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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  August 13, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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[ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. right now on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports," we're live at the iowa straw poll on a split-screen saturday. >> time we restored freedom to america. [ applause ] >> mr. president, get the government off our backs! >> iowa, we are going to do it together and take it back. >> here in ames, the republican field while in charleston, south carolina, the newest entry into the republican race. texas governor rick perry declaring he is running for president. >> page one of any economic plan to get america working is to give a pink slip to the current residents in the white house. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell
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live in ames, iowa. herman cain has just started his speech to voters. let's take a listen. >> immigration first secure the border for real. [ cheers ] stop fooling around. secondly, promote the path to citizenship that's already there -- let me tell you what the citizenship solution is for immigration. we have a path to citizenship. we don't need a new one. you know what it is -- legal immigration is the path to citizenship. [ cheers ] >> number three, the third problem -- enforce the laws that are already there. and number four -- number four, the federal government has not, cannot, and will not deal with
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the illegals that are here in this country. so i believe we should empower the states to do what the federal government is not doing and let them deal with the illegal that's are here in this count country. empower the states to deal with that problem. we've got a foggy foreign policy coming out of washington, d.c., and the administration. i have been criticized because i haven't had any direct foreign policy experience. and the guy we have there now has? help me understand that. i may not have extensive foreign policy experience, but let me tell you what my approach to foreign policy would be -- number one, clearly identify who
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our friends are. clearly identify who our enemies are. and stop giving mean to our enemies. [ cheers ] >> herman cain giving a speech. a big crowd pleaser. one hour from now the voting will end. they will start tabulating the results. we'll have all of that from the iowa straw poll. shaping up as a critical test between michele bachmann and tim pawlenty. with a lot of grassroots support for ron paul. until those results are tab a little about an hour from now, the biggest news of the day has been rick perry, the texas governor declaring in south carolina that he wants to pink slip barack obama. we noticed something pretty interesting. rick perry also seemed to be channeling an even more iconnick democrat. take a look at this. >> we are americans!
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that's what we do. >> yes, we are all americans. this is what we do. >> well, teddy kennedy may not exactly be what rick perry wants to emulate, but it did seem like a little bit of copying from ted kennedy's final speech. of course, that was denver in 2008. as an experienced campaigner with a big war chest, perry, the long-serving governor, is an immediate threat to the field, especially tim pawlenty who needs a big finish in iowa to keep his hopes alive. joining me now, pawlenty campaign adviser phil mussert. you've been trying hard. the governor spoke. what do you do about being overshadowed by what happened in south carolina today? >> well, look, with all due respect to governor perry and welcome to the race to him, the real story in american lipsticks happening in this coliseum on these fairgrounds because to get to the white house, you got to
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start in iowa. so our campaign has been predicated on it for a long time. frankly, if you spend time walking around here, with all due respect to a conference room in south carolina, there are 10,000 to 15,000 grassroots activists energized and fired up about taking back the white house and barack obama. we're here campaigning for the votes. we feel good about our day so far. >> here you've been working so hard, been in iowa so long. >> yeah. >> and rick perry, though, is coming here tomorrow. won't he step on the message of whoever is going to win in ames -- >> iowans take this process seriously, andrea. i think it's great that governor perry is coming tomorrow. it would be even greater if he came today and made his announcement here. he probably could have made a bigger splash. at the end of the day he risks a little bit in erm of iowans as they look at the process. they respect the people who show up. no one begrudges the fact that tim pawlenty's been working in the state and rick santorum and michele bachmann are here early. they want to see candidates up close and personal.
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he's going to have to run the gauntlet like everybody else. >> what happened to minnesota nights? pawlenty and bachmann were going at east other thursday nights. >> i think the governor wanted to lay out his record of executive accomplishment and results. so the people can understand clearly that if you elect him you're going to get someone who's going to get something done. in cron traficant, michelle bach -- contrast, michele bachmann doesn't bring a lot to the table in terms of having done stuff. it's a simple argument. the debate was fighty. it allowed the governor to draw contrast not only with congresswoman bachmann but romney talking about growth plans. we thought it was a good debate. it set up well for the straw poll. we've had a great day so far. we've got a lot of barbecue and blizzards going out the door. >> i'll be right there. do you feel that michele bachmann has gotten so much publicity? she's been in the campaign for 48 days. >> we have a long-view approach.
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if you look at the history of the iowa caucus and the peaks and valleys, we're comfortable with our trajectory. we think we're making steady and solid progress. we don't have to win here today -- >> you have to come in second. >> we have to show good progress. we'd like to see good progress here. >> how do you girlfriend good progress? >> -- define good progress? >> i think we need to show good progress, if we do that we'll be able to build on the momentum. there's a lot of grassroots support and energy. the governor gave a great speech a half-hour ago. multiple standing ovations, brought the direct case on why he's the most effective person to beat barack obama. you know, we've had a great day so far, we're excited. >> what will-will the money dry up if you don't finish fourth? is that -- if you don't finish in the top tier here, does that make it harder to go on? >> we're going to finish in the top tier. >> lots of luck to you and your candidate. all the candidates got a chance to give a pitch to the straw poll voter. here's a sampling of what
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they've been saying. >> this campaign is about scratching and clawing for every bit of recognition that we can get. i had to wave my hand and ask for recognition. this is the little engine that could campaign. >> the problems are very large, very difficult. the solution is not complicated if you understand how we got into this mess. basically, we got into this mess because we have lost respect for our law of the land, the constitution, and we have lost our enthusiasm for freedom that we ourselves can take better care of ourselves and to take better care of our money and our lives and children's education, the whole work is done much better without the federal government down on our backs and in our wallets. >> you swing by during any time during the day, we'd love to
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have you. it would make a big difference to the outcome tomorrow. >> generation after generation after generation of americans have laid it on the line for us. now it's ours. we won't let the next generation down. we, too, will lay it on the line. and in 2012, we will take the country back. >> herman cain is the final candidate to speak in ames today to this crowd. newt gingrich is in ames, but he is so tapped out of money he didn't even buy into the straw poll. mitt romney, john huntsman skipped the straw poll entirely. and the biggest news today is, of course, the long-awaited entry of rick perry into the race. joining me, msnbc's senior political analyst, mac domark - mark cochran, editor at large of "time" magazine. you've been talking to rick perry in advance of him announcing. first of all, brilliant strategy to skip the straw poll, show up
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tomorrow, spread the message -- we listen to herman cain rallying the crowd. does it make iwaowiowans dissed? >> if he would have tried to get in late it wouldn't have gone well. there's a write-in possibility. but i think that the metrics to use for rick perry as a successful candidate compared to fred compton four years ago, can he raise money, and can he do it while he simultaneously gets down on the ground in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, et cetera. if he does that, i don't think iowans will mind that he skipped this. >> if you watch rick perry, he's a better actor, speaker than mitt romney and up in the reagan class of delivering the speech. >> it was a well-written speech. his delivery -- he's not always as good as he was today.
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that's rick perry, close to the vest. very strong on the teleprompter with the prepared text. with the prepared text -- i don't know in f he used a prompter -- if he used a prompter. they've focused on flaws in rick perry as a candidate. he's a strong presenter, as you suggested, compared to mitt romney. he didn't sign the health care law in massachusetts, an individual mandate. if he can raise the money, i think this could quickly become a two-person race nationally if perry performs the way he needs to, fundraising and campaigning. >> i've been told by some big republican fundraisers that they could get behind him as an alternative to mitt romney. but they don't see the excitement in mitt romney and rick perry could get establishment for republican money. one other thing, he talked about a well-delivered text. we pointed out that one of those lines is sort of an iconic line that teddy kennedy practiced in 2008 in denver. we are americans, this is what we do. now the tea party folks have taken that up. in the last year. that really was a teddy kennedy
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line. and some years ago, joe biden and others discovered when you take other people's lines, that can cause a stir. especially picking a democratic line. >> i think he'll say it's homage rather than -- >> homage to kennedy? he's doing a homage to kennedy when you're rick per? >> along those lines, he talked about how the unemployment rate amongst african-americans and hispanics is higher. that's sort of trying to get to the left of the president. rick perry is a smart guy who's often underestimated. he's got a great campaign of people who are loyal and -- going back to what said about romney and donors. perry will get establishment support, no question. and the ability to raise money, there's a huge number of mccain and bush people who aren't signed up anywhere. most people implicitly said we don't want romney. some establishment money may go to romney now because they don't want rick perry. there are some people who say we can't nominate a southerner, texan, a guy positioned on
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social issues, it would alienate too many -- >> good point. >> i think romney has an opportunity. if people are worried about people who didn't want to get into it before but could be open to it. >> it could be bad news for michele bachmann if you assume that bachmann does better than tim pawlenty. >> our colleagues are assuming. >> the assumption. bachmann to the right of mitt romney on social issues could be hurt by the entry of rick perry who has evangelical support. >> the two biggest points are will perry perform as a fundraiser and campaigner the way people say he will, and second, can anyone keep it from becoming a two-person race? bachmann is best positioned in ways because she's got the most strength in iowa and south carolina now. but so much of her support is overlapped with perry. if he's strong, he may take people away, talking to voters out there anecdotally. at the bachmann tent, a lot of voters said i don't know much about rick perry but he has
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executive experience. i could see switching from bachmann to perry. >> mike halprin, thank you very much. coming up next, more live coverage here from aips, iowa, as we -- ames, iowa, as we get closer to voting. ahead, political analyst charles, charlie cook with me. [ man ] behind every business is a "what if." what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and 4g devices like the motorola photon. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit i thought i was invincible. i'm on an aspirin regimen now because i never want to feel that helplessness again. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. talk to your doctor,
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back live in ames, iowa. the candidates have had their final say. less than an hour voting will begin -- will end here. after that we hope to get the results of the iowa straw poll. joining me is the special saturday edition of "andrea mitchell reports," charlie cook, political analyst of "the national journal." thank you very much for joining
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us. you've been taking the temperature. what are you hearing? >> well, it's a really good turnout. it's a great day. it's a lot of enthusiasm. i think that's one of the things about iowa, people are transparent, very open. they'll just come up and talk politics with you. it's a lot of enthusiasm here. and i think a lot of these people, they don't know who their nominee's going to be, but they feel good that they've got a -- i think they feel they have a better chance of winning the white house today than they dreamed of six months ago, there's a real optimism here. >> is optimism about their political chances? are they also driven by economic angst? >> i think there's a feeling that if they just come up with someone who doesn't offend people, they've got a good chance of winning the presidency. that the economic situation makes it difficult for an incumbent to get re-elected. >> this is about a week old, the gallup poll had mitt romney at
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24, perry at 17 before he had announced. ron paul at 14. he's got a lot of word of mouth and grassroots support and internet support. michele bachmann at 13, newt gingrich at 7, herman cain at 4, among those candidates. gingrich has not been a factor. he had a good debate performance, i think, but he hasn't the money to take part in the straw poll. pawlenty has to do well to have the money to keep going. high school bachmann, how would you rate her performance? she had a lot of people in her tent. >> i think so. i think the poll understates where she is in this race. i think she's in the big three, in the big four. no question about it. and i think she's going to compete strongly here. yeah, the -- the thing about that poll is that -- i haven't seen ron paul running that well in any other national polls. and he tends to do well in straw polls but not so well in actual primary or calk votes. i'm skeptical about that. i think bachmann's a bigger player than the poll suggests. >> was it smart of huntsman and
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mitt romney not to take time for the straw poll and to just head to new hampshire and look elsewhere? >> i think mitt romney had a lot to lose. i mean, he's sort of the -- sort of the front-runner now. and i think he felt like he had only one way to go and that's down. by staying clear of it, i think it was probably a smart choice. as suggested a few minutes ago, i don't think gingrich had the resources to really compete in this. he was better off sort of steering clear. and huntsman, i don't know. i'm skeptical whether there's still a place for that moderate republican in the republican now. the party's moved right. he's sort of where the party used to be but not so much where it is now. >> let's talk about rick perry. he gave a strong speech today. big theme of jobs, unemployment, talked about black unemployment, hispanic unemployment. really reached for an economic message. you know, hammered the president on both the economy and foreign
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policy. was talking texan. he was as deep south and texan as he could be. has evangelical support k. he put together a real campaign? >> oh, i think he can. and i think that the texas creating more jobs than any other state in the union, we're going to hear that over and over again. i think he's going to be coming right at michele bachmann in sort of that 2/3 of the republican party that's more conservative. i think he's coming right at her. she's going to be more social. he's going to be a little bit more economic. a lot of spillover. i think they're competing for the same sort of bandwidth in this campaign. >> when we talk about rick perry and mitt romney, what is the divide that you see now in the republican party between, you know, the perry candidacy, the romney candidacy? if perry becomes an alternative for conservatives to michele bachmann, say, how do you see the establishment of republicans dividing itself? >> well, the establishment or what i would call the
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establishment for the republican party is only down to 1/3. that's the eisenhower, nixon, ford, bush won bob dole party. that only represents 1/3 of the republican party now. and i think that's sort of the space where romney and tim pawlenty and john huntsman are competing for. but the thing is that's probably the space that would be more electable in a general election. and i think in a long race, i think republicans are going to have a choice of do they want to go with their hearts or do they want to go with their heads? >> charlie cook, who has both heart and head. thank you very much. great head for politics. thank you. as we've been talking about, all the political action today is here in ames. right now rick perry has stolen some of the attention. announcing his presidential campaign today in south carolina. before a trip to new hampshire, is america ready for another texas governor in the white house? the "washington post's" chrisvisle will join us next.
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we're back live in ames, iowa, where voting continues in the iowa straw poll. some of the political spotlight turned to south carolina today where texas governor rick perry announced that he is in the race. and in it to twin. >> washington wouldn't even make modest entitlement program reforms in this last state. and the president refused to lay out a plan for fear of the next election. how can the wealthiest nation in the history of civilization fail so miserably to pay its bills? how does that happen? [ applause ] >> joining me now, "washington post" white house reporter and author of "the fix" on "washington post" -- on >> it's fascinating theater. matt strong, the chairman of the iowa republican party, is up on stage starting the official program.
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meanwhile, many of the reporter, myself included, are on watching rick perry announce for president almost simultaneously. >> behind the curtain of journalism they started the benediction. >> yes. >> we were watching perry and stood up to bow our heads -- >> the pledge of allegiance -- >> and this was going on while all eyes were focused on the -- >> yeah, as someone like me who's kind of fascinated with the political theater of all this, it was an interesting moment. now perry's actual speech -- here's what i think you saw if you watched or read it. it is someone that has charisma. he's someone that's going to run hard against washington. now he's running to be a part of washington. we don't know how that's going to work. this is someone he made a strong case against president obama. he is a force to be reckoned with. certainly as a speaker, i think he and his team have to be happy with how that speech went. he delivered it well. he's got all the theatrical elements that some in the field lack. he speaks quietly, then he speaks -- he's a fully formed
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politician. now whether that's a good thing or bad thing in a field like this, we don't know. but he proved that he's up to the level of attention. at least for an announcement today. >> one of the things i notice sudden that his line "we're all americans, this is what we do," is the line that teddy kennedy first crafted in 2008 at the convention. >> yep. you know, i think what they are trying to do -- what the republican party is broadly trying -- remember, barack obama kind of won in 2008 on the idea that things could be better, that we were america. that hope changed -- republicans are trying to co-op that message. some subtly, some as in that case, less subtly. and the question is can they do it? you know, we've heard a lot of speeches out of here, almost everyone who speaks at this, the candidates, the other people who were up on the podium. everyone plays off of the hope and change. you know, we wanted hope and change, but what did we get? tim pawlenty did it. herman cain, michelle unusual -- that's the contrast. he promised it, and we --
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whichever candidate you like best in the field -- we can. >> chris, who has to do the best here? i mean, you expect that bachman may do well, ron paul could -- how well does tim pawlenty have to do to keep going? >> it's aygo ". i think michele bachmann should win. she should win. she and mitt romney are the front-runners. she's got money, energy. we keep hearing reports of how many tickets she's given away, 4,000, 6,000. if she gets 6,000 votes she will win. george bush got one of the highest turnouts ever and won easily she can withstand a loss. who can't withstand a loss? tim pawlenty. he needs a spark. he's been eclipsed by bachmann for the last two months of the race. can he get that spark? i don't think second is good enough. i can tell you i think third isn't good enough. second, i don't know if it's good enough unless it's 312 bachmann, 31 pawlenty.
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almost a tie. he has the most riding on it. >> chris, thank you very much. democrats keeping a close eye on what's happening in ames, iowa. coming up, i'll talk to congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz. and send me your thoughts on twitter, @mitchellreports. [ p.a. announcer ] announcing america's favorite cereal is now honey nut cheerios! yup, america's favorite. so we're celebrating the honey sweetness, crunchy oats and... hey! don't forget me!! honey nut cheerios. make it your favorite too! in one place. ♪ the race of your life you never ran. the trip around the world you never took. the best-selling novel you never wrote. but there's one opportunity that's too good to miss. the lexus golden opportunity sales event,
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emerges from the straw poll as republican nominee. joining me from outside the event site, congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, democratic national chairman. great to see you. thank you very much. you've been watching the proceedings and -- >> thanks, andrea. >> hearing the president being criticized soundly by here. but not just by everyone here, also from south carolina. let's talk about rick perry. a strong economic message focused on unemployment, talking about black and hispanic unemployment and about us being indebted to foreign creditors. what do you make of rick perry's candidacy now that he's become a major player in this race? >> well, andrea, the economic -- the so-called economic miracle that rick perry has been touting is really all hat and no cattle. i mean, if you look more closely, peel back the layer, you see that he had the benefit of higher gas prices creating oil jobs in texas, more spending as a result of our involvement
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in the wars in iraq and afghanistan, creating military jobs. he's certainly benefitted in texas from the recovery act funds that were championed by president obama that created jobs in texas through the recovery act. so, you know, he's got a pretty bloated claim about job creation and at the end of the day, even with the public sector job growth, that job growth rate was higher in texas than the private sector job growth rate. so not too much there. >> but of course, while people may criticize or fact-check his job growth claims in texas, what he's running against is an unemployment rate hovering around 9%, and widespread concerns about a second recession. the president's record is the one that is going to have to be defended. >> i'm proud of the president's record as are democrats and middle-class americans across the country. look at where we were in the months before president obama was inaugurated.
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two 1/2 years later we've created 2.4 million jobs in the private sector under his leadership. 17 straight months of private sector job growth. you know we've got a long way to go. we need to pick up the pace of recovery, andrea. president obama has begun to turn this economy around. what we need is republicans and democrats to come together, sit down, compromise on addressing our long-term deficit, making sure that we ask for some sacrifice both from the wealthiest and fortunate americans, as well as the cuts that the middle class will endure. we need to make sure that we protect social security and medicare, which every republican candidate has pledged to end as we know it. >> congresswoman, most of the white house and outside political advisers to the president suggest that mitt romney would be the toughest general election candidate. now this process starting here in the straw poll may not produce the strongest general election candidate. but what are the mitt romney strengths that concern most democrat
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democrats? >> i'm having trouble hearing your whole question. could you repeat it again for me, please? >> since the white house and campaign advisers -- obama campaign advisers are -- could be the toughest to run against. what do you see as mitt romney's strength? what is concerning democrats about a mitt romney candidates if he ends up being the nominee? >> well, quite frankly, i'm not worried about whether it's mitt romney or one of the other nine or ten candidates on the other side. you spent the last few days showing america that they are adhering to the rigid structure of the tea party. all nine of them at the debate raised their right hand and pledged that even among the most reasonable suggestions to support cuts, 10-1, cuts to revenue, all of them said no, that they wouldn't do that, and that's why 59% of americans are
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dis-- disapprove of the republican party and are asking for solutions, none of which are being offered by any republican candidate. >> babiy wasserman -- debbie wasserman shultz, chairwoman of the democratic national committee. thank you very much for joining us. >> nice to be with you, as always. >> thank you. >> thank you. joining me now back in new york, jonathan alter, msnbc political analyst and "bloomberg view" columnist, and author of "the promise." a veteran obama watcher. >> hi, andrea. >> and straight ahead -- hey, jonathan. jonathan, let's talk about what we're seeing here today. >> right. >> straight ahead, the president is really going to face one of these contenders. this is the beginning of the whittling out. as debbie wasserman shultz said, there is a movement to the right, certainly, in the party. what do you see, for instance, the rick perry effect being on the republican field and how the white house might try to pivot to deal with it? >> it's going to have a galvanized effect on that race. you can tell from his speech
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today. this is a big day within the republican primaries. you could easily see a rick perry-mitt romney race. he's immediately going to be first tier candidate. is it possible that he'll do a belly-flop ala fred thompson? yes. but more likely he will be formidable. he will be derided as a brunette bush or a reagan with a twang. you know, whatever the democrats will start to come after him on. and -- but it's a little bit harder to go after his record because there is some job creation there. and democrats who are looking to rick perry as easier to beat than mitt romney should be careful what they wish for, some -- sometimes these things don't, with out as well as they might seem. if you go back to 1980, there were a lot of democrats who were hoping that the republicans nominated ronald reagan. and we've seen that in early elections, as well. so it's tough to war game these
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things in terms of who would be easier for the democrat to beat. >> what do you make of the michele bachmann phenomenon? she really has lit a fire here in iowa. >> well, she's going to be formidable in iowa. and i would expect that she'll win the straw poll today. if she doesn't, it's -- it might sthaug she has some organizational problems because she's got the enthusiasm going in iowa. whether that translates to the rest of the country or not, very questionable. i think perry's entrance into the race hurts bachmann because there are a lot of republicans, very conservative republicans, who also want a winner and don't see bachmann as being able to beat barack obama as easily as rick perry could. >> jonathan alter, great to see you. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank. >> see you later. straight ahead, her polls are the gold standard in iowa. ann selzer will show us how things might shake out in the straw poll.
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all the folks attending here in ames have about 15 minutes left to vote before officials start tabulating the votes. that's why the stadium is pretty empty. they're all outside. i'm joined by pollster ann selzer who does all the great polling in iowa. ann has always been right. what are you seeing as you walk outside and see the lines and i know bachmann's had attention. she had randy trafs. she had -- they're competing against each other with music, barbecue, with buses. that that isn't the draw. you can't really tell from the numbers of people, but you can tell enthusiasm levels. what are you picking up? >> you know, i walked through the crowd, and it felt the heartbeats of enthusiasm. people were excited just to be here, to see all the candidates. you had to think there were people making up their minds today. the reason i'm a pollster is i like hard numbers. this is all very subjective. but you surely get a sense that people are fully revved up who are here today.
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>> who seems to be generating the most excitement in the last couple of days? >> well, i think we're looking for excitement from the pawlenty group. i think every time we sort of see them, they seem a little muted. i think they're well organized and disciplined. i'm not sure there's fervor there. the ron paul people do fervor in spades. so every time you kind of run into them, you kind of get a sense that they're very excited. then there's bachmann. and i think that the bachmann standing, it's likely to be enhanced by a lot of people buying single tickets. people not organized by the campaign. i think there could be an influx of people who didn't know three days ago they were going to come. they've shown up. >> that's an interesting factor. what impact did sarah palin have in bussing in, going through the state fair yesterday, and now today she's taken off. we tracked her down to dixon, illinois, of course ronald reagan's birthplace. she's showing up in iconic places. she's certainly had an impact here. she had the biggest crowds as i was watching going through the state fair yesterday.
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>> she seems a little bit a tease. she shows up, but she's not delivering. i think she's done this a few times. we'll see how many more times she can do it before people decide it's not worth it. >> now the politics here are so retail. yesterday it got very hot late afternoon. michele bachmann was a half-hour late for her soapbox appearance, which is not done because iowan are prompt. and candidates are always on time. she was a half-hour late, she only spoke for 3 1/2 minutes, and she disappointed people. those who -- she had a very big crowd. >> right. >> does that word of mouth get around or isn't>> the word of mouth definitely gets around. i think people sort of raise the question why. what else was going on. what was more important, what was she fearful of. it raises questions. we don't know the answer to it. it was an odd moment had after 2 1/2, three minutes, she said good-bye. >> you've been looking at huntsman, who has not gotten a lot of attention here and has been focusing on new hampshire. do you see a place for him?
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can he carve out a niche especially with rick perry in the race that's getting crowded? >> right. i've done the math on moderates in iowa. and there is plenty of room for a moderate candidate. he's the only one. so in theory he could be a magnet for a large group of republicans who feel that none of these candidates are really speaking their language. >> anne selzer, thank you very much. we'll talk to you later about the results when we get them. we're also following a developing story, a terrible story out of pakistan now. the u.s. embassy has confirmed that an american contractor has been kidnapped. pakistani police say that warren weinsteineinstein was abducted house in lahore, by india. i'm joined by author of "the other west." this story has bad earmarks. i don't know what you're hearing about which terror groups might have been involved. but these gunmen went up to the gates of his house, got the
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guards, quote unquote, toen up and let them -- to open up and let them in for food which is typical of the ramadan period. for guards to put down their weapons and let people in and have -- >> no offer or reward has been placed out there yet. as you said, this is actually typical of what happens during this time during the holy month of ramadan where people will go up and offer food in the morning. it's happened around 3:30 in the morning. there was a knock on the door. a group of eight to ten people walked in and offered food. as they forced their way in, essentially they used the guns, began to pistol whip the people inside and pistol whip mr. weinstein's guard who then showed him where mr. weinstein was. they took him out of the building and drove him off. but what's also tragic about this is we're seeing this not only with this case, but we're also seeing, you know, where this is almost the continuation of other abductions that have
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happened within pakistan, specifically within lahore. >> let's paint the broader picture here, taking a step back. what we've seen is actions against americans in pakistan. we've seen problems that -- since the bin laden kill, we've seen problems for cia operatives and others, ambassadors, intelligence officials, and diplomats who are working in pakistan who have not been able to travel as freely. there have been protests, efforts try put the relationship back on track. this is really coming to a dangerous pass indeed. >> it is. and we're watching anti-u.s. sentiment rise throughout the country and throughout the region. also you see the way that also shapes policy. and u.s. policy understand just toward pakistan but also what's happening next door in afghanistan. you know, how -- how the pakistanis and particularly how the pakistani government can control this larger -- this larger sentiment that's growing, this larger anti-u.s., anti-u.s.
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sentiment in the country will be a huge component as to how they can administer policy going forward, as well. >> and briefly when we're talking about pakistan and how critical it is, we should point out that this man, warren weinstein is, i believe, 70 years old or close to it. he was going back to finish a development project. he worked for usaid as a contractor. he has a hpd in law and philosophy, political science. this is a man who was working in the development field for a contractor with a number of colleagues, working on aid to the region. >> he's a world-renowned expert in the field of development. but it also really does draw out a larger question about development. particularly in the region. it's before you can have any stable development, you must have security. if security's not in place, then any time of development activities really are halted. hence while we saw so many challenges and balks with the administration of usaid or even
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ngos that can go into the region, because until you have security, until you have some storm of stability, all these different ngos and government agencies are going to be cautious about putting people on the ground. >> indeed. we thank you very much. we'll continue to track that story for any news as to what has happened to warren weinstein in lahore. thanks, wes moore. back to politics after a break. mitt romney skipping the party altogether, but is missing ames the smart play? so i took my heartburn pill and some antacids. we're having mexican tonight, so another pill then? unless we eat later, then pill later? if i get a snack now, pill now? skip the snack, pill later... late dinner, pill now? aghh i've got heartburn in my head. [ male announcer ] stop the madness of treating frequent heartburn. it's simple with prilosec otc. one pill a day. twenty-four hours. zero heartburn. no heartburn in the first place. great.
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we're just a few minutes away from the end of the voting in ames, iowa. after that, this place is going fill up. we'll be waiting for the results of the straw poll to come. the presumed front-runner in this race, mitt romney, nowhere to be found, despite winning the straw poll in the past. this time he's skipping it. john huntsman also skipping it entirely. of course, we all know that newcomer to the race, rick perry, had his own business to take care of in south carolina.
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ben smith is a senior political writer for "politico" and joins me live for the briefing. ben, first of all, rick perry -- strong speech, enters the race, enters late. he's coming to iowa tomorrow but didn't participate in the straw poll. does coming here tomorrow make up for that and he doesn't get punished? >> no. i not there's a cost to skipping this. i talked to activists who said they felt there was a lack of respect. these are core activists who will come out, you know, 10,000 people who are the core of the then, you know, ten times that who show up at the caucuses. no, i think he's in a mild way irritated a lot of the base of the party. we should point out that this is not a primary in january. this is a caucus state. the party activist, the core people you will need in the winter. >> this is a real number of people. these are real people who will make up the base of the voters. >> what about those who have stayed in new hampshire? romney, huntsman, and not focused on iowa? >> they've made these strategic
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choices, particularly romney. who is at the moment playing one foot in, one foot out of iowa. i think he would love to surprise people by how well he does here. he realizes he may be dominant until the night of the caucuses but everything changes. someone's going to come out with a huge head of steam. >> is this michele bachmann's to win? is iters this lose and people expect her to win? and tim pawlenty has to come in second or really is -- >> i think the straup at this point, i meteorologist certainly i think right here, right now, there's an expectation that she will win. i talked to somebody -- somebody told me she had given out 6,000 tickets. a lot by local measures here. yeah, i think she -- there's probably really one person who gets to come out of here to face rick perry and mitt romney. and i think it's likely to be her. >> ben smith from "politico," thank you very much. waiting for the votes. and this special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" continues. the voting is about to end and the tabulating will begin.
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