tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 3, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
very, very slim lead over mitt romney. the ap said earlier, last hour i guess it was, that an announcement is eminent. so we will be keeping our eyes on that. in the meantime, we just got off the phone with the -- i think the democratic state party chair, davorksy in iowa, who i thought was extremely good television presence, who was talking about what the democrats were doing tonight on the other side, sort of using it as an organizational opportunity and highlighted the fact that the grass root energy that got a million articles written about it in 20008 when barack obama was the under dog and he needed to get every last delegate in every last state in order to unseat hillary clinton, that that infrastructure is still there. it's still very powerful. it's still very mobilized, even if we're not paying attention to it.
>> you know, i think that the chairman's point, and, also, michelle's point about organization, is a very important one. i talked to a republican strategist and they were saying the underreported story is that we republicans got out organized during this campaign. we won because we had enthusiasm on our side, because independents agreed with us on the issues that they considered the top issues of that election. but if those things had been true, if it would have been an even election, we would have lost because we got out organized. and other strategists have backed him up on that. >> and i have heard people say there's 10-15 house seats on the table that could have been won if there wasn't that organizational infrastructure. i think that's exceedingly interesting, too, because one of the things we saw happen in iowa was there wasn't a ton of people on the ground. rick santorum was on the ground, but that's about it.
a lot of this was being run in this new vane that this had fundamentally changed the way that campaigns are run, particularly on the right, that the monopoly fox news particularly holds over the republic -- you know, the median republican primary voter is so profound and so total, that that's what matters. how much are you on fox and how much exposure are you getting not all of the door knocking and all the things that made barack obama a winner. given the fact that two of the three top people are the ones that impressed the most in iowa? >> well, absolutely. look, part of what is so fascinating about iowa is that it's a different kind of election. because they're caucuses, because they're neighbors standing next to each other, it always brings that retail politic sboos sort of the reality of the so called, you know, game change -- we had a
game-changing election, but it also doesn't change other aspects of it. one of the things that was interesting to watch was talking about the young people who come and were on the ground, you know, driven up from texas or whatever. and it was almost like they were slightly surprised to find out that american elections are still built, literally, on the backs and legs of young people who are knocking doors, who are walking through cold nights, who are doing that kind of work. and you can just sort of hear on one hand, there was a sense of gratitude. but almost a sense of shock that this is still what it takes to win an election or a caucus in america. >> i'm a little skeptical about santorum came in one or came in second, i guess we'll find out in a couple days. i think it was the ground game plus the fact that everybody else around him imploeded. i think, on the other hand, ron paul's supporters, i think they
are deeply, deeply committed. i mean, i think they are people who are not going to, once ron paul is out of the race, are not going to easily jump into another one of those candidates. i think they may sit out. i think they may be disgusted by it. i think the real question is the people who are supporting ron paul, why are they doing it? i think that's really the question because i think a lot of it -- i think -- >> why does anyone support anyone? >> well, i mean, what aspect of ron paul is drawing his support? i actually think it has less to do with his small government proposals because we would see more of those people sort of say oh, my second choice is someone else at least talks that game. i think a lot of people are drawn to him because of his antiempire talk, because of him saying let's end these wars talk. and i also think civil liberties. >> it's not the marijuana? >> no, i think marijuana is also an issue, too. but i think they are the issues that he tends to stick with.
he's not talking about cutting social security, although that's what he would want to do. he's not talking about getting rid of the epa, although that's what he would want to do. he's not even talking about the states infringing upon our civil liberties. i think those are the things that are attracting voters to him with such depth. >> i think i disagree, but continue. >> he's put together, really, the strangest coalition maybe in american political history. he certainly has the kind of libertarian hipsters, the people who are concerned about ending the drug war, people who do like his foreign policy who want to end american empire. but, with that, he also has the kind of hard core theocrats. and, for them, it is really small government. i thought it was fascinating that you had kim sorenson jump from michelle bachman to duran paul. these are such radically
different candidates. but from the point of the view of the hard core religious right, they're very much of a piece. on the one hand, that seems strange on the surface because ron paul is libertarian. but when i was talking to pastors in iowa, they were basically saying there is, we do want a theocracy, but we want it from the ground up. they want to remove all the impediments on the local scale. so, for them, it is really about getting rid of government and all of the supreme court protections for minoritieminori. >> he's got a big christian reconstruction. i think the difference between ron paul, 2008 and 2012 is the war weariness. when i talk -- when you look at all of those young people voting for ron paul, they're not going because they want a theocracy. >> no, you're right. but he came -- >> they want nothing more than
the gold standard. a central, political science fact that 18-year-olds love the gold standard. >> but he came in second among them. >> first of all, the entrance polling that we had tonight shows that paul did very well among the youngest voters. he won all of the three bottom brackets. >> but he also did very, very well among intelligence. >> yes, he did very well. my question to you is -- there's two questions about ron paul, sort of in the political landscape. one is something that sam put his finger on, which i think is really interesting. you watched the gop debates. and we've discussed this on the show. you watched the gop debates and you have essentially a bunch of neoconservative candidates. john huntsman and then ron paul. and it just seems like there's a lot of space in between that is not being occupied. i think that's interesting.
there seems to be a space for a candidate who does not have ron paul's sort of full throated, both rejection of any internationalism, what so ever, rejection of american empire, et cetera, but who isn't gearing up to bomb iran, who speaks to the war weariness of the people! the president occupy that is space right now. and president obama is standing right in the middle of it, right, with these very real foreign policy successes at the same time that he's drawing down troops in iraq. so, i mean, it's interesting about the war weariness question at this moment. i mean, i understand the war weariness, obviously. but that's been sort of an impetus in american politics really since '06. and it's part of what brought in the democratic majority into the house and barack obama as the president. >> people who vote on the iraqi war voted against bush. the way i would put it is we
have this curious situation where most of the republican party is against, certainly, the ron paul type, kind of extreme interventionism. but the only people in republican voters who are interested in that foreign policy are those interventives. so huntsman, in a way, occupies a good space, theoretically, except nobody cares. >> and i think that's the salience. it was interesting to see tonight ron paul said, you know, he talked about successes they had. and it's clear to him that he sees his mission as a kind of ide idealoj kal one. he says we've had the most success with our foreign policy stuff, but i don't think that's the case. it doesn't seem like his critiques are moving gop voters very much. >> i think, if you're talking about ron paul, i think the hard core ron paul supporters are in
it for antiempire and antifederal reserve. but when they make the case to other people, they're emphasizing things like he's o pro-life, he's pro-defense. he is the most consistent conservative out there. >> we've got time. the interesting thing about romney's speech tonight was, you know, they had taken away the tell prompters because he wanted to be extemporaneous. >> they took them away at the last second. and the call was made. get them off the stage. >> and i thought his speech was sort of all over the place. but it was clear that someone said to romney right before he went on, don't forget iran. don't forget iran because santorum has really staked out the most hawkish, neoconnist position on that debate stage. and i think romney was there sort of trying to preempt that,
forgive all of the different puns here. but i think he just got a little too excited. it was in the front of his head. there was no reason for him to go to iran the first thing out of the gate. but i think he was really addressing santorum. >> michelle, i want you to respond to that. but first, we're going to update you on the vote total that remains a slim margin. they'll be calling it eminently, that's 29,960 wrotes for santorum. a difference of four. michelle, i want you to respond to this. we'll talk more about the gop foreign policy and where this feel goes next right after this.
sant at 29,968 votes. mitt romney, four votes behind. mitt romney managing to get essentially the exact same number, plus or minus 24 votes or so from his performance in 2008. the epa said last hour they had an announcement that was eminent. we'll continue to see just what their definition of eminent is. >> don't they define these kinds of things? >> you've got to give romney props for maintaining some consistency. the knock on him is he's always flip-flopped. >> daily show. you can take that. that's free. >> i want to come back to the question of, as we sort of game out where this goes next, new hampshire is the next big thing. it seems to me that because santorum doesn't have much in the way of money, he doesn't have much in the way of organization, he's -- he's not necessarily a huge threat unless
we really see a real coalescing around him. ron paul is going to be in this for a while. in your perch in the sort of center of american conservatives, on the national review, how much of a threat do you think the republican establish viewmement views, pau? is there some level at which he could actually cause problems for the party? for conservatism? >> i think republicans are more concerned about the prospect of the third party than they are about him coming to tampa with a bunch of delegates. at third party, one would really flighten republicans quite a bit. but they think as long as rand paul is in the senate, they have a hostage to prevent that from happening. >> is that a kcalculation, by te way? >> i think so. i think the thing is if
republicans blame -- excuse me, blame ron paul for losing the election against barack obama, then most libertarians consider the more politically talented of the two. >> yeah, i'm sure. i'm sure. i'm sure ron paul would feel he's going to pull himself up by his boot straps. but there was actually a moment tonight where there was a hoax that went out about gary johnson. that gary johnson had quit his libertarian run and was going to endorse ron paul. >> see, a very weird hoax. >> the only thing i can imagine is somebody may have done it to try and get some more delegates in iowa. i'm not sure. but for whatever the reason, at that moment, it was almost palpable, the sense that ron paul is going to go and ron is a libertarian candidate. you can almost feel that twchil through twitter.
but i did think that -- i think his son being, you know, having a future in the republican party is probably going to be sort of the leash. >> the republicans i've heard even without a third party candidate running here, for as painful as the democratic primary turned out to be in 2008 with all of the clinton obama, the fact is that the long primary season ended up registering democrats in all 50 states and made a f50 state strategy possible. they're in trouble now because their top two or three don't look like they can go the long haul. somebody is going to show up in the next couple of primaries. they're going to have real registration problems. now, they may be able to use voter id laws, so there may be a different kind of strategy. but in terms of sort of pure excitement for the base, people to care about, getting out there in these late primaries, if that goes away because i don't have a
strong second -- >> the whole reason that it was so long is because there was three viable candidates who actually had a shot. what's so amazing is that they're so desperate not to nominate romney. they hate him. this is a more conservative electorate than the electorate that didn't nominate him four years ago. they have no one else. there's literally nothing that these people are desperate that romney can do. >> it seems to me that we're going to see now, now that iowa is over, we're going to see the kind of pressure start to build. i feel like the conventional wisdom is the opposite of that, even though i a thousand percent agree with you. it's going to hurt the party and all of this wrath from the pumas, remember, everybody was covering this. and everybody i knew was yelling at each other in bars. you couldn't have a confers that wasn't about hillary and barack. it was good for the party, it
was good for registration. >> which is why republicans changed their rules. >> do you think that that connection has sort of bubbled up? my sense is that the sort of people in the center of the levers of power, the republican establishment, the carl rose and such, do not want to see a drawn out battle. they want to see romney wrap this up and move onto attacking the president every day. and then it was said earlier tonight, look, this is another week where romney cannot pivot to being a total candidate. >> there's something humiliating that's going on. it's the kind of desperate series of lunges for any alternative. it's a farce. i mean, if romney, if he has feelings, he must actually be hurt by all of this. >> if you look at the obama-clinton fight, there was two very passionate sides here. and it's almost the sort of
sounds familiar, it is. in that holding pattern, amy said earlier last hour, that announcement would be eminent. i want to -- i was surprised -- one of the most surprising things that happened tonight, i thoug thought, was rick perry's speech. let's take a moment for rick perry. rick perry, let's recall, entered as the -- i mean, he was the favorite -- on paper, he seemed the perfect person to play the role of mitt romney, of the person to unite the tea party. there was a long article in the new york times about the big-money backers, the rangers and pioneers, the big money republicaners who lined up. he had never lost a single election. i remember reading reports from texas journalists and talking to jim hightower, a man who rick perry beat in an election for agricultural commissioner in the state of texas. do not underestimate this guy.
don't be a yankee snob and think because he has this sort of down home cadence that he's going to, you know, he's going to fall flat on his face. he fell flat on his face. and, tonight, i believe he came in fifth, if that's -- yes, he came in fifth, i think after newt gingrich in the order when rick santorum, mitt romney, ron paul -- >> you think rick santorum. >> right, as of now, rick santorum, newt king and rick perry. here's what rick perry made, what i thought was a surprising announcement. >> i decided to return to texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race. i believe that this is the greatest nation on the faith of the earth. you've made every minute of this
worth it for ourselves. and with a little prayer and reflection, i'm going to decide the best path forward. but i want to tell you, there has been no greater joy in my life than to be able to share with the people of iowa and of this country that there is a model to take this country forward. and it is in the great state of texas. >> all right, we're getting -- we're getting word that an announcement of the actual definitive winner is very, very eminent, actually, in the next few minutes. but what i thought was so great about that rick perry speech was the long pause at one moment where you thought, uh-oh, is he doing the thing again where he forgot what he wanted to say? ramesh, were you surprised? and i doen't want to write an early obituary in politics. they wrote early obituaries for
hillary clinton's campaign. >> let us not compare either of those. >> yes, i agree. i'm -- i don't want to be too human bei hubristic here. i think it's safe to say that his campaign has not gone well. i think it's really hard to come back after you give a speech saying i'm cancelling my campaign. i'm going onto reassess. >> that's cool. >> yeah, exactly. it occurs to me that that was really good. were you surprised by the scale of the epicness that was rick perry's flame out in the early part of this campaign? >> when he jumped in in august, he seem today be a very serious contender. and to reach the point now where he wins fewer counties than gary bower won in the year 2000 is really an amazing thing. he was not able to navigate his way from being a great candidate on paper to being a great candidate in reality, just as he wasn't able to navigate his way from the beginning of the point to the end of one. >> and i think this is actually
a really positive thing for american democracy because, you know, despite all the anti-intellectualism of the republican party, despite people loving george bush's bad grammar and prophetism, you can be too stupid. there really is a thing such as too ignorant, even in a party that often celebrates its refusal to buy into the truths of modern science. >> yeah, i don't know how stupid it is. i get uncomfortable calling people stupid. but in terms of his facility and his manifest knowledge of -- and command of the issues, it was so severely lacking that it was just -- it was painful to watch. a national issue. >> any time he talked about national issue, he just made it a texas issue. >> but, look, he didn't know what lawrence versus texas was. >> right. it's somewhat shocking. that's a supreme court decision that declared that the
antisodomy laws in the state of texas were unconstitutional! which came down while he was governor. >> yeah. i mean, i like this point about potentially this is good for democracy, just in general. look, 2008 was bizarreo here in terms of what it mary, the kindf people tha could end up being front runners. the fact that you don't have a southern, evangelical down home boy as the front runner is pretty stunning. it's pretty surprising that no character like that emerges in 2012. >> the podium you're seeing on your screen is a podium from which an official announcement will be made about the winner of tonight's gop iowa caucus. rick perry returns -- >> newt gingrich will come out. >> i think perry's problem was not so much that he was stupid other not smart. i think the problem was is that the republican -- the republican base is looking for someone who
can verbally spar. >> and, right now, here is the announcement. >> what a night. thanks for hanging in there with us. first and foremost, i'm chairman of the republican party here in iowa. even at this late hour that i'm excited about, is that either of the republicans had a record turn out for the 2012 iowa can cusses with 122,255 iowans turning out to vote. and i want to thank all of my staff. i want to thank the volunteers because, remember, the precinct leaders were all giving up their time. the good news is we're able to verify the vote reports tonight. the great thing about the caucus process, every step of the way, campaign officials have the opportunity to not only observe the county, but reserve the reporting and verifying all the way from right there in the
precinct itself to the senior staff person who was able to observe and verify the results. everyone should know within party rules, each county has two weeks to send the certified form "e" with the results from each precinct and their county to republican headquarters. so within two weeks, the republican party will have the final, certified results. but i can report, with 17,070 precincts reporting, governor mitt romney received 30,01 a 5 votes. rick santorum received 30,007 votes. congratulations to governor mitt romney, winner of the 2012 iowa caucuses. congratulations to senator santorum for a very close second place finish in an excellent race here. and congratulations to congressman paul and all the other candidates who competed in
the 2012 iowa can cusses. thank you very much and have a good night. >> the final turn out number -- >> all right. mitt romney, the apparent winner in the gop caucus, pulling out a very, very, very, very narrow win deep into tonight by about eight votes? i believe that's the announcement coming just now. now, of course, it should be noted, no delegates are awarded tonight. this is a caucus procedure. the caucus procedure means that you elect local representatives and then go to the state convention. and at the state convention, those delegates were will apportioned. but mitt romney does win, it appears, the gop caucus in iowa. 29% of the vote -- i don't know that's right. yeah, 30,015. that sounds more like it. mitt romney, there are 25 delegates at stake in iowa. mitt romney is the winner eking
out of rick santorum. obviously, he's up by 11 votes at this hour. he's the apparent winner. at this point -- oh, i see. that's eleven delegates. i see. he, at this point, you know, whether 1-1 or not i don't think matters a ton in terms of how these results are interpreted. but, if you're mitt romney, it's always better to win than not win. and i believe since we've had the one, two iowa caucus new hampshire punch, there's hasn't been anyone who's won them both, not an incumbent. so an iowa victory might auguster a sort of quick wrap up? >> i'm not so convinced about that. you know, new hampshire is an extension of massachusetts. and, in fact, the type of people, you know, someone who is ready -- >> right now we're getting angry tweets from people in the granite state. >> you know, we talk about
manchester and the southern part of new hampshire. there's a will the of people who moved out of massachusetts who are basically mitt romney-style republicans. and so i think, you know, i don't think he's going to get the same credit, and nor should he. in some ways, it's his home state. it's as close to his home state that you could probably find. i think he's going to have to really win in a dramatic fashion there to get any real balance. everybody's looking to whether or not he can -- what he can do in south carolina. >> if you're just joining us, and why wouldn't you be joining us, tuning into your television at 236 a.m. mitt romney is the apparent winner of the gop iowa caucus. rick santorum who came in just a few votes behind him, will also get eleven delegates. it appears -- the other, as we go forward, we have new hampshire next week and then after that, the next one is south carolina.
south carolina has a very good track record of picking the actual winner. the other sort of variable that's in play after -- in the next -- in the next election is the fact that john is now sort of a factor. he wasn't really a factor in iowa. there were jokes i said earlier that the ron paul had done a little trash talking by telling him they found the one voter. romney at 25%, 30,015 votes. rick santorum, 30,007 votes. that's an 8 vote margin. romney squeaking out, it appears. but ramesch, huntsman is the one candidate, i think we could say at this point, with the exception of buddy roamer and gary johnson who is declared on the field, shockingly, people who are guests don't do great in the republican primary field, you'll be shocked to know. so, yeah, exactly. but, um, with those exceptions, in terms of the candidates who
have been reliablely on stage at the debates, the only one who has not gotten their bump, has not gotten their turn to be the anti-mitt romney is huntsman. and i would ask if huntsman is in our future? >> huntsman could be the exception. the one guy in the race who never does get a bump. i do think the drama is going to be santorum versus romney with a little bit of gingrich revenge drama added in. i think it might be hard for huntsman. i think there's going to be a tendency on the part of reporters to want the story to be a santorum versus romney to make it a kind of, you know, that seems to be a fight. somebody who's actually dualed with romney and held him to almost a defeat. so i don't -- if you're huntsman, i don't think you can kount even on being a factor in new hampshire, let alone winning, which he has to do. >> is there enough of a distinction between romney and
huntsman, at least on the surface, for him to even play that role? i don't -- >> well, huntsman speaks better manners. >> and huntsman works for president obama. >> you know, i think, from the republican voter perspective, the idea that there's a guy to the left of romney is not necessarily the best thing. >> oddly, his record is to the right of romney. >> expound on that, right? there's this whole -- there's a world of conservative writers and intellectuals and some of them i read and follow on twilter who are maddened that huntsman has been pigeon-holed when, in fact, he has a more -- fair to say a more conservative record than romney does. >> cut taxes, fought for school choice. never remotely resembled romney care. he's been pro-life. you look at this record and he's also been a republican for all of this time. it's a pretty conservative record. what happened, though, was that
early in this campaign, from 2009 onward, i think, when he took that job with president obama as ambassador to china and his fundamental critique of the party was that it's too far to the right and it's only going to succeed by going left. and the party, as a whole, totally goes the other way. so he's left in this position where he start it is campaign, sort of all of the mood music of it is this is the moderate guy who's going to save the party from these right wing no nothings. and conservatives just resented the heck out of that. >> they boo eed rockefellar for that. >> that's right. that was my point about perry. i don't think the republican base is looking at policy. i think republican base is looking at who is going to have the most sort of i harhetoric. >> i think they're looking at electability. there's been some good reports.
we're talking about going to romney event ts and talking to the romney voters. and some are the most -- you have people who are romney voters who want to see the birth certificate. >> like his son. >> right. but john huntsman, probably, in a world where you didn't have that mentality, probably has the best chance. >> once again, former governor of massachusetts, mitt romney, the apparent winner of the 2012 iowa gop caucuses by a whopping margin of 8 votes over former senator from pennsylvania rick santorum. we'll be back to take a look at what these numbers mean and draw some lesson frs the night after this.
mitt romney is the apparent winner of the 2012 iowa gop caucus in the first official voting of this already long campaign season. mitt romney with 30,015 votes to rick santorum's 30,007 votes. an eight-vote margin separating the two. rick santorum with a late surge in the voting. he was polling in third place in des moines register poll. but it looked like there was a lot of late movement in his direction. and we see that with ron paul in third place with 21%. behind him, gingrich, perry and the rest of the field.
mitt romney came on, he was the last candidate to speak. do we have mitt romney? all right, mitt romney was the last candidate to speak tonight. as sam said earlier, he had the tel prompters out. rick santorum came out and i thought, gave a really good speech. for rick santorum, it was a huge opportunity. he has not gotten a lot of what is called in the business world media. he has not gotten a lot of attention. people don't know what rick santorum is or what he stands for. he was almost like his speech night reminded me of a conventional speech. conventional speech is always about your hardworking forefathers and your grandfather who lived the american dream. and so he gave -- he gave what i thought was a very effective speech. he talked about the immigrant experience in his family. it was a grandfather that came up from italy in the coal fields in pennsylvania. a
and then romney came down and gave an antic speech. i should say this, i'm a little antic myself. but he gave, i thought, a little bit of an antic speech. and it didn't, you know, again, it had this sort of essential lack of soul. i think chris matthews said that he seemed like he was pedaling merchandise. melissa, what was your impression of the contrast? >> yeah, i would agree. santorum had his opportunity right in that moment. and he took it. here's my sort of immigrant story. here's my hard working story. here's my family. here's my understanding of the human condition based on the experience of my children. you know, he really rk, for tha moment, said a lot. now, he said a lot in that moment. so the fact is it now becomes part of the record that will undoubtly end up getting vetted. >> including praising the economic model of walmart. >> walmart, right. >> not just the economic model, but saying that's going to be on
answer -- >> right. we know -- >> i thought that was a strange note to strike. >> particularly because walmart is, in fact, pushing the out sourcing. as you're reporting out, they can't out source -- >> they can't out source the greeters. and the people working the registers is his argument. >> what's interesting to me about the santorum campaign themes and the one that michelle was talking about on air tonight and the one that has gotten the least attention is married to a litany of social servitude issues and a fairly standard neoconservative line on foreign policy and, you know, rhetoric turns around is the focus on n manufacturing and the actual policy on that, i find to be really bad policy. but as campaign thematics, i think it's a smart place for republicans to be in. it's very much pinched toward blue collar voters, particularly in states like ohio and pennsylvania in which a lot of supporters are eroded. >> it's a smart place to be in
the general. but i think it's going to be a vulnerability if romney decides to go after him. and that's going to have some pretty tricky implications for romney if he ends up being the nominee. if he does have to attack santorum in that way, because, you know, the difference between romney and santorum, romney has been good about talking about, at least in a very genere, jobs. he's been saying the word jobs. >> he's relatively disciplined about this. they understand that this is the way that they're going to win, if they're going to win. >> they're going to have to draw some lines there because he's going to have to argue that santorum is not a fiscal conservative. and that's going to paint romney into a box. and i think it's going to be problematic for him in the general. >> that's interesting. you can see him get to this issue on industrial policy. >> he's going to try and avoid, i think, dealing with rick santorum for as long as he can. but at one point, he may have to deal with him. >> this is an interesting dynamic. talking to the staff about this,
you don't see negative ads in other domains, like, you know, you don't see huggies going after pampers. you don't see negative ads among products. and usually, that's because there's enough competition and there are enough choices that trashing one of your competitors only means that people are going to have a strange view of you. as the field narrows in politics, that's when negative ads become more and more efficacio efficacious. here is romney taking a largely positive cast in his -- i guess it was a victory speech prematurely tonight. >> when you were working and i am working and we're all working together because of our passion for this country and our concern that it's being led by a president who may be a nice guy, but just as over his head. and i look at his campaign, you know, four years ago tonight, he was giving a victory celebration speech here in des moines. and he had been going across the state making all sorts of promises. the gap between his promises four years ago and his
performance is as great as anything i've ever seen in my life. we face an extraordinary challenge in americament you know that. and that is, internationally, iran is about to have nuclear weaponry. he said he'd have a policy of engagement. >> that was a very strange byte because, first of all, it wasn't very positive. it was negative towards the president. he hasn't attacked fellow republicans. that was him laying out the case. and as it was mentioned before, getting very early to iran which i thought was interesting and strange, particularly given how obsessively disciplined the campaign has projected they are intended to be about jobs -- >> this is the -- this is maybe the single most attack on obama which is saying something. this idea that obama failed to support the disdense in iran, that he somehow should have said
that the united states is behind this movement, that wanted nothing more than to maintain its independence. >> the other thing, during the campaign, the president did differentiate himself with hillary clinton in talking about negotiating or having engagement. but there hasn't been engagement without preconditions. it's not like the president sat there. >> this is an obama 2012 campaign commercial. that clip that the gap between the president's promises in iowa and what he delivered, i mean, he can tick that down. it's actually very narrow. >> all right. every saturday, i ask my guest what is we now know that we didn't know when the week began. so, tonight, i want to ask you folks what do we now know that we didn't know when the caucuses began. we now know, based on the entrance poll, of all of the different dem gratic subgroups that are broken down, and there are a lot. different age groups, gender, never attended college, post-graduate study. the group among which mitt
romney did best is the group making over a hundred thousand. i think that's interesting. it shows you where that part of the republican base is. yes, exactly, as of '08. and that shows you, i think, something about -- it's not surprising, but it confirms, i think, one's conception of where the support for romney is coming, which is the folks that are doing pretty well, that constitute the kind of upper crust of the republican party of the republican base. that's who mitt romney is appealing to. ramesch, what do we know now that we didn't know at the beginning of the night? >> eight votes. it turns out that every vote counts. >> yes, exactly. >> in a fake contest, at least, every vote counts. >> that's a very good lesson. michelle goldburg, what do we know now? >> speaking of fake contests, it's entirely possible to
overestimate the significance of this, since, basically, santorum won a game of musical chairs. but never the less, after years of hearing about the tea party and this new small government, this new small government turn on the right, we now know that, basically, the right is the same as it ever was, you know, that the tea party was just, for the most part, not entirely the christian right in new guise and they've elected another very intrusive, big government elective. or tried to elect. but the top two, you know, romney and santorum, are by no stretch of the imagination kind of in line with the tea party, at least as the media like to imagine them. >> ron paul, who i think would be closer to the kind of essence of the tea party did double his performance. he got -- more than double. he got 9% last time around, he got 21% this time. it was a very good showing for him. obviously, in terms of trending,
if he could run, you know, three or four more of these, you know, the trend line is actually right where you would want it to be. so 16 years from now, sam cedar, what do we know? >> well, speaking of trend lines, we now know that money cannot buy you love if you're mitt romney running again in iowa. it can only buy you about 60 votes. and he's dealt -- he must have dumped several millions in there between his super pack and his own spending over the past four years that he was there. and it -- it didn't seem to move the needle at all. >> and that's going to be the thing to watch as we go down the stretch! the caucuses may not mean much as nonbinding elections, but it turns out the straw poll means really nothing. we haven't even said michelle bachmann's name. she won the aims drop and she kept harping on that. the only time that votes had actually been cast, and it's pretty sad to see her go. >> michelle bachmann who didn't
say anything about reassessing her campaign but howard fein said that there would be some reassessing happening. so we may come out of iowa having lost two of the candidate's appeal, rick perry and michelle bachmann. sam cedar of majority.fm, michelle goldburg and ramesch. thank you for joining us. stay with msnbc's coverage and join me for up with chris hayes this weekend. thomas fratakenkn iowa. that's up with chris hayes saturday at 7:00 eastern, sunday at 8:00. on the meantime, you can find us at msnbc.com. thank you and good night. lobot. she's this new robot we're trying out, mostly for, like, small stuff. wow! look at her go! she's pretty good. she's pretty good.
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