tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC January 25, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST
everything you love about geico, now mobile. download the new geico app today. whee wheeeeeeeeeeee-he-he-heeeeee! never mind nice, can president obama get congress to play fair, it's wednesday january 25th and this is "now," joining me today, 1600 pennsylvania avenue, bill burton who runs the obama super pac and nbc's sage of capitol hill, and gop strategist phil musser. thank you men, gentlemen. partisan lines were drawn last night as they calculated when to
applaud or sit in silence. 12 hours later this is what the house chamber looked like, an out pouring of support for gaby giffords' final bill. let's talk about the contrast in the last 12 hours. luke, you have been around for much of this stuff, the emotional impact not lost on anybody in the chamber from the feed we saw. >> and it's been in the back of the minds of a lot of members of congress from when the year started. it was four days into the session that giffords was shot. we had so much dispair and anguish then. today she walked up and hand delivered her resignation to speaker boehner. and all the partisan spears were put aside. however, as soon as that was done, virginia fox, republican
of north carolina took to the floor to say the president was wrong about the keystone pipeline. they are back to where they always are debating the issues of the day. to their credit, both parties went out of their way to honest giffor throughout the year and shun references. the references have dissipated after that incident. >> it was a good reminder that everyone can get along and that national unity is possible, it's unfortunate that those circumstance s engender that response. let's talk about the spear throwing a little, shall we. obama was talking about the where had of fairness. does this message sell with the american public? >> i think the president gave, from a rhetorical perspective,
it was well delivered. i'll give credit to the people that put it together. i'm sure it did well with tests with the american people. but the reality is the underlying premise is cracked in terms of the president dodging big issues, he did not tackle the core issues of the debt and spending in this country. which mitch daniels took square on. so, i think the oratory and the feeder of the tate of union provides taunt for the president to deliver a message, ultimately this election will be a r referendum on what he promised. and when you peel away the lair -- the layers you did not get
substance. >> we thought it was going to be a campaign speech because we do not think there's a lot he can get done in the next year. he was using very sharp language last night. i want to play a bit of sound from the state of the union, let check it out. >> no bail outs, no hand outs, and no cop outs. we have subsidized oil companies for a century. that is long enough. anyone who tells you that america is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn't know what they are talking about. >> boom, boom. they don't know what they are talking about, bill burton. this is a defiant president obama. >> you know, it was a tough message and i think you saw two clear contrasts. first immediate one, what you could feel between the president and either mitt romney or newt gingrich, when he is talking about tax fairness and equality in our country and a different vision on regulation. those different things set up what the fall will look like and there's the less immediate one when you get mitch daniels to screen saying that the state of
the union is, what did he say? not in decline. grave. >> grave. >> he said grave are. i said you know what that is not where america is right now. and that is the difference between the president and his hope for us being stronger and a republican party that -- >> this was like one foot, like one step, two step with mitt romney specifically. and we did a nice sound bites mix to show you how approximate president was responding to the things that romney has said over the course of the campaign. >> it's been envy and class warfare. >> we do not begrudge financial success in the country. we admire it. >> i pay all the taxes that are legallily riey lrequired and no dollar more. >> when i get a tax break, the country cannot afford, it either
adds to the deficit or somebody else has to make up the difference. >> don't try to stop the foreclosure process. let it hit the bottom. >> responsible home owners should not have to wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get relief. >> my view with regards to the bail out, it was the wrong way to go. >> we bet on american workers. we bet on americans and tonight the american auto industry is back. >> you now alex, now alex. >> at the end he coughs and says mitt romney. mitt romney. phil, you were watching and smieing. >> i was watching that and you should have in all fairness played the rnc ad that takes s other side of the equation. there was selective choosing -- >> the speech was accurate. he gets to do it in front of
congress which is cool if you are president. but the speech was obama laying out the election themes and he has great advantages right now. he has green shoots in the economy and he has to hope that continues. but too, he has a circus on the republican side, he the not have to deal with the primary. get up there and do his general election message. >> if you lucky, yeah. they will try to continue to destroy each other, the dynamic that he has right now is working for him. >> yes, the state of the union, decidedly a better platform than youtube, but phil we will be talking about that rnc video, if the president targeted mitt romney in the state of the union, what does mitt romney has to say today, we will look at that can and the rest of the republican responses. chris matthews and the head of
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there were times when the president said, if you send me this legislation i will sign it. and and i thought, well aren't you the leader of the free world? why don't you draft some legislation, why don't you go out and say, here is what i want, here is what needs to happen. >> this morning, mitt romney gave yet another response to the president's state of the union answering with a campaign speech of his own. phil, mitt romney has now given three, a pre-buttal, a rebuttal and a re-rebuttal.
is it resonating? >> yeah, the more the better. the more he is taking on the president and tin the context o florida primary, it's great. this is the chance for him to get the track record out there and taking every opportunity to jump in on the news cycle that is relevant from what we heard last night. yeah, if he does more and more rebuttals. that is great. >> the post was the pre-buttal the speech. >> he is two steps ahead and one step behind. >> how about romney putting out his tax returns on the day that the president will give his biggest speech on tax reform. >> you have a lot of stuff in the cycle and you want to get it out in a way that ultimately did not frame the contrast.
the governor clearly felt it important to have transparency on the issue. >> transparency is really the go-to place for mitt romney in his tax returns. >> that was framing the debate -- >> i want to talk about that. well, a lot was made of the fact that warren buffett's secretary was in the box, at the end of the day, if you are the american public, does it resonate with the american public? >> she has no real connection. >> she is a very cute, older looking, i don't want to say grandma -- >> crush on warren buffett's secretary. >> that is why we are here, ratings gold. >> if you look at her image and you she looks like she does thing s the right way and we hear that in politics from both sides. i thought she portrayed that and
it was an easy political person to point to and say, why should she be paying twice the rate that this guy, that got the vineyard vines tie, which we are not hating on here. >> we are big supporters of vineyard vines here. >> it's framing the contrast and she very much works and trying do this in a political messaging type of sense. will that resonate with people in november? who knows. >> i don't know. the boring truth about state of the unions is that they do not move public opinion. there's a lot of science on the polling and they do basically nothing. in terms of improving your approval rating. but on the mitt romney tax returns, there's i think, there's an idea in politics that you can bury news like that, there's no event where you'll put something out like that that it's not going to get coverage. that is, you know, it will take journalists a long time do go through this, it will generate coverage over the course of weeks if not months.
the rest of the campaign. they are being too cute to they can put it out yesterday and it will be buried >> we will talk a little more about romney's tax problem, if it still exists and will continue to be a whipping post for him. i want talk about the president's message independent of mitt romney. we have done a lot of analysis vis-a-vis the republican he field. we will talk about the ad that phil likes and talk about the substance of the address in terms of policy. >> we should continue to work to fix the broken system. we should take on once and for all the issue of illegal immigration. i feel as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. and let's stop expelling responsible young people. >> does that, for an american public that is increasingly
disenchanted with the political process, how much does the repetition of these talking points year in and year out dull them to the office of the president and the idea that things can change. >> we did polls and it was asked of the participants that were all moderate, do you think the president is trying work with congress, with the republicans in congress to get things done and half the people in the room said yes. if asked the other way, not one person said yes, i think that people, the american people understand that washington, in washington, you need willing partners in order to make progress and right now the president doesn't have willing partners he has a guy in mitch mcconnell who thinks it's his job to keep the president from getting re-elected.
>> the one thing you hear is the president doesn't want to work with us or is not willing and the response to all his proposals last night was laet's see if the results match what was said. i asked speaker boehner if he had spoken to the president in the new year and he had he hadn't. if you are the president and you have the ability to use that office, why not have boehner come over every friday for a merlot and cigar and say, what can we do here? that doesn't necessarily work politically because this is the d do-nothing congress. >> such a pro, great sag way. we will be talking post, post partisan. four years after being the hope and change candidate, has the president moved on from his
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i still think there's a center of the republican party, particularly the leadership that is going to be able to begin to regain control of this sort of, the element of the republican part in the house that just doesn't want to do anything. the american people are not going to put up with this. >> that was vice president joe biden on the "today" show sounding hopeful. he dreamed of a post partisan washington and since then it's been a very partisan reality. you are have a great article detailing how to love was lost.
one of the things i found interesting was a study that you had a, a book that said, one of our two major parties, the republicans has become a out lyer and unpersuaded by facts and dismissive of it's political opposition. >> what pros. >> yeah. >> when i was looking at what are the roots of polarization, why couldn't he do anything? you start to look at the political science behind it and you see how the two parties have separated, and they have become for accidedistent, one party mo further to the right than the other moved to the left. and it's a concept that is
important to wrap our heads around. it's important to note it. when you look at the political science on it, the republican party in the house has moved six times furtherer to the right n than the democrats have to the left. you cannot understand politics without recognizing that. it was worth noting and it explains why obama has had defenda difficulty, on the other side, obama was naive about their ability to overcome it, the way that obama described it in his speeches, and in his books was a way that did not recognize how far the republican party went to the right and the last three years in his administration are a lesson in that subject. >> but, really the house republican caucus in particular, which is where i think the energy is focused here, is in large part a reaction to the over reach of the president and
the democratic congress which gave us the health care bill that caused questions about size, scope and reach of government and was rejected by the right and the center of the american people and has produced a more conservative and less compromise oriented group of members of congress that really see it as a cliff moment. as mitch daniels said we are going down the river here. >> the decision was made in the beginning of that congress, there was two ways to go, we can agree with the president or deny at every turn. and you had every republican voting against the stimulus measure, a lot of people the not see it coming. they all thought there was a cross over and they doubled down on that strategy and it was a huge gamble. if you talk to operatives back then, they did the not know if it was going to work. they saw cross tabs and they put all their efforts on being opposition, and it turned out well elections.
>> what shocked me, not shocked me but, when they said we can go low on the stimulus spending with the expectation that we can get more money out of congress further down the line, seems like a wild miss calculation. >> the early economic memos and i should take this opportunity publically to thank bill burton for, giving me all the memos -- >> ratings gold, deep throat. right here. >> in all seriousness, there was two strategic miss judgments that come out of the summers memo, he said don't go bigger because you can add more later. we realized that was a huge political misjudgment. the second one was, he thought that a larger stimulus would have been counter productive. there's a line where he said, if you go too big, you'll spook the markets. the president was not given the
option of a stimulus to get the job done. >> there's a bigger dynamic in play. if you look at, you know, richard nixon started the epa, ronald reagan was for a nuclear free world, ronald reagan would not have a chance in this house. g >> i think he would a democrat. >> he would be in the huntsman wing and not have a shot. now you have candidates like mitt romney that say, immigrants are here for a free ride. >> until they self deport, until they self deport, bill. it's worth mentioning, bill, in terms of demographics and redistricting that is supporting ideological extremes. in 2008, 48% of voters lived in areas where mccain won. and it has increasingly, you
know, it's sort of ideological extremes are favored. >> you have a one in two chance of predicting how they will do by where they live. that is a huge change. obama should have realized this. it's a 40 year demographic trend that no one president can overcome. >> that is coming from a man wearing a purple tie. >> we have to go to break. thank you for joining us, sage of -- >> you have two of us. >> that is why you are both here. we are glad that the buffalo bills have their cheering section on the set. what is romney calm mp -- romne campaign doing to regain ground.
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the once front-runner is now polling like he has been run over. yoining us now is the host of "hardball" here on msnbc, chris matthews and we have the book. it's to best seller list. >> the public has spoken. >> when you have two christmass in a row, that is what you want to do. >> we are looking forward to this book being to top for the next three years. let's talk a bit about mitt romney, chris, these numbers, i mean, collapse. what is the word to use here? >> the problem with him, a canadian pollster, allen greg,
smart guy, he said there's three categories that you look for from a leader. conviction, motive, why are you there? thatcher, has the movie made about her now because you do not glorify someone unless they have a clear motive. there's not a great politician without a great motive. you have to have a music, a purpose to that person's existence. kno no one knows what mitt romney is doing in public life. and passion, is there a nerve system that reacts to things in a wonderful way. like all the great leaders. and third, this is the one where romney is weak. spontineity. if you have none of those traits
what is there in terms of your equipment. you do not have the equipment or motive or the soul. and that's a real problem, mitt's problem is not newt, it's in mitt. so newt came along with whatever you think of him. he can be a the troll, he has a wonderfully wonderfully novel mind and you cannot help but pay attention to him. but romney has no moves. >> that was on display, he was trained and had the mountain of research and was spitting it out trying to get out there as fast as possible. gingrich is a great fighter. >> and he responds to the moment. it was said that he lives off the land. if he was in the forest, he would find roots to eat. we all listen, he listens. he hears what the other guy
says. imagine a debate with him. everyone prepares their big sunday punch and they prepare their retorts. but how about the third or fourth time in when he has to operate on what was just said. he is brilliant. and he prays for that moment. romney fears it. you can script it saying that reminds me of lucy ball and the chocolate factory. >> or an embarrassment to the party. resign and disgrace, resign and disgrace. >> they were tweeting out the picture of him doing laundry. and maybe he does, but it makes him seem stranger. who makes $40 million, the whole point of that is so that you do not have to do your laundry. >> it's bizarre, his solution give a tax break to the guy that makes more in a day. it's frightening.
>> let's talk more about gingrich. it seems like if you listen to the romney camp, it going to be the freddie mac -- >> nobody cares about the past. it's about the future, this eelectriele electi election. and everywhere knows that parents kids, 20 year olds, 50 year olds, 70 year olds have one thing in mind. are we going to have a great american century or are we starting to go down or up? if one guy says we are going up and i can make it happen, he will win. somewhere in the middle we will decide the next president. it's really about the next hundred years. approximate the economy is going down come october, obama is in big trouble. if it's going up he can make the argument that he is bringing it up. >> that is rainy day hopefulness. >> i think that is largelily
largely, i think that chris is right. obama will run saying bare with me, things are improving, i'm your guy, i can lead you to a better place. in contrast, if we do not have growth and the market is in the tank and europe unfolds that will be a difficult argument to make. chris is saying it correctly. romney will point to a different looking resume background of accomplishment, even if we are in the middle of a food fight in the republican party that looks you ugly now. over time, as bill knows, our nominee will emerge stronger out of this -- >> you are being optimistic that romney will be the nominee. >> i do think he will. >> he will imitate newt by the
end. your party is being pulled so far to the right, no matter who the nominee is the president will be able to grab the center. do you want to be to the right of newt? mie right of newt. >> he is trying do that on the ryan budget, with immigration, he is -- >> round them up. self deportation? that was a cartoon. >> to pivot from, we have to turn off the magnets for the illegals and say we will have self deportation. if you talk about what is this guy made of it's completely -- >> i don't know about that, there's new data out in the last hour showing romney beating gingrich by 15 points. >> because he has leadership down there. guess who understands spanish well enough to have a debate in that? and i hear the word is out that he will do ads this spanish, newt will pull numbers here. he will get the white angry vote
in the panhandle, and the cuban american vote in the south and in the middle, he is grabbing them, squawking now abouted ab dodd-frank. he knows what he is doing. >> and newt will good in the gold coast and -- >> he looks like it. >> what the polls show is probably about right. >> who is leading? who is going up or down? >> i'm sorry, did i not think you were a romney guy? i thought you were a strategist. i thought we were here to analyze what we think is going to happen not to advocate what we want to happen. >> he can like romney. come on. >> i think, chris, plenty of the gop that has nothing to do with romney really wants him to be the nominee for obvious reasons. you have a lot of republicans in congress that remember newt gingrich, and you have republicans in congress that
think, newt gingrich at the top of the ticket? i'm not so sure. >> parties are driven by their souls in the end. i was talking to my son about it and he said don't people know if you put newt on the ticket you'll lose and they cannot carry certain states. and i said not everyone goes in there strategically, they go in with gut anger and they have strong feelings with the candidate that is like them. newt is more like a republican voter. >> chris matthews always taking it to a different level. thank you for your wisdom and intelligence. it's an honor to be on set with you, sir. thank you for joining us. >> just with you guys. >> thank you, chris. >> this guy is smart, this guy is smart and this guy is a flag n for romney >> after the break. we will be questioning richard cordray and asking him, how the
controversial obama appointee who got a shout out during the state of the union will fair over the next few months. and former jeopardy champion with us, next. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement available only with liberty mutual auto insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy?
ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now, that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health. today american consumers finally have a watch dog in richa richard cordray with one job, to look out for them. >> that is president obama, championing his controversial recess appointee to head the equally controversial consumer protection bureau. we have richard cordray with us to talk about how he will work with the house. the look on your face, talk to
us about the republican resist answ resistancelp to you and the bureau? >> i was testifying in front of the house committee and we had a good exchange back the forth, when we start to talk about the real work that we are doing, there's not controversial about it. and the congressman that we are talking about, they are hearing the same things from their constituents, same people we are hearing from and if we can do some good work for those people, we will have accomplished something. >> you think they will come to accept the cfpb and not put roadblocks in the way as you move forward? >> i take people at face value. there's been a refrain that people understand the need for consumer protection, they feel they want to change the v structure of the bureau in certain ways. it's law of the land now, if the law changes we will change
accordingly, but in the meantime we will carry out the law and it's a law that the american people feel is important. making sure they are treated fairly in the marketplace. i do not think that is controversial. >> at the hearing you said you will not hesitate to use enforcement actions to write a wrong. tell us about your enforcement powers. >> well we have the authority, which any federal agency has, if they are going to be effective, to enforce the law. to make sure that people understand that they have to follow and respect the law. that was not the case in the mortgage markets and the lead up to the financial crisis, we know that. so even handed rules of the road are typically embraced and wanted by responsible businesses. the vast majority of businesses are responsible businesses. i think we will be good for them. >> i want to bring you guys in here, the thing about where we are as a society and we talk about, you know, everything that
has befallen the american public and then you look at predatory lending and the bail outs, it amazing to me, the republicans have created a platform and winning support for a platform that says we do not need dodd-frank or the consumer protection bureau, is that surprising to you that there's something being with said that we to not need these things? >> republicans would make argument that there's enough government and oversight and a lot of the things that are in the legislation is an roadblock to growth. there's to question that the of oversight is valuable and it's an important role of the united states government. the break down as it relates to issues in this state, do i call
you second? mr. cordray can the a lot of good for himself with the testimony in front of house republicans that ultimately want to make sure that there's not significant over reach in growth of federal power into a area where people have made personal choices that they should be held accountable for. that is where you see the divide. when you grow new pieces of government, they don't go away easily. there's no mission, short-term mission that is defined around a timeframe. ultimately, it grows and grows that is why there's question of do we need this all together. but in to the his credit, he did a good job moving the ball forward. >> it goes to presidential candidates wanting to repeal dodd-frank, even though it passed with republican votes. they want to do away with your authority. can i ask you a question, though? >> sure. >> do you think it's too little too late? i mean, didn't this
administration have the banks sort of on their knees in 2009? wasn't that the time to get something done to regulate wall street? and didn't dodd-frank come long when they were back to being more powerful? >> had the consumer bureau been in place, we may have headed off the mortgage crisis, you need to take a long view of this, i think, we are trying make sure that there's things in place. -- >> this is an important answer to an important question but your boss is speaking and early. let's go president obama spooking lispook i -- speaking live. >> it's great to be in iowa. it's a little colder here than it was in washington. i want to thank jeff for the introduction. it's good to see your governor,
and mayor corbit, all kinds of good friends. this whole row, if i start introducing them, it will make my speech twice as long, but i love these guys and it's wonderful to be back here in iowa. you know, i know there's been a lot of excitement here over the past couple of months. it kind of made me nostalgic, i used to have a lot of fun here in iowa. i remember a great backyard barbecue way back in 2007. good burgers, i did not have as much gray hair back then. but when i think about all the days that i spent in iowa, so much of my presidency, so much about what i care about and what i think about every day has to
do with the conversations that i had with you. people's backyards, vfw halls, you know, those conversations i carry with me. all across this state, in all 99 counties, and i was in, i think just about every county, we talked about how for years the middle class was having a tougher time. hard work had stopped paying off for too many people. good jobs in manufacturing were leaving our shores. folks at the very, very top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most americans, most folks in iowa were just trying to stay afloat, and that was before the financial crisis hit
in 2008. you know, the crisis struck right at the end of a long campaign, but we didn't even understand at that point how bad that crisis was going to be and millions our neighbors were put out of work. but we didn't know then what we know today, that when we come together as a country, there's no reason why we can't restore that basic american promise that if you work hard you can do well. america is not about hand outs, america is about earning everything that you have got. but, if you are willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home not go bankrupt because you got sick, because you have got some health
insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times, that you can send your kids to college, that you can put some money away for retirement. that is all most people want. you know, folks don't have unrealistic ambitions, they believe this they work hard they should be able to achieve that small measure of the american dream, that is what this country is about, that is what you deserve, that's what we talked about during the campaign. now, today three years after the worst economic storm in three generations we are making progress. our businesses have created more than 3 million jobs over the last 22 months. now, if you look at a job chart, if you look at a chart of what has happened in terms of jobs in
america, we lost four million jobs before i took office, another four million in the few months right after i took office before our economic policies had a chance to take affect and we have been growing and increasing jobs ever since, three million over the past 22 months. last year we created the most jobs since 2005 and today american manufacturers like this one are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the 1990s and that's good news. our economy is getting stronger. we have got a lot of work to do but it's getting stronger. and we have come way too far to turn back now. after everything that has happened there are people in washington who seem to have
collective amnesia, they seem to have forgotten how we got into this mess, they want to go back to the policies that got us into it, the same policies that have stacked the deck against middle class americans for years. and their philosophy, what there is of it, seems to be pretty simple. we are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and everybody can play by their own rules. and i'm here to say they are wrong. we are not -- [ applause ] we are not going to go back to an economy weakened by out-sourcing and bad debt and phoney financial profits, that
is not how america was built and is we are not going back to that. last night in the state of the union, i laid out my vision for how we move forward and the blueprint for an economy that is built to last. [ applause ] it's an economy built on american manufacturing with more good jobs and more good products made right here in the united states of america. [ applause ] it's an economy built on american energy, fueled by home grown and alternative energy sources, that make us more secure and less dependent on foreign oil. and by the way, there's a connection between those two things. this company right here. some it's key customers are folks that are active in
alternative energy. there are jobs to be had and iowa knows all about it. when we are pursuing aggressively clean energy and alternative energy. developing now on "andrea mitchell reports" as we continue to monitor the president, we lost that feed, president obama taking re-election message to iowa and we will bring the speech live, the rest of the speech live, but today today, a bipartisan farewell to gaby giffords as she submitted her letter of resignation to the house. we have the president making his campaign pitch today in iowa and the republican response as well.
this is basically what he is going to take credit tofor as wl as calling for economic fairness in one proposal specifically. the 30% minimum rate effective tax rate for millionaires, plus, aimed directly at mitt romney. >> jyeah, look, it was more partisan and campaign feeling than what he said last night in the state of the union, but the themes are not all that different. they are couched differently i watched last night and i was struck by there was a lot of talk how to congress can work together and the military is not partisan and think in those terms but there were a lot of challenges in there to republican led congress. send me a bill. if you do not do this i will. it was actually, if you read the text of the speech, surprisingly
confrontational. it's in keeping with the rhetoric that the president has been using since the payroll tax cut fight. >> the point is, chuck todd has joined us, chuck and chris, when we look at the confrontational aspects of this, it was populism but couched in a sunny approach, it was more reagan type populism, clearly a re-election blueprint. >> it is and one of the things that i did to sort of prepare to listen to the speech was to look at bush '04 and clinton '96 and reagan '84. they were in similar circumstances. there are re-elections were fragile at the time and people were running around running against them. how do they deal with it? and you know what th? all the speeches were overtly political as well. this one was overt.
but chris pointed out, frankly this is where the president's messaging has been for about two months and it's working. you see in small shifts, but you see movement in the numbers, just slightly. just enough and i think he is he being helped frankly by the actual statistics coming out of the economy, with the lowering of the unemployment rate and things like that. they see no reason to change the style. >> when you looked at the are republican response, mitch daniels' response was a classic conservative argument, it brought together the various strands of the republican party that neitherer newt or romney has been able to do with a hat tip to the tea party spaurpters and ron paul supporters as well. >> you are right. whether it was intentional or not, the timing was ning was fa. you have newt and romney looking like two prize fighters in the tenth round of