tv Dead Men Talking Trail of Blood MSNBC January 22, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST
[ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. and i'm a master roaster at starbucks coffee. brian hayes. i'm a master roaster at starbucks coffee. sitting right here we have 40 years of roast experience. how can we use that and do more with it? new starbucks blonde roast was created to increase the offerings that we can give to our customers. [ anderson ] we decided that we would take our experience and apply it to the lighter, mellower, more subtle side of the bean. it's for the person who always wished that starbucks had a roast like this. [ hayes ] they're gonna love it. i mean, it's a fantastic blend. the death of a legends. former penn state coach joe paterno loses his battle with cancer. we have a live report from the campus. taxes decision. mitt romney decides to release income taxes after coming in second in south carolina. after the win, what lies ahead for newt gingrich after his
southern revival. welcome to "weekend with alex witt." it is noon in the east and 9:00 in the west. football coach joe paterno has died. the gridiron legend lost his battle with lung cancer earlier this morning. he was ve correspondent michael isikoff joining from us washington bureau. another good morning to you, michael. good day rather. >> good morning. good afternoon. >> so tell me, you spent so much time there on that campus investigating everything, the investigation following all the allegations of child sex abuse from members of his football staff. talk to me about the joe paterno you uncovered and the reaction of students and people on that campus. >> well, first of all, one of the really striking things having been there throughout the whole jerry sandusky scandal is just how much support and
irreverence there was fordown and among the students and faculty. many of whom were so stunned by the clis closures in the scandal because it didn't match with the joe paterno they knew, somebody that had high academic standards and cared about the institution of penn state as well as winning football games. in fact, he was sort of a -- he was an icon. not just because the most winning football coach in history in midge or college football history but because amid all of the questions about academic standards and college football, joe paterno was consistent and stalwart saying it mattered. he would kick all-american players out of bowl games if they weren't meeting academic standards. to many people, that showed that joe paterno was more than just about winning college football games. and one of the reasons he was so revered on campus.
i think that right now, obviously, the -- his legacy was tarnished by his failure to do more aggressive when he first heard about the allegations about jerry sandusky, something he acknowledged, by the way, in his final interview a week or so to "the washington post." right now people will be focused on all the positive aspects of joe paterno's life. >> you know what i think is so remarkable is you are reporting that he didn't seem to be bitter by what had happened just so rudely in terms of the interpretation of his legend and what he brought to this world. the last couple of months, it was a tough time. >> that's true, alex. it is really striking because a lot of people who were close to paterno, alumni, former players, were bitter about this. they thought he had been treated shabbily. they thought he was fired in one
brief phone call after 46 years as the head coach of penn state. and there was a lot of pressure on the new president, rodney ericson, to do right by joe paterno. to honor him and find a way to make up for the way he was treated. and yet, when he gave his final swan song interview a week and a half ago to sally jenkins to "the washington post," he made clear he didn't want to share in that. he wouldn't bash, he wouldn't criticize the university. he said he wanted to concentrate on the positive. just want to say we just got in what the first of what are going to be many statements today about joe paterno from former president george bush. he was an outstanding american in life as well as on the field of play. he was without a doubt a true icon in the world of sports. i was proud that he was a friend of mine. i think we are going to be hearing a lot of statements like that today. >> we are as well. later on we will share the one that was just released by the
university president rodney ericson who you mentioned. michael isikoff, many thanks for the update. >> thank you. another develop, story we are following for you this morning. presidential candidate mitt romney just a short time ago announced plan to release his tax returns on tuesday. this decision follows days of pressure. questions and big loss of south carolina's primary. here is what he told "fox news sunday." >> we just made a mistake in holding off as long as we did. it was a distraction. we want to get back to the real issues in the campaign. leadership. character, and vision for america. how to get jobs and in america and rein in excessive spending. >> the public can see them firsthand. big boost for gingrich. a new reaction after newt gingrich claimed a victory. finished with 40% of the vote at top.
gingrich's win throws yet another wild twist into the republican race for presidential nominee. here is what the candidate said last night. >> this is the most important election of our lifetime. if barack obama can get re-elected after this disast disaster -- all right. just think how radical he would be in a second term. >> the consequences are clear. the stakes have never been higher. i said this before. and i firmly believe that this election is a battle for the soul of america. >> nbc's ron mott is in south carolina. there's new reaction from gingrich and romney today. >> reporter: absolutely. good day to you, alex. the campaigns today are assessing what went right and wrong here in south carolina. obviously for speaker gingrich a whole lot of things went right and not too many things went wrong for him this past week. the opposite is true for the
mitt romney campaign. both of these candidates hit the sunday morning talk show circuit to talk about their t tone of the campaign here in south carolina. largely negative. newt gingrich swinging from the fences. we have been talking about that all week. they talked about the tone of the campaign and very very negative here. gingrich got hit hard by some conservative leaders about how he took after mitt romney in his role at bain capital. and mitt romney talked about conservative values as the candidates try to vie to see who is the real conservative in this race. take a listen to what they had to say this morning. >> questions about the character, the judgment, and the record of the presidential candidate is not an attack on business. that's silly. that would be like saying that my critique of romney care was resembling obama care means i'm against any kind of government involvement. >> i think that conservative values do play an enormous role and the speaker has explaining to do for sitting under the sofa with nancy pelosi and arguing for climate change and calling
the paul ryan plan right-wing social engineering. you are going to look over his record and say well, he's not so conservative. >> reporter: i think that listening to those two sound bites we were gearing up for what's probably going to a good fight down in florida. challenge for newt gingrich going forward is he is up against a machine mitt romney well organized and well fortified and a lot of volunteers on the ground and lot of money down in florida. it is going to take a lot of money to get on the air and major markets down there. gingrich sent out a tweet after he got this victory last night asking his supporters to go to his website and donate because he will need their help to get his message out around the states. a fun ten days in florida. we will head there in just a few hours. >> fun indeed. could get wild. thank you so much. you can all watch the entire interview with newt gingrich when "meet the press" airs at 2:00 p.m. eastern and 11:00 a.m. pacific. less than two hours from now. rick is an tore sum scheduled to meet florida voters today despite his third place
fin initial south carolina. santorum spoke to an energetic crowd of his campaign headquarters last night. emphasized social conservative values and said that he congratulated gingrich. santorum earned 70% of the vote, little more than 100,000 people. but he vows to continue. >> we went out and across this country, and these three states now but let me assure you we will go to florida and then we are going to arizona and colorado. across state. i ask you, it is a wud-open race. join the fight. thank you. >> not everyone was thankful, though. security workers who moved several occupy protesters. they called santorum a bigot for his stance on gay rights issues. well, ron paul came in fourth place despite winning nearly five times the votes he had in 2008.
paul says his momentum is growing but admit this is the beginning of a long, hard climb. >> one thing we can say about our campaign, have you ever noticed other candidates going up and then down? up, down? so far i am very proud to say that our efforts is steady growth. steady growth like this. >> paul later shook hands and signed autographs for his enthusiastic fans. here's the latest delegate count. gingrich's primary win yesterday puts him in the lead. all 23 of his delegates are from south carolina. next up, mitt romney who won new hampshire. 18 delegates coming from new hampshire to iowa. then there's is an tore sxum 11 delegates there. all from iowa. in fourth, ron pauling with three delegates, each from ohio. iowa and new hampshire. for more on the south carolina primary results i'm joined by the white house report fore"the washington post" and jim warren, nbc contributor and columnist
with the "chicago news operative." i will start with you, jim. what does gingrich's win mean for the current gop race? what are the things you take away from it? >> well, a couple of take-aways are first and foremost debates matter. most of us in the elite political journalistic class assumed not particularly all these very well-programmed candidates. and secondly, that the deep, deep, deep suspicions among conservatives when it comes to mitt romney, you know, do persist. i also think that there is a takeaway when it comes to -- rather important speech that will take place in a few nights and the president of the united states addresses joint session of congress and that's going to be one of the last two times he addresses a big keynote, chunk of the country, 50 million, 60 million people in an unfiltered way. how he reacts to all of this visceral rage out there, gingrich in particular exploiting, i think it is going to be important. i think that how he approaches
this particularly when it comes to offering a presumably impassioned, coherent vision for how he will get this country back to work. i don't think it is less -- less important whether it is big programs, small programs. but how he's going to good folks back to work and in some way perhaps inspire their hearts and minds. it is a big opportunity coming up for if president. >> yes. let's talk about the exit polls. 45% of voters in south carolina said you know what, it is electability that's an important factor to me. of that group romney got 51% to romney's 37%. we heard so much about romney being the most electable candidate in the -- as a result of iowa and new hampshire and what those voters are telling us. but what about south carolina voters? how are they different? they apparently feel gingrich is the most electable? >> well, that's right. those exit poll results completely disrupt it is story line for romney, biggest thing he had going for him.
i think a couple of things. obviously south carolina's a different place. voters in different states react to campaign strategies differently but also got to see mitt romney in a couple of debates and on -- not a very good week he had last week where he stumbled over his tax returns and -- didn't do quite as well in some of the debates against gingrich. and what we heard -- what our reporters on the ground in south carolina when they talk to voters they wanted somebody that could take obama on during the debate. not just who somebody in the theoretical way would seem to be the strongest in the general election but somebody fighting right now in the way they feel, visceral anger that jim referred to seemed to really be driving that and making them feel that gingrich's more electable in that sense and bring the fight to obama and more like him. >> another interesting thing from the exit polls, 60% of the voters said the candidates' religion matters. among them white born-again evangelicals broke in a big way
for gingrich. rick santorum a little more than romney got 22%. could all the talk of the open marriage and infidelity this week have some helped gingrich in a strange way with the concept of redemption? >> well, if it did, alex, it is very strange. iowa's stunned when that came out. because, you know, i assume like everybody else particularly in a red meat state like south carolina, huge impact. it just underscores the very tricky confusing mix of altered social cultural, economic, political conditions we face in this country whering a fact, disclosure of that sort works have sunk a guy just a few years ago and -- you know, now it does not. but at the same time, you know, i think religion aside, there's some real perils out there for republican party and this may well be a victory for folks on the conservative side because in the long run, there's no mistaking reality.
when it comes to a general election, going to the mid and going for independent voters, especially suburban independent women that mitt romney has got a much greater opportunity interest them than newt gingrich who is still exploiting it hard. visceral frustration and rage with lots of code words, even for mitt romney. very established republican from evil massachusetts. >> i'm curious, ann, about the pressure rick santorum may get from different places to drop out of the race so that the conservative vote could coalesce around naught gingrich. these are two guys that have been pretty friendly out there towards one another. but both rick santorum and ron paul value to stay in the race. how much of a problem does rick santorum come from gingrich if he stays in? >> certainly the risk that they will split, continue to split conservative vote some and ron paul can help peel away some of
the non-romney voters as we have been calling them. on the flip side it is hard to really make the case that he should drop out. he won one of the first three contests outright. we learned just yesterday that -- you know, the way this race has gone, the topsy-turvy nature of it, if i were rick santorum's adviser anything can happen. we have seen anything happen all along. why get out too easily. if he does -- if he -- performance in florida and states that follow is not better than it was in south carolina, it will be hard for him to sustain going forward. money will presumably dry up. but we -- i think for now at least we will -- would expect to con to see him in the race at least in florida. >> thanks, guys. good to see. >> did you thank you. more in a moment on mitt romney's decision to release two years of tax returns.
with humira. for many adults with moderate to severe ra, humira's proven to help relieve pain and stop joint damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events can occur, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your rheumatologist how you can defend against and help stop further joint damage with humira.
with bain capital being romney's old stomping ground, the paper donates romney donated more campaign money to democrats than republicans. past three election cycles, bain employees contributed more than $1.2 million to democrats and during the same time bain executives donated more than $480 million to democrats. romney will release his 2010 tax sxrurns an estimate what he expects to paw for 2011. author of "the author" and "bloomberg view." we have him with us. good morning. good afterdmoon now. do you think at this point that this was something that romney had to do rye now as opposed to waiting to potentially april when he indicated he might do this? >> he couldn't. it would have become too much of a political issue. he had the other candidates
pounding on him, press was going to ask him about it at every turn. chris christie, his backer, you know, said he needed to do this. so -- they took a couple of days to get it going. they wanted to wait until after the debate so he wouldn't be asked monday night about the specifics of what he was going to release. >> had he done this, released his returns on tuesday of this past week, do you think south carolina might have gone differently? >> not really. i think it was more about newt gingrich telling off juan williams and john king. and the taxes were another issue that kind of cut that at romney but remember, gingrich won by 12 points. >> i know. how do you process this? that's not even close. >> it was than close. you still have a lot of pundits saying or describing, you know, romney is still being
prohibitive favorite for the nomination. to me, that's all blown to smithereens. this thing is up for grabs. newt gingrich, very conceivably could be republican nominee for president. it is about time we start getting used to that. does that mean he is the favorite and romney is done? no. >> is there -- >> it does -- >> no. >> no. it is now open. it is a two-man race. and we are -- we are going to go -- both going to have ups and downs to, both going to have money and they have the resilience to keep this going for quite a while. >> do you think that we have been underestimate gingrich in terms of posing a real challenge to the president and in a general election despite what the polls tell us right now about his unfavoribability. >> one has to be very weary of
those kinds of words in politics where anything can happen. this is because we don't know what will happen. yes, negatives will be very difficult to overcome. yes, the you about ons he pushes works so well for him in the republican primaries in south carolina. you know, might turn off independent voters, making it very hard for him to win against obama should he be nominated p when he would be -- it would be ridiculous to write him off at this point. >> how do you envision a debate between newt gingrich and barack obama? would he be able to hold his own and fare well? might he blow his cool? do you think he is become a seasoned and adept at these things? >> you know, gingrich wants to have seven debates, if he is not named with obama it will -- he will not agree to. but gingrich has shown himself to be a very capable debater. very effective.
and so the obama folks shouldn't be complacent about what kind of a challenge it could pose in debates. should he be nominated. he's not a very likable politician. but we have elected unlikable characters before. remember, richard nixon, 1968. he just lost in 1962 for governor of california loss in 1960 for president and suddenly he's back, all the people who can't stand him, certain sly to deal with the fact that he becomes president. so this idea where we are always getting ahead of ourselves alex and acting like soothsayers, we don't know what is going to happen. it is all -- up for grabs. we do know that the republican establishment is terrified of nominating gingrich because they believe that whether it is true or not, they believe he would make a much weaker candidate against obama than mitt romney. >> going to be interesting to scrutinize all the primary results forthcoming which we
will do with you. that's for sure. thank you. a legend loses his battle against cancer. we will take to you penn state on the reaction to the passing of former head coach joe paterno. dave. dave. dave. i just saved a ton of money at staples. great job, dave. suck-up. [ male announcer ] in a small business, it's all you. that's why you have us. at staples, we have low prices on everything your small business needs. staples. that was easy.
even if you think you can live with your old mattress... ask me how i've never slept better... why not talk to one of the 6 million people who've switched to the most highly recommended bed in america. it's not a sealy, a simmons, or a serta... ask me about my tempur-pedic. ask me how i can finally sleep all night. ask me how great my back feels every morning. did you know there's a tempur-pedic for every body? tempur-pedic beds now come insoft...firm...and everything in-between... ask me how i don't wake up anymore when he comes to bed... these are real tempur-pedic owners...ask someone you know...check out twitter, or your
friends on facebook... you'll hear it all...unedited! ask me how i wish i had done this sooner. ask me how this is the best investment i've ever made. tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied. than owners of any traditional mattress brand... to learn more, or find an authorized retailer near you visit tempur-pedic.com. tempur-pedic the most highly recommended bed in america. kids make stains i use tide boost to super charge our detergent. boom. clothes look amazing, and daddy's a hero. daddy, can we play ponies? right after we do foldies. tide boost is my tide. what's yours? when did you start that project? every new year comes with a few stories waiting to be built. it's when our brand-new to-do lists become "you did that yourself?" so when we can save more on the projects that let us fix, make, and do more, that just makes the stories even better.
more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get this glacier bay vanity for the new lower price of just 39 bucks. another gop debate tomorrow. this one in tampa on nbc starting at 9:00 p.m. florida will hold its primary on tuesday, the 31st. february 4 the remaining candidates head to the nevada caucus. 7th, colorado, minnesota hold their caucuses. arizona and michigan will hold primaries at the end of the month. meanwhile, florida play as big role in today's number one, forbes.com a list of the happiest cities to work in based on the surveying employee reviews. careerbliss.com ranks miami number one. worcester, massachusetts comes in second. oklahoma city third, san jose and oxnard, california, rounding out the top five.
b.j. took over her cincinnati business. she moved it away from diamonds and gold to offer more unique rings and necklaces. she called down and moved to a smaller space and became more web sent rick. more personal operation led to sparkling profits. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30. what makes the sleep number store different? the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you. and now, the company that redefined sleep is redefining memory foam. save $400 on our all-new memory foam bed. and at our white sale, stock up and save on our exclusive bedding collection. only at the sleep number store,
sad news to report this morning. the death much joe paterno. a heavy blow on the penn state campus. the legendary coach known as the winningest in the history of college football died this morning after suffering complications from recent treatment from lung cancer. nbc's michelle franzen is in state college with more on some of the tributes being paid this morning to paterno. michelle, good morning, good day to you. controversial final days were, this is very heartbreaking news. >> that's exactly right, alex. of course in the last few months since last fall when joe paterno was fired in the wake of jerry sandusky sexual abuse case, he was revered and continues to be revered by many here at penn state. of course, leading the tonight annie lions for 46 seasons, part of the football program here for six decades.
many people saying his career, his life, legacy, unmatched, not only in college football but in -- at colleges throughout the country. of course, as you mentioned, condolences and grief taking place here all around the campus and condolences coming in from around the country, including from former president george h.w. bush. he says he considers positive the earn owe a friend and his statement says he was an outstanding american who sing respected not only on the field of play but in life generally. and he was without a doubt a true icon in the world of sports. governor of pennsylvania weighing in here saying that, of course, the state is saddened but is ensuring people of pennsylvania that paterno's legacy is intact in the state. he describes paterno's life as well as his career as twin monuments saying not only for his record at college sports but also from his generosity here at penn state and education and, of course, his -- his dedication to
his players. >> indeed. very sad day there on the campus. i'm sure those treb uts will continue pouring in. thank you so much. for those of you just tuning in once again former penn state college football coach joe paterno dead today at the age of 85. in politics, we are learning a bit more about the south carolina voters who gave gingrich his surprise win in the state's primary this weekend. bit earlier, i spoke with nbc news deputy political director mark murray about the exit poll results and gingrich's commanding win with voters who said electability mat most. >> when you win as decisively as gingrich did last night, you win almost all kinds of groups. that's what we saw gingrich do, strength and normally be electability, we saw -- we saw gingrich win that group and even among republicans who said the economy is their top issue and that should also be mitt romney's wheel house.
gingrich also won there. so -- a decisive across-the-board for gingrich last right he seemed to benefited tremendously from the two debate performances. 90% of the pom responded those debates were a factor decision and of those group gingrich won half, 50%. romney got 23%. why do you think the debate had such a big impact on this particular race? >> alex, the debates mattered. we had 17 debates so far in this election cycle. each one of them mattered. in a lot of respects, more important than the tv ads and they are more important than the endorsements. even breaking down those exit polls and further, people who said they made up their minds just in the last few days, gingrich beat romney among that group by 20 percentage points. so -- the debate certainly did matter. gingrich had two very strong performances the last two debates. mitt romney two very weak ones. the result we saw came last night. >> this is an interesting stat i'm going share here.
almost noender gap according to exit poll. men, voters, both favoring gingrich over romney. the female vote, did that surprise you given what's come out? >> well, alex, the marianne gingrich news didn't hurt gingrich when it dime south carolina. gingrich won across the board every demographic route. the only groups that mitt romney actually ended up win when i looked at the exit polls moderates and that's -- segment of the republican electorate that you normally don't offer enwant to hear, juan to kiry that conservative vote, so mitt romney did well with them. he also did well with republicans who made 1 $100,000 or more. outside of that gingrich won across board. >> the women thing real quickly, do you think it should be something perceived as a false positive because we are looking at people very much believe in forgiveness, evangelical christians in south carolina. as you go out to other states that don't have quite as large of a -- conservative population
like that, don't you think the female vote is going to be one that -- cause for concern for gingrich. >> it is a pause for concern. particularly if gingrich ends up becoming a republican nominee. he has serious vulnerabilities with women, within the independents. as we are seeing in this republican contest so far, alex, ideology trumps everything. and when you look at the results last night, you look at the exit polls last night seemed to be more of an indictment against mitt romney than it did to -- seek validation for gingrich. that's my biggest takeaway from last night. >> okay. mitt romney is regrouping today after his second place finish in south carolina. former massachusetts governor is now turning his sights fullly on florida and that state's primary takes place in nine days. nbc news campaign gary hague is in florida where things look pretty nice given how cold it is outside here. with a good day to you, garrett. we have romney already hitting the ground there.
right? >> reporter: yes, that's right. on the ground here for a while. a couple of staffers, three major offices, 67 counties here. they have major endorsements, particularly from the cuban american community. that poll group broke mccain in 2008. mel martinez, felt like they are set up to make this fire wall state here in florida. >> okay. romney also made some big news this morning. announcing he will release the tax returns tuesday. are you hearing any more about that? >> alex, it has been interesting. disaster story. seems like they are getting back in charge of the news psych many. if you think bit, tuesday morning or tuesday afternoon release of that information, steps on any potentially negative headlines that might come out of the debate monday night. and no matter what is in those tax returns on tuesday afternoon, completely blown out of news cycle by tuesday night's
state of the union. >> what's the last time you wore a navy blue blazer and button-down shirt to the beach? >> reporter: definitely a first. >> okay. we are going to mark it down here. duly noted. thanks for dressing up. we appreciate it. the state of the union address is two days away and president obama says he will reveal new blueprint for central mission as president. >> rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. in america where everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules. >> nbc's strike viqueira is at the white house. another good day to you, mike. we have shades of his big speech in kansas last month on how he is expanding middle class message. is that what is to be expected? >> reporter: absolutely right. he went to kansas. teddy roosevelt gave a similar speech 100 years ago and the president openly or consciously referred to that saying everybody needs fair shake.
there's too much divergence of income and disparity between rich and poor of this country. striking populist themes, he's also going to be striking come tuesday night before congress and in that house chamber and national television audience, of course. he will be talking about jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs. energy, alternative energy, job training, jobs, jobs, jobs. i mean, those are the themes the president is going to be hitting. you know, usually state of the union speeches, alex, put people to sleep because they become a laundry list of the legislative desires of a president. and certainly there are going to be some of those. he's talking about tax breaks to, relocate manufacturing facilities in this country. there's also the matter of extending that tax break. remember that deal that was a temporary deal they struck after much consternation last month to extend the payroll tax cut for another two months. all parties involved want that to happen the rest of the year.
there will be plenty of noise about that in the weeks to come. really the president has an opportunity to take away a lot of the attention that has been focused on the republican candidates and we can expect to through the republican presidential candidates to republicans in congress. why? because the congress right now has a 13% on average approval rating. that's an easy target for the president. i'm sure he will want to tie mitt romney and rick santorum and gingrich and ron paul and the rest of them to john boehner and his cohorts in the house. >> you make very good points as always, my friend. thank you very much. mike viqueira. we invite all of to you watch live coverage of the state of the union address tuesday night on msnbc. new today, rescuers found a 13th victim of a costa concordia disaster. the woman was wearing a life jacket and has yet to be identified. meanwhile, there is new complications for the crew because officials say the ship was carrying unregistered passengers. the search is continuing among rough seas in the watt off of
giglio, italy. what's going on, duncan? what's the latest there? >> reporter: hi, alex. yes. today a 13th body came off the costa concordia. like yesterday, it was a woman, she was wearing a life jacket. she was found a few floors above most of the other bodies have been found. authorities speculating that perhaps she was trying to run away as the waters rose as the costa concordia flipped over. finally, the costa concordia is opening up to rescuers. maybe divers have been blasting their way in to search for the missing. yesterday they pulled out the body of a woman wearing a life vest. she was close to one of the emergency gathering points. for the families of the other 20 people missing, all they can do is watch and wait. that includes the children of gerald and barbara from
minnesota. they made the painful trip to the concordia, the cruise liner that was supposed to give their parents a dream vacation. a new audio of the captain saying he would be the last person to leave. captain, one question, everyone abandon or have someone remain onboard? the captain's reply, i will stay here. of course, he didn't. later blaming the ship for turning on its side quickly. it is a position that is allowing oil from the machinery to leak into the sea. absorbing the liquid. greater threat is the half a million gallons of fuel sitting at the concordia. they tell us it could take up to seven weeks to get all of that fuel oil off. and that is if they have good weather. but they say they hope to start tomorrow. >> all right, duncan. thank you so much with that ship in the background, what an incredible sight.
in today's big three, panel tells us what they want to hear from the president in tuesday night's state of the union address. stay with us. this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool. ♪
two of the candidates scheduled events today in florida. mitt romney will discuss jobs and the economy. rick santorum withhold a rally in coral springs. let's turn now to washington and the president's third state of the union address which is just two days away now. it is still being written. in an election year, the stakes could not be higher. i'm back now with today's big three panel. karen finney, msnbc political
analyst, former communications director for the dnc, susan delpercio, msnbc contributor and republican strategist. erin, reporter for "real clear politics." welcome back. erin, is it all about jobs? what does the president need to say to get high marks come tuesday night? >> he is going to be talking all about jobs and several economic proposals. many of the things we heard from him before, though, he will talk about changing the tax codes so that wealthy americans pay more in taxes than other americans. talking about creating tax breaks for companies who bring jobs back to this country that are now overseas. none of these ideas are that new. but that's what he will be stressing tuesday. >> okay. i'm curious about the timing here, state of the union address, combined with the election. how does that affect what the president says? message he wants to get across. and if at all and are we going
to hear anything -- any reaction to themes from the campaign trail? >> you know, here's the thing. any president who gives the state of the union in this year of their re-election year, has to realize that everything they say is going to be viewed in that political lens of the election year. you almost can't worry about that, frankly. and i think more importantly you will mother -- wouldn't call it a reaction but i think to the point erin was making, it is not just that you are going to hear a list of initiatives. it is the larger frame and vision and i think what we will see, i hope what we will see, is all of this tied back together to campaign from 2007 and the promises he made in terms of the vision and the big idea of how to get america working. also, the kind of america we want to be. i mean, there is a very fundamental difference between the kind of america republicans are talking about and the kind of america that president obama is talking about. it kind of is a little bit like we heard -- you know, president clinton talk about. opportunity and responsibility. i think that's part of what you
hear from president obama with the idea everybody in this country should have the opportunity to do well. >> okay. what about republican perception here, susan? what are they going to be listening for on the state of the union address. >> i think one thing is going to be clear. it will be the same tired issues that the president brought up before. policies. that's what they are going to really listen for. i think it is interesting that you have governor daniels giving rebuttal. he's very fiscal conservative republican who will offer a lot there. this, in fact, is president obama's campaign kickoff speech. i mean, that's -- he is taking his show on the road. problem that he faces is that people heard all of these ideas and referred to as the big idea, big plan america. he hasn't achieved anything. basic re-election process. he hasn't achieved any of those things. how can he possibly go on and why should he deserve a second chance to do so? >> how about pulling out your crystal balls.
i want results from three states which we have to consider. i'm looking for 2012 predictions. i mean, can you put one out there, susan, at this point? >> for the republican primary i think you are going to see something unusual. you are going to see these candidates go quite a while. all four of them. there is no reason for any of them to drop out at this point. after florida you basically have a few and you are talking about super tuesday. so there's really, you know, there is a primary in between on february 28. there's no reason for any of them to drop out. >> okay. karen, your prediction at this? are you surprised why no one will drop out? we think about the money here. >> yes. but this is a field of big egos. i think susan is right. i don't see these guys dropping out any time soon. here's my prediction. a, i disagree with susan, obviously. i think the president has accomplished a great deal in the face of really extreme circumstances. some very much beyond his control. and that being said, i think
that whether it is mitt romney or newt gingrich at the top of the ticket, that has a potential to be very damaging for the gop in the down ballot races and democrats better step up to the plate and take advantage of it. >> okay. erin, give me your prediction here before florida and anything going to change or at least -- as a result of florida potentially? >> no. i don't think so. i think that -- all four candidates will stay in and i think what we will see in the media is a crush of stories about what a brokered convention might look like for the republicans. that's what i had people in washington telling me yesterday. that if newt gingrich is to win south carolina which he did, the buzz words will be brokered convention. not that that will happen. i think we will see a lot of coverage about what that might look like. >> before i get to your must reads from the day, can i ask each of you what you think since you are all women about the female vote and how that -- well, marianne gingrich interview, fallout, gingrich
about house past, how that's going to play out? we have had a conservative evangelical representation, the state of south carolina, much of which is based on forgiveness, redemption and the light. is that going to carry forward in other states that aren't quite so heavily evangelical? what do you think, karen? >> i don't, actually. i think interesting that -- remember this week on "morning joe" when they were down in south carolina when willie was talking to voters, there was a woman voter who said that she's not satisfied with newt's answers. the difference i think is in the republican primary electorate it seems to be more men and married women voting than is reflective of the national electorate in which unmarried women play a very important role and can really affect the election. i don't think that unmarried women are going to buy newt's wrap on that. >> what do you think, susan? >> i think that democrat and republican women are tired of men pandering to them and what their issues are. number one issues are the same as everybody else, jobs and the economy. >> it is. you really don't think this
is -- most interesting water cooler conversations if you will. with women about this issue and -- most of women said we just can't see ourselves voting for him despite what they did in south carolina. >> yes. i think that's -- i think you are right. but i also think susan is really right and both parties tend to make the mistake of pandering to women and not understanding the full breadth of issues that women care about. i think to your point, though, part of what what women don't like about gingrich is he doesn't seem honest and trustworthy with the baggage. >> i will let you weigh in as well. female vote. where does it go? gingrich or otherwise? >> it is very possible the south carolina republican primary was an outlier and as we go forward, women across the country may not agree. you know, we have the issue of the scorned womaning with marianne gingrich. and newt gingrich lately has not
shown a ton of contrition. he asked for forgiveness the in his life but, you know, for marianne gingrich, the issue with her is that it was not a happy ending for her. knew gingrich is campaigning with calista gingrich to show he now has a happy marriage and he's a father and a grandfather and that his character street strong and good now. but, you know, i think as we hear more from marianne gingrich and i expect we will i think there will be plenty of women that may identify with her. and that's -- that's a story line to watch. >> yes. okay. let's get to your must reads of the day. karen, i will begin with you. you have a -- from the nation something. >> yes. a great piece in "the nation." it says that -- what if citizens united actually unites citizens. one of the things we have seen polls across the board show people don't like what is going on in the aftermath ofsy sense united. but also that if you lack at what happened this week with keystone and there are some things that are galvanizing the progressive community and level of activism that are positive signs. something for us to feel good
about. >> okay. good to know on that. erin, we have something for from you "the new york times." >> yes. it is -- an anal space e piece about iran and the role it might play in this election because as you know, the republicans are saying that president obama is weak on iran and it is likely to develop a nuclear weapon. you know, in sort of the struggle the obama administration is facing and how they -- they approach that issue. >> susan, "the new york post," why gingrich and gop poll fears are rising. >> well, it is very important because it gets a great summary of actually what's happening in the last week. and in -- concludes with basic fact that newt gingrich is going to be radioactive if he becomes the nominee. >> all right. ladies, thank you so much. before we wrap up, if you have not heard some sad breaking news today, joe paterno has died. the gridiron legend known as the winningest college football history coach, college history, lost his battle with lung cancer this morning.