tv MSNBC Special Coverage MSNBC March 6, 2012 6:00pm-3:00am EST
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? ♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero.
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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 romney campaign will 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--
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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 ove - isn't over. what do other states have to say about mitt romney's future tonight?
( 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
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.
it is 7 p.m. in theeast coast, polls are now closed in georgia, vermont and massachusetts. it is projected that newt gingrich will win the georgia primary, the home state of the former house speaker. now to virginia, a state where only mitt romney and ron paul are on the ballot. in virginia, this is interesting, too early to call. same story in vermont, too early to call. again, nbc news can say mitt romney is leading in the green mountain state. again, newt gingrich, the winner in georgia. that is the second state he has won during this campaign. he also won south carolina. as of this hour, we are too early to call in both virginia and in vermont. newt gingrich lives to fight another day, chris. >> i think it's very important,
he saved his dignity, i think that's what he had to do making clear, you got to carry your own state, he is not going any where he is finished. >> ed schultz, looking ahead at newt gingrich's future, what -- looking ahead at mitt romney's future? >> he has been furious since day one, hasn't been represented, doesn't have the money expect one guy bankroll it he is the biggest joke in the field right now. where it s okay, he is going to win georgia. he ought to. that's where he is from. i tell you what he will win georgia better than mitt won michigan. >> there is something to hang your hat on. >> lawrence, do you agree? >> i think the problem is for romney more than anyone, tested in tennessee in a serious way. if he can take tennessee, it says a lot. but he is still now up against, as we heard earlier, some very hard delegate math. this may be a republican
nomination which is not winnable from the voters f mitt romney thinks he can comfortably go into the republican convention simply a saying i got more delegates than anybody else and think that is going to inspire confidence in the republican establishment and everyone to gel around him, that cannot be true because the press will not allow it to be true. we will be watching the weakest march toward a nomination that we have ever seen. >> didn't we -- we did see the democrats gel around barack obama once that -- >> he won it. forget the press. he won it from the voters. he got his nomination from voters. if we have a republican nominee couldn't get his nomination from voters, you are looking at the weakest nominee ever delivered. >> here is what his best play is, romney will be able to make phone calls, ask for help, whatever. he has won florida. he has won arizona. he has won michigan.
he might win ohio. he is nipping at his heels in tennessee. and virginia. how can you win -- those are pretty influential states. he would be able to go into the room and say i know i'm short on delegates but i've won where this party has to be well-to-foot in november. so, it would be really strange to go through this whole primary process and have a republican win those states and then not get the nomination. how could that happen? how you win florida, ohio, michigan, virginia, arizona and then not get the nomination? >> i think it is really -- >> that's -- >> but winning the nomination doesn't just meaning convincing the majority of republican voters around the country that you are a good guy and ought tonight nominee it is convincing them that you ought to be the nominee over other republicans, right, so it just means beating in this case, rick santorum, newt gingrich and ron paul. >> not if you have heading into a convention where a candidate
does not have enough delegates. then you have to beat the people you ran against but jeb bushes and the other people you talk b andy card last week, who is not a hip shooter, former white house chief of staff, who is a bush loyalist, andy card was saying publicly what about jeb bush as a possible nominee, given how bad this field is? >> the republicans will say what about the name bush? that's the -- >> steve, can somebody come in late? >> i think it's very difficult but what's true is that if the voters don't award the nomination to you, if you don't get enough delegates through this process and the you go into the convention, you have lost chro control of the process, after that first ballot, anything can happen. wh when you talk to a presidential campaign scaling to almost a billion dollar organization overnight, three republicans on the bench potentially ready from day one, one is jeb bush, one is
chris christie, one is mitch daniels, all of them have been pretty straight saying that they don't want to run, they don't want to be the nominee. so, i think that, you know, it is theoretically possible it could be someone else, but it is most likely to be mitt romney if he comes ahead. but the narrative around his weakness as a candidate will be something that is not good heading into a general election. >> the perception problem. i agree with ed that if he wins those major starts, it is hard not to give him the nomination but when you talk about lawrence saying obama won, he won against hillary clinton. >> right. >> i mean, he is going through all of this -- >> very viable -- >> santorum and newt gingrich. and you couldn't get the number against santorum and newt gingrich and we think you can beat president obama? how do you sell that? >> i think it may mean brokered. we may find, lawrence, a new meaning to the word brokered. like, yeah, you will be the nominee, but. there's some buts. we want you to sign things here.
like maybe it is the running mate. maybe the platform comes out of no where nobody reads them, bring that out. may got in for ron paul's votes. promise him something about monetary policy? what is a brokered convention. >> if -- surely the romney campaign has been on this math a while, looked forward and said there is a version of this we don't get enough delegates to lock it in, who can we be nice to here and they look at the newt gingrich super pac bombing romney. think, can we can't go there santorum, he is trying to win, he can't win and they cozy up to ron paul t is a second ballot thing. once you get to the second ballot thing, ron paul can make all the speeches he wants to their delegates, they can do whatever they want. >> ultimately, if you wins, you have won the parliamentary style coalition-building socialist european model which, of course, would be difficult for the guys to run on. i want to go straight to kelly o'donnell at gingrich headquarters in atlanta where
they must be delighted to find out about the results at the poll close. kelly, any response thus far from the campaign and on site there? >> no we have been trying. i have got the blackberry in hand hoping to hear from the campaign right now. we can tell that you they expected this good news. newt gingrich had said he expected to whip by a big margin for his state and for him, a way to make the case yet again that he will stay in the race and that a southern strategy is important for republican candidates. and with that, he implies that a mitt romney would not do well in the south and that is part of his argument for staying in this race. so he spent part of this day in alabama campaigning where they will vote next week and he will meet supporters here very excited and we talked to people earlier today who reminded us about the fact that maybe in georgia, people see newt gingrich a little differently than do you more broadly because for those years when he was in congress, he brought a lot of national attention to this daste
and some instances talked to people in his home district who had known him when he was in office, there was that personal connection. this is also the only campaign where i have ever seep the logo for the night as a gas pump. he has been talking a lot about trying to get gasoline down to $2.50. he has been hammering the president about that so just in the stagecraft, that is something a little different that we typically don't see. it is part of the logo that's on the podium where he will speak tonight. we would expect that he would get here fairly early because when you have a big whip, it is a nice, early night for you and your supporters. so we are waiting to hear an official word but he had expected to win and now trying to turn those expectations into something that can give him ongoing credibility to stay in the race. rachel? >> kelly o'donnell at gingrich headquarters in atlanta. thank you. i asked ron mott about this earlier, we had him on from the rick santorum campaign, right? i asked ron about the organizational difficulties that the rick santorum campaign has had, he can't get all the del gatts out of ohio, even if he
didn't sweep ohio, he can't get it logistically to do that, newt gingrich tonight not able to vote for himself in virginia, because he didn't get his name on the ballot there also just talking to kelly o'donnell in georgia where newt gingrich just won at poll closing time in front of an empty ballroom and nobody knows where the candidate is and there has been no response from the campaign. don't you want to have your cheering crowd there ahead of closing time if you think you're going to win big? >> you do. i think when you look at the gingrich capped dash circumstance he is somebody whose campaign went brurnlgt the entire staff quit. for a long time, it was him and mrs. gingrich campaigning by himself. he has been an enormously consequential candidate in this process. he came close to derailing mitt romney. i think gingrich created the conditions that santorum rose up from. he has played a major role in this nomination fight and played it from a place where no one had any expectation other than he was going to finish in last place, i think the fact he has got this far, won his home state tonight, as chris pointed out,
think he will be able to get out of the race with a measure of dignity, if he can strength together whips in the south, i do think it is an imposition of a degree with, you know, a nominee from massachusetts being put, you know, put in place in the republican party when you can't win any of the southern states that are cultural part of the republican party. >> is that the secret there he wins a bunch of the deep south states and throws romney in tampa? >> helps romney put together a coalition for the delegates. kelly o'donnell, go back to her. she is at atlanta, the headquarters of the gingrich campaign. you have got a comment from the candidate now, kelly? >> yes, under newt gingrich's name, he is send out a message saying thank you, georgia, it is gratifying to win my home state so decisively and to launch our march momentum. so, that will be how newt gingrich will frame this, that a win on super tuesday will launch him in a new way, march momentum will be the word of the night from newt gingrich. and typically on these nights, it is not unusual to see
somewhat sparse crowds right at the time the polls close. it tends to build as they get word that the candidate is coming. so, this is fairly typical. they are absolutely enthusiastic, saw a few ladies in glittery flag vests, great americana when you come out on the primary nights. i appreciate that the perception of whether or not they have done a good job organizing that may feel very different in the room than it does on tv, most people are experiencing it on tv, hence my earlier comment. i will just eat one other point to this did a back envelope math what has been spent in the 11 races. as of friday, $3 million spent by newt gingrich across various numbers of the states contested tonight. of that $21,000 was campaign money and the rest was all his casino billionaire guy. the pac money spent all but $21,000 of the $3 million spent by gingrich going ahead. >> macao has spoken. >> coming up at 7 can 3 0, polls
are just now calling virginia. the republican primary in virginia, 46 delegates at stake, again, only mitt romney and ron paul on the ballot in virginia. but as of right this second, mitt romney being projected as the winner in the great state of virginia. mitt romney and ron park the only two candidates contesting that state. also tonight, we have had polls close in vermont. in vermont, the nbc projection at this point is that it is too early to call in the state of vermont. again, vermont too early to call. mitt romney in the lead. mitt romney had been favored heading into this race, in part because of its proximity to the his home state of massachusetts and its relatively moderate republican voting population. but at this point, too early to call in vermont. newt gingrich has won georgia and mitt romney has won virginia.
let's go to chuck todd, nbc's political director, ahead of what we will hear from ohio. what are you watching for? >> i want to make a couple of delegates points on georgia and virginia for everybody. if mitt romney, watch percentage numbers here, mitt romney gets over 50% state-wide, he gets all the at-large delegates. if he carries every congressional district, even if he doesn't get 50, he gets the rest of them, he is likely to get all 46 tonight, we will see. maybe ron paul can sneak in a delegate or somehow hold him under 50. we called it, two men on the race, not under 50. the question does he win one congressional district? the other thing is in georgia, 20% is threshold to get a delegate. so, as you're watching returns come in, worth watching to see, can santorum or romney, can they make threshold then that's when they can start racking up delegates. let's have a delegate conversation. ohio, as we have told you, 63 delegates. why have we already projected mitt romney to win the delegates no matter what happens tonight? because look at these districts in red here.
these are those three districts, the 6th, 9th and xiiiixth and - 13th are rick santorum didn't file rates. you had to vote for your statewide preference for the statewide delegates and then you voted a second time for the group of delegates in your congressional district. there was no second time to vote. if i had the rest of the country here connected, what's interesting about the sixth congressional district, rachel,s's what connects to western pennsylvania. this district is almost a sure bet for rick santorum to car rained he will win zero delegates out of here. so, one of his best districts and likely to carry the 13th and might do well even here, though that is the cleveland market, we expect romney to do better, amazing his best congressional district, that he is going to carry tonight, i promise you this, there's no way he can win a single delegate. >> that's also where rick
santorum has had put his headquarters for tonight, where he is going to be speaking from, thus reminding republicans cheering for him. >> no organization. >> organizational problems. >> stubenville, more like stumpedvill stumpedville. >> anything gone well for the republicans in ohio? senate bill 5, gone. john kasich is polling worse that he has ever polled there. if they were to have the election today, woe lose to ted strickland by 56-36. they don't have anything going. the automobile situation, 1-8 workers in ohio is connected to the automobile industry. the republicans were against that, too. what good has happened in ohio for republicans in the last -- since the midterm? >> interesting to think about how in those states, the state politics and the state -- part of the state level partisan politics like they have seen with kasich and the union
stripping bill recalled there, how that affect national politics and what the parties mean. for that discussion, we are joined now by senator sherrod brown of ohio. he is the united states senator from the state of ohio and a democrat. senator brown, thank you very much for joining us. >> good to be with all of you. thank you, rachel. >> to that point that ed just teed up, how do you think that ohio's politics with john kasich, with the union stripping law being recalled by voters this by that huge margin, all the protests in the street there, how has that affected the way ohioans think about the two parties on a night when republicans are going to be picking their presidential preference? >> i think the answer to that is a couple of things, one a sing lar lack of enthusiasm in ohio during the season, partly because they are all against the auto bailout, partly because so much dissatisfaction with the
legislature and governor that ran on the jobs 15 months ago and spent their time going after workers rights and voters rights and women's rights. the other thing happening here, my wife connie and i were watching -- we had the tv on the last several days, all you saw, you saw two kinds of ads. you saw mitt romney ads, both negative -- mostly negative, a few positive and you saw some of the $4 million literally that outside groups are spending against me and my senate race and i think voter enthusiasm is sick.of all this corporate money, sick of all the negative stuff, so early voting is down in ohio this year, this primary and voting generally is down. that to me begs the question of what's happened with citizens united, i have a petition with 125,000 signatures on it. i encourage people to come and sign up, sherrod brown.com and sign our petition to get a -- to organize and get a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united because it is clear you can see the impact that its had on ohio voters right now.
and i assume in the fall. >> senator this ed is. what do you fear? if things are going and happening for the democrats in ohio, how could -- how could it unravel? the president's polling very well in ohio right now. a lol of policies worked well. how would republicans get back in good favor between now and november and win? how what do you fear? >> what i know they are doing, watching them up close, is the whole mitch mcconnell strategy of doing nothing, nothing to cooperate with the president. you remember his statement from a year and a half ago, my number one goal, mitch mcconnell, the leader of a political party in the united states senate, says my number one goal is to defeat this and make barack obama serves only one term. with that, there -- they have done things, they will continue to do things. i think not to -- necessarily to hurt barack obama politically, which it might, but what hurts the country's recovery.
and that's about the only thing i worry about i think we are going in the right direction, the auto rescue, we saw 12 years of manufacturing job loss in ohio and across the country. we have seen most of the last 23 months with manufacturing job gains pretty much kicked off, not precisely but pretty much kicked off by the growth -- by the auto rescue and the growth in that industry, the growth in aerospace, the growth in food processing, in clean energy that we are seeing in ohio and it's happening in ohio and, you know exohio is the third leading manufacturing state in the country so we know how to make things and if republicans would cooperate with the president and with -- and in both houses, we would see this vans, a i think in a better direction even. >> senator sherrod brown of ohio, thank you, sir, for joining us tonight. we are looking forward to having the polls closed in your state in a couple of minutes. poll in ohio do close at 7:30 eastern. just moments away, about 6 1/2 minutes from now.
it is now 7:30 on the east coast, polls are now closed in ohio and the caucuses in north dakota have begun. let's start with ohio. all eyes have been on ohio tonigh tonight. nbc news is declaring the race in ohio too close to call in ohio. the polling heading into ohio couldn't have been closer and so far, too close to call in that state. in north dakota, we will no have the a characterization until later in the night. the caucuses there. in vermont, too early to call but we can report that mitt romney has a lead in vermont.
right now, too early to call in ohio, chris. >> ohio is the big enchilada tonight, all going to learn a lot. i think the headline will be tomorrow morning in the paper who won ohio? because it is, no matter what anybody says, the end of the rick santorum campaign. he has no more rationale if he loses in ohio, right next to pittsburgh, where he is from, it is the classic blue collar statement i was looking at the results from the polling tonight. people are scared about the economic future there. blue collar people worried about their own lives, worried, concerned about the federal government and its misdirection as they see t these are republican voters them should you can perfect for rick santorum. it is just a question of the pounding, i mean, whatever you think of as politics, the fact is he has been outspent overwhelmingly in that state, he's been pounded to death basically by this restore our future super -- super pac campaign of romney's. it's romney's and he has done basically a destruction of this guy and i think he is
eliminating him just as he eliminated newt gingrich from contention with his highly negative, highly funded, negative campaign put together by the super pacs. it is not a healthy sign of our political future in this country. all you have to do is raise tons of money identified by the supporters, unmarked bills, basically, tons of money from wealthy people, like sheldon adelson and people like that and the koch problem brothers and use that money to systematically destroy all your opponents, you are the last man standingsome this how democracy is supposed to work? sounds like a communist explanation of the economy. the worst case scenario, we run by destroying each other and why newt -- is in very bad shape his polling versus the president. unfortunately, now we are going to see the president engage in the same kind of politics. it's coming, coming from both sides. the big, powerful negative ad
campaign run by the super pacs. >> in terms of understanding why it is too close to be in ohio, tamron hall has exit polling from ohio. what are you seeing? >> ravening, a lot of interesting information and you were talking with chris about ohio will matter tonight t is interesting how many people made their minds up in the last few days. we have talked a lot about momentum this year, we have seen momentum regarding mitt romney. let's look at the numbers. more than a quarter of ohio voters, take a look, rachel, 27%, made their minds up in the last few days. i want you to look when we break the numbers down, people that made their minds up in the last few days, mitt romney has an 11-point advantage over rick santorum. santorum there at 34%. that is an interesting dynamic there we want to take a look at some other numbers there perhaps give us more insight into what you were talking about. who understands the average american?
santorum, 32%. i told you earlier in the day, the average or median income in ohio is around $40,000. that is below the national average or median that we are talking about here. they feel that santorum feels their pain when it comes to relating to americans. what about the government snow a lot of people in this state pretty angry, 37% have a lot of anger around that may eventually in the jeep election give the republican party some of that enthusiasm that they are sorely lacking it seems at this point. let me take you closer here. when we look at hot angry voter is enjoying or at least siding with in ohio tonight, take a look, 44%, my circumstance there will is a little small, you see the number there 44% going for romney, 28%, rachel, for santorum, 13% for gingrich, 12% for paul. this san interesting dynamic, i think, because the tea party, for example, those people who largely support them, angry at the government, traditionally, the numbers we have seep, they
have not liked me, but tonight in ohio, that maybe a different story. we will have to see. chris is absolutely right, numbers shaking out in ohio will make for an interesting evening for governor romney. >> tamron, thank you. that is totally counter the national narrative, if you are not an angry republican, you are going to vote for mitt romney, if you are an angry voter, you are looking for somebody else. those exit polls that tamron went through show exactly the opposite, big numbers among people who describe themselves as angry for mitt romney. >> and they are scared too according to the ap assessment of the exit polls, scare about the economic future out there. >> let's bring in attorney general from ohio, mike dewine, former senator and also a former supporter for mitt romney before shifting his allegiance to mr. santorum's campaign. happy to have you with us. too close to call in your home state? >> amazing race. romney has spent about $12
million in the last two weeks. we never seen as much money spent in ohio in such a short period of time. and yet it still looks too close to call. so, i think it is going to be a long night. >> is this democrat sit battle of who has the most negative money to spend against the other guy? i mean, i watched your candidate out there, santorum tonight, i have always thought -- mixed attitude about that gay, all his career, i have to tell you personally, i like him i tell you, santorum, not just what he said. >> i have to interrupt you for a second -- we got a call this is the grounds on which i get to inter. are you nbc news can project that the winner in the vermont republican primary is mitt romney. mitt romney, again, whipping vermont. sorry to interrupt you. >> just answer it, senator it looks to me like democracy means how much negative money can you run from unmarked bills, how much money can you get from bic shots like the koch brothers and destroy your opponent? is that democracy? >> i tell you what's happening in ohio. >> that is what's happening. >> yeah.
romney -- it was 12-1. $12 million to about $1 million. my wife and i were home sunday afternoon for five hours, got off the campaign trail, we got five phone calls from romney. you cannot turn on a radio. you cannot turn on tv with more anti-santorum ads run by mitt romney. so, i think though the one thing it tells us, chris, this is a fundamentally flawed candidate, romney s he cannot really appeal to the average voters and what he has done by winning time after time is taken all that money and leveled that gun directly at whoever is challenging him. and so i think, you know, he has got a real problem and he may win tonight, he may not whip tonight in ohio but either way, it is going to be close and i don't think romney can look at this as a great victory tonight. >> why are people in your state voting for somebody they think doesn't identify with them? i'm stunned by that. we have got an exit poll showing they identify with your candidate maybe the numbers may be going the other way. what do you say? i don't know how they are going to come out. it looks close.
>> i don't know how it's going to connect either. we are waiting for you to tell us. >> ha! >> but you know, i think -- i think that what i've been hearing from people who are voting for romney are doing so with very little enthusiasm. some of them, you know, chris, republicans are not like democrats, democrats like to fight and they go at it, just hillary and barack obama went at it clear until june and they patched things up and they won't election. republicans somehow get really nervous about these fights. and we should take a lesson from the democrats, go fight it out. unite and go and beat the other side lot of republicans who voted for romney because they want this race over with. >> why are they taking this pill, taking romney they don't like him, nobody identified with him.
>> no question of not liking him, no enthusiasm for him and into great attachment to him. some people think he is the candidate, polls show him ahead nationwide. we really need to get this race over with because it is hurting the opposite of the truth because i think that santorum, when you look at those exit poll, clearly, he is the person that people can relate to you get beyond the republican primary, jeffersonville and stubenville, the person that is going to win this county, a good shot at winning for the republicans is not mitt romney. it is rick santorum. i would be afraid of that. >> i'm going to enjoy watching you, mike dewine, you were for romney and then you went to santorum and some time around tampa time, i guess you will be back with romney s that gonna be a sweet reunion or what?
>> i hope i'm not. i hope i'm with rick santorum. the race is long from over, we don't know what the results will be in ohio. i think we have a fundamentally flawed candidate in governor romney. look at the exit polls i saw a few minutes ago in virginia, those are not ron paul, pro-ron paul votes, all of them, some may be. a lot are anti-mitt romney. if we ever could get this race down to mitt romney and rick santorum, rick santorum would whip. >> mike dewine, the attorney general of the state of ohio, former seine to thank you for that none too subtle shove to mr. gingrich on the way out. nice to have you here. howard fineman also talking with the santorum campaign directly. howard what are you hearing from them in terms of their initial responses tonight? >> i went so far as to go to stubenville on sunday, so i was there that is santorum country, even though he won't get delegates out of there. what the santorum people are saying, look we don't have the money, we don't have the
organization, we screwed up on those districts in ohio for sure but we don't need a lot of money and we are keeping on keeping on. they are going to put ads up on television in alabama tomorrow. he is going to kansas tomorrow. they have enough money running the kind of campaign they run, they say to go all the watch and their intention is to go all the way to tampa with what they've got. and their concern tonight is they want to whip somewhere. they may or may not win ohio, but they are pipping their hopes on oklahoma and tennessee and they have got to have some victories. if they have some victories, they will have something positive to talk about but they are in it regardless. >> howard fineman, thank you. the race in ohio, again too close to call tonight. and the as howard says there, it is true. right now, with ohio still too close to call, oklahoma and tennessee become all the more important in terms of whether or not mitt romney comes out of tonight with clear sailing ahead of him. at the top of this hour, polls will close in tennessee and in oklahoma and in my home state of
the race in ohio is too close to call at this hour. polls have closed in ohio, but between mitt romney and rick santorum, the polling was close heading into this race and right now, it is too close to call. but in georgia, newt gingrich is the projected winner of the georgia republican primary. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at gingrich campaign headquarters along with some of mr.
gingrich's supporters there. kelly? >> absolutely, rachel. we have a little color to bring to this. these ladies are from the east cobb kickers and they are supporters of newt gingrich. what is your sense tonight, ladies, about what this means? you're obviously decked out in the red, white and blue, what is your message in being here? >> well, we are the east cobb kickers and we want to kick those other people out and put newt gingrich in the white house. >> yay! >> you know this has been a tough race for him. obviously georgia is a big whip. what makes think he can keep going and kind of get back in it? >> well, he knows how to handle the people in washington. he is the only one that does. and i really think that his experience will help him move other -- >> and do you think that winning tonight here in his home state will make a difference to voters next week in alabama or mississippi? >> i think so. well, the southern state, i think he should take all the
southern states. you know, we have supported him in the past. we love what he's done. we think he is the most capable candidate and why not vote for him? and i think we will. i think he has got the support. people say he might not whip, but i think he will. i really do. >> and is there something about the other candidates, not with standing your georgia ladies, that just couldn't get you behind them, the other republican candidates in this race? >> no i think they are all good candidates. i really do. but we are newt gingrich supporters. he is our home state boy. and we want to put him in the white house. >> is there something that as georgia you know about newt gingrich that people around the country do not? >> he is the most intelligent. he is the most experienced. and what you see is what you get. he is a good ole boy. and i would like for people to send him more money because that's what he needs. >> is that what you think he needs to -- >> he needs more money and he needs sarah palin to get behind him on the news. >> well, sarah palin has gotten
close to endorsing him. todd palin has endorsed him. you get a sense, rachel, of the level of support that hometown -- not sure i have had somebody say that he is a good ole boy and that is the reason to vote for him. that is what you have in georgia. there is a genuine sense of knowing newt gingrich and wanting voters to get to know him elsewhere. >> excellent work in assemble the east cobb kickers, that was really cool. please tell them hello from all of us here in new york. oh, excellent. at the top of the hour, polls will be closed in oklahoma, in massachusetts and the in tennessee. tennessee getting more and more crucial the longer ohio stays too close to call. harold ford jr. served in the u.s. house of representatives from tennessee. he is now an nbc news political analyst. it is nice to see you. thanks for joining us. >> in fairness to those women calling him a good ole boy, i don't think they meant it in a negative way, it was it is a southern expression. >> they meant it in the most positive way possible what about the argument that newt gingrich knows how to win in the south,
ought to win in the south, ought to win in places like tennessee and ought to make him a compelling potential nominee for republicans, republicans ought to give him a second look. >> maybe they should. i think that home up to spirit certainly was on display there. i think newt gingrich brings history in the republican party, he brings some baggage that is well documented. he has had two or three moments in this campaign for whatever reason, for a number of reasons shall not able to blobs is. i think tonight will be a big night for mitt romney. i think he whips my home state of tennessee. i think it will be a close race tonight. he enjoys the support of the republican apparatus there tennessee has a history of supporting very wealthy republicans from -- and very moderate republicans at the state level, including our own governor now and dates back to howard baker, bill brock, lamar alexander, fred thompson and others. so he should do well there tonight and it has been said all along this evening, ohio and tennessee, fess able to secure both of those states and win both of those changes and you can see the end in
sight. i would agree with the analysis this evening. >> harold, in terms of how to win tennessee, we have seen governor romney really lock up a lot of the for lack of a better term, establishment republican support. that has not been key to winning a lot of other states. a lot of place where you got the endorsement of governors and senators, doesn't translate in a win for the candidates this year. do you see a split between the electorate and establishment in the republican party in tennessee this year, are those establishment endorsements going to help him? >> i think the fact you have both gingrich and santorum still in the race helps romney without both in the race, meaning santorum and gingrich, romney would probably be at a disadvantage heading in this primary but with both there, he should be able to split the vote and win it but you're absolutely right, the establishment support is not always translated in votes for, for romney it's a continuation of obviously 2010 when the tea party performed well, even though many in the establishment continued to this
date to not be huge fans and huge supporters of what the tea party may want but in tennessee you will see a big turnout but that split between santorum and gingrich, which has happened across the country, will benefit romney this evening. >> harold ford, jr., nbc political analyst, harold, thank you very much, we'll look forward to the poll closings. >> nanthanks for having me. >> harold ford is getting to the point we have been hinting at, gingrich and santorum may see they have a path forward, they may imagine themselves as nominees but as long as both of them are imagining themselves as potential nominees, neither can be a nominee. one of them has to get out in order for one to win. >> they are both looking at the same math that says it may be that no one has all the delegates locked up going in the convention. what that means you're put at risk for everything. if mitt romney has a misstep, if he has a rough day on something, you can easily start a movement
we have to dump this guy, he can't be the one. but the big news i heard from harold was the notion that mitt romney is going to win tennessee, which he said with some confidence. if that happens, that is mitt romney winning a southern state and that is defying a lot of predictions people have made. >> i think if romney wins tennessee and clearly if he wins tennessee and ohio, it does give the perception. i think what is really -- it's interesting when the ex--senator now supporting santorum was on, i think what we are not dealing with is the impact of citizens u n united, the angry voter in ohio is going to romney, is that if you have enough money you drive the anger another place. they are very successfully making santorum look like the washington guy that played with the liberals. they have been told you should be more angry at this guy than me and they flood that so the
anger is just guided another way, only because of money. no matter how much you would question him or chris would question him he would not attack citizens united because that is who is winning the race for mitt romney outspending everyone he can tell you i know you're mad you should be mad at santorum because he's in bed with the guys you're angry at which may or may not be true b if you hear it enough and he can't rebut it because he doesn't have the money the anger is misplaced. >> the romney super pac hit santorum on raising the debt ceiling. that is tea party anger stuff. ear marks, and so you can see with that kind of money he could drive some anger, angry voters to romney. >> but it's also the case that rick santorum shattered his electability argument with a series of statements from the criticism of john kennedy speech to the sometimes you have to be a team player quote, and on and on and on.
in all of these states what has driven the ballot is the notion of who can win in november against the president. and those voters may be angry, but they are also focused on electability and that is what has done harm to rick santorum, wasn't the tv ads that did it came out of rick santorum's mouth. >> steve, they all have said things that have been, in my opinion, detrimental. they all have baggage. romney has enough money for bell hops to carry his and santorum carries his own. >> in the gaffe contest, santorums was worst. the $10,000 bet is not as bad deciding you want to run against john kennedy who has an 85% approval rating in the country. i think santorums gaffes add up in a negative way. mitt's have an emptiness, they leave us with question marks about who is this guy? santorum's you can see the direct voting result of them. >> i would say also the
difference with the romney ones, leaves us with the same question mark people had all along when santorum made the gaffes, it raises new question marks all the time. wait a second, john f. kennedy is a bad guy? going to college is snobery? he's bringing in new questions all the time in a way that keeps -- >> you may be answering the question, that might be the problem. >> you have mike dewine saying it was the money. a week ago tonight mike dewine was telling us how good santorum was in ohio. now he says the money. >> that is part of how you win. >> well, that's true, a lot of these have been self-in flicked political wounds about rick santorum. he gets off the script he damages himself. >> he's talking about the fact that he's outspent 12:1. wait until the general election. >> who would have believed that
the win the republican nomination all you have to do is beat rick santorum and newt gingrich. that is all you have to do. this is little league, this is a low level competition. >> polls will be closed in tennessee and oklahoma and in massachusetts at the top of the hour, we'll have the first characterization of those races in just a second when we return, stay with us.
it is now 8:00 p.m. in the east, polls are closed in tennessee and oklahoma and in massachusetts. and, no surprise here, but mitt romney is the projected winner of his home state of massachusetts, where he served as governor. mitt romney, the projected winner in massachusetts. in the great state of oklahoma, the race is at this hour too early to call, but nbc news can tell thank you rick santorum has a lead in oklahoma but too early to call there. in tennessee, the race is also too early to call. recapping the press of the state oh oat rest of the states, in ohio, too close to call. in georgia, newt gingrich won the primary in his home state. in virginia, mitt romney won a two-man race over ron paul, mr. gingrich and mr. santorum were not on the ballot in virginia. in vermont, mitt romney is the projected winner of the vermont republican primary.
and i should tell you the caucuses are underway in north dakota. we have no characterization from north dakota, we don't expect one for some time. here is where the race stands right now. mitt romney's win in massachusetts is his tenth victory of the campaign. you can see his wins marked in green. mr. santorums in purple, mr. gingrich's in orange. those are the states that mitt romney has won, massachusetts, vermont, virginia, washington state, arizona, michigan, maine, nevada, florida and new hampshire. chris, too close to call right now in tennessee, too close to call right now in oklahoma. >> those are two states -- >> too early. >> it will keep him in the race if santorum wins. if he can't win in ohio he can't win the nomination but he can stay in it. >> a close race in ohio is not enough to keep rick santorum viable? >> it's close in ohio i'm guessing he'll win the other two states, that means he has had a
good night. it's been a process of between, of romney search and destroy, finds the states he needs to win i'm looking at numbers, 96% of his spending on restore our future, his super pac has been negative. it is not to sell him it's to destroy opponents. this will carry in the general election, you will see the two giant campaigns, the president's billion dollar campaign, the republicans billion dollar campaign basically spending all their money on opposition attack and will i think unfortunately for the democrat, depress the voting and i think that is always helpful to the republicans when you get an entirely negative campaign because republicans are very insistent voters, they will show up especially the right wing haters will show up and the president's challenge is to bring in moderate people as well as progressives, there may not be -- imagine if what we watched now for two months precedes from
now to november. what it will be like and the atmosphere of the country. >> i don't know the same dynamics push the president campaign in negativity the way we have seen in the republican primary. the reason that all of the other republican candidates in 2008 expressed so much dislike for mitt romney was how negative a campaign it was in that year. >> i would like to think what you're thinking, i think the people around the president are thinking about doing to romney what he has done to his opponent gs, they can't wait. >> chuck todd is with us now, looking at the overall shape of the race heading in tonight, and looking at what we know so far about the result on super tuesday, we have too early to calls still, big question marks, what do you think is most important, what are you watching for? look, i'm obsessed with the delegate math, we ought to keep going there. look at where we are in delegates. in massachusetts, we know that there were 38 delegates available, we have called it, it's likely we already awarded
him 23, i can tell you this, he's likely to get up to at least 34 here, a fun little slider we can do. we won't give him all yet, will probably get to 34, at minimum. probably all of them. there is a chance that santorum would get 4, if he hits threshold. he has to hit at least 15% to get threshold, that's unclear right now. let's go to virginia, right now in virginia we're pretty confident that romney is going to get 43 of the 46 delegates. let me just show you why we're not yet ready to say he will get all of them. we only awarded him 19 but let me show you what is going on, ron paul might win one congressional district and that congressional district is the third congressional district in richmond, blue area, largely an african american district, very democratic district, maybe it isn't a surprise the one time where paul overperforms are in
democratic districts or when a lot of democrats show up in the polls. and vermont, turned out to be a little closer, not the large margin that we thought romney was going to get. he won't break 50, will get 9. santorum and paul will get 4. i've done back of the envelope math, just in the states we've called, rachel, i've got romney up to 86 delegates, that is almost halfway to that goal of at least getting 200 and i haven't factored what is going on in ohio, haven't factored in georgia. the magic number i'm watching happens to be 20%, obviously returns very slow coming in. but 20% is threshold and right now, if you look, both santorum and romney meet threshold, what will be interesting, one of them falls below it, that is a windfall potentially of extra delegates that both santorum or romney, whichever is above 20, if the other one falls below,
and gingrich. that will make the math kind of complicated as we watch to see the mendoza line in the state of georgia of 20%. >> that is the big phenomenon, seeing no knock-outs, everybody progressing according to plan and nothing final. this is like a paragraph that has only commas and no periods in it. >> although, rachel, i would argue this one point the fact tennessee hasn't been called, that is good news for mitt romney. that is an imprint potentially of him doing better in the south. he was the one that had a little momentum at the end. that is a big deal, ohio is one thing, if he can show some sort of ability to broaden his base in the south, tennessee was always the one spot that would do it, last three major republican primaries there, the businessman establishment republican beat back a conservative, that is why lamar alexand
alexander, bill corker and bill haslam are the governors. i heard harold ford talking about this. we should be watching tennessee results a lot. >> chuck todd, thank you very much. we will be back with you. david gregory is the moderator of "meet the press" david let me ask you to weigh in on the last point chuck was making about tennessee being too early to call, oklahoma being too early to call, that is not a definitive characterization of the race, it means we'll know more soon and tell you then, but is that in fact good news for mitt romney that this hasn't been called for one of the other candidates already? >> i think it is, because if you think about what romney has to do tonight it's not only try to begin to close the door here, can he lock up the nomination and i think as we have been talking about ohio is being key to doing that can he expand the base of support not just geographically but within the coalition he will need to unite the party? lower income primary voters, more culturally conservative, classify themselves as very
conservative, can he get those voters. expand support among tea party supporters. you were talking about the super pac a while ago, he looks like he's doing better at tea partiers based on exit polling in ohio. these are the things that ultimately matter. you just said it a paragraph with a lot of commas and no periods, yes. math may be the momentum, four years ago yesterday, john mccain was at the white house getting president bush's endorsement. he was on his way to uniting the party to face president obama. that was unsuccessful, but right now, romney is in a position where he has to get to a place where he can unite the party. what are the themes which he will run the campaign against president obama, if we looked how he campaigned in ohio it's clear, one theme, the economy, running is a fiscal conservative, doesn't want to do it as a social conservative, he will be suspect on the right. so can he expand a little bit of the base and say to the rest of the party it's time to get on board. >> david, on that point, i think
comparing this to 2008 is instructive, right now, what we've got is the big question over mitt romney, even for tonight, even for frankly the next hour is whether or not he can bring on evangelical tea party supporting core southern republican voters. this is the time in the race when you would have assumed that the republican already had those voters on board and was just a question of whether or not they could compete for independents. is the timing here actually pushing the general election to be a later and later contest in a way that might be hurtful no matter who the republican nominee snis? >> is it possible they don't show up to vote in the fall if they are not energized, that is poo possible. but the base will be there if it's romney. there may be an enthusiasm gap. the reality is santorum is still in the race and if there weren't gingrich, santorum would be running closer to romney right now, that is how he would like to run as the strong social
conservative who can go on to next tuesday in alabama and mississippi and continue to wrap-up more that evangelical support and take that farther in the calendar. i think romney is essentially going to make an argument to the party do you want to win the race if we are going to beat obama it will be about the economy, time for everybody to get on board. i don't know he's ever going to be the guy who has his cultural voice within the party. i think it's clear when we hear from romney later tonight, this was true last week as well, he's not going to go after santorum and gingrich. he'll talk about the president. he wants to talk as a fiscal conservative, he realizes that is not where his voice is. >> david thank you very much. i want to go to steve schmidt, this is something you lived and articulated and what david was making there is a provocative point, this isn't the way he put it but doesn't matter who wins oklahoma, doesn't matter who wins the south, doesn't matter who wins in alabama and mississippi, republicans can
assume they will be there for them, the states will be red, doesn't matter who the nominee is they have to complete in ohio and that is all that matters. >> you have to compete in a place like virginia which is a state the republicans have to get back and if you look at the demographics of virginia which is culturally may be a southern state but demographically more of a northeastern state and you look at the contraception issue for example in northern virginia, devastating when you consider the prospect of santorum nomination, but what people are worried about in the republican party is this fact: john mccain became the nominee of the party, his favorable-unfavorable ratio was 47-27. net positive 20 points. according to the nbc wall street journal poll, mitt romney is now 28% favorable, 39% unfavorable. the primary process has had a horrible effect and so republicans are looking to start the general election, there needs to be a recovery period to get those numbers back up where
mitt romney if he's the nominee, if he wins ohio, he wins tennessee, has a claim on it, that he is inevitable at that point, where he can begin the healing process. >> do you get the numbers back up by not talking about social issues, by not going for alabama and mississippi, for seeding the south to someone like gingrich or santorum assuming they won't get the nomination and leave the base alone? >> you get the numbers up by talking about issues relevant to the people, mainly the economy. talking about economic growth. offering a positive vision. all of the things that have been lacking so far in the primary is the ability to go out and to get a reset here and it's going to be important if republicans will be successful, the good news after a horrible six weeks for republicans is this. i think the structure of this race is that the floor for republicans is 46 to 47% of the vote. i think the floor for the president is more solid, more solid 46, 47 but a structurally very close race. >> back to nbc's peter alexander
at romney headquarters in boston. peter, we have a number of races that are still too early to call, including oklahoma oklaho tennessee, all eyes on ohio where it's too close to call, what is the romney campaign focusing on right now, what message are they trying to get out? >> well, they just gave us an x excerp excerpts, david gregory hit the nail on the head. sharpening rhetoric not against newt gingrich but rick santorum but the president, referring to this as a faltering economy and failed presidency, language he used before. the new portions, he will say tonight to the millions of americans who look around and can only see jobs they can't get and bills they can't pay, i have a message, you have not failed, the president has failed you. he will go on in this speech to be delivered later tonight, they say it could be a late night as they watch the returns come in,
he will be here with members of his family including his oldest son who cooked him chicken marsala, he will continue by saying president obama seems to believe he's unchecked by our constitution. he is unresponsive to the will of our people, he operates by command instead of by consensus. rachel, we have been traveling with mitt romney over the course of two months, he is well aware that each of these speeches is significant, this one more than ever the largest primary day means the largest audience for him to deliver the message to americans, not just republicans will be watching what he has to say. >> david alexander, thank you for the competition with the singer behind you, very well done. ron is with us from santorum headquarters. part of ohio near mrmr. santorum's home state of pennsylvania. ron, i see you're there with santorum supporters. what is on their mind tonight, how are they feeling about the results thus far?
>> hey there, rachel, started about whether rick santorum should fold up the card table if he can win ohio tonight, not everyone is in that particular school of thought. mark resnick is a supporter, if he does not win here in iowa, how do you see the path forward for him to get the nomination? >> i think he will win other states teenlt and going forward, if he remains competitive and continues to pick up states and delegates, then he and the delegates that are pledged to gingrich can prevent romney from getting a first ballot nomination at the convention. if romney can't get the first ballot nomination, i don't think he will be the nominee for the republican party. >> there are a lot of voters we talked to here in ohio who wanted the message to get back to the economy. do you think that mr. santorum's focus on some of those social issues that are critical and important to the faith community that is largely supporting his candidacy, do you think he should abandon those going
forward? >> no, i don't think he should. he does have an economic program and he's a very strong supporter of poll and responsible approach to environmental protection. he does have a very good plan for getting the economy moving forward. and another thing i think that's important is he opposes the obama health care plan, which is not going to be implemented fully for several years yet. >> lastly, are social conservatives at some point in the future willing and able to throw your support behind mitt romney if it appears that he is the inevitable nominee? >> i think that whoever the nominee is will get the support of people like myself, absolutely. >> you will be there to vote in the fall. >> i will, yes. i will. >> there you have it rachel, still hoping they will be able to pull it out here, we know that the chances of rick santorum winning the delegate battle in ohio is pretty much over because of the filing issue
over some of the delegates. back up to you. >> ron mott, thank you very much. reporting from santorum headquarters. on the issue he was asking the supporter about whether or not the social issues should continue to be a factor in this, whether or not republicans should talk about it, obviously all the expert advice is that republicans should stop talking about those issues, but the republican candidates and campaigns seem to want to. mitt romney tonight passing up another opportunity to put the rush limbaugh thing behind him, mr. romney was asked paraphrasing the question, rush limbaugh criticized sandra fluke, you have said that was not the language you would have used, was it appropriate for him to criticize her and what language would you have used? mr. romney's response, my campaign is about jobs and economy and scaling back government and i won't weigh in on that particular controversy. i know you want to make it about jobs and economy and scaling back the size of government as
long us a don't weigh in on that particular controversy, that controversy lives in the campaign. >> no comment. no comment. that is a courtageous stand. no comment. i think i know why mitt romney doesn't say anything, because he keeps talking, i see his notes, speech tonight, he's concerned about the debt. two ways to reduce the debt. he hasn't explained how he will do it. won't raise taxes, lower taxes by three trillion dollars on the rich. that is not reducing the debt in the long term. two, what will he cut? please tell us, if you're going to -- >> waste, fraud and abuse. >> the old reagan dodge. how will do you what you say you want to do. central pain rt is reduce the d. tells us how. >> the obama campaign will tell you he embraced the paul ryan
in his first news conference of the year, deciding to do that on super tuesday, president obama took on his republican rivals who have been doing sabre rattling over iran. listen. >> now what is said on the campaign trail, those folks don't have a lot of responsibilities. they are not commander in chief. when i see some of the folks who have lot of bluster and big talk but when you ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we have been doing over the last three years. it indicates to me that's more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem. >> president speaking today in a press conference, andrea mitchell is with us from washington. andrea, when the president made those remarks, those were in response to a question, those were not prepared remarks, but sounds like those were very deliberately directed toward the republican candidates for
president and the they have been talking about iran. >> rachel, they were directed at mitt romney. white house officials were annoyed at the speech at apac where president obama has not been tough enough, he would send not one, not two, but more carriers in the gulf and take on iran, all that saber rattling, the president said i am the commander in chief, let's not be so casual about this talk of war. there was more than a little bit of echo of aaron sorkin and the american president sitting against the same back drop in the movie "the american president" you had your 15 minutes, i'm the command near chief i know what it's like to talk to the troops in walter reed. let's not be casual about things very, very serious. >> andrea, the president it struck me when i was listening to the press conference when he said if some of these folks think it's time to launch a war they should say so and explain to the american people exactly why they would do that and what the consequences would be.
everything else is just talk. almost angry but mostly sort of strong-sounding comments from the president. i wonder if you're hearing from the white house that is connected to the way the president has been talking about ending the iraq war as one of his accomplishments when he has been on the campaign trail, a blunt, anti-war message. >> yes, and also talking about the fact that syria for all of the horrendous things that have evolved there, the mass murders, genocide, many people say clearly war crimes, that for all of that, syria is not libya, that the same kind of opportunities are not there for joint action for un action, arab support, he will not yield to john mccain and lindsey graham and others calling for more robust action, military action getting weapons to the opposition, as well as also hints today, he didn't say so but i heard hints of taking another hard look at afghanistan
in light of the protests, the deaths of the american troops, especially going toward the nato meeting that will be here in the united states in may. >> andrea, in terms on that last point about syria and john mccain's remarks calling directly for air strikes on syria, are you hearing from the white house or are you hearing broadly from democrats in washington that they expect that to become the republican line on that part of foreign policy, that they expect republicans broadly the candidates to be calling for an american war on syria? >> i'm not sure they expect that yet because as you know, john mccain and lindsey graham and others have been taking a harder line on that. and there are plenty of people in the republican as well as democratic party who know that this would be a very, very big challenge and a lot harder than what they accomplished in libya. libya, by the way, people don't pay attention it's falling apart it's not coming together. >> andrea mitchell, thank you, appreciate it. congress woman debbie
wasserman-schultz is the chair of the democratic national committee, joins us now from washington. madam chair, thank you for being with us. >> thanks, rachel, great to be with you. >> the results are as yet undecided in some of the most important places, too early to call in tennessee, too earl throw call in oklahoma, too close to call in ohio, seems like the only thing we know for sure the republican race goes on after tonight, from the perspective of somebody who leads the democratic party is a longer race on the republican side a good thing or a bad thing for democratic prospects in the fall? >> well, for us, we used their primary nominating season as an organizing tool and so we continue to build our neighborhood teams and recruit volunteers and do door knocks and phone calls, and i was in virginia for a women to women phone bank organizing effort this morning, because we're in the process of standing up while the republicans are busy outright-winging each other and embracing extremism an running
the most negative campaign i've seen we are making sure that we can stand up the most robust, grass roots dynamic campaign in american history. so the longer that goes on, the more opportunity we'll have to get ready for the fall campaign. >> on the issues of the contraception fight and abortion rights, other issues specific to women's health, my colleague steve schmidt, senior strategist for the mccain-palin campaign described that being a focus for republicans as disaster and lunacy. he's distressed by the turn as someone who wants republicans to do well in the election. as the chair of the democratic party, what is the democratic strategy to capitalize on what the republicans have done here, if even republicans are seeing what they've done as a mistake? >> well, we're continuing to focus on the number one, number two, number three priority for all americans, that is job
creation and moving the economy forward. steve says they are on the moon, i call it the paleosoic area, where we're dealing with every day americans facing in the 21st century. president obama has been fighting hard from where we were bleeding 750,000 jobs a month, now we've had 23 straight months of job growth. he's continue to fight that everybody has a chance to be successful, our tax code makes sense and you, if you are making a whole lot of money, that you're not paying a lower tax rate than people who made far less than you, basic common sense principles of fairness, everybody having an opportunity to get a fair shot and play by the same rules and so our strategy is to continue to press forward on those basic concepts, while the republicans refight cultural wars that were settled i thought long before i was born. >> aren't the democrats and the president in particular forcing the republicans to stay on the
issue? when the president weighed in at the press conference, weighed in to the rush limbaugh controversy by calling the georgetown law student who had been attacked by mr. limbaugh, he opened it up for all the republican candidates to be asked what they thought about that issue, whether they distanced themselves from rush limbaugh. everybody wants to be seen as the economic candidate but haven't democrats been trying to box republicans in to keep them talking about this? >> no, the republicans kept this issue front and center and seem obsessed with battling over a woman should have affordable access to contraception. look at the news and activity around the issue. last week the blunt-rubio amendment was pushed to the floor of the senate which would have gone further than denying contraceptives to women it would have said a boss gets to decide with their own moral conviction what kind of access to health care that their female employees
can have. republicans have made this front and center issue, while i'll tell you when i'm in my district in south florida rachel or traveling the country, the people that i meet and the ones i represent at home, they don't ever bring this issue up. what they bring up is they want us to continue to fight to create jobs and improve the economy forward, help them stay in their homes, because there are so many people far too many people still upside down in their mortgages. mitt romney would allow that process to hit rock bottom and leave people twisting in the wind. barack obama helps people to remain in their home. it's a dramatic contrast they are proving over and over. >> congressman debbie wasserman-schultz, thank you for being here. important they called it the blunt-rubio amendment, people talk about marco rubio being untainted savior as a vice presidential choice for the republicans because of his latino heritage, his amendment
and blunt, the blunt-rubio amendment was the an try contraception amendment that republicans voted for that moderate republican senators are already saying they wish they had not voted for. and marco rubio will dragging that baggage through the vice presidential selection process. we're awaiting newt gingrich speaking to supporters in atlanta, we're expecting that shortly. mr. gingrich has one the georgia primary. we'll have new numbers from the exiting polling. msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues in a moment.
rick santorum the projected winner in the state of tennessee. this was not a foregone conclusion. this is big news tonight. chris, when you look at that, that changes the narrative. >> we'll look at this for a couple hours, this is the lds problem? the mormon problem in the south? he lost the panhandle of florida this is another example where he may have a serious problem we haven't talked about lately out of decency, may have a problem with his religious background, we will see this more in mississippi and places like that. if he can't win in the south, they will get the votes, does it matter if he can't plunge in the deep south but may be the religion problem or they are looking for someone more culturally conservative down there. that is the most moderate of the southern state, that has people like lamar alex sander and bob ko corker. >> harold ford from tennessee began the evening confident that
mitt romney was going to win tennessee. his confidence surprised me because i didn't see where in the polls the evidence of that was but he had a feel for tennessee that indicated it would go that way, this is a -- this is the win that santorum needed more than anything. just imagine if this went the other way. if he lost this -- >> santorum gets oklahoma too it will be a different night than it looked like earlier. >> i think when you look at fred thompson, this is a state that has a history of supporting, we said 15 minutes ago wealthy businessmen. romney did not continue that tradition. so this is not just he didn't pull off tennessee, fred thompson pulled it off, these others that have been profiled like him, the 1% republicans pulled it off. he didn't. so now he'll try to act like well, we didn't expect it, he did. this is going to be his big entre in the south that will keep santorum in the fight for
another day. >> i wonder if this is another piece of the data how much the republican establishment endorsing you ends up being like getting on the cover of sports illustrated, it doesn't help. you have the republican support lined up for romney in tennessee, it does not translate in him winning tennessee we've seen that over and over again, south carolina and all the other places r nominee has everybody at the top of the mast head in terms of power in the state but doesn't win. >> an old fashioned tradition, endorsing, hard to make any modern case for it whatsoever. back when they had vote delivery processes that was one thing, but the idea anyone in america would look to their governor and say how should i vote? >> i think you endorse down, the governor can endorse an assemblymen. governors can't endorse up you're above your pay grade. >> if you're in an electorate
rebelling against the establishment it hurts you. if i'm santorum you fight the t establishment and say see, they are for that guy. >> ed, we have newt gingrich on deck, talking within a minute or two. we have rick santorum having just won tennessee. do you see the contours of the night shaping from what you were saying earlier? >> i think romney is in good shape. he did win virginia that is a southern state. they sell more pick up trucks in virginia than anywhere in the country. >> no one will count virginia in their win column. >> i know there is not enough people on the ballot, i get. that but he is the winner of virginia tonight. >> unfortunately he might have been able to win it with everybody on the ballot. that is the unfortunate outcome for him in that situation. >> the asterisk works against him had he been able to pull it off. >> i won the fight in the phone booth, i was the only one in there. >> virginia and tennessee were the two great measures of the
south tonight, but instead we are talking about newt gingrich's home state in georgia where he is right now and tennessee having not gone to mitt romney but gone to rick santorum. just remarkable. let's go right now to newt gingrich atlanta headquarters in his home state of georgia where he's about to address the crowd. you see him there with his wife. >> newt gingrich. thank you for the warm welcome it's freight to be back in atlanta, what an exciting evening! [ cheering ] >> we are so proud of our many volunteers who have worked diligently here and throughout the state of georgia. thank you from the bottom of our hearts. you have made this evening
possible and we are very grateful. [ applause ] >> we have truly enjoyed being back in georgia throughout this campaign. and are humbled by your overwhelming support and prayers, thank you. newt and i are engaged in this race, because we believe america is at a crossroads and care deeply about the future of our country. there are only a few months left before the most important election in our lifetimes. our only opponent is barack obama. [ applause ] >> and we are committed to removing him from the white house. [ applause ] >> this campaign is far from over and tomorrow we'll bring another chapter in the race for the nomination.
newt is the only candidate with the experience and knowledge necessary to rebuild the america we love. [ applause ] he has a successful national record of creating jobs, balancing the budget and reforming the government. today, we need a leader with bold solutions to create a better future for all americans. [ applause ] i believe that leader is my husband. [ applause ] >> please welcome former speaker of the house and the next president of the united states, newt gingrich! [ applause ]
this tonight and learn a little bit from this crowd and from this place. [ applause ] we survived the national effort to kill us in the summer because of you. because people who said we are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are allowed to nominate, and so with your help -- [ applause ] -- thousands and thousands of people came to newt.org and with your help, we survived the two most difficult months of a career which goes back to august of 1958. in june and july were really hard and was precisely because the national elite, especially
in the republican party, had decided that a gingrich presidency was so frightening that they had to kill it early. but you, you wouldn't let them do it. ms. ms. [ applause ] fur with your help and the power of large solutions and big ideas, and clear communications in the debates, by december, according to gallup, i was the front-runner by 15 points and according to rasmussen the front-runner by 21 points, because you believed in the power of ideas. you believed that people can make a difference. that in fact wall street money can be beaten by main street work. [ applause ]
at that time a $5 million campaign would work. they reduced my support from 36 to 14% of three weeks of unrelenting negativity. the media states i guess this is over, finally. but you all said no. at the very depths of the establishment rejecting it, thousands of more people came to newt.org and signed up. and the result was by south carolina, we won a historic victory, carried 43 out of 46 counties. [ applause ] and i'm pretty sure that tonight, we have a number of the
south carolinans came over to help celebrate this great victory. [ applause ] and at that point the forces of wall street figured out they were in real trouble. and as the new york times -- >> sorry to interrupt mr. gingrich's speech but we have to interrupt when we have a call, we have a call to make in oklahoma. rick santorum has won in oklahoma. just the last few minutes we announced he has won in tennessee, and in oklahoma, we'll go back now to georgia where mr. gingrich has been projected to be the winner and where he's addressing his supporters. and so piled on $20 million in three weeks of negativity in florida and we were still standing, we carried all of north florida. interestingly, every where we were, whether we won, the vote went up. whether wa when wall street won, the vote went down.
which i think is a bad sign for the fall if we end up with a wall street candidate. at that point once again they said maybe he's gone. and then frankly, senator santorum did something clever, he went to three states nobody else was in and won them. and the news media once against desperate to prove gingrich was gone, now we have the person that will be the non-romney. now, calista and i looked at each other and jackie and jimmy and kathy and paul, my two debate coaches, maggie and robert -- [ applause ] -- by the way, i would say for the performance they get out of me, the most under-paid debate coaches in america. [ laughter ] although they will talk to me later on, i shouldn't have said that. but in any event, we looked at each other and thought you know, remember when it was tim
pawlenty that was going to crowd me out? and remember then when it was michele bachmann? and then it was our good friend herman cain the first time. and then for a brief moment it was donald trump, almost. and then it was our good friend rick perry. then it was herman cain the second time. and now it's santorum. and you just can't quite get across to them it's all right. there are lots of bunny rabbits that run through i'm the tortoise, i take one step at a time. [ applause ] >> newt, newt, newt. >> i've always tried to be very candid, sometimes it gets me on trouble. but on balance it's how i want to live and do things. and so i said at the very peak
of the santorum surge and all this stuff, if i can't carry my home state where people know me, i would have no credibility. and i knew the basic wall street technique which was to come in and spend -- home of you noticed negative ads? the reagan negative ad that is a total lie, okay? that is what we're up against. one thing to have lots of money, another thing to lie with the money. so i looked around and thought let's go home an test it out. i'll go home, calista and i chr crossed the state, governor diehl did a tremendous job and worked very hard. [ applause ] >> herman cain stepped up to the plate and worked very, very hard. [ applause ] >> todd palin made phone calls
and helped communicate that there was a candidate who ought to be helped. the fact is in tennessee, fred thompson was tremendously helpful, and in oklahoma, j c watts was extraordinary. [ applause ] and so we basically put people power up against money power. and as you saw the very first race they called tonight, a15 seconds after the polls closed, and so i'm here first of all to say thank you to each and every one of you, because you are the reason we survived every effort of the establishment to stop us. ms. ms. [ applause ]
>> now, being here at the waverly brings back many memories. in 1994, this is where we learned that for the first time in 40 years, there would be a republican speaker of the house. [ applause ] you know, for that entire campaign all the elites thought we were crazy. first of all we ran a positive campaign, we had a contract with america. they thought that was weird, why would you go to all that trouble? have all these ideas. [ laughter ] >> we didn't spend our time on lots and lots of negative ads. we spent our time communicating hope to the american people. the result was the largest one
party increase in an off year in american history because of the american people want a chance to have hope again. [ applause ] so as calista said tomorrow will bring another chapter in the race for the nomination. more than a chapter in the race for the nomination. it's a chapter in a fight for the soul of the republican party, a chapter in the fight for the very nature of america. it's a chapter in defining who we are as a people. and let me be very clear. i believe that i am the one candidate who has the ability to debate barack obama decisively. [ applause ]
>> newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt. >> and let me be straight. i don't believe the romney technique of outspending your opponent four or five to one with negative ads will work against barack obama, because there is no possibility that any republican is going to outraise the incumbent president of the united states. therefore, you can't follow that strategy. what you have to have is somebody who knows what they believe, understands how to articulate it so it cuts through all the media, offsets the bias of the elite media desperate to reelect the president and has the guts to take the president head-on every single time he's wrong. [ applause ]
>> no teleprompter. >> we run a very frugal campaign, we couldn't afford one. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> but i've already promised that if the president will agree to seven three-hour debates in the lincoln-douglas tradition, he can use a teleprompter if he wants to. and i'll get to that in a second. but i want you to know that in the morning we are going on to alabama. [ applause ] >> we're going on to mississippi, we're going on to
kansas. and that's just this week. i was actually in huntsville this afternoon starting off our alabama effort, and i want to say to all of you, any of you who have friends anywhere in the country if you can e-mail them, if you can post on facebook something as simple as "newt equals 2.50 a gallon gasoline" go to twitter and put i in #2.50gas. we run a very inexpensive campaign. i want to give you one example of how profoundly different we are, both from the other candidates and from the president. one that i would love to debate this president about. that is the one a number of you are holding signs for. i want us to have an american energy policy so no president will ever again bow to a saudi king. [ applause ]
>> newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt, newt. >> i want you to imagine the debate this fall, the president was right the other day. he's so nervous about gasoline prices and energy that he's done two major speeches and i thought today in one of the most shallow and self-serving comments by a president i've heard in a long time, he was candid in his press conference. he said you know, i'm really worried about higher gas prices because it will make it harder for me to get reelected. i did not make this up. it was just nice to know the president once again has managed to take the pain of the american people and turn it in his own
personal problem. now, the fact is i'd love to debate this president because when you read these speeches, they are so deliciously incohere incoherent, they are the perfect case study of liberalism run amuck. the president says republicans have three strategies. strategy number one is drilling. strategy number two is drilling. strategy number three is drilling. i want to say to him mr. president this is one of the rare occasions i can say you are right! [ applause ] but the president had an alternative to drilling this is why debating him would be one of those moments where you could almost sell tickets for charity.
[ laughter ] the president said -- >> algae, i mean i think this summer as gas prices keep going up, one of our campaign techniques should have people go to gas stations with a jar of algae, and say to people, would you rather have the gingrich solution of drilling and having more oil or would you like to try to put this in your gas tank? i mean you can't -- i'm amazed "saturday night live" hasn't taken that speech and turned it in a skit. you can't make this stuff up. what made it really incoherent,
the president two paiges why drilling doesn't work, we had this great breakthrough in natural gas. we now have thanks to new technology over 100 years supply of natural gas. that in fact we'll create 600,000 new jobs in the next decade out of natural gas. and i am still waiting for one of the reporters at the white house to come out of their comatose reelect obama stance and ask the following question, how does the president think we discovered the natural gas? because of course the answer is -- >> drilling! >> right? now, i came up with a specific proposal to make vivid that there could be a better future in practical terms. so i proposed $2.50 a gallon as
our goal. [ applause ] >> i have to say my daughter jackie was off campaigning with herman cain and after two days of campaigning with herman she said maybe we should change that. maybe it should be 2.4999. [ laughter ] >> to his credit, herman said no. that will not work as a marketing device, stick with 2.50, which she is very good at. i picked $2.50. i picked it by asking the oil experts what is a price at which you would have continuous exploration because my goal is to have energy independence so we are free of the middle east. [ applause ] >> when the iranians practiced
closing the straits of hormuz which one out of every five barrels of oil flow, the short term answer is the u.s. navy and air force and ultimatum, the closing the straits would be an act of war and their government would cease to exist. [ applause ] >> but the long term solution is to create american energy independence so we could say to china, india and europe, you have a problem in the straits of hormuz we hope you can solve it, we're not in charge of it. [ applause ] now, the fact is that 2.50 is attainable. governor romney came to town and said i was pandering. by picking that.
and i just want to explain to the governor, no, this is called leading. [ applause ] leaders create large goals, leaders create a vision of a better future, leaders arouse the american people to do great things. leaders believe the american people could easily achieve energy independence if the government got out of the way. [ applause ] >> so if your friends ask you why we are emphasizing $2.50 and is it practical, first of all go to newt.org, we have there an entire 30 minute speech which outlines why it's doable and practical.
i wrote a book back in 2008, calista and i did a movie "we have the power" this is clearly doable. but in addition, point out three numbers to them. the price of gasoline whether i speaker was $1.13. the price of gasoline when barack obama became president was $1.89. all of this gigantic increase came from his policies. finally, if you remember the natural gas story the president so proud of? we have now developed so much natural gas that supply is outrunning demand and the price has fallen from 797 to around $2.86. translate that as a percentage decline and this is by the way within an 11% increase in production. they haven't doubled it, they haven't gotten to 25% yet. in 11% increase in production,
suddenly changed the whole equasion of supply and demand. now, if you had the same experience with oil, you would end up at $1.13, what it was when i was speaker. 2.50 is a long way from a radical number. 2.50 is a practical, cautious, doable number. and my goal over the next few weeks is to drive home to every american we don't have to be trapped in a department of anti-energy, we don't have to be trapped with an epa which destroys jobs. we doenl have to be trapped with a president who refuses to build the keystone pipeline, refuses to reopen the gulf refuses to develop alaska. [ applause ] don with your help we'll get enough people to come to newt.org and sign up, we have 173,000 donors
already, 95% of them give less than $250. we have a place you can come in and give one newt gallon, that is $2.50. if you get excited you can give ten newt gallons. that is $25. with your help we're going to go on to tampa and win the nominatio nomination. [ applause ] >> thank you, good luck and god bless you! [ applause ] former house speaker newt gingrich ebullient talking to supporters in atlanta where he was won the georgia primary tonight. just after 9:00 p.m. on the east coast, here is where things stand right now on super tuesday. ohio the biggest prize of the night, the race there, continues to be too close to call. right now 21% of the vote in, too close to call between rick
santorum and mitt romney. the caucuses are also underway in north dakota, but we have no characterization of the race there. some of the states we have called, in tennessee, it's former pennsylvania senator rick santorum who is the projected winner of the tennessee republican primary. that is a big and somewhat surprising victory for mr. santorum. mr. santorum is also the projected winner in oklahoma. in massachusetts, no surprise, mitt romney is patriot jeked winner in the state in which he was governor, his home state of massachusetts. as we mentioned in georgia, newt gingrich won the primary in his home state. in virginia there were only two people on the ballot, mitt romney and ron paul. mitt romney has won that two-man race over dr. paul. gingrich and santorum not on the ballot in virginia. in vermont, the green mountain state, mitt romney the projected winner. listening to newt gingrich i have to tell you my biggest impression how happy he is. he's giving the 2012 version of
the drill baby drill thing from 2008 and he's never been more delighted by anything this his life makes me happy to see politicians happy with what they are doing even when he had a lot of -- >> his own drilling area is limited to contiguous territory. he has won south carolina, georgia and the panhandle of florida. as you know advertisis th notic going to to alabama. >> basically he's a cluster, i could throw a noun but he is a cluster of states where he will not break out from, but hold that southeast. santorum on the other hand is interesting, we're watching that tonight. i don't know, maybive ee not asked for the right information, i don't know who will win in ohio, i don't know when the experts know it or not. my sense is they don't know yet. my sense is nobody will know by midnight. have some coffee, if santorum
can squeak this guy by two votes like he did in iowa, if he can win this tonight on top of the two southern states, look out. it's a break out opportunity for him. if he can't, it's just an okay i'm still in the race night, am i right? it's a big casino tonight. >> winning for santorum, we can't overstress this involves the survival of a bombardment from mitt romney the likes of which we have not seen in presidential primary campaigns before this. it is an amazing achievement for santorum to be as close as he is in tennessee and ohio under what happened to him with romney. >> ed, you look -- >> we need to say something about the complete misinformation that newt gingrich put out about gas prices. he said that the reason why gas prices are where they are right now is because of president obama's policies. what were the policies under president bush when gas prices were higher than what they are right now? first of all, how can anybody
keep any credibility with the american people and not talk about speculation on wall street when you talk about oil prices, gas prices? you can't do it. he lost all credibility in the energy sector tonight. he's lying to the american people if he has the formula to get us guaranteed down to $2.50 a gallon. i don't mean to diss the south but low information voters might grab on to that, but i don't know. >> let me point out one fact checking matter. >> you talk about credibility outright lied. >> he paraphrased the president saying he said at the press conference he only cares about high gas prices because it will affect his chances at reelection he said i'm not make it up. and all of us said "yes you are making it up" because this what is the president actually said in the press conference. >> your critics will say on capitol hill you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before that will wean the
american people off fossil fuels on renewable fuels, how do you respond to that? >> ed, from a political perspective, do you think the president going in a reelection wants gas prices to go higher? is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense? look, here is the bottom line with respect to gas prices. i want gas prices lower because they hurt families. because i meet folks every day who have to drive a long way to get to work and them filling up those gas tanks gets more and more painful and it's coming out of their paychecks. and a lot of folks are operating on the margins right now. it's not good for the economy. when gas prices go up, consumer spending often times pulls back. and we're in the midst right now of a recovery that is starting to build up steam and we don't want to reverse it. >> that was what newt gingrich
paraphrased. >> see, see? >> i'm not making this up. >> that was a different ed that asked that question. i want to clarify that. >> is there a republican rule in place, whenever they say "the president said x" it is always a lie. the president said everyone should go to college. no, he didn't. never said anything close to that. he said this reasonable thing about the technical schools for some people, different ways to do this but do something, anything you can do beyond high school. just like this, whenever they say "the president said x" it's never true. i haven't found one instance on my show where what they described the president saying is anything close to what the president's words are. >> did we notice he brought up "saturday night live" steve i thought of you when he said this. he's making fun of the president on biofuels and al gee. whether or not you believe that is the way for, a lot of
republicans have been pursuing biofuels for their districts, but this is the guy who wants the 51st state to be the moon. and he's make the case that "saturday night live "ought to be making fun of the president. >> i don't know what to say about the speech. it kind of defies description. look, i think that he has a strategy to accumulate a couple of states, he's clearly decided he's going to talk about energy issues, he thinks this is the ticket to wrap-up the southern states, we'll see how it plays out but i think his campaign is a serious matter for the presidency ended a while ago, nothing he said tonight changes my mindle. >> do you think santorum's campaign is serious? >> i do think it's a serious campaign particularly if he can squeak by in ohio. certainly by winning two states,
there is no rationale for people to say to get out of the race. he earned the right to stay in, compete for another week, it's a close race in ohio. i still think that a win is a win. if mitt romney wins ohio, he takes a giant step forward to being the republican nominee. if he loses ohio, i think this race is in unchartered territory. >> i think though, steve, with all due respect, i'm serious, i think gingrich candidacy is a serious need of a couch, because he seemed to really have a lot of bitterness. he attacked everybody in the race, very personal terms. he went through everything he ever achieved. he seemed to be going through a therapy of himself in front of the american public. when he should have been making the case to the people of alabama and others why to vote for me. he never appealed to the people, it was all this guy did this to me, the establishment did this, he never saw a vision of anything, telling the people
that stood by him he could have went and done that all in adelson's living room, that is who he should have made the speech to, that who is stood by him. one man in vegas revived him, he should have flown to vegas and gave the first part of the speech to one man. >> he made a speech for that man and threatened to bring this country to war over oil. he said if the iranians close the strait of hormuz we will go to war over oil after saying my plan is make this country energy self-su h self-sufficient. >> after we kraushed -- crushed saudi arabia. >> it's so close in ohio, we saw santorum is leading by a little bit. >> could we put up -- >> santorum's opinion on birth control and women's health issues are really hurting him. there is 38% of republican female voters are supporting
mitt romney, 29% are supporting rick santorum. that reflect as 10 point shift in a week. >> wow. >> if you look at that shift and look at where santorum is right now -- >> so close. >> had he had gone down the road of the women's issues, had he stayed on the economy, that gap might be a heck of a lot different than right now. santorum might be up further than what he is right now. i'm not saying he's going to win it, this is not a bad number in ohio for rick santorum, considering he did not win catholic women in michigan, he did not win the women's vote in michigan. and he is now losing shaving 10% off of his women's support in ohio, yet he still leads and he wins in oklahoma tonight and also in tennessee. what's happening here? >> santorum is doing all that with the gingrich vote drain everywhere he goes. so -- >> and no money. >> he has to suffer the gingrich math pulling the voters away. when you still look at the
number, ed, rom nice still getting a minority of women in ohio. >> former presidential candidate howard dean, happy to have you with us tonight. >> hi, rachel, hey guys. >> we are looking at ohio with increased interest. rick santorum winning in oklahoma and tennessee, what will the results in ohio ultimately tell us how important for the general? >> it's a big -- i don't know how important it is for the general, this is a small sliver of the electorate voting, republicans only, so i would say if romney wins it's probably still his to lose. if santorum wins, it may land on the floor, we'll see. >> i have to do you hold on, because rick santorum is stag the stage in steubenville, ohio, we will be back with him until a moment. he was won oklahoma, he was won tennessee he's in ohio and
addressing his happy supporters. >> thank you. thank you for coming out steubenville, ohio, god bless you, thank you for being here. [ applause ] >> for the folks listening at home, we're in steubenville, ohio. [ applause ] >> not too many presidential candidates come to steubenville, ohio, much less hold their victory party in steubenville, ohio. [ applause ] . >> we're in a high school gymnasium. i just came from our war room.
which doubles as the weight room for the lst. was pumping iron to get myself psyched for coming out here. and we just prepared our talk, where many talks were prepared for this gym floor, in the coach's room. this is our roots. here behind me is part of our family. because this is where we're from. we're from down here in the area of southeastern ohio, southwestern pennsylvania, where the folks who worked hard and built this country lived and worked for many, many decades. [ applause ] >> i'm particularly excited to be here with my family. when i say my family, i mean not just my family of our immediate
family, but my mom, who is right here, that is my mom kaye, 93! [ applause ] >> and karen' mother and father, thank you! [ applause ] >> i got my brother here and his family, and karen has several -- karen is one of 11 children so you can imagine -- brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, we have a great crew back here. all behind us. all behind us. because this campaign is about the towns that have been left behind and the families that made those towns the greatest towns across this country. [ applause ]
this was a big night tonight, lots of states, we're going to win a few, we'll lose a few. but as it looks right now, we're going to get at least a couple gold medals, and a whole passel of silver medals. [ applause ] we can add to iowa, missouri, minnesota, colorado, now oklahoma and tennessee! [ applause ] >> we have won in the west the midwest, and the south, and we're ready to win across this country! [ applause ]
>> i want to thank again my wife, i know that those who have seen her on the campaign trail, the common refrain is more karen, less rick but i'm working on it. i'm trying to get as good as she is at this political stuff, but she has been an amazing partner for me and my conscience, my biggest supporter, my most important, my most honest critic and someone who kept our family together and continues to do remarkable and incredible things every day for me and all of us, thank you very much, my love. [ applause ] >> we have almost all the kids here. we have john, sarah maria, where are you? patrick, elizabeth, peter and
daniel. they are all wearing buttons for our little bella. we have everybody here. we went up against enormous odds, not just here in the state of ohio where who knows how much we were outspent but every state. there wasn't a single state in the list that i just gave you where i spent more money than the people i was able to defeat to win that state. in every case we overcame the odds, here in ohio, still too close to call. [ applause ] but just like the folks in steubenville and throughout the ohio valley and all the valleys of this country, that are the heart and soul of the country,
they worked hard and overcame odds. they are part of the greatest generation of america. [ applause ] they preserve d liberty by sacrificing to keep this country free from despots. ladies and gentlemen, it's a bit different battle we're engaged in today but no less a battle for the basic liberties that this country was founded upon. we have a group of people in washington and in other places around this country who believe that the elites in washington are the ones who should be making the decisions for all of
us, and they have systematically gone and grown the size and scale of government to beyond where it's unrecognizable. we are running deficits where we are borrowed 40 cents of every dollar. as you look at all the young people here, the leaders in washington are saying to you "on your tab" and you will pay for this. the rest of your life. what right does a government have to do that to the next generation? we have people who believe that america's best days are behind us. they believe that it's no longer possible for free enterprise, a free economy and free people to be able to build strong communities and families and be able to provide for themselves and their neighbors. no, we now need an increasingly
powerful federal government to do this for us. [ boos ] >> the reason karen and i ultimately decided to get in the race was because of that issue and in particular one issue. i've said it almost every stump speech i've given. if it wasn't for one particular issue, that to me breaks the camel's back, with respect to liberty in this country, and that is the issue of obama-care. [ boos ] >> what we will go to in a very short period of time, the next two years, a little less than 50% of the people in this country depend on some form of federal payment, some form of government benefit to help provide for them. after obama-care, it will not be less than 50%, it will be 100%. now, every single american will
be looking to the federal government, not to their neighbor, not to their church, not to their business or to their employer, or to the community or non-profit organization in their community. will be looking always to those in charge. to those who now say to you that they are the allocate tore and creator of rights in america. ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the end of freedom in america. once the government has control of your life, then they gotcha. that is why we decided to step out, as you look karen and i have seven children. ages -- [ applause ]
>> in order to make that happen the republican party has to nominate somebody who can talk about the broad vision of what america is, as i talk about it in every one of my speeches i talk a how important it is we remember who we are. ronald reagan in his farewell address to the american people worried about whether america would remember what made us great, that we are not a great country because we have a great and powerful government, we are a great country because we believe that rights don't come from the government, but as in our founding document, the declaration of independence says, our rights come to us from our creator. [ applause ]
>> the government's job and constitution of this country was intended to do one thing, protect those rights so each and every one of you would have the opportunity to build their own life to take your own path, to create a strong family, strong neighborhood community, states and country. that is what made america great. we built a great country from the bottom up. and we need people to go up against president obama and his vision of a top-down government control of not just health care, but energy, manufacturing, financial services, and who knows what else is next. but this is a president who believes, who believes that he simply is better able to do this
than you are, that he will be fairer than you are. with your fellow man. ladies and gentlemen, this is ele election about fundamental liberty. the piece of legislation that points this out where you have economic rights created by the government, and then the government using its heavy hand to force you to buy insurance, to force you to take policies that you don't want, and of course to force you to take coverages that may even violate your faith convictions. [ boos ] >> in this race there is only one candidate who can go up to the most important issue of the day and make the case because i've never been for an individual mandate. at a state or federal level. i've never -- [ applause ]
>> rick, rick, rick, rick, rick, rick, rick, rick. [ applause ] >> i've never passed a state-wide government run health care system when i was governor because well, i wasn't governor, but governor romney did, and now we find out this week not only did he pass it in massachusetts, he advocated for it to be passed in washington d.c. in the middle of the debate on health care. [ boos ] >> it's one thing to defend a mandated top-down government run health care program that you imposed on the people of your state. it's another thing to recommend and encourage the president of the united states to impose the same thing on the american people and it's another thing
yet to go out and tell the american public that you didn't do it. we need a person running against president obama who is right on the issues and truthful with the american public. [ applause ] >> this race provides a great opportunity for a great contrast, big things have to happen in this country to bring us back from the brink of insolvency. big things have to happen so we can secure our freedom and as i talked about this morning, in front of apac, that we have a president that stands with our allies and defends the country and does not apologize for america around the world. [ applause ]
>> we need a fighter, we need a fighter and someone who learned what america was about by growing up in communities just like this. understanding how america, neighborhoods and families work. and believing in them. understanding they are under a lot of stress and strain right now. much of which is put upon them by the government. understanding that that is the greatness of our country. my mom and my mother-in-law and father in law represent here on this stage the greatest generation. [ applause ]
>> mom is hamming it up over there, okay. >> go mom! >> the greatest generation was the greatest generation not because they had greater character or courage or perseverence than those of us today. the greatest generation was great because when freedom was at stake, they rose to meet the call to defend this country. [ applause ] at a time when freedom is at stake and you are all blessed as i am to be here at a time when
your country needs you. to be here at a time like the original founders of this country who signed that declaration of independence. to be here at a time when freedom was at stake and people were willing to go out and do heroic and courageous things to win that victory. i want to thank all of you here in ohio, for overcoming enormous odds to make this a great night for us here in the buckeye state. [ applause ] >> i want to thank mike and fran dewine for all the help and support and standing up and fighting for me throughout the course of this time, thank you. [ applause ]
>> tonight it's clear, it's clear we've won races all over this country against the odds, when they thought okay he's finally finished, we keep coming back. [ applause ] >> we are in this thing. we are in this thing not because i so badly want to be the most powerful man in this country. it's because i want so badly to return the power to you in this country. [ applause ]
thank you, steubenville god bless you and god bless america. rick santorum speaking in a high school auditorium in steubenville, ohio, ohio is too close to call. senator santorum has won in oklahoma and won in tennessee, where he spoke from in that high school auditorium in ohio is a place from which he cannot win delegates tonight even if he does very, very well in ohio. senator santorum's campaign having organizational difficulties, did not file a full slate of delegates and that gives you a sense of the crazy narratives that created the strange, long primary process on the republican side. in ohio it's too close to call, rick santorum is having a big, big night. but his own organizational difficulties preventing him from
capitalizing on that even in terms of the delegates. >> well, if he hangs on in ohio, he has the early lead in north carolina, there is a lot of territory being taken up by rick santorum -- >> north dakota. >> there is a lot of taken up by him tonight. and surprisingly considering all the issues that he has had with the media, we were talking earlier about the political s f self-inflicted wounds and the road he travelled, as far as women's issues, but it looks like he's recovering somewhat from it. and if you look at the maps where he's win, i mean rural america is coming out to work for this guy. they are going with rick santorum. all across in every state that he has won, he has beaten mitt romney in the rural areas. and even when there is low voter turnout in some of the states, he still does it. he was qui he was to point out, i said this is a long speech.
>> you take the free stuff when you don't have money. >> he's not only taking the free stuff but taking territory that was very conservative in 2008, that mccain did very well. >> i got to say i realize this is not supposed to be the narrative of the night but i look at this map and i look at results and i think if newt gingrich or rick santorum was out of the race, the other guy left in the race could very well beat mitt romney. as long as both stay in the race, mitt romney's likely going to win as a very weak winner of the primary process, but as long as santorum and gingrich think there is a path, neither of them have a path. one of then has to get out. >> that is the math romney was relying on the start. he liked it when there were more of them, splitting it up. i think it's clear that santorum would be the one who could go the longer distance, between santorum and gingrich. and so the question becomes is there any form of pressure coming out of this on gingrich?
is there anything that anyone can say to gingrich about do you really want to stop romney or is this now about your ego going forward? >> he thinks he can win alabama, it is knin a week. >> south carolina, a couple weeks ago now, romney got 28%. 28% in tennessee, 27% in octobeoctobe october -- oklahoma. >> is it okay to have a southern problem? >> it's a problem. that is the base of the modern republican party, southern party and he can't win in the south. >> he has a religion problem, romney does. 75% of the people that came out tonight in tennessee were asked the question whether religion mattered and they said some what or great deal, most of them said some what or great deal, and santorum beat romney 2-1, 75% of the people in tennessee said religion matters. this is a real southern problem
for mitt romney. he bought florida beyond that, virginia, as you say, only two on the ballot there, but where else will he win down there? >> it is clear that the republicans will win alabama, okay, great, but some of those kind of voters exist in ohio, they exist in all of these swing states. and what does that voter do when romney comes along if romney comes along in a general election in a swing state? does the the voter stay home? does that voter find something of another candidate, third party candidate on the ballot? that is where it counts. it doesn't count in the southern, oklahoma, president obama won't win oklahoma. romney, if he's the nominee will get the victory. what about all the people who think like that vote like that in the state. >> you're saying don't look at the problem of the south because the republicans will vote for whoever the candidate is in the south, but there is a little bit of the south all over the country. >> where else do you find that mentality in swing states? >> reverend al, when you look at
the math, does that make sense to you? >> makes a whole lot of sense, i think that is the real problem they will have. i think also, ed is saying, if 75% of the people are dealing with religion and i know romney's people have always been concerned about that, it might be why he's not trying to get in deeply in a lot of these debates about religion and social issues, because he's afraid how far they will drill down. >> because those are too close to faith. >> very close to faith. he don't need a faith debate in this campaign. >> why are we seeing santorum speak before conclusion in ohio and mitt romney speaking before conclusion in ohio? because nobody wants to make a concession speech. >> they want to get on tv before 10:00, they want to make their case to the country. ann romney is speaking now. this shot is a little counter intuitive, this is in boston. in massachusetts, which is the rom know family's home state, where mr. romney was governor, and also where he and ann rom
knee voted today at their polling place in belmont, massachusetts, wealthy suburb outside of boston. the idea here that what is important about that for tonight, newt gingrich was unable to cast a ballot for himself in the state where he now lives in virginia because he did not make it on the ballot. even though mitt romney i don't think would want to be speaking to the country from massachusetts on the night like this -- >> biggest win yet over 60% in massachusetts. >> we began tonight talking about with regard to rick santorum that tonight could be the night where he's denied a rationale to keep going forward. i think he handled the optics of tonight pretty brilliantly. he came out early, he came out with enthusiasm, he looks like a winner, he sounded like a winner, even before we know the outcome of ohio, he certainly validated his ticket on to the next round going forward. i do think to lawrence's point it will be interesting to see if pressure mounts from the right on gingrich to clear out, for
santorum and with the issue in the south, a republican nominee could become the nominee the wholesale rejected by all the southern states, but it really becomes then an unhappy arranged marriage with significant consequences i think in the general election. >> what kind of consequences? >> it means there is an unenthusiastic party that the base of the party, cultural heart is the tension with the nominee. there has not been an example of that in recent history. >> asked jimmy carter what it was like to be president without the party base. it's very uncomfortable. nobody wants to be separated from their party base. i worked for tip oneill, the only time he was uncomfortable was lebanon when he wasn't connected to the party base. >> have we ever seen a group of folks dislike the president as much as they dislike president obama? >> in terms of the southern voters they may not love mitt
romney. >> will mitt ask for money tonight, we going down the road again? >> on the night of michigan and arizona the first time he ever mentioned his website. you see newt gingrich like rudy giuliani talking about 9-11, every third word is newt.org. and he just made me say it, too, but romney had never before told anyone to go to mittromney.com. >> i can't wait to see the rachel surge in contributions. go to newt.org. >> give a rachel gallon, it's a penny. >> is he the least tea party looking person you've ever seen in your life? >> look at him standing there like the gentile gentlemen, he's not one of them. >> steve, what are we watching where the wives of the candidates in the case of gingrich and romney take the microphone first?
this is new. >> it's -- look i think ann romney is an enormous asset for him i expect you will see more of her in a close race going forward. >> let's go to mitt romney speaking to his supporters in massachusetts. >> thanks, guys. >> go mitt go, go mitt go. go mitt go. >> she is -- she is the best and that was my son tag with her and his wife jen and their children, ali and joe, thomas, great to have my family to be back in our home of massachusetts. it's wonderful to be able to go home tonight for the first time in two months. [ applause ] >> ann said it right, what a great night. there are three states now tonight under our belt and counting, we're going to get more before the night is over. we're on our way. [ applause ] >> we're so excited to be at the
base state tonight celebrating with family and friends who worked tirelessly on the campaign. and of course it's such an honor to have the citizens i served as governor as part of our cause. your support really means everything to ann and me. i'm not going to let you down, i'm going to get the nomination. [ applause ] >> tonight we're doing counting. counting up delegates for the convention looks good and counting down the days until november and that looks even better. [ applause ] >> we're going to take your vote, a huge vote tonight in massachusetts and take that victory all the way to the white house. [ applause ] >> all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way.
>> now it's been -- it's been a long -- a long road getting to super tuesday. let me be honest. and my opponents have worked very hard. i want to congratulate newt gingrich on a good night in georgia and rick santorum on his good night and ron paul for his steadfast commitment to our constitution and his strong support almost every where you go, he has good followers, thanks, you guys, nice races. [ applause ] >> now, we officially started our campaign about nine months ago, not far from here at a farmhouse in new hampshire, a beautiful spring day, full of hope and promise. a day that made us recognize once again how lucky we are to be americans. what we launched that day was an effort not just to win more votes or more delegates, it was the start of an effort to restore the promise of america. a promise we know has been frayed by difficult times.
we sounded our call from airport tarmacs to factory floors, to door-to-door, heart-to-heart, face-to-face across the country. i met with moms and dads and teachers and students and factory workers and business owners. i've listened and i've learned. i hope i'm a better candidate for the way having done all that. [ applause ] >> i'm going to forever be grateful for you for the help you've given me and grateful to all the people who helped me through the process and taught me along the way. i met some extraordinary folks, i met someone named norm burn, who for me exemplifies the innovative spirit that built the country. norm didn't go to college, didn't get an engineering degree, he has 100 patents in his name. he turned a small shop in his basement in a successful company that employs a lot of people. it's successful
company that employs a lot of people. it's entrepreneurs like him that are going to get the country back on track if we can get the government out of the way. i've met parents like david mcarthur, maybe you saw him on the huckabee show. whose children in his case have served their country in war. david's son was seriously injured in afghanistan. he only returned from the front lines to face a new fight, to get the medical care he needed. and he surely has earned. and as i told david i believe that to those who put everything on the line for us. we owe everything to them that they need. america's vet rafrnz, they deserve a lot better than long lines and reduced benefits. as president i'm going to make
sure they get the care they deserve. so in running for office i've had the chance of meeting people like norm and david and their stories are inspiring. but i've also met some people who are hurting under this stagnant obama economy. and their stories are heartbreaking. some people lost their jobs. others are working two jobs to make ends meet. some used to be middle income and now they're struggling again right back where they started. the prices for gasoline and food and clothing and health care keep going up, but their paychecks stay the same if they're lucky. president obama keeps telling these americans that the recovery is here. but for them, the recession is not over, that's for sure. from generation to generation in this country americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better. we've always believed in a
tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity. and security. that deep confidence in a better tomorrow, is the basic promise of america. but today that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy, and a failed presidency. to the millions of americans who look around and can only see jobs they can't get and bills that they can't pay, i have a message. you have not failed. have you a president that's failed you, and that's going to complaining. >> president obama -- [ crowd chanting usa ] >> when with he was campaigning president obama said he would create jobs. but for 36 straight months
unemployment has been above 8%. he said he would cut the deficit in half, and he's doubled it. the debts today are too high, the opportunities are too few. we've seen enough this president over the last three years to know we don't need another five of this president. that's for sure. look, i've said -- [ crowd chanting ] >> this president has run out of ideas, he's run out of excuses and in 2012 we're going to get him out of the white house. now, president obama seems to believe he's unchecked by the constitution. he's unresponsive to the will of our people. he operates by command instead of consensus.
in a second term, he would be unrestrained of the demands of re-election. if there's one thing we cannot afford is four years of barack obama with no one to answer to. so these days. you're the president and his team, they keep telling us things are going to get better. but 24 million americans are still struggling for work. they're high fiving each other in the west wing. my friends, the truth is,% unemployment is not the best america can do, it's just the best that this administration can do. when i'm president, this american economy will not be lagging behind. this american economy will be leading the world as it has and as it should. and as it will do in the future.
for this -- [ crowd chanting ] >> you know, for this administration, the unemployment numbers are another statistic, standing in the way of a second term. but those are more than numbers on a spreadsheet. tonight i'd like to say to each of them, you are not forgotten. we will not leave you behind. our campaign is on the move and real change is finally on the way. >> these times may be tough. but our citizens still believe
in the promise of america, and they deserve a president who believes in them. that's why our campaign is about more than just replacing a president. it's about restoring america's promise and we will do. we won't settle -- we won't settle for this president's new normal. i'm offering a real choice and a new beginning. i have a plan that will deliver new jobs, less debt and a smaller government. president obama raised the national debt, i will cut, cap and balance the budget, finally. he passed obama care, i will repeal obama care. he lost our aaa credit rating, i
will restore our aaa credit rating. amazingly, he rejected the keystone pipeline, i will approve it. you know, he has stalled domestic energy production, i'm going to open our lands for development, so we can finally get the energy we need at a price we can afford. when it comes to the economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not worrying about saving my job. and by the way, i have a pro-growth jobs plan that's going to jump start the economy. president obama wants to raise your taxes, i'm going to cut them. that starts with an across the board 20% rate cut for every
american. we're also going to repeal the alternative minimum tax and i will finally abolish the death tax. the president's proposed raising taxes for job creators. i will cut taxes for job creators. the president wants to raise taxes on savings and investment. i will help middle class families save and invest tax fr free. it's interesting after three years, this president does not have a serious proposal for saving medicare or social security. i have a plan that saves both them. and i have the courage to put the plan on the table and we'll win with the truth. as president i will get our economy back on track and get
our citizens back to work. and unlike president obama i actually have the experience to deliver on that promise. as you know, i spent 25 years in business. i've been the steward of the olympics and this great state we're in tonight. i turned a budget shortfall into a surplus. i know how government kills jobs, and i know how it can help create jobs. i stand ready to lead our party. and i stand ready to lead our nation to prosperity. [ crowd chanting ] >> i've said this before, and i'm going to say it again. this campaign is not just about
a name on a ballot. it's about saving the soul of america. and it's driven by an unshakable optimism that lives within the heart of every american citizen. we know our future is brighter and better than these tough times. we've been knocked down, we've been tested. but we don't accept that an america has limits. we get up every morning and thank god that we're americans. and we know. [ crowd chanting ] we also know with hard work and strong leadership, with the president that will tell the truth the president to live with integrity. thanks to the american people. and tonight we've taken one more
step toward restoring the promise of tomorrow. tomorrow we wake up and we start again. and the next day we'll do the same. and so we'll go day by day, step by step, door by door heart to heart. there will be good days, there will be bad days. always long hours, never enough time to get everything done. but on november 6th, we're going to stand united. not only having won an election, but having saved a future. it's time to believe in ourselves. it's time to believe in ourselves, it's time to believe in america. and i'm asking you to join our cause. we need your energy and conviction and your commitment i'm asking for you to pledge your support at mittromney.com. i'm asking you to join in the fight for our freedom, and ensure that tomorrow will be
better than today. let's go forward together and restore the promise of america. together let's fight for the america we love. thank you, and god bless this great land. god bless the united states of america. thanks, you guys. >> former massachusetts governor mitt romney speaking in massachusetts tonight. addressing his supporters. we do not yet know the results in ohio. it's still too close to call in that race. as you saw, the numbers going by while mr. romney was speaking, the numbers on your screen. we've all been watching those numbers coming in in ohio, wondering what's going to happen. the difference between rick santorum and mitt romney is just 10,000 votes. a lot of that still to come in. that's just a fascinating race to be watching right now. rick santorum has won in oklahoma and tennessee. but ohio we knew was going to be the big prize tonight.
to have that still undecided at this point is remarkable. >> it's an amazing night for people who care about this country. and it's politics, everything will turn on this. we've been watching the trend over the last week or so. it's been all in romney's favor. all the big money, he poured tremendous advertising this weekend. we saw there were a lot of people deciding for him. tonight we're learning the late deciders are going with santorum. it's an inspiring fact that the american people can surprise us all the time. i tell you, we have to talk about that romney speech tonight. that was the most -- is he the american candidate running against somebody else, running against the nonamerican candidate. it's brilliant apple pie. i'm not going to say the rest of it, it's playing home team politics against a guy who he can play to his pace as somewhat exotic, somewhat foreign, right? >> different. he's the other. and i think that's the impressive campaign against the president, which is a very biassed campaign. and i think that he needs to be
called out on that. >> america, america, america. who is the other team? >> he's the president of the united states he's running against. but he talks like he's talking about somebody other than -- >> an interhoper. >> right. >> nbc's tom brokaw is with us to give his perspective on these events. tom, it is always fun to cover a night like super tuesday, but to have ohio unresolved at this point is riveting. i'm fascinated by the republicans inability to gather around a single candidate. what's your thinking on this? >> it's going to be close enough, obviously, that if rick santorum finishes just a close second it will give him more than enough reason to go on and take this probably all the way to tampa this summer. that's the great worry of a lot of republicans across the country. a lot of members in the republican establishment who have already endorsed governor
romney. earlier today we were talking to voters obviously, and what were the big issues on their mind? electability by a factor of 2 to 1 over almost everything else. and yet romney could not close the deal definitively at least in ohio. no republican has ever won the presidency without winning ohio. so this is an important race going on here tonight. and all the indications are, that what has been a very long contentious primary season will go on a good deal longer and could continue all the way into tampa. that would be a nightmare for the party. everyone remembers what happened with bob dole and the republican party in 1996 when they were getting ready to run against bill clinton who had already ensnared himself in a number of controversies, and yet it all came apart in san diego on the podium. >> in terms of mr. romney
engaging with that concern. i think we heard him speaking to that a little bit tonight. speaking if not to the pundits to the establishment in his own party when he described himself as having become a stronger candidate by virtue of the length of the primary process. essentially saying, i haven't been weakened, i haven't been made stronger here. don't worry about my candidacy despite the fact i'm ready to close the deal. does he have to worry about elders of the party turning on him, or wondering why he can't close the deal? having to decide to weigh-in on his behalf to get the other candidates out or look toward a desperate hail mary at the very end of the nominating process in tampa? >> well, i think the trouble for people who may be tempted to do that is, who is that hail mary? governor christie has made it clear he's not inclined to run. we've got no indications that jeb bush in florida would be the national candidate, he's not inclined to run. mitt romney has this curious
fault line running through his candidacy. just when he seems to be up on plain and headed for a victory, he makes a lot of these unforced errors, two cadillacs in the family, for example. he seems not to be able to connect with the american people. the average american people. and there was that devastating profile on saturday night live about the kind of elite status that he has whenever he appears. so this is an issue that he's going to have to get resolved. he's going to have to be a lot more consistent. i thought in his speech, it wasn't very triumphant. he ended by saying, we have to get up and work harder. he knows he has a long trail ahead. he's honest about that at least. the difference between the public candidate mitt romney and the man who sat down at the table to do a deal, everyone who sat across from him said he was extremely well prepared. one said he came in with a game
plan, and if there was some alteration of that, he was not nearly as impressive if it went the way he wanted it to. >> that's fascinating insight. one last question. mr. romney's wealth is considerable. his wealth is greater than the combined lifetime peak wealth of the last eight or nine presidents i think. does it make a difference when he's trying to raise money from regular human beings who get a paycheck every month or every couple weeks. does it make a difference to know he hasn't contributed any his own fortune to the race? does that make a difference when he's trying to appeal for other people's money? >> i don't know about that. that's a hard question to answer. i think it's not so much that he's become a wealthy man, that's part of the american
dream. it's kind of how you wear your money. and he seems to wear his money as a very wealthy man. as he stood there tonight in his blue suit and tie, and chris was talking -- saying he didn't look like a member of the tea party. the fact,he has a patina about him wherever he goes. i don't know him well enough personally to know what he's like when he's offstage. when he's on stage, he always does look like he's a very wealthy guy who's kind of separated from the rang and file. >> tom brokaw, thank you so much, sir, appreciate having you here. thank you. >> my pleasure. >> howard fineman is with us as well. he's been talking to the santorum campaign specifically about ohio. we don't know who has won. how does the santorum campaign feel about what they're seeing so far in terms of results? >> well, rachel, i just got off the phone with rick santorum's
campaign manage r who's in stubenville in the gymnasium and the candidate just got done speaking. they're upstairs looking at their computer screens. what he told me is that they are waiting for some of their strong votes to come in, especially from counties in the northwestern part of the state. i'm looking at a map of ohio, including williams county and fulton county in the northwest where they think they will do very well and are doing very well. they're also waiting for votes from southeastern ohio, including jefferson county and some those counties near stubenville along the ohio river. they know they're not getting delegates from there, rachel as you've been explaining all night. they're going for a psychological win with here in a popular vote victory. those are his people in stubenville. they also concede looking at the map, that some of romney's key
areas have not fully recorded yet. mike biendo told me a few minutes ago, i didn't think we could hold this thing, but we might be able to hold it. and as you're watching the same numbers i'm watching, santorum is clinging to a 10,000 to 13,000 vote lead there. mike said to me, somewhat surprised at himself. he said, you know, i just think we might able to hold on to this thing. it's fascinating and dramatic, and it's the kind of thing that really is fun for us that cover politics. because the whole shape of this race, the whole tenor of this race going-forward is going to be determined by the votes that are yet to come in. it's down to the wire and biendo at least thinks they have a chance to win it. when i talked to mitt romney's people earlier tonight they were cautious. as i told you earlier, as we were the first to report.
they were lowering their expectations and spinning in advance and saying, maybe we won't get 1144 delegates, maybe we'll have to go to the party elders. we're going to have the largest number of delegates, the most wins in states, et cetera, et cetera. i think they felt in their bones this was going to be a good night, but not as great a night as they had hoped for. >> howard fineman, thank you. it's a great reminder actually, that momentum is directly related and directly proportional to expectations. when you hear howard reporting on the surprise delight by the santorum campaign manager, that they may be winning ohio, it tells you so much more about why ohio is so important. when someone wins some place that was thought to be a hard place for them to win, it matters more. a win is a win, but expectations and momentum are very closely
linked. we're joined now by mike dewine, he supports santorum. thanks for being with us, it's good to have you back. >> thank you very much. >> what are you hearing in your home state, in terms of the way the overall results are coming in? >> we can't tell yet frankly. it's very, very close. this is, i think close to a miracle because of the money that was spent by romney, you know, $12 million to rick's $1 million in the last couple weeks. i don't know how anyone survives that. the phone calls and the radio and the tv. and once again, governor romney has underperformed as far as what expectations were. and i think it's going to start dawning on people at some point, he's not connecting to the average voter, and he's a fundamentally flawed candidate because he can't appeal to those voters. you were mentioning a moment ago, rick is doing very well in
areas that he absolutely has to do well in the fall or any republican has to do. it's along the ohio river, right here in stubenville, these democrat areases these historically reagan democrat areas where republicans, if they win in ohio, they have to do very well here. this is where rick santorum is doing well in primary night. i think it gives you a pretty good indication where his streak is, and why he is the strongest candidate against barack obama. >> senator, attorney general, general, you have so many titles. >> i can't keep a job, my wife says. >> you know the old story abouted dog food. we've all heard it a million times, the advertisement's great, the cans are great, the dogs won't eat it, because they don't like it. this romney's problem? >> it is his problem. yes, chris, he has the
establishment behind him in ohio, 100%. he has got all the money in the world that anybody could spend. i think they're trying to figure out, how could we spend this money, they had so much of it, literally. when you get five or six phone calls in a five hour period time asty did on sunday. they got so much moneyny don't know what to do with it, and yet they can't pull these things off. people aren't buying it. even the people today who voted for romney, when you talk to them, i talked to some of them. they say, well, gee, i'd like to get this race over with. i thought if i voted for romney, would get the race over with. he's a candidate that's not selling. if we think we can beat barack obama with a guy who can't sell in the republican primary, i think we're dead wrong. >> long ago i was a political adviser, so to surprise everybody, i'm going to give rick santorum some advice. stick with the grandfather's big hands, the ones in the coffin. get off of women. get off of women's reproductive cycles or whatever, stick to the grandfather's hands, if you have
to get into particular organs and extremitities, focus on the hands of the grandfather, okay? will you tell him that? we'll all enjoy covering this campaign a lot more. would you do that? >> i think i will, i'll tell him you said that, but i think when you listen to him tonight, he was talking about that, talking about things that really resonate with blue collar workers -- >> no, he went back to the contraception. >> he's like dr. strange love. he can't hold the hand down. he has to talk about contraception. will he get off of that? >> he's pro-life, guys, he's going to be pro-life, that's the way it,i think that works very well in ohio and it works well in this part of the state. >> i think anti-contraception doesn't work anywhere in the country. >> it's lawrence o'donnell.
you said you've been getting bombed with romney robo calls at your home, was donald trump one of those calls and was it wise for mitt romney to have donald trump robo calls going into ohio? >> it wouldn't have been my pick. he had so many it's hard to keep track of after a while. i got one from romney today telling me to show up for a caucus tonight. they got so much money they hardly know what to do with with, but they don't have a candidate. they really don't, who can sell. whatever you think about rick, whether you agree with him or not, keselj on the stump, he has real passion. i think passion is what's going to beat barack obama in the fall. >> thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> let me tell you what's going on right now in ohio. we're 67% in, between rick
santorum and mitt romney, look at the margin here. 14,000 votes. just under two thirds of the vote in, this is an incredibly close race in ohio. mitt romney has won vermont and massachusetts and virginia, where it was just him and ron paul on the ballot tonight. rick santorum has won oklahoma and tennessee. but all eyes on ohio tonight as we try to figure this out. we will also be having some results later on from north dakota, from the great state of alaska, it is super tuesday, and msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues in a moment.
call. we now have 70% of the vote in, between rick santorum and mitt romney, the difference in votes is just over 15,000 votes. 70% in, too close to call in the buckeye state. joining us now is john harwood from cnbc and the new york times, mr. harwood has been talking from the romney campaign tonight. when you talk with with the romney folks, how are they addressing the tennessee issue and the oklahoma issue tonight? rick santorum winning both those states? >> they're acknowledging they have to get ahead of them to get the delegates they need. it's going to be difficult. they think they can still win the state ohio. i just got off the phone with a romney strategist who said big vote in cuyahoga county. about half the vote in cuyahoga is in, romney leads by almost 9,000 votes in that county. he's got to do better if they're counting on cuyahoga to do it. this race is clearly going to go
on, even if mitt romney manages to win ohio. i also talked to the santorum strategist tonight. they said they have a million dollars cash on hand, they're beginning to buy tv time tomorrow in kansas, alabama and mississippi. having won in the south, having competed on near even terms in ohio. maybe even winning ohio. they have an argument to keep this thing going. and one of the questions is going to be, does newt gingrich stay in having won georgia. he's hoping rick santorum may be able to beat romney. >> in terms of how it's better for romney when it's three or four people in the race, rather than just him and one other person. is the romney campaign going to make a bigger deal out of this thing that the candidate mentioned in the speech tonight, which is that this long process, it being drawn out is making him stronger. is it implicitly rebutting the allegation that the primary campaign is making for a weaker
general election? but also sort of making the case that have a lot of candidates banging around in this primary, it's a good thing for republicans. are they sticking with that? is that part of their central message right now because they don't want somebody like newt gingrich skip out. >> he's trying to make chicken salad out of the situation he's in. you say i'm getting stronger, even though you look at our poll this week, he and the republican party are both getting weaker in this. on the idea of candidates staying in, the republican media strategist for mitch daniels of indiana told me tonight if i were mitt romney i would be sending flowers to newt gingrich and say, please stay in, because you're going to prevent rick santorum from knocking me off. >> if you get any word of any communication between rick
santorum and mitt romney, call us first. i feel like we all have eyes on that dynamic. >> what i'm hearing from the santorum campaign is trying to -- in their own way, ratchet up pressure on gingrich to get out, just in the way that the romney campaign would like santorum to get out. basically saying, newt gingrich needed to win second almost every place, and he's not going to do that, in addition to winning georgia. there isn't a path for newt gingrich to win the nomination, but newt gingrich is operating on his own clock, his own decision making, ego, ambition, his long term goal as a politician and as somebody in the private sector. not easy to see exactly what is going to make or who is going to make newt gingrich get out and make it easier for rick santorum. >> john harwood, thank you very much. joining us now is michael moore, mr. moore is a famous michiganer and also an enthusiastic observer of republican politics
with which he disagrees with every word. michael, thank you for being with us. >> well, thanks. i think this is the first time i've been on with the entire prime time, msnbc crew all us together at once. i was just sitting here thinking, someone's going to take this tape for our military tribunal in 2018. >> let's just hope it's a tribunal and not a drone strike. >> yes, please. >> you and i spoke recently about the michigan primary. and the prospect of democrats getting involved and sort of operation chaos. operation hilarity there. democrats wanting to vote for rick santorum in michigan because a prolonged process would be bad for the republicans. we are getting a prolonged process. do you still think it will be bad for republicans and great for liberals such as yourself.
>> i said my friends were doing that. i actually didn't vote, because i'm prohibited biologically from voting for a republican, i was unable to vote that day. i think what's happening tonight, you know, everybody keeps saying, romney's going to be it, romney's going to be it, every time we have a night like this -- and if he loses ohio, i think this is going to quickly go from dog on car to man on dog. santorum -- listen, i would -- i mean, what does it say about romney, that he can't beat the guy who forgot to file the papers? i mean, the guy, he forgets to file the papers in virginia, and he wants to be president of the united states. in high school, i got kicked out of french club, i was the secretary of the club, i lost the minutes after one minute, that was it, i was out of -- i was run out of office. i don't understand how -- this
is just -- why are we here talking about this, this is the biggest clown show. it's just -- isn't the election over already? i mean, haven't the republicans spent the last couple of weeks sinking their own ship? isn't this? haven't they -- after these last two weeks with whatever strategy they come up with -- who sat down and told them that, hey, what we got to do is, we have to come out against birth control? we have to come out against something that 99% of the population uses? they would have been better off coming out against meat. there's like 3% of the country is vegetarian. they would have only ticked off 97% of the country. i don't know, i don't get it war on women, maybe next week there will be a war on men. they'll go against everybody. honestly i don't get it, and -- but listen, as i said to you last time, i take this very
seriously. santorum somehow -- you know, if he pulls this off. i would not -- the country that elected george w. bush can elect a rick santorum, and everybody should treat that seriously. santorum will have -- he'll lead a religious crusade, tens of thousands will come out of the woodwork for him. he's a hard worker, he came from nowhere. he came from being a joke on google to the position he's in tonight where he may beat mitt romney in ohio. >> i tell you, michael, it's chris. let's be a little serious for one second. is there an anti-elite movement within the republican party where people just don't like guys -- let's be honest about this, there are a lot of cloth coat republican families. do you think they may be rejecting the romney stuff? >> i have to interrupt for one second. but i only do this when i have something very important to say. in this case we have a call to
make. the republican caucuses in north dakota have been won by rick santorum. rick santorum winning in north dakota in addition to winning in tennessee and oklahoma. ohio still too close to call? >> could there be an anti-1% feeling among blue collar -- when he focuses on being an immigrant's kid, blue collar workers in industrial part of southeastern pennsylvania. when he says stuff that's true about our country. when he gets into truth land about the economy, and who's getting the money and who isn't? >> of course. >> is there something on the republican side we haven't caught on to? >> we keep talking about, why can't mitt romney connect. is it possible mitt romney has connected very clearly and these voters don't like him? >> yes, that is it exactly. people don't dislike him because he looks like he belongs to the country club. actually, americans like people who succeed. they don't want to vote for
someone in bib overalls. i don't think that's really the problem, i think the republican party has become the christian conservative bartender, they booted out their moderates and turned their back on liberal republicans. and they're going to -- look, who's the christian conservative on the ballot? it isn't mitt romney. >> yeah, i hope that's not it. it's probably a lot of it. i hope that's not all of it. >> i don't know why people in the country keeps thinking romney is going to pull this off. santorum has surprised everybody from the first time in iowa. i would take it a little more seriously. but again, like you said, chris, if he keeps coming back to sex like he can't get his mind off sex and contraception and -- i just heard just before i came on here, that rush limbaugh now, 35 advertisers have pulled out of limbaugh -- >> 36. >> i don't mean pulled out of him. that's another form
contraception. but -- i think -- i don't know what the strategy is here, but the last time i checked most americans believe in birth control. they tend to like sex. and i just -- i don't want to get too -- that's why i'm trying to be serious about the santorum thing. there's a tendency to get giddy about how this is going to be a cake walk for obama. there's eight months to go. and did i just say there's eight months? no! no! no! we have to do this for eight more months? >> well, we have to do something very specific about ohio results right now. but we have to talk about this for eight more months with the help of people like you. i want to go now to chuck todd, who's nbc's political director.
he's back with us and has more on the vote out ohio. what is outstanding and what should we expect? >> quite the segue, that may take eight months before we know who won ohio. let me tell you the biggest counties that are out. i have hamilton and clairemont. that's a lot votes sitting out. we have montgomery, dayton, cincinnati, dayton markets still out. we have two areas in the cleveland market, cuyahoga and medinah county. let me tell you about cuyahoga. it takes them forever. we have franklin county over here, columbus, the capital. that's where the most vote is out, and some here in stark. as you can see, in the way these counties go. that's a lot of green counties, there's a lot of romney vote left. that said, let me give you the good news or the bad news. ohio has a history of having 3% to 12% its vote uncounted on election night. what does that mean? if the margin is less than 2
percentage points tonight. nbc's not calling this race, nobody will be calling this race. there's every chance we can't call this race tonight. we have a couple models that indicate the margin between romney and santorum could be less than a quarter of 1%. what does that mean? automatic recount, believe it or not, because this is a state run election. you really don't need it because of the delegate issue. we know how the delegates are going to go, because we know about this whole delegate problem that santorum had. there may have to be a mandatory recount if it's as close as two of the models indicate it could be. if they recall ohio tonight maybe it will be eight months before we find out which republican won the ohio primary. there's a lot of green counties where there's vote to be counted. in every instance so far, every time i think we're going to see a romney uptick, santorum overperforms. these exit polls, all
undercounted santorum all across the country ton. >> the what does that typically mean? if people come out of the polling place, an exit poll you're supposed to be telling someone what you just did. in this case people who voted for santorum are not talking to pollsters or not telling them what they good? >> i'm going to throw a phrase, silent majority. we've seen this before where conservatives, particularly conservative republicans -- don't forget what the exit poll says, it knows they're talking to the media, and when you look at this pattern, and this has been a pattern in the last couple months where i noticed santorum just a couple points, everywhere seems to be a little underreported in these initial ex exits. it could be the conservative base of the party, they're going to keep it to themselves, doesn't like to tell a poll taker or a member of the media who they're supporting. it's a bit that conservative, not talking to the elite, not going to tell them what they're doing. >> i know what you're talking
about. frank rizzo never won a poll in philadelphia, just kept winning mayor. my fear about the general election, you're going to get a misconception about the polling in november. nobody's bragging about going for the first african-american, they just did. this time i think it's going to go the other way. i sense it as a negativity from the president. i think we're going to see this tonight -- >> hey, guys. >> the exit poll analyst number crunchers have been worried prior to tonight. that the santorum exit polling could be overstated because he has more enthusiasm. so enthusiasm tends to drive exit polls, and that's one of the funny things we're seeing tonight. if santorum turns out to be underreported. >> i want to show our map here, this is all the winning states from everything we've had so far. there's a little bit of a problem here for mitt romney if
he doesn't get ohio. look at where his power -- he can win in new england, he can win by default in virginia, he can win where there's large mormon populations and in a state he grew up in. what if he can't win anywhere else? this is an issue, basically, his two bases that are unique to him, being a new england republican and being of mormon background which helps in the west, that's how he's overperforming in the west. we expect him to do well in idaho. you're stargt to wonder, that's an awful lot santorum purple here sitting in the heartland from the midwest to the rockies, if ohio's colored purple, it feeds that perception that romney's got a lot of work to do to close the deal with sort of the heartland conservative republic republican. >> which candidate would you like to have? >> i didn't talk about the south. green, florida, which is the
nonsouthern state. sixth borrow of new york i always say i grew up in in miami. >> cincinnati, ohio is a very conservative area. it's right wing talk radio, it makes sense they would be supporting rick santorum there. if there's a lot that hasn't been reported yet, it's going to be interesting. >> let me ask you to weigh-in on one last thing. that is, the overall issue whether or not a republican nominee needs the south? obviously there's no path to the presidency for a republican in a general election that does not include win withing the south. if we think that republican voters are largely going to be motivated by animouse against the president, how important do you think it is for a republican candidate to win the nomination without winning the south? >> this would be the second time in a row they didn't go with a
southern republican. with mccain, and that was unusual. you had the bushes able to do that. so i think it's tough, and i think it may mean more pressure on romney to have to have a running mate that is of the south, a son of the south in some form or another. the perfect person may be bob mcdon amd. he's a catholic, evangelical catholic, if you will. would play well -- this has been chris's theory for some time, that if there's this perception that romney's got a southern problem with some evangelicals, he's going to have to have somebody who will speak to them, who will speak to them directly and say, no, no, no, don't worry about mitt romney, i got him, can you trust -- one of the things if you'll recall, sarah palin did that for john mccain. john mccain had this problem, there was a a lot of talk that the evangelical vote wouldn't turn out.
i think what put them over the top was sarah palin. >> chuck todd, thank you very much. we will continue to follow the numbers from ohio. the big important story out there is that it's still too close to call. right now we have 81% of the vote in, the difference of 6,000 votes between these two candidates. rick santorum ahead, but by a slim margin. with four out of the five votes in the state counting already.
votes. both of these men joining me have been speaking with the respective campaigns that are battling it out in ohio right now. john harwood, let me start with you, i understand you've been talking to the rick santorum campaign. what are they hearing and how are they feel something. >> i ran through the santorum campaign. the view of team romney that the outstanding vote in cuyahoga county is ultimately going to carry mitt romney over the top. the response that i got was, they may be right. it doesn't sound like the santorum campaign is terribly confident right now that this lead is going to hold. we've been surprised multiple times in this campaign. >> in terms of what the romney campaign is saying now, is the pessimism on the santorum side matched by optimism on the romney side? >> it is. they're a pretty cautious group in such situations. this is one of those crazy situations, you treat this like campaign a and campaign b. the romney campaign, compared to
the santorum campaign, they have delegate counters and know where the vote is at. the santorum campaign is like a medium sized senate race, they don't have as good a whoeld on it, their view is not necessarily as informative as the promny campaign, which again for hours has been supremely confident looking at where the vote is at. >> it's interesting to think that the santorum campaign could be a little mack developian here and trying to reduce expectations so if they win it seems like more of a knockout blow than if they don't. is it your sense that the santorum campaign doesn't know as mark is inta mating there? >> no, i totally agree with mark, this is a very much a rag tag campaign compared to the very professional operation that mitt romney has. they're flying by the seat of their pants. they have smart people who have worked in politics. they just don't have the ammunition behind them. i think they don't know for sure. but i do think that they feel they've gotten enough out tonight, north dakota to go with
tennessee and oklahoma that they can go fight in the south next week, go to alabama and mississippi, get on television and try to make mitt romney prove that he deserves the nomination of a party that is founded on conservative ideology and rick santor sum doing better among very conservative people. and that's -- the hallmark is the south right now. the base is the south, and rick santorum, if he can prove he can win in the south and mitt romney can't. that makes it more difficult for romney to go forward and wrap up the nomination in anything approaching a rapid fashion. >> i think it seems quite likely if i were the santorum campaign, i would be trying to dampen expectations right now i was going to win ohio, so i could say, fighting you to a draw in ohio when you're the man and i'm the upstart, that's enough of a win, particularly given all of the places i won tonight. is there any sense that the romney campaign has a response
for that or a rejoinder to that in terms of what rick santorum's triumphant narrative is likely to be? >> it's not as binary as michigan would have been. it is the case that if romney loses ohio it won't be as bad as if he lost michigan. it will be a wave of things. santorum fund-raising, gingrich getting out or being deflated. questions about romney, the calendar coming up for the next ten days not just those two southern states. caucuses in kansas and missouri, we're talking about. there's a period of hurt for romney unless he can win ohio, and the symbolism is such that he doesn't have to win it by more than a vote. whoever wins this is going to have a big leg going forward in the next ten days. >> that's excellent information for both of you. thanks for sharing that with us. it's an important point that mark is making about the calendar going-forward.
alabama, mississippi and kansas and missouri. wait, didn't missouri just vote? yes, missouri had a fake vote. they had a vote they couldn't get off the state statutes that they were required to hold a primary, the republicans in the state said, don't hold any attention to what the results are here, when rick santorum won it anyway. he said pay a lot of attention to what the votes are. they're going to have to hold their caucus. you have to think rick santorum has some wind in his sales heading into missouri, if only because he won the fake vote there not long ago. martin bashir from msnbc is with us. he's been watching the results come in through the night. if rick santorum wins in ohio or doesn't, what's the bottom line for the mitt romney candidacy. >> watching people as brilliant as chris matthews, befuddled to what's happening to mitt romney, leads me to think that mitt romney could well be the prince charles of the republican nomination for this reason, prince charles is expected to
succeed his mother queen elizabeth ii, everybody said that mitt romney was the inevitable candidate. guess what, both those men are about 64 or 65 years of age, and prince charles can never make the step up, if you look at polling now in the u.k., any public polling suggests that most people would rather prince william succeeded his grandmother than prince charles who's been waiting all his life to succeed to the thrown. that's exactly what you're seeing, i think there is a parallel here with mitt romney who just can't convince anybody, because he's emass cue lated by his past, he's embarrassed by his poor performance in the present. there are problems connection, and all the time, the longer this goes on, people become less interested in liking him, and his favor eeblt rate drops. so mitt romney is the prince charles of the republican nomination. >> martin, that is a gob
smacking analogy. are there lessons from prince charles for what mitt romney should do so he can be queen some day? >> the prince of wales ended up being divorced and tragically princess diana died and he's remarried and invested his life in charities, he's one of the wealthiest people in the united kingdom. another similarity. if this goes on, and becomes more and more difficult, you're not sure if he'll give up. prince charles is not giving up. there's now the prospect that prince charles will be the oldest monarch ever to succeed to the thrown of the united kingdom. and there's a possibility here that in romney's cases as chris and lawrence have been saying and the reverend al. this guy's battered and bruised and he's going to fall over the finish line, and end up fighting the president in november. >> or in 2016 in this analogy. >> exactly.
5 minutes to 11:00 p.m. on the east coast, the ohio republican primary is too close to call. 86% in. less than 2500 votes between the two candidates. as we were hearing moments ago, the places where a lot of the vote is still out are mitt romney areas in the state ohio. look, once again the results map from the state looks like a population density map. not exactly, but the more populated areas are going for mitt romney. the less populated areas going for rick santorum. this is tight as a tick right now. it could not get any tighter than this. do you feel this is looking good for mitt romney? >> well, he's clearly closed the gap from about 15,000 down. i'm interested to hear the candidates talk about the silver medal analogy. i'm making that up.
you win or you lose, i think coming down to this couple thousand votes is if rick santorum prevails here, it really resets the race in a fundamental way. if mitt romney prevails, i think it's a close race, but at the end of the day, i think he's got a head of steam -- >> is that true even if it ends up being a draw, very close in ohio? or does the win make a difference? >> norgs i think the win makes a difference at this stage in the race. >> i think they still continue to -- >> i think president obama is clearly the winner in this most important swing state where no republican could make a compelling case to this electorate with this economy, that this president has to carry into this election. right now as it stands this is an obama win tonight and it can't be taken away from him. >> romney cannot connect with working people. even when he did the washing machine thing, we all thought he was talking to anne about buying
happy super tuesday and it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast, and the race we have been watching in ohio is too close to call. it is former pennsylvania senator rick santorum with a one-point lead over mitt romney right now with 86% of the vote in. it is very, very close. a difference of just over 3,000 votes with 86% of the vote in. in idaho, the caucuses are under w way, and no characterization of the race in idaho yet. now, to some of the races we have already called. in north dakota, rick santorum is the projected winner of the caucuses in north dakota, and mr. santorum is the projected winner tennessee and the projected winner in oklahoma. mitt romney the projected winner
of his home state of massachusetts and nbc news has allocated all of the massachusettsegates to mitt romney who is the former governor of massachusetts. and the strange two-man race where the virginia republican party set such strict rules to get on the ballot that in the strange, strange decision by virginians that effectively took them off of the primary map this year, mitt romney is the projected winner the two-man race over ron paul. mr. gingrich and mr. santorum are not on the ballot in virginia. in vermont which is immediately contiguous with massachusetts, mitt romney is the projected winner of the republican primary in the green mountain state. obviously, the anticipation for ohio, chris, it is the big story, and what is going to happen there. i am starting to feel like it does not matter what the ultimate result is, but the fact that it is this close is as big
of a story as if rick santorum w wins. >> well, there is no major headline in the east coast papers tomorrow, because it is going to be wide open. there is no headline and i have been through races like this where it is not a squeaker, and nothing in the press. look at what happened with poor santorum, because he won the iowa caucuses, and he never got the headline, but days later, and missed the impact. if that thing had been reported in real time what the power might have been. >> well, it was reported that someone won an election by eight votes. i never once reported romney as winning that election, because i understand what the vote counting is like, and that vote counting was not finished, and it is impossible to win that by eight votes, so steve, i go to that when you say that the number tonight is going to matter if one of them inches out another. after iowa where everybody discovered '08, you can't discover or jump to the
conclusion that something is more important than something, because no one can jump to the conclusion that something important has happened if one of them technically has a few more votes counted than other. >> well, lawrence, it is eight votes, it is eight votes and you get into the couple thousand votes and the trend line is continuing that way and narrow and not a tie victory, then at the end of the day, the winner is the winner on this. it is when the candidates go out there and they came in close, and no such thing as close in an election and you win or you l e lose. i have been on both sides of it, and winning is more fun than losing, but you know, a close loss is still a loss. i do think that rick santorum has had an opportunity in the campaign here. if he comes back tonight, and he wins the state of ohio, i think that it fundamentally changes the primary. if mitt romney wins ohio, as we move out of the coverage from tonight into the days ahead, that it is a big deal for mitt
romney. >> i feel like with it this close, i feel that in terms of the basic conception of the race, i feel like we are now at the point, even pfr we get final results in ohio, and 86% in right now sh, that america now to think about the prospect of rick santorum, republican presidential nominee. this is not about weakness of mitt romney, but rick santorum being the guy, and the guy who runs against barack obama for the republican ticket in novemb november, and that is a hard thing to get your head around. >> but that is a debate i want to see. i want to see the hard core republican conservati ser vserip there on a debate stage with barack obama's practical approach to governing and see the hard-core conservatism crushed, because it represents a minority view in our politics, and if it is crushed that way, then the republican party is going to have the say, we are going to have to listen to more
voices than just these right-wing conservatives, and you might eventually get a change in the tenor and eventually the composition of the senate and the house, and it might start to look more like what it looked like back in the early 1990s where you had very strong conservatives like newt gingrich and others, but you had people from states like missouri and states like rhode island who were republicans and who were willing to find a spot to compromise so that you could govern. and you never, ever had standoffs over things like should we raise the debt ceiling ever, because it was a sense of responsible government. >> it is not that way, because if a party is defeated they have no responsibilityt for governing the rumpp is more radicalized and after goldwater being decimated you end up with the party radicalized in the era of reagan. >> well, it didn't go that way in '68 when they went back to the practical republican senate.
>> well, it does not happen in the long term. >> well, if they put santorum at the head of the ticket, they will lose the house, and lose the senate and it will be an immediate impact to lose control of to government. and that could be good for the country and very good because you have a ruling moderate to liberal democratic party running the country for a couple of years to get the job done. and it would be great. >> well, it would be great if santorum was the head of the ticket and we win the house and the senate, and you look at the fact and the reason that i disagree with steve, this man has come with some of the most
m m misogenous, and so it would be interesting because goi back to alabama to go back to the march, and tomorrow, i am endorsing mitt romney tomorrow in alabama, because i want to help rick out. >> and as we are watching the results come in ohio, we don't have a definitive result, but with 86% in, mitt romney has moved into the lead with slightly 2,0 tho2,000 votes and the votes and the race is too close to call, and we are seeing mitt romney in the lead for the first time in a long time if not the firsts e tite over the course we have been watching the numbers. howard fineman has been with us -- >> you see what happened with the conversation, the impact. >> exactly, we just did it. reverend al endorsed mitt romney, and it happened. and now i understand that we are talking with the romney and the santorum campaigns and howard, what is the latest from them? >> well, let me explain why the santorum campaign thinks it is as close as it is right now, although i should say a week or
ten days ago they were behaving like they were the one in the driver's seat before the full extent of the romney air at tack. but, here is what might be under from the campaign manager telling me that the absentee ballots that were filed a month ago were strong for rick santorum, because they had come after rick santorum had won a bunch of races in the midwest and before the carpet bombing air superior ity of the romney campaign hit the airwaves. and what mitt romney said what about individual mandates and had helped to turn the thing a little bit and santorum on the game. i am fascinated by this sort of smug technical expertise of the romney people. they'll probably pull it out.
they outspent rick santorum maybe ten or 12 to 1. it is true. rick santorum and the people don't have the machinery. they don't have the money. but what they have is a finger on the pulse of the republican p party of today. which as michael moore said earlier tonight is a faith-based p party. it is really, i would not call it the gop anymore, but the american faith party. it is a party made up of conservative catholics and evangelical protestants and orthodox jews who look at israel as spiritual and geographical enti entity, and that is the heart of the party, and that is what rick santorum understands. that is why even though he talked about opposing contraception, and he said that college was for snobs, and even though he backtracked flippantly on some of the accusations that he made and even though he doesn't have the money, and even
though he doesn't have the organization, he has fought mitt romney pretty much to a standstill in the quintessential republican swing state. in the end, i think that when you stand back, it is nothing short of remarkable. and while i think that mitt romney looks like he is going to end up pulling this out, and really not surprised if that is the result, because that is what mike endow was telling me earlir tonight, it is the fundamental queasiness about mitt romney at the base of the party. romney has the money and the technical expertise. other people have the soul of the party. those other people are very imperfect candidates. mitt romney is -- excuse me, "situation roo rick santorum is an imperfect candidate, and ron paul is quickly turning into an
asterisk, and with that withstanding, mitt romney has not made that much more progress toward achieving the majority, because both rick santorum and newt gingrich have piled up a fair amount of delegates themselves. >> well, howard fineman, you have coined the new term for how to think about this race. it is the big queasy. that is a big important race that is taking forever and that mostly just reflects up ease. howard, thank you for that. i appreciate it. mitt romney, i should reiterate and underscore what we said a moment ago the dynamic shift that we just saw in the results in ohio, and still watching the results coming n and it is too close to call. but right now with 86% in, and look, mitt romney is ahead, and we have seen this margin rise and rise and rise as we have seen this shift happen moments ago and right now mr. romney ahead under 6,000 votes. still, it is essentially tied in ohio. that is a difference of 6,000 votes among 800,000 cast.
and right now, i was about to go to commercial, but we actually just got a call. i'm able to tell you that nbc projects that in the idaho caucuses, mitt romney has won in the state of idaho. not a huge surprise there, but one thing was important to note there was that ron paul is the only one of these four remaining candidates who has not won a single state. it had been proffered that this might be the place where ron paul could win if he could win anywhere, but right now nbc projecting the idaho caucuses for mitt romney. msnbc's coverage of super tuesday continues in a moment.
vote margin. we are hearing from the campaigns that the romney campaign is somewhat optimistic and the santorum campaign is pessimistic depending where the vote is coming in from ohio, and we won't know until the proverbial fat lady sings, and we are warned by chuck todd that it will be such a late call that maybe it won't be called tonight in ohio. former chairman of the republican party michael steele, and you have been a booster for the long drawn out primary campaign and does that apply to long drawn out primary nights like th like this? do you lick your chops and see this type of night for the republicans? >> i do. actually, i do. because it is part of the american story and we complain about people when they don't get en ga engage and you wonder why and
when you create an avenue for them to express themselves and make a choice, we should celebrate that, and i do. yeah, i mean, do you want to be up at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and doing politics? some of us do, but most of us don't, but the point is that the people of ohio like we have seen in idaho and georgia and elsewhere tonight had a chance to get out and to save, hey, this is who we want. think about it this way, rachel, you know, under the old system this contest given all of the other, you know, pieces to it could have been over at the beginning of february. when you go through the iowa caucuses and that process and romney comes out and if he takes the first three, this thing is pretty much done. but the base has said from the very beginning of this, we want our say. those later states who have always not had the opportunity to be in the limelight, to be the state that could make a difference now come into play. idaho for example will make a
difference tonight in the race for romney, because he won it, and it is sort of creates that perception and moves the ball forward for him, so it is good. >> in terms of one issue that i real is somewhat provocative and sometimes hard to talk about is the issue of faith and prejudice. ed schultz highlighted this earlier tonight and he was spot-on for doing so is that 75% of voters in tennessee who said that religion, sharing religious beliefs with the candidate is very important to them or somewhat important to them, those voters went 2 to 1 for santorum and against romney. is there an issue with prejudice against mr. romney's religious faith, his mormon faith that is coming to the fore in not just the southern states, but the more conservative states, and does the party have a interest in rooting that out? >> well, absolutely an interest in rooting it out, but i can't necessarily put my finger on the reason why the folks who went with santorum, you know, did so
because they were against romney's faith. i think that they were more of an evangelical mindset that aligns with santorum which is interesting, because rick santorum is not evangelical in the traditional sense. maybe probably somewhat classify him as anvangelical in that sense, but it is more of an affinity towards someone else as opposed to a rebuking of romney, because of he is not of the same faith they are. i don't believe that is the driver here, but to the underlying question, yeah, both parties should have an interest in making sure that is not the cornerstone of, you know, the political activity in, within their parties. >> michael, this is ed. i am kind of almost amused at how the republicans have talked themselves to a point where just because the democrats had two great candidates and went through a long process with
barack obama and hillary clinton that this is just absolutely going to be the same way it is going to be for the republicans. i mean, the last polling out there shows by nbc that this long drawn out campaign that we are seeing as the guys are out snipping at one another on the road is not good for the republican brand, and it is not good for the process, and the conservation is, well, heck, barack and hillary did it, so it has to be good for us, too. that is the way it is coming across? >> well, that is the way you are perceiving, but it is not the way we intended it or the way that the discussion fwhent twen meetings when we walked through the dal gat process. we looked at the 2008 campaign and saw it as a model and as as much as everyone in hindsight is praise whging what a wonderful outcome that was, there was a lot of angst and venom in that race. >> so you are telling me that
newt gingrich is going to get behind one of these two guys and rick santorum is right there -- >> i can't speak to the individual -- >> and even though he was called a lightweight earlier this week on the stump? >> well, there are a lot, and we can go back and forth on the examples between 2008 and now where the candidates weren't necessarily user-friendly with each other. i do remember barack obama expressing that hillary was likable enough. well, would that make me feel warm and fuzzy if i were a democrat supporting hillary clinton, and so let's move off of that and what the goal is here. the process has nothing to do with how the candidates behave. you can't sit back and say, if we shorten it up, we wouldn't have the numbers in the poll, but that still would not have prevented the comments of some of the candidates have made, and the perceptions that they have created by the things that they have done or not done in their campaigns. the process is the process. my whole goal as national chairman was to give our base,
the activists out there a chance to participate to not have four states or five states or six states out of 50 plus our territories decide who the republican nominee was going to be. how the candidates comport themselves in this process is up to them. how the base and you, and others perceive that, is up to you. and that is what we are seeing played out here with the votes. >> well, i'm not talking about a brokered convention and other candidates in, but the republicans are. the republicans are running around saying they are not happy with the candidates, that they don't like the way it is going. >> ed, we were talking about that before republicans were talking about that before we even started the trek for the nomination. this is a conversation that goes back to september and october of last year. so, you know, to sit here and say, that, you know, this process and, you know, i'm not saying that you are particularly, but others and i have talked to and said this, it is off base and the reality of it is that people were whining about this field when it was
eight and nine candidates back last spring and summer and fall. so, the reality of it is that there is always those who are not happy with who is on the field. i put it this way, if anybody who isn't happy wanted to run, then they should have run for the presidency of the united states. it was a perfect opportunity to do it. you should have done it, otherwise, button it up and get behind one of the four and get busy winning this november. that is the focus we have and the energy that the base is looking for in the process. >> so you are telling jeb bush, and chris christie and mitch daniels, stay out, because we have one of the four here. >> i didn't say anything about staying the heck out, but they have all expressed they will be behind the nomineef of the party, but all of those folks who are still acting as if some of the great knight is going to come in to save them from what i don't know, that is not realistic. these individuals have put it on the line for close to two years now to run for the office of the presidency, and this process is to allow all of them to get the message in front of the voters
so that those voters can decide who among them rises above and can challenge the president come november. that is the final goal at the end of the day. >> let me bring in salonge jo walsh, and there is a difference of less than 4,000 votes and mr. romney is ahead, but this is very, very close race in ohio, and whether or not rick santorum actually wins in ohio or just gets almost immeasurely close in ohio, what about the prospect of rick santorum, republican presidential nominee, what do you any? >> well, the next time i'm depressed about anything, i am going to call michael steele and have him turn it around for me, and what i think is bad news is good news. michael, i have the number and i will do that.
>> call me any time. >> and cheaper than sxanax and much more fun. >> yes. but i want to say that i agree with michael on, i'm happy to have is people in the republican party saying that i don't want the guy who is trying to buy my vote. tlt is -- there is something very healthy about this, and i don't say much positive about the republican party, but it is to be said that the money is in the sewer, and santorum rising above it, and the voters saying, i have listened to the crappy ads and i will vote for him anyway, and something as an american, there is something encouraging about it. to many, it is interesting. >> and if you look at "restore our future" the huge $2.6 million buy in ohio to basically win the primary for romney, it
is on the cheap. okay. let's not spend anymore than we have to here, and they are picking the states to spend the money and did it in tennessee and oklahoma unsuccessfully, but it is interesting that there is something about romney that is very business like and very business-like to the point like he shops for states. he is not going the ping to pay more than he has to. >> he is not paying the shelf price. no. >> and like joe kennedy, i won't pay for a landslide, kid. there is something so prissy about it, and perfect about it, and it is interesting tonight, because he may have picked ohio tonight and got the right price for it and just enough and didn't paymore than he needed to and wins it by midnight for the new york times and wins in time for the headline, but 11 to 1 and 12 to 1, the numbers are unreal up there, and, joan, i'm not a david against goliath person always in politics, and i
like to know that people can have sales resistance, and that the dog doesn't like the dog food. >> the dogs won't eat this dog food. >> they keep saying and putting a new label on it, and saying that the other dog food stinks, rover, and you have to eat this dog food and rover won't eat it if it is the only food in town, he won't eat it. isn't that great to hear, michael? isn't that is what is going on here? your party has a stinky-pooh front-runner, and he has the smile and the beautiful family and no reason to vote for him. >> it is so good to be here with you all tonight. it just is. it really is. >> well, steve is laying awe here. >> and i wouldn't label it as dog food. but i think that the idea -- >> okay. sales resistance. >> and the sales resistance, but to joe's point, there is a sales resistance there, and they are not buying what romney has been
selling, and remember, this is critical as far as the activists in the party that i still talk to and hang out with is that this has been a process for him that has been going on since 2007, so this is -- he is very familiar and this is not someone that they have just, the light bulk came on and they learned about, and there is ri sis tense. this is a resistance that gs back to the last election. in which ironically enough he was considered to be the conservative against mccain, so that should tell you something about where the base is and how the tea party and the whole lot of other things that have impacted on the process have made that sell much harder. >> they don't like him. >> yeah. >> okay. >> bottom line, they don't like him, but maybe the bottom line from tonight is that you don't have to be liked in order the win. >> that is the pitch that i think that romney is ultimately saying, look, you may not like me, but i am going toe-to-toe to win this thing for you in november. >> or at least -- >> and the place to be.
>> and you may not like me, but you dislike me less than the other guys, so therefore, you got me. >> and if gingrich was out of the race and only santorum or gingrich, this would be a problem for romney. >> it would be very close, and tonight is a very great illustration of it. >> and it would not be close without gingrich. >> right. >> and joan walsh, and michael steele, we know it is a late night, and thank you both for being here. >> thank you, rachel. when we come back, we will talk to the chief strategist for the santorum campaign. and this is the headline and i know you are sick of me saying this, but it is more interesting when more time is coming by and i have to say it 90% in and difference of less than 6,000 votes in a too-close- to-call buckeye state race in ohio.
it is just past 11:30 p.m. on the east coast and 97% of the vote in ohio is in, and there are less than,000 vo 6,000 vote between rick santorum and mitt romney. and recently mitt romney has pu pulled ahead of rick santorum, and it is too close to call in the republican primary in ohio. john braybender is the chief strategist for the santorum campaign, and thank you for joining us. >> i am thrilled to be here on an exciting night. >> are you excited because there is a possibility to win ohio, or are you excited because even if you don't win ohio, you have had a good night? >> well, all of the above. we had huge wins in tennessee, and huge wins in oklahoma and huge wins in north dakota, and now after being outspent $11 million to $1 million, we are in
a dead heat in ohio, and whether we come up a couple thousand ahead or short, it is a big night for rick santorum and declare him a winner for the entire night. >> i keep hearing the argument for everybody who is a santorum partisan, it makes a difference that mr. santorum be losing after having been outspent so greatly, but isn't having the money to spend part of electability argument, and he comes from a lot of money, but there is not his money to be spending, be because he has a giant war chest to outspend your candidate 11 to 1 in ohio. isn't that a case for mr. romney's electability, and not your candidate's? >> well, it is a theme line that governor romney uses that he has more money than anybody else, but that is not the type of message that america is looking for. they are looking for somebody who relates to them, and somebody who has a message. i think it is a great american story that we are sort of the macgyver campaign, and rick
santorum is doing this on message and heart and hard work and somebody can't go out to simply buy the election. >> why can't the rick santorum campaign translate victories like you had in the sort of strange contest in missouri, but also in colorado and minnesota, why can't you guys transfer that kind of victory and that kind of momentum into a win in a place like michigan? why can't you translate that to a lot of money, and why can't you translate to being financially competitive against mitt romney in a place like ohio? >> well, first of all, rick santorum is not the choice of the washington lobbyists and the wall street insiders and that is where mitt romney gets a great deal of the money. it is interesting that you mentioned michigan, because mitt romney's home state and outspends us 6 to 1, and they walked out with the same delegate, and it is an embarrassment for romney, and frankly rick santorum instead has a message. and you know, mitt romney can
buy a lot of things, but he can't buy rick santorum's conservative message and that is the trouble. certainly an enthusiasm gap about mitt romney or he he would be doing better. >> if your candidate wins and as the nominee of the republican party, can he compete financially alongside the barack obama campaign? can he raise the money that he has not been able to raise in the primaries even with the nice surprising wins that he has had? >> well, there is a unique thing going on in the santorum campaign which is that it is fueled by small-donor contributeions around the country. in the last month he raised $9 million not from big pacs or contributions, but from 130 million contributions around the country who went to ricksantorum.com and made a $25 or $50 donation. and now mitt romney has all of the maxed out donation, and we can keep going back to the $25
donors and even tonight when he gave the big speech, we were watching the website and going through the roof with people watching. and we won't have the money that mitt romney has, but we will get the message out. >> and john, it is ed here. and some of the super pacs that have been bombbarding rick santorum with, and do you feel that if you got into a campaign election with barack obama, you would be in a stronger position than mitt romney would and what evidence in polling or voting resr results that rick santorum would be stronger than mitt romney against president barack obama? >> well, everyday they track romney versus obama and rick
santorum versus obama. and rick santorum has tracked more closely, and that is the problem. and number two, romney has the problem that mccain has. they don't excite the tea party or the conservative base and a republican cannot win if you don't excite your own base. so rick santorum that is certainly not going to be a problem. >> and john brabender, your time is at a premium on a night like this, and i know it is a big night for you and you are wanting to celebrate, so thank you for taking the time to be with us. >> thank you, and i hope to speak to you soon. >> thank you. we will take you up on that. chuck todd is here with the great poobah and tell us where you think this is going in illinois? >> well, all of the models indicate that romney is probably going the hold this lead that he has right now. we are still waiting and more count to be voted in hamilton
and more vote in cuyahoga, but at this point, we do think that our models indicate that the victory would be from 0.75 percentage points to 1.2. what does that mean? way too close. you can't call that at that point, you have to wait for the raw vote, but as everything is coming in, and remember, all of the late vote was coming in from romney counties, we do feel that somewhat confident, if you put a gun to our head that somehow tonight, romney is more likely to be the one to come out on top once the votes are counted over santorum, but we can't say that because of how close the margins r. but i want to make a point about the delegates. one thing that the political unit did on the projection, and we have romney at 217 at a min moum tonight. what does that mean? 424 and do the math. out of four candidates running to night, this guy has more than 50% of the delegates available. so the perception of mitt romney
in tennessee and ohio and all of the things that he wanted to do is still hanging in the balance, but on the math front, he had a good night, and santorum a good night with the states an end up with another 120 delegates, but you have to give romney the due, because when it counted, he will win more delegates out of ohio regardless if he carries the state by a vote or misses it, because he is getting more delegates out of there, and overall the clean sweep out of idaho and all of the delegates, that is a god delegate haul for him, and that perception is a different story. >> chuck, i am sorry to ask you this, and it is the kind of thing i could look up if we weren't on live tv, but what is the threshold in a state runoff like that? >> well, it is a quarter of one percent, and an hour ago, our guys in the boilerroom were looking up the provisions, and that is why we know it was that close. i don't necessarily always have those off tof the top of my hea,
but it was that close at one point, and now we do think that we will get outside of recounter toir. can you imagine recounting a primary that we know the delegates will be divided in a hinky way anyway? >> this year, yes. with what happened in iowa and maine and nevada, yes, i believe it. >> and by the way, i want to make a quick point about the calendar. very fast. look at the calendar here after tonight. very fast. what part of this is gooed for mitt romney? one state. >> i would say illinois is not too bad. >> that is it. look at the rest of these social conservatives and the caucuses are not going well in the heartland and north dakota, and alabama, and hawaii, who knows, and ron paul by the way is up with advertising there, and louisiana, a southern state. so this is the rest of the schedule for the rest of the month, boy, not a great schedule, if you are mitt romney. he could use this ohio win tonight. >> and i think that if i were mitt romney, and i was making a strategy looking at that calendar ahead, i would go back
to the other thing that he can deploy which is the republican establishment and i would get all of the guys booked on all of the tv shows and the cable and the sundays like they have been able to do at will when they want to start trashing the other guys and be the death star and go back to winning it on tv, because he won't win it in the states, and he has to look like he is inevitable, doesn't he? >> yes, that is the only value that the endorsement package has with all of the elected officials is the sensation of inevitabili inevitability. >> not that -- >> well, not that they can persuade voters in their own states here, but it gives an aura of inevitability. >> he will never do "meet the press." >> because of questions. >> and serious questions and follow-up and taken seriously by the people on it, and of course, david gregory is the best. why won't he face him? he wants to go to war with iran, but afraid of rush limbaugh and david gregory and deflect iing
donald trump. >> tonight, mr. romney was asked again about whether or not he wanted to weigh in on the rush limbaugh scandal, and he said he would not use that language implying that everything else that rush limbaugh did was okay with him. >> and slut, and looking for homonyms? >> and there are three solid days of attacks on that woman for speaking in front of congress is not okay with you if just the language is not okay. >> and watch the video, too. and that is not language, but a graphic statement, and he was going after something there. >> and rush never apologized for that. he apologized for two words, but he did not apologize if you use contraception, you need to send me the videos of you having sex. >> and mr. romney essentially said the same thing, i would not have used that same language, and he was asked about it tonight and he said i will not weigh in on this controversy and given another chance. >> and mitt romney has responded to everything that president
obama has said or done and has an opinion about everything. the president made a phone call, and you mean to tell me that mitt romney doesn't have an opinion on that? that is the biggest phone call as chris was saying earlier, and so that the president comes out today and he talks about his daughters, and when is the last time that president obama talked about his daughters the way he talked about them today, and he went right to the issue of any citizen in this case the future of his daughters going up on capitol hill and not worried about being trashed on 400 or 500 radio stations in america for nine hours and there is a thing called show prep. you do the radio show and you go home and prep for the next day and then you do another show and there is another three hours and prep for the next day and for three days this went on. and mitt romney doesn't have an opinion about how all of that was handled? i have just -- i just find it amazing, and there is a parallel
between that and he won't do "meet the press" and also rick santorum pointed out the other day that it is amazing how long romney has gone on the campaign trail without fielding questions. he has not been fielding any questions. it is the same thing. so, maybe he thinks that he has stuck his foot in the mouth so much, he can't afford to do it so much. >> who was on tonight, rachelle, on business deals, he does okay if it is plan a, but the minute there was a diversion from it, and how many times has he told reporters, i will say what i want to say or correcting john king or brent bayer from fox, and remember those? let me cross the legs on that and re-do this one. if he doesn't like it if somebody else defines the event. >> and 91% of the vote is in, and mitt romney's lead is just 6,000 votes after 850,000 votes have been asked for these two candidates. it is amazing.
race has not been called. more than 90% of the vote in and it is not called. nbc's ron mott is with us, and we have a report that the santorum campaign is moving on to intimating that newt gingrich should get out of the race to clear the way for rick santorum to actually calling on the party activists and tea party supporters and others to speak to that issue on the santorum campaign or does that seem right to you? >> well, hey, there, rachel. maybe a little divide in the santorum campaign, because the national spokesperson said they are not going to ask newt gingrich to get out of the race, but a senior strategist is saying that they will ask that of the conservative tea party voters is to persuade newt gingrich to give up the bid. if you look at the scorecard, rick santorum with victories tonight has seven primary caucus
and victories to newt gingrich's two, so they want to make the case that he is the conservative choice in the race. the spokesperson is saying that if newt gingrich did in fact drop out of the race, that immediately one would think that rick santorum would be able to poll 10 to 12 points higher in the race, and that could change the tone and the tenor of the campaign going forward, but that is clear think case they will make after the the victories tonight that rick santorum is clearly the choice of the conservative choice in this vote. and if they are going to beat president obama with a conservative candidate, it is rick santorum and not newt gingrich. >> and it is a stick and carrot, and obviously, the tea party activists complaining that newt gingrich should leave the race, but anything that the santorum campaign that you know of could offer newt gingrich to offer him to persuade him to leave? anything that they could dangle in front of him to entice him? >> well, we'd have to see. you wonder if there are going to be some behind the scenes conversations, because this is a
delicate dance at the santorum folks have to make here, because you don't want to offense the gingrich supporters with races in alabama and mississippi and you don't want those folks to go to the polls to vote for newt gingrich to spite rick santorum for pushing their choice out of the race at this point. so we will have to see if there is some sort of talk that we will get under way in the twom cap camps to go forward, but clearly tonight, the rick santorum camp believes it is time for one of the gentlemen to get out, and the scorecard alone shows that newt gingrich would be the odd-man out. >> and ron mott with the santorum campaign, and thank you for that. and kelly o'donnell is in atlanta, and we have to ask you about the discussion with ron mott that a senior santorum strategist is moving beyond intimating that newt gingrich should get out of the race and actually asking for party
activists to pressure mr. gingrich to leave the race, and making it more explicit, and any news of that equation tonight from the gingrich campaign? >> well, when you look at how the gingrich campaign is positioning themselves, they are checking the alabama box, and now they are having a distinction, because lord knows people were asking santorum to get out when he was far man on the end of the stage not so long ago so they don't want to do that, but asking the supporters to peel away from gingrich in effect isolates gingrich's ability to continue and makes that one-on-one with romney in effect with ron paul still in the race. gingrich has a different view, because he believes he is the best person positioned to debate barack obama, and while he has a lot of nice things to say about the work ethic this that rick santorum has shown grinding it out and doing it on very little money, and putting himself in this most unlikely place where he has had a formidable showing,
despite all of that, gingrich believes that there is another chapter for himself. that's the sense we have tonight. now, there is always a front stage and backstage. you are talking to the crowd tonight, and talking to the supporters and victory that you can be happy about in a home state like georgia, but we have to see where it goes. all of the indications that we have that he wants to get through alabama and mississippi, because they vote next week and get a bit of the sense of the number numbers show in places like tennessee and oklahoma where he had hoped to do better, but eventually there has to be some sort of coalescing of the most conservative of voters, and they may do it on their own or they may do it with a little nudging from some of these powerful voices in the tea party community. certainly, gingrich was talking about the party establishment, and the party elites had tried to get him out before, and here the people backed him helped him to have a good night in georgia and overwhelming in georgia and
not so great in other place, but it is a tough dance at this point, because the candidates want to appear like they have vitality, and clearly santorum does, and gingrich does not want to let go at this point and believes because of the volat e volatility of the race, there is room to grow. we talked earlier tonight, rachel, and i could barely hear you because of the crowd and now it is the team striking the room. they are getting breakfast buffet ready. we are the last crew here. so, we will be here until the dogs go home as they say, but it has been an interesting night to see newt gingrich have one more moment in the sun, and we will see where it goes, but certainly that rivalry with santorum is a story to watch going forward. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much for that. this is fascinating, and now ju to start looking at the interstitial dynamics of the two candidates and mr. gingrich describing rick santorum, and one of the bunny rabbits who has surpassed him, but he is the tortoise and in it for the long
haul and wonder if there is something that rick santorum could offer newt gingrich to persuade him to leave the race, and if gingrich does well in alabama and mississippi if that increases the amount of leverage he could exert for in asking for exchange of getting out of the race if that is the dynamic after the races tonight. we will be right back.
>> with ohio, the big kahuna, the biggest showdown of the night still too close to call, super tuesday already a big, big night for rick santorum. he is projected to win in tennessee, in oklahoma, and in north dakota. >> we have won in the west, the midwest and the south, and we are ready to win across this country. >> well, in part of the south tonight, newt gingrich is the winner in georgia. will it be enough to keep mr. gingrich in the race, and keep both him and rick santorum without clear potential paths to the republican nomination? >> there are lots of bunny rabbits that run through and i'm the tortoise. i just take one step at a time. >> and mitt romney, the delegate
leader and the presumed front-runner with projected wins in the home state of massachusetts, idaho, and vermont and virginia with an asterisk, and the asterisk because only mitt romney and ron paul were on the ballot in virginia. if tonight was the night that mitt romney was to close the deal for the republican nomination, how has that happened? >> tonight, we are doing some counting. we are counting up the delegates for the convention and it looks good, and we are counting down days to november, and that looks even better. >> this night has been souper in the super tuesday sense, and also unpredictable, and it is unresolved and still too close to call between rick santorum and mitt romney, and in order to understand why that might be, we will get more from the exit polling out of ohio. tamron hall has that. tamron? >> well, hey, rachel. i call the results that i will present to you the goldilocks and the three bears, because we asked the voters in ohio how they felt about the candidates
and the ideology, and too cob ser vative or not conservative enough or just right? this is what the folks in ohio told us. 39% say that romney is not conservative enough, and you won't be surprised by that number. 28% say that of ron paul, but further into the number, and we flipped it. who is too conservative and according to the ohio voters, 29% say that ron paul is too n conservative and a quarter said the same about rick santorum, so logically we posed the question can, who is just right? and look who's at the top, 52% say that newt gingrich, even though he is getting beat up pretty badly except for the home state of georgia, 48% for s santorum, and 44% for romney, and 30% for ron paul, and because i am thinking of sleep and i don't know, the bed and the hour, rachel, but that is
goal di lldilocks and the three report. >> well, tamron, one interesting thing that we have talked about how much mitt romney's momny and all of the money he spends on ads and negative ads has affected his viability, and the whole line of santorum is that he is not conservative enough. >> it is interesting that in ohio he outspent everybody 4 to 1, but it is interesting how the primary voters are processing this on one hand where they say that romney is not conservative enough, but when we flip it, you saw this, rachel, they still believe he has the ability to beat barack obama. i don't say it is schizophrenia, but it is certainly a mixed bag of information that is coming out. but we know that romney has had the cash and willing to put up there with the negative ads, but it is not worked. it has not sealed the deal, and that is why we are all here waiting on ohio. >> thank you, tamron. that is a totally interesting substantive point. mitt romney has all of the money in the world, and in ohio, he
has chose to spend so much of it and like mike dewine said, so much he doesn't know where to spend it, but now they are saying that ohio voters in exit polls don't believe that tonight. they have no problem with how conservative rick santorum is, and that means that the message did not sink in no matter the money. >> we will be digging in and we have a tie in ohio, and now we will be digging into the exit polls and see what the exit polls tell us that the voting polls didn't tell us. one of them is satisfaction with the person i didn't vote for. one of the questions in the exit poll is, will you be satisfied with mitt romney as the nominee? will you be satisfied with santorum? santorum scores the highest. in ohio, more people are satisfied with santorum as the nominee than anyone else. >> i think that you are also going to have another possible headline, and that is let's say that romney does pull this out, will there be a coalescing of
the conservative forces. you see, i don't think that he not only didn't close the deal, but i think that now we, with this new move to get gingrich out, the subheadline is going to be that he lost to the combined figure of his opponents, because even rick perry was on the ballot and got a few thousand votes tonight. if they can consolidate that going into alabama and mississippi next week, we may be sitting here late next week as well. >> who is newt gingrich going to listen to? i mean, if someone goes to newt gingrich and says, look at this, you have south carolina and georgia and maybe another southern state, but mitt is going to come down here and money bomb this whole thing, and who is going to sit down to make the call to have is an impression on newt gingrich to say, maybe it is over? >> there is one person. >> the banker. >> that is it. >> and nobody in the party or connected to the party? >> the bank is connected to the party. >> brian williams is the anchor of "nbc nightly news" and he
joins us with the nbc election panel. thanks for joining us, brian. >> thanks for having us and we are across the hall truth to be told, and your flags seem to be blowing to a different breeze than ours and probably a good time to admit that it is all video fakery, and this at some point took place outdoor, but it is on a repeating. >> i'm actually an android. >> well, look at the bunch i have been spending the night with. and as lead counsel, direct your questions to my colleagues here. >> well, the one that is that we are divided over on our side of the hall is whether a win matters in ohio or whether mitt romney and rick santorum essentially being this close is so much of a headline for rick santorum's viability that it does not much matter if he comes in a few thousand votes behind and does not end up with the win there. is the win the matter or just
being close enough? >> well, that nicely mirrors or conversation over here on this side of the aisle. chuck todd, you want to start by taking a whack at that? >> well, four years ago we had this conversation on super tuesday and it was between team clinton and team obama, and team clinton, and look at the cool states and the big states that we have won, and team obama was saying, oh, yeah, did you check out the idaho caucuses and how many delegates we got out there, and four years later, did you check out the idaho caucuses and see how many delegates we got there. and did you see how many delegates mitt romney got? he swept them, and he will get a more delegate count than he got out of of the state of michigan, so he is winning the delegate math fight, but the problem is that when you look at the winner's map, and we talked about it, he has a perception problem of not connecting to the conservative voters and the
working class voters, and they converged in ohio and the reason we didn't call ohio, is because he did not make that connection. win or lose, he didn't make the connecti connection. >> and in the democratic party, there was a level of sats a faction with both candidates, but the republican party is much more divide, because was you see tonight, that mitt romney has not expanded that coalition. lower income voters and the tea party folks and the evangelicals and certainly in the southern prima primary, he is not expanding out who's voting for him, and he has a singular economic message that is still not resonating decisively in parts of the country where he needs it to. >> and at the same time mitt romney having not reached out to those people is that he is carrying some democratic parts of ohio, and not the republican parts of ohio, so he is a weakened nominee for a fall campaign if he does become the
nominee, and rick santorum through the social messaging has really marginalized the republican party and not been able to reach out to the very independent voters that they are going to need in the fall. so the party, itself, the brand of the party has really been bad di damaged by this, and the fact is that mitt romney if he ends up winning ohio has basically tied in ohio and tied in michigan and that is not a good outcome even as he begins to pull together the delegates. >> i agree with the colleagues to the extent that super tuesday, this super tuesday offered mitt romney the opportunity to put it away, and to the extent that he was not able to do so, it is a problem even if he ultimately has the advantage in terms of the math after tonight, the organization, the resources and all of the things that we often talk about, but the question is what toll this process takes on mitt romney as a general election candidate if that is indeed where we are headed. >> i would offer this, that the sound bite of the night took place tonight on "hardball" when in a moment of sputtering desperation chris matthews was
talking about romney's speech today about warships and aircraft carriers off of the coast of iran, and chris exasperatedly asked, when did he become general curtis le may. >> i wondered where the chutzpah came from on the part of a guy whose entire family has been military-free to talk about how to go to war with iran with such casualness. i have to tell you in the objective terms that the discussion of the war by the president has been prudent talking about what war is and what it involves in terms of consequences. and the discussion of this potential war with iran has been frivolous, and we will pop them. we will pop them, and drop some bombs or encourage israel to do it as if that is the end of it, but that is the beginning of it, and well, that is what i have said and thank you, brian, for remembering what i said. >> oh, i was in there watching and i am right in there with you. >> i find it disturbing that we are going in after a dozen years
in war since 2001 basically with afghanistan and then iraq and then the hell that went in libya and now in syria, and now we talk to casually of yet another front. it continues. >> and may i ask you across the hall one further question of analysis in terms of where mitt romney is going with the economic message? >> all right. gang? >> well, i think they he's got -- and first of all i have a question if you took all of the pepperoni pizza on your side of the hall, because that is one outstanding question. >> i took it to my desk. >> and okay. and i know you talked about it some tonight, rachell lrachel, more of a tea party approach of mitt romney, and talking about the smaller govrnlgts and talking about cutting the taxes and even in the remarks to nite warned about the dangers of a second obama term, but i don't think it is a message that's really migrated away from the 59-point plan to a kind of plan
that really is going to reach people and connects to them. especially when more people are optimistic about the economy under president obama. what distinguishes him? it can't simply be that i would have brought the recovery on sooner. it has to be something broader than that, and i think that the president is sort of lying in wait saying, you know, they just want the take you back to bush era economic policies, and i don't know that romney has yet effectively broke n out of that >> well, my issue with romney is that he strikes me as somebody who is running out of fear of the conservative base, and every decision he has made has been about not making conservatives mad at him, and by doing that, he has ended up creating this image of him as not authentic and not being able to connect, and that is to the heart of the connection problem, because he is running as something he is not comfortable being, and the om advice is don't upset the conservatives and don't upset the conservatives and with this
careful caution and that is why he is barely winning the these, because there is something that he is struggling to overcome, because he is not comfortable running as the person he is running as. >> and there is a basic question of economic math, because he is talking about cutting spending and reducing the deficit when at the same time his tax plan increases the deficit. so he's got to figure that out or the people, perhaps, the voters are going to figure that out, and that just doesn't add up. >> and that is the problem that his main concern with president obama's economic policy has been the debt growth, and of course, there is a huge debt growth and the president has not addressed it, but if you ask someone to address it, it is downhill there, and you have to talk about the taxes, which he won't, and talks about the tax relief, and the alternate tax relief, and the death tax removal and all of the things that would add to the debt, and the same with spending. he is not going to talk about trillion dollar drops in
spending. once you talk about this mammoth debt then you have to talk about the mammoth efforts to reduce it. we say, jump, jump, jump -- do it, but he knows if he does it, he is in trouble politically, because nobody wants to take those steps. back to that point, and "fear factor, he is afraid of donald trump for his anointment, and rush limbaugh and i wonder if he has a sister souljah moment in him, where he says, i have the fight now and i have guts, but he does not want to risk that. >> and nicolle wallace a former bush campaign veteran says he needs more than one. she said this morning, he needs a lot of sister souljah moments when you are the nominee. >> how do you do that? >> well, that is the problem, that he will be looking over his shoulder. >> well, if those on the right would give him credit for backbone and that is the concern
about him that he does not have the core and does things that are expedient. >> and if ever a moment, the rush limbaugh moment was it. >> and that is not an easy one. >> or the snob moment and stand up to say, hey, when the people i grew up around in michigan wanted to go to the university of michigan and go to michigan and it is a point that brokaw has been making, and i don't get it. there is a danger for romney here tonight in that santorum is finding the sea legs on how to attack him on health care, and mitt romney never had to litigate health care throughout the campaign and a point we are making this morning, and if it happens now, that is a huge, that becomes a big problem. he has not had to deal with it. >> and that is one reason that romney in the speech tonight talked about the president violating the constitution, because he is trying to fight back preemptively against the idea. >> and health care is about freedom and touches the tea party button. >> and the unreported stat tonight, rachel, four former white house correspondents, and
one current, and a combined 3,000-years' experience in journalism. >> which tells you that we all went bad. >> and you guys know about kucinich, right? >> do we have a result? that? >> called it for captor. kucinich is gone, and jeanne it? you remember her in ohio, and she lost a republican primary, and not coming back. >> it was such fun. >> and the congressional elections. >> thank you, all. we will keep the pizza and be back with you when we need to be. actually that ohio race is interesting, because that means that there is not going to be a dennis kucinich in congress anymore which is hard to believe. he has been a singular force for his, not only for his ideological position in congress, but such a character and presidential candidate and you ran alongside dennis kucinich.
>> yes, i ran with him, and he is a dependable guy with the progressive community. he is going to be missed. >> and a lot of silence from him. >> and he is a guy that you could count on when it came to universal health care conversation or came to getting out of iraq and afghanistan and also middle-class issues, and he was always good on the labor, but also jeanne schmidt became politically famous when she called john murtha a coward when he stood up as the chairman of the armed services committee and said we need to get out of iraq. >> as a decorated combat veteran. >> i loved john murtha. i loved that guy. >> and she lost favor. >> and interesting that she lost tonight, because she is a santorum kind of republican. >> no. >> don't do that. don't make that mistake on the one issue, the pro life on that issue. she is a liberal on everything else. >> jeanne schmidt? >> no, i'm sorry. i thought you were talking about marci captor. oh, go with schmidt. you are right on. >> you are right on jeanne
schmidt. >> no, i am saying that jeanne schmidt is defeat ed tonight, ad i find that interesting because she is a rick santorum-type republican. >> well, marci ckacaptor is a t blue progressive -- >> proving that all politics is local. and dennis is very popular in these circles and media circles and maybe he got to know us, but he should have been knowing somebody in toledo. >> and i know -- >> well, right in the heart of the district is the line. >> and that made it pretty tough. >> and the important bottom line is that congresswoman marci captor is going to be on the phone with us when we come back which means we have to go away. we are still watching the returns copping return s coming in from ohio. marci captor will join us when we come back as this coverage of the race continues.
the ohio republican presidential primary between mitt romney and rick santorum is too close to call. look at this. 95% of the vote in and there is a difference of over 10,000 votes between them now. mitt romney is ahead by over 10,000 votes, and 95% in, but this race has not been called. it is still too close to call. and this is not nearly as much attention as the other hot race in ohio today, and the cleveland "plain dealer" is reporting in a congressional primary congresswoman marcy kaptur has defeated dennis kucinich after his district was redrawn. and these are two progressive democrats who have a large following and a lot of affection
of democrats and those around the country, but marcy kaptur has been declscribed by the "pln dealer" as having won this race. and thank you for joining us, and congratulations on the news. >> thank you, rachel, very, very much, and the people of ohio thank you for the attention. >> most of the attention in ohio is on the republican presidential primary which is as of yet unsettleded, but people looking at the congressional race that you won, this primary against dennis kucinich thinking they are both progressive and liberal democrats and taking a populist position on a lot of issues that are important to democrats ark and what is is the meaning of this? what is the important take away for you winning over the con man? over the congressman? >> well, the people of ohio want to hear about resolution to the housing crisis, and accountability for wall street for the damage they have done, and our people are bread and
butter people. they want to grow the economy, and i think that they expect a president, and they expect representatives in the capital to represent those interests strongly, and that is what they voted for tonight. >> congresswoman cap tur, ed schultz here. >> we have had a lot of press here and it is significant, and we haven't had a chance to connect yet, but we will. >> how intense was the campaign? >> well, it was very intense campaign, because of the way that the district was drawn, we had to preintroduce ourselves t 6,000 new people in eight weeks and advertise in two media markets and one being five times more expensive than the existing one and two media markets, so it was a real marathon. >> and i understand that you got
good union support here and people are telling me that your issues dealing with the trade issues which is very important in ohio, do you think that is what maybe put you over the top? >> i think that had a very significant factor here, ed. i think that when people, they can go through every community and see the jobs lost to nafta, and jobs lost to pmr, and china charging for a jeep cherokee, and what it cost here, and they know it is not a even level, and we have had to fight against this unfair trade impal lance for years, and we are not a government center, but we are part of the free market economy and we need trade rules that make it fair for our people to compete. >> is ohio, obama territory? are you confident that you had 1.2 million republicans coming out tonight, and over 2 million
came out for measure two and i don't know if that means anything or not, but the president is polling well in the state right now, and what does it feel like? >> what it feels like to me is that the president needs to continue the recovery in the automotive industry, and they are hiring people off of the street for the first time in 20 years and the steel industry is recovering and the real estate industry, and realtors are saying that they ex-presideare their best year. and the president has rescued a vital american industry and now making money and who would have thought that general motors is at the top of the stack, and we are manufacturing the cruz here in northern ohio, so we have to keep the focus on job creation, and the president if he keeps the focus on that is going to carry ohio big. >> and congresswoman, when you look across the aisle, and look at the ohio republicans, and it seems a impossible time to decide between rick santorum and mitt romney, and what does that tell you about the state of the republicans in ohio and how they feel about their national party?
>> well, you know the sad thing is that they seem to be fighting at every level. they are fighting in congress against one another, and fighting here in ohio against one another, and even in the local boards of elections here, they are fighting with one another, and we can't get the counts out early enough, so we have a systemic issue here and the american people want collaboration. the american people want partnership and the american people want results to continue to grow into the middle-class again and not have their futures threatened. >> congresswoman marcy kaptur having won the democratic primary, and thank you very much for joining us tonight and congratulation and the the victory, ma'am, and it is good to have you here. >> thank you so much. >> and congresswoman marcy kaptur, a real populist democrat and a shoe leather democrat. this is -- it is remarkable to think that dennis kucinich is
going to not be in the congress anymore, but it is impossible to imagine that he is going away. >> and it is hard to imagine what the issue differences were between these two candidates in the campaign, because i would have loved to see what those ads were about. >> yes, and a lot of times it is getting your vote out. you always when you get the democratic districts, jack murtha had an old strategy who won a couple of these fights every ten years and what you try to do is to ignore the other side, and you don't want to stir them up, so you don't campaign out of the bailiwick, but campaign like hell in your bailiwick and you don't want to stir up the opposition, so keep them a sleep and wake up the people, and it is subtle and great ground campaigning. >> that is why ed is right, and in this race from what i know from the people who work with the organization and in that area, it was the unions. i think that it with the labor unions being able to pull out their vote without waking up a lot of the dennis kucinich's
base, it probably gave her the edge, because they are more organized, and i think that is the edge. >> and remember bobby kennedy, jr., and willie nelson and you know, you have to run a local campaign. >> and the big picture here, of course, ohio, republican redistricting takes two very progressive democrats and results in, and there being one progressive democrat after the big fight is the big picture here, and what the democrats in ohio orchestrated. and mitt romney's lead is just over 12,000, and the race has still not been called yet. we will be right back.
nbc news can project that the apparent winner of the republican presidential primary in ohio is mitt romney. this has been as close as it could possibly be over the course of most of tonight, but we have seen mr. romney pulling further out ahead over the last hour or so, and mitt romney now the apparent winner in ohio. that means that tonight has been a big night for rick santorum, and it has also been a good night for mitt romney. mitt romney winning in idaho. winning in virginia where only he and ron paul were on the ballot and winning his home state of massachusetts and vermont and squeaking one out in ohio. these are the overall states won throughout the country up to and including tonight. you are seeing some streaky patterns there in terms of the
regional favorability for these candidates, but right now, it is still a good night for rick santorum. had mitt romney lost ohio to mr. santorum, i think that it would have been seen as a spectacular night for rick santorum, and his states that he won the night would have included north dakota, tennessee, and oklahoma, but in the end not ohio despite having been close all night. this has been a heck of a night. super tuesday tonight, and we are awaiting results from alaska which you never know might end up being definitive at any point at this point. >> and sarah palin voted for newt. >> did she? >> and anybody who tells newt to get out, she will get all worked up about that. >> and mitt romney owes thank you notes immediately to newt gingrich and ron paul without whom he could not have possibly won ohio. >> and no question going forward that a vote for newt gingrich is a vote for mitt romney in this process, and so, you know, i think that it is wise for the santorum campaign to start
articulating that and see how much pressure they can bring because i don't think they have a path in the race. >> how do you do that? where does the pressure come from? >> well, a public argument that they have been resonant to make so far, and they need to make it loudly and explicitly and see where the chips fall. >> what can you offer a guy like newt gingrich? what does a guy like newt gingrich want? he likes to be on tv for really long speeches on nights he wins the home state. >> and i think that the pace car. >> and the engines that together we will take down mitt romney. >> where do you put him in the cabinet and trust him? >> he can't get confirmed. don't talk cabinet. >> you can put him inside of the cabinet actually. >> maybe a drilling lease. >> and it is interesting that if now the dynamic is obviously what we have learned tonight is that mitt romney is the same guy we thought he was before tonight which is that mitt romney is
still a guy who still sort of looks like the nominee and still sort of winning more delegates than anybody else, but has problems with very, very core parts of the republican constituency, and neither rick santorum nor gingrich can be viable as long as they are in the race, and so the dynamic is whether rick santorum and newt gingrich can whittle down to one. >> the whole romney strategy from beginning has been the recognition it is roller derby and your job is to stay on the course when everybody else is off of it. with the theory that the economy is rocky, whoever the republican nominee is come november or come the fall when you begin the season of really head-to-head will have a roughly 50-50 shot. therefore you want to get there. >> yes. >> because when you get there, and wuonce you are there, and b woodward i was with, and all of the rick santorum back flow, and it will come to you out of antipathy for the president, and
you will get the 30 to 40% of people and some of them many haters, and you know, they will come. so all you are to do is to get in the boxing ring with the president to debate well, and then begin to try to win back the center. that is the argument he has fought all along, just get to there. it looks like he will get there in the worst way, and then the question is, will events come in his direction and give him a shot to win? i think they might. i mean a spike in unemployment rate because of the gas prices and slower growth, and if that happen, he will be in the ring, and as somebody said so night, each candidate, and did you say it? each has 47%. >> yeah. >> that is where we are at again. >> friday, we will find out that the country has added private sector jobs for two straight years and that number is coming, and another fight on the horizon, and the laborer's union is going to be aggressive here in the next month taking out a lot of radio ads in the midwest,
re really working over the republicans on the highway bill. they want this passed. and now, you are going to start seeing, you know, the wage earners getting involved and put pressure on santorum, i think, to step up and say, hey, you know what, this is the right thing the do. and we have infrastructure problems in the country, and if he wants to support the wage earners that way that mike dewine has been saying tonight and earlier on the broadcast, this is is the perfect opportunity. where is romney on this? this it a great issue for the president and slam dunk for him, and he wants it and middle classers want it, and the wage earners want it and this is the next big fight when it comes to the wage earners. >> well, the fight that romney has been waging against santorum is that you are a pork guy and spending guy, and he is trying to underscore the people who like him for being the more conservative, romney has gone
after santorum for it, and that might help it stick. >> well, where the republicans are on the highway bill is the blount amendment, that is how focused they are on the jobs right now. >> which is going to come back to -- >> and yes! >> and the other thing is that you have to deal with the outside of the protestant politics that impacts the general is that you will have, and why santorum went there, is that you will have the supreme court looking at the affordable health care act, and if they go against it, it could energize the president's base. and they have scheduled in october hearing on affirmative action, so you will have a lot of things playing between now and november that could really energize a base for the president that has nothing to do with what goes on in the ring, as you say. >> and here is a prospect, we have got alabama, mississippi, kansas, and missouri coming up. we know in missouri they have a weird noncontest and rick santorum won and kansas is rick santorum territory, and if newt
gingrich is persuaded to get out before alabama and mississippi, and rick santorum wins alabama, mississippi, kansas and missouri, who knows what happens in hawaii. say that happens, are we in a position of having rick santorum as the nominee and mitt romney as the vice president? how do you reassure the party elites and the centrist mass of americans that you know what, you are actually not just the man on dog guy, and not just the guy who can't be googled and not the guy who lost by 18 points for being such a social conservative in pennsylvania they took mr. charisma bob casey over you, but you have a competence behind you and the competent vice presidential guy with you and the guy you patch things up with and you can be a statsman. >> and he is on the short list. >> who makes more sense than him? >> well, if santorum were to get the nomination, i would think that newt gingrich would be p b
probably pretty good guy to have on the ticket. >> well, then it is the island of the misfit toys. he would not do that. >> he would be the modern day dick cheney to the ticket. >> no, no. >> and you have to earlier you were focus on the competence issue and focusing on newt's inability to get on the ticket in his own state in virginia. he talked about the failure of rick santorum to get delegates slated where he will win well. this competence is working as boring as is he, and nonphilosophical as he is, and as i would say pathetic as he is as he goes before people like trump and limbaugh, romney does have the basic strength and call it the lds mormon confidence and the capital connections, and he does not screw up on that. >> but it is just money. >> and infrastructure and ability to proceed ahead and move the plow forward. i think that he will be the nominee even with the scenario next week, and in tend, he che
can put it together. and somebody called santorum a rag tag operation. and who are you going the bet on? >> well, if you get newt out -- >> you think that rick santorum can beat romney? sglel, if newt is out, it gives santorum a new momentum. >> well, a shot. but won't he blow it again? >> well, whether -- >> you think he will win the next five states? >> not only the next five states, don't underestimate romney's ability to blow it. if you end up with a one-on-one race which the media will love, conservatives will love, this guy can be the nominee. i am telling you that the real story tomorrow is will gingrich get out. that is what you will hear. >> if gingrich were out today, san is tomorrow would have won georgia which is the biggest delegate catch of the night and ohio. >> and you are not quite convincing me. if santorum doesn't seem to have a campaign.
i mean, the fellow we had on tonight, did he look like a campaign manager and chief strategist, i'm sorry. >> and this is, chris, why it is interesting, because if he can get this close in ohio with new infrastructure and win tennessee with no infrastructure and this guy has -- >> and you know, come on. >> and stay up to 2:00 in the morning to win. that is why i am say heg can in the nominee. >> and wait until 5:00 or 6 dlok w . >> he has a low profile, but he has won a lot of races, and the santorum guy, and he has done it with wits and not a lot of resources running it. but looking ahead, rick santorum is not going the pass mitt romney on the delegate count. there is no scenario where mitt romney is going to go into a convention even if he doesn't have the delegates necessary to be nominated where they nominate the person with the less delegates.
there is a hypothetical scenario where they go into the convention and none of them have the delegates to be nominated and someone else is nominated, but absent someone else nominated, it is one of the people who is running, and that is the person who has won the most delegates. that is clearly mitt romney. >> i should interject here that in the ohio congressional race that we were discussing earlier with marcy kaptur, it is a democratic primary where she beat dennis kucinich that would eliminate one of the two progressive democrats, and he is eliminated and marcy kaptur is. you want to know who the republican nominee is? it is not jeanne schmidt. well, it is joe the plumber. he is running against marcy kaptur in 109 which is in itself exhilarating. >> and rush limbaugh was interesting talking to the president, when he said that the media was picking on him. >> remember that? >> how did joe the plumber affect your campaign in 2008?
>> i remember in late october when we were on a bus and it was lindsey graham and john mccain and i and joe the plumber boarded the campaign bus with his official biographer, and i knew we had crossed another line of surrealiality in the mccain campaign. in a serious point where obama goes to joe the plumber and says we have to spread the wealth around around. in that once sense he advanced an issue that we were trying to talk about unsuccessfully for a long time in the campaign and a little sign of life late in the campaign after the global economy had collapse and we were massively outspent, and in the mid of two of them, one won and one lost and when a losing campaign on a presidential side when you are in the late stage of it, the walls really feel like you begin to collapse on you. >> and do you think that you
could have -- >> little bit of an anecdote. >> could you have had more electoral traction if you had not picked up the mascot and just the guy? >> well, you know, the media age that we live in, and you know all that comes with it is that, you know, all of the sudden this guy is there and everyone is gloms on to him, and becomes the circus. >> and who gives these aplations by the way? billy the kid. joe the plumber, and where do you get these? >> i wonder who was the first person to come up with joe the plumber? >> and remember elan gonzalez, the fisherman. dal ripple. >> and when mccain called for joe the plumber in the crowd, and that was not a good moment, was it? >> i was there. >> you still remember. >> and called for joe, and where's joe? joe was not around. and see if joe shows up when he was running. >> joe was at the next stop and
happy super tuesday and our coverage continues here on msnbc. the big news of the past hour has been the resolution of the hard fought ohio republican primary and i was going to call it the o-tie, but it does not work well at this time of the night. and at this point, the long too close to call ohio primary has been won by mitt romney. rick santorum tonight winning in oklahoma and tennessee and in north dakota. but this has been a big and interesting night in terms of what happens moving forward in the race. after santorum's campaign said it is time for conservatives and tea party activists to urge newt gingrich to exit the race, in order to consolidate the conservative support, and in order to consolidate around one nonmitt romney candidacy and mainly rick santorum's candidacy, a senior aide to newt gingrich has responded saying in
turn, we can make the same argument. the worst part of santorum's analysis is that he does not realize that he is living the moderate vote with romney. >> too cute. >> which is definitely -- >> we will be the judge of this. >> and we have -- we have decided that you are the cal pain that should drop out, newt gingrich, to consolidate the anti-romney vote. >> but it is all good for the party. >> i will say that having seen both of the guys on the stump, i will say that on paper and in terms of the delegates and the states won, santorum looks like the guy with the mojo, but newt gingrich is better on stuff than rick santorum is on the stump. i understand that rick santorum has populism, and economic message that is appealing on the way, but having seen them both and my personal opinion of having been there, newt gingrich can move people and inspire them and stand up on the chairs and clap when he is on, and he says stuff that is crazy and does not help hill, but rick santorum is not as good and emotionally
connect as well. >> and newt gingrich is a negative force. >> and newt gingrich is a negative force to move people, and negative in a way about the president to move people who hate the president. that isperception. >> he has looked like the devil. he has a diabolic look, and he is a menacing force in american political life and i know from the time he came to congress in the 1990s he brought it down. he created an environment of hostility across the aisles that we have never been around. >> he was personally the turning point. >> he did it. he did evil things like keep your spouse back in the district. come to washington alone to become a pure politician, and just, created a terrible environment, and gets all of the social life and everything. >> that is why the beltway and why the establishment dislikes newt gingrich so much, and will try to exploit him as a candidate when they want, but that is not the regular person's