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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  December 23, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PST

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the first is, can i keep my job at this point and the second question is, do i want this job. he can't really handle the tea party republicans. they've rolled him a couple of times now on the debt ceiling debacle. he comes out of this looks like he can't control his caucus. he had this deal done with mb connell and senate democrats no not go through think of this nightmare and couldn't sell it. he had to come back and say, look, we're going to fight to block this payroll tax cut from continuing in january. it's one of the worst disasters for the republican party i've seen in quite a long time. >> this is such a self-inflicted wound. the house republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. they had this taken care of last week. democrats were saying the president got rolled on the keystone pipeline, the millionaire's tax and two months of extension in return the the democratic caucus. as they were doing that the republicans were winding up the
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noose to hang themselves. >> i think it's hard to actually physically stab yourself in the heart. phil? >> yes, phil, now to defend. terrific. >> here's my question. we're placing a lot of the blame on boehner but does the tea party shoulder any of this? could this be maybe a turning point for them seeing the havoc that they have brought? >> i think there's a lesson here about the fights that you pick. obviously the politics and the ral reality of the situation was was not good for the american people or, frankly, the republican party. boehner probably had the intention and wanted to work out the deal. he had a conference call that was pretty contentious and boisterous so i think he's trying to calibrate a lot of different elements within his caulk cause. but ultimately this is probably the right outcome. the truth is that the deal got a little bit better as a result. there are some technical glitches fixed in the deal. >> the fix is basically an accountant -- a fix for
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accountants. >> it is. i don't want to lay it out as a t. great pan seeia of all things with respect to the deal. >> washington is still broken. >> the intent of trying to steak a long-term approach is something that both parties have said they know that's a good directional goal. we should do it. the lack of certainty is what is herring our markets, hurting our economy. so the underlying issues are important, but the process here was probably not helpful ultimately. but, hey, it's the holiday season. christmas is tomorrow. >> let's talk about something else. >> let's talk about something else. >> let's don't. >> we're mentioning it, we're talking two-month extension really. this is going to come back in 60 days which ironically is the same time line for the keystone pipeline. you've skirted around this issue again. what are the repercussions of the me party, if any? >> for the first time it is critical clear they make this argument that they will take any tax cut possible, except for the one that actually helps middle class families.
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>> right. >> that has been a hard thing for democrats to communicate. i think this is finally offered them an opportunity to say the propaganda sounds great but when you get down to it who they are arguing for, who they are defending are the people who need it the least. >> are there repercussions in 2013? democrats are sharpening the knife thinking maybe we can take back the house? do you think this debacle carries through an election season or do you think the american people forgets about it? >> i think it hurts republicans because this is driving independent voters who just want washington to function. >> right. >> they just want it to work. they just want some adults in the room. i don't blame john boehner. i think he has the hardest job in the world because these are people who respected him as speaker and refuses to follow the lead. he is trying to get them good deals. they won't take yes for an answer at this point. very difficult. >> there's a detail that came out and i don't know. i had it somewhere on one of these little cards, these cheat
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sheets. that boehner when he announced he was going to make the deal put everybody on mute. >> finically! >> on conference call so people couldn't voice opposition. why didn't he just do that on sunday and will this be a tactic going forward? >> i don't think it will be a tactic going forward because you have to be able to listen to your caucus. you get to a point where this has to be the end of the deal, we've got to stop the bleeding. there's enough whining taken place. it was a fate of complete if they were going to take the consent on this today and get it done. no point in him listening to the tea party bash him again on the phone. some of them did it in public. the weird strange, strangest thing about this debate, i think, was that the republicans and tea party all of a sudden seem to be saying we're for a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut when some of them previously were not for it at all. no one believed they were for a year engine tension of the payroll tax cut. they were upset that in the senate bill there was none of this stuff to pay for the payroll tax cut extension which
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was reducing government employee pay, lots of environmental riders. they didn't get the goodies they wanted in the senate bill so they blocked the passage in the house based on nothing do do with the payroll tax cut. >> on the purely political question that you posed earlier, at the end of the day this could be fodder for political use down the line but we have ions away from an election. i don't think it's going to have a central impact. i think other issues will be decided on this. what we should do and what republicans should do is, you know, get right back on this, meaning to your point about the two-month extension, this month and half holiday into the end of january, to heck with that. come back, look, most of america comes back to work on january 2nd. maybe doesn't answer the phone until 12:00 working off the night before. but the bottom line is the congress should do the same thing. congress should be pressuring the administration to tackle this right away because the reason congress is at 7% is there's just complete dysfunction across at all levels. so the last thing you need is another big fight about this in
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march especially since we some measure of it. >> you're echoing the comments i think very much in the "wall street journal" which is like get back to the larger argument here. >> yes. >> and speaking of dysfunction, i have to talk about this because i find it endlessly intriguing. south carolina said the truck that ran us over had kentucky license plates. which is an indictment of mitch mcconnell. and let's talk a little bit about the relationship between boehner and mcconnell because they've been casely -- i think "the new york times" describe it adds hand in glove this year. but here, hand was not in glove. >> because there was nothing in boehner's glove at the moment. he can go into a room and negotiate a deal which most moderate republicans consider to be a good deal. but at this point the reason his speakership is in danger because democrats don't know if he is speaking for his caucus at this point. can he deliver the voetsz when they strike a deal with him behind closed doors, with reed, with mcconnell. >> it was a year of boehner just not being able to close the deal. >> not the fact that nobody objected this morning was a plea about surprise to john boehner.
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he can at least go home for cyst ms. and say, well, i can a least have a nice one because it was very possible that -- >> viewers at home. >> somebody could have come and object i'm surprised a little bit they didn't, actually. i think he has a small victory here but his speakership is in danger because of that and tea party freshmen are so angry with him. the fact there was no objection this morning doesn't mean there's no objection to him and his leadership. >> he looked into the rules for recalling, you know, someone of their speakership and it requires a vote, entire house vote which would require democrats to come and join is with republicans. >> and they're they're not going to do that. >> you need to kill it. >> it's the next congress, right, phil? >> john boehner spiked, he's been a very good leader. the personal leadership between mcconnell and boehner is solid. politics is human sous saausage making. you're going to have times when things line up and times when things go off the tracks. that's what's happened here.
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>> i learned in the my examination of parliamentary or congressional rules you do not have to be a member of congress to be speaker of the house. so what am i doing here? when we come back, president obama delivers a statement on the payroll tax extension. that's next on "now." ♪ you, you ain't alone ♪ and just let me be [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ your ticket home ♪ [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store. yes. but lately we've been using k-y® intense™. it stimulates arousal so the big moment is...
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welcome become. joining us now is mike vicarra and nbc news white house correspondent. mike, how are you? >> what what a difference 24 hours makes. 24 hours ago eric cantor sort of tongue in cheek invited the president to come up to the capitol and bring his dog bo if he wanted to.
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and now after a anticlimatic vote they waived their hands over this thing and got you nan mouse consent. no one was there to object if they wanted to. republicans are in full retreat. the straw that broke the camel's back, house republicans out on that island totally isolated after mitch mcconnell, republican leader in the senate, called on them to go ahead and get on with it past the two-month tax break. it's one thing for karl rove to say something, or newt gingrich say it, or the "wall street journal" editorial page. but when mitch mcconnell makes a statement and subsequently has president obama to use it to bash other republicans in the house over the head while the time has come to cave and to john boehner's credit, he didn't make any bones about it yesterday, fought the good fight, a t lo of good opinions in the republican conference. the time was come. >> i notice there are no confetti or streamers or balloons coming from the ceiling where you are. >> right. >> tell us what the mood is over at the white house. this time last year president
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obama was taking his version of a victory lap before he got on a plane to go to hawaii. sounds like this year he's doing much the same. >> you can interpret it that way. similarly last year, ironically enough it was a deal president obama struck with mitch mcconnell about the very payroll tax cut holiday that the fight was about this month that delayed the president's trip to hawaii. we all know the fact that that the first family is already there. they've been there for some five or six days. i wonder if the president has lost count. he was delayed that time. i think he got there just two days before christmas. apparently that's the plan this time as well, alex. >> one can imagine that the guava juice can taste extra sweet this year. i want to talk to the panel. do we know that john boehner has left the capitol, the bird has flown? when asked where he is going, he said somewhere warm. presumably not hawaii. let's talk a little bit about the 2012 race and the fact that those folks who would be king,
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say the republican contenders for the office of president have been sort of sitting on the sidelines with regards to this battle although they changed their message when asked what their position on the payroll tax cuts are. romney is for a payroll tax cut now but on october 11th in a bloomberg debate said, i don't like temporary little band-aids. romney, let's take him as our first point of discourse. how would this have played out with a president romney? we know that romney has a difficult time sort of firing up and getting rallying the arch conservative tea party right wing base. what would the dynamics have been had romney had to oversee this fight? >> we wouldn't have been talking atta payroll tax cut because when romney talk about what he wants to do in tax reform he doesn't want to do piecemeal, small fixes like this. he wants to do broad corporate tax reform, lower rates for everybody. i don't think he would be tau agent a tax cut like this in a romney administration. i think wow you would be talking about fighting for reducing
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marginal rates on everyone, particularly the corporate tax rate. in ters of his ability to coral his own party, we don't know about that. we don't know the extent to which he could sort of run rough shod over the right. the general election campaign the extent to which he can run along a middle path towards a general election win or if he gets tugd right all the time by the tea party. that's going to be his big, i think, impediment is to keep those guys at bay. keep them happy that they don't not show up at the polls but also be able to run away from this debacle and congress and what just happened. >> i think from a leadership perspective there's a distinction, ben. i've spent some time working with governor romney and he is a serious, smart leader. and so in terms of engagement, i think a president romney would have been on this a lot earlier. i think a president romney -- romney presidency would feature mitt romney playing a much more proactive role in leadership
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with the congress. stronger executive role in this debate is something that would likely to be a hallmark of this administration. to the specifics, you're right, i don't think he's looking for short term band-aids. there is a philosophical difference in this country about the direction this country should go. romney will big and bold on some things and probably isn't a big fan of band-aids. >> you have the benefit of knowing him well and for the rest of us only knowing him from his first presidential run and this one. the big questions about what type of leadership he will provide. his unwillingness to really get into this and state a clear opinion, i think, re-enforces this argument that we don't know what -- >> the tea party -- there's no win for him being involved in this particular debate. when you run for president the last thing -- he is the presumptive front-runner for our party. getting in the middle of a losing public relations match is not smart politics. >> opened the door for gingrich to go back to his coronary tive which he is going to get in there and make tough decisions
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while romney sits on the sidelines. >> let's talk about newt gingrich because in iowa on tuesday he said house republicans should give in. quet, incumbent presidents have enormous advantages. what republicans ought to do is what's right for america, calmly and pleasantly and happily. but, there's always a but, in virginia on wednesday when asked, gingrich said, i would have all of my members on talk radio back home demanding the senators come back and i can "how can the senators arrogantly go home? >> i think we can all remember back to the mid '90s. i don't think there was much being done calmly and pleasantly with newt gingrich at the helm. i don't know where that piece of advice coming from, quite frankly. that was good gingrich and bad gingrich popped up. and i think with newt gingrich we can expect a very, very strong level of executive leadership to the point that it may be hijacking the executive mansion. maybe dissolving congress. thank newt gingrich, i can't imagine him working well with this congress because most
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members of congress, including republicans don't like him very much. very few endorsements coming out of the house republican caucus. >> let's never forget that john boehner led the campaign for gingrich's ouster when he was speaker. i want to talk a little bit more because you touched on it, phil, about romney's vision of this country, unemployment insurance and the long game. is that a phrase, the long game? "new york times" attacking mitt romney saying he is presenting obama as a socialist and he's over-simplified or grossly over-simplified president obama's theory of fairness in society. and that romney responded to that today and said, i think they actually have the sound. let's play that. >> i think people in this country understand exactly where the president is coming from. and his comments to joe the plumber, let's spread it around a bit, suggests that this is a person, like many in his party who believe that the right
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course for america is for government to take from some to give to these. that's the orientation of a lot of liberals. >> that is, i think, a far less aggressive poster than romney has taken in previous states about president obama and redistributing wealth in this country. i wonder to what degree you think he will get fact checked on this as the campaign goes on and as the rhetoric heats up? >> well, i mean, what he says is not necessarily wrong about taxation rates and what democrats want to do. but the frame is different. what obama will say in the campaign is in order to get our fiscal house in order, in order to balance the budget, in order to take care of social programs that we like, some people are going to have to pay a little bit more. we think the people at the highest end can do that. we've had all of these years of tax cuts on the wealthiest that have run up this huge deficit and debt and we're going to reverse those policies and continue to try to reverse those policies and romney is going to say, look, i believe the economy performs best when you reduce taxes, reduce regulations. it would be a very clear choice.
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who frames it better to the american people? >> i want to bring in the infamous lawrence o'donnell who is the host of "the last word" here on msnbc. lawrence joining us live from los angeles, california. thanks for coming in on the show, lawrence. >> alex, you use wicked big adjectivesintroducing your guests. i don't know what you mean? >> i don't have words like wicked inial lially my quiver. lawrence, you know congress, you know spent a lot of time there. we're talking agent the payroll tax cut debacle. i wonder what you make of all of this and if, you know, there i think is a contention in the media that the white house has won this. do you think that's true? if we talk about the american public and what they make of this entire thing, do you think it's, a, registered and do you think they've picked a winner? >> no. i think the press is wildly exaggerating the -- the effect
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of this in the public. look at when it happened. it happened in the rush of christmas shopping. people are distracted by other things. and, also, they knew it was a game from the start. it was just some kind of democrat/republican game. i think they kind of knew in their gut that it's going to happen because it's a tax cut and it's going to get delivered. so there was some kind of weird gamesmanship that happened in washington where, you know, it looked like it was going to happen and then it didn't happen and then it happened. and that sequence looks like it was going to happen, then it didn't happen, and then it happened is something the voter has been put through now so many times that they're not -- i really don't think they're watching each inning of this anymore. >> i wonder, though, for a long time those of us watching this, we call this a high stakes game of chicken. i'll say it again. the democrats have been in the minivan and the republicans have been in the ferrari testarossa. for the first time it seems like obama actually had a well-oiled
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machine in terms of messaging at the white house and delegates on the hill, whether that was steny hoyer or harry reid. the guys in the trench essaying this is not a white house problem, it's a congressional problem. as far as obama and any lift he may get or drawing a further contrast between him and the republican field, you just don't see it? is that fair to say? or do you think this -- >> i think it -- my sense is, and i'm happy to be wrong about this, is that it hatch ehappene time when the public was not able to pay attention over this kind of thing and it happened over something that was much too small. it really is 40 bucks and it really is, you know, a two-month thing. and what is missed, because, you know, the immediaty desperately loves to do the winner and loser story. it doesn't care that much about what's in the actual legislation. remember, and mike pointed this out earlier today, smartly, that the original loser here was
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president obama because he had come out and given this very strong statement about, you know, i want this thing clean. i don't want any of your republican junk on it. and some republican junk got on it about this keystone pipeline which he specifically said, you couldn't put on it. they put something on there about the pipeline. and he went along with that. but then, that's when the house of representatives went to work to save him from the perception of having lost that ground because, you know, he lost that inning but then they spent a week where it looked like the president comes out the winner in the media account of winner and loser. >> sure. it's interesting, keystone was the word on all of our lips last week and it virtually disappeared from the national discourse. >> right. >> anyway, we will be back with more on this and what 40 bucks means and also president obama making a statement on the payroll tax cut deal, after the break.
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we are back and waiting for president obama to make remarks regarding the payroll tax cut deal that was just passed in the house. and we also have host of the "last word" on msnbc lawrence o'donnell joining us remote all of the way from los angeles, california. lawrence, one of the things i wanted to talk about in this season of giving and the holiday spirit is a project you launched last year called k.i.n.d., kids in need of desks with, i think that partner is unicef. and i'm wondering if you can just give our viewers at home an update. i know that you've been incredibly successful this season in terms of the project and where it's going. >> and by the way, the only way we could be successful is thanks to your executive producer dana haller who runs this partnership. >> she is the kindest. >> dana haller is the kindest and set up my very first trip to
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malawi. she set up every bit of this from the msnbc side and the amazing partnership between msnbc and unicef which has now raised close to $3.5 million now. it's up to 3.3, alex, and whatever we raise -- and this is the last time we'll talk about it before christmas. and whatever we raise between now and tuesday when i come back to report on it, i'm going to credit as the alex wagner effect, okay? whatever we pick up. >> will school children in malawi with carving my name in the desks? i'm just kidding. if children in malawi is listening to me, do not deface the desks. >> we haven't quite penetrated malawi yet with msnbc. each desk costs $40 but you can give any amount. $10, other people will get $10 and we'll get a desk. the desks will be made in malawi by workers in malawi. it's a jobs program there workers. the kids are thrilled.
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they've never seen desks. the teachers -- i've spoken to teachers who have worked in malawi elementary schools for 15 years and they've never seen a desk in malawi public school. this is a life-changing thing. as soon as it arrives. it's the biggest ent that occurs in the course of a year in any of these schools when a desk arriv arrives. and unicef has done a fantastic job of organizing everything on the ground for us in malawi and getting everything delivered. it's really been fantastic. the msnbc audience has been incredible. i just went over there myself a couple years ago and i found a way of supplying one classroom, really about -- i got about 100 students off the floor in my first trip. et a million ent enough money students off the floor into desks just over the next five years. if you just assume that the desk lasts five years, and i think the desks are going to last at least ten years each in those classrooms, it's an amazing
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change in the world of education in malawi. it's all thanks to the msnbc audience. this is exclusively where it's pitched, is to the msnbc audience. that's it. that's how this is funded. >> it is really impressive. we have the stat that $939,000 have been donated to the project in the last week alone. which is certainly a testament to the audience we have. >> this is in a very tough economy and very tough for people to give and i know that. >> lawrence, where can people get more information to donate if they would like to? >> we go to our website, there's another a 800 number. >> 1-800-for-kids. >> why can't i remember that? >> there's a lot going on. you're in california. >> i'm an internet guy. i don't do the 800 number thing. >> the phone thing. >> i go to the website. >> but let's telegraph out a little bit. >> alex, by the way, alex, by the way, guess what your christmas present from me is this year.
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>> a desk? >> atit's a desk because unicef will send a gift receipt to whoever you want. because you're impossible to buy for. you have everything. >> the woman who has everything. >> i've been thinking all month what do i get alex? i can't think of anything. >> i spent a year thinking about what do get you, lawrence. a year. i appreciate the desk and i encourage everybody who is watching this show get someone else a desk, someone else that they love desk because it is an incredible project. lawrence, i want to talk a little bit -- we're talking about the msnbc audience giving. the numbers about charitable giving we obviously know the economy -- american economy is in a time of duress. and yet we have statistics, the charities aid foundation ranked americans as the most generous in the world in terms of the number of people who made charitable contributions and volunteered their time. up from fifth place in 2010. something remarkable as we end this season of divisiveness and partis partisan bickering and remember who we are as a country.
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it's a great reminder that, in fact, the real america out there is an incredibly generous and incredibly forgiving population. it it's projects like this and moments like that that we should reflect on that>> and also reflect on the fact that guys like phil an i who went to college together disagree on just about everybody come on tv and be civil and talk to one another. we don't have a lot of civil discourse in the world. it's great to have it on television and the american people are good people, giving people. just because we beat the living tar out of each other in politics each day doesn't mean we can't also be generous and give in the spirit of this. >> i read this article just made me cry. there were -- there's an article about secret santas going into k mart and paying off other people's lay-a-way bills. k mart has said they have been inundated. there's a phenomenon since that article came out and paying in what they can to help other people out and they know how much it will mean to somebody else.
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that to me seas it all and washington can do what it's going to do but the american people i think are much stlonger than the leadership they're getting right now. >> i know you see it and, lawrence, this is a great program and thank you for what you've done on it and you guys are great to do things like this. when you travel abroad, people still want to come to america and that's for a reason, because we do have a warm-hearted culture. we've got great people. we've done a ton as a country both in terms of helping people in need around the world on an on-going basis. you see that when you travel abroad. it's good to see it validated in terms of statistics and facts. >> it's an important reminder as you said, congress is sort of at odds with each other and the redistribution or not of wealth and the idea that americans are happy to take $1, $5 or $48 out of their pockets to help others. good reminder in the holiday season. if you want more information on k.i.n.d. and how you can help, visit lawrence is sticking around. don't go anywhere. when we come back, we are still
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[ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates. this week in washington and on the campaign trail, holiday wishes were granted and dashed on the eve of christmas eve, it's time to ask, what just happened? >> the republicans have something to put in it. they have a lump of coal. here's your christmas gift. >> twas two nights before christmas and up on the hill, not a bill left outstanding, cooperation good will. >> disgrace. it is unreal. it is unbelievable. >> politics will be politics. >> it is harming the republican party. >> reporter: and president watched at home all alone, crashing pressers with carney, getting bo a new bone. >> i saw the president out yesterday doing his christmas shopping. he could bring his dog up here. we are pet friendly.
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>> reporter: while over in iowa newt slid in the polls as negative ads took over control. >> the heat that's going to come from obama's kitchen is going to be a heck of a lot hotter. >> if he wants to test the heat i'll meet him anywhere in iowa next week. >> reporter: with gop in the field so lively and quick, who knows will stick. >> he is the guy you want to bring home to mom and dad. >> my numbers have always been above senator santorum so it makes no sense for me to drop out. >> reporter: on herman, bachmann, ron paul, mitt, top at poll, top of the kaul, now drop away, drop away, drop away all. >> it's been going on 20 years that people have bestered me about this. >> reporter: while awaiting results in des moines and manchester, the man in the white house had been in sequester. though we heard him explain as he bid us good night, don't think for a minute i'm not winning this fight. >> good job. >> early. >> okay. what is amazing about that, that
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christmas carol, is that we got wilfred to actually read the audio. no, that was me. >> that was you. >> that was me doing my best. but it does -- it does bring to the floor the question of what did just happen this week and who were the real winners and losers? i asked my panel, think big, who do you think comes out on top? >> from this week? >> from this week. >> president obama clearly comes out on top. i think probably mitt romney, too, to a degree in that he didn't get messed up in this debate at all and newt gingrich is just getting the living whatever destroyed out of him in iowa, i try not to curse on the air. but he's really dropping. and the negative ads running against him. if you're in iowa every 30 seconds they're on and he's getting beat up on fannie mae, freddie mac. romney has the bush endorsement. he's got the momentum back as the inevitable nominee. all this noise is going to come to an end relatively soon.
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>> i'm going the say that house democrats are the winner this week because a group with no leverage and no power manage to win a political fight by accident. and they end upcoming out on top. i want to caution the obama administration not to get too excited about this, though, because this exact same fight is coming up. >> christmas morning from patricia murphy. >> i'm going to put a lump of coal. >> the only thing i'm worried about is this fact that we have spent so much time making a list of what we're going to spend $40 on and now we're going to make sure we have it in our paychecks. >> phil. >> cable tv, politico, got a whole lot of great foder the week before christmas which kept him busy. that's probably the net win on this thing. >> lawrence o'donnell, we still have new you in los angeles. what's your pick of winner and loser this week? >> by far, the much neglected harry reid. he is the guy that created this masterful deal with mcconnell that got the 89 votes in the senate and then, most importantly, most importantly,
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he had the senate leave town. if the senate stayed in town, this game could not have turned out the way it turned out. we g reid got them to leave. when senators leave from both parties, that's it. you're not getting them back. that was a crucial move. that was the strongest, boldest move in the entire play. and the president and the house democrats couldn't have done what they did if the senate had not left town. >> and astute observation as always, lawrence. my pick, of course, michelle obama and sasha and malia obama thauz gear getting their dad and husband and presumably he's had time to shop not only at best buy but other locations. >> petsmart. >> chris, kriss kringle may have something to have for them. we will be back with more after the break. that's next on "now." [ female announcer ] applying lip balm over...
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welcome back. you are still wait for president obama to make a statement on the payroll tax cut before he jets off to hawaii for a vacation. before break we were talking about the humanity both america and the human side of running for president. i have to play the new rick perry ad because i think it's the latest in the spat of touchy feely ads from the gop field of candidates. this time rick perry and anita perry. this is the latest ad. >> we grew up in small towns raised with christian values. values we still believe in. and we know washington, d.c. could use some of that. >> i'm rick perry and i really approve this message. >> the end of that ad is the best part of that ad. does this work to help mu
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mannize rick perry? >> yes. >> it does. the fact that they are using anita realizes they need something to reach out to voters. she has a lot of conservative credibility. with this ad reminds me of though is going back four years when hillary clinton was all by her lone some on the couch opening christmas presents and said, universal pre-k and then there was this contrast ad from the obamas that was four of them sitting together wishing you a h merry christmas and it was a big turning point in the campaign. that was an over statement. it was as big a turning point as a holiday ad can be. i do think these ads have that potential. >> phil, would you agree? >> i think connecting with people in a real term way. if an ad makes you laugh or evoke some connection, that's where that is targeted, you know, think four years ago mike huckabee had a budge of ads around vets around chuck norris and ads with christmas and
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christian themes interwoven in them. right now perry is trying to appeal with evangelical voters in iowa. they are aimed at that and giving them a more human face and connecting with women voters. good ad. >>ly say that i think perry leaping out into a tight black turtleneck, kind of weird. >> he wears them a lot. they work. >> it's better than the barn jacket which i have some other words about. but we have seen this come out on the campaign trail and we know ann romney has been talking a lot her about her marriage to mitt romney. there's a new rick santorum ad out today. i don't know if we have it. let's play that. it's hip insofar as it has a lot of pop-ups. here it is.
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>> lawrence o'donnell, i hope you were able to see that ad in los angeles. >> yeah. >> rick santorum's dog was not home-schooled in case you were wondering. what do you make of that ad? >> well, you know, it is like rick perry's ad empty of actual content, so it's but it does mike a really big mistake, which is you actually have to watch the ad. now, television advertising, good television advertising does not require you to watch it. you can be standing in the kitchen with your back to the tv and you can hear the pitch for whatever thing they're selling. this thing, sorry, you got to pay a little too much attention to it. more attention than anyone wants to pay to a political ad. >> look at what they're running on the screen or what he's saying. one quick point is that all of these ads are talking about marriage, wives, ann romney on the trail. why do we think that's happening? because of newt gingrich's rise in the polls and his own marital issues in the past. >> we know that women are the
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majority of voter and all of these primaries and caucuses, the campaign seems to realize that for the first time ever and women in particular want to see these people as not just a list of policy positions. they want to no who they are as a person and the best way to communicate that is through their spouses, through their wives. >> i also think with romney in particular there's been a contention that he's wooden, we're not quite sure if his blood is red or blue, blue being the color of vulcan blood. and i actually think that bringing ann out to tell this story of their marriage, the the story of her battle with m.s. has been incredibly convincing. that's not to sound crass. i think it's really showed a different dimension of mitt romney as husband. >> and she is a terrific surrogate. she's articulate. she's composed. she does well on the stump. it's interesting, as much as we talking about ads one of the lessons from this election is a lot of positive advertising hasn't moved the needle at all. this has been a see it with your own eyes election and debates and people interacting and seeing the candidateses on a
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firsthand basis has changed the narrator and moved the polling numbers. it's a function of people are mistrustful of institutions and mistrustful of what they see on tv and in politics in general. it's interesting. i don't know if these ads are going to work or not. the ones that have worked so far in the last little bit has been a lot of negative contrast spots that do what lawrence talks about in very clear ways and takes down newt gingrich. >> people who want to run positive ads are people who don't have any money or the campaigns that say they're going to go positive are those that have the most financial difficulty. if we're talking about feel good ads we've got to close out this segment with a little bit of sound from newt and calista gingrich who answered the barrage of negative ads with a holiday card, if you will, of their own. let's play a little bit of that. >> neighborhoods brightly lit for the holidays. >> we take it as a sign of great optimism. it reminds us of the fire of freedom that burns bright in the america we love. and a prayer that the goodness
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of our nation will be rewarded with peace and brotherhood. >> from our family to yours, merry christmas and happy new year. i'm calista gingrich. >> i'm newt gingrich. and i approve this message. >> i'm hoping next year that newt and a list stay deng grich can actually read the christmas carol what just happened for us. we will be back for more after the break. we are still waiting on president obama to deliver remarks on the payroll tax cut probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. you had me at "probiotic." ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪
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welcome back. we are still waiting for president obama to make comments on the payroll tax cut deal before he leaves for hawaii. i asked my panel, does the president deserve this vacation and should he be going to hawaii? i know there's been some chatter that maybe he should go to another place or stay home at a time of economic duress. what do you think? >> you hit the nail on the head earlier, barack obama is a big boy, he can take care of
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himself. i'm so glad that malia and sasha are getting this vacation with their dad and i think americans like to see the president spending time with his wife and kids. >> i think barack obama needs a vacation. i think every member of congress needs a vacation. i think everybody needs to cool down. he has an obvious connection to hawaii. i have no problem with that he needs a vacation of what is coming up in january is not going to be pretty. he's not in as strong a position as people think he is. his economic policies maybe people worried as well. he has a toughary coming up. go enjoy, drink guava juice, sail. >> spend time in hawaii, you can survive that. >> and worth mentioning he's only taking or has taken 61 vacation days compared to president obama's 181 days. thank you to lawrence o'donnell for joining us. you can find him right here on "the last word." lawrence, bottle some of that los angeles sunshine and bring it back to us in new york. and thank you to phil, alecia, a
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tis patricia, ben. thank you, i will not be back monday, but tuesday. have a great holiday after you have opened all all of your presents. keep us with us on luke russert is in next for andrea. hello, luke. >> good afternoon, alex. great job. enjoy your christmas. get some break, all right? >> i do just that. and coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports", the deal is done but at what cost? we'll look at the winners and losers in the payroll tax fight and deadly week in the mideast. what is next in that volatile region and ron paul is on the rise in iowa but could new questions about an old controversy drag him down? q" i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor.
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the motion to reconsider -- >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," done deal. congress approves a two-month renewal of the payroll tax cuts.