tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 31, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
the clown show gives way to a horror show. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews down in miami. leading off tonight -- >> as governor of massachusetts, mitt romney vetoed a bill paying for coshesh food for our seniors in nursing homes. holocaust survivors, who for the first time were forced to eat nonkoe nonkosher because romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat. >> that's how nasty it's gotten down here.
it's become a tiger cage. a torture chamber by negative attacks. they are spending tens of millions of dollars on nasty messages. will the tea party people out in the country see the romney assault on gingrich as the torches we have never seen before. a bat toll overthrow the establishment and replace it with a tea-party driven policy. the opening in the war against the republican elite. his brazen assault on the middle class. with me in miami are john hol man and howard fine mman. both are political analysts. howard, let's talk about the realities of this race. the strange use of anything but the kitchen sink. this is personal. >> it's very personal. it's different from before in
it's the candidates themselves often and it's the level of the the attacks. much deeper. began in iowa. "the huffington post" reported about the row bow calls that the gingrich campaign put up accusing mitt romney of taking meals out of the mouths of holocaust survivors in nursing homes. completely untrue. and yet aimed at the elderly jewish voters. that's the level things have gotten to. it's in the sewer now. >> john, your view. >> the earth here is beyond scorched. it's like incinerated. there's nothing growing in the state of florida growing in for a long time. it's been very ugly. we were talking before about people think about the clinton and obama race in 2008. there was not a negative ad run between clinton and obama until march in that race. we have seen negative ads on an unprecedented scale.
it's obvious that the personal antipathy is center stage. these guys hate each other. >> yesterday campaign here in florida. gingrich unloaded on what he claims are mitt romney's attacks on religious groups. let's watch the beginning here. >> governor romney imposed activities on the catholic hospitals against their opposition and refused them to allow conscious in romney care. just as, by the way, he eliminated serving kosher food for elderly jewish residents under medicare. i didn't know this. it came out yesterday. >> i did not know this because it's not true. no. >> romney went along with women who were raped to use contraceptives. >> he didn't deny it. in the case of the elderly jews in the nursing homes, this was a
budget dispute. the nursing homes themselves wanted to get rid of having kitchens. they were too expensive. the whole thing is a tissue of f fabrications designed to scare the heck out of what few elderly jewish voters are going to vote in the primary. most are democrats. newt is leaving no stone unthrown. >> they referred to the issue of rape and what to do with that. i think most counties except the need for certain emergency procedures here. they could understand why a governor would sign on to something like that and not be of fended by that. this is desperate. it's pandering. it's all the worst. >> it is. and newt did the same thing earlier on some of his ads against romney on the la ttino fight. it got ugly earlier in the week. part of what's animating
gingrich is he believes that he's been under a fire bombing quality assault. first in iowa and second here. he feels in both of those cases, both after south carolina and in december, he was on his way to his destiny. he was going to win. he feels the romney super pacs have unfairly tarnished his record. and that's animating him to say and do anything to win. >> in fairness to newt gingrich, that's what happened in iowa. mitt romney's strategy in iowa from the beginning was to divide and destroy the opposition so he could win with 25% of the vote. it almost worked. first he destroyed rick perry on the immigration issue. then once rick perry was out of the way, he went after newt gingrich. they put up ads about the pac
talking about how newt has more baggage than the airlines. they went after him on everything. they drove him to what seemed like ruin nation after iowa. newt keeps bouncing back. they keep attacking him. this pattern is repeating. now as john said, it's personal and direct. direct statements between the candidates. that's the kind of thing that didn't use to happen all the time. it's happened here. >> one guy calls the other guy a liar. let's watch it in action. here's gingrich. listen to newt on the trail just yesterday. >> why would anybody in the establishment think that a massachusetts moderate, which is a liberal by republican standards, pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax increase, pro-gay rights. why would they think he's going to be able to debate barack obama? >> that's a stingy thing. here's romney. he's been ridiculing the former speaker.
listen to him on the trail. >> i know the speaker is not real happy. he's not feeling very excited these days. i know. it's sad. he's been flailing try iing to after me for one thing or the other. it's been painfully revealing. >> he's now telling his fans now to shake their heads in unison. they ought to be dog trained like he is. >> that's the pity tone. this is the broader point. >> does he want gingrich to hate him? >> maybe. but the next beat of the story, what we have seen this week is the former sarah palin, herman cain, rush limbaugh, a lot of talk radio people in the conservative world, they have rallied to gingrich. they have watched the way mitt romney is using the republican establishment. >> isn't rush limbaugh back in preservation? >> maybe. but there's a sense that the
republican base that's never liked mitt romney to begin with, they have now seen the establishment crush gingrich. they don't like the idea of the establishment to force mitt romney down their throat. that's the danger going forward. >> i do agree with that, but there's something else going on with romney. romney is trying to show how tough he is in part to demonstrate to republican voters that he's got the kind of ruthless, cold-blooded, instinct necessary to beat president obama. so one of the reasons they are dancing in the end zone taunting newt gingrich and why they let "the new york times" write the story about how they stretched the strategy. that's their thinking. >> they are using their money to destroy this guy. >> and they are proud of it. they are going to say we used the money to destroy that guy and we are going to destroy the next guy. >> i'm trying to remember how bad it got between now secretary
of state hillary clinton and president obama. i remember when the president, now president, he said she's likable enough. that was considered ungentlemanly. this campaign, that would be the morning start er. they don't even say anything remotely that nice. >> when clinton had the outburst in ohio when she said shame on you, that was considered a moment of emotional outburst. they talked about how bitter the c campaign is getting. she didn't call him a liar or unfit for office. nobody taunted or belittled. >> another reason is -- >> why are they doing it? >> another reason is in theory, there's not any id logical differences. because they claim to agree on the same agenda, then it becomes
a matter of saying you're fake. you don't believe in the agenda. i do. >> romney weighed in on the change of a strategy after his thumping in south carolina. here he is justifying his nastiness by citing gingrich's nastiness earlier on. >> if we're successful here, it will be clear that when attacked, you have to respond. you can't let charges go unanswered. and when that occurs, you're going to suffer from it. i'm not going to stand back and allow another candidate to define me as attacking me. it's been sad. and painfully revealing about the speaker and what he's willing to say and do to try and take the nomination. i just can't stand back and let him say those things about me without responding. >> well, it's not like calling him a dirty rat. it's just implying it. let's talk back to the purpose of the primaries. people say a tough primary can
help a candidacy like romney's if he comes out on top. it will show his strength. but it can also destroy. i watched ted kennedy and carter destroy each other. it works. if you want to destroy the other guy, you can. >> i think it's partly based on whether there's a true, genuine difference that they are arguing about. correct me if i'm wrong. i think this is the dawn of my covering stuff. teddy kennedy versus carter. the differences weren't really fundamentally that great. it was a personal thing. and it turned into a personal thing about the kennedy legacy and all that and it struck people as personal and vindictive. this is somewhat similar. i don't care about mitt in the old days. mitt has gotten with the program. he knows where he has to be politically. it's newt's position to call him a liar about that. they are questioning each other's veracity because that's what they are arguing about.
>> how do they hold their hands up at the convention? teddy kennedy, these reference points are helpful, never came to carter's support. hillary clinton gave the most impressive concession speech and became part of the team. >> and gave a great speech at the convention. is newt gingrich, if he ends up the losing end, is he a big enough person? can he put aside his differences? hillary clinton did not like barack obama. but she didn't like him. she was angry at him, but she put it aside because she was a big enough person. is newt gingrich a big enough person? i don't know the answer, but it goes to personal and how much you care about the future of the party. >> this is the most personal
stuff against the other you've seen. >> thank you john and howard. i'm allowed to say nice things. coming up, how some reports have mitt romney outspending newt gingrich four to one in tv ads. and almost all of it is negative ads. something like seven out is of ten are negative. if you live in florida, you probably don't think much of newt gingrich based on what you have seen on tv. you can't escape it. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you took the top down on a crossover? if there were buttons for this? wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids... ♪ ...and the nurburgring? or what if you built a car in tennessee that could change the world? yeah, that would be cool. nissan. innovation for today.
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voters are split on which one understands the problems of americans in their daily lives. 46% say romney. 44% say newt gingrich. that's a close one. that's amazing to think about how rough the campaign has been on gingrich. we'll be right back. cheddar bay biscuits, dessert and choose one of 7 entrees. four courses for only $15. offer ends soon. i'm jody gonzalez, red lobster manager and i sea food differently. when we were determined to red see it through. here's an update on the progress. we're paying for all spill related clean-up costs. bp findings supports independent scientists studying the gulf's environment. thousands of environmental samples have been tested and all beaches and waters are open. and the tourists are back. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp.
it sums up how nasty the race has gotten. in the past week, 92% of all political ads have been negative. 92%. that's according to the media. both mitt romney and newt gingrich and their super pacs have bombarded the airways with attack ads. there's one difference. romney has been able to outspend gingrich by more than four to one. kelly ann conway is senior advisor to newt gingrich. how do you make a case that if things don't make out for your
candidate tonight that he was basically demolished by big, bad money? >> he was. but the fact is that one has to ask governor romney why he didn't spend any of the money talking about his jobs and growth plan. talking about his record as governor. he basically took a canon and shot it towards newt. if you read "the new york times" piece, his advisors told him after south carolina, what you need to do is destroy newt. romney was in on the fix from the beginning. they came here. it's an insult to voters who come out of this florida primary without the debate having been elevated. i think if romney is the nominee, this didn't fit with the choir-boy image. we're not even talking in the mailboxes. the mail is even as bad as the tv. that's not accounted for in the figures. what happens in the end is you
can't run against the president who won on hope and change by being seen so negative. what would the board of directors said in business if he was acting this way? >> i have to tell you. he's basking in the negativity. he's enjoying it and making fun of your candidate. he's being condescending. romney seems to love being seen as the darth vaider in this campaign. it doesn't seem to bother him a bit. >> it will bother voters long-term. we have a sleepy february coming up. people are going to start looking at what mitt spent and said and did not say about his own vision for florida in this kocountry and they are not goin to take to it kindly. women don't like that negativity. independent voters can't stand politics to begin with. he's going to have to do it in some other way through
temperament and respect. he's totally blown that cover. he's out there ridiculing newt gingrich. we haven't responded that way. my advice to newt moving forward, we get out of the mosh pit and give powerful speeches in february. let people see you as the ideas guy. >> but in all fairness, newt gingrich has called the other guy a liar. how further can you get? you called him a liar. you can't go much further than that or come back from that can you? >> well, chris, he did not tell the truth in the debate stage. we have an ad up calling "what kind of man" for all the falsehoods. and he's had a difficult time with the truth and with his consistency. it's amazing that mitt romney always talks about himself as a successful businessman or the
guy who saved the wishlt games. those are noeshl accomplishments. however, he never talks about the only position of elected voter trust he's held is governor of massachusetts. nobody bothers to ask him about it. when you look at his record as governor, he's a moderate. it's not going to play in texas on april 3rd. >> okay. we have to go but hang in there. looks like a tough haul. we'll see what happens tonight. now we're joined by mario diaz belard. what do you say to the charge that your candidate is a liar? 92% of the ads are negative. what do you make of that? >> look, grow up. the reality is this. this is a tough game. if anyone thinks this is tough, wait until the billions of dollars that obama will be throwing out in negative
campaigning. already the obama administration has been called out by "the washington post." not exactly a right wing publication. they said the republicans were going to destroy medicare. that's just the beginning. that's just the beginning of the false accusations that are coming from the left and obama and his folks to whoever the nominee is. it's a tough race. florida is a pivotal state. and you're going to see people duking it out. however, if you can't stand the heat of a presidential nominating process, there's no way anybody could stand the heat of the negatives that are coming from president obama, who cannot speak about his record, and who already before it's started, "the washington post" has thrown the four pi noek owes at him for his false claims. >> why do you call "the washington post" a liberal newspaper? >> it's not a right wing. it's not a conservative.
>> it is by my standards. it's hawkish. let me go with a couple points with you. if your candidate has something to sell, why doesn't he sell it? why does he use the money he's got, something like $16 million, to level the opponent? kellyann has a decent point. what's wrong with asking, where's your beef? what do you have to sell? all you can do is trash newt gingrich. where's your candidate's processes. >> i have been getting the ads and watching the ads. the mail pieces. i will tell you i'm in a tv spot for governor romney. it's a positive spot. i'm proud to do so. the reality is that you have positive ads and you have contrast pieces, which i think are fair. >> here are the statistics. of all the ads being run in florida that we've been watching, 68% are anti-gingrich.
23% are -- .1% is positive for your guy. that's for romney. why only one out of 1%? what's that it about. >> you say you're in the ad. it's only .1%. >> i think you're going to see in particularly the community i'm privileged to represent, you'll see strong numbers for g governor romney. the issue in florida, and i think across the country, it's the economy. people are looking at who is the person who can turn it around. we need an expert to turn it around and create jobs. and i think that's why you're seeing governor romney doing so well everywhere. i think you'll continue to see that. >> okay. come down and watch television.
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there it is. this isn't the first time axelrod has needle-teamed romney. next up, getting closer. the hbo preview of the movie "game change." is fast approaching. it all started with the best-selling book by mark halperin giving us a look at the 2008 election. with particular attention paid to sarah palin. let's watch the trailer. >> we need to create a dynamic moment in this campaign. >> if you're going to seriously consider the governor of alaska, we have to call her now. >> this is sarah. >> they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? lipstick. >> you can actually see russia
from land here in alaska. >> what have we done? >> i can't control her anymore. >> she's a great actress. give her some lines. >> if i'm single handedly carrying this campaign, i'm going to do what i want. >> it's not about you. it's about the country. >> this isn't the campaign i wanted to run. >> i have to win this thing. i so don't want to go back to alaska. >> look at those pictures. she looks like sarah palin. every political junky is going to be watching that movie. the minute it comes out. speaking of sarah palin, last weekend she encouraged voters to annoy a liberal by casting a vote for newt gingrich. i think she's off on this one. and the former alaska governor had had this compliment for mitt romney. >> i think if he's surrounded by
hard core conservatives who understand that government is not the solution, he would be kind of directed into more of those conservative positions that i think that the majority of our center right nation would respect and expect. i do -- i respect mitt romney's success. >> it's amazing what words she chooses to emphasize. it's interesting. that's one way of saying mitt romney tends to be swayed by those around. not exactly a compliment by her. now for the big number tonight. talk about a game changer. what's the one thing playing a key role in this republican primary season that wasn't part of the last one back in 2008? the super pac. and that means the amount of money spent on political ads by outside groups has seen a sharp increase. how much has primary spending spiked?
1600%. a 1600% increase in outside ad spending. that's tonight's big bad number. up next, a new study shows the economy is getting better and what i like to call the osh kosh carter. things are getting better some say. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] is zero worth nothing? ♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all.
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that's according to the s&p case shiller index. the decline was deeper than wall street expected. slumping consumer confidence weighed on stocks. the index that measures how consumers are feeling slipped 3 points. expectations were for a 7-point gain in january. exxon mobile making up for a drop in production. shares fell 2% as investors worried about future profit growth. and pfizer reported earnings that surprised expectations. revenue fell 4%, but the world's largest drug maker trend their full-year forecast. of the 204 companies reporting the results, about 60% have topped analyst estimates. that's it from cnbc. now back to florida and chris and "hardball" 37.
. if there's anybody in america who can teach us how to bring back manufacturing, it is the great state of michigan. >> welcome back to "hardball." it was no coincidence that president obama included michigan in the swing last week. it's one of the states in the midwest. that could hold the key to his reelection. i doeblt think a democrat has gotten indiana in a hundred years. a report by bloomberg news using stats from the federal reserve shows that some of these states are recovering the fastest economically in the country. michigan, indiana, ohio, and pennsylvania have improved faster than the rest of the united states since the recession's death in april of 0
209. one reason is the auto industry. >> some folks are willing to let this industry die. because of folks coming together, we are now back in a place where we can compete with any car company in the world. >> so what will an upturn in that part of the country and the east of pennsylvania across to wisconsin, what's it going to mean if that part of the country gets an uptick in the economy? eugene robinson is a political analyst. i have to tell you. i sometimes think when i read reports like bloomberg coming out like that today, this president is the luckiest human being. he came up from an interesting
background. if he benefits from what looks to be a strong recovery in the most difficult part of the country. the older industries where the blue-collars have been working hard. if this comes back, he wins, i guess. >> yeah. it's an argument he would make. but i still say that the bottom line for a lot of folks is what are the fundamentals for gm to continue building success. we don't know what that is. we don't know if they have taken the corrective measures. that's not good enough. it's not a fact of what they are doing internally. it's returned confidence because they are out there. no one is talking negatively about them. >> i think he benefits. what about the head of ford?
three years in a row in profits. >> he didn't take the bailout money. they did it through the market sources and forces to help them streamline and do the fu fundamentals to make the company strong. they don't know if they have done that at gm. >> they were intellectually matched. >> gm was? >> no. ford. they should do. >> chrysler would not -- >> companies go through that and
come out better on the other end. >> how would you like that in the front of your windshield? >> you're being hypothetical. >> i'm not. >> the facts are that chrysler would not have survived that. >> we prop them up only to fail later. >> i'm just saying let's look at the fundamentals and make sure that the money that we have spent and this president has committed to their recovery are going to have sustained long term opportunities for those getting the jobs. >> they have not been well managed. at the crisis. they reached a point. they did not have time. they needed time to bridge to when the economy started to get a bit better and they had better
management. >> romney beats obama. that's part of the story. but there's a lot more diversity now than twl used to be. let me ask you about these states. if the democrats hold on to wisconsin, michigan, illinois, is that enough? >> gone. >> you lose indiana and ohio. what about the rest? >> yeah. there's a conceivable pathway to the white house. >> wisconsin? or which one? >> i would probably say wisconsin. absolutely. wisconsin has been one of those states that has always been on the bubble. who is going to be able to go into wisconsin and make the case. a governor under siege. i think the governor is going to survive. >> i think you may be right. >> i think his numbers --
>> not because they like him but there's not a strong democrat. i think ed shultz could beat him. >> he's barely surviving a recall. >> no. i'm not going to that point. but what i am saying if he loses the recall, if there is, that will happen. >> you didn't answer my question. can ed shultz beat scott walker e? >> i would love to see that. he's the man. thank you eugene robinson and michael steele. you will vote for obama if he carries the midwest. how much of mitt romney is actually scripted verbatim when he tells the jokes about the kardashians. we'll be right back with some of the mosts of the florida campaign you'll be watching.
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[ all ] i'm with scottrade. we're back. mitt romney as we all know by now is one of the most disciplined candidates. romney stays on message at his events. you have to wonder whether or not it's his personality or something scripted for him. are staffers doing the talking? is someone writing the stuff for him? take a look at this dig he had at newt gingrich today. >> there's no question that politics ain't bean bags. our message is out loud and clear. the speaker has been attacking me all over the state in ways that are extraordinary. in some respects, painful to watch. the fact is that he worked with hundreds of people in washington and only a handful of those people are willing to support him.
>> joining me with the real p l politics is aaron mcpike and dana milbank. do you get the feeling he's b e basically the christian character? he's got people writing his stuff for him. his love letters to the american people. he couldn't think of these words himself. >> well, first of all chris, he got the line wrong. he saint politics ain't bean bags. let's play hardball. there's an easy rule of thumb with mitt romney. that is if it looks like it's fifth grade level humor or below, he's written it. a higher level, somebody else has done it. if it's a pop culture reference to the last decade, he had nothing to do with it. if it's "leave it to beaver", very likely mitt romney did that himself. he is programmed to an extent. maybe when he's not programmed enough he might make the
embarrassing gabs. >> so the embarrassing time. he pretended someone grabbed him from behind, that was pure mitt. when it was the kardashians or a reference to big foot or to lucille ball, that was the staff thinking up that stuff, is that what you're saying? >> yeah. i was standing next to him when he did that thing with the waitress up there in new hampshire and that was very genuine and sort of painfully awkward, so you could see that. certainly, kim kardashian is not something that is part of the mitt romney lexicon. we can assume that stuart stevens or somebody whispered that line to him and, you know, he delivered it reasonably well, even if it was predictable. >> let me go to erin. you covered this guy, you were embedded with him for i guess the last campaign. how does it get to -- most candidates have script writers, he has a really good one. stu stevens wrote malaria dreams, my wife loved that book about africa, he's real wit. i don't think of romney as a real wit.
is he? >> no, he is not a real wit but he is really goofy and one of the moments that he had that was so funny in 2007 actually when he was canvassing through new hampshire, knocking on doors, he, you know, fall foliage is a big thing in new hampshire and he picked up a big maple leaf and twirl it had around in front of me in front of my camera and he said, you know, if adam and eve had leafs this big, they probably wouldn't have been as promiscuous. it was such a funny, strange, unscripted moment. moments like that are funnier and more aught then theically mitt but you are right that stuart stevens does write a lot of his jokes but a lot of his staffers have spent a lot of time with him the last couple of years between the last campaign traveling the country with him when he was campaigning for mccain and again in the midterms and were teaching him about pop culture and what it was like to be the youth of america and he got a lot more of this pop culture around the jokes. >> ever say did you see that movie, erin, ever say did you catch "the good wife" last sunday night or anything like that? ever talk about pop cull cher
when he is walking around? go back to -- you were in, first you. you ever show any knowledge he is part of the american culture, he doesn't live off in some little weird niche? >> you know. >> a big question for the american voter. they would like to know that their president shares their culture. >> i don't think he knows as much about pop culture, say as barack obama does, easy for him to talk about it and have it roll off the tongue. he has got kids that are paying attention to pop culture and i think that barack obama feels that more closely. >> yeah, maybe you are right. let's take a look here, dana, take a look at this moment back in december when romney compared the gingrich campaign to an iconic scene from "i love lucy." this isn't a recent cultural reference, by the way. >> i think you compare that to pearl harbor? i think it is more like lucille ball at the chocolate factory. and so, you got to get it organized. >> i get the feeling, dana that
that is a real negative shot there, is a guy very much organized. his biggest personal knock at newt, he hasn't got his act together. he is lucille ball with ethel mertz there working the cupcake assembly line. >> well, you know, he delivered that in such a flat way it suggested, in fact, it was mitt romney's line. that's what i was saying, i think there is humor to the man, just sort of corpsny humor and that is not necessarily bad, particularly in a state we are in right now in florida and i think, look, the jon stewart vote is not going to mitt romney anyway that is pretty well locked up on the other side there is something endearing about this man's corny sense of humor, you know, the -- the maple leafs was mentioned. my favorite is when he was out in iowa and looking that the farmer's horse and said is that a gelding? i haven't checked. it is such an old thing to say and it is funny in its own sort of corny way. >> i got you. i like your reference to florida. if you look at the birthdays
they have on the pop culture pages here in the paper, they begin with the oldest people, whereas most of those pop pages, whose birthday is today they start with the younger people. down here, as you might have noticed, they start with the older people. anyway, thank you very much, erin mcpike, thanks for joining us, dana mill bank as always. when we return, let me finish with how the nasty fight in florida could affect this november. these things are not going to be forgotten so quickly here. you are watching "hardball's" coverage of the florida republican primary, live from miami. to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard.
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let me finish tonight with this. if it was the port that built new york city, the railroad that made chicago, the movies who made hollywood, it was air conditioning that made florida. window units arrived here in the early 1950s. during the next 15 years, 5 million people moved here from other states and with them grew florida's electoral clout. when jack kennedy lost this state in 1960, it meant the loss of just ten electoral votes. lose it today and nearly three times that number go from you to the other candidate. in other words, the difference today between wing and losing florida is a swing of almost 60 electoral votes. florida, it is one of the country's top four electoral powerhouses. what makes it most important is the only one up for grabs. texas goes republican. new york and california go democrat. on the sunshine state plays it coy. and ever since that 1960
kennedy/nixon election it has failed just once to be with the winner n the year 2000, with the help of the supreme court, of course it memorably got to decide the winner st. a big state, a swing state, the biggest of the swing states. and come november, we will be watching how this nasty primary fight down here affects the result. would it turn on the hard right or begin to turn it off? either way, this state is nobody's baby. so as a prelude to tonight's results, let me suggest the thinking of the obama people t is from a republican, a french republican, if you will, never interfere, said napoleon upon part, when your enemy is in the process of destroying himself. this primary battle in florida has been a nasty, nasty fight there will be no hand holding when this is over no the best man won stuff. no, this fight has been a pooh storm and nobody is walking away clean. the republicans of florida may nominate romney after this but not the same romney who came here. they have been forced to choose now between running an