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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  February 29, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST

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he wins in the make or break state of michigan, and he comes out on top in winner take all arizona. listen to a very happy governor romney tonight. >> thank you, arizona. great victory in arizona tonight. thank you, michigan. what a win. this is a big night. thanks, you guys. >> rick santorum is putting his best face tonight on his second place finish in michigan. >> we came into the backyard of one of my opponents in a race that everyone said just ignore. you have really no chance here. and the people of michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates, and all i have to say is i love you back. >> i'm looking ahead to super tuesday. the big kahuna just one week tonight, and it could change the
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face of the race completely, with ten states voting and 416 delegates at stake. i'm back now with our cnn stellar "a" team, led by the king himself, wolf blitzer. john king, who's another king, and gloria borger, who must be the queen. welcome to you all. i've been watching the as usual brilliant coverage all night, and my gut feeling is i know a win's a win, and mitt romney obviously won arizona. we expected that. he did sneak through in michigan, but to only win by 3% in your home state when rick santorum was outspend five, six to one? it's not a thuching victory, is it? not a ringing endorsement. >> as you know, and who knows better than you do, piers? in any soccer or baseball match or baseball, a win is a win, and you can't deny that he did win. it was only a week or ten days or so ago before the last cnn
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debate that santorum was ahead in michigan. i don't think that last debate necessarily helped rick santorum. mitt romney did come back, and he did win. we'll see how that delegate split did break down in michigan. for now, it's a big sigh of relief for him. he could go forward to super tuesday with some momentum. winning in arizona, winning in michigan, he'll probably win in wyoming, and we'll see what happens a week from today. >> take me through -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say, john, talk me through super tuesday in terms of what we could say confidently will happen. there's only 10 states up for grabs. it's normally 16. it's a smaller super tuesday than normal. with your brainpower for this kind of thing, what do we confidently predict? >> nothing. i think the one lesson we've learned in this cycle is we should confidently predict nothing. it's a small win for mitt romney
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in michigan, no question about it. consider the alternative. had he lost, it's a trap door under the momentum. so it's super tuesday, his home state, his other home state of massachusetts votes. vermont votes. put those in the romney column. virginia, only mitt romney and ron paul are on the ballot. let's assume a mitt romney win in michigan. that gets him 3 of the 10. newt gingrich, virginia. newt gingrich should win in georgia. that's his home state. how much? we'll see. give that to gingrich. where are we going to fight? the biggest battle ground is ohio. ohio next week is the michigan of tonight. a big november battleground state right in the industrial heartland. the economy by far issue number one. we'll fight it out in tennessee. santorum had the edge coming into tonight in tennessee. let's check the poll in 48 hours. oklahoma, the other big state they'll fight for. and smaller states out in the west. ron paul might get one. mitt romney might get one. but the big battlegrounds are
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ohio, tennessee, oklahoma, and the question mark of whether gingrich can come back for a fourth or fifth life, whatever the count is right now, by winning his home state of georgia. >> gloria, how damaging -- it seemed to me there were three damaging hits on rick santorum. he went for this great position. he had a bad debate. i felt he was very weak that night. secondly, that ridiculous statement that president kennedy made him puke. come on, that seems to be bad politics. >> i think he needs to grow up. >> we call him puke in britain. it's the same thing. it's the excretion of vomit or something. president jfk. come on. and the last thing that i thought reamly was completely wrong, badly timed, inappropriate, and damaging, was this thing about the president being a snob for wanting people to go to college. i couldn't fathom what political damage he could do in the state.
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>> he was going for the voters he actually got, which were the most conservative voters, the evangelical voters. but what he did in the process was turn off a lot of women voters. mitt romney won with women. he turned off catholic voters who happened to like jfk, and he didn't do himself any favors with the republican party at large, who started worrying about his electability as a presidential candidate. i had a very good populist economic message, but it kind of got overtaken by this emphasis on the cultural issues and the social issues. i had one republican strategist say to me, the problem with rick santorum is he kept going down these rabbit holes instead of talking about his economic message, and that only served really to help mitt romney. and i think what we saw tonight is that he's trying to dig his way out of it and get back on his economic message, particularly as he tries to win that important state of ohio on
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super tuesday. >> where does president obama sit tonight? is he going to be vaguely disappointed that mitt romney didn't get beat in michigan? would that have been a good thing for the president? >> it probably would have been, but i think they've assumed from day one that mitt romney is going to be the republican presidential nominee. that's why they've been going after him exclusively. in all the democratic campaign commercials and their statements, they worry mostly about mitt romney. they really didn't think that newt gingrich or rick santorum or ron paul for that matter had much of a chance. they assume it's going to be a fight that mitt romney will be the nominee. they want to do whatever they can to weaken him as much as possible. they're getting ready for a tough night. i can assure you and all of our viewers out there, piers, that no one in the barack obama campaign or at the white house or democrats are just sort of saying this is going to be a cake walk. this is going to be tough. this general election, assuming
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it will be mitt romney. we don't know if it will be. it's going to be bitter. it's going to be fierce. it's going to be ugly. and all the acrimony we've seen so far is child's play compared to what's about to take place in a general election campaign. i can assure you, it's going to get very, very nasty. >> finally, john, if we work on the assumption this is virtually a two-horse race or newt gingrich would dispute that, where would you see newt gingrich or ron paul's if he pulled out -- more likely he might -- if those candidates pulled out, where would their votes go? >> ron paul isn't going anywhere. he should stay in this race. but the question is a fascinating question. if rick santorum had won michigan, would it put a lot of pressure on the newt gingrich campaign and the newt gingrich voters? because you would hear the argument let's rally around the conservative. newt gingrich has to win georgia. i would say he has to win significantly. the question is can he winsome where else on super tuesday? you look at the calendar down
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the road, you have mississippi. you have alabama. you have arkansas. you have louisiana. then you move into texas. these are southern states, the bedrock of the republican party. if you have gingrich and santorum stay in, it increases romney's chances of winning a share of the delegates proportionally and hanging in the race and winning. if one of them drops out, then you have a very different contest. newt gingrich has a lot to prove next tuesday. winning georgia alone likely not enough. does that mean he'll get out? maybe not. he says he wants to stay in it to win it. he understands the math. you have to prove you can win not only at home, you have to prove you can win other places. gingrich's challenge is similar to the romney challenge. prove you can win outside of a place that's your backyard. >> piers, i think that's a huge challenge for mitt romney. he can't give up on the south. he's got to prove he's a candidate with some breadth. that means not only inwithing in the midwest but winning in the south, which is very, very important for republicans. he's got to prove that on super tuesday somewhere. >> he certainly does.
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fascinating stuff. thank you, wolf, john, gloria. much appreciate it, as always. >> thank you. >> and romney picks up 29 delegates in arizona tonight. jan brewer is the conservative governor of that state. she endorsed romney a few days ago, and she joins me now. governor, welcome. >> thank you, piers. it's nice to be with you. >> it's my pleasure. how are you feeling tonight? it's not a thumping victory. it's not the kind of devastating onslaught against all comers that you would imagine would lead to a cessation of the race. how are you feeling overall about it? >> i'm feeling like it was a big win in arizona. and we're just really pleased that the people rallied around the man that we believe can move forward and beat president obama. >> i mean, look, he did well in arizona but against not much opposition. he obviously didn't try that hard. and in michigan, it's been a pretty close race given it's his own state. what is the fundamental problem with mitt romney not being able
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to end this race, do you think? what would you be advising him to to do? >> well, i think the bottom line is that he's leading in the race, and elections are long and hard. sometimes they take a lot longer than what you think that they should. but the bottom line is that it's no different than what happened in 2008. we'll just keep moving on. i think, as people see the difference in the candidates that they will rally around mitt romney, and they will understand that he's the man for the position at the right time in america when we're in so desperate need of leadership. you know, piers, our country is upside down and has not gotten any better. we heard lots of promises. the last election that haven't been delivered, and we need a change. i'm hoping that it's going to be my man mitt romney. >> if your man mitt does win the
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nomination, he takes on barack obama. we've already seen you in spectacular fashion on the tarmac jabbing him in the chest and threatening all sorts of thins. is that what you want to see from mitt romney when the battle royal starts? >> now, piers, you don't know what i was saying. the president and i know what i was saying. but you weren't there. i was not threatening him. i was talking to him, and he was a little bit taken -- he took offense to the book that i wrote, which is a truth-telling book, by the way, and i went there with a happy heart to welcome him to arizona and to tell him about the arizona turnaround, which i'm so very proud of what we've been able to accomplish here in arizona. you know, growing our unemployment and growing our job growth and everything that we've done with education has been marvelous. and i asked him, when he came down off the plane, i said, i welcomed him to arizona, and i said to him, you know, i would like the opportunity, if we
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could, to sit down and talk about the good things that we've done here. and he said that the last time we sat down, i went out, and i told the press that it was cordial. when i wrote my book, he didn't like the way i portrayed him. and i indicated that it was a truth-telling book, and he walked away from me. and i said, did you read my book? and he said, excerpts. the book is truthful. you know, i was a little bit unnerved. i think he was a little bit thin skinned. but he did help the economy. the book sales went up. so i'm grateful for that. >> just to be serious, if mitt romney does win and is the nominee and he gets to take on barack obama, should he be making some kind of advantage of the apparent thin skin you've identified? >> oh, no, i don't think that would be nice, and i don't think that it would be the right thing to do unless he exhibited thin skin. you have to call them like you
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see them. you have to be a truth teller. >> i have to laugh when you said that mitt romney wouldn't play on this apparent vulnerability because it wouldn't be nice. mitt romney has done some of the most vicious, far from nice commercials we've ever seen in relation to politics. i mean, he's got it in him, doesn't he, to really stick the knife in? >> you know, i will be honest with you. i don't know if any of those, whatever commercials you're talking about have been played here. i'm not familiar with this. it would be hard for me to make some kind of judgment in that regard. but certainly, if you're thin skinned, you're thin skinned. if somebody asks you about it, you're going to talk about it. but to play on it, i don't think so. >> well, i suspect he will, don't you? governor brewer, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you, piers. >> with michigan and arizona decided tonight, the next stop is super tuesday. ohio is a key state, 63
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delegates up for grabs. joining me is ohio's attorney gener general, who originally supported mitt romney and then switched to rick santorum. mr. dewine, why did you switch? >> i originally bought into the conventional wisdom that mitt romney was the strongest candidate against barack obama, but we have elections and primaries and caucuses for a reason, and it's become abundantly clear that he's not going to be the strongest candidate against barack obama. i think rick santorum is. what i'm seeing on the ground here in ohio is a great deal of enthusiasm for rick santorum. you know, very little enthusiasm for governor romney. >> i mean, given that mitt romney has won both in arizona and michigan tonight, do you feel you're the guy that put everything on red in vegas and came up black? >> i don't think governor romney
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can be very happy with his win in michigan. four years ago, he did very, very well there, overwhelming victory. he's eking out a victory apparently tonight after spending a massive amount of money to defend his home state. i think it shows quite candidly the inherent weakness of governor romney. when he gets to ohio, he's not going to have his home state advantage. i think rick santorum is going to carry ohio. >> it's na problem rick santoru has with the fire power he has. he's dwarfed by mitt romney's battle group. what is he going to do about that? >> it's his enthusiasm. people just like rick santorum. i started hearing this a few months ago when people come up to me and say -- they didn't really know him. they come up to me and say, hey, that santorum guy, i watched him on tv. i watched him on the debate. i think he's telling me the
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truth. i think he's honest. i think he's straightforward. i like him. that's what i'm hearing all over the state of ohio. romney is clearly going to come in with the big guns. he's already on tv. i think in ohio santorum is going to win. >> did the president kennedy speech about the separation of church and state make you want to throw up? do you think it's snobbish for the president of the united states to want people to go to college? >> well, i think senator santorum is explaining exactly what he meant. let's take the colleges. i think what he has said is the same thing that you would agree with and i think almost every american, i hope, would agree with. we want our children to live up to their greatest potential. my wife fran and i have eight children. they're all different. we want them to do the best that they can. that may mean college for some children, and some kids it may be going to an art school. it may mean going to a school where they're doing things with their hands in any number of ways. so i think that's what rick was saying.
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i think it's been kind of misconstrued. it wasn't an anti-education. here's a guy that has certainly a lot of education as does his wife karen. i don't think that was it. you know, as far as the whole question of church and state, i think rick's position is pretty simple. that is, when someone walks into their office -- well, it's the oval office or senate office or mayor's office -- they don't leave behind their beliefs. they don't leave behind their values, their morals, their ethics, their religious beliefs. their public positions are informed by what those beliefs are. i don't think that's a revolutionary thought, and i think that most americans would agree with that. i think governor romney's campaign frankly so far has been kind of stuck at can't really break much beyond 40% in any state despite how much money he spends. >> and, mike dewine, if we could
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turn now to this terrible shooting in your state at the high school, obviously, more and more details are emerging about this. are you any clearer about what the motive may have been for this senseless killing? >> it's not clear at all what the motive is, what the motive was. i think it will come out slowly, as the interviews continue with people who were close to the assailant? family members and others. i think over time we may be able to piece something together. as of now, no. i don't really -- can tell really anything about the motive. there was no real red flags that were going up. as people we talked to yesterday, people weren't saying, oh, i knew this was going to happen. at least we haven't found people like that yet. >> mike dewine, thank you very much.
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>> thank you. >> when we come back, can mitt romney wrap up the nomination on super tuesday? will it be newt gingrich's last stand?
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it's clear that governor romney can raise more money. he can go to wall street and get money from all the people that got bailouts from the taxpayers. so in a sense your money is coming back to you in the form of negative ads. i can't match that. but what i can do is match it with people. >> newt gingrich taking a shot at romney and the money. gingrich had a poor showing tonight. said he's banking on super tuesday. one of the biggest prizes is the chairman of that state's republican party, mike dewine from ohio. i spoke to your cousin, who obviously defected. what did you think about that defection? is there a family rift about it? >> no. in ohio there's two dewines. one, mike, the attorney general,
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does an outstanding job taking care of the taxpayers in this state. he has endorsed senator santorum. as the chairman of the ohio republican party, my job is to make sure we beat barack obama in the fall and let the voters choose the nominee come next week. no family rift at all. >> ohio is clearly going to be crucial here on super tuesday. what is your sense about the way it's going? >> well, i think ohio is going to be a lot like we saw with michigan over the course of the last week. i would suggest to your viewers that they just throw out any poll they have seen so far. any poll that they have looked at so far, any poll that comes out before thursday or friday is probably worthless, and you've got the gingrich super pac is making a buy. romney's tv folks are up. santorum's up. santorum is doing mail. there's a lot of campaign that's
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going to be unfurled onto the ohio gop family over the course of the next five or six days. no telling what this thing is going to look like next tuesday night. >> if you're santorum, how disappointed would you really be? let me bring in mike allen. yes, mitt romney won, but to only scrape through in your own home state, when you outspend your main opponent five-to-one. rick santorum had a bit of a rough week, bad debate, and made what most people consider to be gaffes. you've got to be feeling reasonably confident that despite all that you're still really close to beating him. >> you're absolutely right. rick santorum essentially declared victory tonight. he even jumped out and spoke ahead of mitt romney. we're told from the romney folks that they weren't watching tv. he was with family and friends. they were kibbutzing. rick santorum called to concede
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even before it had been announced, before cnn, other networks had called it, and he jumped out and spoke. and a story you're going to see unfold unfolding in the next couple of hours, he may get almost as many delegates as mitt romney. they're split up by congressional district. the math is still being done right now. but the split in delegates may be even closer than the actual vote. >> how damaging do you think the triple whammy, as i put it earlier, was to rick santorum's chances of actually winning in michigan. did people there care about his snob remark abo, about the attan president kennedy's speech, about his poor debate? do those things matter on the ground in someplace like michigan? >> they absolutely do. he was off his message. he looked like a winner. he looked like he had momentum. mitt romney all of a sudden got worried about michigan when he was down eight, nine points. they poured resources, poured
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money, time into michigan, which they didn't want to have to do, to come up with this, as you call it, scrape. but to answer the question that you asked in the bridge, can he close the deal on super tuesday? no. mitt romney is not getting a momentum effect out of these wins, and i can tell you the campaign is very frustrated and worried about it. they feel like the goal posts keep getting moved. they feel like they can't get on top of the story to have a clear win. looking ahead to super tuesday, our reporters think it could kind of split. there's 10, 12 contests there that you just showed on the map. santorum and gingrich could win several of those. the romney campaign now recognizes this could go on six weeks at least. >> kevin dewine, all that is impalpably true. now damage is this to the republican chances against
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barack obama if it just continues and continues and continues as it could given the geography of all this, this time round, with only ten states up on super tuesday and so on. how damaging is a prolonged race, or could it be like the democrat race four years ago where actually it ends up being quite helpful. >> i think it could be helpful. but i'll tell you what, there's a lot of the gop faithful who are ready for this thing to be over. and are ready to train their resources and train on the target. and that is defeating barack obama. when you look at the president's record, 22.5 million americans who are unemployed or underemployed spent 5 trillion more tax dollars than we've sent to washington. 42 cents of every dollar we spend has been spent on a credit card that some future generation has to pay. we're anxious to get to having the fight with the president. we're anxious to be able to carry that message to ohio voters who candidly, piers, they're not happy with the president. he's got a 40% approval rating
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in the state of ohio. a majority of independent and republican voters in the state think he doesn't deserve a second term. we're kind of anxious to get to the real game and get this primary over and get to holding the president to task for the policies that he's put on the buckeye state and put on this great country. >> there's no indication. that this is helpful. none of these other candidates show any indication of getting out. i agree with john king who said earlier that ron paul will carry it all the way. newt gingrich might get out if he loses his home state of georgia on super tuesday. if he looks like a dead ender. if he looks like that. he can rehabilitate his image. he's a popular speaker, author. but rick santorum, i can tell you this, is staffing up. he's not gearing down. he's looking ahead to a national campaign. that's why you heard him talking
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to reagan democrats in this race. he says that to beat obama in the fall, you need to get back those reagan democrats, the catholics, the blue collar workers in industrial states. he's already looking at a national message. >> and you can't blame him. mike allen, kevin dewine, thank you very both very much. >> you bet. >> when we come back, my super panel weighs in on what conservatives want from the gop. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on top of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain.
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now our favorite part of primary night. we bring in the super battle. conservative blogger andrew blight bart, a breitbart, and michael reagan. as bright and sparky as you were three hours earlier when we did this. congratulations. you've got this whole new smart image for me. >> cleaned up and got my aerodynamic fashion for you. >> you're an hour early. >> let me start with you here. fascinating night. i think it's a bit of a stretch for mitt romney to stand there and go i am the champion. this was an amazing night because it wasn't, was it? >> you might remember newt did that once. look where newt is. he got 7% of the vote tonight. when you do that, it usually does not help you when you stand up and act like that. it wasn't that great of a night. he won by 3%. should have won big going away. he did not do that. next week is even more important for mitt romney. >> andrew breitbart, how much is
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rick santorum to blame for his own slight failure to win in michigan? i gave him a bit of a hammering earlier, perhaps a little unfairly. he had a poor debate by common consent. people didn't like the attack on kennedy's speech even though he clarified it late and sort of backtracked a bit. nobody seemed to like this snob attack on president obama for the college thing even though friends of his tried to explain what he meant. the triple whammy wasn't helpful, was it? >> i would argue that he missed an opportunity. newt gingrich is the candidate who, during his flurry a while back, was attacking the mainstream media. this week they came out and tried to frame him, just as herman cain was known as the 9-9-9 candidate, they very well made santorum the 6-6-6 candidate, the guy that's worried about satan and all that type of stuff. he could have used the issue to pivot to the issue of religious
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liberties in this country and how president barack obama is attacking the concept of church and state, but instead he played to, unfortunately, form. >> it seems the way rick santorum is trying to play this, because he is positioning himself as the real conservative here, and i think andrew's right there. if you're going to do that, you've got to keep pounding away on a clear, coherent message, haven't you? >> i think you do need to do that. tonight in michigan and arizona, arizona in particular, those voters who thought the economy was the number one issue -- and it was a percentage that was by far the largest -- they went for mitt romney. i think that rick santorum sort of getting pulled off message with the social issues, that it did muddy his appeal to those michigan voters. but do remember the polls showed that rick santorum was up 20 points just a week ago. mitt romney had to add those points, and he was up another 3. he got the 12-point close.
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obviously, it's not a ringing victory this evening, but it's no small thing. >> carol, let me come to you. obviously, michigan is a huge car industry place and a big debate raging. you and i debated this the other night. i assume you've now come round to my way of thinking about this. the president came out today and said the auto bailout was a thumping success. have you changed your mind? >> i have not changed my mind, piers. have you changed your mind? >> well, no, but i ask you one question because i'm fascinated by this. those that argue that there should have been some kind of managed -- >> bankruptcy. >> -- way of saving the auto industry without a bailout. yes, bankruptcy. there wasn't any private equity to do that. if you didn't have that, then you couldn't do a managed bankruptcy. are you in possession of information i'm not in possession of? >> well, look, if you think about what being bankrupt is, it isn't going out of business,
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it's going through a process, which these companies ultimately did. right now american airlines is in bankruptcy. they still have planes in the sky. the steel industry went through this a decade ago. just because you go through a bankruptcy doesn't mean you're out of business. i do not know all of the private equity firms, but we have some empirical evidence that there are other companies that have gone through this. i don't think, piers, you want the government to be a hedge fund, which is what happened here. they ended up putting taxpayers' money not only into the debt but they ended up investing in the stock of the company. and "the wall street journal" basically says, you know what, from the $30 billion we invested in the stock, the stock needs to get to 53 for the shareholders to break even. we don't know if that's going to happen. the stocks are 26 years old. >> hang on a second. let's imagine for a moment mitt romney wins the nomination, and he has to go fight in ohio
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against barack obama, is it really sustainable to keep this position going that the whole bailout was a total failure? when by then i suspect tens of thousands of people have got jobs in the auto industry, and the general chatter about it will be it's a success. it's not a winning proposition for any candidate in a presidential election, is it? >> it's not a success. we don't know what the outcome is because we don't know how much the taxpayers are going to end up losing on this, piers. i think that's the challenge here. we don't have the empirical evidence to know what's going to happen. what we do know has happened is that the government has taken the money and put it into the stock market. they're basically gambling with the taxpayers' money. they're not creating wealth, per se. they're transferring wealth. i think that that's the mindset that mitt romney needs to go after is that we have a government that likes to shift wealth from one place to another. they want to have one pie and slice it up in different ways instead of growing the pie or teaching everybody to make pie. i think that's the way that mitt
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romney needs to go. >> piers, if i could just jump in with the politics of it. mitt romney did write an op ed on valentine's day in michigan, in a michigan newspaper there, saying why he opposed the auto bailout. it was a risky move. of it a gamble. tonight he won michigan. so we can see, at least in the primary politics here, mitt romney took this chance, and michigan voters still gave him the gop primary. whether or not it will work in the general, i have no idea. but it worked tonight. >> okay. let's take a break and come back and talk super tuesday. or could it be fatal tuesday for one of the candidates?
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mitt romney has super pacs. i have a super panel. welcome to you all back. michael, let me come to you about super tuesday. newt gingrich has been pretty quiet, didn't really compete in arizona and michigan quite deliberately. has he got a way back in? we've written him off so many times. has he got a way back? >> the professor always has a way back in. it seemed to be through the south. georgia is as important to him as michigan was to mitt romney tonight. he's got to win georgia. >> would it be enough even if he wins in georgia? >> newt will probably think it's enough, but he should try to win one or two more on that same day. there's a lot of states up for grabs on that night. at least he has an area he can
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look at and say i can win there. where is santorum going to win on super tuesday? you're right. super tuesday is going to be a make or break for someone. >> it might be, andrew, or it might be a mish mash where they all pick up victories. everyone has little victories, and they all make victory speeches, and we wind up on super tuesday thinking, well, that was a waste of time. >> i would say the big victor, if that happens, just as this week, is barack obama, who continues to allow for the republican party to be fighting each other. what i find interesting about next week is there is the possibility of a brokered convention based upon the possibility of what we're finding. >> is it a real possibility? >> now in real clear politics it's up to 20% when it was down in single digits before. it will be interesting how they interpret tonight's number to see how -- and they look at the polls for next week because, if there is a genuine sense that
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mitt romney can't close the deal, people are going to start getting nervous. >> out of 144 delegates, you've got to get there. if you have santorum splitting the delegate count with mitt romney, he's not going to get to 1,144. he's going to need to go into that convention. >> if somebody was to jump in here, who is the most likely candidate out there that could possibly do that? is there anybody realistically who's going to stick their neck out now and take on barack obama in an election that many think they could win? >> it's really hard to see who that person would be. chris christie, he said over and over, no, no, no, he's not going to do it. jeb bush said he's not sure even if he has anything in common with the republican party anymore. i don't see him jumping in. in terms of the brokered convention, so much can happen obviously between now and then. mitt romney could reach out to rick santorum and have a conversation with him joining him on a republican ticket. that's so down the road. it's not even worth making predictions about.
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as far as super tuesday goes, all eyes on ohio. ohio being a swing state. it was a state that was red, flipped blue for barack obama. this is going to be a real testing ground for the republicans in the gop primary, the contenders. between santorum and romney considered the front-runners, which one of those two are going to be able to take ohio. >> a ticket of romney and santorum would be quite interesting, wouldn't it? ? that could be quite a formidable double act. >> that doesn't sound like a good idea for me. jeremy lin of the knicks would be the obvious choice for momentum here, and he went to harvard. but chris christie or marco rubio are clearly the front-runners here. i think romney and santorum is not a good idea in any way, shape, or form. >> michael, you're jumping in here. >> having been down this road for than anybody else in the building, nobody ever votes for the president of the united states. they vote for the top of the ticket every single time. everybody always comes up and
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says, i'll take this person. i want that person. put that person out there. no. who's at the top of the ticket? that's the one that drives it. >> but sarah palin changed everything in the last election cycle. there was a moribund campaign, and when mccain picks somebody that magical. i don't think there's anybody that could be that magical person. >> i know sarah palin. she's a friend of mine. there ain't no sarah palins out there. >> isn't she the reason why there won't be anybody jumping in? the problem was she came out of nowhere. then all the vetting started, then all the media scrutiny. by the time they worked her up. >> what media scrutiny? i'm kidding. >> but you don't choose a vice president that gets more media attention than you do. you're at the top of the ticket. ronald reagan picked george h.w. bush. >> you also don't pick someone at the last minute as your potential nominee who hasn't been thoroughly vetted for a while by the media, don't you?
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huge gamble. >> one of the other hundred people he asked shouldn't have turned him down. there should have been more people available. >> i'm going to ask you right now who you think will be the nominee? michael? >> who? most likely mitt romney. >> mitt romney. >> amy? >> boy, i had predicted hillary clinton in 2008. i'm not sure my prediction is worth much. mitt romney. >> carol? >> i'm voting for you, piers? >> obviously, i'm unable to stand. >> i want to see your birth certificate. >> i'd love to see newt jump in and do great next week and go on and win it, but he's got to be in the race to do it. he can't just choose a spot and go. >> you've got to be in it to win it. we'll reconvene on super tuesday. it will be a fascinating veeng. my guess is we'll end up none the wiser after super tuesday. we shall see. when we come back, a former member of mitt romney's inner circle.
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new capzasin quick relief gel. (announcer) starts working on contact and at the nerve level. to block pain for hours. new capzasin, takes the pain out of arthritis. mitt romney won two states tonight, but he's still struggling to get away from the pack while downplaying his extreme wealth. how can he convince people he's like them? why did you and mitt romney part ways when by popular consent you got him back on track in
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florida? >> i'm not going to comment on what happened with the romney campaign, but i was very honored to be able to work with him. sometimes the role of advisers is way overblown. at the end of the day, it's candidates that have to go out there and perform, do the debates, do the interviews, do the speech. i think that mitt romney has proved he's more than capable in debates. he had a great debate last week against rick and newt and ron paul. i think he proved that's why he's the victor this evening. i mean, he won that debate. he won the florida debates. and those have propelled him to victory. 6 in 10 voters in michigan said the debate last week mattered to them in making their mind up. >> those no doubt these debates have definitely been making most of voters' minds as we go, but it wasn't a massive victory for romney, even in michigan, his home state. why is he still struggling to really cement this front-runner position, do you think? >> well, i think this race has
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been all about momentum, and there's been a lag between some of the contests you saw that rick santorum won four states between these two contests, and he wasn't able to sustain that momentum. in fact, if you look at this evening in context, really arizona has been discounted, but mitt romney won 29 delegates there. by the end of the evening, he will have won 44, 45 of the 59 delegates that were at stake this evening. and he made a pretty amazing comeback in michigan by turning a race that he was nine or ten points down a week and a half ago into a three-point victory. i don't think that's anything to underestimate. whether or not that momentum will carry into next week remains to be seen, but i do think he's in a better position now. the more and more he keeps winni winning, then the more inevitable his candidacy and his
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nomination will become. i think that will sustain him over the long haul. i mean, your panel proved it really. >> yeah. knowing mitt romney as you do, what is it he's struggling to get out there about his character, his personality, that perhaps he isn't selling well enough yet? >> i think it's the personal side. i think that governor romney, when he talks about the economy, there is no doubt there is no one in the race that i think is better able to handle the economy. i think that he has convinced a lot of voters of that. if you look at the race the way the exit polls broke down this evening, he certainly was winning on the economy. but in terms of the personal side, i think that he's got to do more to just show voters and have a conversation with them about who he is, and i think he's been doing that over the last week and doing a better job at it. i think that sometimes he is definitely talking too much and parsing words a little bit too
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much. and when he starts telling stories about himself, i think it's a lot better. >> i hope he comes on this show and tells some stories to me. thank you very much, mr. o'donnell. >> thanks. >> we'll be right back.
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