tv Politics Nation MSNBC March 6, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
fact check, if you enissen donald trump as your kingmaker, genuflecting him in las vegas and fear the wrath of rush limbaugh, where do you get the bluster or save it for special occasion us where can't get hurt, only your country? that's "hardball" for now thanks for being with us. msnbc's live coverage of super tuesday begins now. if you have liked the republican party trying to pick its presidential nominee so far this year, you are going to love tonight. 11 states, hundreds of delegates, the biggest prize yet in the republican contest. is this the day mitt romney has been waiting for? >> i hope that i get the support of people here in ohio tomorrow. and the other states across the country. i believe if i do i can get the nomination. >> if the conservative base of the republican party is still longing for someone other than mitt romney to get the nomination, tonight is their chance to say so. >> governor romney gets out there and four, five, six to one
you know, it is going to take a toll and that's what's happened in pretty much all the states. that's why you know, i keep looking at this as a game of survival. >> rick santorum staking his hopes on ohio and tennessee. newt gingrich saying it is do or die time in his home state of georgia. >> we have really worked very hard to make sure we can carry georgia and all the polls now indicate we will carry georgia. >> the front runner, mitt romney, trying to close the deal tonight against his rival bus he is picking up baggage along wait that could hurt him long term. >> what does it say about the college coed, susan fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? makes her a prostitute. >> it is not the language i would have used. >> msnbc brings complete coverage of tonight's super tuesday primaries and caucuses with the analysis of chris matthews, host of "hardball," ed
schultz of "the ed show," lawrence o'donnell of the last word, al sharpton of "politics nation" and former john mccain senior strategist steve schmidt. we live for nights like this. and msnbc's coverage of super tuesday begins right now. we live for nights like this, live to cover nights like this it is election night, super tuesday, thank you so much for being with us here at our msnbc headquarters in new york city, alongside chris matthews and expert analysts and fellow hosts here for the night. first results tonight are coming up in one hour. that's when the polls close in georgia and in vermont and in what in any normal year would be one of the big suspenseful states for the night, virginia.
the reason why there is basically no suspense this year at all about the state of virginia is just one of the many bizarre storylines in republican politics that has made this year's nominating contest frankly so long and so strange and so fun to cover so, georgia, vermont and virginia with an ast ter risk at 7:00 eastern, then at 7:30 eastern, the great state of ohio. chris matthews, numerically, ohio is the biggest deal tonight but what do you think is the most important thing going on in the race now overall, aside from just the -- >> it is gender and is sex, the center of this campaign, extraordinary, one of those times in history something happens, one of the candidates has the right impulse and the other doesn't. i think the call from the president to sandra fluke will be remembered perhaps not as dramatically as the call from president kennedy, then senator kennedy to coretta king after her husband was hauled off in the back woods of georgia and shackles but it will have a character to it people will remember. they will that one president
intuitively, impull civil knew the right thing to do was express sympathy for a woman show being hounded and humiliated and insulted publicly by a major figure, rush limbaugh. the other candidates did not behave so w the most important thing is that romney did nothing. he waited until friday night, four days late, and finally responded by saying those weren't the words i would have used. that wasn't issue. it wasn't vocabulary. it was intent. rush limbaugh insult southed that woman, degraded her as a woman, after an almost weird way, why did he hate her so much? and the president said i care for her. the numbers show t we have a new nbc poll this week just to bottom line this almost 60% of the women, going go democrat this year, if you extrapolate the numbers. if that is the case this november, republicans have to get 60% of the men two thirds of the men to match that. that requires something really dramatic, i go back to this guy here in game change, they maybe forced, not negatively but positively, to offset this with a woman on their ticket.
it could go that far. before -- >> negative attack on women. >> before they get to the point where they do get to pick a vp, a chance that romney could make this better a better apoll jay better explanation? >> i think he has to come to an understanding and sometimes you can't get it on the second effort. i think sometimes it is the impulse. nixon never called mrs. king. they never forgot it the blue bornlg the reverend knows all about the blue bomb, 2 million circulars went out over to church in america. every black person knew about t nixon, they called him no comment nixon. remember? >> right. >> whereas keep day, for whatever impulse, sarge shriver ran him, harris, and louie wofford said make the call, get her on the line that is the impulse you want from great leader. >> chuck todd is joining us now. chuck, broader dynamics at work here, obvious in the race, changed in the last few week, 11 state, hundreds of delegates what is the most important thing to watch for on a complex night like tonight?
>> is, remember, twhed four years ago, right? it is about the delegate, how thank is how you get a nomination there's two primaries going on tonight, delegate primary and perception primary, i want to let folks follow the delegate primary here, here are the best good night expectations we in the political unit broke down. 424 delegates at stake, 200 to 220, boy, romney would love to say he got 50% of all delegates tonight. santorum only eligible for 369 delegates tonight because of his organization problems. woe like to get in the 120s, but anything over 115, good night. newt, of course, simply like like to show a pulse, anything over 70 a pulse and ron paul has his own strategy alaska-based, vermont-based but may only get him more than 30 delegate, we will seem let's go state by state tonight, that is how we are going to see the results early on. boy, if mitt romney, you will know he is having a good night if he is making threshold in georgia, threshold over 15, 20% there and he is able to do well in the atlanta market, he can win a couple of congressional
district, win delegate there even if he doesn't went state. ohio, he has already won the delegate fight, call ohio now, mitt romney won the delegate fightsome he going to went primary? part of the perception primary but because of the three congressional districts that rick santorum didn't do, he is guaranteed a delegate win tonight, like to get it over 35 f romney can get delegates out of oklahoma, means he polled a little bit better this some of those evangelical areas of oklahoma and tennessee is a state woe like to pop n quickly, the santorum road, he needs to make threshold and get delegates out of georgia to be able to have a good night. that is something to watch. he can win it big, a lot of delegates out of oklahoma, ditto, tennessee. gingrich may get a goose egg in ohio, i don't have it on here. if he gets one delegate out of ohio, maybe is there something more going on there needs to show a pulse in tennessee, somewhere other than georgia, we know he will do well in georgia, can he do well in other states
and whip delegates? that is something to watch. the ron paul strategy, watch out for him in vermont, i know they were laughing but co-poll well. romney folks are a little nervous about that. alaska, that is a libertarian streak, do well, obviously targeted the caucus states, north dakota, idaho and wyoming, conventions, he could get some there we know this is about three state, right you can the perception primary. the crazy thing about tonight, rachel and the team is that mitt romney could win 50% of the delegate, 220 of them and lose both ohio and tennessee. if you are the romney campaign, how do you spin that? that's tough. you won the night in delegates, you won it big but you lost two big primary states to santorum. that's what santorum's counting on tonight, 'cause he is not going to do well in delegates, he needs both of those wins to be able to make the case, hey, that perception problem, you all -- you conservatives and some republicans think you have with romney, so do the voters of ten and ohio. that's why romney needs at least one of these two if not both to
really get a strangle hold on this nomination. >> chuck, obviously nobody can lock it up tonight numerically but in terms of the perception, number of delegates, the number of states but lieutenants internals from some of these state, right, romney goose eggs among evangelicals, say, in tennessee and in georgia, even -- people may even be looking to the exit polls to figure out the narrative for tonight, right? >> is there a little bit of that and a couple points, does he finish third or, you know, any of these states and third or fourth in some of these southern states or is he a strong second in georgia? you know, does he finish ahead of santorum in georgia? sort of a sub primary to watch if we assume that gingrich is actually still going to win his home statement i think it comes back to ohio and tennessee. romney wins tennessee tonight, i think this nomination fight is over, you are going to see republicans jump on the band wang and you will see them actively tell santorum, enough is enough. tell him this is it. you having -- but if he wins one of these two state, santorum,
nobody is going to be shoving santorum out of the ray he has to snake, a week, i can go play in alabama, mississippi, i got those kansas caucuses i might do well in, that is a christian conservative state in the republican primary there and then we could be looking at illinois, yet another one of those midwestern tests for romney where santorum has proven to be a little bit of a thorpe in romney's side. >> chuck, thank you. appreciate t we have got nbc correspondents at different campaign headquarters tonight. let's start with peter alexander who is at romney headquarters in boston. peter, is the romney campaign approaching this like any other primary night or do they think they have got at least a chance to sort of unofficially lock it up tonight? >> well, i think they would like to unofficially lock it up tonight but they view tonight like they have every other primary night, they continue to insist to any report they're asks, saying this is about delegates it is not about states, states, as chuck said, create headlines, create perception but delegates help win them the nomination, what is different tonight as they came
home, one adviser said to massachusetts that is one state we are certain we are going to win tonight. the governor voting a short distance from here a short time ago, they are going to be home with their family, their oldest son of the five sons, tag, cooking a home-cooked meal, 45 minutes together before they head to this hotel where they will watch the primary results come in and rachel, they hope at the end of the night that it is not just the perception that they one those states, like ohio, even tennessee, but it is the delegates they tally up that put them on the course to earn that nomination. thank you, peter, appreciate it. nbc's ron mott is with us from stubenville, ohio. how is romney feeling in terms of confidence, expectations for tonight? >> i think they are cautiously optimistic about their chances here in ohio today, but it is going to be a wait and see approach here because it's close. the polls are pretty much neck in neck. what rick santorum is counting on here is to get the vote out, especially among those conservative evangelicals, a
bigger percentage of those voters here in ohio than we saw in michigan last week which mitt romney won. so it is going to depend on which of these two candidates were able to energize their base support enough to get them out to the polls, have to wait and seem the polls close here at 7:30 eastern. >> one of the challenges for the santorum campaign has been organization. chuck was just talking about this. right where you are in stubenville, ohio, mr. santorum can't win delegates from that area, as far as i understand it no matter how much of the vote he gets there and that's simply because he didn't file a full delegate slate for the state of ohio. he has got that kind of a problem in a bump of states around the country. are they getting -- do you see any sign they are getting better at that logistical stuff? >> yes, they are getting better, rachel, one of the things to keep in mind here, when you have had a rodeo before, as mitt romney did back in '08, you learn some of the pitfalls for candidates like rick santorum. they know time is going to run out quickly and get organized as
quick as they possibly can. those 18 or so delegates he may not be eligible for in ohio, we could see a fight down the road, don't discount those just yet. right now, they know they are looking for a split decision near ohio, win this popular vote even though they may not have a chance to win the delegate count here by night's end, rachel. >> ron mott, thank you very much. we go to kelly o'donnell at gingrich headquarters in atlanta. kelly, the campaign there must be confident in their chances in mr. gingrich's home state of georgia. >> they absolutely are and confidence has been in short supply since south carolina. so, the gingrich people feel very good about it. it is his home state. rachel, one of the things i think that is most striking about newt gingrich today as a candidate is that he is not able to vote for himself. of course, he represented georgia for 20 years in this state, brought a lot of national attention here, but no longer lives here, he lives in virginia, where his name is not on the ballot, and he and his wife opted not to vote for one of the other candidateses but
instead to abstain. that is really a perception and just the mechanics of being a candidate extraordinary, that he won't ever vote for himself for president. now, in terms of the campaign, part of what they believe very strongly is that a southern strategy is essential for any eventual republican nominee. so, they believe that winning georgia, maybe having a good performance elsewhere, would be very helpful to give some new life to the gingrich campaign. so confident, spent some of this day in alabama where they vote next week and one of the things we have certainly seen from people is a bit more of a personal connection, one of the people we met at a polling place who said she voted for gingrich today recalled an event back when he was in congress where he had helped her family out. good old constituent services that may have meant one more vote for newt gingrich today. >> kelly o'donnell gingrich headquarters in atlanta. thank you. i appreciate that. you know, it is amazing, you have got the biggest pictures of this election is we knew it would be all about the economy, the republicans are trying to make it a referendum on barack obama but comes down to it on
super tuesday and talking about forgetting or not getting around to filing your delegate slate paperwork and not bothering or not being able to get yourself on your ballot -- on the ballot in your home state. these kinds of basic organizational details that major campaigns have not been able to get together. it is just phenomenal. >> that was the comparison he made to lucille ball, remember? working at the cupcake factory, that newt gingrich just couldn't get those cupcakes frosted over properly before they went down the assembly line. >> always shoving them into his brassiere, to complete the metaphor. let's get a first look at our exit polling tonight, find how the is turning out to vote tonight and for that, we turn to our own tamron hall what are you finding out? >> a lot of talk of weather mitt romney can expand his base, what he have seen in the prior contest, his base consists of the people least likely to support the tea party. the older members of the republican party and those who make over $100,000.
take a look, mitt romney's support remains weak, rachel, among working class voters in these primaries. let me take you through some of the numbers we found. we have combined all of our exit poll information from the seven states with primaries tonight and compared them to the numbers from the five stwrats we have done exit polling rachel earlier this year. and take a look here, for those who make less than $100,000, today, 37% romney, earlier, 40% go to those who make between 100,000, 200,000, those family incomes who hit that number, 47% today. earlier contests, 46%. and those who make over $200,000, rachel, that's that mid-romney base i was telling you about, today, 54%. earlier, 58%. this is all very interesting, the median income in ohio, that hot state you are watching today, is around $47,000. that is below the national median of $51,000.
so, the key is tonight, can mitt romney relate to those working class people in the rust belt? >> and can he figure out how he can become elected president of just rich america because he would be able to essentially unanimously all the zillionaires in the country. tamron, fascinating, one of the most important dynamics in this race. thank you so much, tamron, appreciate it. you know, prepping for tonight, going through past results in all of these states that are voting tonight, one of the things i found fascinating, not true for all of these state bus most of them is in the general election in november when it was obama versus mccain in 2008, the leak tore rat in most of these states voting tonight was majority female. but in the republican primaries in most of these state, the republican electorate was mostly male. you better not do that in a way that alienates women or you will pay for it in the general election w that in mind, how the contraception issue and rush limbaugh these last couple of
weeks help or hurt the republicans tonight? >> ms. fluke and the rest of you femme minute nazis, here is the deem, i -- deal, if we are goino pay for your contraceptives and pay for you to have sex, we want something for t we will tell you what it is, we want to you post the videos online so we can all watch. >> not the language i would have used. >> the reason i called ms. fluke is because i thought about malia and sasha and one of the things i want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones i may into the agree with them on. i want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way and i don't want them attacked or called horrible
names because they are being good citizens. >> the president today at a press conference in response to a question about why he weighed in why he called sandra fluke the middle of the rush limbaugh controversy over the contraception issue. the latest nbc news/wall street poll in a theoretical match of mitt romney and president obama, president obama leads romney among women by 18 points. you look at that, when you look at that poll result and you look at this dynamic we have all been watching unfold the past couple of weeks, steve schmidt, let me start with you, the senior strategist for the mccain/palin campaign is that undoable and how do you undo it? >> this is a huge problem for republicans and this week has been a dissaser on this front, on a number of different -- you know, a number of different ways, the notion we are going to define conservatives around the issue of contraception is just lunacy. there's been so much commentary that the republican party is moving further to the right on
these issues, i don't think it is moving further to the right it is moving to outer space and the problem is that a majority of the electorate in november is going to be -- is going to be women and you watch the president's comments on that. there was no reason in the world why governor romney couldn't have picked up the phone and called sandra fluke. it wasn't about her policy position, which i happen to disagree with. it is the notion as a father who has a daughter that a woman would be demeaned like that by a professional bully in the way that rush limbaugh did it. it was disgusting and it was a huge missed opportunity for governor romney. and on top of it, it points out to a dysfunction in the republican party, which is increasingly the definition of copper is vattism, who is a real conservative is defined by the if i had debt of these talk radio hosts and if i had dell knit support of their most outrageous statements. this is not a sign of a healthy
political party and you see this now manifesting itself in all of the polls whereas this process has gone on, you see a degradation of support for the republican party's position generically and the republican candidate specifically. and i think if you're a republican running for congress, you are a republican running for senate, you really have to be worried about this in a number of different ways. and when you look at his comments specifically, i just think there is a simple addibag here, everybody who played by the rules deserves to be treated with respect. she went before the congress, she off herd opinion and she was -- she was -- she was attacked in the most vicious way. it was an embarrassing moment, i think, for the millions and millions of decent people thought who are members of the republican party. >> the point their making though about how -- how republican politics are defined in, part, by if i had dellity to various talk show hosts it is one of those issues on which there is
no mirror image, al, ed, me, we have all been in liberal talk radio, i don't know that any politician has ever been defined based on whether they agreed with what one of us said or anyone on the liberal side said why is it media figures on the right end up being so interwove want republican party that they have to answer for each other? it is not like that on the left? >> i think that part of it is they have made rush limbaugh the de facto george wilson, leader of their party. >> how? >> by him being the one that drums up their base. he interprets what is the policy for their base. >> right. >> they all have bowed at his altar. but i think that what is going to be critical in this leeks, chris hit on it. he brought up the analogy of dr. king in the civil rights era, may not be a perfect analogy, because dr. king, as he said, was in shackles in georgia and feared to be killed when kennedy called. remember, now, i was in alabama
the last three days, the ken day and martin luther king, iii, helping me lead this march i'm going back to. dr. king and many of them were not for kennedy. in fact, dr. king's father was for nixon. >> wow. >> the phone call showed a sensitivity. there was a lot of criticism at the time that kennedy was flirting with the alabama segregationists. the phone call showed he had a heart or sensitivity. i think what romney and santorum failed to do is forget politics i a wouldn't shouldn't be called this and i want to personally show myself sensitive that's what the president's call did. they could have turn it had around by also closing. i thank you window closed now because i think women say you don't care that you are going to call a georgetown student sitting before the congress, speaking her mind, a slut? you are not sensitive to that? you can't fake that. either you are sensitive or you're not. kennedy got a lot of ground. he may not have the even
politically was prepared deserve at the time because he showed he cared enough about a human being who was fighting segregation. they had an opportunity to show that to women. they failed big time. >> can i get in on rush? rush is -- whatever else you think about him, he is a money making machine this is american enterprise, worst or best, he knows exactly who he is talking to. most guys and women who go into talks, you have been in it all guys in talk radio try to get rush hour, get a maximum diversified audience, all kinds of people rushing to work. rush doesn't want rush hour, he wants noon to three wasn'ts that traveling salesman out there ticked off at his boss who has put a sales quota up he will never reach, a wife at home usually doesn't respect what he is doing, kids don't know what's doing, he is out there selling chick lets or brassieres, he has to sell that stuff and spell it by tonight. he has tough job what does rush say you are carrying the american loerkd man, those affirmative action people, those women --
>> femme minute nazis. >> and is a support group. you talked about community organizer, he is a support group for traveling salesmen, it is brilliant and by the way, always right, women are always wrong, it is a male -- i bet you the math on this it is a male audience, traveling sales people. it can also be mechanics working in mechanic shops, fixing tires and fixing automobiles it is a tough job and those people were not in a great mod. he is saying, you're right, they're wrong. liberals are wrong, minorities wrong, women are wrong, your wife's wrong, you're right. and they feel real good after listening to rush for three hours. i think that's what he is b didn't have to go far to make the guys happy. i don't think those guys are hearts, a lot of them, i think they want to feel better tend of the day, respect that many hater, are there in this country? >> some of them have daughters. what the president did was remind even those men, he is calling your daughter a slut. >> erin mcpike said today, i didn't know, every president going back to jack kennedy has had a daughter. it is a great, interesting -- i don't know what it means about
genetics but the fact is there was caroline all the way through trisha nixon, all the way through, they had daughters. like me, we have a daughter, off daughter, you think about things differently. i think that's. >> the majority of the electorate thinks about not only their daughters but themselves. >> you wanted to be president. >> but at this point, it is -- he is up on two dozen advertisers who have dropped them, a couple of stakeses who have dropped him and mitt romney has the biggest problem of this point in his candidacy in not being able to say no. >> much more on how contraception and abortion and what's an okay way to talk about women unexpectedly moved to center of the republican race. that is still ahead. of course, the big numbers, the momentum question of whether or not mitt romney is in sight of locking this race up tonight. that's all when we return. msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues. stay with us. [ male announcer ] is zero worth nothing?
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welcome back to msnbc's coverage of super tuesday. the first polls close in, oh about 30 minutes and 3 sends. 30 minutes from now in georgia and in vermont and in virginia with an ast ter risk. 7:00 eastern is when we are going to be getting our first super tuesday results of the night. howard typeman joins us. howard has been talking with the romney campaign about what they are expecting tonight and what they are going to say about t howard, what are you hearing? >> talking to the romney campaign you can the santorum campaigning the whole crowd. and here's the surprising thing and interesting thing, rachel, even though i think it is going to be a good night for mitt romney, going to make early announcements that are going to show him perhaps winning some things, he is going to do well, his people and people in other campaigns, in fact, are staying is going to be quite possible that no candidate, including mitt romney, will come to the end of this primary season in
june with the 1144 delegates needed. the romneywill argue they have won the most contests, won the most votes, won the most delegate, even though it isn't a majority, the republican national committee have votes and loose change in the leadership should get behind him at that time. to me, it was fascinating that on the eve of a night when they are hoping to do well, that they were making clear that they can make that argument for their -- their right to have the nomination, even if they don't have a imagine jurority. of kourkts santorum campaign and the other campaigns scoff at it, but they understand that that's quite possible as well. so, all the mathematics we are going through tonight who can get to 1144, the romney campaign, trying to lower expectations about that even on night when they are going to do well. >> howard, that is amazing, if
only because we just heard from peter alexander, with the romney campaign at romney headquarters in boston tonight, their message for tonight is delegates, delegate, delegates. >> yes, it s. >> they are planning on pivoting from delegate, delegate, delegates tonight to a message in june that says forget the delegates? >> they are not inconsistent. what i'm saying it is the first time i have heard in the sort of atmosphere of the campaign competitors serious talk about the possibility that nobody's going to get to 1144 and what kind of conversations you have if that's the case and who has the bragging rights. so, yes, it is still about who has the most delegates, even if it is not a majority? who has won't most states, even if it is not all the key ones? you know, who has got the most popular votes? who finishes first, even if it is not a majority? >> that is absolutely fascinating. i have not heard that elsewhere in the campaign at all. the idea that they would be negotiating for it in june is amazing. howard fineman, thanks very
much, check back in with you later, howard. >> thank you. the first results of night are coming up at the top of the hour. georgia, vermont and virginia with an ast ter risk. we will explain the ast ter r-- asterisk in a moment. and why we can't talk about virginia in an uncomplicated way. our coverage will continue in a moment it's the tastiest, the sweetest, the freshest. nobody can ever get enough. [ male announcer ] it's lobsterfest at red lobster, the one time of year you can savor 12 exciting lobster entrees like lobster lover's dream or new maine lobster and shrimp trio. [ laura ] hot, right out of the shell. i love lobster. i'm laura mclennan from spruce head, maine, and i sea food differently. . [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone
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polls will be closing in georgia, virginia and vermont at the top of this hour. we will get the first results n. >> bring in john heilman and mark hall britain. the question four tonight, mark is this a game changing night? we have heard so many times these night, election nights this could be the night that romney gets blown away. this could be the night he wraps it up. is this gonna be a capusulizing night tonight, super tuesday? >> i think may well be, chris. talking to people in the romney campaign, they think the russell as they are going to developed course of the evening are going to be ones that are going to
allow -- a number of arguments to be made by them and to be accepted broadly within the republican party. one of the dirty little secret wes all know is the exit poll results properly are not revealed publicly until the polls close but the campaigns and people in the media know what they are and the romney campaign believes this is setting up a number of arguments that are out there, kind of dore map the, kind of bubbling up every so often are going to be crystallized and put him on a much better glide path to the nomination than he was before today. one of those arguments is that romney is going to have the most delegates by the end, may not have a majority but no one will pass on the total number of delegate, they think that will be a comp peg argument for people, have the most, no one will take it away from him if he has the most, people need to fall in line. second is that santorum hasn't performed, whether at the kproos grass root, a member of congress not on board with romney, they think people are going to say look, he had a shot in michigan, add shot in ohio, he didn't pull it off that means he is never gonna pull it off, those were as good a shot as he is going to get. finally, the big argument that
the press is obsessed with and a lot of republicans start to become concerned become the long they are goes on, the harder for mir-to-beat barack obama in the fall. this he believe, again, those arguments will naturally bubble up based on tonight's results and they are going to do their best to push him along, look for romney to hit some of those themes, at least subtly, in his victory speech tonight. >> in a real world, beating rick santorum shouldn't be any big deal, sorry the guy got beaten in pennsylvania by 17, 18%, shouldn't even be in a race for president, now claiming a big night because they beat rick santorum. does it bother the romney people that have done this in the worst way, that they are not coming out of this with an approval rating above 30-something? they are really worse off that they began, spending 50 million bucks if you add it up, super tuesday, super pac money, all that money, they end up worse off in the public light than they were when they started. are they happy about that? >> i don't think they are happy about it no chris. one of the man transof the romney campaign, every campaign that faces a hard nomination fight that goes on longer than they would like to it to is a win is a win.
it's true, swain win, they have had a lot of whips like that michigan was a classic example, where there is no good reason mitt romney should have had his whole nomination at stake in his home state, and given rick santorum and everything else going on by a mere three point bus again, that turned out to be the pivotal moment, we knew it would be pivotal but in a way we couldn't have anticipated, going into mich, much of the republican establishment, to the extent such a thing really exists was nervous about mitt romney and ready to abandon him if he lost in michigan. he then wins michigan as narrowly as he did, then all the stuff that's happened since then in terms of the polling, the limbaugh controversy, everything else it has become very vivid and dramatic how much this nomination fight is hurting mitt romney's prospects against barack obama in the fall. the establishment ready to abandon him a week ago has now rallied around him. they are going to be very receptive to all the arguments mark made earlier, said the romney campaign was going to be
making. they want to shut this thing down, that as much as anything, michigan and the six days since then that have really changed things in romney's standing and that's where we are. >> all a meal tickets are coming in, heart-warming, the fact that all the people now know who won with them on this county. thank you, john heilman, thank you, manch you got worry about a guy whose best friends show up when he has won. >> the late endorsements. >> there when it's over, like the old day of jack javits, this suspect heartwarming this crowd. >> a way to go to november, neighbor will get heartwarming, soon. >> the best thing of the night, linds lindsey gramm, i couldn't believe that bobblehead. it looks like mitt romney is on his way to securing the nomination, we have about discovering the race suspect
( happy super tuesday, first results of the night coming in at the top of the hour when polls close in georgia, virginia and vermont. 11 states tonight, those are the first three we will hear from. bring in the former chairman of the republican party, michael steel. nice to see you, mr. chairman. >> hey, rachel, what's up? >> i saw you mixing it up with joan walsh about the politics of the rush limbaugh comments about sandra fluke, the nature of his apology, mitt romney's inability to say woe do anything other than use different language there you seem to think this is sometime a real fight about
contraception that's worth having between the parties. do you think that this is what republicans and democrats ought to be fighting for, putting republicans in a good stead heading to november? >> no, i don't. that is exactly the point. i think all of this could have been nipped in the bud early, early on for the leadership of the party, particularly those candidates running for president, to -- you know, without hesitation just rebuke the profanity of the comments. to make it clear this is not a reflection of who we are as conservatives what we stand for as a broadly based republican party and i thought again, one of those missed opportunity for the leadership and the candidates, particularly mitt romney, how thought could have distinguished himself but the fear of a conservative backlash i think prevailed here unnecessarily and unfortunately. i don't think conservatives hue to that particular point of view
or perspective, particularly with respect to a young woman exercising or simply wanted to exercise her first amendment constitutional rights. whether you agree or disagree with her beside the point. >> al sharpton and chris matthews were talking about the importance of the decision by the president to weigh in, who called sandra fluke here around expressed concern about the comments, supported said your parents ought to be proud of you, all those other things, showed instinct to do it it was a human instinct on the part of the president, the political calculation there, there's no -- there's no harm to a democrat in going after rush limbaugh, right? when republicans calculate the harm of going against rush limbaugh, how do you calculate that snuff been a candidate for off, you have been the republican national chairman. when you think about rebuking rush limbaugh or a distance between yourself and his position what are you calculating? what does it mean to you? >> i got in trouble by calling rush limbaugh an enter table and i find it ironic those people who criticized me then are
saying, yeah, he is just an entertainer, don't take it seriously. okay, that's my point. when we allow those who are there to be provocative, who are there to stoke the discussion with fire brand language we see this across the spectrum, right, left, it doesn't matter, you allow that to then drive your politics, you find yourself, you know, being hung by your own petard on what they say. that's why i think moments, particularly like this, are opportunities where you can create that appropriate separation. you're an elected official, you have been elected. you are running for elective office. you are holding yourself out to be accountable. rush suspect accountable to anyone but his advertisers and his apology comes on the heels of those 20-plus advertisers saying, guess what this is not how he want to play the game. everyone accounts in this process, rachel, the problem for a lot of republicans is that we allow ourself was to be held hostage, if you will, by those
that ultimately account to someone completely different, our constituency we need to account to the voters out there that do pay attention and get the measure of the person by how you respond in moments like this the president, did he what he -- you know, what a father would instinctively do. i think that was part of his motivation but the political calculation recognizing, jeerk the gop hasn't closed this gap, let me just widen it a little bit more and that's what he did. >> is a structural weakness, i think, on the right side of american politics. >> for some, not for all of us. anybody is going to be -- anybody in the republican party has got to be afraid of rush limbaugh sitting there for an hour on his program telling millions of conservatives who he can mobilize to go do anything he wants them to do about what a bad person you are and how what a bad republican you are and how you ought to be drummed out of the party. if rush limbaugh wages jihad on someone in the republican party, there isn't anything on the left, as much as we would love to have that power, none of us have that.
>> wait a minutes i thought you had -- i got the memo, you have that power. >> the trail of corpses behind me. you know me. >> rachel, the republicans and michael, the reason your guys and your republican party don't criticize rush limbaugh, they end up having to apologize to him. that's how the cycle ends. they know they can take a shot at him but within a couple of days, they will be the ones genuflecting. remember congressman gingrey, attacked him, had to go and beg him for forgiveness? this is what happens. the end of the game, you are apologizing that is why they don't do t that's power. >> let me bring in andrea mitchell here. andrea mitchell nbc's chief foreign correspondent. she also hosts the 1 p.m. eastern hour on msnbc where so many of these political developments have played out. andrea has been making an incredible amount of news on her show. andrea, thanks very much for joining us on this. >> my pleasure. great to be with you guys. >> i know that you had virginia governor bob mcdonnell, who has been caught up in this issue in a very big way on your show today. sandra fluke was waiting in the green room to come on your
program when president obama placed the call to her that has become so important in presidential politics. do you see this playing out as something that affect the gender factor in the vote, that this affects what women voters do or does this actually affect republican versus democratic politics more broadly in terms of the way it affect the perceptions of the parties in a big way? >> i think it does affect the perceptions of the parties. we certainly are seeing that in our nbc news/wall street polling a big swing in the way suburban voters, suburban republican women as well view republicans and the democrats in congress. but the fact is i don't think we are seeing a big gender gap so far in the exit polling, the beginnings of what we are seeing tonight. it just seems as though that is not showing up specifically among these strong evangelical groups of voters. i think you will see it in suburban areas, places that you and chris and michael are so familiar with when we look at
pennsylvania and other key states that are going to be so important in the jeep leeks. >> andrea mitchell, thank you, be checking in with you later, appreciate your time. all right. polls are going to be closing in georgia, virginia and vermont at the top of the hour, less than ten minutes from now we will preview those contests when we return. msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues in just a mo
competing for the presidential nomination two are registered to vote in states holding primary elections now. mitt romney is registered in massachusetts, newt gingrich registered in virginia. mr. romney voted in the town of belmont, outside boss opinion, the romneys own a condo there, but newt gingrich did not go to virginia today where he is registered to vote. did he not go to virginia to presumably vote for himself because that would be impossible. newt gingrich is not on the ballot in virginia, which is where he lives. neither is rick santorum, who was born in virginia and who lived there for years while he was in congress. mitt romney and ron paul are the only two candidates on the ballot in virginia competing for virginia's 46 delegates because neither the gingrich nor santorum camp pains, nor anybody else, were able to connect -- collect enough signatures to qualify to get on the ballot in november and for any virginia yap voter who wants to cast a write-in vote gingrich or santorum or anybody else, the virginia state board of elections put up this warning on
their website today. virginia election law does not permit write-in votes for primary elections. and so, not even newt gingrich can vote for newt gingrich today in the great state of virginia. mr. gingrich spent the day instead campaigning in his original hope state of georgia, he was also in alabama, which votes in a week, along with mississippi. while he was in alabama today, mr. gingrich said that he would win georgia decisively. we will find that out soon. polls will be closing in georgia, in virginia and vermont at the top of the hour. we will have the first characterization of the races in those states right when we come back. this is the important part.