tv Martin Bashir MSNBC April 10, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
of the kind of gordon gecko that he is. certainly democrats know this is a good debate for them. they know where the poll numbers are. with regard to policy there has been criticism this would only raise $15 to $20 billion a year. and it is not a substantive plan. and i think the white house has been effective answering that and the white house has said this is part of a much larger strategy to get the country going again. it is not a jobs strategy but it is an important come opponent of it. and the carried interest rule for private equity funds, which is largely what mitt romney was doing where you treat income as capital gains. is something that has been widely, widely abused. it is a political issue the democrats know is a winner. >> thanks 57. we are expecting the president to come out and speak at florida atlantic university. all the cameras are being
pointed in one direction and we are waiting for him to come out. john, what do you think? do you agree with what julian was saying just then? that this is about attacking mitt romney as opposed to asserting any viability? >> i agree it won't happen before the election. you have to lay the groundwork for change over time. and maybe if obama is reelected, if they hold the senate, maybe they get the house or there's enough of a rebuke to house republicans from their own people that this is unfair. then you could see a change. the point is, martin, to introduce the concept of fairness, basic fairness into this campaign. republicans don't like to talk about fairness. they callett class warfare. democrats want to make it, is it about fairness.
because buffett was able to humanize it saying why should i pay a lower tax rate than my secretary? it is not a tier one issue but it is a way of identifying the differences between the parties on this fairness issue. it helps. >> that's a fair issue. >> if it's truly fairness, nearly 50% of americans pay no income tax whatsoever. i think what we're going to talk about fundamental fairness, we need to say the tax code, the way that it is presently structured, doesn't work. >> i've heard this figure bandied about so many times. and you know full well that's not true. >> we're about federal income tax. >> that's the problem. >> i'm so tired of this talking point from the right where they say the wealthy pay all the taxes. if you're a person in this circus you pay a very significant chunk of your income in pay roll taxes. you can say, well, that goes for
social security and medicare. but if you're paying that off the top, you have a pay roll tax holiday right now. to say those folks are untaxed will. >> that's not what i said. >> that's tim reply indication. >> but again, if you want to say you're tired of the republican talking point. i'm tired of the democratic talking point. the fact is the president is saying, he's coming out for this fairness rule. that people should be fair. people should pay their fair share. we're about federal income tax. >> his secretary is paying a higher rate, isn't she? >> is it fair that -- hang hang on, hang on. is it fair that 24% of millionaires face a lower tax rate than americans earning between $50,000 and $100,000? is it fair that one in three of the richest 400 americans paid less than 15% in income tax in 2008? is it fair? >> it is not fair the way the
system is structured. if you want to have an honest discussion. my honest discussion is what the president is doing today, it is political and not fair. we need to revamp the entire tax code. we need to wipe out a lot of these deductions that a lot of people hide under the loopholes you're suggesting. but my whole point is -- >> we're waiting for paul ryan to give us the loopholes that he wants to close. he has delivered two budgets and never told us specifically what they are. >> martin, martin. >> hang on. he gives us two thresholds in terms of the tax bracket. we still dope know what the threshold would be. >> you knew very well that the budget resolution is not binding. it sets a cap on government spending it is and up to the ways and means committee to come forthwith a specific tax rate. so to suggest he is not putting -- >> we're delighted that you're here. the president is arriving at the podium. so we will with all due deference and respect, lead with him.
>> thank you! how is everybody doing today? it is great to be back in florida. it is great to be back in boca. great to be here at the home of the fighting owls. i want to first of all thank them for not only leading us in the pledge of allegiance but also giving me great details about the burrowing owls.
he explained it all to me and then he will me he wants my job. and i explained to him that the constitution requires you are 35 years old so i will keep the seat warm for him. for a few more years. i want to thank rebecca for that extraordinary performance. in addition to having an unbelievable voice, she wants to be a teacher. she is an english major. we need great teachers out there so we're very proud of her. i want to thank your president sanders. the mayor of boca raton, susan, for hosting us here today. we've also got your outstanding senator and former astronaut,
which is very cool. bill nelson, in the house. a wonderful congressman is here. and my great friend, congresswoman, debbie wasserman schultz is here. and you are here, which is very exciting. i am glad you guys came out. >> we love you! >> i love you back. now, look, guys, i know this is a busy time of year. some of you are less than a month away from graduation. some seniors in the house. pretty soon you'll be closing
the books at wimberly for the last time. maybe you'll be that one last trip to the beach or coyote jack's. you'll be picking up that diploma that you work so hard for. your parents will be there. they'll be beaming, full of pride. and then comes what folks call the real world. now, i actually think college is part of real world, but obviously there is a transition that will take place as you leave college. and some of you may go on to post graduate degrees but some of you will be out there looking for work. college is the single most important investment you can make in your future. so i'm proud that you've made the and you've seen it through. but i also know that the future can be uncertain.
that we've gone through the three toughest years in our life times economically. worst financial crisis, worst economic crisis. our economy is now recovering but it is not yet where it needs to be. too many of your friends and too many of your neighbors are still hurting out there. they're still looking for work. too many of your families are sill searching for that sense of security that started slipping away long before this recession hit. got the amen corner here. so at a time like this, we have to ask ourselves a central fundamental question as a nation. what do we have to do to make sure that america is a place where if you work hard, if you're responsible, that that hard work and that responsibility pays off.
and the reason it is important to ask this question is because there are alternative theories. there is a debate going on in this country right now. can we succeed as a nation where a shrinking number of people are doing really, really well but a growing number are struggling to get by. or are we better off when everybody gets a fair shot? and everybody does a fair share. and everybody plays by the same set of rules. that's what the debate in america is about right now. this is not just another run-of-the-mill gab fest in washington.
this is the defining issue of our time. this is the make or break issue. and everybody aspiring to get into the middle class. and we've got two very different visions of our future and the choice between them could not be clearer. now, keep in mind, i start from the belief that government cannot and should not try to solve every single problem that we've got. government is not the answer to everything. my first job in chicago, i wasn't much older than most of you, was working with a group of catholic churches on the south side of chicago in low income neighborhoods to try to figure out how can we improve the schools? how can we strengthen neighborhoods and families. and i saw the work that some of these churches did did more good for people in their communities than any government community could. in those same communities, i saw
that no education policy, no matter how well crafted it is. no matter how well funded it is, can take the place of a parent's love and attention. i also believe that since government is funded by you, that it has an obligation to be efficient and effective. and that is why we've eliminated dozens of programs that weren't working, announced hundreds of regulatory reforms to save businesses and taxpayers billions of dollars. we've put annual domestic spending on a path to become the smallest share of our economy since eisenhower was in the white house, which is before i was born, much less you being born. i believe the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.
but here's the thing. i also agree with our first republican president. a guy from my home state. a guy with a beard named abraham lincoln. what lincoln said was that through our government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. that's the definition of a smart government. and that's the reason why we have a strong military. to keep us safe. because i suppose each of us could just grab whatever is around the house and try to defend our country, but we do better when we do it together. and we've got the best military in the history of the world with the greatest men and women in uniform. we pay for that.
that's why we have public schools to educate our children. you know, if we didn't have public schools, there would still be some families who would do very well. they could afford private schools or some would home school but there would be a lot of kids who would fall through cracks. so we do that together. it is one of the reasons we've laid down rail roads and highways. we can't build a highway for ourselves. we've got to get our neighbors and our friends to say let's go build a road. that's why we supported the research and the technology that saved lives and create entire industries. the internet. gps. all those things were created by us together. not by ourselves. it's the reason why we contribute to programs like medicare and medicaid and social security and unemployment insurance.
because we understand that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, we know that eventually, we're going to get older. we know that at any point, one of us might face hard times or bad luck or a crippling illness or a layoff. and the idea that together, we build this safety net, this base of support, that allows all of us to take risks and to try new things and maybe get a new job. because we know that there is this base that we can run on. so these investments, in things like education and research and health care, they haven't been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. this is not some socialist
dream. they have been made by democrats and republicans for generations because they benefit all of us and they lead to strong and durable economic growth. that's why we've made these investments. if you're here at fau because you got financial aid -- or a student loan, a scholarship. which by the way was how i was able to help finance my college education. that's how michelle got her college education. that doesn't just benefit you. it benefits whatever company might end up hiring you. and profiting from your skills. if one of you goes on to become
the next steve jobs or mark zuckerberg or one of you discovers the next medical breakthrough, think about all the people whose lives will be changed for the better. we made an investment in you. we'll get a return on the investment. when we guarantee basic security for the elderly or the sick or those who are actively looking for work, that doesn't make us weak. what makes us weak is when fewer americans can afford to buy the products that businesses are selling. when fewer people are willing to take risks and start their new businesses. if it doesn't work out, they worry about feeding their families. what drags our entire economy down is when the benefits of economic growth and productivity go only to the few. which is what has been happening for over a decade now. and the gap between those at the very, very top and everybody
else keeps growing wider and wider and wider and wider. in this country, prosperity has never trickled down from the wealthy few. prosperity has always come from the bottom up. from a strong and growing middle class. that's how a generation who went to college on the gi bill including my grandfather helped build the most prosperous economy that the world has ever known. that's why a ceo like henry ford made a point to pay his workers enough money so that they could buy the cars that they were building. he understood. look, there's no point in me having all this and then not buying the cars. i have to pay them enough that they buy the cars and that in
turn creates more business and more prosperity for everybody. this is not about a few people doing well. we want people to do well. that's great. but it is about giving everybody the chance to do well. that's the essence of america. that's what the american dream is about. that's why emgrants have come to our shores. it doesn't matter what you look like. you can be named obama. you can still make it if you try. and yet we keep on having the same argument with folks who don't seem to understand how it is that america got built. and let me just say, the folks that we have political arguments
with, they're americans who love their country. democrats, republicans, independents, everybody. we all love this country. there is a fundamental difference in how we think we move this country forward. these folks, they keep telling us that if we just weaken regulations that keep our air or water clean or protect our consumers. if we would just convert these investments that we're making to our government in education and research and health care, if we just turn those into tax cuts. especially for the wealthy. then somehow the economy will grow stronger. that's the theory. and here's the news. we tried this for eight years before i took office. we tried it.
it's not like we didn't try it. at the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest americans got two huge tax cuts. 2001, 2003. meanwhile, insurance companies, financial institutions, they were all allowed to write their own rule or find their way around rules. we were told the same thing we're being told now. this is going to lead to faster job growth. this is going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody. guess what. it didn't. yes, the rich got much richer. corporations made big profits. but we also had the slowest job growth in half a century. the typical american family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6%, even though the economy was growing. because more and more of that growth was just going to a few
and the average middle class american wasn't seeing it in their paychecks. health care premiums skyrocketed. financial institutions started making bets with other people's money that were reckless. and then our entire financial system almost collapsed. do you remember that? it wasn't that long ago. i know you guys are young but it was pretty recent. now, some of you may be science majors in here. usually -- [ cheers and applause ] >> i like that. we need more scientists. we need more engineers. now, i was not a science major myself. but i enjoyed -- i enjoyed science when i was young. and if i recall correctly, if an experiment fails badly, you know, you learn from that. right? i mean, sometimes you can learn from failure. that's part of the data that
teaches you stuff. that expands our knowledge. you don't just keep doing the same thing over and over again. you go back to the drawing board. you try something different. that's not what has been happening with these folks in washington. a lot of the folks who were peddling these same trickle down theories including some who are running for a certain office right now who shall not be named -- they're doubling down on these old broken down theories. instead of moderating their views even slightly, instead of saying, you know what? what we did really did not work and we almost had a second great depression and maybe we should
do something different. they have doubled down. they proposed a budget that showers the wealthiest americans with even more tax cuts and then pays for these tax cuts by gutting investments in education, in medical research, in clean energy, in health care. now, these are the facts. if the cuts they're proposing are spread out evenly, across the budget, then 10 million college students, including some of you, would see your financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each. thousands of medical research grants for things like alzheimer's and cancer and aids would be eliminated. tens of thousands of researchers and students and teachers could lose their jobs.
our invest manies in clean energy that are making us less dependent on clean oil would be cut by nearly a fifth. by the time you retire, instead of being enrolled in medicare like today's seniors are, you would get a voucher to pay for your health care plan. but here's the problem. if health care costs rise faster than the amount of the voucher like they have been for decades, the rest of it comes out of your pockets. if the voucher isn't enough to buy a plan with a specific doctors and care that you need, you're out of luck. and by the middle of the next century, by the middle of this century, excuse me, by about 2050, at a time when most of you will have families of your own, funding for most of the investments i've talk about today would have been almost completely eliminated altogether. this is not an exaggeration. this is math. when i said this about a week
ago, the republicans objected. they said we didn't specify all these cuts. well, right, you didn't. because you knew that people wouldn't accept them. so you just gave a big number and so what we've done is we've just done the math. this is what it would mean. they said we didn't specifically propose to cut student loans. okay. if you don't cut student loans, then that means you have to cut basic research even more. or the money has to come from somewhere. you can't give over $4 trillion worth of additional tax cuts including to folks like me who don't need them and weren't asking for them, and it just comes from some magic tree somewhere. so don't, if you hear them saying, well, the president is making this stuff up. no. we're doing the math. if they want to dispute anything
that i've said right now, they should show us specifically where they would make those cuts. she should show us. they're not proposing to cut defense. they're actually posing to increase defense spending. so it is not coming out of there. so show me. look. america has always been a place where anybody who is willing to work and play by the rules can make it. a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top. it grows from the bottom. it grows outward from the heart of a vibrant middle class. and i believe that we cannot stop investing in the things that help create that middle class. that create real long-lasting
broad based growth in this country and we certainly should not be doing it just so the richest americans can get another tax cut. we should be strengthening those investments. we should be college more affordable. we should be expanding our investment in clean energy. now here's the other thing that the republican there's tell you. they will say we have to make all these drastic cuts because our deficit is too high. our deficit is too high. their argument might have a shred of credibility to it if you didn't find out that they wanted to spend $4.6 trillion on lower tax rates. i don't know how many of you are math majors, business majors. you can't pay down a deficit by
taking in $4.6 trillion of less money. especially when you're denying that you will be all these cuts. it doesn't add up. it doesn't make sense. and keep in mind, more than a trillion dollars the tax cuts they propose would be going to people who make more than $250,000 a year. that is an average of at least $150,000. we're just taking the numbers with the details they've given us. and you spread it out. that averages to at least $150,000 for every millionaire, billionaire in the country. each millionaire and billionaire on average would get $150,000. some folks would get a lot more. so we did some math of our own. we add up all the investments $150,000 could pay for. let's say a tax break that i might get that i really don't
need. i've got treated pretty well in this life. right now, i'm going to be okay. malia, sasha, they're going to be able to go to college. michelle is doing fine. so understand what this means. here is what $150,000 means. $150,000. this is what each millionaire and billionaire would get on average. this could pay for a tax credit that would make a year of college more affordable for students like you. plus a year's worth of financial aid for students like you. plus a year's worth of prescription drugs savings for one of your grandparents. plus a new computer lab for this school. plus a year of medical care for
a veteran in your family who went to war and risked their lives fighting for this country. plus a medical research grant for a chronic disease. plus a year's salary for a firefighter or police officer. $150,000 could pay for all of these things combined. think about that. so let me ask you, what is the better way to make our economy stronger? do we give another $150,000 in tax breaks to every millionaire and billionaire in the country? or should we make investments in medical research and our veterans? and i just want to emphasize
again, look. i want folks to get rich in this country. i think it is wonderful when people are successful. that's part of the american dream. it's great that you make a product, you create a service. you do it better than anyone else. that's what our system is all about. but understand, the share of our national income going to the top 1% has climbed to levels we haven't seen since the 1920s. the folks who are benefiting from this are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years. you might have heard of this but warren buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. now that's wrong. that's not fair. and so we've got to choose which
direction we want this country to go in. do we want to keep giving those tax breaks to folks like me who don't need them, or to give them to warren buffett. he definitely doesn't need them. or to bill gates. he's already said i don't need them. or do we want to keep investing in those things that keep our economy going and keep us secure? that's the choice. and florida, i told you where i stand. so now it's time for members of congress to tell you where they stand. in the next few weeks, we're going to vote on something we call the buffett rule. very simple. if you make more than $1 million a year. i'm not saying you have a million dollars. right? i'm not saying you saved up, you know, all of your money and you made smart investments. now you've got your nest egg and you're preparing for retirement. i'm saying you're bringing in a million or more a year.
then what the rule says is you should pay the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do. you shouldn't get special tax breaks. you shouldn't be able to get special loopholes. if we do that, it makes it affordable for us to say, for those who make under 1 million a year, like 98% of american families do. then your taxes don't go up. and we can still make those investments in things like student loans and college and science and infrastructure and all the things that make this country great. and this is where you come in. this is why i came to see you. it's nice to see you. the weather is nice.
you guys have been a wonderful audience. i learned about the burrowing owl. so there were all kinds of reasons for me to come down here. but one of the reasons i came, i want you to call your members of congress. i want you to write them an e-mail. i want you to tweet them. tell them, don't give tax breaks to folks like me who don't need them. tell them to start investing in the things that will help the economy grow. tell them if we want bring down our deficit sensibly, then we have to do it in a way that's fair for everybody. remind them who they work for. tell them to do the right thing. as i look out across this gymnasium, everybody here from all different backgrounds, from
all different parts of the country, you know, each of us is here because somebody somewhere felt responsibility for other people. our parents, obviously, our grandparents, great grandparents, the sacrifices they made. some of them took enormous risks coming to this country with nothing because they wanted to give a better life to their kids or grandkids. a lot of them did without so that you could benefit. but they weren't just thinking about their families. they were thinking about their communities. they were thinking about their country. that's what responsibility means. it means that as you have greater and greater opportunity, then the scope of you being able to help more people and think
about the future expands. and so you're not just thinking about yourself. you're thinking about your kids, your spouse, your family, your grandkids, your neighborhood, your state, your nation. you're thinking about the future. and now it is our turn to be responsible. it's our turn to preserve the american dream for future generations. it's our turn to rebuild. to make the investments that will assure our future. to make sure that we've got the most competitive work force on earth. to make sure that we've got clean energy that can help clean the planet and help fuel our economy. it's our turn. it's our turn to rebuild our roads and bridges and our
airports and our ports. it's our turn to make sure that everybody here, every child born in whatever neighborhood in this country it is, that if they're willing to dream big dreams and put some blood, sweat and tears behind it, they can make it. i know we can do that. i know we can do it because of you. you're here because you believe in your future. you're working hard. some of you are balancing a job or a family on the side. you have faith in america. you know it is not going to be easy but you don't give up. that's the spirit we need right now. because here in america, we don't give up. here in america, we look out for one another. here in america, we help each
other get ahead. here in america, we have a sense of common purpose. here in america, we can meet any challenge. here in america, we can seize any moment. we can make this century another great american century. thank you, god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> that was the president in climactic form, ending his speech in boca, in florida, taking his fair share economic message to the battleground state. part of that, the so-called buffett rule. the proposal that goes right at millionaires like his rival. and given today's news from rick santorum, almost certainly his opponent will be mitt romney. i want to bring in our panel again. julian epstein and here in new york, all of us watching and listening very carefully. ron, was that class warfare as you have previously described some of the president's speeches about tax and the buffett rule?
>> i think it was. let's look at what this was. this was a brilliant campaign speech. if you're looking at the president trying to rally his base and trying to rally progressives, i think this is the beginning of his campaign. if you're looking at this as a substantive policy speech, i don't think so. as jonathan and i both talked, i think the so-called buffett rule won't go into effect this year. he is drawing contrast between himself and the republicans. >> how is it class warfare when the president is basically trying to level the playing field? >> well, this is about tax fairness. ron likes to call it class warfare. i think the republicans will lose that debate. this was a brilliant speech on a number of levels. first of all, obama is clearly by far the best or or the. the most brilliant oratore. you will never see mitt romney connect the way the president
connected there. what obama is doing, he understands that republicans have essentially one argument going into this campaign. that the s to lower taxes. the fact is that almost all american are paying lower taxes than they've paid in half a century. what obama is saying, what the republican agenda really is, to allow millionaires to gain the system with things like, the carried interest rule that allows them to get away with having their income taxes, capital gains. that's also a winning argument. the third point i think the president is is he is about investments in two very important ways. one in a very personal way in terms of what it means to the listener's education. what it means to the audiences in terms of the health care in ways that are very human. he is reminding viewers that the investment strategy he has used has paid off. remember, when the president came into ofrgs we were at negative 8% gdp. the economy was contracting by 8% a year. it is now growing somewhere between 2% and 3%. when the president came into
office, we were losing somewhere on the order of 800,000 jobs a month. we're now gaining on average about 200,000. so both in terms of personal terms and economic terms, it is a very, very compelling story. >> it would appear that the electorate supports this. the new "washington post" poll today shows that 52% think unfairness, favoring the wealthy, is big aer problem in the economy versus 37% who say it is over regulations. so the electorate appears to support the view that julian was describing there and that the president articulated. >> i think the electorate does. on particular issues, they favor the democrats. the problem is they don't have confidence in barack obama to fix the economy and that is the number one issue. if the economy gets worse later this year, which is quite possible, this will be a real horse race. a very, very close election. obama can be a much better
candidate than romney. he can be much more in tune with the public on individual issues. even on themes. but if somehow things start sagging this summer the way they did in 2011 and 2010, obama is going to be digging out. i want to say quickly, as bad as the economy was, julian actually understated it. the economy was down by 8.9%. almost 9% which is falling off a cliff in the fourth quarter of 2008 as bush was leaving office. this was the steepest decline in recorded american history. >> by that same token, going from negative -- >> the hole he was digging out of was so deep. >> let me say this. by the same token, going from negative 8 to positive 2 is a 10% net gain. that's the kind of economic gain we have not seen in our lifetime. >> i think here's the contrast. you're i think you're right in your analysis. i think the president will have
to continue to show continue economic growth. if the economy falters a little bit, romney is going to have an opening. i think this will be a very tight race. >> when you talk about that, isn't the fact that romney over the last two years has banked $21 million in income? and has only paid around 14% tax? isn't that at the heart of the problem that the president was referring to where he was talking about this buffett rule and the fact that warren buffett's secretary pays less in percentage terms than he does. >> i really don't care how much money governor romney has made. i think he is running for president to say the economy has not grown as fast it is a should. and -- >> doesn't that go to credibility? >> why should it affect his credibility? >> if you want to have a credibility argument, why does it not affect the president's credibility. i get tax breaks that i don't need. then why don't you give your
money to the treasury. >> none of this is hugely relevant. romney's problem is less that he is a poster boy for the 1% than that he doesn't really have a credible plan for bringing this economy back. we've tried tax cuts for the wealthy. it was tried by george w. bush. it failed. so obama makes a powerful argument. why would you want to do something again that shovels money to the wealthy. if it worked, if it kicked off a big boom, the republicans would have a much better argument. >> i'm answering his point. if president obama has said, oh, and we should have four more years of obama, let's see. his economic advisers said, if you pass the stimulus bill, the unemployment rate will not go above 8%. >> that's not what they said. >> that's absolutely what then. >> he never said that. >>, no i said this is what his economic advisers that.
yes, they did. the fact of the matter is -- >> can he just give you the facts. >> i'm going to give you the facts. i studied this in great detail when i was preparing my book, the promise. here is very specifically what happened. everything else is sponsorship. two economic advisers. they were tasked during the transition before the obama administration took office. in assessing where the economy would be in the middle of 2009. the only data that they had was third quarter gdp to make their projections. third quarter, 2008, gdp. where the economy was down like 3% or something like that. so their projections were that you could get to 8% unemployment by the middle of the year based on third quarter gdp. the fourth quarter, as we've already -- >> we're not disagreeing.
>> gentlemen -- >> they did not promise that it would get there. they were doing it based on those numbers. >> thank you very much. thank you for your correction. we'll be right back with much more as rick santorum makes way for mitt romney. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool. ♪
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we made the decision to end this race at our kitchen table against all the odds, and we made the decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting. >> breaking news from the campaign trail just over an hour ago. former senator rick santorum suspended his run for the presidency, as you heard him say, and with that it appears all but certain that mitt romney is the de facto republican
nominee. in washington, joe williams, who covers the white house for plit co. welcome to all of you. he says he's going to keep fighting. is this over for him or is he really talking about 2016? >> i think he might as well have come out and said i'm suspending my campaign until 2016. this was very hard. he saw the writing on the wall, i presume, with pennsylvania, and even though i thought may looked very good for rick santorum, i think this was an appropriate time. and, you know, i've been vocal in my support for rick santorum. i like him a lot. but i think there is a collective relief in conservative circles that finally now we can start talking about obama instead of santorum and romney and newt and ron paul. as a pundit, i agree, but i think conservatives are ready for the general election to
begin. >> mitt romney says, and i'm quoting, senator santorum is an able and worthy competitor and i congratulate him on the campaign that he ran. he is proving to be an important voice for the party and the nation. that sounds like an endorsement request. will he get it? >> it will be interesting, because you see what the tea party is going through. some of the more -- i could say conservatives, but more moderate, long-time officials that are kind of staving off the tea party attack, how influenti influential, are they going to actually rally? i think mitt might watch the wind a little bit before he takes these measures. >> he called him uniquely disqualified to challenge the president. >> he's called him a liar, but we've seen this. go back in history. we have seen the most avid opponents -- >> hillary clinton.
>> joe, did santorum really lose this race when he made this remark? listen. >> president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> joe, he was polling well just prior to the michigan primary when he came out with that. did that spell the beginning of the end, do you think? >> well, that was the moment where you hear a noise coming from under the hood and you turn up the radio to avoid hearing it but you keep on going. certainly that was one of several moments that rick santorum had a probably regretted and that includes the debate before the southern primaries in which he seemed hesitant and romney put him on the defensive. that was another moment that looked like he was losing a lot of altitude. and plus, let's face it, he lost his home state in reelection. he's the incumbent, he loses by double digits, he can't get very much traction there, and his opponent was ready to drop a
huge money bomb. romney had all kinds of ammunition waiting for him, so he not only avoided poisoning the party even further by dropping out now, he also avoided what could have been a very humiliating defeat at the hands of a guy who could barely utter his name. in fact, he didn't during his dropout speech today. >> no, he didn't. he also talked about the fact that when jfk spoke about religion in relation to the presidency, it made him throw up. that was unhelpful as well. >> he's had some less than artful moments on the campaign trail, but when someone is awake, you don't kick them in the gut, all right. rick santorum won a number of states, states he should have won in the south, and states nobody expected him to win, colorado being one. he had a good campaign by anybody's standards and i think really put mitt romney on the offensive for a while. >> do you think santorum's campaign will be best recalled
by his conversations about and speeches about contraception, more than anything else? >> i think it's much more going to be a defining of a very hard right look at a lot of issues, from contraception, a lot of religion that people thought were sort of litigated and they were behind us. >> thank you so much. do stay with us. i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. i am a gun owner, but my wife owns more guns than i do. no tell -- teleprompters, no written speeches. the opportunity to see what's burning down here.
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