tv John King USA CNN December 7, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
from around the world. don't forget tomorrow, donald trump will be here in "the situation room." lots to talk about with donald trump. until then, thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening, everyone. remarkably busy news day. tonight in pennsylvania where jerry sandusky was arrested today for a second time. the former penn state football coach taken into custody after six new child sex charges were filed against him. the pennsylvania attorney general said the charges involve two new alleged victims who met sandusky through his charity, the second mile. the total number of alleged victims stands at ten. let's get the latest from sarah ganim, a cnn contributor. sarah, jerry sandusky, arrested again. the judge granted bail but he's still in custody, correct? he's not posted that bail? >> that's right. his attorney said that because the arraignment wasn't until 3:00 today, that he probably
wasn't going to be able to get $250,000 cash or in the form of a bail bondsman ortega-hernandez in the form of property posted so he would be spending night in jail. his attorney wasn't happy about it. he said if jerry sandusky was going to flee, he would have done it a long time ago. he's known he's been under investigation since late 2008 and he's been cooperative. es he offered to turn himself in. he did turn himself back in november when charges were accidentally posted to the state court website and everyone found out he was going to be charged before they planned it. the prosecutors asked for $1 million, they didn't get it psh it was a happy medium. >> the second wave of charges, a case that affects not only jerry sandusky but the penn state community, the college is in a way under investigation. what's the impact in the community of the second wave here? >> well, you know, that's unclear. we just came back from court, however, you know, everyone was
talking about how jerry sandusky was wearing a penn state wrestling track suit to court and that kind of just shows you how much -- how intertwined that case and this scandal is and how people are feeling right now on campus, they can't seem to get away from it, as much as they talk about how this should be about one man or a few men's actions that they feel like this has encompassed the entire university. >> sara, thank you for your time. also a big development in another big investigation, this into bernie fine. remember, he's the former syracuse university basketball coach also accused of sexual misconduct with minors. a district attorney in new york said that although the allegations are credible he cannot bring charges against fine because the statute of limitations has expired. the d.a. will revisit the case if necessary. >> i can't bring bernie fine to justice for what he did to bobby davis and mike lang and if there's other victims, certainly
pursue them to the fullest extent of the law. >> a federal investigation into one allegation. bernie fine says all are false. let's discuss this with a supervisor for the sex crimes unit in broward county florida. let's start with jerry sandusky. the judge, again, granted him bail. is this typical in a case like this that you would have a second wave of allegations and as a prosecutor, would you try to keep him behind bars? >> well, absolutely. i mean i don't think a lot of people are shocked. this is what happens, john in a lot of the high-profile, big pedophile cases. victims initially don't come forward until they hear other victims come forward. i'm sure prosecutors thinking and asking for $1 million bond, it would be tantamount to no bond because it's so high they want this person behind bars because, i bet you there's more to come. these type of allegations could stretch out for a very long time and as more victims hear other
people aren't afraid to come forward, they might come forward. don't be surprised if new allegations surface within the next couple of weeks. >> stacey, shifting to the burny fine case, the d.a. says statute of limitations expired but the charges are credible. do the feds have greater flexibility? >> yeah. lots times that does happen. if the state investigation deceased and the federal investigation might take ov you might have more leverage. legislators are looking to change when allegations come out about sesxual abuse they come back to haunt people later in life. so the legislators are changing the statute of limitations. here the d.a. says it's not credible, let's turn it over to the feds and see if they have anything they can do. >> stacey honowitz, thanks. politics, iowa votes first in 27 days but the competition shifted here to washington for several hours.
six candidates spoke to the republican jewish coalition promising to be better friends to israel, and more. >> we're in a deep funk as people. we are dispirit rited, dejected, we find ourselves in an economic hole with no leadership and no confidence. >> i'm tell you, they don't want me up here. this city is not ready for me. >> an incumbent rarely turns out of the white house and he will resort to anything. as you know, class warfare and demagoguery are powerful, political weapons. >> also in politics, new cnn/time/orc polling shows dramatic gain business newt gingrich. in the first four nominating contests, gingrich big leads in south carolina, iowa, florida and cut deeply into mitt romney's lead in the state of new hampshire. >> i think people are coming to decide that they like substance and they like somebody who
actually has balances the budget, reformed welfare, cut taxes, gotten it done for real. so i think there's probably more resilience in my support than in some of the earlier folks who made a run at this. >> more on those new number and other big campaign news in a few moments. overseas a flab ghasting statement by the syrian president. he says he did not order the bloody crackdown of the nine-month uprising that has left thousands dead. listen to what president assad tells abc's barbara walters. >> we don't kill our people, nobody kill, no government in the world, kill its people unless it's led by crazy person. i became president because of the public support. it's impossible for anyone in this state to give order to kill. >> do you feel guilty? >> i did my best to protect the people, i cannot feel guilty
when you do your best. >> cnn's ivan watson reports, assad's words are met be bluntly by the community. >> reporter: departmesyrian opp activists used terms like delusional, insane, assad is amad man in denial of the situation in syria, all in reaction to his performance in that abc news interview when he denied ever ordering syrian security forces to punish anti-government demonstrators in which he claimed loss enjoy much of the support of the syrian population and in which he also claimed that syrian loyalists to the government were making up the bulk of the more than 40,000 people that have been killed since anti-government protests began last march. now, amid this chorus of criticism and the growing number
of former syrian allies, the arab league, turkey, here, former close political allies that have now imposed sanctions against the syrian government, there is a strong show of support this week from the powerful lebanese shiite movement, hezbollah, where its leader, stood strongly by bashar al assad in a speech he gave in beirut tuesday. meanwhile the bloodletting has not stopped inside syria. fighting raging along the turkish/syrian border according to news sources, the syrian state news agency, and the anti-government militia known as the free syrian army. back to you, john. >> ivan wasson. we turn to cnn national security contributor fran townsend in new york and here in washington, mohammed al abdullah. i want to play more of the
interview. first, barbara walters sitting down with president assad, denying he's the president of the country, he's the strongman who succeeded his father, but ask him about the troops in the military, he says, not my problem. >> do you think that your forces cracked down too hard? >> they are not my forces. they are forces that belong to the government. i don't own them. i'm president. i don't own the country, so they're not my forces. >> but you have to give the order. >> no, no, no. >> not by your command? >> no, no, no. nobody -- no one's command. there was no dmooncommand to ki to be brutal. >> no command given to kill or be brutal. stand by for one more second. back in time, we've been at this for months, he said they're not his troop no command to be given to kill or be brutal. how do they explain this?
we can go back through the videos posted by activists in syria, you clearly see troops, protesters gather, shot upon, mohammed, this is your country. when president assad says, not me, wouldn't do it, i don't control the troops, must make your blood boil. >> he's lying about it. healy he's responsible. constitutionally he's the commander of the armed forces and he's in charge and his brother is in charge and leader of the republican guard taking charge, unit of the army making most of the crackdown in the country. he's in charge of this. he met his own definition of crazy when he lied. that's scary me, he's copying gadhafi interview when christiane amanpour. >> there's denial and delusion. what is the end game for al
assad? can he lie his way and everybody will turn their attention elsewhere? >> no, john, i think the statement is despicable and untrue but it's manipulative. this is classic assad. it's crumbling around him. his arab allies abandoned him. it's beginning to become unglued for him. this is his ability to distance himself from his troops. he saw the discussion unfold, regards libya and holding gadhafi and his son accountable and the international criminal court. as he sees his own control crumbling he doesn't want to be held accountable. i think the statement is dissdee and cowardice. >> happy to add despicable and cowardice to the list that includes lying, reprehensible and more. 4,000 people, at least, killed,
the united nations say, some think the number's higher. fran, you make the point about assad looking around the region and seeing regimes crumble and listen here, he thinks i still have much popular support. >> i don't have problem. both public support, the most important thing. when i feel the public support decline, i won't be here. if they ask or not i shouldn't be here if there's no public support. that's conclusive. >> that's conclusiconclusive. we've seen people for months putting lives at risk, protesting in the stroets. if it happens once or twice you don't know the depth. happens for months and months and people are being tortured, can he say i have the support of the majority of syrians? >> he never had the support. he didn't get elected as he claimed in interview. it's scaring me more, he's adding united nations that partner in the plot and the
conspiracy against syria, and that's a new tone in the syrian government propaganda. none of them think the syrian government responded to the report. he denying that they received the report ever. he's lying. >> he's lying. we could say that without a doubt. thanks for coming? is your justice department and your tax dollars, are they part of operations designed to crack down on drug trade in mexico that in the end are helping the smugglers? to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
is an agency of the united states government using its power and your money to help mexican drug cartels launder millions in profits? that allegation being made against the drug enforcement administration as part of its program to track and crack the drug money trail. it's similar how it operates to how the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms permitted the operation through fast and furious, designed to learn more about cart operations. congress is investigating fast and furious. the man leading that investigation is congressman
daryl issa. mr. chairman, thank you for your time tonight. you sent this scathing letter to the attorney general asking questions about this program. he was supposed to brief your committee tonight and he's to testify tomorrow. have they sent any materials up to you on this day that calms you down a bit and answers some questions? >> not yet at all. as a matter of fact, "the new york times" report, which is very disturb, seems to be following the same pattern as senator grassley discovered a year ago, that's a denial and delay. they're saying there's nothing to brief and refusing to brief us. as you noted, tomorrow we'll have the attorney general back, primarily to explain how he gave less than factual information, some would say false, or he lie but clearly told us he didn't know about the program when he did. he described weeks when in fact it was months that he knew about fast and furious and did nothing to really bring that to congress' proper oversight. >> let me read from your letter.
the existence of a program again calls your leadership into question. the managerial structure you have implemented lacks appropriate operational safeguards to prevent implementation of dangerous schemes. consequences have been disastrous. i want to, mr. chairman, address your answer to a democrat out there who says, here's a republican on a witch hunt trying to gett eric holder. why he's not competent to be the top law enforcement officer. >> as you might know, i have not called for his resignation, i've raised concerns about eric holder, lanny brewer, burke who did step down, wine stein, a number of other, hoover, a number of other individual that we've found knew about the program and failed to stop it. we're not looking for politic al pointes or career professionals we're looking for many points in which a program destined to fail
was put together and continued on for a long time, leading to the death of brian terry and clearly in the neighborhood of 200 people in mexico have died with the weapons, and more will die. it's the safeguards. it's the management. is eric holder ultimately accountable? yes. do i have confidence in him? no. understand there's other safeguards that failed and our responsibility to the democrats, as you said, is to make sure the justice department fixes these, not for this administration, but for any administration. there should have been career professionals who put a stop to this, not just political appointees. >> talk about the money laundering case. a yes or no question. in theory, it's a good idea for our justice department, our cops, to be trying to learn as much as they can about what the bad guys are doing and potentially getting involved in things like this, yes or no? >> yes. >> in those case, what do you think went wrong? i want to read you from "the new york times" article. a former dea agent says, you're trying to do this with a small
amount of money as you can but they tell you to bring $250,000 and they bring you $1 million, what's the agent to do then? tell them, no? they'll kill him. you're trying to use a small amount but it takes more, in my language, to play, is that okay? >> the real question is not how many dollars, it's how long do you let. >> go on? when do you roll up the intermediaries and use them, flip them if you will, to on your operatives. those techniques are known by law enforcement. the answer is you try to make sure no money new york guns, no drugs leave your control and, more importantly, you use people that you have credible indictable evidence against to turn them to help you go up the complain because ultimately you need insiders, people who have flipped. that process, we have oversight on judiciary and make sure it works. when you have an out of control program like fast and furious,
2000 weapons went walking with no trace ability waiting to be found at scene of murders, that shows they didn't use good law enforcement techniques and nobody put a stop to it. is there a fine line of when do you use some of these things and track them? of course. we don't want to tie the hands of law enforcement. but when you see these kinds of abuses and then a coverup, the american people have to ask, where are the safeguards, both with career professionals and politic al pointes. that's our responsibility to do and we're hoping the attorney general begins to cooperate where up until now justice has been delaying and denying. >> you have a lot of questions about niece programs and you've uncovered a lot of things that are wrong about the programs. set the ska scales in terms of fast and furious and now this money laundering program, designed to track and learn about the cartels, on balance has the united states gained l valuable information and hurt the cartels or are the tax dollars going the way in which
the drug lords are benefiting? >> the weapons represented a net gain, huge amount, one straw buyer bought 700 that passed into the hands of the cartel far more than one would say you need to prove a case. the problem is, on balance, we are no better off in the war on drugs than we were at the start of this and there have been no big wrap-ups of major cartels as a result of either of the programs. having said that, again, we don't want to tie the hands of law enforcement. we want these safeguards to be in place and when attorney general eric holder say his wasn't informed, we have to ask, why is it all of his lieutenants close around him, number one, two, three, lieutenant loots were actively involved? eric holder say his didn't know and there's not so much one e-mail going from any individuals turned over to the torng th attorney general that we've been provided, it looks like he's out of touch, and that's an important distinction. >> we'll track the questioning
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the poll but was she has faded since. look at this, new cnn/time/iowa poll, in fifth place with support from 7% of likely caucusgoers. new numbers from the first four states on the republican calendar reinforce her recent struggles. fifth in iowa, fifth in new hampshire, fourth in south carolina, with 6% in support, and fourth in florida but with 3% of the likely republican vote. can the conservative and tea party favorite turn things around? congresswoman bachmann nice enough to be with us tonight. good to see you. a fundamental question. we're less than four weeks from iowa voting. if you come in fifth place in iowa, that is the end? >> well, in every race i've ever had, people have always said she's never going to do it, and i've won. they've all been nightmare races but i've ended up winning. people said i couldn't win the iowa straw poll, i won. we'll be surprised january 3rd. this has been a political wall street where you see one candidate up and then down. we think we're perfectly poised
to be in the top spot by january 3rd. >> you believe you can win eye? >> i think we can. that's what we're intending to do. >> where is your line if you don't? top three continue or fourth or fifth is that the end? >> we are concerned with winning. so we're focused on the slift and the deck reshuffle this weekend on saturday with herman cain and now seeing drat dmatic support. >> you can tell from your comments getting tough bar speaker gingrich and governor romney that you seem surprises that a year after the tea party made its name, that you have these two conservatives, yes, but not what you describe, i think, as tea party, grassroots conservatives at top of the pack. listen to something you said yesterday on fox. >> they're the great preternds, they're trying to pretend, talk, and walk like conservatives when they hardly have a conservative record and they have a serious problem on obama care, among a lot of other issues. they were the father and the grandfather of the obama care
legislation. >> there have been debate after debate after debate, the candidates have been to iowa and governor romney's case, nor new hampshire, the voters have had a lot of chances to look at these candidates, to hear them, hear the critiques like that in the debates in the back and forth yet speaker gingrich by far leading the pack in polls and governor romney by far leading second in the polls. >> this isn't over by a long shot. we have 70% of the american people unsure and they're paying attention, dialling in now, looking to see who is the true core conservative in this in race. there's no political surprises with me. absolutely none. people want to know who their champion will be who can debate barack obama and take him on, i can shred his radical policies in the debate and i've proved myself and i'll be the best one to defeat him in 2012. >> to what you do contribute the success of newt? >> he's very good at using the
conservative language but his record completely belies his los angeles. no one has been more the epitome of washington, d.c., insider than newt gingrich. he's taken over $100 million for influence pedalling in washington, d.c. his office is located on the rodeo drive of washington, which is k street, and he's taken over $1.6 million to influence senior republicans to keep the big mess that freddie mac going. i was trying to shut it down. on a whole host of issues, he's wrong on immigration, he's wrong on global warming, wrong on the 700 billion bailout. he was wrong on libya. on issue after issue, his positions have hardly been conservative. he's had more in common with barr than he has with the conservatives. that's not what we can have for our fom any. >> talk about the president. he gave a big speech yesterday, it's a defining speech. i'll give the president this one, he was right, not my job to pick the prescription but was setting out the defining
challenge of our time, he said, helping the middle class actually think if you work hard and play by the rules you can do better. he thinks your party has it wrong. let's listen. >> we simply cannot return to this brand of you're on your own economics if we're serious about rebuilding the middle class in the country. >> in august, in front of a tea party crowd in seouth carolina you said we believe, unlike warren buffett taxes are high enough, meaning don't raise taxes. you told the associated press, i think people who can afford to pay more need to pay more. which is it? >> well, what it is is growing the economy. and what i said by that, i intend to abolish the tax code. i'm a federal tax litigation attorney. i want to abolish the tax code. if you are middle class or lower middle class, people who are upper income, need to pay at least the same rate as people who are middle or lower. they can't pay less. today we have unequal rates and people who are wealthier,
sometimes are getting away with paying less because the tax code is all about special interests. and what i want to do is have the tax code apply the same to everyone. that's very different. i want to tax code that will have equal treatment under the law, that's not what we have today. but barack obama is calling for is more intervention by government in the economy. he doesn't know how to grow the economy. he doesn't know how to create jobs. i do. i'm a job creator myself. i'm a successful private businesswoman and a trial -- a federal trial lawyer on taxes. i get what we need to do in changing the economy and that's what i'll do. >> i want to play the video that's received move than 2.4 million hits on youtube. >> but she doesn't need any fixing. >> take me back to that moment. the boy said, my mommy is gay but doesn't need fixing.
>> i wrote a new book. and a woman came up with a little boy who looked to be about 8 years of age and he was whispering to me, i couldn't hear him, i leaned down closer, i still couldn't hear him, i leaned down closer, this boy was looking down at his toes. he didn't want to say what he was put up to say. and i just think it's reprehensible when someone uses a child to advance a political gain. that's what was going on at book signing. i'd never do that one-to-one of my children and it's unfortunate this poor little boy was use in that way. >> what's your message to him and his mom? >> i believe in equal treatment for all americans and i think that's what we need to have and respect for each other. family is very important. i'm very unashamed. i believe that we should all be allowed to have our opinions respected and i stand for marriage, marriage between a man and a woman. >> thank you. >> thank you. update on the infamous
into welcome back. here's latest news you need to know now. the former governor of illinois rod blagojevich, sentenced to 14 years in prison for his convict, he tried to sell barack obama's former senate seat. he must report within 90 days. the morning after pill will remain prescription only for girls under 17.
kathleen sebelius overruled a food and drug administration recommendation that the pill, plan b 1 step, be available without a preparation to all sexually active girls. 20-year-old georgia man arrested and charged with murdering 7-year-old rivera. he works at the girl's apartment complex. he's scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow. our number as we prepare to return to politics, tonight's number, 8,697. that, according to reed wilson of the hot line publication, number of campaign ads aired in iowa at this point. seems look a lot, right? tack a peek. if you go back four years, by this point, 26,000-plus ads. remember, one the campaign four years ago started earlier. number two, you've had not only a republican nomination at play, you had the democratic contest as well. local tv stations in iowa not
making the money they made back then. when we come back, we'll go state by state and show you just why newt gingrich right now is without a doubt this -- the republican front-runner. we've saved people a lot of money on car insurance. feels nice going into the holidays. ohhhh.... will you marry me? oooh, helzberg diamonds. yeah, well he must have saved some money with geico. reminds me of the gecko mating call. really? how does that go?
wouds be a candidate for the republican nomination is in iowa. arriving, speaking on behalf of mitt romney. we'll be talking about that, breaking that down live as he speaks. we did the math on something that shocked us, john, about child abuse in america. we'll break that down for you, plus, very excited about this, a dark horse candidate announcing their candidacy for president on our show tonight. that's coming up exclusively top of the hour. back to you. >> can't wait to find out. we'll be watching. thank you. and erin noted governor christie's out in iowa for mitt romney. if you think governor romney's the front-runner, give me a and i bet you'll change your mind. four new polls, cnn, "time" magazine, orc, iowa votes first, newt gingrich 33, governor romney, 20, ron paul 17, everybody else in single digits, 13-point lead for newt gingrich in iowa. new hampshire next, governor romney led here for ever. look how much gingrich cut into
the lead, 35/26. ron paul third at 1. everybody in single digit. romney leading in new hampshire. south carolina votes third. look at this, more than 2-1, gingrich, 43, romney, 20, everyone else in single digits. florida votes fourth. look here. 48%, romney 25. almost 2-1 there for newt gingrich and one more time, everyone in single digits. back through the states. go back, take a look, see why gingrich is without a doubt the front-runner. overall support there, 33% in iowa. he's getting 31% of the very important organized evangelical vote in the state of iowa, ron paul next, mitt romney there. that's an important number for newt gingrich. peep we people were sus pick. new hampshire, conservative voters, romney and gingrich splitting the conservative vote, the reason romney's ahead, doing much bet ar among moderate to
liberals in new hampshire. keep an eye on that. move on to south carolina, again, evangelicals a critical constituency among born again christians, gingrich 48-18% but holding his own, winning among those who say they are not evangelicals. 39-26, the depth of his support is across the party. it's not a niche for gingrich. here one more in florida, you see the same thing happening among conservatives. that's the question who will emerge as the conservative al turnive to mitt romney? that's the question among the primaries. . conservative republicans in florida, geingrich, 54, romney, 23. one last caveat, iowa votes first. this is florida, more than half of the voters might change their mind. numbers are similar in south carolina, in new hampshire. gingrich is without a doubt ahead. iowa will change things. but let's take a closer look now, dig deeper with mary matalin and our cnn contributor
david frum and michael crowley. mary, someone who has taken candidates from the process, not only is gingrich ahead in three of the four states, deep into the poll, where are his weaknesses when you look at incomes, the evangelicals and nonevangelicals, his support is consistent and solid which makes it hard to get at him, no? >> right. weaknesses don't pop out, his strength pops out. he's the first of the at bms, anybody but mits, to consolidate, not just conservatives but to consolidate across the continuum of conservatives. and on the right issues. number one issue is economics and they're all for them. what he did today, we all saw him earlier with wolf, we talked about this last night, we're on icarus watch. we saw today his wings are not
wax. he's doing everything he needs to do. remember about iowa that never shows up in the commentaries, they don't -- they're very civil people. they're sophisticated people. when the instinct for these campaigns is going to be going to it on attack in the final three weeks, iowans don't like that. >> let's fall on these points. you make the icarus comparison. a week ago, newt gingrich spoke to jake tapper of abc and said i'm going to be the nominee and we saw that self-importance many would think would be his undoing. listen to gingrich being more humble when wolf blitzer asked him you're going to be the nominee, right? >> no, i think -- look, i was way down here, now i'm up here i know you can go back down here. we have a lot of work to do. with the next four weeks in iowa, then a real rush in new hampshire, then on to south carolina then on to florida and
nevada. all of those within about a month. so i think if we have a little interview after nevada, we'll have a better sense of how real it is and of what's happening. >> michael, one of the big things to watch, if you covered newt pack in the day, and i did, he was combustible, he got the feel he was here to save western civilizati civilization. here he self-corrects. >> a remarkable show of restraint. if he can keep that up, he could be golden. that's the test. he's his own worst enemy. nothing he can do about his long record of dramatic statements that he's made over the past self-years in the house of representatives. there's a long list of frankly some of them are wacky things he's said. if he can maintain that disposition and demeanor, it will be harder to beat the newt that he's cleaning up after once a day. >> does it stun you to see -- it's not a rally, perry had it, bachmann had it cain had.
newt has it way more than anyone had it. >> take me completely aback. your problem with mitt romney he's been on many different sides or two sides of many different issues newt gingrich has been on more sides of more issues than anybody in this race. but what newt gingrich is offering people is a high conflict candidacy and a high conflict presidency. it's hard to believe that anyone who is so vehement on a position today could have been just as vehement a week ago where on the opposite side mitt romney because he's milder manners, yeah, i imagine he once said exactly the opposite. gingrich it blows you out the water. it's a high conflict candidacy against president obama, it's a high conflict presidency if he makes it. that's something i think should give republicans pause. >> you've made him the nominee. mitt romney spent so much time on barack obama, here's his news ad in iowa. this is about gingrich. >> i think people understand that i'm a man of steadiness and
consten si. i don't think you'll find somebody who has more of those attributes than i do. i've been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me, 42 years. i will be true to my family to my faith and to our and to our country. i'll never apologize for the united states of america. i'm mitt romney and a prove this mess aej. >> speaker gingrich is on his third marriage. evangelical volterters are impot in iowa. >> i suspect everyone that's run at this level has had some levels at some point. other than christ, nobody is flawless. you have to decide, in my case i'm 68 years old. i have a very strong marriage, as you know. i'm very close to my two daughters. we have two wonderful grandchildren in maggie and robert who are my debate coaches. and people have to look at all that and decide is he now a person who's matured and who i'm comfortable having lead the country. >> mary, does that answer the
ad? >> the ad was not initially constructed to attack newt. it was constructed to defend mitt, his weekness being inconsistency. he is trying to make a point. i'm consistent. i'm a consistent human being. so you're going to have to translate my life consistency into my -- to make up for my record deficiency. but there's nothing in your polls, john, there is nothing that wave seen. you just read the evangelical numbers. newt's baggage is just not an issue for the constituency for whom one would expect that it would be. and his catholic conversion requires a very deep self-examination. we've known him for two decades. he's finally happily married. he's financially secure. he's exuding the maturity that he wants us to think that he has. i think he does have it.
>> so how then if romney is going to get him, bring him down, what is the issue debate, the specific issue or issues where if you were advising romney you would say here is the way to get the speaker? >> his features are really bogus. the question of newt's financial security, that is a bug. how did' chief that financial security? he didn't create a company that did real goods and services. he was a lobbyist in all but selling access. if the question of constancy outside of marriage, the big knock on mitt romney is he used to be for health care mandate, now he is sort of against it. well, newt gingrich used to be for that same health care mandate. it's going to be those same complex of issues. but i think the real question if i were advising mitt romney i would say is the question republicans want to know is do you want to make this recollection an referendum on the clinton presidency? nominating newt gingrich means you're going that. you're putting bill clinton on
the ballot and he's real popular right now. >> when you look at these numbers in our new poll, we had such a race. donald trump was the alternative and then bachmann and cain. when you dig deep here, though, i used the word volatility. i'll still say today i'm not sure the voters won't give us another surprise or two. fwhut is very different than it was as we get closer to the votes. iowa votes in 27 days. it seems like there's a hardening at the race, after months of volatility, right? >> yes and no. another number that really struck me throughout the four state polls and every one between 48 to 55% said they're not certain. they may change their mind. that said, to your point, i think to some degree what we're seeing is not a coalescing around newt but the people that are finallyealizing i don't want mitt romney. if there was a sense before this newt surge that everyone is saying now it's going to be romney? i think there is a rejection of that. to some degree, it's not a
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it can be easy to assume the republican nomination battle boils down to gingrich versus romney. but given all the volatility, voters could have another surprise in store. rick perry wants to be that surprise. he wants to be this campaign's come back kid. his new iowa tv ad telegraphs the strategy. >> i'm not ashamed to admit that i'm a christian. you don't need to be in the pe wuchlt every sunday to know there is something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate christmas or pray in school. >> there is a little desperation there and also logic. more than half of the voters described themselves as evangelicals or born again christians. but here's tonight's truth. i don't see rick perry as this cycle's mike huckabee. things feel very this time around. the evangelical vote is split.
among this group, he has to worry about those who trail him and those who are ahead of him. michelle bachmann and rick santorum, for example, get 9% and 7% of the he vevangelical v respectively. the rules of the caucus does allow horse trading. forget the pun, governor perry may yet have a prayer. but truth is, this is another area where getting into the race so late hurt him. senator santorum, for example, has been in the homes and churches of people supporting him. he knows their names. governor perry is playing catchup in the retail politics department. and that's the looking over the shoulder perspective. if he looks at the candidates in fron front of him, governor perry will see those in line with the electorate, more for gingrich, and a modest but solid block for ron paul. candidates that made persuasive cases on the economy or debates are atop the pack. governor perry is running short of time to prove himself on