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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  April 4, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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mitt romney from now on will act like the nominee the republican party with the sole focus of beating barack obama. >> he suddenly looked and sounded pretty presidential i thought. he was positioning himself and seemed like any way that rick santorum can get back in this, he said may will be a very different month for me. i will win in texas.
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say he lost in pennsylvania, doesn't his dignity say he must pull out then? >> that's a great point. if the polls keep trending against him, rick santorum may pull out before pennsylvania. he does not want to be humiliated at home to preserve his future in the party and in order to preserve his future for 2016. there is a debate in the romney campaign. some are arguing spend a bunch of money in pennsylvania and crush him. others argue that nature is going to take care of itself and they don't have to worry about him anymore. >> let's go to john meachem. you wrote this ebook in the surface. romney santorum and it has been a circus in many ways. a very enjoyable circus and not necessarily unhelpful to both the republican party's chances of beating barack obama and the
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american political process. what was your conclusion so far about this race in terms of the merit as a political challenge? >> it is entertaining and if you read the book, you will see it's for the camps very tense and scary. it was good for the public? i agree with you that these campaigns are test candidates. they have to run the gauntlet by the time they get to november, they have to prove the metal. on the romney camp at times didn't quite feel that way. the theory that you have made stronger by a campaign, a lot of this has not felt that way for the romney folks and he has been a bad cantidate, he has high negatives. not since bob dole has a republican candidate had such high negatives and low approval ratings. >> there were great nuggets. what i liked was mitt romney is
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addicted to organic peanut puttpu butter and honey sandwiches. >> here takes the knife and cleans it himself so he leaves no mess. >> a wonderful detail. >> he is a thoughtful candidate. part the reason we are doing this project is to bring out the drama here. teddy white treated this campaign as quests and if you want to shift the pagan literature, you city as a drama and everybody trying to get home. we will overcome the demon in the woods and the white house. to go to your point a second
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ago, what you see is that romney probably could have used in his own mind less of a time of testing. ultimately and if you win, it doesn't seem to me anyway that the downside is that i think the independents decide the elections and the electoral college are not coming out of the primary feeling warmly towards the republicans. >> you obviously can have this on ebook, but i was in these pictures of president obama, mitt romney and rick santorum on vacation. >> most people when they go to the gym, they trust that the person before them wiped down the equipment and you make sure you do it after you worked out.
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not mitt romney. when he was in the mesa marriott he almost always stays at marriotts on the road. right before a debate, he wipes down the equipment before he uses it and after he uses it. when he is making the organic peanut butter and honey sandwiches, he doesn't use a napkin because he thinks it's wasteful. >> he's a classic rich guy's way of behaving. look after the cents and the dollars look after themselves. >> one of the great stories that mike has here as well is tag romney's son talking about how his father will come over and instead of watching football or hanging out, he will say why are your trees dying? is your boiler working? let's go down to home depot and
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come back and literally if you are a romney child, you look out the window and your father is on a riding mower. >> i like all this. this is one of the reasons i wish mitt romney would do a personal interview these details some people will laugh at will resonate much better with the average american than him talking about $10,000 bets or the rest of this stuff. he is a rich guy who is disconnected. >> i think that, but there is a fight within the romney campaign. some people do want him to show that side. a lot of his handlers fear his propensity and particularly as well. he is like a lot of those people that are kind of uncomfortable with money. something about him makes him work. in defense of romney, he is a
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good boss. this is not insignificant. his campaign does not have a lot of back biting. remember the hillary clinton campaign? that was an embroiled mess of people trying to do each other in. that suggests he is a good boss. he's fair mind and that's relevant because when you are president of the united states, you are boss of the white house and the country. if you are a fair-minded guy, that counts for something. i don't think romney gets credit for that. >> i agree with that. also from a personal point of view, he's pretty well unimpeachable. if you look at his life, he has been with the same woman his entire adult and has been an excellent husband and father and not a whiff of scandal in his personal life. he doesn't drink, never taken drugs or never smoked. he's a good guy when it comes to
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basic normal human values, isn't he? >> that's right. in our elections, one of the most important qualities is do people relate to you. going back to at least jimmy carter, the more obviously likeable person has won the presidency. now there challenges of how we translate that to people? how do you get people to see that? in the next few weeks we will see mitt romney, this is your life and traveling around the country and see people he helped when he was in the form on church to try to personalize him. there risks in that in the book. one of the advisers calls it opening up the kimono. they have been very, very reluctant to do that. he still hasn't done a lot of energy shows. they are going to try to find the balance of how to make him more human and help people
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connect with that. yet not fall for that and democrats try to portray him as aliens. president obama talked about how mitt romney is someone who was different. mitt romney's remarks heard about obama was the one who was out of touch. we will have an argument here between two guys about who is more out of touch. >> it's an interesting detail. i like the fact that santorum doodles when he was taking part in debates. he is quite religious. >> the holy spirit he writes. he may be pretty far to the right, but he does believe it. he is a catholic who is animated by it. you can't do that.
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that is one reason. talk about long shots. he is driving around in a pickup truck with a cell phone. that was the campaign. he was so far under the radar that the romney campaign is pretty well-prepared group. they were getting ready for iowa. the campaign was negative and they loved to have a book of opposition research. they said where is the santorum book? there was none. they were not prepared. they didn't take them seriously. that was a mistake. he came out of nowhere and hung in there and the reason i think is because people think he is sincere. >> if you were to create the perfect opponent against barack obama, it would be mitt romney infused surgically with a dash of santorum's sincerity and authenticity and consistency on the statements about issues. the wig problem for mitt romney
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in the real battle will be the flip flopping. >> that's right and of course mitt romney has the opportunity to pick his vice president. one of the debates now is do we pick someone who helps us with the christians and bring together the base. mike huckabee and the virginia senator or do we pick someone who helps us with the middle? this is from ohio and even talk about trying to get a youthful excitement with a paul ryan from wisconsin. marco rubio from florida. as the campaign shifts into the general election mode and think about running against obama and leaving behind the republicans, this is a big chance. something you and i do not have the chance to do has a second chance to make a first
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impression. mitt romney has that as he becomes the com me in. they are curious and get tuned in a in. >> it will be fascinating to see what happens in the circus. romney santorum in the gop race is also fascinating. thank you all very much. >> thank you for your great coverage. >> pretty huge night as competitors are not giving up just yet. they fire back in just a moment.
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>> let's not make the mistake of 1976. let's move right to 1980 and defeat a democratic incumbent. thank you very much. >> drawing comparison to what reagan did in 1980. he doesn't sound defeated. he is not backing down either. joining me now is team santorum and revised the gingrich campaign. you have taken a good old kicking. a shelac. how do you come back from this? >> two weeks ago i was here with you and talking about the big wins and we went on to win louisiana and won 11 states. two we tie and we get to move on to friendlier territory. one being pennsylvania. about half the states left to go. you look forward to those and realize that you can kick his butt right back.
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that's what we intend to do. >> if mitt romney kicks santo m santorum's butt in his own back yard. isn't that game over? >> rick santorum is an italian kid from a steel town. we know about winning. you can see that in the sports teams. i think we will do quite well in pennsylvania. i will say this. whoever wins pennsylvania will be the nominee and it's critical to us as well as mitt romney that we win and i will make a prediction. if he wins pennsylvania and texas, he will be the republican nominee. >> let me turn to kelly ann conway. no one was talking about newt gingrich. he was the forgotten man. how many times can he come last and retain credibility as a candidate?
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>> barack obama himself called out newt by name. and mitt romney stands in an awful light like newt gingrich and he stealing his best lines like government-centric society that comes right from newt. mitt romney in his quasi-general election speech sounded like a hybrid. our campaigns are running off on him. he realizes front-runner or not he will have to be a little less allergic to conservatism to be a convincing nominee. i learned two things. one is mathematical. we have the big states coming up and texas can be a winner take all state. that's a big enchilada in one day. we have a lot ahead of us. the second thing is that mitt romney can no longer whine and complain he doesn't have a free shot at barack obama.
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he never mentioned gingrich, paul, or santorum. he took it right to obama. he got the clear shot. i think he said a lot of great things that conservatives and people like me would love to hear, but it seemed very cut and paste, kid tested, mother approved. to string it all and eek out strategies. he will have to polish that. we will see how that works out in the polls. >> would it be helpful if newt gingrich quit the race and put his support behind rick santorum? combined, their traditional conservative support could give mitt romney a run for his money now. it seems that a part they are spending that vote and romney is basically getting a clean head of steam away. >> par basically have two
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conservatives and one moderate. what's happening is if you take the delegates that the two conservatives have and add them together, then add potentially winner take all as kelly anne said in texas, 159 delegates, all of a sudden you have a completely new ball game. i think it's time that conservatives get serious about uniting together and standing up for the principals and understanding that it's conservative values that will win in november, not by compromising. >> this seems to me like we made progress. kelly anne, a clear offer from john. time to join forces. >> john, among the most compelling and charming salesman i encountered. we will take it straight off the food chain. >> it's not a very long food chain. you just have to call newt and
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say look, you are getting your butt kicked and santorum is way ahead of you in the conservative vote. the game is up. you could actually together be a very formidable force against mitt romney and you could end up with the conservative candidate that newt gingrich really wants. even if it's not him. >> it has been that way for quite a while. about going for the entire prize and the nomination with the conservative. that is why john and i are here tonight. mitt romney although he is the front-runner, these critical endorsements and the tea party favorites, he never can convince a critical mass of the voters that they can hang it up and follow a romney candidacy. with rick and newt also comes a slew of conservative stars. i bet they would lineup for that type of open convention and
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unity ticket. they are there. sarah palin said she would go for newt. they all have great things to say. those have been out this year and none of them with the exception of tim pawlenty got out and endorsed the front-runner. >> here's the deal. >> i totally agree with you. you both agree with each other. the question becomes who backs who and surely all the polls tell you and all the momentum tells you that newt would have to throw support behind rick santorum, doesn't it? >> that's what they would say, but newt gingrich has been counted out before and we will have a three-week lull and for others it's an opportunity to make sure that we continue to unify at least a message and principal if not in process. >> sounds to me that is the nearest i heard the gingrich cam
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giving you guys a green light to stop proper talking. this is crying out and the big moment. this is the moment that conservatives have to really. >> for it happens, get the kudos and kelly anne said something important. we can make this about something bigger than rick santorum and newt gingrich. if we can bring all the superstar conservatives and unite as team and campaign as one team and promise to govern as one team, we could light a fire under tea party and conservative supporters around the country like never happened before and take a critical step in taking back the country. >> i feel like a cross between kofi annan and cupid tonight. next, i have a phone call tonight. you know it's going to happen. mitt romney has a 3-3 night. can he take on the rival in chief, president obama? [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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>> i don't want to transform america. i want to restore the freedom and opportunity that made us the power house of the world. >> it has been a good night for him.
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he is the chairman of the campaign and a former governor of the state and the author of turn this car around, the road map to restoring america. joining me now, a great night for you and a great night for governor romney. what is the road map ahead for the romney campaign. the equipment manager and getting back everyone on the team. >> at what point do you think other candidates should pull out of this race? >> it's not my call. it's not governor romney's call. it's their call. it always sounds weak when you say that guy has to get out and governor romney is strong. once the math is so tough and so
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difficult, the fund-raising drives up and the delegates are not there. you have to think about why. >> he has a problem with women and not surprising given that the social issue debates that have been raging republican parties have been pretty negatively received. how does he rebuild trust in the female vote? >> i think that's more of a function of the santorum campaign and the democrats are using santorum's verbiage and the partisan advantage. when the general election has one on one general elections and see again or are reminded of the real views. that gender gap will dissipate quickly. >> does governor romney get fed up with how it went before a few years ago and he is back in and clearly the front-runner. everyone assumes he is going to win. is he champing at the bit to get in. >> no doubt about it, this
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campaign was built for the long haul. quite frankly the great divide and what you want. you wanted great contrast of presidential elections. it will be a big race. obama care and energy and taxes and spending and deficits. they have profound differences on the issues. i like differences between the candidates. it's what the people have a right to expect. >> how is hoos mood. how is he feeling in himself? >> i was with him last week and i asked him, you don't look tired. i have been through state-wide campaigns and you have to look worse. he looks good. he's confident and look, quite frankly i'm a person who believes that this prolonged campaign helped him and made him a better debater and candidate and the dollars is on the downside, but he's a sharp candidate and has to think
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president obama is a tough candidate, but mitt romney is there. he has the still set not to compete, but to win. he has the skill set to believe what the country is looking for. there seems to be a slight disconnect between governor romney and the average american in the street. because he is so wealthy and successful, he makes repeated mistakes that lends to the argument that he is slightly out of touch. it's the collateral issue of the day. if you have a kid who is 22 with $150,000 in debt and he's a smart kid and can't get the job he or she needs, you don't care about the etcha sketch or two
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compared to one. the press loves it and it's a feeding frenzy and you know that. it helps pay the salary and it is what it is. when it comes to the general election, the keystone on the energy independence and taxes and spending and deficits. this is the stuff that counts. i do believe ultimately this election is about who was best for my kid to secure that job? who do i trust to create the jobs in this country today? who has done it and who understands the economy better? the president or mitt romney. if that's the paradigm and the question people ask themselves, i'm confident he will prevail on election day. >> thanks to the all-star legal panel and refusal to bow out.
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on another big night. my all-star legal panel. ben smith and chief of the feed briefly for politico and author of the enterprise equation. what an exotic lineup with
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incredible lineups as always. you always have been a romney girl. are you feeling like the wedding is on the way here? >> i have always seen this as like a prize fight. there certain fighters who go over the knockout punch and certain ones who do a good job and you go to the cards. it's a little bit more battered and bloody in the latter scenario, but in that strategy, he stuck to it and that's what we will see here. he was the underdog and rocky won and he lost it at the end. that's what's going to happen here. >> here knocked everybody else out. what i liked about mitt romney is this hill is a little steeper. a big stepper here.
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what do you make of that? >> there was a song called big stepper. i'm not sure. what i noticed is the believe in america banner and when he said he doesn't want to transform america. he wants to return america and restore america. that was such a contrast coming from the white house for the past week and many said the white house had the worst week yet in the presidency and tonight mitt romney was loose and relaxed and he was clearly focused to borrow carol's analogy and metaphor on the prize. you didn't hear any competitors. no ron paul. it was targeted at president obama and trying to project an air of optimism and moving forward. >> ben smith there is no doubt he has gone back to the mitt romney and he is now able to do
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that again and come through with social issues and i suspect the romney can't see it. let me paint a picture. i was talking to john there and also in the gingrich camp about a potential linker. between the two camps to form a conservative and to my surprise, they began to be flirtatious about the idea. you could bring in all the conservative big guns and the sarah palins and stuff. he is feasible or has it. >> the horse is balded. you saw paul ryan and the key conservative on stage there with mitt romney in wisconsin. these are the pipe dreams of these guys who are minor candidates. they don't together have enough to beat romney. even if they teamed up now, they are increasingly fighting over the scraps.
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how is he going to turn around the perception of himself in tough economic times. he is out of touch with the average american. >> i think he needs to do a better job at fighting back against the media. if that's anything that the nominee has to get better at as a whole, they have to stop fighting while lying down. that's what they did in 2008 and 2010 as well and had it not been for grass roots, they would continue to do so. going into the election, they have to get better and they are not brave at it. they have been allowed to float around, when they were asking about his earnings, he could have shut it down and had a barn burning moment by simply saying are we not conservatives and do not not reject the rhetoric? he didn't do it.
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i want to see more fire in the belly. a long time in terms of having that fire and taking it to the general election. >> is he nasty enough and is he squeaky clean and never a drug or a cigarette. he has been with the same woman for a thousand years. is he too nice of a guy? >> those are all great things, but there is a difference between being nasty and campaigning dirty. i think you could argue that he kind of does, but being an aggressive campaigner. that's something we have to see. one of the reasons why newt gingrich exploded after south carolina is he was aggressive and he articulated to singe this
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>> there will be gaffes, minor controversies and hot mikes and etcha stech moments. you will cover every word we say and we will complain about the unflattering words you write. unless of course you are writing about the other guy in which case, good job. >> president obama we have come to know and love. he will be on the campaign to come. amy holmes and ben smith. you have been champing here. what do you want to say? >> it was the remark that if you were to ask gingrich or santorum, mitt romney is plenty naft when it comes to pummelling his opponents and trying to win the prize. the question is whether or not
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he can get down and dirt to rise above competitors in the last primary season has been i guess a little bit prudent. >> you are probably right. >> romney suggested you should play hard against the media. that is what rick santorum pounded day after day after day. i assume within a couple of months, you may have a gig. i think that's a big problem for romney. that will hopefully end. his fellow will pick up and rely on many of them by the obama k578 pain. . >> if you are president obama, there two schools of thought. he launched his campaign proper and in great shape and the economy is recovering, et cetera, etc. the other school of thought is today was a terrible day because mitt romney is the front-runner and will be the nominee and got
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his dander up and he is coming for it. if you are president obama, are you feeling vulnerable or confident? >> i think we have seen that president obama is having a little bit of a mini melt down. he went after the supreme court on the health care ruling and said you dare not turn it over. he started throwing around words like trojan horses against paul ryan's budget. seems he is having a falling down moment and doesn't seem confident. for my gatherings, it seems like he is having a little bit of a worry around what's going on. president obama is a skilled campaigner and he will be well-funded and a formidable opponent and only one president in history ever had this kind of unemployment figure and been reelected.
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how do you deal with that? >> the white house is hoping in terms of unemployment that the trend is going in the right direction for them. unemployment is dropping towards november, but that's a number that at this point they have little control over and as carol mentioned with the supreme court, that's out of their hands as well and judging from the arguments, a lot of court watchers and what they saw was the white house getting clobbered on the mandate and we have seen that they are getting clobbered on that issue with the public believing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. right now it looks like the white house is feeling vulnerable and defensive and lashing out and suggesting that they might run against the supreme court that draws a negative comparison. that was a bad comparison to be
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drawing. >> i want to give you a million to put it on barack obama or mitt romney to win the election in november. where is your money going? >> i'm not a gambling man, but the conventional bizdom, my money. >> with the lottery tickets t never works out. >> 50-50, splitting it down the middle. >> at the moment, where would you think the momentum lies? mitt romney is not allowed by his own party. he is a good businessman and intelligent, but -- >> romney is a pretty weak nominee, but these things that go back and forth and a moment that a lot of people would tell you romney will win 40 states and factors out of obama's control where there will be a moment when the conventional
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wisdom reverses itself. for a one-word answer, it can be a sur name to this question. who should be mitt romney's running mate in. >> kantor. >> interesting. >> very likely. >> that wasn't one word. try again. carol? >> rubio. >> two for rubio. let's come to you, dana. >> rubio probably. >> romney is in a box if he doesn't nominate. >> i'm predicting that eric kantor should be the candidate, but he could be an interesting choice. virginia is a purple state in
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play. >> they are both positioning themselves for such a future. that sets him up for 2016 and beyond. >> is it craze to think that rick santorum would not be a bad option? >> completely crazy. absolutely insane. >> beyond. >> that settles that. >> why is it so crazy? >> he didn't do the hillary clinton thing. he doesn't have anything in common. no other reason. >> if you are going to have someone on vp, you need to pick a palin who would be someone who could bridge that gap between
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mitt romney. that's grass roots. we saw in 2008, some of those suburban areas where george bush had done well, and the sarah palin ticket did poorly. when it came down to election day, a lot of the promise they had to make that connection just didn't show up. >> she connected with the grass roots. it didn't connect. my prediction is there will be other crazy chauts and craziness is what this is all about. i will go crazy for a while. thank you all very much. >> thank you.
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that's all for us. we will be back at 9:00 and we will go one on one and