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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 29, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST

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gingrich is bankingn a southern strategy and home field advantage in fgeorgia. while ron paul takes time out from the campaign to beat up the central banker. >> this silver would buy four gallons of gasoline in 2006, today, it will buy almost 11 gallons of gasoline, that is preservation of value. >> birth control politics the fight over women's health, intensifying today in congress. when will my colleagues understand this very nondebate able fact. that the decision of whether a woman takes one medicine or another or what type of health care she should have access to, should not be the decision of her boss. >> plus, deadly tornadoes tear through the midwest. killing at least seven people overnight. and up north, wind returns with
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a veg answer. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell. santorum sur sliefed the night, but -- survived the night, but it was not pretty. romney narrowly ca lly carried n with 41% of the vote. today santorum campaigns in tennessee, gingrich is in georgia and romney is in the buckeye state. >> are you going to have a choice in ohio, about people running for president, first, do you want somebody who spent his life in the private sector, or do you want somebody who spent his career in washington. there are a couple of guys that spent their career in washington that you can vote for. >> chris is a contributor and managing editor of post
10:02 am chris, a late night, but the exit polls, what do we learn about the strengths and weaknesses of romney? >> look, andrea, he won, and i say, in politics there's two choices when there's a vote, you win or lose, but the inside the exit polling, still weaknesses, among conservative voters. three in ten people in michigan described themselves that way. santorum won 40% of the vote and santorum 35% of the vote. it's a lingering problem for him. it will be a problem in tennessee, and in georgia, oklahoma, another conservative population. all of them voting on super tuesday. mitt romney is in ohio today the, he knows to win, i did air quote s win, to win on super tuesday, he has to win this ohio. >> and in ohio, his first event,
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perhaps 100 to 150 people, again signs that the campaign needs organizational strength. we have heard a lot about pressures, they want to see a big reshaping of this campaign and perhaps a shake up of the campaign between now and super tuesday. >> what is hard, andrea, is that, and you saw it last night, it was a big moment for mitt romney and he had won his home state of michigan, and he won arizona convincingly, a double win in places where he needed them badly. and he gave a victory speech that was fine. it was absolutely serviceable. but it was not passionate, it was not enthusiastic. he is never going to be able to, or he has not to date been able to generate organic passion for his campaign. it's why his fundraising is so important, he has to use those to make up for the passion gap. the question is in the next six
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days. does winning in arizona and michigan, does it help him? does it help him finally say, okay, he got beat on february 7th in minnesota, he picked himself up and won two states, or are we back to where we have been in the entire race which is a series of isolated contests that seem to have not all much baring on the contests after it. he loses florida and has not won a state since -- we never see how it impacts going forward. >> you broke the story that olympia snowe was not going to seek re-election. it indicates that the democrats now have a better shot at doing something that might have seemed impossible only a few months ago which is holding on to the senate. >> if yesterday was not arizona and michigan, i think it would
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have been a huge story. it is a really important story. this is, for a number of reasons. one, as you mention, senate control. democrats will be favored in the race. maine should favor the democratic candidate, add that to massachusetts are elizabeth warren is running. you have three pick-up opportunities for democrats to win seats. if they do, the republican margin picks up. they need -- the other point and i know you'll be talking to senator snowe, her condemning partisanship, she is walking away tells you something about what the state of civility in that body. >> a brief foot note, david dreier came in with the reagan land slide and now from california, rules committee chairman, veteran, don't need to tell you how important he is among the republican hierarchy
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there, he is not going to seek re-election. a lot of change coming from long standing members of both house and senate in the republican party. thank sos much, chris, that shock that was sent through capitol hill will chris broke the story. snowe announcing she will not run for re-election. a departure that takes a lawmaker to reach across the aisle and led the smart money to predict that a the democrats have a good shot at holding on to the snts. senator, first of all, why have you decided not to seek re-election for a fourth term? >> well, andrea, it was a very difficult decision to say the least. but, i decided during the recess, you know, having a milestone birthday helps you to focus, about whether or not i was prepared to commit to another six years in the united
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states senate. and particularly in the context of the times that we are in in the senate, where it's very, very difficult to resolve major issues that are so important to the future of this country. and how best could i serve, and to make voice heard. i made the decision not to run for re-election of the senate and to pursue other opportunities outside the senate that perhaps i can give voice to the frustrations that you know, exist with the political system here in washington, where it's dysfunctional, and the political paraysis has over taken the environment to the damaging of the good of the country. >> do you think that both parties contribute to the dysfunction? >> absolutely. everyone has to stand back and understand what is the essence of public service, it's all about solving problems.
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what are the obligations to the country and to the people we represent? it's the coming up with effective solutions, to sitting down and working with the issues and sitting around table and sorting through the differences, you cannot solve a problem without talking. the senate is based on consensus building. that was the vision of the founding fathers, if we abandon that approach, we do it at the expense of the country and the issues that we need to address to put us back on track. >> you have been a critical vote, reaching across the aisle, for stimulus and for these keeping health care alive, not final passage, but keeping health care alive, getting it to the floor, and you said, is this the bill all that i want want, far from it, when history calls, history calls.
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you ended up opposing the bill believing that harry reid was rushing you all and he angered you by telling the "new york times" that it was a waste of time, what did you learn from the critical showdowns from your party and the opposition? >> it's become an all or nothing proposition and in the instance of the health care bill that became law, the problem is, you mow, much of that was actually crafted behind closed doors. we never had the opportunity to have an open amendment process as i was promised. so that we can truly have bipartisanship and develop a more practical approach to the issue of health care. but that was all, you know, j jetisoned until we got the notification of a needed up or down vote. the senate is trying to bring people together to resolve issues that are so important to
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the american people. i recall my first years in the senate and, it happened that bob dole was the senate majority leader and i hear his words. through our differences, we had key issues. he would put a group together, it would be republicans and republicans and democrats whatever the case was. and he said go inoffice and work it out. we are not working out issues anymore the. we are working on a parallel universe, with competing proposals and up or down votes. as was said recently, coming close to a parliamentary susp a, that is not how it was designed. >> what do you think of roy blunt's proposal on contraception, and some of the gender wars that have been fought out on the senate floor? >> it's interesting we are having the debate on contraception and you know, what should constitute coverage and
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what role does a federal government play, i was ininvolved in the issue more than a decade ago, and i supportsed a conscious clause, we never got to consider the legislation, i think it's important, with respect to the blunt amendment of course it's much broader than i support. we need to focus on contraceptions and what requirements there should be. and i've supported the marco rubio approach. i did agree with what the president had done with respect to the mandatory requirement. >> in this republican contest in light of your comments about the way things are played out in the senate. what do you think of the rhetoric that we have heard, the snob comments and the rhetoric that comes from mitt romney, from all sides? both political parties. is there a republican that you are now prepared to endorse whom
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you would like to see be president of the united states? >> i'm not going to make endorsement right here. let me say that. i think ultimately, whether it's within our party, or across the aisle, ultimately, here in this sn senate, we have to work together, hopefully we can move forward in a united fashion. we are stronger united than we are divided. that is for sure and frankly for our party, it's understanding that you have to have tolerance for all views. you know, it was the big tent, that is something that even president reagan, you know, adopted and incorporated on the lette letters -- let us focus on where we agree, as opposed to focusing on other areas, that represent 20% where we disagree. that is important for us in supporting a presidential candidate, if we want to win the election.
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>> senator, we have known each other a long type and i have watched -- long time and i've watched your career a long time. in making this decision, your personal history must come into play, you were orphaned at age nine, you were widowed at age 26 and your husband's son died at age 20, you have suffered incredible losses. ins passing what you think is a milestone birthday. how do you assess the next career, the next decade for olympia snowe or decades for yourself in light of all the struggles that you have endured in life is this. >> you know, i've been gratified in light of the struggles and hardships that i have experienced, have had the opportunity to serve my constituents, with an understanding and an empathy, we don't have to share, you know o the same set backs to understand the depth of pain that one can
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experience so, i brought that to bare in my profession, hopefully and that the people of maine have felt it. secondly, in looking forward, i'm going to be, you know, this is a new chapter in my life. i decided that if i was going to do something different, it had to be at this moment in time. i'm going to be giving my voice to what should change here in the united states senate, and in congress, to get things done for the american people. i have traveled the country, andrea in recent months, i've talked to thousands of people and given many speeches and i have to tell you that, including my state of maine, people are deeply frustrated. yes, they are facing personal financial pains and hardships but more, about the fact that we are not getting things done here in congress. so that they can look to the political leaders and institutions to solve the problems that they are facing this their daily lives at this unprecedented moment in american history.
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so, i hope i can give voice to that in a different way, outside of the united states chamber. >> i know had you your differences with the white house from time to time, you know what the president did say, issuing a statement last night saying that your career shows what can be accomplished, how much can be accomplished when leaders from both sides of the aisle reach across the aisle from both parties, reach across the aisle and try to do the right thing for the american people and we want to, let me personally say i want thank you for your service, which continues of course. as you complete your term. >> i thank you and appreciate it. >> wish you all the luck in the world as you tackle your next adventures. up next, we will hear from the romney campaign, and democratic party chair debbie wasserman-schultz from both sides. what does romney's survival in michigan mean for democrats and the battle over women's health care rights. nnoun yo grasp
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>> mitt romney eaked out a victory, but a victory is a victory. exit polls reveal that he has problems with his conservative base. gail, congratulation lagzs and -- congratulations and thank you for joining us, i want to give you a chance to respond to the concerns about the base, you see the exit polls, you see that strong tea party supporters and others are expressing doubts and that rick santorum made inroads there and made inroads, he was only three points behind in romney's home state. >> if you look at the results from last night, not only did mitt romney win in michigan, but
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he won in arizona by a land slide it shows that his message of restoring america's promise is resonating with voters. the other take aways that are important to note is that santorum lost among republicans. the only demographic that he did well with are the democrats. and the reason is he recruited them into the republican primary process and that was you want -- that was ultimately rejected by republican voters. and i'll add that democrats were all too happy to jump in to last night's primary in michigan because they recognize, and they said as much in interviews after the exit polls, that santorum would be a gift for president obama to have to run against. that -- >> gail? >> yes. >> not to interrupt you but some of the democrats, yes, clearly some were union members who were making trouble.
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trying to make mischief inside the republican party, but some were democrats who were in the context, republicans, they call themselves democrats but they are reagan democrats. they are the very people you'll need if you become, if romney becomes the f s ths the nominee not want to alienate those people. now rick santorum's message seems to be more embracing to them. >> it's telling that he not only won -- he lost among republican voters and won those democrats because he knows that he can hot win alone with republican voters. he does not have the broad base of support that romney does. romney wins among republicans. he wins among independents and even last night, he won among cath likes in both arizona and michigan. >> gail, there's a lot of pressure also coming against you guys, to try to retool the campaign, to not exceed to you know, the detroit economic clubs decision to move that event to
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ford field which was clearly an awkward event and where, you know, he gave an important speech and it got overshadowed, blame it media and the campaign, it got overshadowed by all the mistakes that were made. well -- is there going to be an effort to try to ramp it up, maybe bring in fresh blood? >> well, the organization that we have has been incredible. in fact, if you look at our organization we are half the size of what we were four years ago, in the campaign. and we feel good about where we are. we are -- it was very clear last week after the detroit economic speech that the decision to hold the event was from the detroit economic club. we have a strong organization. we have good leadership and we are going to continue on. >> now, another point that was made, why didn't mitt romney attack santorum's comments about
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the president being a snob, misstating the president's view on higher education or his criticism of the separation of church and state as articulated by jfk is he reluctant to go after those issues? >>, not at all. he said that nobody should be discouraged from seeking higher he education. he said it multiple times. mitt romney made his own remarks about the separation of church and state and that speech happened in texas. >> so he has addressed -- at the bush library a speech that was widely praised. finally what is your own test about super tuesday, you are going into a area of the south which in number of instances like georgia with newt gingrich is not terribly comfortable. do you see it as a challenge? >> every state in the primary is
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important. not one state is the must win state. the must win is the delegates that you need to capture the nomination, we will be campaigning hard in ohio. he is there today and he will go out west and campaign in some of the other states, that hold their contests on march 6tth, s he we will go to the south as well, and spend time in ohio. >> thank you very much, and congratulations on your big wins yesterday, certainly arizona a big win and you survived in michigan. >> thank you andrea. >> good luck out there. and romney is trying build on the momentum from michigan and arizona, shifting focus from his republican rifles back to president obama. >> we are still three years later in an economy that is bumping loopg the bottom. hopefully you are seeing improvement despite of him. every policy that he put in
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place made it harder for businesses to grow and hire. >> debbie wasserman-schultz is chair of the democratic national committee. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> mitt romney pulls it on to super tuesday. does appear that he, right now he has a bit of a head of steam going in. what do you make of the republican race and the president's challenges there facing the criticism from all of the republican field. >> well, you know, i think what mitt romney said in his speech last night after the michigan primary ended was telling. that his win was not very big. but it was enough. i mean, when you are running and you are on the ballot in what is essentially your home state, the state you grew up in and the state where your father was govern. it's not a three-point win, it's not exactly what we -- you should expect term of results. he should have blown the doors off the primary last night.
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another important item to point out, yet another state in which turn out has declined, you have exit polls with 8% fewer voters self identified as republicans, every other state except south carolina has seen a drop since 2008 in turn out of republican voters. their excitement is going down. that is directly because of mitt romney and the fact that he has really not inspired the enthusiasm, their entire field hasn't and worse for him is he has clearly alienated independent voters. if he ends up becoming the nominee in the general election. so it's a problem for him. >> the president faces his own challenges because he occupies the oval office, we see pick up in the economy, but gas could be a speed bump for the president
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i, oil prices and the possiblity of conflicts abroad. >> the president has made sure that as we focus on working families and can the middle class as opposed to those doing well, he has brought us from bleeding 750,000 jobs a month when he took office, to 23 months of consecutive job growth and 3.7 million jobs and counting. we are on the move and moving forward. that is inspite of the fact that the republicans are only concerned about one job, and that is the president. we should help everyone have an opportunity to be successful in america, not just people that already are. that will be a clear contraft going into the general election. >> we have breaking news out of florida. davy jones, the lead singer of the band the monkeys has died. he joined the monkeys at 1965,
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the band had a hit tv show and three number one hit songs, he is survived by his wife and four daughters. he was only 66 years old. sorry. sore knee.
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trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. >> topping the headlines right now on "andrea mitchell reports," at least nine people are dead after a tornado blew through illinois, causing severe damage to those in the midwest, right now there are tornado you watches and warnings throughout tennessee and kentucky. the president and first lady will be paying tribute to more than 1 million american service members who served in the iraq war with a formal dinner at the white house for vets. the event is being called an opportunity to note sacrifice. this is has the white house
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opposes having ticker-tape parades. the relief felt throughout the romney campaign tuesday night may be best conveyed in the headline. romney survives apocalypse, averted, how does he sustain the momentum he has let slip away after each previous victory. john heileman is here with us. and half of the game change team, looking forward to the big preview next week. john, take a look at last night, we talked to gail and she pointed out a land slide in arizona, but michigan, what does the win mean and his first day campaigning in ohio, he had barely 100 people there. >> as my colleague johnathan said on the website, apocylipse averted. many endorsers were nervous.
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but they are less nervous today, and looking forward to super tuesday. it will not be an easy road for romney. there are states with big evangelical populations, georgia, tennessee, oklahoma, alaska, tough states for mitt romney. states where santorum and gingrich may well do well, and i think a lot of the focus is going to be on ohio. if mitt romney can now repeat what he did in michigan and win ohio without the home state advantage of michigan, he will be able to start making the argument that he should on his way to the nomination. if he loses ohio to santorum, a lot of questions will be coming back to haunt him again. >> can't santorum make the argument that they political the delegates because romney had an advantage in congressional districts in the detroit area where they did not have as many delegates. so santorum has divided the delegates, and it's a delegate race now. >> can and will make the arg
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argume argument, those arguments matter in the sense that it's a delegate race and getting the 1149 delegates is what you need to do. on the other hand, winning states is what comes through in the headlineses and the way it's interpreted. you know, mitt romney did what he needed to do. it's a fact f he does not to what he needs to do in ohio, there will be new questions again about whether he can close the deal. >> what is the significance of mitt romney, behind the scenes, the significance of the fact that in his speech last night, he actually mentioned the website and asked for donations. are they trying get more small donors? >> yes, they haspent a -- yes, have spent a ton of money. they spent more in january than they took n their burn rate has been high. they are heading to expensive
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states and that s and there's a there's been a drying up on the fundraising front. so, it's smart politics to point people to the website, but there's the idea that they need more money. fits going to be a -- if it's going to be a long race, they need a fundraising advantage. if that advantage disappears for him, he will be in a worse situation than he is, so they will try to hit those small donors hard. >> briefly, john, do you see staff changes or layering or pring bringing in of mirror experienced talent? >> i think that any of that, i think it would be likely if he had lost michigan, that would have taken place, it's less l k likely now. he is the least panicked person about his prospects. less panicked about his establishment and his staff. he will not make changes unless
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he has to. >> -- we should with all be taking what he is taking. thank you. >> i have some in my pocket. >> of course, we are kidding. the gender wars are thing on capitol hill. we will talk to patty murray. the senate will vote this week. ♪ uhh! [ alyson ] just keep walking... ♪ oh, come on! ♪ ugh, again! [ sniffs ]
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patty murray is joining me now. first, let me ask you about olympia snowe and the decision not to stay in congress, by a veteran senator who has been one of the few who really reaches across the aisle. >> well, i have tremendous respect for senator olympia snowe, she is a personal friend, someone i've worked with across the aisle many times to reach agreements, and it's sad to me, that we are seeing an agenda driven by an extreme part of the republican party to move us away from people like olympia serving here in the senate. it's a disservice to the country. >> she criticizes both parties for this driving her to this decision, but does it have a silver lining for you democrats, you head the committee, it indicates that you have a better shot at holding on to the senate. >> clearly, as chair of the senate democratic campaign committee, maine is a great
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opportunity for us to get a really great democratic voice from maine and i look forward to that. but, i would just say, that what is happening on the floor right now is part of what i think speaks to the a anxt of all americans, we have a bill that will create thousands of jobs and deal with the infrastructure, and it is being killed by the blunt amendment. >> what do you say to senate mcconnell, that it's religion issue, not a contraception issue. >> i cannot disagree more, it clearly states, any employer, doesn't matter who you are, whether you are a barber or multi-national corporation can make a determination on what they provide in insurance. so if they have a moral objection to prenatal career or
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providing coverage for diabetes or women's health care, they can opt out. that is not what the women of america want. they want to be able to make the right choices for their own family and the health care of the people that they love, that is what we are fighting to protect. >> senator, getting back to the question of whether or not you can hold on to the senate, nebraska is in place obviously with ben nelson's decision to step down. that's a hard state for democrats to hold. we have seen conflicting results on what senator kerry will or will not do what do you know to be the state of play with senator kerry? >> well, i have had the opportunity to work with him when he was here in the senate, he represents one of the great voices that has depth of knowledge and experience and knows how to reach across the aisle. if he chooses to run and lets us
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know that here in the next day or so, i'll be excited. he is the right kind of person for the senate at this time. >> what are the signals that you are hearing, you must know the latest? >> all of us know that bob kerry makes his own decisions and he will let us know when he decides. >> i'll leave it at that. thank you very much, great to see you, thanks so much, patty murray. and we will be right back. [ male announcer ] there's been a lot of talk about the chevy volt lately. how about some facts? the chevy volt was one of the most awarded cars in 2011.
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colt r -- coming up, a win is a win, right? >> we did not win by a lot, but we won by enough and that is all that counts. >> he said that he only won the race by 3% but still won. mitt romney averts disaster, is the headline. is it is enough to carry him to the general election and pass the conservatives who according to the polls are not feeling
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him. plus, outrage over a stunning move by a catholic priest who refused to give a woman communion at her own mother's funeral, and embarrassed her in front of the entire group. because she was gay. it's our gut check. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours. that is next on "andrea mitchell reports." or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business, it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $6.4 billion in new credit to small businesses across the country last year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible.
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almost exactly 47 years ago, congressman john lewis helped lead the selma march that ended with vicious attacks by police against peaceful protesters. the confrontation that came to be known as bloody sunday helped gal vaize the nation's support for the civil rights movement then. the house will vote this week on a measure to put into the historical record testimonies from lewis and others from
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congress who participated in the movement. this is a bid to preserve their accounts for all of history. georgia congressman june loss now joins me. it's great to see you again. let's talk to you about the meaning of this. this came from eric cantor, not a traditional ally of yours but a bipartisan effort to preserve for the record the record of the civil rights movement and the participation by current and former members of congress. what does it mean to you, the significance of this? >> this means everything. i'm very appreciative and grateful to the membership of the house and others taking the initiative to get the history told or history to be told for generation yet unborn. and so many members of congress came to the south during the '60s, some came and marched with us in 19165 from selma to montgomery. the wives of some of the united states senators came, and in the
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past few weeks or past few months, past few years, so many members now want to go and walk across that bridge one more time. so, majority leader cantor, the speaker, leader pelosi, whip steny hoyer all are coming together to see that the story is told for generations, and it's wonderful. our children and their children will have an opportunity to know what happened on the march from selma to montgomery and what role members of congress played then and even now. >> now, at the same time, we've had some really nasty rhetoric back and forth. there have been some pretty sharp words between members of your party and the majority leader cantor on other issues. and out on the campaign trail, what about some of the things that we heard from rick santorum
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speaking out against john f. kennedy's big speech in houston on the separation of church and state and his comment that the president is a snob for supporting post high school education? >> well, i don't quite understand where senator santorum is coming from. he served in the house with us, but i'm really shocked and surprised that he said such a thing. say t philosophies, beliefs are so basic as part of the american way. for him to suggest that we should have separation between church and state or to suggest that the president is a snob because he want everybody to go to college and get an education, that schools are going to brainwash people, that the president want to -- it's nonsense. it's really just -- it's beyond
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pale. it's sort of crazy. >> okay, john lewis, well, here we are in black history month. the end of last day of black history month, but it is always historic moments when we talk to you. and now it will be memorialized forever more, the record of the civil rights movement, the leaders from congress, their spouses, their relatives in the '60s. thank you so much. thanks, congressman, for being with us today. >> thank you very much. thank you. and what political story is going to make headlines in the next 24 hours? contributor managing editor of post chris cillizza joins us right now. the bottom line from last night is that mitt romney's got work to do but he did win. a win is a win but on to super tuesday. where are the challenges and opportunities? >> well, andrea, i think the biggest challenge and opportunity i was watching the show, i herd gill, romney's communications director tell you there is no one state that's a must win. i would disagree with that for
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romney. i think if rick santorum beats him in ohio, it's going to be tough for him to make the case given the other states out there, he's going to win vermont and massachusetts. no one is going to give him a huge credit for that because of the gee graphic ties. if he loses the ohio does he win tennessee or idaho, alaska, north dakota? maybe, but ohio is the big prize. 66 dels. it's a swing state in the general election. i just think you're going to see him focus all of his time and money there because he knows he has to have it. >> chris cillizza, the fix. thank you very much. that does it for us. thanks for joining us. tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." hi, great job on election returns last night. >> in our next hour, we are following developing news on a deadly line of tornadoes that hit at least eight states in the midwest, killing as many as seven people. the video we've got incredible. a tornado watch is still in
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effect for some areas. we'll get the latest information. plus, mitt romney's close call in michigan. he narrowly won the primary but did he do enough to convince those ultimate trat conservatives, the most conservative of the party that he's their guy. and i'll be joined by retired staff sergeant eric alva, the very first american soldier injured in the war in iraq. he's actually attending tonight's white house dinner honoring the iraq war vets. the president, of course, is the host. we'll talk with eric about the honor. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
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