Skip to main content

tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  January 23, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EST

2:00 am
captions paid for by nbc-universal television this sunday, the south carolina surprise. newt gingrich wins and wins big. a double digit victory over governor romney in the first southern primary. we proved here in south carolina that people power with the right ideas beats big money, and with your help we will prove it again in florida. thank you. good luck and god bless you. >> we will talk to the winner himself live this morning. also, how does the romney campaign now respond? >> this is a hard fight, because there is so much worth fighting for. >> the florida the next big test, how does governor romney connect with conservatives and make the case that he alone can beat president obama?
2:01 am
we'll ask top romney supporter, the republican governor of new jersey, chris christie. then our special political roundtable as we wrap up the results from south carolina and analyze where this wild race goes from here, plus the president's standing two days before his state of the union address. how will he use this election year to advance his and dane. joining me the host of msnbc's morning joe, joe scarborough. anchor catty kay and nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent chuck todd. captions paid for by nbc-universal television this thing could go on for a while. the final results from newt gingrich, newt gingrich beating mitt romney by 12 points.
2:02 am
the chant is newt can win after three major contests. this race has three different winners. the most recent is newt gingrich. he joins us live this morning. mr. speaker, we joked about you coming on every week. here you are again. congratulations on a significant victory. >> david, thank you. the people of south carolina were and very hospitable. we had wonderful evening last night. >> what is the message that south carolina has sent and what does it mean for this race? >> i think they sent two really big messages which i wish the national establishment could pick up. the first is real pain. there's tremendous unemployment. people really are hurting, the number of people who walked up to me who have been out of work for a year, year and a half, people who want to work hard and have a better future, who want to provide for their families. that was really there. the second which i think no one in washington and new york gets is the level of anger at the national establishment. people who are just sick and
2:03 am
tired of being told what they're allowed to think, what they're allowed to say again and again. and came up as you know in the two debates, the highest, the most intense passion in both debates was a head-on collision about what the news media was doing. i think there's something real and deep there that happens all across the country and that we're seeing everywhere, certainly in florida which is had one of the most painful periods with housing mortgages and the price of housing and the difficulties in the housing area, as they look at the big boys on wall street, they look at the guys in washington, they know none of that help got down to average everyday floridians. i think that gap creates a real anger against the national establishment. >> you are running against the establishment, trying to run as an outsider. dwruk about housing in florida. you were a consultant or depending on your point of view a lobbyist for one of the mortgage giants. 'wondering how you think you win that game given your history. >> wait a second david. you know better than that. i was never a lobbyist, never
2:04 am
did any lobbying. don't try to mess things up. i was an advisor strategically. if you look at the only thing ever published by freddie mac i said you need more regulations. if you look at if only article written about my talking to the congress, it was in "the new york times" in july of 2008. i said do not give them any money. now, opposed giving money to fannie mae and fraed difficult mack. i think they should be broken up into four or five much smaller companies. i've long felt that. to jump from one to the other is simply wrong. in florida my case very simple, you have a clear establishment candidate in mitt romney. look where his money comes from, his background, what he did in massachusetts. you someone who his entire career has been a reagan populist conservative back to the 1970s. i think floridians would like somebody who speaks for them to washington, not somebody who speaks to the establishment to them. >> you've raised questions about romney's business background,
2:05 am
particularly his time at bain. as he was conceding last night in south carolina, this is one of the shots he fired across the bow. listen. >> those that pick up the weapons of the left today will find them turned against us tomorrow. let me be clear. if republican leaders want to join this president in demonizing success, and disparaging conservative values, they will not be fit to be our nominee. >> the question, mr. speaker, after all the questions about bain, where are all the questions, and where is the beef when it comes to his management of bain? >> first of all, you don't get any beef because you don't get any answers. if fact is he is trying to cleverly hide behind an argument that no high school debater would ever let stand. the questions about the character, the judgment, the record of a presidential candidate is not an attack on business. that's silly. that would be like saying that my critique of romneycare is
2:06 am
resembling obama-care means i'm against government, and that would be silly. he's trying hard not to answer where news reports are they cleansed every single xurt are. we have no real record of how they developed it and no real understanding of the overlap between his advisesers and xwaum's advisors, although president obama says they're the same people. i think the governor keeps trying to make these kind of arguments that that even in high school debate he would lose if he can't do better than that >> mr. speaker, if it appears governor romney will release his tax records as you called for him to do last week, would you be satisfied and you agree there could be facts in there that both you and president obama would use against him? >> i don't know. if there are things that can be used against him, we better know it before the nomination. the last thing republicans want to do is nominate somebody that collapses in september. beating barack obama has to be the number one mission of the
2:07 am
republican party. a second term for barack obama will be a disaster for this country, and i am committed to beating him and i think i proved in the debates i could take him on in a series of debates and i think it's important that we have a candidate strong enough and tough enough to be able to take on president obama in a series of debates. >> to give you your due on the electability question in south carolina, you had the edge, not governor romney who has had the edge in iowa and new hampshire, and that's important to say, and having said that, there are still real questions about your electability. look at the recent fox news poll. your unfavorability rating was still very high at 56%. there are those who describe you as erratic orris ski. this was something that tom defrank wrote today in the daily news. the winner in south carolina was barack obama, a strategist, and this plays perfectly into his hands.
2:08 am
we've prolonged the process and that's good news for the president. newt is absolutely brilliant. he has 100 ideas. 97 are real good. the other three will blow up the world. look for other party leaders to inoculate against a gingrich surge. newt means losing 45 states. it would be a catastrophe for the country. that sums up the establishment view as newt gingrich as the nominee. >> well, the establishment is right to be worried about a gingrich nomination, because a gingrich nomination means we will change things and make the establishment very uncomfortable and demand change and real knowledge about where hundreds of billions of dollars have gone. if you look at a lot of these guys, they have really good reason to worry about an honest, open candidate who has no commitment to them. who has no investment in them, and i think they should be worried. we intend to change the
2:09 am
establishment, not get along with it. on the other hand, everything they just said and you read was said about ronald reagan in 1979 and 1980. in '79 reagan was 30 points behind carter. one of his republican opponents described the reagan economic growth plan as, quote, voodoo economics. some voodoo. it created 16 million new jobs. we came back and used the same model when i was speaker to create another 11 million new jobs. i'm happy to be in the tradition of ronald reagan as the outsider who scares if republican establishment. frankly, after the mess they made of things, maybe they should be shaken up pretty badly. one of the things the florida voters get to decide is do you want the establish's candidate, governor romney, or someone who stands for a conservative populist approach that would profoundly change washington? that's newt gingrich. >> mr. speaker, you were outspoken this week about your views of questions about your penl life. on this program in the past you've said they were fair questions. we've had those conversations. let me ask you more generally. if voters are going to consider
2:10 am
your family families verse it is family values of governor romney, should they judge your conduct? >> sure, of course they should. and they should judge who i am. i think the people of south carolina did just that. they did it by a huge margin. and they repudiated the effort to go back and drag up things, particularly at the very opening of a national debate. last night on stage calista and i were together. we have a wonderful marriage. my two dauters and their husbands were there, tremendous supporters. my two grandchildren were there, my chief debate coaches. everybody knows i'm a 68-year-old grand father. i've done things in my life that i regret, i've had to go to god for forgiveness and reconciliation. i have a great relationship with my wife and my children, a great relationship with my grandchildren. at 68 i think i'm the person best prepared to know how to get this country back on the right track, and i'm the person who is tough enough to take every single hit and keep coming. i'm do the same thing as president. and we will get america back on
2:11 am
track with the help of the american people. i always ask them to be with me, not for me. this is going to be a very, very difficult job. >> let me end with this, mr. speaker. jeb bush, former governor of florida whose nomination is highly sought after has called on the candidates to have a very positive cone and think about the independent voter as we move forward in the general election. i want to play something you said about president obama last night and ask if you think you're consistent with that admonition. watch. >> the founding fathers of america are the source from which we draw our understanding of america. he draws his from sole lynn ski, radical left wingers and people who don't like the classical america. >> can you win independent voters in a general election campaign with that message? >> absolutely. ronald reagan did it by a landslide in 1980. he carried more states against jimmy carter than franklin delano roosevelt did against
2:12 am
hoover. what i said last night is the truth. nobody in the elite media wants to cover it. nobody ever went back to look what he stands for, what neighborhood organizer meant. he wasn't organizing boys and girls clubs. he was teaching political radicalism. that explains his entire administration. he is who he is. it's not that he's a bad human being. my impression is he has a good family, he really loves his children and his wife, that he's a very pleasant person in some ways. the objective fact is he believes in a very radical vision of america's future that is fundamentally different from probably 80% of this country. and nobody in the elite media has ever wanted to dig into it, ever wanted -- why would he veto the keystone pipeline? why would he kill jobs in america? why would he have a national labor relations board attack boeing? because it fits the model of alinsky radicalism. >> there's news this morning governor romney is saying he will release his tax returns on tuesday from 2010 and an estimate for 2011.
2:13 am
are you satisfied? >> i think that's a very good thing he's done, and i commend him for it. i think it's exactly the right thing to do. as far as i'm concerned, that plavr issue is now set aside and we can talk about other bigger and more important things. >> mr. speaker, good luck on the campaign trail. we'll xw watching. >> thank you. joining me governor chris christie. welcome back. >> happy to be back. >> the top supporter of governor romney. let me pick up the news. the governor made a decision to release his tax records? will he go back further than that? >> i think what people want to see is get a look into how governor romney has made his money, how much he made and look at his tax returns. i think that's perfectly appropriate and you'll get a good look at that in 2010 and 2011. i think he's done a good job by making the decision to put them out. i'm happy he's doing it. >> he waited. it made for a pretty bad week. you advised him earlier in the week to do it sooner. i want to show something from the debate this week when he
2:14 am
justified why it was he didn't want to release more and release more sooner than when he planned to last april. this is what he said. >> i want to make sure that i beat president obama. and every time we release things drip by drip the democrats go out with another array of attacks. >> is there something in the tax returns that will hurt governor romney? >> i don't believe so, no. at the end of the day, you know, david, even in a standard tax return, adversaries like the obama white house will try to pick it apart and make something bad about the success that governor romney has had in his life. so i'm sure that's what he was concerned about. listen, i made my position really clear both publicly and to governor romney that i think he should release the returns. he's releasing them. now it's time to move on. i think what the american people will see is someone extraordinarily successful in his life. i don't think the american people want somebody that's a failure as president. i think they want somebody thes succeeded. that's what you'll see with governor romney. >> hats the meaning of last night? >> clearly disappointing.
2:15 am
i'm not going to say that it was good news for the romney campaign. we had a bad week as a campaign and a bad result last night. you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and you get to florida and you fight. i still believe governor romney is going to win in florida on the 31st and he'll return to florida in august as the republican nominee. >> there's a couple of big issues. connecting to conservatives in the party, the grassroots of the party and what speaker gingrich says which is this anger in the party, i want to show something that you discussed with oprah winfrey on her program as a liability for governor romney and have you talk about it a little bit more. >> i have a real sense that governor romney has a real depth of knowledge and experience and understanding about government and business, but he doesn't really communicate it all that well. i think people have a hard time connecting at times with him. so his challenge is going to be how to connect with people, how to make them feel what i do believe he feels inside, which is he wants to do great things
2:16 am
for the country. >> what do you attribute that lack of connection to? >> listen, he's a very reserved guy. everybody comes with a different personality. i'm obviously not reserved. he's very reserved. everybody connects success with different personalities. every candidate has liabilities. the fact of nalt tmatter is the president's liability is he has a lousy record to run on so he'll have to attack mitt romney. the speaker, a strategic adviser, that the oldest washington dodge in the book. that's because he didn't want to register as a lobbyist. he got paid $1.6 million. first he said historian, now a strategic advisor. it's the oldest dodge in the book. he was using his influence obtained in public office to help him. that's why they paid him $1.6 million. he can call it whatever he wants to call it. every candidate will have liabilities. what i was saying to oprah in that interview is it's the challenge for governor romney.
2:17 am
as campaigns evolve, people meet those challenges. i believe mitt romney will meet that challenge. >> you come back to a connection with conservatives. what in your judgment is mitt romney's greatest contribution to the conservative cause? >> this is a guy who has shown ha the american free enterprise system can work and can work to create jobs across america. you look at places like staples and sports authority, everybody goes to work at those places today has mitt romney to thank for it. he's going to know how to do that as president, to get government out of the way, to be able to let the private sector create the jobs we desperately need and haven't had in the obama administration. that's his greatest contribution to the conservative movement, to show the american free enterprise system which is under attack by the obama administration does work for real people, middle class people. let me tell you, the people going to work at spofrts authority and staples today, david, those aren't the elite. those are middle class americans using those jobs to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads and send their kids to college. let the president attack that. >> when i moderated the debate
2:18 am
in new hampshire i asked the candidates on the stage why shouldn't mitt romney be the nominee? what's disqualifying about his record? i ask you as a member of the establishment, why shouldn't newt gingrich be the nominee of this party? what's disqualifying about his record. >> the fact of the matter is from my perspective, not as a member of the establishment but as a governor, we don't need another legislature in the oval office. does haven't the first idea of how to use executive authority or bring congress together. we've had the worst years of congress in my lifetime because this president refuses to get in the room, roll up his sleeves and get the hard work done. we don't need a legislature in the oval office, we need an executive. someone who in private sector a and as a governor understands how to bring people together and use executive power. the speaker doesn't have that experience. he's never done anything. >> you've been more pointed in favor of governor romney, he says you will never embarrass
2:19 am
you. do you think gingrich will embarrass the party sfwh. >> i think he has. whether he'll do it in the future, i don't know. governor romney never has. >> you say he's embarrassed the party how? >> we all know the record, he was run out of the speakership by his own party, fined $300,000 for ethics violations. this is a guy who has had a very difficult political coup rear at times and been an embarrassment to the parity. you remember these times. you were here. i don't need to regail the country with that entire list except to say, i'm not saying he will do that in the future, but sometimes past is prologue. >> is this an issue that governor romney makes more strongly? is character an issue in this campaign? >> i'm not talking about character. i'm talking about how you conducted yourself in office and what that record indicates. i take him at his word that hess ooh a chingd paern and not attacking him on that basis. i'm saying this is a guy who
2:20 am
never has run anything. i don't think on-the-job training should be the president of the united states. he's done great things for our party over the years and for our country. the fact of the matter is, i don't believe his record stacks up to governor romney's record in that regard. >> what about this electability question? you heard what i challenged speaker gingrich with which is there is this view in the party that if gingrich keeps on going and if he consolidates support among conservatives, this is the best news for president obama possible. is that your view? >> my news is the worst news for obama is a romney candidacy. with the values he's been articulating as a candidate, the best contrast we can have to president obama, i think governor romney would be the worst news for the obama white house. >> do you think a candidate, a nominee gingrich could also beat president obama? >> could he, sure. >> you don't sound as convincing. >> i answered your question. >> you think he could? >> sure.
2:21 am
>> i want to ask you something that i don't think has come up so far, whether you would consider being on the romney ticket as a vp. you've answered this a bunch of different times. i want to ask it a slightly different way. you have said you didn't feel you were ready to be president right now. would you be ready to be voopt? would you have to be ready to be president if you were going to accept a spot on the ticket? >> everybody misunderstood what i said about being ready for president. i meant being ready to leave the job i had and being ready to run for president of the united states with all that entails. i didn't want to do it, didn't feel ready to do it. i think you have to be absolutely committed and ready to do that. as to the vice presidency, i want to be governor of new jersey. i absolutely believe come november 2012 i'm going to be governor of new jersey and not in any other office. the fact of the matter is, if governor romney who is going to be our nominee picked up the phone and called me to talk about this, i love my country enough and i love my party enough to listen. in the end, david, if you were a
2:22 am
betting guy and i know you are, david, if you're a betting guy, you should bet on governor christie of new jersey in 2012. >> you said once who would warrant me as number two? you would be a good vice president, not appeal to your ego or anything. >> i say certain personalities are suited for jobs better than others. i don't know that i'm the guy to stand three feet behind somebody and nod my head. it's not necessarily in my character. again, you have to balance that against your love your country and party and all those things. there's one person who gets to decide that question, that's the nominee of our party. if i'm approached, i will listen, but my inclination, to make it very clear, is i want to stay governor of the state of new jersey. but i think it's wrong to foreclose that and foreclose the nominee of our party from coming and talking about it because they may have a different view than i do and maybe they can convince me something different. >> i want to ask you about the state of the union.
2:23 am
what do you think the president could say to galvanize republicans to try to work with him on something substantial? >> he could finally embrace simpson-bowles. he asked for it and put it on a shelf for political reasons, showered political cowardice by doing it and an absolute fear of confronting the big issues in our country. i think if he came out and said i was wrong to put it on the shelf, i should take it off the shelf. i'll send it to the congress and i want a vigorous debate and discussion about really tackling debt and deficit in our country in an honest and foerth right way the way senator simpson and mr. bowles suggested. it's a realistic plan that merits discussion. he never did it. that would surprise the nation if he did it. i think it would show great leadership if the president was willing to do it. >> where have republicans been culpable for the paralysis in washington? you've spoken about the president. >> i've spoken about both,
2:24 am
david. i've said this before. i think that people are spending too much time talking at each other and not talking with each other. look at new jersey. in new jersey i have a democratic legislature, they say some of the most unspeakable things about me publicly. on the other hand, though, i do not take that personally. i still bring them in the room. we sit down. we talk and we resolve things because we're put in these jobs to accomplish things, not just to posture and pose. my point to republicans has been, too, you've got to force those conversations. if the president is not interesting in having them or developing those relationships, there's little the republicans can do. to the extent we've contributed to not having those relationships happen, there's a culpability here. >> you talked about the state of the state and how you see new jersey in the future. one of the things we've talked about at this table before, remember the federal/state tunnel project which you were opposed tochlt you said, look, we're broke in new jersey. now you're calling for a 10% cut in income tax to cost the state
2:25 am
$300 million over three years. >> the tunnel project was going to cost us an additional $8 billion. we don't have the money to do it. it was a bad plan. what we see happening now is the federal government, new york and new jersey working together to come up with another plan more equitably shared by all the parties, not 70% of the cost being on new jersey. the reason we need to cut taxes, think about what i inherited. i came in. we had $13 billion in deficits. we had 115 tax and fee increases in the eight years before i became governor. the worst business environment in america. in two years we've balanced those budgets and brought ourselves to balance without any tax increases through very difficult and aggressive cuts. now i'm saying it's time for the people to get some of their money back, done responsibly, 10% cut phased in over three years. think about this, david, in new jersey, the people in new jersey will know for the next three years every year their taxes will go down. if i told you that when i came here the first time, you would have told me i was nuts.
2:26 am
we did it because of hard work and sticking to our principles and working together with democrats. i think we'll do it again. >> do the new jersey giants win today? >> yes. >> you didn't even flinch. you think they should be the new jersey giants. >> of course they are are. the only thing new york about the giants is the ny on the helmets. they play in new jersey, they train in new jersey. sorry to my friends in san francisco, a big win for the giants and on to the super bowl. >> i'll be watching. coming up, the 2012 republican race for the white house is recast. all eyes on florida. full analysis on the meaning of last night and what to look for in. we've got joe scarborough, republican strategist mike murphy. also joining the roundtable the bbc's catty kay and nbc's chuck todd. bbc's catty kay and nbc's chuck todd.
2:27 am
[ male announcer ] little owen wanted to play, but his nose was raw and sore. achoo! [ male announcer ] and common tissue made it burn even more. ♪ puffs plus lotion is more soothing than common tissue, and it delivers our most soothing lotion for every nose issue. a nose in need deserves puffs plus lotion indeed. to give your cold a comforting scent, try puffs plus lotion with the scent of vicks. in your breakfast cereal, what is? now, in every box of general mills big g cereal, there's more whole grain than any other ingredient. that's why it's listed first. get more whole grain than any other ingredient... just look for the white check. 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
2:28 am
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, where queen mattresses start at just $699. 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.
2:29 am
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. ♪
2:30 am
a special decision 2012 political roundtable. full analysis and the meaning of south carolina, joining me full analysis and the meaning of south carolina, joining me msnbc's joe
2:31 am
2:32 am
ask me. if you think even the best bed can only lie there... ask me what it's like... when my tempur-pedic moves... to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america... ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. ask me about having all the right moves. these are real tempur-advanced ergo owners! find one for yourself. check out twitter. try your friends on facebook... see what they have to say...unedited. it goes up... ask me what it's like to get a massage ---any time you want. goes down...
2:33 am
ergo...nomics... ergo...nomics... tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. (in chinese) ask me why i never want to leave my ergo. ask me why i'm glad i didn't wait 'till i was too old to enjoy this. start asking real owners. ask me how to make your first move... find out more about the tempur advanced ergo system! call the number on your screen for your free dvd and information kit. to find an authorized dealer near you, visit tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. we're back with our political roundtable. joining me the anchor of nbc's world news, katty kay, and a strategist, mike murphy, and joe scarborough the host of "morning
2:34 am
joe," and political director, chuck todd is here. >> we're going to start with electability. two weeks ago if we told you electability would be the most important issue in south carolina, you would assume a romney runaway. well in this case it was newt gingrich who won the electability argument. half the people that said electability was the most important, they picked gingrich. here is the more important reason why he won south carolina. he became the conservative alternative. 48% of those that described themselves very conservative picked gingrich, and less than 1% saw mitt romney as the conservative. let's look ahead to florida. florida is not quite as conservative as south carolina, but a lot more conservative than new hampshire. and this could be a recipe for why romney might not have florida as the firewall he
2:35 am
thought he was going to have. >> let's turn to joe scarborough. why did newt gingrich win? >> david, david -- i love how you got it, and you are part of the enemy. he spoke about the elite and he is talking about you. >> i will tell you why he did not win last night. it's not because he is a conservative. he is not a conservativconserva. he actually hides a record where you can identify very quickly on google. the remarkable thing, and this is why republicans are panicked in washington, d.c., for good reason, yeah, mitt romney supported an individual mandate, and newt gingrich supported that mandate and cap and trade at one point and so did mitt romney. you can go down the list. you have ronald reagan being brushed aside by mitt romney, but on this program, just a year ago, you had newt gingrich calling ryan a right-wing
2:36 am
radical engaged in social engineering. it's a mess out there. i think you will hear more people like bill crystal, and eric erickson talking about a broken convention. >> mike murphy, look what we have here. we have three big contests. >> uh-huh. >> we have three big top runners. this thing could go on for a while. >> yeah, if it becomes a delicate contest. romney is in vulnerability here, and he has a lot of aspects, too. and i think the romney guys made a forgivable error. but there's a bigger problem. the last five days, he lost his message and for a guy like romney who has done well getting conservatives who are lukewarm to vote for him to be up there in a defensive crowd and be unable to release taxes and defend his wealth sends a
2:37 am
subtext message, and maybe he can't be obama, and that's kryptonite for obama. and romney has to make the race back and tweak his message and do full offense on gingrich. there are no firewalls in primaries. >> tax releases, does that help now? put it to rest? >> well, yeah, i say made a suit made out of your tax returns and defends it and make your argument because that's what people need to see to win. they have to go into florida hard and they have to hurt newt. it's a message thing. >> let's talk about message, katty kay, because joe has been talking about this all week long, and it's the politics of grievan grievance. listen to newt gingrich last night proclaiming victory. >> i believe the debate we're
2:38 am
going to have with president obama over the last eight or nine months, the outlining of the two americas, the america of paychecks and the america of food stamps and the america of independence and the america of dependance, and the america of strength and foreign policy and the america of weakness in foreign policy. >> this is a angrier more populist message from newt gingrich. >> it's a man that styles himself as an individual out there on the republican candidate that styles himself as a grandee yos thinker. it's not about his policies in south carolina. it's because they feel he is the one that can take the fight to barack obama. the conservative movement is feeling rebellious, and newt gingrich styled himself as a rebel. now in the past what you have seen is that he has these peaks, and we saw it in 1994 and during
2:39 am
this campaign and then he crashes. the question is can he and his personality, let alone the mechanics, the endorsement and money and ground work, can he keep it all in check? that's a reasonable question to ask. >> and to pick up on that point, newt gingrich has nothing in february, and there are not a lot of primaries or debates, and two primaries at the end, one is romney's home state, and so the battle will be only in arizona, and the last time there was nothing between the debate in iowa, and that's when gingrich got a little too full of himself and did shoot himself in the foot. is this about newt gingrich or mitt romney? >> it's about mitt romney. >> losing to south carolina, he can't dismiss it. this is the heart and soul of the movement conservatives of the folks that show up and knock on doors, and he doesn't have their support.
2:40 am
>> and glenn flush from politico covers the white house. he put something on twitter last night that i thought spoke to this. tonight's romney loss parallels the can tore -- >> they are revolting against the washington republican establishment, appointing mitt romney. just like herman cain was not about herman cain. it was about a rejection of mitt romney. michele bachmann, a rejection of mitt romney. newt gingrich, a rejection of mitt romney. and now newt gingrich rejection two, and it's a rejection of mitt romney. we put him out in congress in 1988 because he sold us out in spending and taxes and he went to the floor and sided with
2:41 am
democrats in his last speech, calling us the perfectionist caucus, and he is an opportunists. here is the problem, so is mitt romney. and the republican establishment in washington gave us $5 trillion of debt during the bush era, and took the surplus and turned it into a $1.5 trillion deficit. and george bush promising to end tyranny across the globe. and the conservative movement is saying stop. and newt gingrich will not be the final choice, but we are not handing this off to mitt romney for right now. >> what newt is doing and what is great at, is playing the music and piano of resentment, we have a lot of mad people. but the reason liquor sales have doubled, is because hard whisky
2:42 am
is going to the republican office and champagne is going to the nancy pelosi office. and it's easy to get tied up in a campaign like this, but in a general election, it's a problem. >> and go more to the middle even for the rest of the primaries, and why and how? >> well, after he got it locked. i thought he might lose south carolina by two points and not 12. mitt has a problem. it will probably take all of february to get it back. if mitt fixes his message, and he has the mechanics, newt is going to turn into jerry brown and he will follow him around, and that's not what you have to do to win the election. it would be a train wreck. romney cannot be contended by that either. it's a tough course. >> the white house is loving all of this. they are watching in south carolina. and the ads against newt
2:43 am
gingrich write them selves whether it's taxes or speech money, and romney also clearly has a problem and it's something you were suggesting earlier, david, there's something about the mood of the country at the moment and the strength of the message that the occupy movement kind of put out there about a inequality, and a middle class feeling in secure -- >> you are starting to sound like newt gingrich now. newt gingrich adopts the language of michael moore, and a week later he is the conservative alternative? no. doesn't work that way. >> mitt romney simply has not found a way to be in this economic climate -- >> they are not focusing on mitt romney's money but on his tongue. he cannot answer a question that he knows is coming. >> i asked the governor, governor christie, what is his big contribution to the
2:44 am
conservative cause, and it's that he has been a big businessman. >> you have to give governor christie credit. these jobs at staples, they are middle class jobs. so chris christie can make a better case? it was stunning. and we talked about the problem mitt romney might have with swing voters and middle class across america because of his wealth, and the problem he will have over the next three weeks, it's easy to pile on and attack newt, that will be the easy part. the hang ringing, every time newt has risen, those folks suddenly get more phone calls. and is there
2:45 am
2:46 am
2:47 am
2:48 am
we're back with the roundtable. mike murphy, we have a scramble. is there anybody else out there? jeb bush said he would not endorse, and he was a heavy recruit, and then there's mitch daniels, he will give the response to the president's state of the union address. will there be more fantasy football in the race? >> well, yeah, it could happen.
2:49 am
a flying saucer could land, too, and it could happen. they are making money for working people and pension funds so people could retire and go on offense and get the taxes out and defend them and win florida, florida will come back and it will be a long slot. and if newt gingrich wins the primary, that will explode. a lot of people think the miracle candidates will look good in the show room. >> yeah, still a lot of dissatisfaction with the field. everybody talks about near death experiences. mitt romney, he will be a stronger nominee if he gets the nominee. >> yeah, he will be. but if newt gingrich wins florida and everybody has a month to think about it, that's when somebody like haley barber
2:50 am
will be right. in 1995, you know what the approval rate was? 27% approval rating. he knows newt gingrich -- there's another scenario that people like bill crystal and others will be looking at moving forward, and that is -- i have heard a lot of talk about this, favorite sons. new york, connecticut, texas. you have a lot of big states that are still open. indiana. arkansas. there's a real possibility that you could have different candidates if haily barber and jeb bush is dragged kicking and screaming to the convention. >> it's not impossible, but here is the -- >> you know, murphy, you have to run out of these -- >> i will tell you what, two
2:51 am
days ago you could have used your martians and stuff on newt gingrich winning by 12 points in south carolina. >> very quickly, let me say the way most delegates are chosen, if you let them loose to vote for who they want to vote for, better for newt. there are christian conservatives instructed on how to vote. >> let's get through florida first. it will be harder for gingrich in florida. it's not somewhere that plays to his stuff. and look what the romney campaign did to him -- >> there were a lot of smart people that said that. and jeb actually went on a limb to do everything that he could to stop that guy. the establishment didn't do it. we have seen this movie before,
2:52 am
and it was 1992, and bill clinton, oh, my god, he's going to blow this and it's an easy opportunity to beat the incumbent president, but it did lead to the creation of perot. i think the longer this goes on, the ideas of a broker convent n convention, the republicans would be afraid of it, but the idea of a third party popping up, that is real. >> and let me break in here. we will talk about the friends and takeaways, and what to look for in this very important week and tak[ female announcer ]look if whole grain isn't the first ingredient in your breakfast cereal, what is? now, in every box of general mills big g cereal, there's more whole grain than any other ingredient. that's why it's listed first. get more whole grain than any other ingredient... just look for the white check.
2:53 am
2:54 am
one chance to hunt down the right insurance at the right price.
2:55 am
the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. ready, aim, save! grrr! ooh, i forgot my phone! the "name your price" tool. now available on your phone. get a free quote today.
2:56 am
as we always do, we monitor the conversation on facebook during the program. this is what we were just talking about. feedback, christie is the exact type of leader we need. it's ashamed he doesn't run. who else is out there saying that is still going on? and then the big story today, mitt romney saying he will release taxes on tuesday. this is how newt gingrich responded to me on that point. >> i think that's a very good thing he's doing and i commend him for it and it's exactly the right thing to do, and as far as i am concerned that particular issue is set aside and we can go on and talk about bigger and more important things. >> interesting, because last week on this program, gingrich said he ought to release them. do you think he will leave it at that? >> i am surprised he closed the
2:57 am
door. because mitt is talking about releasing it for one year. i suspect he will end up asking for the 12 years, like mitt's dad did. >> and then here on nbc, how does mitt romney use this debate when we know this is the life blood for newt gingrich? >> defang newt gingrich on the tax return, and by the way, he lease it on state of the union day? you will not be able to cover that up. and release your ethics report and try to turn the tables a little bit, but romney four years ago when he went on the attack was not good at it. >> that's the question. mike, is he in fighting shape to do this? >> he's in a corner with a broken bottle and somebody coming at him. he will learn to fight or he will lose. >> is there a movement for
2:58 am
gingrich to get him out of the race? >> they have to push santorum to get out of the race. you know, that's what gingrich needs. >> the santorum bet -- the big conservative vote that he has. >> and some of the evangelical leaders last night said they have to line up behind rick santorum. newt is not sustainable. nobody that has known him since '95 thinks he is sustainable. it was not about newt, and it was the south carolina voters against the republican establishment. >> it's who the media lead is. >> and one good piece of news, in florida, snow birds are there, and the reason they moved to florida is they are rich, and they are romney republicans, and he starts off with small advantages like that. >> and there are probably 150 to
2:59 am
100,000 absentee votes in, and that's a one or two or maybe three-point advantage. >> and romney doesn't do well in the debates when he is trying to fight, it doesn't come naturally to him. and the super pac ads against gingrich were effective. >> well, they know they have to destroy gingrich. >> our conversation is still going to go on, but i wish it were on television. we're out of time. you can watch a conversation on our flog, and i spoke with michael nutter and vincent gray, and that's on our press pass at and then you can watch the debate right here on nbc, that's at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that's all for today.