tv Meet the Press MSNBC October 16, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
field? >> my top priity is 999. jobs, jobs, jobs. >> herman cain has vaulted to the top of the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, ahead of mitt romney. what's behind his popularity, and can it last? now that his signature tax reform plan is getting more scrutiny. >> the 9-9 plan upside down you find out pretty quick the devil's in the detai. >> and more jabs from his rivals, including rick perry's wife. >> when i hear 9-9-9, i want to call 911, because it will raise the taxes. >> this morning our meet the candidates series continues, as
i go one-on-one with herman cain. then, more of our special look at the state of the gop race, mitt romney performs well in the debates. but why is his support among conservatives static? can rick perry steady himself with a new jobs plan after a stunning fl in the polls? is this real a two-man race? a debate this morning between two top surrogates, for romney, former presidential candidate and governor of minnesota, tim pawlenty. and for perry, louisiana governor bobby jindal. also this morning our "sunday breakdown." nbc's chuck todd, and the bbc's katty kay take us inside the candidate's playok for victory and give us an up-close look at the white house re-election game plan. from nbc news in washington "meet the press" with david gregory. good morning. today we go inside the fight for
the republican presidential nomination. our latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll out this week shows that herman cain is the front-runner, ahead of both mitt romney and rick perry. mr. cain, a businessman, syndicated columnist, radio talk show host, and former ceo of godfather's pizza, tned presidential candidate, is the man of the moment. and he's joining us this morning as part of our "meet the candidates" series. mr. cain, welcome to "meet the press." >> david, i'm delighted to be here. >> your big idea is to throw out the tax code. >> yes. >> tax reform is a way to create jobs and spur economic growth. >> yes. >> the reality of the 9-9-9 plan is this, i'll put it up on the screen. it is to have a 9% corporate income tax. 9% personal income tax. 9% sales tax. everything else is gone. >> yes. >> the reality of the plan is that some people pay more, some people pay less. this is how "the washington post" reported it on friday, we'll put it up on the screen. experts see surprise in cain's 9-9-9 plan. the 9-9-9 plan that has helped propel businessman cain to the front of the gop presidential field would stick many poor and middle-class people with a hefty
tax increase while cutting taxes for those at the top, tax analysts say. robert and williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan tax policy center is working on an analysis of cain's signature oposal. although the plans's details remain sketchy, williams said it would increase taxes for the poor and middle class, despite cain's statemen to the contrary. for starters, about 30 million of the poorest households pay neither income taxes nor social security or medicare levees, so for them, he says, doing away with the payroll tax doesn't save anything and you're adding both a 9% sales tax and a 9% income tax, so we know they will be worse off. that's the reality, mr. cain. without making a judgment about it, why do you think that's an acceptable reality for the overall goal of reform? >> first, they're missing one very critical point about sales tax. it wasn't even mentioned in that analysis that you read. on the price of goods there are invisible taxes that are built into everything we buy. we'll simply -- those invisible taxes are going to go away.
and we're replacing them with a 9% visible tax. for example, take a loaf of bread. the farmer pays taxes on his profits. the company that makes the flour, the baker, the delivery man. by the time that loaf of bread gets to the grocery store, there are a series of invisible taxes, ich are also called embedded taxes. so in reality, those taxes go away, and so the price of goods don't go up. >> you're saying they actually go down? >> yes, they actually go down. >> based on what? >> based upon competition. competition drives prices down. for example, suppose one breadmaker says i'm going to charge $2.20 for a loaf of bread, and the other one says he's going to charge $2.40 for a loaf of bread. well, guess which one is going to win out based on the quality of being the same? >> my question had to do, however, with the reality of this plan. the wealthiest americans would pay less, the poorest americans and middle-class would pay more. you don't dispute that? >> i do dispute that.
you and others are making assumptions about what wealthy americans would do with their money, and you're making assumptions about what the middle-class and the poor. you can't predict the behavior. if wealthy americans -- >> this isn't about behavior, mr. cain, this is about whether you pay -- if you don't pay taxes now, and you now have income tax and a sales tax, you pay more in taxes. >> more people will pay less in taxes. more people will pay less in taxes. >> mr. cain, we talked to independent analysts ourselves. >> yes. >> we're not just reading newspaper clips here. >> i understand. >> they tell us they've looked at thibased on what's available and it's incontrovertible. there are people who will pay more. >> that's right. some people will pay more. but most people will pay less is my argument. >> who will pay more? >> who will pay more? the people who spend more money onew goods. the sales tax only applies to people who buy new goods. not used goods. that's a big difference that doesn't come out. for those 30 million americans who don't pay income
tax, including 16 million elderly americans, you concede they would, in fact, pay more. >> not the elderly. that's two different groups. let's talk about the eldly. you don't pay taxes on your social security income. it replaces the capital gains tax. many of the elderly make money off of their investments, they won't pay that. tax on dividends and tax on income generated from investments, you only pay once. so in that sense, it helps the elderly. >> the other defect in the plan comes from fellow conservatives who say, you got some problems here. this is what "the wall street journal" said about it this past week. the real political defect, the "journal" writes, of the cain plan is that it imposes a new national sales tax while maintaining the income tax. mr. cain's rates are low, but the current income tax was introduced in 1913, with a top rate of 7% amid promises that it would never exceed 10%. by 1918 the top rateas 77%. the politics of national sales tax is bad enough on i own. a 9% rate when combined with state and local levies would mean a tax on goods of 17% or more in many places.
the criefor exemptions would be great. >> don'tbi this doesn't address state taxes. if you add them together, yes, you would get that number. this is a replacement structure. these are replacement taxes. they're not on top of anything. we replace cital gains tax. we replace the payroll tax. we replace corporate income tax. replace personal income tax. and replace the death tax. is a replacement tax structure. where do state taxes go? you say they're going to be repealed? >> with the current structur you have state taxes, right? so with this new structure, you still going to have state taxes. that is muddying the water. >> how so? >> because, today, under the current tax code, state taxes are there if they have it. if they don't have state taxes they don't have it. it has nothing to do with this replacement structure for the federal tax code. >> but that doesn't make any sense to me. if i'm already paying state taxes and i have a new cain administration national sales
tax, i got more state taxes. >> no, you don't. >> how so? you're not saying they're going away. >> david, your state taxes are the same. your federal tax, in most cases, are going to go down. that's muddying the water. >> "the wall street journal" says you have one on top of the other, there's a combined levy. >> that is not correct, david. let's try this one more time. state taxes are there today. the current tax code is a 10 million word mess. you have probably 100 -- you have thousands of loopholes and tricks and what i call sneak attacks in theurrent code. state taxes today, whatever they are, zero or some number, have nothing to do with replacing the tax code. nothing. >> the godfather, forgive the term, of tax reform in this town, grover norquist, said at this point, he would advise republicans to vote no on 9-9-9 and the reason is he doesn't like new revenue streams. and that's what you're creating with the sales tax. >> well, in the current tax
code, there are sneak attacks and ways that the american people get taxed that we don't even know about. what 9-9-9 does, it makes it very visible, such that the american people n hold the feet of congress to the fire. that the thing that we have that the current tax code does not have. >> let's talk about political reality. >> yes. >> speaker of the house john boehner has talked about how difficult tax reform would be at this particular juncture. there is a debate going on about tax reform. there is no agreement right now between republicans and democrats abouchanging marginal rates. that's step one in 9-9-9. let alone the end of the process. how do you get it passed? >> the following way. here's how we get it passed. first, throw out the current tax code. secondly, because the american people understand it, the american people are embracing it. see, this is the problem that some people inside washington have with 9-9-9. the american people understand it. the american people are embracing it. such that when i have this legislation, and ask congress to inoduce this legislation, the american people will understand it, and they're going to demand
it. that's how we get it passed. >> so is your slogan going to be hope and change? >> no. >> when it comes to 9-9-9? >> no. >> but how do you -- look. we've had presidents, president bu came to town to change the politics here, to change the way of doing business. president obama said the same thing. what i sugsted is that according to our leadership right now, there is an intractable difference about lowering marginal rates. and you're saying you can build support to throw out the entire tax code? >> yes, that's what i'm saying. >> based on what? >> based upon the -- >> how do you do it? >> david, based upon the many speeches i've given, when i've talked to people. i've been out there talking to voters. that's what. look, ultimately they want to get -- they're going to listen to their constituency. the assumption is they're not going to listen to the people. there is a huge amount of public support for 9-9-9. just talk to anybody. this is what's going to help us get it passed. the public support. now here's one other thing that i'm indifferently -- >> i just want to get this down. you're acknowledging this
morning which i haven't heard you do before that the are individuals who are going to pay more in taxes. >> the are some, yes. >> and you think those people are going to rally around tax reform where the wealthy pay less, and middle-class and lower income folks pay more? >> yes -- >> you think that's going to create grassroots support? >> yes, because if they do the math,o the math on your individual tuation, people are going to benefit sevel other ways other than whether they pay more in taxes. the fact that they're not going to have a cost of filing and compliance. that's a $430 billion bill for all of us every year. so if they do the math on that individual situation, i believe that they -- more people are going to see it's advantageous. now here is another way, another piece of the puzzle that will help me get is passed. public support and simplicity. simplicity and public support, because they understand it, is what's going to allow the public to hp put pressure on congress to get this passed. that's my plan. >> let me move on to some other issues and some of your views, which i think a lot of americans haven't heard about. a lot of attention on these wall
street protests right now. >> yes. >> you've written about it. u've reacted to it. do you empathize, as the president does, with the message of those wall street protesters? >> what is their message? that's what's unclear. if their message is, let's punish the rich, i d't empathize with that message. they should be protesting the white house. the white house has basically enacted failed economic policies. the whithouse and the democrats ha spent a trillion dollars that did not work. now the president wants to pass another $450 billion. they have the frustrations directed at the wrong group. that's what i'm saying. >> you've talked, as well, about liberals in the country. you gave a speech in february where you didn't mince words. this is what you said. >> the objective of the liberals is to destroy this country. >> to destroy this country. how so? >> economically. look at this economy. david, the eine of ecomic growth is the business sector.
we are growing at an anemic 1%, 1.5%. if we allow this economy to go down, it will destroy our economic capability and as a result we are now looking at how much in defense we can cut. that's destroying it. >> you think liberals actually seek to do that? that that's their mission, to destroy the economy? >> i -- that's the conclusion that i have drawn. >> not mismanagement? >> no. >> it is their mission. >> it is their mission. because they do not believe in a stronger america, in my opinion, yes. >> you've also said that stupid people are ruining america. >> yes. >> who exactly are you talking about? >> people who are uninformed. people who will not look at an alternate idea. people who are so dug in with partisanship and partisan politics, open-mindedness is what's going to save this country. the reason that my message is appealing is because it's simple, and people can understand it. you know, a good idea transcends party politics. but there are some people who will not even consider 9-9-9 or any other proposal if it's coming from someone of the opposite political persuasion.
>> is race a factor in this campaign? >> absolutely not. i have a lot of black people that are saying that they are going to vote for me if i get the nomination. and they're going to vote for me in the primaries, not because of my color. but because of my ideas. they love the mplicity of 9-9-9. they love the simplicity of my approach to energy. we need to become energy independent. people are connected with my idls and solutions. many of the other candidates running for the nomination, they're talking about the problem. and they're talking about generic solutions. i am putting specific solutions on the table. >> this is the cover of "newsweek" magazine that will hit stands this week. it is "yes we cain," the likely rise of the anti-obama, talking about you. you've actually talked a bit about race, though, and you created a contrast between yourself and your experience as an african-american. a term you don't like, by the way. >> i prefer black american. >> why is that? >> because my roots go back through slavery in this country.
yes, they came from africa. but the roots of my heritage are in the united states of america. so i consider myself a black american. >> so you draw some distinction between yourself and your experience as a black man in america, and the experience of president obama? >> absolutely. i came from very hble beginnings. my mother was a maid, my father was a baer, a janitor and chauffeur. we had to -- we had to learn -- do things the old-fashioned way. we had to work for it. my parents never saw themselves as a victim so i didn't learn how to be a victim. i didn't have anything given to me. i had to work very hard in order to be able to go to school. work my way through school. so -- plus, my business experience, i have run small businesses. i have actually made pizzas, made hamburgers. i've actually hato do the inventory. clean the parking lot of a business. i've also had to run -- >> talk about business experience, you actually said president obama is outside the mastream. so you're making a different, more of a social, cultural backgrou distinction between you and the president? >> more expeential. look at his experiences versus my experiences. it was more a contrast of
experiential differences than anything else. >> let's talk about foreign policy. >> yes. >> an area that comes up at a time when the nation is at war. we face terrorist threats, the middle east is roiling. the iranian plot, was this an act of war? >> after i look atll of the information provided by the intelligence community, the military, then i could make that decision. i can't make thadecision because i'm not privto all of that information. >> you don't have a view about what the iranians have done? >> i do have a view. but what i'm saying, david, is i'm not going to say it was an act of war based upon news reports, with all due respect. i would hope that the president and all of his advisers are considing all of the factors in determining just how much -- how much the iranians participated. >> how does president cain respond to this is? >> president cain would first make sure that he's making the right decisions based upon all the information. i, as a candidate, don't have all of the information, so at this point i n't say how i would respond.
if -- if it's an act of war, and the evidence suggests that, then i am going to consult with my advisers and say, what are our options? >> what about foreign policy advisers? who has shaped your thinking about the u.s. in the world and foreign policy? >> i've looked at the writings of people like ambassador john bolton. i've looked at the writings of henry kissinger, k.c. mcfarland, someone i respect. >> would you describe yourself as a neoconservative then? >> i'm not sure what you mean by neoconservative. i am conservative, yes. neoconservative, labels sometimes will put you in a box. i'm very conservative. >> you're familiar with the neoconservative movement? >> i'm not familiar with the neoconservative movement? i'm familiar with the conservative movement. let me define what i mean by the conservative moment p less government, less taxes, more individu responsibility. >> were the wars in iraq and afghanistan a miake? >> i don't think the war in iraq was a mistake. because there were a lot of other reasons we needed to go to iraq and there have been a lot of benefits that have come out
of iraq. now that being said, i don't agrewith the president's approach to draw down 40,000 troops and basically leave that country open to attacks by iran. iran has already said that they want to wait until america leaves -- >> spresident cain would want even beyond the deadline, leave american tros there? >> i would want to leave american troops there if that was what the commanders on the ground suggested, and i believe that that's what they are saying. >> how would you define victory in afghanistan? >> in afghistan, victory is, can leave afghanistan in a situation where they can defend themselves? i don't know if that's possible right now. because here again, what do the commanders on the ground say? what does the intelligence community say? a lot of analysis needs to go into determining whether or not there is a definition of victory in afghanistan. >> you said in the summertime, you told mcolleague savannah guthrie you were still getting up to speed about foreign policy. you remember in the last campaign, hillary clinton ran
that ad against president obama and senator obama, the 3:00 a.m. phone call. >> right. >> the international crisis, you want to know that the commander in chief is tested and ready. what do you say to americans w wonder whether you're ady at this point to be commander in chief? >> i would say to them, first of all, consider myhilosophy to foreign policy, and my principles. that's where you start you can collect the information and make an informed decision. my philosophy is an extension of the reagan philosophy. peace through strength, and clarity. it's not clear who all of our friends are. it's not clear who our enemies are. i believe we need to clearly define who our friends are, clearly define who our enemies are, and then let the rest of the world know, we will stand by our friends. >> here's a geral question, you said you wouldn't rely on wise men, so-called wise men when it comes to foreign policy views, although you mentioned henry kissinger a moment ago. you're familiar with his writing. generally speaking what you have is a great strength, i think to many, is no government experience. but yohave no government
experience whatsoever, and you want to do some big things. explain that vision. i mean, would you bring outsiders in to washington? would you eschew the estaishment washington and do things in a completely different way? maybe like jim carter? >>on't use jimmy carter as the example. >> perhaps not ideologically. >> that's not a good example. secondly, i don't recall saying i would not use wise men and wise women. my philosophy -- >> you wrote that in your book. i won't lean on so-called wise men as other commanders in chief have done. >> well, let me explain what that means. i'm going to have a combination of people that are outside government, and people that are inside government. as much as i a others talk about many of the problems that are perceived outside of washington, as what's going on inside washington, d.c., there are some good people inside washington, d.c. holding ected office that i am going to lean on, i'm going to call upon. but i'm also going to bring in people who understand -- understand defining the right problem, knowing how to surround yourself with good people, and then putting together the right plans.
based upon some guiding principles that i have established throughout my career, and i will establish as president. >> a few more. just some quick ones here. on immigration, you said in an event in tennessee that you would build an electrified fence on the border that could kill people if they try to cross illegall >> that's a joke, david. >> it's a joke. >> it's a joke. that's a joke. >> that's not a serious plan? >> that's noa serious plan. no, it's not. >> you got a big laugh. that's not what you'd do? >>hat's a joke. i've also said america needs to get a sense of humor. that was a joke, okay. >> so that's not serious. wod you deport illegal immigrants in the country right now? >> here's my approach to illegal immigration. here again, this is what's resonating with people. how i would solve the problem. it's not as simple as would you deport. we must secure the border. it would be a combination of a physical fence, technology, and in some areas we might have to put troops there. we must secure the border. secondly we must promote the path to citizenship that's already there. we need to clean up e bureaucracy. third enforce the laws that are already there. now the way you do that is number four, which is a bold idea,
power the states to do what the federal government can't do and won't do as far as dealing with illegals that are in the united states today. >> a couple of more. same-sex marriage, would you seek a constitutional ban for same-sex marriage? >> i wouldn't seek a constitutional ban for same-sex marriage. but i am pro traditional marriage. >> but you would let the states make up their own minds? >> they would make up their own minds, yes. >> what about abortion? you want to overturn roe v. w e wade. could you support abortion under any exceptions at all? >> i believe in life from conception and i do not agree with abortion under any circumstances? >> exceptions for rape and incest? >> no exceptions for rape and incest. >> what about the life of the mother? >> iyou look at rape and incest, the percentage of those instances are so minuscule, there are other options. if it's the life of the mother, that family is going to have to make that decision. >> you won't render a judgment? >> that family is going to have to make that decision. >> what about the supreme court? who is your model of the ideal supreme court justice who you would appoint?
>> i would say that there are several that i have a lot of respect for. justice clarence thomas is one of them. i believe that justice clarence thomas, despite all of the attacks that he gets from the left, he basically rules and makes his decisions, in my opinion, based upon the constitution and solid legal thinking. justice clarence thos is one of my models. >> has he been targeted unfairly, you think? >> i think he has been targeted unfairly. >> let me ask you about your family. your wife of 43 years, gloria, we haven't seen her caaigning. is she a reluctant candidate spouse? >> no. my wife supports me 200%. but let me tell you why you haven't seen my wife. i'm nning a different kind of a campaign. my wife and i, we have a family life. and she is maintaining a calmness and the tranquillity of that family life so when i do get a day off from the campaign trail, i can go home and enjoy my family. secondly, i don't want to subject my wife and my family to the rigors and the attac and
the criticism of this campaign at this point. she will be visible at some point. but it will be based upon when we want her to be visible. not when the powers that be or the media wants her to be visible. she supports me 200%. >> all right, before you go. quick ones on the campaign. >> yes. >> i showed the polls. are you thfront-runner now? >> i am one of the front-runners. because, as you know, the polls can go up and down from one week to another. >> well, you talk about that. look what we've seen sfar in this race. >> yes. >> trump, bachmann, perry, they were all up. they were all the anti-romney and they allame down. what makes you different? >> because of the substance of my ideals. when i talk to people, and i talk to crowds, and i get a response based upon how i describe the ideals, the 9-9-9 is catching on, the fact that i described the illegal immigration problem is catching on. the fact that we need to restructure social security, we can'just keep raising taxes and reducing benefits. the fact that i talk specifically about how to approach foreign policy, the fact that i believe in
inveing in our military, not continuing to cut defense, because the world is not safer. that's what's resonating with people, and that's why i don't think herman cain will be a flavor of the week. >> can you chart a path to this nomination with the amount of money you have? you raised in the third quarte $2.6illion. is that enough to go the distance? >> it's not enough to go the distance. but money is coming in. here's what i've learned, david, and the polls show it. message is more powerful than money. the $2.8 million that we reported, what the report didn't say yet, it's in the report, no debt. and we have $1.3 million on hand as of the end of september. but, within e last two weeks, this is another thing that we've put out there, we've raised $2 million. so in other words, our fund-raising is now beginning to pick up. >> why you and not mitt romney? >> why me and not mitt romney? mitt romney is a great businessman, i have a lot of respect for him. he has been more of a wall street executive. i have been more of a main street executive. >> that will be the dividing line. the debate continues. mr. cain, thank you very much.
>> david, thank you. >> and coming up, our look inside t road to the republican nomination continues, with a debate between two big-name supporters of the gop's top candidates, in mitt romney's corner, form presidential candidate and governor of minnesota, tim pawlenty. and for rick perry, the governor of louisiana, bobby jindal. but first, when we come back our "sunday breakdown," keys to victory for the republican field, and what's inside the president's re-election playbook. nbc's political director and white house correspondent chuck todd, and the bbc's katty kay join us to break it all down. >> pacific life, for insurance, nuities and investments, choose pacific lifehe power to help you succeed. life moves fast. we're often so busy dealing with what's in front of us that we lose sight of the big picture. that's why it's good, every now and then, to pause, take a new look at your financial plan and make sure you're headed in the right direction.
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breakdown." joined by chuck todd and washington correspondent for the bbc and anchor of bbc "world news america" katty kay. welcome to both of you. the breakdowns about getting inside the numbers, inside the playbook for victory. let's start with numbers that matter and that's fund-raising in the third quarter. we'll put them up here on the screen. the big winner out of this is rick perry. he's up $17.2 million in the third quarter. plenty of cash on hand. mitt romney is strong. if you go a little bit farther down, we talkedbout herman cain. we spoke to mr. cain, his haul pretty impressive, as well,$2.6 million in the third uarter. that may not be asimpressive, but you focused on what he said in the interview. >> heaid $2million in the first two weeks. if he is raising aillion dollars a week that is top tier campaign material. if he can keep that up, then he can start actually looking like a top tier candidate and building a top tier organization. >> rick perr has been struggling katty y. but again you go back to that number. those are 15 million reasons that he can try to, you know, put a dent in the mitt romney campaign. >> right. i always point to the fact that if people are giving him money it's because they want him to get elected. and there are enough people
giving him money who thinks he has a shot at this one. so if he can carry on raising money in those kind of mbers, keep on tapping into that conservative base of the country, who think that he's their most viable candidate, then he's going to be able to go the distance in the primaries. >> we haven't brought up super pacs. rick perry's got some friends who can write multimillion dollar checks that can run native ads all over. >> let's go to the playbooknd the keys to victory. let's start with the man you just heard from and that's herman cain. >> number one, he's got to develop an organization. it doesn't -- and there seems to be evidence that he's doing that. he's acknowledging that he has to do that. that's always step one when one of these insurgent candidacies move up. he's got to capitalize on the best elevator pitch resume of the field. businessman, former ceo, not an elected official. that'shat's resonating. and he's got to keep that going. and then he's got to defend this 9-9-9 tax plan. it's gotten plenty of play. but suddenly you go underneath the hood, and it's not hanging --
>> katty, he says in our interview today, tes are going to go up for some people. something he has not acknowledged before. this is going to make the debate in washington even harder for him should he become president and actually propose it. >> right. i'm not sure from that interview that a lot of people are going to come away fully clear about what the 9-9-9 tax plan means for them individually. because he didn't answer this ish beau state taxes and whether they would be kept alongside his 9-9-9 plan. but i take a step back and say the thing that herman cain has to do is kind of, no offense, but he's got to get more people to believe he can be the nominee. he still has a little bit of this sense of being the curiosity of the month. >> let's go to romn and the keys to victory here. i'go through them this time. we're going to play the waiting game. maintain the campaign war chest. gain acceptance among the base, emphasize the busines credentials. >> you know, when you look in our nbc/"wall street journal" number, his supportsthe quintessential mile wide and a inch deep even among those that are with him. he's gothe support of people that aren't paying attention. that's a big, red flag if i were him. he's going to have to be going up on air soon, probably with
some positive ads, emphasizing this business thing. if you've noticed, he is a non, verb and private sector experience, right? he talks about it all the time. why? it's for the same reason herman cain's resonating. that's what the base of the republican party wants. >> and katty kay, look at this poll from our survey this week that's very interesting. what's more important in selecting a candidate, electability? only 31%, closest to your views, 67%. he's still gotto seal the deal with conservatives that he is one. >> it's going to be hard for him to do that. his campaign believes that these numbers will campaign as we get closer to general election if he's the nominee. in the end the conservative base will turn out for him, they will rally around him. in the short-term i'd add one more key to victory. he's got to ke that not romney vote split for as long as possible. he needs to have as many people out there vying for the conservative section of the party while he carries on doing kind of what he's just been doing. >> let me get to perry chuck. if you look at the keys to victory for him, boy they're pretty basic. find his voice,rally and energize, conservatives, and sharpen the message. got to steady himself.
>> charlie cook put it really well. this is rick perry's nomination to win. the republican party looks like him. it is who heis. his conservative ideology, it was represented by rick perry. and yet he can't seem to capitalize on it. the irony is, if mitt romney had had half the blunlders that rick perry has had, he uld have been driven out of the race. it just shows you how conservative t party is. they're yearning for this alternative, a they're giving him every chance he can take. >> quickly from both of you. katty, you first, the game plan right now then for the president? >> the game plan for the president is to make this a choice between obama, and whatever th republican nominee is, and to remind americans that it was republican economic policies that got us into the financial crisis, and that if a republican is elected to the white house, they will implement those same policies that got us -- >> i talk to avisers in the white house who say they want to win on who's got the vision for the future for the economy. they can persuade americans
republicans will take the country back. >> they want to prolong this republican nomination. the last thing they want is mitt romney to win this quickly. th're going do what they can to help rick perry attack mitt romney, in any way they can, but don't beurprised if you start seeing some stuff that doesn't make a lot of sense for the docratic campaign to be saying but it's a way of trying to goose perry to say, hey, look, attack romney this way in the primaries because they want to prolong the race. >> sunday breakdown. more of this to come. thanyou both very much. coming up here, a special decision 2012 gop debate. more on this on the campaign and the issues. mitt romney versus rick perry. with us, top supporters from each camp. joining us for team perry, louisiana governor bobby jindal. can his candidate, rick perry, overcome his plunge in the pos? and for teamromney, fmer minnesota governor and former presidential candidate himself, tim pawlenty. can romney persuade conservatives to rally around his candidacy? r special 2012 debate is coming up next. look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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we're back this morning to continue our inside look at the fight for the republican nomination. with us top surrogates for the romney and perry campaigns, making their first joint appearance in this race. for team romney the former republicangovernor of minnesota tim pawlenty, who until mid-august was a candidate for president himself. and for team perry, bobby jindal, the republican governor of louisiana who endorsed governor perry of his neighboring state of texas last month. welcome to both you. governor pawlenty, i have to ask you, any regrets about getting out of th republican race? >> , i have no regrets.
we took it as far as we could, and for me it meant we had to fold up the tent. but i'm really excited and honored to be supporting mitt romney. the number one issue in this race going to be who can get this economy going and jobs going, and he is the best candidate to do that by far. >> you did say recently the decision you made after iowa was perhaps premature. did yo look at the complion of this race now, you think you cou have stayedin and been a contender? >> that was in reference to some tactical decisions we had made during the campaign, not the decision to get out. certainly not the decision to support mitt. >> all right, let's talk about negatives on both sides. because thes are negatives that have to be dealt with and overcome at this stage of the race. you heard from herman cain, who is now, according tour survey, on top of the polls at the moment. and for team romney, for governor romney, this issue of consistency. whether he's flip-flopped on views is something that the white house is taking a careful look at. david axelrod, who is senior strategist to president obama said thisuring a conference call this week. >> across the political specific strum, people have the same question, if you -- if you are willing to change positions on
fundamental issuesf principle, how can we know what you would do as president? how can we trust who you would be? >> governor jindal, what's exhibit "a" there against romney? >> i believe obama broke the eleventh commandment. m not here to attack a fellow republican. the reason i'm supporting rick per, he's been a consistent conservative. great track record in texas. last t years, helped to create nearly half the jobs created in this country. consistently fought excessive government spending, fought to cut taxes in texas. i think tim is right, the nber one issue in this election is about jobs and the economy. under president obama we've lost 2 million jobs. under president obama national debt is nearly $15 trillion. stimulus one didn't work. now he's back with stimulus part two, nearly $500 billion, nearly $450 billion in more spending. >> we'll get to the views on the economy in just a second. governor pawlenty, you don't have the advantage of being able to stick to the eleventh commandment because you've been on this program before. and we save tapes around here.
one of the big issues is about health care and the fact that the health care plan in massachusetts was, in fact, the model for what the president pursued for health care reform. i asked you about that here in july. are you saying he cannot be the nominee, unelectable as the nominee of the party because of his position on health care? >> i think if you're going to prosecute the political case against president obama in one of the top three or four issues it's going to be t direction of the country in health care, it's going to be ver difficult for our nominee to be one of the -- >> that'she argument. i want to know what your conclusion is. >> it's going to be very difficult for him to be successful with that on his record. >> your criticism of a man you now endorse is borne out in our poll, 43% of those surveyed, of conservatives say, that the health care law is a big liability for them, in their minds, about governor romney. >> well, you started this line of questn, david, about consistency. and david axelrod comes out and talks about consistency. president obama gets before the country and says he's going to cut the deficit in half, and then doesn't, and has a whole
list of broken promises. so we'll be happy to debate that with him at the appropriate time. as to governor rmney and health care. i spent a lot of time wth governor romney and looked him eyeball to eyeball. we know each other and i trust him and he's told me unee kwif as he has the nation, he is 1 huns% committed to repealing obama care and will take the rst steps that regard on his very first day in office. >> but your point here was it's very difficult for him to be successful with that record. you worked through that criticism? >> absolutely. he's put on a virtual clinic at these debates. we're gog to have a candidate who can successfully debate barack obama. mitt romney has gotten "a" grades across the board in every debate he's been in. on this issue, people attacking him on it and others. he actually, i think, is the strongest candidate relative to president obama because of his skills, his knowledge, his capability, and his electability on this issue an others. >> let's talk about governor rry. you've endorsed him. he came into this campaign with great expectations, and we've seen a pretty stunnin fall in the polls.
the debate performances have not helped. his own wifenita perry spoke this week about how difficult it's been. >> we've been brutalized, and beaten up and chewed up in the press. >> and she went on to say, brutalized by gop rivals. what's gone wrong here for him? >> well, a couple things. presidential campaigns are tough. the good thing is i know rick and anita well. i know they're up tothis. that he's been governor of texas for nearly 11 yearsnow. during that time they've surpassed new york to become the second largest economy. i'll tell you one of the reasons i'm endorsing rick. i've been governor of a neighboring state. we've worked together through crises, through economic recessions. we've competed with eac other for jobs. let me tell you just a quick story. we were wn in new orleans, we had to evacuate patien out of harm's way immediately. wealled for help. literally the air space was about to be closed. the first seven planes that came came from the texas air national guard. rick perry has made tough decisions in crises.
he's made emergency, he's made executive level decisions. i know it's hard. he is a leader. we now have a presint who is a great speaker. we don't need just a great debater, a great speaker. we need somebody with ecutive branch experience, rick perry's got that. >> there's got to be some reason to explain his inability to get this message out that governor jindal's talking about. how do you see it? >> i think if you're running for president you need somebody who's going to make sure that they have the steadiness, the confidence, the knowledge, the capability to deliver every time. you see in mitt romney that kind of steady, consistent, strong, conservative performance. and i think people are looking at tse debates and his other appearances -- >> so what is the distinction then between governor romney and governor perry? >> there's a number of distinctions. each candidate has their own background, their own story, their own style, their own tempo. their own views -- >> you guys want to win the nomination here. and there's $15 million that governor perry is going to start throwing at gernor romney. so what's the distinction? >> i think the bottom line is republicans are watching these
debates, the coury is wahing this unfold and they're looking at mitt romney and saying that's a person who can be president and do the job. >> there's actually governor chris ee who endorsed mitt romney seemed to have quite a slap at rick perry when he endorsed him this week. i want to play that. >> the biggest reason why i want to support governor romney is because i believe he's the best person to be able to articulate republican values, and defeat barack obama in november of 2012. this is not someone who just is deciding to run for president off the back of an energy, who just wandered ito it and said, hey, this seems like a good idea, let's see how i goes. this is somebody who has thought, and listened, and planned for agood, long period of time about what he would do if he was given the honor of being president of the united states. and the responsibility of being president of the united states. >> is that an issue here for governor perry? he made a decision to get in. he's got tremendous experience. governor of texas, and as a campaigner, and yet he doesn't seem to quiteave it together in terms of the message, his voice, his performance, when it
comes to running for te white house. >> i think there's going to be a long campaign. there will be plenty of speeches, debates, polls going up and down. the most important thing rick has is his track record. cut taxes 65 times, $14illi in the state of texas. one of the five lowest taxed states according to the tax foundation. one of theest states when it comes to regulatory environment. the reality is seven years in a row, khost magazine says it's the business friendliest state. you've got a state ere he can show he has done during tough times, during good times, to bring in jobs. firstovernor in texas history to cut general government spending since world war ii. he has done all of that while tackling tort reform, creating jobs. i think what the american people, republica primary voters are looking for, not necessarily the slickest debater, the best speaker, what they're looking for is a proven track record. we've got a president who we elected who hadn't run anything other than his campaign before he got elected president of the united states. i think he's way over his ad. unemployment has gone up, america's competitive ranging has gone down. now we're number five in the
world. we've seen our credit rating downgraded for the first time. i think voters are going to look past a couple of debates and polls and look past a couple of speeches and what they're going to say is who's got the track record? who's got the executive branch experience? rick perry's got that. >> there's this issue of governor romney is a mormon, this has become an issue in the campaign, pastor robert jefferson introduced rick perry and said the following -- >>o we wanta candidate who is a good, moral person? or do we want a candide who is a born-again follower of the lord jesus christ? mitt romney is a good, moral person. but he is not a christian. mormonism is not christiany. yet it's always been considered historically to be a cult by evangelical christians. >> has governor perry satisfactorily distanced himself from this pastor in governor romney's mind? >> well, in my view, david, it's disappointing that governor perry and others didn't denounce
pastor jeffress and those comments more directly. we have a country where we don't have prohibitions on a particular church attendance for public office. in fact it's prohibited in the u.s. constitutio and if the measure is what kind of person are you, when you look at mitt romney and how he conducts himself as a loving husband, as a ling grandfather, as somebody who is completely committed to this country, his patriism, the way he conducts himself personally, those are the kinds of values that i'm -- as an evangelical christian, i'm proud to stand next to him and say these are the kinds of values in a person, in terms of his personal conduct and vales -- >> governor jindal, are you disappointed in governor perry? have you told him he should more formay denounce -- >> i don't think it's for any of us to judge somebody else's religious views, their relationship with god. the bible is very clear, that's up to god, not up to us. i have some experience with this. last time i ran for office the democratic party in louisiana attacked me for my faith. >> why not call on perry to denounce this very strongly? >> it did give me a chance to explain my christian beliefs to
louisiana voters. it's not for any of us to judge somebody's faith, relationship to god. i think that would be inappropriate. the bible is very clear. that's not our role. >> we'll take a quick break. we'll be back with our trends and take aways. a look at what was said here today and what to look for in the coming week. what are, as
money race is right on top there as we've seen those third quarter totals come in for the top tier candidates, including herman cain who you heard from earlier today. number three, bachmann blasts perry on immigration. quickly governor pawlenty, is this a huge lbility for governor perry as he moves forward? >> well, the immigration issue is going to be a significant issue. it's not as important as the jobs issue. t it's a top tier issue. and governor perry's got some exposure, as we all know, on that issue. >> let's talk about the week ahead. a couple of interesting debates. tuesday another debate in nevada. will have the candidacies together. and on thursday, pay attention to this, romney returns to iowa. the question is, will he make a play there for iowa? it's going to be very interesting to see. i want to thank you both, and speaking of upcoming campaign events, some news to share this morning about our upcoming new hampshi debate thate are co-hosting with facebook. we are pleased to add the new hampshire union leader as a local partner on the debate which will be held the sunday prior to the new hampshire primary. when is that going to be?
we don't know. we're waiting to find out. and before we go, be sure to check out our special press pass conversation this week about why the debates matter. i spoke to the veteran moderator of so many presidential debates, jim lehrer, about the defining moments, and some of the behind-the-scenes fallout from these debates. plus we got the inside story on debate prep and strategies from two experienced campaign pros, ron klain and kevin madden, a fascinating discussion. you can watch it online at presspass.msnbc.com. that is all for
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