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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 26, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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>> i think some of the crowd behind us has taken his advice. i got the two-word version of no, which was career ending. that was what the management said on that one. we'll see you tomorrow. a little more than an hour away from the big debate here in florida. here to get you warmed up, erin burnett "outfront" starts right burnett "outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com thanks so much. we're just one hour away from the last debate before the crucial florida primary. candidates are arriving now. what do they need to do to win tonight? mitt romney and newt gingrich in a virtual dead heat. no love lost between those two if you haven't been watching, the question is, will one get the knockout punch tonight? and one of the big issues in this state. housing. some bad news today. we've got the ceo of one of the largest homebuilders here tonight. let's go "outfront."
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good evening. tonight, we are live from jacqu jacksonville, florida. site of the cnn republican debate, which is just an hour away. the race between mitt romney and newt gingrich is really tied here. it's a big night. and issue number one for voters here, the housing crisis. no doubt florida residents felt the sting of this headline today. sales down 2.2% in december. may surprise you. no, and florida is one of the worst hit states in the country when it comes to housing. one in every 360 homes in this state received a foreclosure notice last month and almost half of mortgages are under water. you look at orlando, down 60%. they have fallen by more than half and miami and in tampa. in most cases, where there's a housing problem, there is an
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unemployment problem. and no place more so than here in florida. construction drives everything here and the jobless rate is at 9.9%, well above the national average of 8.5%. all of this playing out in the campaign here. romney and gingrich attacking each other for profit frg the crisis. >> while florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, newt gingrich cashed in. he was paid over $1.6 million by the agency that helped to create the crisis. >> this guy owns freddie mac and fannie mae stock. this guy owns gold man stax. this guy's surrounded by lobbyists and he's running an ad? >> stewart miller is the ceo of one of the largest homebuilders in the united states, the le nar corporation in miami. his company has a major presence here, california and nevada. those are the top three states hit hard by the crisis. and he's on our out front strike
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team, a group of entrepreneurs and investors we check in with regularly. thank you so much for coming here. i know you're based in miami. coming up here to jacksonville. we get the data today. the part of the reason we saw the pain in the housing market. is it over? is it going to start to improve? you're in a state where the average home is down 50% in price. >> you've recited a lot of the bad data. what we're starting to see in the field out in our communities, not only in florida, but across the country is we're starting to see a fundamental recovery. fundamentally strong and driven by free market focus and what we're starting to see the stabilization that we think ultimately leads to recovery. and the fund mamentals driving are the fact that home price iss are low. interest rates are low and rental rates are starting to move up. so the comparison between the
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two is favorable for force out housing. demand is just sarting to come back. >> and we've had some federal programs to help here. let me just play a sound bite from mitt romney back in october. what he had to say. here he is. >> don't try and stop the foreclosure process. let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix up the homes and let it come up. >> so, mitt romney saying don't stop the foreclosure process. let it go ahead. a lot of people said at the least, not understanding of the pain regular people have gone through. is it your view we're going to see prices go up? >> i think the most important thing is we start to see stabilization because prices have been cascading downward for a long time. stabilization is what we're starting to see in our markets as far as mitt romney's
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statement, we clearly have to see the past foreclosures, defaults, make their way through the marketplace and ultimately, we need to clear the inventory out there. whether it's by letting foreclosures take place or turning some of these loans into rental homes, we need to get that inventory off the market. >> the question is, do we need more help? your industry was -- you wanted help. you guys were lobbying, wanted help. but do you need more from the government or have you had enough? do we need another program from the president or need to hear another program from a gop candidate? >> i think the most important is to let market forces work and do no harm. but that means we've got low interest rates, but people aren't able to take advantage of it. we have to enable them to get appraisals that matter and mortgage approvals.
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right now, the pendulum has swung too far. we can't take fannie, freddie, fha out of the market at the time we may need them the most. >> obviously, this has become a center of a lot of the figing we're seeing between newt gingrich and mitt romney. newt gingrich oh, well, you were paid by fannie and freddie and that has become a shorthand for you were a bad guy. are they bad? >> fannie and freddie, whether they're good or bad, they're an integral part of our housing system right now. >> can't shoot them down. >> because you take demand out of the system when we need it most. most importantly, if we believe we've got to get the government out of financing, let's do it on a transitional basis. slowly, methodically and only when we have a private mortgage market ready to take the helm in a wake of a government walk way
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wa. >> rick santorum was just arriving. the candidates are arriving over the next few minutes to get the final preparations. final question here in florida, we talk about 350,000 construction jobs lost in the state since the peak. it's a state that relies on property tax. the state's running a deficit. governor wants to cut another close to 7,000 jobs i believe. are you going to start to sea that improve? are you going to start to see hiring at all in construction in florida over the next six months? might be the most important question if barack obama wins the state. >> it's not just about florida, it's the whole country. if we want the economy to stabilize, we're going to have to see housing come back, stabilize and recover. remember, pricing in housing drives consumer confidence and building in housing drives jobs. not just in florida, but across the country. watch for housing recovery and we'll see stabilization. >> and your bottom line, we are starting to see it. >> as long as we don't pull the
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rug out from under. >> we'll bring in john avlon, interesting, john, more optimistic than most would expect especially when you look at the drops in this state. >> absolutely and that's good news for the state, for the country. if it continues, it could be good for the president. but here's the short-term problem. saying things have hit their bottom doesn't give people a lot of confidence when they're feeling the pain and frustration. yes, the state saw its rate go from 5% in january 2008 to 12% in the summer of 2010. the people who feel under water, who have taken loans out, got frustration and has that voter anger. >> mitt romney is arriving now. sounds like what you're sag is there is no magic bullet, that
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administration got it wrong -- to fix quickly. >> as we see here, at the end of the day, we've gotten into a downward spiral in housing that has been freed. in order for us to get back to stabilization and recovery, it's going to take time and take a while before we start to feel good. let's be patient and let the free market forces correct themselves and let's not do anything to -- >> maybe in the fall. the question now, especially about this primary, the relentless negative attack ads all centering on fannie and freddie. but not offering solutions. we're at the attack ad stage. only stokes the fire and frustration people feel. >> thanks so much. great to see you. and please go to our website and check out the team. president obama did win florida
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in 2008. so, four years later, how is this swing state going to go? and watching tv in florida today, it's really, really negative place to watch television. super pacs doing a lot of vile things. and those great airline deals you see advertised are usually a bunch of you know, a bunch of bs. we're going to explain. ♪
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the fight for florida reaches a boiling point. an exciting night to be here in jacksonville with a lot of excited and involved college students behind us. president obama though knows how important this state is to his re-election. the first lady in tampa, sayre sew ta and palm beach today. the average has been 2.6 percentage points. florida is not a sure win for anyone. take a look at the latest polls. the president and mitt romney in a dead heat in florida. both with 45% of the likely vote. compared to newt gingrich, the president holds a 50 to 39% lead. who's going to walk away with a florida win? let's bring in james and ari.
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james, let me start with you, sir. florida high unemployment. we just heard largest homebuilder in the state. we're starting to see a recovery. that could mean jobs, which could be great for the president. what does the president do to win this state? >> it's a very, very competitive state as ari can attest to and the margin has been razor thin here as of late. he needs to be moving in the right direction. if he does that, i honestly believe only events can beat president obama. i don't think romney can. we're still sus eptable to a double dip or something happening. >> would you agree? 50 to 41% think mitt romney would do a better job handling the economy, but there is this fact that housing may be
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bottoming. that might be more important than anything else. >> in american politics, the most important factor is the economy going into an election year. if the economy shows signs of improve on a sustained basis, it's going to be a huge advantage for president obama. it's also a debt that no matter what happens to the economy, in my judgment, the next president's going to have to do the real things to tackle the debt and that's where i think the president's going to be in trouble no matter how the economy is going. >> the debt is an important issue. latin latinos, 30% are registered democrats. can republicans win latino voters? >> the most important thing to say is not what's your ethnicity, but what can we do to help you. that's growth, values, foreign policy. i don't know that people
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necessarily slice themselves up. i'm not looking for a hungarian candidate. >> had some problems over there in vienna. >> hungary. >> buddha and pest. >> but it's -- the interesting factor for republicans is they've got to show an inclusive side. if republicans give a signal they only care about older white voters, it's going to be harmful to the party and its future. >> in an interview on wednesday, the president was asked whether mitt romney on newt gingrich would be a tougher opponent. listen to how he answered the question. >> i don't really think about that. what i can say is this. whoever their nominee is, they represent ideas that i think are wrong for america. >> well -- i think he does think
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about it. i know i think about it and i'm not running for re-election. mitt romney's position on immigration is just an out -- way out there. ari fleischer always had a very good immigration policy. bush probably didn't endorse romney because he wanted 13 million people to come back. it's about idiotic is what it is. he doesn't mention it in florida, but they're going to mention it all over the country when he's running a general election. "the washington post" front page did a great story today on super pacs. it was a million dollars spent in this state in this primary by democratic super pacs against mitt romney. they want to take the guy out. they don't want to run against him. how else do you interpret that?
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>> no question. the democrats are having a lot of fun right now. especially james. >> james has been laughing a lot more than usual. >> when it comes to the money, both sides are going to have plenty. democrats will have a lot. republicans will have a lot. remember, it was campaign finance reform that gave us this situation. not citizens united the court case. parties. democrat and republican who used to spend the money and have biggest say. now, it's gone out to the individuals. >> what's going to happen, we're supposed to get soon a report from the super pacs, but they have that loophole. >> january 31st. >> just a general loophole. the little charitable a.r.m., you don't have to is close donors. >> if you're giving money used for the purpose of running a political ad, they're going to be disclosed. if they're going something for
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charity, you have very different type of ads going on. so, we'll see. but again, the point is, there's a sheldon on the right, a george soros on the left. >> james, can you tell me what really goes on at the white house? yeah, go ahead. >> i just think this money in politics is just awful. and i think people give money to politicians because they do make money off government. that's not every instance. there's some well motivated people. i think the connection between money and politics is corrosive and it's getting worse. we'll agree to disagree on that one. >> the other side, unions are going to be able to give almost unlimited, spend unlimited. whatever the super pacs give is going to be a penitence. >> go ahead. final word, james. >> we need a lot of things in this country. one we don't is more money in
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politic. but you know, we'll have to -- at some point, we'll have to look at that. but it's not going to happen soon. >> all right. thanks to both of you. i got to admit on that one, i got to go with james. kill the super pacs. >> break for a commercial. >> break for a commercial. newt gingrich calls out what he calls the elite liberal media, but some of the harshest criticism comes from his own party and there's a number of things you're paying too much for. we'll tell you what and why and it goes to money and politics here in the state of florida. i wouldn't do that. pay the check? no, i wouldn't use that single miles credit card. hey, aren't you... shhh. i'm researching a role. today's special... the capital one venture card. you earn double miles on every purchase. impressive. chalk is a lost medium. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. was that really necessary?
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all right. you are looking at a picture of newt gingrich just arriving tonight for the cnn presidential debate here in jacksonville at the university of north florida. he is with his wife, callista. mitt romney is here. rick santorum is here. we'll continue to watch as the candidates come in, get their makeup on. the brothers, alfie, pep pi and an address operate a business in the dominican republic. they're the guys behind domino, cnh and red pack. life with these sugar barons is
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pretty darn sweet. they are the largest landowners in the dominican republic, a nation of about 9.5 million people. here in florida, the family owns 155,000 acres in palm beach county alone, which brings us to tonight's number. 4.5 billion. that is the dollar amount that big sugar costs american consumers every year. according to mark perry, professor at the university of michigan, by pushing for trade policies, sugar producers have forced americans to pay 53.3 cents a pound for sugar in america. that is double a average world price and it means that you feel it every time you buy a reeces pieces, a coke, or cookies. they also have a taste for politics. over the past few decades, the family has donated to federal,
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state and local campaigns. they gave george w. bush and earlier this month, co-hosted an event for romney. that would be a heck of a lot of chocolate bars. all right. we're going to take a brief break. we're 30 minutes away from cnn's republican debate. what do the candidates need to do to win over florida's voters? we're here in a college campus. the passion for ron paul is audible and you hear it. ron paul revolution. rand paul describes -- now, we have got the video. we'll be back. ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network.
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we start the second half with stories we care about, we do the work and find the outfront five. we got a rowdy crowd here tonight getting ready for the debate. counting down to cnn's gop debate, we're 30 minutes away. one issue bound to come up tonight is housing. florida one of the worst hit states in the country. half of mornings are under water. housing prices off 60%. in orlando, more than half. in tampa and miami. major homebuilder stuart lanar came out earlier. >> fundamentals driving it are the fact home prices are low, interest rates are low and rental rates are starting to move up, so the comparison is
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favorable. demand is just starting to come back. >> two, say good-bye to eye grabbing, but misleading low price air fares. under federal rules that took effect today, advertised air fares must include all taxes and fees. other rules taking effect include disclosing baggage fees and allowing passengers to cancel or change their reservation within 24 hours without a penalty. the department of transportation said it would monitor websites that break the rules. number three, what a perfect timing for this. i don't know if you can hear what they're saying. they're saying end the tsa. a lot of support for ron paul. they love ron paul. they want to end the fed. rand paul's incident monday, you may recall, he came on our program that night. he refused a pat-down at the
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nashville airport. according to an incident report, he is described as being eirrat, however, the video shows a rather calm senator paul. here's what he told "outfront." >> you know what they did in the end? they said if you'll go through the screener again, we'll just pretend like it didn't happen. i said, that's fine with me. that's all i've ever wanted and then the screener didn't pick up anything, so either the the screeners aren't working well or i was being subjected to a random pat-down, which isn't helping our safety. >> number four, initial jobless claims rose to 377,000 last week. that comes off the lowest level for that. jane brownhouse says despite the fluctuatio fluctuations, the labor market is healing and the trend is toward improvement.
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what will that do for our debt situation? it has been 174 days since america lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? today, leon panetta announced his plan to trim from the defense budget. this crowd of students at university of north florida, young people passionate have a solution. there's no shortage of attacks between the candidates on the campaign trail. you see them here. just take a look. they're very passionate. ron paul? i think it's worth giving you a chance and they love anderson cooper. giving them a chance to just reflect what i have seen in new hampshire and i've seen it in south carolina and i see it in florida tonight. and that is that young people are are very passionate about ron paul and they want
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passionately to vote for him. they care. and seeing young people this involved and passionate is a pretty neat thing regardless of what you think about the candidate they choose. let's talk about the super pacs. you heard james and ari talking about it a moment ago. they can do it as long as they don't wink wink nod, any contact with the candidates. restore our future has spent $10 million in florida alone. winning our future, supporting gingrich, says it plans to spend 6 million by next tuesday. primary day. most of that is being spent on negative ads. here's a new one from the pro romney super pac. >> from debates, you'd think newt gingrich was reagan's vice president. >> i worked with president reagan, president reagan. >> gingrich exaggerated drops reagan's name 50 time, but in his diaries, mentioned reagan
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only once. now, john avlon, gloria borger and ari fleischer. i've got to yell for ari to hear me. >> some of what you're saying is being drowned out. >> you go with the 99%. it's great. the super pacs supporting newt gingrich had not spent a dollar in florida before this week. this week, tied with mitt. >> without these super pacs, i don't think newt gingrich would be able to continue his campaign, period. he'd be dead in the water. he's got sheldon him giving him a lot of money, $10 million, and you need this money to continue because newt gingrich was unable to raise this kind of money, so
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what these super pacs have done is extend the life of this campaign and it could go on after florida because you're competitive when you can go up on the air. >> what's interest, arriving here was very different than arriving in manchester or south carolina. you saw lots of signs on the road and people's houses there. >> ads matter here. you've got ten media markets in florida. an expensive place to run. mitt romney and his super pac have been up with negative ads since almost before iowa. it has shown some ability to stop momentum. in many ways, florida's a fight between money and momentum. this primary and all primaries aren't created equal. the florida primary matters most. it would dig the bottom out of romney's campaign. but if mitt romney can win, it's back in the saddle, wins florida as expected. the tiebreaker after january.
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>> i was going to play a sound bite from jeb bush, but i wouldn't because we won't hear it. he basically said if you'd drown this negativity, you'd take away the connection people have with their candidates, do yourself more harm. >> this gets to the core issue of what's at stake for the republican party. are we doing so much damage to each other that we're going to hand this election to president obama? we have a split -- the tea party energized, the power of 2010. news picked up that group and the problem is most people don't think newt can be elected president. that's what's being tested here. these negative ads are helping drive it in that direction. >> gloria, can mitt romney get the nomination if he does not win florida? >> i think he could. i think it goes on and on and on. i think it becomes difficult for newt gingrich if he doesn't win florida.
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romney's got a money, the organization. for example, he's been organizing this this state of florida with early voters with absentee ballots, he's been able to do that. that's going to help him. newt gingrich doesn't have that kind of infrastructure. what he's got is a grass roots, antiestablishment movement going and that means something. >> a third of the ballots could be absentee or early voting. you have a sense of the two people that could have benefitted from that. >> they have a ron paul edge because they're largely military votes. he's done really well with military votes and then romney because he was that front-runner early. the early voting might have benefitted from the surge for newt gingrich. we have an electorate throughout this year that's been angry, frustrated, wanting to send a message to the establishment. this debate is pivotal for
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gingrich. he's got to capture the momentum he did after south carolina. >> tonight, this is the big debate tonight. it's all coming down to the wire. >>ened i guarantee you, thai woet going to be ready to fight it out tonight. it's too much at stake. romney in our poll, started doing better when he went on offense. i think he's going to continue. >> there's another issue for him with apparently the things that you file early on when you come to be a candidate in august. he filed some disclosures with the federal election commission. some things weren't in there like the swiss bank account. obviously, he's disclosed everything now, but he didn't want to until he won the nomination. they say these are minorer things. are they? >> the democrats and president obama's campaign are trying to make them into major things. when you release that paper,
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you're going to have a paper or two that's missing. at least it's not like a treasury secretary didn't pay his taxes. the swiss bank accounts, if they're so secretive, why do we know about them? >> in a state where a lot of people are suffering real financial pain, the comment of just your average swiss bank account doesn't fly. and so that's important. >> these were a blind trust, too. all of his income generating revenue. thanks so much to all of you. it's pretty invigorating and exciting to be here. john king moderated the last debate. he's got a preview of what he expects tonight. and newt versus the media. when i talked to him last week, he complained about the elite immediate yarks but now, the conservatives are piling into
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all right. we are here at the university of north florida, jacksonville. you can see the students here with us tonight as we get ready for the gop final debate before the crucial florida primary. this is a young audience. and they love ron paul. and there are a couple who love
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anderson cooper. a lot of people who love anderson cooper. but it's a ron paul crowd here tonight. pretty passionate and excited. newt gingrich getting a lashing from fellow conservatives. check out the drudge report and links to gingrich in his own words saying some less than flattering things about reagan. and bob dole today wrote a letter saying quote, hardly anyone who served with newt in congress has endorsed him. that fact speaks for itself. he was a one-man band who rarely took advice. it was his way or the highway. on the campaign trial today, gingrich was on the defensive. >> i've been running a campaign based on large ideas, for example, the speech yesterday in latin america, the speech on what we ought to do in space. i get pretty good reaction from
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the american people on these ideas, then there's the washington establishment sitting around in a frenzy, having coffee, lunch and cocktail hours talking about how do we stop gingrich. >> why the push to stop gingrich and will it work is this he's got a lot of momentum in south carolina. joining me now -- great to have you. david, let me start with you. bob dole coming out today with a big slam on gingrich. why did he come out today? >> actually, i went by to see him about paid my respects about three or four weeks ago and we talked about newt gingrich. i think the statement he issued today is very reflective. he's deeply worried about the future of the republican party. he thinks republicans ought to hold the house and maybe win the senate. he thinks romney can do that. he thinks with gingrich, you're in real danger. so he's and he's quite serious. he's had differences with newt
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that goes way back. not only on the campaign, but when they were in congress. those differences are deep and a lot involve around george bush senior. he felt it had been unfair and maybe cost him the election. >> one of the conservative establishment has come out against newt. why is newt -- people respond to newt. what's wrong with newt? >> it's interesting it's not just the republican establishment. it's conservatives. paul ryan. people in washington that you would expect possibly to be for the more conservative candidate are not. and i think a lot of them just know how, have seen or erratic he is and they're afraid that if that roman candle burns bright, they know it falls to earth the next day and it could take the whole party with them. we've seen this before. 1964. goldwater against nelson
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rockefeller. the establishment candidate got pushed aside. goldwater ended up reinvigora reinvigorating the conservative movement, but that election, we lost everything. i know republican congressmen around the country tonight eating in their beds, scared, because they're going to be on a ticket with newt gingrich at the top. independent voters, women, where newt has a huge gender gap, swing states. if you're a congressman on that ticket and newt gingrich in has a -- you're toast. >> that's an unusual image. >> i thought i misheard that. >> peeing in their beds. could have said something worse. reagan saying thou shalt not speak ill of another person.
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>> the ill that the republican is going to be spoken ill of was him. how he would have felt in 1976. he found it very possible to speak ill of other republicans. the republican establishment has over the past three years, fed this mood of radicalism. fed it as a tool against president obama and now, this mood of radicalism is threatening to leave the party. >> lost control of the base or the soul of the party? >> it's the same thing john boehner tried to do in the house. i want to say one thing on behalf of newt. i think one of these charges, it is true that yes, he's erratic, but i do think he was right in saying he was a foot soldier for reagan. i am sure there are times in private as a lot of people around reagan would say they'd be critical of this or that, but the truth is, i think he was very supportive of reagan.
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michael reagan came out in his defense today. there was nancy reagan saying the torch was passed from goldwater to ronny,there, i want to take a little exception. there's this much difference between these two candidates on where they stand on issues. very little. this is not a fight for the soul of the republican party and who is the most conservativconserva. newt ring jich was attacked, he demonstrated strength. he was challenged, he demonstrated weakness. we want the stronger candidate. that's why newt got a boost. in politics, we have a thing called the law of the fireman. when your house is on fire, your economic house, you want somebody to put it out. you don't care where the firemen slept last night. >> he got the buzz by telling an enormous lie. that gives you pause. it's not -- i think what people worry about is, that's not strength.
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that's anger. and yes, it's true that he speaks to the anger in the party in a way that mitt romney, who is obviously not such an angry person. one more thing about the reagan. one of the reasons that gingrich talks so much about reagan is to cause people to forget he's not a man of the '80s. he's a man of the '90s. and that is a record that, though it's got a lot of good points, it features impeachment and mismanagement of the government shutdown. by talking about what he was doing when he was a foot soldier, he changes the subject. >> all right, well, we have to leave it there. though, alex wins the prize here for the best kind of visual metaphor. >> i'm sorry i wet my bed. >> thanks to all three of you. and as you know, we're just a few minutes away from tonight's debate here in florida, hosted by cnn. the ls debate before florida's crucial winner take all primary. john king, out front next.
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okay, you are looking at the hall here at the university of northwest florida jacksonville where the gop debate, the last one before florida's primary will begin just a couple of months with wolf blitzer. john king moderated a feisty debate in charleston last week. john is with me now and john, feisty, i mean, that was amazing.
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>> it was all right. >> start with the biggest fireworks of the night, when you asked newt gingrich questions about his ex-wife wanting an open marriage. >> the story is false. every personal friend i have who knew us in that period said the story was false. we offered several of them to abc to prove it was false. they weren't interested because they would like to attack any republican. >> all right. john, you and your team did some digging to find out what really happened. >> remember what he said there. we offered several people to abc, who said he would rebut his exwife's story. we had speaker gingrich on the show tuesday night. abc said it never happened. speaker gingrich tuesday night said this. >> oh, that is just plain bah loney. i mean, i'll check with r.c. hammond in a minute, if they are saying that, they're not being honest. they said explicitly the opposite. i will check with r.c. he was briefing me on this. we had several people prepared to be very clear and very aggressive in their dispute
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about that and they weren't interested. >> again, he said several people who would be very clear and aggressive in disputing that. sounds like he has this group of character witnesses. r.c. hammond is his press secretary. finally, he con seeded there were no such people. the only people they offered to abc news were the two daughters from his first marriage. they are wonderful ladies, big supporters of newt gingrich. they have no first-hand knowledge of any conversations he had with his second wife. what he said in the debate, tuesday night and other interviews simply is not true. they did not offer those witnesses to abc. >> he just came out -- sorry. he just lied? >> he misspoke, anyway. maybe his staff told him they sent people up there. they didn't want to answer our questions. they said, this story is over. no, he said this, you need to answer it and persistent digging from our staff, what he said was not true. >> so, what happens tonight? this is a make or break debate. this is amazing just to see the
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importance of debates, your debate, how important that was. how important is tonight? >> florida is the biggest prize yet. romney is opening a built of a lead. speaker gingrich knows that. he tried to be more front-runner monday night. look for more energy and passion. attacks from the speaker tonight. governor romney is trying to find that mix there. when to be aggressive and assertive to prove to republicans he's the guy you want up against obama. but not to do over the top. temperature is going to happen. >> obviously on monday, you saw mitt romney much more aggressive and you have the role of the audience, how that plays in modern media. and there is an audience tonight. >> our crew is in there talking to the audience -- we want them to applaud. we want them to be involved. and be respectful and we need them to be. and i'm sure this will be a good audience tonight. sometimes that does change the tenor of the debate. >> absolutely can. you can see them all file in, one thing that stood out to me was, you know, you do this at a college campus, good to see both
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ends of the spill trre spectrum. young students, passionate -- >> you were just making a great point during the break. if you are for ron paul or against him, you have a lot of ron paul supporters here, they know all this stuff about the financial system, the federal reserve that i didn't know when i was in college. so, that part is good. and they are engaged in the campaign. what happens if ron paul doesn't win the nomination, do they stay involved, we don't know. but to see the passion is great. >> to hear, you know, 18 to 20-year-olds yelling "end the fed." that warms my heart. what happens to the fed and our economy is so important. >> ben bernanke is worried about his job? >> you know what made me laugh -- if you are going to have anybody run the fed, ben bernanke is the guy. you feel like he's reading the book. >> why me, right? >> come on, i'm just trying to do my job. a guy from south carolina. >> there you go. >> conservative state. so, you know, we'll see.

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