool and unseemingly conservative? >> first of all, never would victory seem more boring. second, a lot of diplomacy would take place before the convention. if mitt romney wraps this up fairly early you'll be seeing diplomatic missions to the tea party, from the cull clurl right. from him. he'll be having discussions. bringing people aboard. chris: but he's not one of them. >> mitt romney will have the best of corporate america to sell it. chris: whatever his politics >> he has the temperament of a moderate. he was a moderate in massachusetts. will there be any love there in
tampa? >> let's just remember michael due contactas. you have boring candidates who go on and win the nomination but then they lose the election. if you don't project some sort of penalty and authenticity -- if this could be the almost coronation of mitt romney after new hampshire. at the same time, santorum's rise inive was not just shoe leatherer. despite wrong answers and getting off message, he has that authentic quality and that has drawn some people to him. we're seeing all the momentum with him. that is hurting huntsman and others. chris: i agree, santorum has some potential. but rom any is mormon. i don't think he know the indication but it is tricky
territory. there are a lot of advertises for the mormon church in georgia and places like this is coming in relatively boring like he is a smart move? >> yes, i think initially it will be a smart movement howard 234e7ksed he's going to be making outreach to the tea party. he's done that, nikki haley by his side. the endorsement of kristine o'donnell. chris: i'm not a witch. is that a curse? just kidding. >> but one of the fend mental questions -- i'm a southern, from south carolina. one of the fend mental questions southerners often have is who are your people? who are you and why are you here? those are the questions that mitt romney is going to have to answer. who is he, why is he here? chris: so he can't be a stealth candidate down there? >> no but he is going to have to tap in to that sort of churchy, folksy culture down
there and hopefully -- >> churchy and folksy -- chris: that opens up an opportunity. i can think of a guy who's churchy and folksy, rick santorum. who can -- we're looking here from sunday before the new hampshire primary this weekend. we're up here in new hampshire. who has the potential to be the unromney? >> right now there are two credible conservative candidates who could give romney a run in south carolina. rick santorum and newt beginning rim -- gingrich. rick perry has been decimated and michele bachmann is out. after new hampshire we're going to know. if santorum's momentum carryings him forward and he does reasonably well here and gingrich is left kind of for dead, you could imagine the right coalescing around santorum, gingrich trying to
throw himself on top of romney to blow him up and son tournament consolidating a solid conservative movement. chris: when would that happen? >> there are only 11 days between new hampshire and south carolina. if one of them does not betemit romney in south carolina, he's the one. there's no stopping him. so it's a must-win state. not for romney. but for the conservative movement that wants to stop romney, if they can't one of their guys to beat him in south carolina, the race is over. chris: my experience tells me that the phenomenon is always waiting around the corner. at some point, romney may make a mistake. he's not perfect. he may do something or something in his past will erupt. >> the key fact is that i'm guessing, maybe not 75% of republican voters are against him, but, you know, at least
2/3 really don't want to vote for him. they may have to because they may have no choice. chris: the meter is going to clear this up. 12 of our regulars. will republicans get more enthusiastic for romney as he gets closer to clinching it or will he get there without ever exciting republicans? eight say he gets it without enthusiastic voters. four say that enthusiasm will rise as he gets closer. andrea, you're with the eight who says this guy is going to cruise into port and no excitement. >> he's got babe buchanan now on his side. alvaro: she's been with him for 400 year,. >> but herself trying to bring in the conservatives. no, he won't generate excitement, but if he can eliminate mistakes and run this huge super tanker going south, yeah, he can nail it down. the advantage he has is that they are still divided.
the conservatives are divided guest him. rick perry has $4 million to spend. he's look fog clean up his record. chris: everybody has been dumping on the prospect of mitt romney ever getting charisma. do you believe at some point he'll ariza the republican party? >> in politics nothing excites people more than winning and the prospect of watching him, if he does, roll from primary to primary, winning state after state, especially if, as i believe will be the case, the economy stays bad. mitt romney continues to show he's competitive with president obama. >> john is right. as -- at some pint, practicality kicks in. i've talked to ron paul supporters who said that they would even vote for romney. i think at some point beating the president looks better than -- chris: i think we've all met
mitt romney. you have, right? >> yes. chris: in person i wouldn't say he's a razz ma as the, but he is warm and pleasant. that does not come across on the two. when does that come across? >> i don't know how that works. i mean, we saw him in iowa in his sort of non-victory speech that night. you saw santorum being very warm and meaningful -- chris: i got a better question. and the question is, this is a setup for the liberals and progressives watching right now. who's going to run the more exciting campaign come snove? mitt romney, if he wins the nomination, or president barack obama? >> there was a terminator movie called "the rise of the machine" and that's what this is going to be. two production-value operations with two cool guys atop the
structure. chris: who turns them on better? >> obama was no-drama o bill: in 2008 and i think that's what romney is going to be this time. chris: how about this time? >> more of the same. >> it can be polished, they'll rely on social media, but barack obama i think can turn on a charm factor and do something with a big crowd that romney has jet -- yet to show. >> and test still a symbol. >> all i see is both of them -- howard, i think, is right. two cool guys with two campaigns running incredibly negative flash and burn campaigns against each other. i don't think you're going to get any uplift. chris: you're writing a book about this campaign and once you've written it and published it it will suddenly look like a exciting campaign, won't it? >> there have been vicious campaigns that have been exciting but i don't think they'll be uplifting. >> what's going to make it
exciting and give the drive to it is the combat, as john says. if it's romney, then he'll be able to celled bli say i'm going to beat that evil barack obama. >> chris: will 2 fisticuffs make it interesting? >> i think so. but there are still lots of people who love barack obama and i think he'll tap into that easily. chris: new hampshire identities are known for their license plates, live free or die. the tiny hamlet of dixville has been the first of the country and ever since, the handful of locals have turned in their ballots at the stroke of 12:00. back in 1980. incomes's steve delaney filed this report. >> it may be the equivalent of the orackle as deafify. all the sages have to come here because it's part of the
american mythology of politics. the myth is that the republicans always pick the winner that their primaries and -- primaries and here they are, all of them. the political gurus of outermost new hampshire. programs the most spoiled electorate in the country. chris: despite all the fanfare, the process takes only a minute or two. here it is in 1976. >> of the 25 voters, 15 are republicans and 120 are democrats. at the stroke of midnight -- >> my watch says 12:00 -- >> with the nation's media watching, the g.o.p. cast 11 votes for gerald ford and four votes for ronald reagan. the democrats split. six for jimmy carter and one each for birdal, birch and morris jackson and one
write-invote. neil till son, who happens to own the hotels where most of the voters work, says the tally isn't necessarily a preview of the new hampshire outcome. >> we've been wrong. >> so dixville notch has won again, as it has every primary since 1960. the moderator says it's a bunch of nonsense but fun. chris: you love that, don't you? >> yes, plus they were right in 1976. chris: pretty smart voters. it's performance art but we can expect the same voters. this time there are nine current voters, four independents, four republicans and two democrats all of dixville. they're going to show up at midnight monday night. and is there a real chance ron paul might run as a third party candidate? would that hand it to barack obama? a third-party bid by ron -- by
chris: welcome back. ron paul keeps getting asked whether he'll go third party once he's done his best in the republican race. he's cranky, independent. his stand aloneness against big government, reminds people of ross perot. >> the people on the hill are nearly hysterical because the budget isn't going up as rapidly as they want it to. it's a road to disaster. >> we are sitting on a ticking bomb, folks, because we have totally mismanaged our country, and we had better get it back under control. craig: as you can see, perot qualified the stand with president bush and bill clinton
in those televised events in the 1982 election. that was a main factor in getting perot 19%. this may have tilted the election to bill clinton that year since perot was wildlier canned to take many votes from ronald reagan. >> i was struck in iowa the number of times i heard ron paul talk in a group about how he saw similarities between occupy wall street and the tea party that there was a dime's worth of difference between the republican and democrat party. his impulse is a libertarian and i think he'll seriously weigh this question and if he decides to run he could be a huge problem for the republican nominee. chris: can he get the 15% that gets him in that debate? >> i think he could. he seems of a to have a ceiling at around 20. i think he could beat 1, 20%.
i think he could make that run. unless he's worried about messing -- with his son rand paul's chances for some future national stance -- chris: a lot of the people who love him are young. the debate arbitrarily says 15%er -- or you deponent get into the debit the -- debate. can he do that? >> absolutely. his supporters could be called arab you had. ron paul has been able to increase his support in a way that not even mitt romney has. he's doubled it in iowa, growing in south carolina. chris: will somebody else run? somebody from the america elects group? >> i think it's quite possible. i think if the nominees are barack obama and mitt romney, that does seem like the establishment personified and all the young and disaffected people are going to be looking
for a way to send a message to the entire system and we're in a situation where you could have a third and even a fourth party contender. chris: if paul runs does that hurt the republican candidate? >> yes. >> yes, but i do this the democrats are affected also. >> a little bit more. this looks like harry truman,
i just had it with cable. it just got more frustrating and frustrating. a lot of times, the picture would break up. for the amount of money that i am paying, my cable company should take care of me. [ male announcer ] stop paying for second best. move up to verizon fios tv, internet and phone for our best price online -- just $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years. first time we saw tv on fios was amazing! i was just in a trance watching it. i'm discovering new channels every day. [ male announcer ] and here's a special bonus: sign up now and get $300 back with a two-year contract. fios internet -- the speed, you can't compare.
i'm able to take care of things much faster now. [ male announcer ] start saving now. move up to fios for our best price online -- $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years and get $300 back with a two-year contract. or ask us about the option of no annual contract. is change good? in this case, change is very good. [ male announcer ] visit verizon.com/greatprice. contact the verizon center for customers with disabilities that's verizon.com/greatprice. at 800-974-6006 tty/v. fios. a network ahead. chris: welcome back from new hampshire. john, "tell me something i don't know." >> a lot of people have forecast that rick santorum could have a high ceiling here in new hampshire because of the pat buchanan analogy. chris: and he won here in 19 the -- 19 6, did pat. >> there are not as many blue-collar voters as there were back when pats was winning and i think that holds rick
santorum back. >> but the rise since iowa has hurt john huntsman as the roll any alternative. it will be all over if he does not do substantially better. >> the big takeaway for democrats outs of iowa is they feel like that romney, in going so far to the right in immigration, could mean that in a general if it's romney, they could get 75% of the latino vote. obama got about 6% last time and that could be the difference in the election. chris: does this push the case on mark rubio? >> it does but it is difficult to sell his stance on immigration. >> romney went to the rights on immigration to destroy newt and that may hurts him in the general. african-american democrats are a category that barack obama is going to have to do a lot of diplomacy work with on his own.
i talked to one of the leading african-american publics of the and she said that barack obama, by ignoring black politicians around the country has a lot of repair work to do. chris: was that maxine waters? >> it wasn't. chris: when we come back, will mitt romney's argument about barack obama being over his word -- head work if the economy is still improving this fall?
improves dramatically. he'll stick with it as long as he can. >> still works. they predicted 8%. economists expects it will bump up before it comes down again. >> yes, i think he'll make that same argument. he's betting on the facts that the mood of the country is still pretty depressed. i do think at some point he's going to have to be careful of this idea that he's laid off a lot of people in his own record. >> he's going to stick to that argument because that's the only rationale that romney has for his candidacy, whatever the numbers are. chris: he's a one-trick pony? >> it's a good trick in a bad economy. chris: well said. thanks for a great round table. john heilemann, andrea mitchell, nia-malika henderson, and howard fineman. that's the show from new hampshire. thanks for watching. we'll see you again next week. [captioning made possible by
nbc universal] it just got more frustrating and frustrating. a lot of times, the picture would break up. for the amount of money that i am paying, my cable company should take care of me. [ male announcer ] stop paying for second best. move up to verizon fios tv, internet and phone for our best price online -- just $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years. first time we saw tv on fios was amazing! i was just in a trance watching it. i'm discovering new channels every day. [ male announcer ] and here's a special bonus: sign up now and get $300 back with a two-year contract. fios internet -- the speed, you can't compare. i'm able to take care of things much faster now. [ male announcer ] start saving now. move up to fios for our best price online -- $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years and get $300 back with a two-year contract. or ask us about the option of no annual contract. is change good? in this case, change is very good.
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