tv Way Too Early With Willie Geist MSNBC March 21, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT
good morning, i'm willie geist and this is "way too early," the show that finished just behind blago in last night's illinois primary. i'm glad you're watching on msnbc or listening on sirius xm radio. let me know what you're doing up at this hour. or you can do what lava lamp owners do, text the word awake followed by your response to 622639 and we'll read your responses later. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this wednesday, march 21, a lot to tell you about, the justice department stepping into the investigation of the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin. we will have a report from florida. plus, in light of the tebow news in denver, jimmy falun breaks out the tebow get-up once again, perhaps for the last time. that clip later in the show. first the news, live at 5:30
a.m. at 30 rock in new york city. mitt romney has taken another step toward the republican presidential nomination. after scoring a decisive victory in the illinois primary. romney won with 47% of the vote. defeating rick santorum by 12 points. ron paul and newt gingrich were down in the single digits. romney's illinois win adds another 41 delegates to his total haul, which now stands at nearly 500. those still far from the 1144 needed to clinch the nomination, romney has close to 300 more delegates than santorum. with the general election in mind, romney focuses his election night speech on attacking president obama while touting his own experience in the private sector. >> for 25 years i lived and breathed business and the economy and jobs. i had successes and failures. but each step of the way, i learned a little bit more about what it is that makes our american system so powerful.
you can't learn that teaching constitutional law at university of chicago, all right? you can't even learn that as a community organizer. the simple truth is that this president doesn't understand the genius of america's economy. or the secret of the american economic success story. the american economy is fuelled by freedom. >> santorum spoke to his supporters from his home state of pennsylvania, in gettysburg. it's a matter of fact, highlighting his working class upbringing and arguing romney's business background is not what the country needs. >> we don't need a manager. we need someone that's going to pull up government by the roots and throw it out and do something to liberate the private sector in america. that's what we need. >> it's great to have wall street experience. i don't have wall street experience. but i have experience growing up in a small town in western
pennsylvania. growing up in a steel town. growing up in public housing, and apartments and seeing how men and women of this country scraped and clawed because they had the opportunity to climb the ladder of success in america. >> again santorum in gettysburg, pennsylvania last night. the primary there not until april 24th. vote for santorum and gingrich vowing to fight on for this nomination. but msnbc "time" senior political analyst, mark halperin characterized romney's win last night as a signal to the end of the republican primary. suggesting the other contenders should move aside so the republican party can rally around its nominee. >> both rick santorum, newt gingrich and ron paul are good, decent people. they've ron honorable campaigns. at some point the reality is going to set in that mitt is the all but certain nominee. i can tell you what mitt romney did four years ago.
when he found himself in a similar situation, running against john mccain. after super tuesday, john mccain certainly didn't have the delegates to become the nominee. but at that point he was on track to get those delegates. and mitt romney made the decision, and it was a difficult one, to step aside. >> joining us by phone, the chief white house correspondent for politico, mr. mike allen. good morning. >> good morning, willie. >> eric fernstrom, you heard him saying in no uncertain terms that it's time for rick santorum and newt gingrich to step aside so that the party can rally behind mitt romney. any chance either of them will? >> well, santorum is going to fight on. but eric fernstrom told politico that romney has an insurmountable lead. so they're making this case on a number of fronts. he pointed out that in mitt romney's remarks, he was acting like the nominee. they think that by projecting confidence, even though he doesn't quite have the number,
that he can give off the aura of the nominee. we're going do hear him talking less and less about other republicans. and more and more about obama. we saw that last night. santorum was still talking about mitt romney. talking about obama care, talking about how romney is a co-author of that. willie, listen to this. mitt romney needs just under 50% of the remaining delegates to get the nomination. santorum would need almost 8 0%, newt gingrich would need almost 90%. >> 80% for santorum. if you look at it from santorum's point of view, he looks at saturday, louisiana, a place he thinks he can do well. and looking just beyond that to wisconsin, feels like he can do pretty well there, too. why would he be compelled at this moment anyway to get out? and if it's not now, when is that tipping point for santorum where he says, all right, enough is enough, time to get behind romney? >> one potential tipping point is april 24th, santorum's home state, pennsylvania. at the moment it looks like he's
ahead. if romney were to sneak up on him there, really wouldn't have any reason to go on. but you delve into the exit polls and you see the problem for santorum. that he's never been able to break out of his demographic of the blue collar, evangelicals. but that group, it's not enough to win a nomination. not enough to win a general election. so you look at the numbers last night. after last night, santorum has a much steeper hill to climb. mitt romney is on a much clearer trajectory. the powers and the money and the party are increasingly going to be saying that. >> you're right, mike. last night the very conservative category just about the only one that rick santorum won in illinois. mike allen, thanks so much. coming up on "morning joe," we'll talk. in other news, the top american commander in
afghanistan will be back on capitol hill tomorrow after telling members of the house on tuesday that the u.s. mission in the country should continue as planned. despite weeks of increasing violence against coalition forces, general john allen told the house armed services committee that recent setbacks will not alter the strategy in afghanistan. he says the plan to transfer security to afghan forces is quote on track. 23,000 u.s. troops are expected to leave afghanistan this september. with all combat troops leaving the country by the end of 2014. the most recent round of calls to quicken the pace of withdrawal came of course after staff sergeant robert bales allegedly opened fire on a pair of remote afghan villages. bales has not been formal will y charged in the shooting spree. his attorney says it's far from an open-and-shut case. >> no forensic evidence, there's no medical examiner's evidence. there's no evidence about how many alleged victims or where those remains are.
so you know, it's fascinating from a defense lawyer's perspective. i think the war son trial. i think the war should be on trial. and i'm hoping that the war will be on trial. >> interview with nbc's john yang. bales' attorney says there are possible mental health issues, related to his client's case. a grand jury will convene next month in florida to consider evidence in the death of trayvon martin. an unarmed blacked teenager gunned down by a neighborhood watch captain. the shooter, george zimmerman, is claiming self-defense and has not yet been arrested. with public anger mounting, the fbi and the justice department also now investigating. as nbc's ron allen reports, newly-revealed phone conversations may be critical to the case. >> today trayvon martin's family offer what they claim is more proof that the unarmed teen was an innocent victim. they say his cell phone records show he was on the phone with a female friend at the moment he met zimmerman and she heard what
happened. she heard trayvon say why are you following me? and that's when she said she hears the other voice say what are you doing around here. >> then she said she heard what sounded lying an altercation. sanford police say george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin in self-defense. but when zimmerman was calling police the night trayvon martin was killed, he described the victim using a racial epithet. >> which entrance is that that he's heading for? >> the back entrance. >> igniting more demands for an arrest. the victim's parents say their online petition has more than half a million signatures. in this quiet and comfortable community, where there had been a rash of burglaries, residents are still outraged by what they've heard in zimmerman's neighborhood watch call to police. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> okay, we don't need you to do that. >> he's not charles bronson. and this wasn't "death wish." this isn't a movie, this is an
actual thing that has happened out here. and i hope that the fbi can get to the bottom of it. >> mr. zimmerman was a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. that was nbc's ron allen reporting. state legislators in florida are calling for a reexamination of florida's stand your ground law. established in 2005, it provides significant leeway for someone to claim self-defense in a shooting. it's one of 21 such laws on the books across the country. still ahead here on "way too early," a massive earthquake rocks mexico, right in the middle of spring break week for a lot of people. plus two of the all-time greats share the stage in denver, where john elway hands the keys to the franchise to peyton manning. so what did elway have to say to tim tebow? that story and a check on weather, when, when we come back.
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this was the scene yesterday in mexico city, just after noon local time. a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern mexico, shaking buildings and knocking out power to nearly 2.5 million people. the quake hit about 100 miles east of acapulco, a popular tourist destination, despite causing extensive damage, there have been no reported casualties, thank goodness. president obama's 13-year-old daughter, malia, by the way is on spring break in mexico. but the white house confirms she is okay.
toor more let's check in with nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> it was at a depth of about 12 miles and the depth of the earthquakes make a big difference in the damage. they were fortunate and there haven't been many aftershocks. as far as what we're dealing with, the great lakes to the northeast just been incredible warmth, off-the-charts, never happened before in our recorded history of our country. 85 in chicago yesterday. 80 in burlington, vermont, doesn't happen in march. and a lot of heavy rain. if you know anyone down in louisiana, especially from the lake charles area northwards, just outside of shreveport. a lot of heavy rain overnight, a lot of flash flooding concerns, water in homes, for today, we still have the heavy rain down in the gulf. but the temperatures take the cake as the big story, another day near 80 in hartford. new york city to d.c. temperatures in the mid 70s. chicago today will be your last day of the incredible heat, 86
today in the windy city. >> just ridiculous, 86 degrees, we'll take 73 in new york. let's turn to sports, peyton manning and the denver broncos consummated their relationship on tuesday, as manning signed a five-year deal worth $96 million. the four-time league mvp introduced by denver team owner, pat boland and vice president of football operations, john elway. john elway's low pressure approach apparently helped convince manning to come to denver. >> i've always had a great deal of respect for john elway. he is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play and his knowledge and respect for the game is evident in everything that he does. talking football with john, with coach fox and his staff helped me realize that this is a great place to be. i call john elway monday morning and let him know that i wanted to be a denver bronco. i am thrilled to be here, i'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates and doing everything i can to help this
franchise win another super bowl. >> now that the broncos have their man, the focus turns to tim tebow. it wasn't long ago, he was electrifying the city of denver with his comeback victories. yesterday, peyton manning talked about the quarterback he will be replacing. >> i know what kind of player tim tebow is. and what kind of person that he is. i've gotten to meet him, meet him personally one time and what an awesome year he had this year. if tim tebow is here next year, i'm going to be the best teammate i can be to him and he and i are going to help this team win games. >> the broncos acknowledged it was a possibility that tebow would be traded, a likelihood, but john elway, the father of two daughters, did give tebow one endorsement. >> tim tebow is a great kid. and i said that, i mean he's the one guy, if i wanted someone to marry my daughter, it would be him. i told you tim is a great football player. but i just think with the opportunity that presented itself here, we -- with the
opportunity to have peyton manning's services, we had to take advantage. >> where is tebow going to go? you've heard jacksonville, miami, green bay? here it comes -- now new york city wants tim tebow. the front page of the "new york post," good lord, jets put tebow on radar. forget linsanity, it's time for some timsanity. with tebow's future in limbo. jimmy falun decided it was a good time to dust off his old character, tebow-y. >> tebow plays football ♪ ♪ passing good and praising jesus ♪ ♪ with the denver broncos ♪ he threw it lefthand ♪ but his aim was bad ♪ he lost to new england ♪ guess god's a brady fan ♪ peyton was a colt ♪ screwed-up neck and screwed
their season ♪ ♪ spent a year on the bench ♪ and while he was sitting ♪ tim tebow was winning ♪ tebow-ing was the craze ♪ everything was going great ♪ and then came john elway ♪ and he kicked right in his balls ♪ ♪ they replaced him with peyton ♪ ♪ tebow got screwed enough ♪ and now he's a virgin no more ♪ >> let's hope tebow-y stays around a little bit longer than tim tebow will in denver. to basketball, the ncaa tournament resumes thursday with sweet 16. we got a good fix last night with the women's tournament. history made during the baylor-florida game. watch the throwdown from britney
greiner. the superstar of women's college basketball. baylor won the game, 76-57. she's the 6'8" star center at baylor. greiner -- this wasn't on a break-away when she was all alone. she just took one step and the throwdown from britney greiner becomes only the second woman to dunk in an ncaa tournament game. her first dunk of the season. but the sixth dunk of britney greiner's career. she finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, that baylor team is going to be tough to beat in this tournament. coming up on "morning joe," mitt romney wins big in illinois. his campaign politely suggests rick santorum ought to pack up his campaign signs and go on home now. we'll assess the path forward for the republican feared with our morning crew. and we'll huddle around the water cooler to watch a creative youtube editor turn mitt romney into eminem. >> i'm not concerned about the
improvement over his performance in illinois four years ago. if you want to sound smart today, tell your friends romney won more than 171,000 more votes on tuesday, than he did in the 2008 illinois primary. romney placed second to john mccain in 2008, taking just over 28% of the vote and winning three delegates. again last night he won 47% of the vote. enough of the real news, let's huddle up around the water cooler to talk about mitt romney's stop at google's chicago offerses yesterday. romney has been accused of being a bit awkward personally. and this human interaction is not going to help that impression much. romney came up to a guy named nathan and congratulated him, brick tamlynn style on the size of his desk lava lamp. >> hey, how you doing. >> nathan, pleasure to meet you. >> that's a big lava lamp, congratulations. >> are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them. do you really love the lamp or
are you just saying you love the lamp because you saw it. >> i love lamp. i love lamp. >> rick tamlynn much, much worse than mitt romney. there's a new viral video taking over the internet. an australian lawyer created a video by splicing tv clips of president obama, mitt romney and others speaking to form a spot-on parody of eminem's "the real slim shady. "the video is called, "will the real mitt romney please stand up?" >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of united states. ♪ >> can i have your attention, please? can i have your attention please? will the real mitt romney please stand up? ♪ i repeat -- will the real mitt romney please stand up? ♪ we're going to have a problem here. you act like you haven't seen a mormon before. down on the floor, i'm not concerned about the very poor. got it wrong, sorry, those not whey meant. i want everybody american to be the top 1%. willard is my first name.
i'm not looking for 00 colony on the moon, just for someone to blame. i like being able to fire people. you're fired, boom, boom. >> hugh at kin is the guy who put it together. check it out on youtube. still ahead, "morning joe" just moments away. ok, guys-- what's next ? chocolate lemonade ? susie's lemonade... the movie. or... we make it pink ! with these 4g lte tablets, you can do business at lightning-fast speeds. we'll take all the strawberries, dave. you got it, kid. we have a winner. we're definitely gonna need another one. small businesses that want to grow use 4g lte technology from verizon. i wonder how she does it. that's why she's the boss. because the small business with the best technology rules. contact the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 1-800-974-6006.
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we asked you what you were doing up at this hour. our producer, john tower, has a couple of answers. >> joe writes i'm preparing for science fun night tonight at school 19 in buffalo, we'll be making lava lamps from scratch. willie is welcome to join us. >> you'll be in buffalo? new york's not coming up in the primary season too soon, otherwise we'd have mitt romney come by and compliment you on your lava lamps. this tweet comes to me. woke up at 4:00 a.m. to burning smell in hotel room. air condition blew out, the air conditioner fan blew out. that's another one we can chalk up a new demographic, john tower, people waking up because of burning smells in their hotel