tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 28, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EST
the race to win iowa kicked into high gear this morning. candidates have already made early campaign stops in that state. it is just the beginning of a jam-packed day for presidential hopefuls hoping to start strong in the race to face barack obama. >> i understand america because i have lived america. i have lived the american dream, and i want to be able to bring the promise of america to all of our people and make sure that we send president obama back to his onlytown where he can go back and learn what it's like to learn in the private sector. >> peter alexander is in des moines today and he joins me by phone. hi there, peter. >> hi there, milissa. how are you? >> i'm great. you're on the road with the romney campaign this morning. how is he doing and what is he up to in his first full day in iowa this week? >> career kr we're criss-crossing the state today. they think they're really within striking distance of winning in iowa right now. we were at a breakfast meet and greet in a small quad cities community and i spoke to a woman
there who said she was still debating between mitt romney and newt gingrich as her candidate, but she said her primary focus was finding a candidate she thought could beat the incumbent president. she and the others gathered there believed mitt romney is just that person. right now it's very clear that the candidate himself has been trying to position himself above that slugfest fray. they're confident that the benefit and the difference between this go around inç 2011-2012 versus four years ago is the that the conservative vote will be heavily fractured, split this type around between rick santorum, rick perry, as well as michele bachmann compared to about four years ago when mike huckabee, of course, sort of was the long shot who came out of here with a lot of the conservative vote. only about one-sixth of the republicans in the state will turn out to the caucus six days away. that one-sixth is usually the
most conservative portion of the republican base and mitt romney plays closer to the independents and moderates. >> we know he hasn't spent a lot of time in iowa this year. what does he have planned for the rest of the year. >> i think i called him the former governor of new hampshire, of course, he's the former governor of massachusetts. he spent a lot of time in new hampshire. it would be easy to confuse him for that position given all the efforts he had there. he will be heading back there ahead of the next week's first in the nation primary. we'll make a couple more stops today. a meet and greet also in this area. he's been inviting along a lot of surrogates to try to get reinforcements to come along. among them chris christie, also the north dakota senator and a popular local representative from across the border in illinois. he sort of played up the patriotic theme to show himself
as a presidential figure which a lot of people here seem to believe that he may very well be. they think he may be the best effort the republicans have to beat barack obama, but in terms of slugfest between he and newt gingrich himself, the sort of ( into that fray was the fact that gingrich was up able to get on the ballot in his home state of virginia. romney, as you may have seen, compared that to a lucille ball moment when she was at the chocolate factory and couldn't keep up with the candy. >> peter alexander, thank you so much. carol hunter is the political editor for "the des moines register." do you think any of the candidates are really resonating right now and does mitt romney really have strong support in a state he hasn't spent all that much time in during 2011? >> it's always really difficult to tell just who is gaining momentum and who isn't. people tend to get big crowds at this time of year.
the momentum is building, the excitement is building for everyone. so the crowds have been pretty good for all the candidates. mitt romney does benefit by having had a big network of supporters from his run here four years ago. he virtually lived in the state four years ago, so he's benefiting from that. he doesn't feel like he needs to introduce himself to people like he did last time. now he's running as a nationally known candidate. >> newt gingrich took some interesting shots at ron paul yesterday. let's take a listen to that. >> you look at ron paul's total record of systemic avoidance of reality and look at his newsletters and his ads. his ads are about as accurate as his newsletters. >> if he were to get the republican nomination, could you vote for him? >> no. >> what would you do if the kous were ron paul are a barack obama? >> i think you would have a hard choice. >> whadç would you do? >> i don't know. >> that's awfully tough touk
about congressman paul. do you think iowans hear that and will run away from paul or will they feel more uncomfortable about the former speaker? >> that's a tough call, although certainly conservative members of the republican party have some qualms about ron paul. they see his foreign policy positions being so noninterventionist as somewhat extreme and even some of his economic policies, talking about returning to the gold standard, as outside the mainstream of most republican orthodoxy on economics. but the speaker is traveling an interesting tightrope. he has so often said he's going to run a positive campaign, but then the daggers came out against him. so many negative ads have been airing against him here in iowa. he said that he will combat that negativism and come out with the truth, and he would consider that part of his just combatting the negativity that others are
throwing against him. >> well, rick perry, let's turn to him, he brought abortion back into the campaign discussion with comments on the trail saying he now opposes abortion even in the cases of rape or incest calling it a transformation. is this something that will pull evangelical voters toward his campaign and will it make others reject his campaign? >> well, that's one of those evangelical issues that is very important to that community. he's been seen as a very strong pro-life candidate all along, so i'm not sure that will bring too many more fem people into the fold. the difficulty for him is he's fighting with rick santorum and michele bachmann for the same pool of voters. it's going to be interesting to see if any substantial bloc of voters break to the way of one candidate versus the other or if the split continues, which could be good news for the mitt romneys, ron pauls of the world.
>> all right. carol hunter, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. all sticix candidates have creeling in this race. they also a floor that may force them out of the primary season. david kurtz is the managing editor and washington bureau chief for talking points memo and he joins us now. we wanted you to gauge the best case and worst case scenario. let's start at mitt romney. you have his floor set at fourth place. how bad that would be to his campaign overall but specifically in new hampshire. >> romney had essentially conceded iowa earlier this year, so a fourth place finish would not be a great thing for him, but i don't think it would be quite as bad as if he had been competing there all along. obviously, a win for him in iowa would be a huge accomplishment considering how little time he had spent there until just the last few months and their feeling there just wasn't much point this trying to compete
there earlier in 2011. >> ron paul, same numberses a romney. there are probably a lot of candidates hoping he falls all the way to fourth. what do you think his chances are? >> he's looking in really good position. i at this at this point it's a two-man race between he and mitt romney. the latest polling out of iowa last night continued to show paul in the lead and i think that there's no reason to think that he wouldn't finish in the top two at thisç point. so worst case scenario you could see him going as far as fourth. ja let's mo >> let's move to the group of candidates hoping to be selected as the anti-romney. michele bachmann and a possible last place finish for rick perry. >> there's a lot of fluidity in the race once you get past the first two. part of the reason for that and sort of the wildcard in the race at this point is the evangelical vote, the religious conservative vote within the republican party in iowa has, as your previous guest mentioned, sort of split
amongst several different candidates. there's been this loud talk here for the last few weeks that eventually it will coalesce around one or the other of these candidates, either santorum or bachmann or perry, and if they were to consolidate all of that support, they could really rock in the polls. there hasn't been any indication of that yet. but with things being so fluid i wouldn't rule it out completely. >> all right, david. thank you. >> thank you. >> there's a chance mitt romney could finish in second in iowa. he's expected to win new hampshire the week after. is he becoming the ineffortable n -- inevitable candidate? and north koreans bid a final fiarewell to their leader. ,
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of grief-stricken citizens filled the tlets of pyongyang to bid farewell to kim jong-il, the man they knew as dear leader. the cask was carried atop a plaq black limousine. we are in seoul with more on the outpouring. >> reporter: good morning. well, here in south korea there was a lot of guesswork starting off the day with noç details o information, timings of when the state funeral for kim jong-il was going to take place. in fact, it took place or at least what appeared to be a live transmission of the funeral, popped up four hours later than what everybody had anticipated on north korean state tv showing a long line of vehicles, as you said, led by a car carrying kim jong-il's body. it was accompanied bias his son,
kim jong-un, and his uncle, who is the man that everybody says has entered into a power sharing agreement with the son during this difficult transition. now, thousands of north koreans could be seen in a very public display ofograph grief. rows and rows of military and civilians lined up on both sides of the road shouting and screaming and sobbing, many crying out, dear father, please don't leave us. this wailing could be heard accompanied throughout the transmission of this feed with music and a very dramatic, emotional voice of a north korean announcer. now, again, it must be noted that it's not clear whether this outpouring of grief was genuine or staged. it was clearly very, very well-orchestrated. you could see cameramen running around dashing through the crowds trying to get close-up shots of mourners, swooping crane shots, very, very smoothly
directed. the procession ended about three hours later covering 25 miles back at the memorial palace where the body of kim jong-il had been lying in state until today, and it ended with a ç 21-gun salute. back to you, millmilissa. >> reporting from seoul, south korea. egyptian tv show the 83-year-old ousted leader being wheeled into court on a stretcher. he's facing murder charges in the deaths of 800 government protesters. we are six days from the first voting in the 2012 presidential campaign. and on the first full day of his bus tour through iowa, mitt romney is not only holding steady in the polls, he seems more assured of victory than ever. >> i want to do well in all the
states and get a good start, but, you know, i really can't set expectations. you know, a couple weeks ago i was a distant third in iowa, and you just don't know what's going to happen in this process. >> so what is the next move for mitt? nate silver is the founder of 538.com and he joins me now. so what is your take on mitt romney while other candidates seem to be imploding. >> it's more about the other candidates and less about mitt. it's not that his numbers are that strong, he's still only at 25% in the national polls. it's a situation where he could win but it's 59 leaat least a t race. it's hard to see a path for any other candidate getting from here to the nomination. you look at someone like rick santorum, if he were to surge and surprise and win iowa, well, he's polling at 2%. everybody else has no money, no organization. maybe someone like a rick perry who at one point had a more viable national campaign could be threatening, but, you know, ã%%qq could take some lumps eay
on and then still come back and win. that's why he's in a powerful position. >> democrats obviously are trying to poke holes in him already, mostly on his finances. they want to see his fax returns. he's made a lot of money and he's presenting himself as blue collar and they're calling him blue blood. >> i'm not sure it hurts romney that democrats seem to be afraid of running against him. they'd love to run against gingrich or rick perry. it gives a signal to gop voters this is the guy who is electable and obama is afraid of. >> let's say for argument's sake he wins in iowa and goes on to win in new hampshire. is a big victory like this, is it a good thing for him in the long run or would it be better for him in the long run if and when he faces president barack obama to be a little bit more battle tested? >> i think because romney did run in 2008 and has a pretty experienced and competent campaign staff, it might be less important than for a candidate like rick perry who will need to
get his land legs under him. i think the main thing is does he really have the consensus of republican voters? is it more of an eat your spinach thing, he's the best we can get, or are people excited about him. the bigger he were to win in iowa and new hampshire, and south carolina and florida, the more i think there would be focus on his behalf. >> he seems to be looking toward the general election, taking shots at president obama, not just his gop rivals. what will he deliver on though? that is something also he's being asked. how does he answer to that? >> well, you know, you don't necessarily want to spend a lot of time answering that question. you want to appeal to independent voters and mode+ate voters and swing voters. it's another reason why the earlier the nomination gets resolved tends to help a party. there are exceptions but clinton and obama in 2008 were two candidates democrats really liked. romney is the kind of default alternative because they don't
like their other candidates. they have pockets of support within constituencies, in ron paul's case maybe a third of the party or half the party but no one is really a majority builder within the gop so far much less the general electorate. >> 538.com founder nate silver. thank you so much for joining us. thanks for your insight. well, what caused that connecticut house to burn down on christmas? plus a grandfather's final attempt to save at least one of his grandchildren. also, billions of dollars spent on gift cards this holiday season and even billions more wasted. what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future.
we will keep you posted as the day goes on. well, if you received a larger than usual number of gift cards this holiday season, you are not alone. according to the national retail federation, holiday sales linked to gift cards is expected to hit a record $27.8 billion this year. but despite their popularity, there's a whole lot of money on these cards that is not getting spent. cnbc's courtney reg sentence live in hackensack, new jersey, is live with more on that staggering amount. i can't believe it, especially in this economy. >> reporter: that's what i thought, too. when they were first digging into this rensearch and we foun 6 in 10 gift cards go unused. in 2005, $41 billion is left unredeemed in gift cards. it seemed surprising, but then i looked in my wallet, i have six gift cards in there myself. and it's not that i haven't to. but i just haven't been at the retailer or maybe the amount
actually isn't enough to buy exactly what i want and i'm not ready to fork over that extra $50 to get the sweater that i want to complement the amount on the gift card. >> come to think of it, i think i had a pretty good gift card sitting in my wallet that you're reminding me of. >> reporter: see. >> what kind of cards are among the most popular this year? >> reporter: times evare still little tough with the economy. a lot of gift cards that are the most popular are the ones that offer a lot of utilities, like the amazons where you can buy almost anything, the walmarts, home depots, even restaurant cards. a lot of those cards have been very popular this holiday season. much more so than some of the specialty retailers, but, of course, those were given a lot as well. >> my niece and nephew love those mall cards that you can use in practically any mall in america and go into any store. they just love those. courtney, thank you so much for keeping us honest on the retail front, as always. >> reporter: thanks. the republican presidential candidates have just a few days
before iowa holds its caucuses. nearly all of them are in the hawkeye state right now trying to cover as much ground as possible. we'll check in with the campaigns coming up. plus, it's a great day in south carolina. or maybe not. why tuesday lawmakers don't want to hear that phrase when calling a state agency. we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress
with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. you tell us what you want to pay, and we give you a range of coverages to choose from. who is she? that's flobot. she's this new robot we're trying out, mostly for, like, small stuff. wow! look at her go! she's pretty good. she's pretty good. hey, flobot, great job. oops. [ powers down ] uh-oh, flobot is broken. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. call or click today. multi-policy discount. paperless discount. paid-in-full discount. [yawning] homeowner's discount. safe driver discount.
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♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪ v.o.: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com welcome back to msnbc. here is a look at some stories topping the news now. a roadside bomb killed five nato troops in eastern afghanistan. the soldiers were attending a meeting when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle. more than 530 nato service members have been killed in afghanistan this year. a grandfather tried to save one of his grandchildren from a deadly christmas day fire in connecticut. firefighters located the grandfather's body outside an upstairs window and one of his graund daught
granddaughters was found just inside that same window. 7-year-old twin girls, their 10-year-ol)brother, and their grandparents all died in the fire. the children's mother and her friend managed to escape. the fire was accidental caused by discarded fireplace ashes. the pilots of a southwest flight were forced to abort takeoff at the airport in skr t sacramento jet. two tires caught fire and exploded. 130 passengers were on board. no one was hurt. the plane was hosed down on the runway just as a precaution. tarzan lovers lost a big screen favorite over the weekend. cheetah the chimpanzee who who played the side kick in the early 1930s died on saturday of kidney failure according to a florida animal sank tu wectuars. that the chimp was 80 years old. republican candidates are blanketing iowa making the final push to get caucusgoers on their side as january 3rd draws near. nearly two dozen cities will see
a candidate make a pit stop today trying to get every vote secured in hopes of a victory. ron paul will actually be the last candidate to step in front of an iowa crowd today, but the enthusiasm for his candidacy has him poised for a strong finish. nbc campaign embed anthony terrell joins me now. so nice to see you. >> hi, milissa. >> we heard those statements from newt gingrich earlier about not being able to vote for congressman paul if he is the nominee. what is the response from his campaign today? >> right. campaign chairman jesse bitten shared with nbc news this morning this statement. quote, frustration from his floundering campaign has newt gingrich showing who he really is, a divisive big government liberal. newt has a long record of standingç against conservative dating back to his support for liberal nelson rockefeller over barry goldwater, so this sort of childish outburst is nothing new. the ron paul campaign is not backing down from its attacks
again newt gingrich or mott romney. they have a new ad called washington machine where they claim serial hypocrites and flip-floppers can't clean up the mess. and when they say sear iderial hypocrites they show newt gingrich and serial flip-floppers they show mitt romney. >> what's the fallout from the news laeletters? >> i'm told this is news old. that ron paul has disavowed any of this content. he didn't write it. anyone who knows ron paul in his heart knows that he doesn't believe this. milissa, also on a different note, in iowa part of ron paul's organization is not turning out the old establishment republicans. it's turning out new caucusgoers. nbc news has learned this morning that ron paul has agreed to be a part of the rock the vote at west des moines valley high school on the morning of the caucus at 10:00 a.m. they're expecting about 800 high
school students to attend. milissa? >> nbc's anthony terrell, thank you so much. republican candidates are blanketing iowa making the final push to get caucusgoers on their side. let's go to alex moe with the newt gingrich campaign. she joins us live, i believe. >> yes, i am. >> how are you? >> i'm good. thanks. >> bring us the latest of what's going on today, especially with a little bit of controversy oveç some of the things that newt gingrich said yesterday. >> i'm actually on the newt gingrich bus right now headed to our first event of the day. he has four events. he kicked off his bus tour in iowa yesterday morning. we're going to be doing all -- everything north of des moines over the next couple days. he's doing 22 stops here. like i said, he's going to be doing four stops today and we expect him to talk a little bit more about, you know, how he plans to win the iowa caucuses and, you know, possibly talk
about some of the attacks that some of the other gop candidates have been hitting on him. >> you know, we're getting down to the wire here, and there's a chance that things could go any way in iowa. what if he loses badly in iowa? any word on what his next step would be? >> well, i mean, they're not necessarily saying that they're going to finish first here in iowa. they hope obviously to finish in the top three or four. the race really is still wide open. you know, they have a pretty good ground game here compared to some of the other candidates. they have four offices in the state. they help to do well and bring the momentum to new hampshire and south carolina, and south carolina really is the must-win for them. they feel they should be able to take that and go on to florida for from there. >> alex moe, thank you. >> thanks. rick perry is canvassing iowa today trying to connect to the conservative base and rail against washington. >> it's going to take an outsider. listen, i'm telling you, you're not going to put an insider back
into washington, d.c., and expect a change. it's going to take an anti-establishment outsider who is willing to step on a few toes. >> nbc's carrieç dann has been following the kerry campaign and joins us. governor kerry is really highlighting his conservative principles on. >> the press bus is heading to perry's second event. your question about conservative voters, perry is really trying to differentiate himself from the big front-runners in iowa, ron paul, mitt romney, and newt gingri gingrich. he's really competing for votes with rick santorum and michele bachmann and brings up social values very frequently on the trail. the other point he has as well as -- he brings up his faith almost all the time on the trail and it has several ads here in the state highlighting his christian faith.
he's also trying to also though push his conservative fiscal principles and say he's been the executive among those three. he's been the executive that's put into place job creating policies in his home state of texas. he's hoping that combination of social and fiscal conservative backing will get him some of these voters who are choosing between these three kcandidates. >> what kind of questions is he getting? >> motor voters i talk to say they are choosing between rick santorum and rick perry. they fit their idea of a socially conservative person as well as somebody who is really retail campaigning throughout the state. i have had voters tell me they're very thankful that perry came to their -- whether it's a small town in western iowa or whether it's in des moines, they're thankful perry as well as some of the other candidates are really putting in on the ground. that's very meaningful to them.
the crowds have been small venues but ranging between about 75 to 150 voters coming out to give him a second look. >> nbc campaign embed carrie dann, thank you so much. >> thanks a lot. rick santorum is telling iowans to pay attention to the candidates that have made their votes and opinions a priority. >> thank you for getting our message out there about we've got the conservative kre dengs, we ha we have the track record. we have made the case we're the best candidate out there that they can trust. >> nbc's andrew rafferty joins me by telephone. santorum is doing things the old-fashioned way which could pay off at the caucuses. >> that's right. rick santorum is living off the land is the old term you can really apply to his campaign. of course, you heard from a couple other embeds, we're on buses following around their
candidates. rick santorum doesn't have any of that. he's in an suv just going stop to stop today. we're in eastern iowa. his final argument is really to appeal to the iowa voters telling them about the responsibility of picking the person who they've met, who they can be proud of as a conservative, and to ignore those national media, the national polls, which is really for a guy he is the first candidate to visit all 99 counties. he's probably shook more hands in iowa than any other candidate. so it's really an appeal to himself trying to get those people who have met him and who really respect the fact that in iowa he's engaininging in retail politics and really putting in the time. >> there's only so long though that you can ignore numbers altogether. what is the plan at the campaign should he not even finish in the top four? >> right. well, this morning he spoke very confidently that he had a shot
in the top three, and even a shot at winning it, but the question is how does he need to finish if he wants to have a realistic shot at going on. of course, if he doesn't do well in iowa, he's certainly not expected to do too well in new hampshire and it only gets more difficult from there. so the term that he keeps using a exceeding expectations, and what that exactly means, he hasn't been clear on. but he's going to have to show a lot of momentum. we're seeing a little more momentum but what that means in terms of how he can finish, he will have to gain some national attention by surprisingly doing very well in the caucus if his campaign wants a realistic shot of going on from iowa. >> nbc's andrew rafferty following the santorum campaign. thank you so much. >> thanks. when you pick up your phone and say hello, how much thought do you give to your greeting? well, south carolina's republican governor mandates that her staffers give a very
specific salutation, and two democratic lawmakers want that greeting gone. here is what she wants them to say. it's a great day in south carolina. how may i help you? joining us now is one of the authors of a bill aimed to block this greeting. representative john king, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, milissa. how are you? >> i'm well, thank you. you have been quoted as calling the governor's mandate insulting and that she doesn't care about theç people of south carolina. what is it about this mandate, it's just a phone greeting really, but you find it so insulting that you're taking action. >> well, first of all, my bill addresses four major concerns that south carolinians face here in south carolina. first, being that south carolina has a very high unemployment rate. we do not put enough funds or have funds for rural infrastructure so that rural communities can bring industries and companies into their community. i want to make sure that funding
for k through 12 as well as higher education is sufficient so that our kids can compete for the 21st century jobs. and i want to make sure that health care is accessible and affordable here in south carolina. so this was a way for us to have a conversation about the issues that face south carolina, but i received many phone calls from -- >> in all fairness though, obviously those are very important issues, but how is it that this bill over a greeting isn't taking away from actually fixing those things? >> because south carolina is -- it's not a great day in south carolina when we have families who are not able to feed their families. we have people who are unemployed. we have sick people in south carolina who do not have health care. we have kids who are going to schools where there is no heat or no air conditioning in the schools and government is not trying to fix these things. and so until we get those issues fixed in south carolina -- >> have you introduced bills to address that? >> yes. we are introducing bills that
will address that and as well as through this bill we will be adding amendments that will address theseç concerns that concern south carolinians all over the state of south carolina. >> well, from the governor's office we have this quote, while we have challenges, we are making great progress every day. the focus of the greet something to have state ep pleas pass along a positive attitude. is there something you find wrong with that and also what would you change the greeting to be? >> first of all, the people who are at the forefront of this are the employees of the state of south carolina who are answering the phone. the governor has attacked them just recently with their -- with their retirement. so i don't think that the morale that we have with the employees in south carolina is very high due to the present governor that we have, and i think we need to first make sure we're taking care of our employees is one thing. >> so what is the greeting that you would prefer?
>> i just think we need to say hello, how may i help you? i don't think there is a great day in south carolina right now. >> representative john king, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> next up, future leaders of the democratic and republican parties even though you might not know them yet. plus, it was a close race between barack obama and hillary clinton for the democratic nomination back in 2008. but now they're both number one. details in the polly side bar. but all you need is 3. lashblast for volume, outlast -- for kissing... simply ageless to help you look easy breezy beautiful covergirl. what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future.
welcome back to msnbc. i'm milissa rehberger. it's time for the poly side bar. democrats could be extinct in nebraska now that ben nelson is calling it quits. he often reached across party lines though and voted with republicans. president obama thanked senator nelson for his service saying over the course of his career ben's commitment to working with both democrats and republicans across a broad range of issues
is a trait far too often overlooked in today's politics. mitt romney picked up an endorsement from "the boston herald" despite its recent criticism of him. it says, quote there,ç is only one candidate in the republican field with the integrity, the experience, the organizational strength, and the intelligence to beat barack obama and that man is mitt rom mi. rick perry is suing the state of virginia to get his name on the ballot. perry says the required 10,000 signatures is unrealistic. mitt romney and ron paul were the only candidates who made the cut there. newt gingrich is also fighting to get on that ballot. barack obama and hillary clinton duked it out for the democratic nomination in 2008, but right now they're both on top. president obama and secretary clinton were voted the nation's most admired man and woman in the annual "usa today" gallup poll. they both got 17% of the vote.
they are some of the fastest rising politicians you may or may not have heard of. the top political rising stars were published. joining us to break down the list is melissa with "newsweek" and the daily beast. let's talk about a couple of the notable women powerhouses. california state attorney general camilk ka ma la harris susana martinez, who "newsweek" is calling the darling of the parties. >> saw sanusana martinez is the hispanic governor in the united states. she's drawing national attention as being a real force in the political spectrum. she is a member of the gop. the gop is really looking for a powerful female leader to emerge. the era of theç palins and bachmanns needs to come to an end. looking down the line, she could be a very attractive candidate
in 2016 and there's even talk of putting her on the short lis of running mates in 2012. >> and kamala harris. >> she's a powerful african-american voice, half indian. she's really one to watch. >> interesting. number of big city mayors on this list. let's go through them. detroit's difficult bing and chicago's rahm 'emanuel who is really already a star. atlanta's kasim reed and new orleans mitch landrieu. >> dave bing is an excellent candidate. detroit's urban renewal has been unique. detroit has really captured national attention because it was such an area of urban degradati degradation. and under dave bing's leadership it's seeing a real renewal. housing prices are up for four months in a row.
there's been a lot of attention to a youth movement to creating jobs in detroit. so we'll see if dave bing can avoid bankruptcy in detroit in the next year or two. >> do you think rahm emanuel for president? >> he loves to say that he absolutely has no interest whatsoever, but i would say he's on the short list for 2016. >> mitch landrieu? >> we'll have to see. the fate of new orleans is very tied to the fate of mitch landrieu. >> okay. let's take a closer look at four republican congressmen on the list. paul ryan described as a house republican whiz kid. tim scott of south carolina. kevin mccarthy of california, and jim jordan of ohio.ç we've heard a lot about paul ryan, but who else on the list is do you think going to make it to capitol hill at some point? >> i mean, jim jordan could be a very interesting candidate. he has had a lot of -- he's joined the debate much more in the past year or two.
again, a lot will depend on how things play out in the 2012 election and who really emerges as a leader in the debates. so i think a lot will come forth in the next few months. >> democrat to chins, gary locke and jon huntsman. >> he's sort of a dark horse. huntsman has never emerged as a mainstream sort of gop candidate along the lines of a newt gingrich or a mitt romney. that being said, he is someone that both liberals and conservatives respect and seem to like, and he seems patient. he seems willing to build gradually and bring his name to a national level. so i think he's a rising star in the sense that he does not necessarily demand the same level of attention as a romney
but he very well could. >> interesting. tell us more about gary locke. george locke, sorry. >> gary locke. miscorrected myself. >> once again we'll have to see what he does in 2012, see how the year emerges for him. he's on our list of rising ç stars. he's a little bit of a dark horse again, but i think there's a lot of potential. >> all right. melissa, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> take care. mitt romney compared newt gingrich's organization to this scene from "i love lucy." a look at other politicians using pop culture in today's "flip side," coming up. my name's jeff.
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>> you know what? i think you compare that to was it pearl harbor? i think it's more like lucille ball at the chocolate factory. so i mean, you got to get it organized. >> jumping off of mitt's "i love lucy's" throwback taking a look at other political pundits who have used pop culture. herman cain was called out after attributing this inspirational line to a poet. life can be a challenge, life can seem i am possible. it's never easy when there's so much on the line. this is a quote from the mo of movie pokemon 2000. probably the most loved political pop culture reference was back in 1985 when ronald reagan told tax increasers to go ahead, make my day. a quote from the classic clint
eastwood flick "sudden impact." that does it for me today. i'm milissa rehberger in for thomas roberts. now with alex wagner is next. what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future.
mitt romney is setting his sights on the white house and newt gingrich is setting his sights on mitt romney's manhood. it's wednesday, december 28th, and this is "now." joining me today, hugo lind gren, eder to of the "new york times" magazine, icea menendez. maggie and sam stein from "the huffington post." the republican primary roller coaster appears to be returning to where it started. last night mitt romney made his final pitch to iowa voters focusing squarely on the man who would be his rival in the general election. >> gone is the hope and change candidate of