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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 31, 2011 6:00am-9:00am PST

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days and counting. the gop field in a fight to the finish in iowa. but the front-runners now face new and tough questions including mitt romney and his tax returns. plus, will newt gingrich's tearful moments play in the polls? will it help him or hurt him? we have live coverage from iowa in just minutes. times square countdown. two reasons why this year's ni new year's eve could draw one the biggest crowds ever. and extreme weather. a look back at some of the most eye-catching and difficult moments from mother nature of the past year. . good morning to you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm veronica de la cruz. three days to go, the final stretch of the iowa caucuses is going on right now across the state with gop candidates making a mad dash to rally supporters. let's go live right now to des moines and peter alexander. peter, for many of the candidates, this morning is just the start of what's is sure to be a whirlwind weekend, if you
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will. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. to give you a sense where the confidence is right now, it's with ron paul and mitt romney. ron paul now back in texas to, his family. and mitt romney is already in the next state to vote. he's made it very clear that he expects to be the nominee. more than 1200 miles away in new hampshire, mitt romney was already focusing on the next primary state friday night. >> i want you to bring friends to the voting booth. i want it loud and clear message. >> reporter: earlier romney's message was reinforced by popular new jersey governor chris christie who offered iowa voters this playful jab. >> you don't do what you're supposed to do on tuesday for mitt romney, i will be back, jersey style, people. i will be back! >> reporter: romney deflected a question from andrea mitchell over whether he would release his tax returns. >> you know, if i become president, yeah, then i'll consider that. it's a little premature for me
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to be talking about that at this stage. >> reporter: is there some secret? people know you're wealthy. >> yeah, i understand. >> reporter: there's nothing to hide? >> i agree. nothing to hide. >> reporter: rick santorum tried to build on momentum he's gained. >> we're picking up. we have the momentum here. that's what i think people are looking for. >> reporter: newt gingrich just a month ago was on top is viewed by more than a third of iowa caucus goers as an unacceptable nominee. gingrich got emotional at a forum for mothers while recalling his own mom's mental health challenges later in life. >> my whole emphasis on brain science comes in directly from feeling -- see, i goth get emotional, for dealing with, you know, the real problems ofeal people in my family. >> reporter: meanwhile, rick perry intensified his criticism of santorum over his record on earmarks in congress. >> why did you ask the taxpayers of iowa to support a teapot
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museum in north carolina? >> reporter: michele bachmann who lost two campaign staffers this week was greeted by under whelming crowds at several events friday. >> you get your own private presidential candidate and member of congress. >> reporter: ron paul stayed on point with a solid base of supporters. >> i want to quit pretending that we can take care of the world and forget about the people at home. we ought to remember about the people here at home first. >> reporter: paul is so confident he mransz to take the weekend off. finally, former utah governor jon huntsman is skipping iowa all together. >> can you eat all that before the primary? >> reporter: staking his candidacy on a strong finish in the granite state. and republicans here in iowa are going to keep their eyes on the ad blitz on the air waves and on the forecast. temperature here can make a difference in terms of turnout. the temperature for tuesday now forecast to be mild, in the 30s.
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mild by iowa standards. but no rain and no snow. mike huckabee who won in 2008 said that mild forecast is good news for mitt romney. >> peter alexander, happy new year to you. for a closer look now at iowa horse race i'm joined by cnbc chief washington correspondent john harwood, and d.c. bureau chief for yahoo. they're both at java joe's in des moines. good morning. >> happy new year. >> let's go ahead and start with you. let's talk about the mood there in des moines at java joe's. i don't see many people there. is this the calm before the storm? >> definitely. normal people are taking their time on new year's eve and waking up slowly. but iowa has become in the last couple weeks what we've become accustomed to seeing it in past
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cycles, the ground zero for a whole lot of retail campaigning. 2011 was an unusual year in the sense that that phase didn't begin till very late in the year. debates drove this process. now division ads to a considerable degree. we have candidates all over the state, town hall with santorum, mitt romney is coming back today and everybody will be blan eting for the last minute turnout push. i think as peter said a moment ago, the fact thaw might have the potential for a decent turnout because the weather is going to be so mild is good for a candidate whose support is broad but not particularly deep. >> david, let's go ahead and bring you in here. what are your thoughts on all this? which candidates do you feel are most buzzed about at this point and maybe the least? >> well, certainly lots of attention paid to mitt romney and ron paul because they're duking it out at the head of the polls. i would say the buzziest candidate is rick santorum
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because he's surging upward. he's the one that's done this in the traditional way. what john was just saying, it's such -- it has been such a different cycle this year but in rick santorum's mind, he paid no attention to that. he went to all 99 counties early on, started building a connection in the communities, living in the bottom of the pack and now when voters' attention is turning to the candidates, he's seeing this pay off in the polls. whether he can continue this upward climb through tuesday night i think is the big question hanging over the race right now. >> veronica, you know the -- the point i wanted to make about rick santorum is his rise at the end, that's all good for mitt romney. why? because what mitt romney wants to have happen is to have the votes on the right, that big sort of 70% non-romney divide up among numerous candidate. we've seen herman cain rise up,
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michele bachmann, rick perry and when santorum gobbles up a significant chunk. vote, that's votes newt gingrich won't get. newt gingrich has the potential f you look down the road at south carolina and florida, to compete with mitt romney. if he doesn't do well here because rick santorum has risen at end and ron paul is solid in first or second, that makes it all that much more difficult for anybody to consolidate support against mitt romney. >> john, i wanted to ask you about a couple of interesting events that have taken place recently. the one with newt gingrich where he was crying at this campaign event yesterday with a group of mothers in iowa. actually, i think he was right there in java joe's. so many people are drawing a parallel to the last presidential election when hillary clinton teared up in new hampshire. then she goes on to win the state. what is your reaction to gingrich's hillary moment? >> newt gingrich is not nearly as dangerous a candidate in his
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primary competition as hillary clinton was in hers. i don't think the parallel works completely. however, i think it does help candidates when they show some emotion, show the real dimensions of their personality, of their life stories, what's the complaint so many people have about politics is that it's all fake, it's all canned, people are reading polls and delivering lines they think voters want them to hear. when you have somebody talking about his mother, talking about difficulty and illness with his family, i think it's all too the good for that candidate. >> you think it plays out well. david, how do you think potential caucus-goers are reacting to this? >> i was surprised how low down in the local newscasts around here that gingrich moment received. which was right. i don't think it was a huge, defining moment. i agree with john with his placement in the race and that hillary clinton moment injected a moment into the race in new hampshire at the time she was trying to come back from her loss in iowa.
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the parallel wasn't quite the same. i do think you talk to voters and they are seeking exactly what john was saying. they want to see a little bit of humani humanity. a little authenticity from these folks. a moment like that i think could potentially help gingrich but mostly i think it was a nonimpact moment. >> something else that has taken place quite recently, mitt romney saying that he might not be releasing his tax returns. an issue that has gotten extra attention for sure this week. how big of an issue do you think this is going to be going forward? >> i think mitt romney will come under pressure to do that at a later point in the process. he clearly left himself room to respond when that happens. what we've seen from romney throughout 2011 a-s a very cautious approach to the campaign, doing what he thinks he has to do at any particular moment. first, sort of withholding his presence on the trail, making himself rare in terms of campaign events. now he's ubiquitous at the end, surging in iowa, very well timed
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for his part. so i think he's going to respond to the pressure and do what that dictates in the moment. he doesn't have to do it. and i don't think until he feels like he has to do it, he won't do it. >> but i will add that the obama campaign is going to make this an issue every day from now until mitt romney decides what to do. >> all right. david chalin and john harwood, nice to see both you. happy new year's. >> have a good party tonight. and now to new hampshire, just ten days left before first votes are cast in that primary. mitt romney has a commanding lead in the polls in new hampshire and campaigning the granite state. ron mott is in ham deden, new hampshire. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. mitt romney enjoys a sizeable lead here in new hampshire. he has a rapt audience waiting to meet him. last night he spoke to merrimack
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to a sold out crowd and sold out crowd here today and he'll talk about turning around the economy in the country. he's picked up a line here in recent stumps that america tried to turn america into europe. he says europe does not work in europe, it's not going to work in america. we expect to hear that line delivered here today as well. he'll talk about trying to make america a better place to do business, rolling back corporate tax rates for companies so they will be -- they will be given incentive for bringing jobs back here and talk about foreign policy about iran in particular and sending iran a message. you can hear the crowd cheering here. he's about to go on. he's got anywhere between a 15 and 27-point lead in new hampshire. this is one last hoorah before they send him off to iowa where they expect him to do well and could win the iowa caucuses. >> we are looking at live pictures and i know you're having issues hearing us as we're having a little bit of a hard time hearing you there. but, i mean, how well attended
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is that event? it looks like a packed house. >> reporter: very well attended. i think the capacity of this restaurant's around 200 people and there are probably 350 or so people here. and i believe the governor is speaking behind me and the crowd's asking me to tone it down a bit so we'll send it back to you. >> ron mott in new hampshire, thanks for that. still ahead, after iowa, we will get a clearer picture of who the nominee might be. i'll speak with susan paige from "usa today" at the bottom of the hour. president obama is looking ahead to the new year in his weekly address to the nation. >> there's no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change. as we head into the new year, i'm hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger. to grow our economy, create more jobs and strengthen the middle class. >> the president released his address as and he his family continue their holiday vacation in hawaii. president obama says the last minute in congress to avoid the end of the year tax hike makes him hopeful for the country and
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thanks americans for contacting their law makers to make their voices heard in that debate. verizon's about-face over a new fee. the places where it's already 2012. a live report from times square coming up. and rachel maddow, chris matthews and ed schultz, a look back at the best of "office politics request the ". three days to go before the iowa caucuses [ sponge ] the prognosis is bleak. you may need to soak overnight.
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verizon wireless is backing down from a proposed new fee. on friday the largest cell phone company in america reversed its plan after a huge customer backlash. they wanted to charge $2 when
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customers pay their bills once a month, either by phone or online. industry experts say the company may have thought the new fee will make more customers use automatic billing which speeds up payments. the countdown to 2012 has begun. preparations are under way to turn the crossroads. world into a massive street party tonight to usher in the new year. nbc's adidi joins me from times square. what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: good morning. happy new year, veronica. we're seeing the area behind barricades are getting intreesingly filled up with revelers trying to vie for the best positions out here. decked out in their new year's gear. we can hear a lot of noise makers as well. it will take several hours before police close off the street here and ail lieu them to get into the street and into position as well. this is as you know a carefully choreographed event. they had a dress rehearsal for the ball drop yesterday. we're told it went very, very
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smoothly. you can hear the crowds behind me getting all riled up. the real thing will be obviously tonight with mayor michael bloomberg and lady gaga flipping the switch at midnight. we're told that she was chosen as a surprise special guest for not just her superstar status but also her charity work. this year's theme is let there be friendship. in the lead up to today there were a couple of events earlier this week. one of them was a pracon fetty dropped. that happened a couple days ago when times square officials went up to eighth stories of various buildings and dropped hands full of confetti. the purpose was to test the air-worthiness of confetti. some of those pieces of colored paper will bear messages collected throughout people for their wishes. we're told the most common and popular theme from those submissions was love. veronica? >> aditi, how many people are expected to be out there tonight?
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>> reporter: up to a million people are expected to be out here tonight in times square and up to a billion and a half watching worldwide. >> unbelievable. happy new year. nice to see you. >> reporter: you, too. ski resorts in the west have something to celebrate this weekend. they are finally getting snow. in washington state between 6 and 15 inches of snow fell friday. more is in the forecast for today. snowfall has been below normal from the pacific northwest to new england. nbc's meteorologist bill karins is here with the forecast for your new year's eve. hey, bill, happy new year aes to you. >> happy early new year's to you, too. that's the big theme. it's so warm in some places right now. still doesn't feel like winter. it's more like fall. new york city will be crazy in times square with temperatures in the mid-40s, near 50. when the ball drops, that's just unheard of. let's talk about the lack of snow because now we're in the heart of ski season, snowmobile season, ice fishing and people can't do that. we're losing a lot of money in the northern half of the
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country. 19% of the country has snow. that includes the mountainous areas where no one lives in the rocks and cascades. some snow in northern new england but not a lot. december will be remembered as the month of extremely warm and rainy weather throughout the eastern half of the country. now we're going to see things switching. watch -- this map shows you where the arctic cold air is. it's shown by purple and white at the top of the screen. as we go throughout the weekend into the new year, we start to see the cold air heading down from the north. this is going to be the first arctic surge of air. will be cold sunday and monday in the great lakes and monday, tuesday, wednesday the new england and the coast, you'll be cold, too. it doesn't sfik around. cold air is gone by next weekend. like winter will show up for the beginning of january, and then it's gone. as far as your forecast goes for today, there's really no issues out there. veronica, we have 70-degree temperatures from florida through the gulf, texas to california. i mean, so many people are going
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to be wearing shorts on new year's eve. >> perfect. perfect weather. perfect weather for the -- >> it's good to put on that nice dress and suit. >> i've got mine on already. >> excellent. >> bill karins, thanks so much. good to see you. well, it is over for russell brand and katy perry. they are divorcing after 14 months of marriage. brand said of perry in a statement, quote, i'll always adore her and i know we will remain friends. this is "weekends with alex witt." to the gulf, 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.
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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.
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against their own economy. 80% of their revenue comes out of their oil exports. it's hard for me to imagine they'd actually follow through with an attempt to close the gulf. unlike many of the think tanks in washington, though, i think they could do it fairly rapidly. they have a very powerful naval force in the persian gulf. they've got shore base missile batteries but it would force us and the gcc nation, saudi arabia, bahrain, et cetera, into military action against them. we would carry out military strikes, i'm sure of it, against their naval and air forces if they tried to close the persian gulf. >> well, i remember back in the '80s during iran/iraq war the u.s. navy was able to keep the strait open. what could the navy do, the american navy, to prevent this? >> i think in those days it was a very different circumstance. today the iranians have three kilo class submarines, as many
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as 19 midge et submarines, the air force, although it's third rate, has over 500 aircraft, maybe 120 operational aircraft. i think they could definitely provide an economic stranglehold against most transit. the likelihood of this seems dim. they know we'd have to respond. they know chinese get probably 50% of their oil out of the persian gulf. the japanese, 75%. 17% of all global oil supplies comes out through that route. so, we would take military action. there would be no option. within a few months they'd be in desperate circumstances, both economically and militarily. >> in the meantime the u.s. is threatening to impose new sanctions on iran's oil exports. a middle east scholar wrote yesterday iran is treating those sanctions as, quote, an act of war. an act of war. what do you think, general, are we pushing iran closer to war?
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>> well, dr. nasr is a very astute observer of the scene. i listen to him carefully. i think in some way a congressional action in which we have mandated -- and the presidency will sign the bill that all u.s. banks stop doing business with anyone that deals with iranian banking system. it's tied our hands. it's raised a level of tensions. it possibly diplomatly does make a lot of sense. we clearly don't want war in the middle east. i don't think the iranians do either. but we've inserted an element where miscalculation is possible by the iranians. >> general barry mccaffrey, we appreciate your insight. thanks for joining us this morning. >> good to be with you. we'll take you back to iowa with more on the candidate who's taking a break from campaigning with three days to go before the caucuses. ok! who gets occasional constipation,
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm veronica de la cruz. with only three days left to go before the nation's first presidential contest, ron paul is showing his confidence. the congressman is taking time off from the campaign trail just before tuesday's iowa caucus tos in des moines. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. >> a new nbc poll shows ron paul that strikes distance it with a win in iowa. the big question here is what is he doing in texas? >> well, veronica, this has been part of his campaign strategy in iowa. he'll come into the state, do two or three campaign events and go back and get rest. just because he isn't here doesn't mean his staff isn't here. most drove back from sioux city last night, a three-hour drive,
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to get started this morning to ged a head start on tuesday. they said there's a lot of work to do, so his staff will be here working both days and weekend while congressman paul is back in texas getting his rest. >> what are you hearing from iowans on the ground for his support for paul. has he done enough to motivate his base? >> he has. i've seen crowds inflate in size recently due to his jump in the numbers. he's always had a big crowd come out in iowa. recently it's been bigger. he's been averaging about 200 people in each of his events. thursday night in council bluffs he had over 700 people show up, many cheering his anti-war message. he's been getting plenty of standing ovations when he railings against the wars overseas and talks about bringing the troops home. >> speaking of which he's been defending this foreign policy view of his, his antiwar message on the trail and a lot of republicans view this as radical. so, his message there, how does it resonate with voters on the ground? >> right. many of his supporters, as you
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can imagine, are very supportive of his anti-war message. some of the more cautious people that have come out to check out dr. paul just want to hear what he has to say in more context. they're confused between isolationenism and conventionalism, and he's taken to explain the difference and he says his opponents are isolationist, saying they want to put sanctions on countries and don't want to lift the trade embargo on cuba. >> happy new year, anthony. >> happy new year. thank you. newt gingrich has picked up an influential endorsement in iowa. steve dees is a conservative radio host who carries a lot of weight in iowa politics. he says this is a time for leadership, not warm fuzzies. the future is at stake and we may never get another environment where the country's so prepared to challenge the system as we have right now. one of mitt romney's son is apologizing for comments he made
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in new hampshire about president obama. during a campaign event for his father friday, matt romney was asked about whether mitt romney would release his tax returns. here was his answer. >> he's certainly not afraid of anything. he's not hiding anything. but, you know, i heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as president obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things, then maybe he'd do it. >> he later apologized on twitter saying, quote, i repeated a bad joke. my bad. a new article in "usa today" rounds out closing arguments for gop candidates in iowa. joining me from des moines, susan page. nice to have you here. >> veronica, great to be with you. before i get to this latest article and the polls, got to ask you, you're also there in java joe's. what has the mood been like in iowa? any clear momentum right now? >> i think there is.
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i think the momentum -- there's momentum up for rip rick santorum and down for newt gingrich, although this endorsement you just mentioned could be important as he tries to recover. rising above it all is mitt romney. you know, he stayed out of iowa for months and months. now it's clear that he's in this race to win it. you can see that from his campaign schedule and also from all the ads he has on the air here. >> and-n your "usa today" article you say, quote to say the iowa contest has been close and convoluted would be an understatement. newt gingrich, mitt romney, bachmann, paul, perry have led in statewide surveys. six, rick santorum, now on the rise. how do you think the race is going to change after the iowa caucuses? are we going to get a clearer picture of who the nominee might be? >> well, to some degree. iowa traditionally whittles the field. i think if backman comes in
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last, it's hard to imagine she has the wherewithal to go on. we may find out the conservative candidate to mitt romney, because one thing working in mitt romney's favor is you have three or four candidates splitting up social conservative, other tea party conservatives, less comfortable with mitt romney. yes, i think the race gets reshaped coming out of the caucuses next tuesday. >> on that note, let's go ahead and take a look at the latest "usa today"/gallup numbers. rates ideology from one to five with one being very liberal and five being very conservative. americans' mean score was 3.3, meaning the average america is slightly to the right of center ideologically. what are your thoughts, is iowa representative of this view? >> well, iowa is one of the swing states this year as it was four years ago. yes, i think iowa probably comes down about where america is. remember that 3.3 is the number for all americans. if you look at republicans, they're much more conservative.
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3.8 is the number for republicans nationwide. that's more in tune with where michele bachmann and rick san santorum are ideologically. >> actually, 3.3 -- if they're right of center, i believe jon huntsman is in this pole and he scores that 3.3 on the ideology scale. as we all know, huntman has been trailing other gop candidates this entire election cycle. why do you think it is that huntman's ideology is good for majority of americans but has fared well. >> he's right nor most americans but not the gop. americans and voters in both parties judge candidates not only by their ideology but by their experience and their personality and leadership skills and other factors. so, this is maybe a good place tore huntsman to be if he was in a general election but he's not. right now he's in a republican primary with a more conservative electorate. >> i know you've been covering
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these caucuses for quite some time. i'm going to go ahead and ask you your guess for the win on tuesday? >> well, that is -- you know, you've been covering them for a long time so i know not to answer that question because we still have a couple days to go. i'm telling you in iowa and new hampshire, the candidacies can turn in the final 48 hours of an election. so, that's why we're all employed. >> right. susan page with "usa today," happy new year. nice to see you. >> happy new year, veronica. be sure to watch msnbc on tuesday for all day coverage of the iowa caucuses. we'll bring you all the results and analysis of the first votes of the presidential campaign. it is time now for "office politics" and a look at alex wit's interviews from the race of interview to knickknacks in office, we have plenty of insight and a lot of opinions. take a listen.
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. >> reporter:. audio issues with that but we'll have more coming up after a quick break. [ female announcer ] have you met your skin twin?
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here is how it looks right now at new york's times square where about a million people will gather tonight to ring in the new year. we'll take you back there in about 15 minute to see what's in store for the big countdown. organizers held a final dress rehearsal for the dropping of the iconic waterford crystal ball. jim o'leary is the design
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director with waterford crystal. thank you for your time today. >> thank you. it's good to be here. >> i see you've brought me a couple gifts. >> absolutely. gold frankincense and mir. >> are we ready for tonight's big bash? >> yes, we're so prepared. waterford has been involved in celebrating around the world for over 200 years. tonight it's just the greatest celebration on the plant between waterford crystal and times square. doesn't get better. 1 million people. >> you have a replica right here. this is what the ball looks like. >> yes. these are replicas that memorabilia we create have year. people love them, collect them. snowglobe and pumps the snow around for you. >> and you have one of the crystals? >> yes. this year we're having a beautiful theme, let there be friendship. we've had such a difficult year in 2011, we thought friendship would be a beautiful theme. we have our families, we love our families, but friends are different. when times are tough, you really go to your friends first. these are the people who are with you.
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like good wine. the older they get, the better we get. >> excellent. >> this year is let there be friendship and we hope there will be a raising of arms around the world tonight in friendship. >> excellent. i understand there are more than 200 of these crystal triangles on the ball. what is that worth? what is the value of the ball? >> well, in 1998 we developed the first ball which was six feet in demeter. this is 12 feet in diameter. >> 12 feet? >> 12 feet in diameter. it's enormous. >> we're looking tat it right now. the ball is absolutely huge. give us some history behind how this started with the dropping of the ball. i mean, so many people look to times square as the start of their new year. >> absolutely. not just here in the united states, but globally everybody looks to the united states and to times square. >> why did we start this? >> 1927 is the first time you dropped a ball here in times square. after that then there were different balls along the way. but in 1998 times square
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approached waterford and said, could you build a crystal ball? of course, we said we could, even though we had no idea if we could or couldn't. it took us a year. we did actually develop the world's largest crystal installation. >> wow. >> nothing in the world comes anywhere near it. >> i have to ask you, why do you change it every year? >> well, we have these wonderful sentiments we use each year. now, we're on our fifth. next year will be the sixth sentiment. so, the ball will be clad in these wonderful sentiments like love, joy, hope, friendship, courage, beautiful -- you know, international -- everybody in the world understands these sentiments. not because we speak english but right across the planet, people understand friendship and love. >> and i have to ask you, are you ready for lady gaga? >> i'm so ready for lady gaga. my grandson loves her. i think she'll like me. >> all right, jim o'leary, thanks for joining us. happy new year to you. >> thank you very much.
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2011 will be remembered as a year for extreme weather. a look at the devastating impact from the worst of mother nature. oh it's clearance time! yeah, our low prices are even lower. we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey? [ male announcer ] it's our biggest clearance event of the year where our prices are even lower. save money. live better. walmart.
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it's in the heart of downtown des moines, iowa and at the center of the iowa caucuses. java joe's has played host for msnbc's presidential campaign in the hawkeye state. you'll find cafe mochas costing $3 and a bagel for $2.25. we'll be returning to bring you the latest headlines. it is time for "office politics" and a look back at the best of alex witt's interview for the race from president to souvenirs in their office we've gotten plenty of insight, a lot of opinions from our wisest minds here. take a listen. >> i think romney has a better
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shot than most of the other republicans in that field. against barack obama. >> i mean, if mitt romney is the nominee, is there going to be a tea party chal sneng. >> do you think tea party people like people? do you think they like leaders? they don't like leaders. they basically -- >> well, they have to pick somebody. and why not -- >> i don't think they want to pick a president. >> you know, gingrich will be, i think, a weaker candidate than romney because romney he to that little 5 or 6% of the election would sound like a more reasonable person. >> if i were to choose the opponent for president, i love rick perry, but rick perry would be the best thing that could happen to president obama. >> actually, you know what, your republican policies, nobody supports that. >> how much of a job creation was blocked by --
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>> he wrote a check to the automobile industry because they thought it was going to save jobs and it did. >> it did. that worked. >> not one republican was in favor of it. >> the fine line the president has to watch in his re-election effort is that he needs to do things that get his base while still being the candidate who appeals to nearly every ideological way. the situation for the country he is really bad. whether or not it's good politics, the only responsible thing to do right now is to work on jobs. >> it's the haves and the have knots. the have mores and the have-nots. >> we have a math problem. >> they tell you that there is no socialist in america. none. even though it's a purely socialist program. and at the same time they tell
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you that the economy is the responsibility of the president of the united states, that is is beyond insane. we have a free economy here. the government does not control this economy. >> you could put any president in there. president obama is the political target to defeat. but it's the legislative body that is saying absolutely not. >> what you have in britain is the opportunity for conflict every week at prime minister questions. yeah, it is angry and people have been told by the speaker to sit down and shut up in the house of commons, much rather than open, in my view, ventilation of the anger and the conflict that occurs rather than what we have here, which is press conference, press conference, press conference, vote, gridlock. >> looking around your office, what's with the fishing? >> i have a passion. i love the outdoors. >> how much coffee are you drinking throughout the day.
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i mean, look at your day. >> the iraqi national baseball team, our show got them uniforms. so when all of a sudden they sent me the operation iraqi baseball commemorative baseball bat. >> i started playing rugby at 46. two years ago. >> an inquisitive journalist, rug gee player, and you play the bass, too? >> i'm a season ticket fan. >> i'm home. i feel at home in one of two places. one is with my family. >> here's my thomas jefferson outfit. >> if i had dressed like this, do you think i grew up on the
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"jersey shore." >> there are sotill crews on the "jersey shore" where they cruise. we would cruise up and down. >> you always had a girlfriend. >> no, i did not. because i suffered from a lack of courage at that age. but that's a different story. we'll have more best of office politics, including a rare glimpse at one souvenir that helped change the election process as we know it. with just three days to go before the presidential campaign, mitt romney has a slight lead in the poll. but can a newly rising mitt romney and that's straight ahead on weeken"weekends with alex wi" [ male announcer ] what makes you trust a company?
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this and bring you more later on in the show. happy new year, tokyo. right now, three days to go until the iowa caucuses. who's looking the strongest going into the home stretch and who is confident he's taking a break from the trail. what made newt gingrich cry and how are voters going to respond? plus, merrill as maggie. did she turn "the iron lady" into gold? in full force, leading up to the iowa caucuses, mitt romney will head to iowa after spending the morning in new hampshire. he he took aim at president obama. >> i don't blame him, by the way, for the recession. but i blame him for making it go so long and making it hard for people to come out. >> newt gingrich is hosting in council bluffs, iowa.
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he shed a tear when asked about his mother. >> i get teary eyed every time we send christmas cards. my mother sang in the choir and loved singing in the choir. >> well, the emotional moment, will it help or hurt his campaign? ron paul is running neck-and-neck for mitt romney in the latest iowa polls. but this weekend, paul is nowhere to be found in iowa. he's taking a break from the campaign trail, heading home to texas. jon huntsman is continuing with meet and greets. michele bachmann says recent stops in iowa is nothing to worry about. bachmann visited a dinner and only nine people were there, including three construction workers on a lunch break.
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the stop was an unplanned meet and greet. >> and this was something that was spontaneous where we dropped in. these weren't planned events the way it was for the '99 economy tour. this was very different. >> i'm joined by erin mcpike who is at java joe's in des moines. >> good morning. >> what is the mood like there in iowa? are the iowans excited? >> you know, they aren't as excited as they were three years ago. it's not the same excitement that there was in 2008. >> do you get a sense of who is confident and not so confident? >> i think most of the major michele bachmann is fading at this point. her staff isn't as confident. rick perry is tentative as is his staff. but really mitt romney, ron
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paul, are excited. santorum is on the rise. >> let's look at the statistical tie for the lead. mitt romney and ron paul. they are going to stay in iowa rather than going running off to new hampshire. he seems like he's raising the stakes for himself. shouldn't he be downplaying things at this point? >> i think they are trying to balance expectations rather than raise or lower them. yes, he could still win iowa. as you mentioned, he's in new hampshire today. he came back last night. as opposed to staying here for the final rush to the caucus on tuesday, right now we're not sure. they feel pretty good about it. they think they can still win but we have yet to see what the last few days will bring. >> in the last few days you have
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been looking at newt gingrich in south carolina. what about iowa and new hampshire? >> he's not doing as well in new hampshire. he's down third or fourth place. it looks like mitt romney should win pretty handedly. half of the ads on the air in iowa is negative against newt gingrich. he doesn't look like he's in a good position to win here. he's still doing well in south carolina and florida. those are bigger primaries where if he can win there, then he can start to rise again. >> let's talk about ron paul for a second. spending the weekend in texas instead of iowa. what do you make of this? >> well, it's looked in the past
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few weeks like ron paul could win iowa. mitt romney has overtaken him. as it's started to look like he could win, he's far out side the mainstream and as more as those attacks come, he's starting to take a hit, too. get out of the way and try to stave off the attacks. that's what he's doing this weekend. >> santorum is in third. he's been rising in the polls after lacking at the back of the pack for most of the year. he's been kriss-crossing the state. is this proof that politics lives and this is probably the way to go? >> i think the iowa republican party would tell you that. they still want to see people here campaigning. but santorum is winning in part because so many of the candidates have fallen flat. i'm not sure if it's proof of that or not. we'll have to see what the results are on tuesday. >> anything can happen in just the next 48 hours. erin mcpike, thank you. happy new year. >> thanks. same to you. coming up, a refresher
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course on the iowa caucuses. how they work, why there aren't any voting booths, and how they became so important. after iowa, the candidates head to new hampshire. mitt romney has a commanding lead in the polls. he's campaigning in the state. good morning to you, ron. how is that event going? >> reporter: hey there, veronica, it's just wrapping up and romney just left to a pretty good applause. he's going back to iowa today. he'll be there through the press corps and it seems that his itinerary has surged. it seems at one point, two, three years ago, that mitt romney would stay away from iowa in the run up to the caucuses because he didn't want to necessarily be there if he wasn't going to finish strongly
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he there. now it appears that he could possibly win. he enjoys a summer home here. obviously was governor next door in massachusetts and has a strong base of support here. polling numbers here sulth that it won't be much of a contest come january 10th when they go to the polls here in new hampshire. he enjoys a 15 to 27-point lead in some of the recent polling. he wants to send a statement with a win out of the iowa caucuses heading down to south carolina where governor romney just yesterday published an editorial where he hits the president pretty hard on his take on american recovery, the economic recovery, looking at a european model and one of the things coming out of that he had tore yell is that europe does not work in europe, it's not going to work here in the united states. >> another thing that is getting attention, ron, is the fact that
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he's dodged these questions from andrea mitchell about his tax returns and whether or not he is going to be releasing them. has there been any fallout there in new hampshire that you've seen? >> well, it doesn't seem that that's a question that a lot of the supporters are asking. i think the response from the romney camp is obviously he has done very well financially and at some point down the field, we don't know when that will be, maybe perhaps closer to the convention, if he appears to be the run away favorite for the nomination, maybe he thinks that's a more appropriate time to release his tax information. but it did not seem that the folks were intent on asking it when they had the opportunity to. >> ron in new hampshire for us, thank you. appreciate it. >> okay. in our next hour a. live report from andrea mitchell, host of msnbc "andrea mitch shell reports." well, ski resorts in the west have something to celebrate this weekend. they are finally getting snow. in washington state, between 6
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and 15 inches of snowfall on friday. more is in the forecast for friday. snowfall has been below normal from the pacific northwest to new england. msnbc meteorologist bill karins has the forecast for new year's eve. good morning, bill. >> good morning, veronica. most people are going to be dry in most cases. let me take a look at the big picture. the big story has been the incredible warmth and lack of snow. this is a map from last year. half of the country was covered in snow. we had snow all the way down in northern areas of alabama, south carolina, north carolina, the cascades and sierras and all of the northern plains. now look at the map this year. the blue on the map shows you where the snow is. there's no snow for much of the country. we only have it at the highest elevations of the rockies, a
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little bit of snow in wisconsin, michigan, and northern new england. but even then the snow isn't all that deep. only 20% of the country has snow on the ground. very unusual. we're not expecting a lot of snow either. this is the weekend snowfall forecast. the only people that have to do a little bit of shoveling is around duluth. as far as new year's eve forecast, rain and showers going through the great lakes, new england as we go throughout the day. look how warm the southern half of the temperature is. temperatures in mid-70s in areas like dallas. as the colder air arrives, it's going to be very windy. do prepare for that. as we go into new year's day, you notice the beginning of the arctic air down in minneapolis and chicago. the first surge of really cold arctic air arrives for the eastern half of the country. as for today and new year's eve, no complaints. back to you. >> happy new year's to you, bill. thank you. for more on the celebrations
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in new york city, didi, how concerned are we about the ball dropping? i though that it's a corey graphed event. >> reporter: that's right. security will be blank keting the 17-block area in and around times square. thousands of police officers on the ground, on horseback, lots of plain clothed officers looking for anything suspicious. they want to be as careful as possible to make sure that everything goes according to plan. right now you can hear the crowds behind me. people are filling up the barricaded areas behind me and coming in their festive gear, you can hear noise mcers. it's very bus selling at this
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hour. the traffic will be shut down in a matter of hours and mayor bloomberg and lady gaga will be switching the switch. she was jonesing for her charity work. there's been a couple of lead-ups into today's festivity. it was a confetti drop where the air worthiness by trying to drop it from atop eight stories. it was good rid dance day heard earlier this week, in which people were invited to come to times square. they could shred those bad memories or slash them with a sledgehammer. veronica? >> how much confetti are they actually dropping? >> reporter: a ton of confetti.
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you can see they are colored pieces of paper. they seem to be air-worthy. they are going to have volunteers up on the roof of the terraces of the buildings in this area and there job in the lead up to midnight is to fluff up the confetti and to throw it down to make sure that one ton gets sprinkled everywhere and looks as festive as possible. >> also, all those people standing out there, they've been out there for hours already. that definitely is dedication. >> yeah. >> aditi, happy new year. >> you, too. more on newt gingrich and the attention he's getting for crying on the campaign trail. plus, rick santorum and his recent increase in the polls. this is "weekends with alex witt."
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saturday morning in des moines with three days to go. official weighing in on who they want to be president in iowa. rick santorum may be enjoying some momentum in the poll. the marist poll has the former governor gaining on ron paul and mitt romney. no surprise to this presidential hopeful. >> i always said at the very beginning that it would be hard work and message and messenger and experience. >> andrew rafferty has been following the campaign and joins me from java joe's.
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>> good morning, veronica. >> are you sensing a new momentum for rick santorum? >> well, certainly. moste mostest evident is the crowd. last night there was 200 and an overflow room. people are coming out, coming to hear his message. all of the candidates are having good crowds. certainly santorum, the way that he has been able to get people to listen to him speak. >> what is he doing specifically? what is he doing and what is the campaign doing to get him to turn out? >> this is a guy that is not just for the past week or the past month, four months in iowa. he's said that other candidates
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are trying to speed date around. he's doing what he always does. hold a lot of town halls, last night it went for almost two hours. that's something that you don't see from a lot of these other candidates. >> andrew rafferty with the santorum campaign, thank you. >> newt gingrich is getting a lot of attention for shedding some tears on the campaign in iowa. it happened while he was speaking to a group of mothers in des moines on friday. he was describing his mother's problem with depression and bipolar disorder at the end of her life. >> my mom -- excuse me. my mother sang in the choir and loved singing in the choir and when i was very young, she made me sing in the choir. and brain science comes directly
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from dealing with -- see, i'm very emotional. from dealing with the real problems of real people in my family. >> joining me now for strategy talk. nbc political analyst, ed rendell and republican national hispanic assembly, danny vargas who has not yet endorsed a gop candidate for president. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining me. >> good morning. >> governor, let's go ahead and start with you. in the '70s, edmond cried after his wife was attacked and then his campaign was damaged afterwards. but then in '08, hillary clinton cried and it actually helped her in new hampshire. what are your thoughts for gingrich? is this a hillary moment? >> when ed musky cried, it was viewed as a sign of weakness.
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i think not just hillary, but bill clinton short of legit myselfed showing your emotions. politicians are emotional and you can't talk about it without getting emotional. i don't think it will hurt him at all. whether it hurts him, probably not at this stage. hillary was a special case because women voters in new hampshire and a real backlash to them. i don't think you're going to see that here. >> danny, let's go ahead and bring you in here. what are your thoughts on this? do you think that this is going to do anything for gingrich? >>. >> well, we'll see if it has any impact. a lot of it has to do with how the emotional moments play into an existing narrative. if a candidate is seen as weak or unsteady, these emotional moments will have a bit to play in that existing narrative but
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in the case of gingrich, he's always been seen as someone stern and harsh and firm. so this might serve to humanize him a little bit, to show that he has a compassionate side. it will serve to at least show a side of him that most folks have not had an opportunity to see. >> a new poll shows that a head to head match between president obama, mitt romney among hispanic voters, but comparing that to the past elections, george bush managed to increase the voters in '04 then it dropped from the campaign in the '08 election. it seems like the battle is ahead with these numbers. >> i can't emphasize the value system is generally based on
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things like value and being optimistic about the future. the republican party has potentially a capitalization on the debt. the immigration debate has turned with a hispanic republican party so acid and trying to overcome. my advice for the republican party is to focus on four things. outreach, end reach, and a very sustained way and make sure republican officials and candidates understand the importance of the hispanic vote. by every level of the republican party and then image. making sure that we have folks that share values and understand and care about their issues and actually have a way to be able to move forward and help the community and public at large improve the sbags. i think all of those things are going to be important in moving forward to make sure that -- particularly at the national level that we have an opportunity to win presidential
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elections. >> governor ed rendell, i want to get your thoughts. they are criticizing the president for not doing anything about immigration in his first term. what are your thoughts on this? >> first of all, let me say that i'm glad that danny isn't chairman of the rnc. the president hasn't moved on immigration for a lot of reasons not the least of which he was handled the worst set of problems. he had to deal with the economy, the auto bailout, all of those things, the recession itself so that's number one. but number two, the republican rhetoric is just awful. you think that latinos or hispanics are the problem. they are not the problem.
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in fact this country needs the talent very, very much and we need to find a way to harness that. the rhetoric is tashable and the party dropped dramatically under republican rule and have tax fairness and kmik growth across the economic spectrum and they don't have a good message either. >> i want to get your thoughts on this targeting newt gingrich a. pretty remarkable number. what are your thoughts. governor, does it prove that the negative attack ads work? >> it proves two things. one, that negative ads work and, two, the importance of money. if newt gingrich was funded, he could have gotten on the air
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early and pre-empted those negative ads and said, hey, folks, i'm going to keep positive and tell you what i'm going to do but he didn't have the money to do that. >> danny, what do you think? >> i think newt gingrich didn't have the money on the ground to keep his numbers up. the impact that we'll see on tuesday. and if he can keep the campaign going as we move into those other states, we saw that he had an issue in being able to get on the ballot in virginia. i think that's going to be something that will hurt the campaign. i think in general the candidates will see them slip off the list and we'll get down to the last two or three.
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>> danny vargas and governor ed rendell, thank you so much for your time today. >> thank you. happy new year. >> happy new year to you. an explanation of how iowa caucus works. it's not how most americans work. this is "weekends with alex witt." [ male announcer ] all over the world, there's a battery that's relied on to help bring children holiday joy. of course, children don't really think about which battery makes their toy run, but, still, you'd never want to disappoint. duracell. trusted everywhere.
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did you hear sam... ...got promoted to director? so 12 seconds ago. we should get him a present. thanks for the gift basket. you're welcome. you're welcome. did you see hr just sent out new... ...office rules? cause you're currently in violation of 6 of them.
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oh yeah, baby? ...and 7. did you guys hear that fred is leaving? so 30 seconds ago. [ noisemakers blow ] [ both ] we'll miss you! oh, facecake! there's some leftover cake. [ male announcer ] the new htc vivid. stay a step ahead with at&t 4g lte, with speeds up to 10x faster than 3g. ♪ tech watch on "weekends with alex witt." apple is getting ready to unveil not just one version but two versions of the ipad. digitimes says it will be unveiled at a news conference in late january. we'll be right back. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition.
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with alex witt." i'm veronica. alex is on vacation. good to see you. supporters in iowa who gave the campaign an early boost, kristen welker is in hawaii where the president is on vacation. not a bad place to be. >> reporter: no, it's not. president obama certainly not going to be sitting on the sidelines, as you say, next tuesday. he will be holding a live web chat with his supporters in iowa. the obama re-election team really sees this as a chance to organize, to reach out to their supporters, to thank them and to really mobilize and get them excited for 2012. they also point to the fact that they already have a pretty strong ground game in iowa. as you said, iowa was a very important state to the obama team. now, on wednesday, president obama will travel to cleveland, ohio, where he will talk about the economy. we'll l
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reiterate the themes that we've heard as of late, which they initially rolled out in that state in kansas. when you talk about a make or break moment for the middle class, one senior administration official says we can expect to see the president travel a lot more in this election year and that we can also expect to see him really distance himself from washington, d.c., from what is perceived to be a dysfunctional congress. in essence, he will be running against a do nothing congress which is what truman did in 1948. >> kristen, thank you. nice to see you. >> thank you. let's face it, unless you are from iowa, the whole caucus process can probably seem a bit mysterious. people gathering in each other's homes for what is not even is on the ballot. here to explain to us what goes down in those caucus gatherings and i believe he also is in java
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ohio joe's. good morning, dominico. >> reporter: iowa always has the chance to go first. the first time gop voters weigh in on who they want to be president. at 7:00 local time, more than 1700 schools, libraries, churches, and even private homes. run by the party, not the state, there are no voting booths. in most precincts, scrap of paper folded over and turned in. the status began in the 1907s. there can be surprises like pat robertson's and mike huckabee's victory four years ago. though neither went on to win
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the nomination. >> i love iowa a lot. >> reporter: or they can help a front-runner. the road to the president begins in iowa. rick santorum spent the most time in iowa, rick perry spent the most money, more than $4 million but he's been pummeled by attack ads. >> reporter: to win the nomination, a candidate doesn't have to win iowa but can't do poorly. only one candidate has finished outside of the top three and gone on to win the nomination. but an iowa win doesn't necessarily get a ticket to the white house. george w. bush was the only nonincumbent to not win iowa and go on to be president. and there are a lot of undecided
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voters who i've chatted with and most voters will make up and polls are out and we'll see what happens with that. >> we know you'll keep us updated. dominico, thank you. an update on iran and the persian gulf. they test fired long-range missiles and the tension is growing. nbc's ali is in tehran. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, veronica. that's right. the iranian navy has done a series of maneuvers here in the persian gulf. they didn't fire any long-range missiles today but the head of the iran navy said that they were not going to do it today and those tests would happen in the next few days. this is also a very strategic time to be doing -- iranian oil
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and iran is shutting down where they are doing the military maneuvers. 35% of all of the oil transactions pass through the straits of hormuz. so it's an important place and most of the economy is tied to petro dollars. veronica? >> ali in tehran, thank you. we appreciate it. let's get you back now to politics. once the gop candidate is locked down, the first family will find itself in familiar territory. not only will the commander in chief be facing a grueling campaign schedule, he'll have the pressure of presidency weighing on him as well. jody can for joins me. her new book about the first family is called "the obamas." thank you for being here.
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>> thank you so much. >> i understand your book is coming out in ten days. >> uh-huh. >> what can you say about it? >> i can't say much yet but i answered -- i wrote the book to answer the question, what happened to these two people in the white house? when we met them in 2008, they were so unlike other politicians. they were really the most kind of regular family that we have seen in politics for so long and so the book really takes you into the white house and let's you watch the challenging new role heading into 2012, this is going to be the final campaign. michelle obama is really not na long ago really restricted your
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time in the public and you're going to see more and more. >> how do you think the strategy is really changing right now in a couple of ways we also see a president who is going to be attacking congress and how the president is going to take his frustration and not being able to pass legislation and attacking this republican congress again. >> you were just talking about these two people who in '08 were normal and the strange thing about the white house is that it's a museum, it's to secure
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military compound, the president's office and it's a home and all those things at once. one of the things that i'm looking for in the 2012 campaign is how they are going to talk about the experience and they have sort of the unique set of experiences and tell us a little bit about it. >> the thing that i keep many mind when writing the book, these are ultimately real people. they are human beings. they have up days, down days. i asked one of the president's advisers a couple days ago and
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the president is just like the rest of us. >> so that was your biggest take? >> that's one of them. lee tell you more in ten days. >> all right. jody can for of the new york times, thank you. >> thank you. >> nice to see you. well, 2011 was quite a day for mother nature. many will remember it for its extreme weather. the natural disasters of the last year, here at home and around the world. >> reporter: days after the quake now and japan as a nation strip grappling with the sheer size and scope of the destruction. safety fears for those who survived are now also focused on the areas nuclear reactors after another suspected partial meltdown. >> the earthquake in japan will help the pacific northwest understand what they will need eventually to get ready for. >> this tornado in tuscaloosa shot by the university of
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alabama. the school was spared but the city had massive damage. >> we have neighborhoods that have been removed from the map. >> so much and so many have been lost. the hardest hit, alabama, where at least 250 people were killed. more than 1,000 injured. >> oh, gosh. that is a monster tornado. >> violent attack just before sundown. a massive tornado three quarters of a mile wide cutting through joplin, missouri, ripping up everything in its path. so many here have been beat up physically and emotionally. wounds that will be slow to heal. >> it's going to be years. >> the massive stage and wind
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gusts up to 70 miles per hour. just minutes before sugarland was supposed to perform. rattling buildings and nerves. >> i could see the building moving side to side. >> enough to wake me up. >> perhaps the greatest irony of hurricane irene is that land locked vermont is suffering the greatest impact from the storm. >> and then the water started coming from the house and that's when it was time to get out. >> two days after the storm blew through new england, washed out roads and bridges take months to prepare. recovery in north carolina will also take some time. the highways rushed out in several places. >> this entire state, especially texas, is under a siege right now. >> the worst of the fire seems to be in bastra. 5,000 families forced to leave and people wondering what might be left when the air clears. >> we just lost our house.
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we just found out that our house has been destroyed. >> what you lose in 40 years of marriage, all of the stuff from your grandparents, parents. >> so many struggling to piece together what they can and trying to figure out what comes next. >> global extreme weather losses by the number of events are three times greater now than they were in 1980 and over the last 20 years financial losses have more than doubled for hurricanes, floods, wind, and winter storms. coming up, we'll hear from andrea mitchell about her interview with mitt romney and how she pushed him on the topic of income taxes. plus, the softer side of newt. more on his breaking down in iowa and how it could possibly affect his campaign. to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪
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"the iron lady" with meryl streep is taking on margaret thatcher. but does it live up to all of the hype? take a listen. >> if she wants us to take her seriously, she must learn to calm down. >> if the honorable gentlemen could attend more closely to what i'm saying rather than how i am saying it. he may receive a valuable education in spite of himself. >> it is time now for must-see, must avoid. joining me now is kim serafin with "in touch weekly." i'm guessing this is going to be a must see? >> definitely a must see. everyone is saying that she really becomes margaret thatcher in this movie. it's not just what meryl streep is known to give, it's so
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phenomenal in this role. things that people are saying about the movie are a little bit different. some people think it may be unfair to margaret thatcher who is, of course, dealing with memory loss and dealing with alzheimer's. in the movie cease dealing with a woman with dementia and then flashbacks to her time in office, her time growing up. so you have to look at it like that. and there are people close to margaret thatcher that said that maybe it was unfair. maybe it was made after she was gone. some people say it was controversial policies. >> and on to the next field, unlimited release, it's called tinker tailer soldier spy? >> based on the cold war era, about spies, a mole, it's definitely complicated.
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you definitely have to go pay attention to it. there's controversy about this, too. there was a successful mini series back in 1979 so people didn't know, could it lead up to the book that was so iconic. you really could go see it. it's amazing. >> really? you think this is a must-see? >> a must see but make sure that you pay attention and ready for a convoluted plot. a smart man's movie, a smart woman's movie. we don't expect car explosions and races. >> the other film that we're going to talk about, the devil inside which i don't quite understand the timing of its release, this is a horror flick, right? >> yes. >> why not release it around halloween? why release it now? >> this is one of those movies, that sound footage, documentary style. it's sort of like paranormal and
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made to seem like it is. if you're going to go, be prepared. it's like an ex sor sichl. it's only captured by a film crew. >> so it has a must see, must avoid? >> if you like horror movies, go see it. if you don't like hour row horror movies, don't see it. >> thank you so much. the 5 hundred days of summer performing a homemade cover of what are you doing new year's eve. this is getting more than three million hits on youtube. take a listen. ♪ here comes a question in advance, what are you doing new year's, new year's eve ♪ we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey?
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who iowans want to be president. good morning to you, matt. >> good morning, veronica. >> you endorsed rick santorum. i've got to ask you, how are you so sure about santorum at that point? what did he say to convince you? >> well, it's been a long year and a long process. i've talked to a lot of the candidate and i'm telling you that rick santorum is meeting have voters and talking to them one on one. that impressed me. i took a hard look at him and
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that's important to iowa, that's really what it has been speaking to iowans and taking a hard look at him. >> even more surprising in romney in '08, anything change in the polling? >> no, nothing has changed my 3450i7b mind. he's a good person. i've evaluated these candidates one by one. rick santorum this year in this environment is the person that i want to see be our next president. >> what do you make of romney's success in iowa? he's running a completely different campaign there than he did in '08. >> i think he's connecting with
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people and i'm glad to see that. i think it's great for the caucus process. iowans want to engage and that's good for romney. >> do you think iowa voters evangelicals are ready to elect him for president? >> i ran in a competitive primary to be secretary of state. 50 mrs. of the vote, the other two people got around 25. when you look at what you stand for and when you look at some people, generally speaking they want to see what you've done, what you stand for, what you're
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going to do. and iowans are not that way and they are going to give everyone a fair shake. >> iowa secretary of state matt schultz, thank you so much. >> thank you, veronica. andrea mitchell's interview with mitt romney and the question she asked about his tax returns. "weekends with alex witt." was really important to me. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke -- and personally that's what i knew i needed. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic
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nominee. very good morning to you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm veronica. it's 11:00 out east and 8:00 out west. mitt romney has a big lead in the polls in iowa with only ten days to go before votes are cast. he just rapped up a vote in new hampshire. take a listen. >> i am not running just to be popular and close my eyes to the problems that we face in the world. i will go into the white house if i get that job with my eyes wide open and i'll get america right again. thank you. >> nbc's ron mott has the latest from new hampshire. ron? >> good morning. mitt romney is going back to iowa in three, two, and one. an applause as he heads back to the hawkeye state trying to pull
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off what some would consider a miracle. he's now neck-and-neck with ron paul in the hawkeye state. they vote on january 10th. he asked his voters to get the supporters out on the tent to vote for him. he's already looking down field to south carolina, which holds primaries on the 31st of january. hitting the president pretty hard on the recession. he doesn't blame him for it. that's the latest. back to you. >> nbc's ron mott, thank you. ahead to iowa, several candidates are battling it out. newt gingrich met with voters in just the past hour and talked about his campaign strategy. here's what he said. >> i think we're in so much trouble as a country that we actually need a positive solution and that's why i'm out
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of the campaign that we run. we have worked very positive at being positive. >> peter alexander is in des moines for us. good morning to you. gingrich has been working the crowds this morning but he got emotional on friday when he was asked about his mom. what are the details? >> yeah, he did. we'll share those details with you in a moment. i want to share with you some news from the campaign. they are trying to raise last-minute funds before the caucuses here in iowa next tuesday, acknowledging they have more than $9 million already raised in the fourth quarter. saying specifically that they want to have a front-runner now plummeted in the polls. there's one moment that may help them reconnect with voters throughout the state and throughout the country. a moment where he spoke about his late mother and her mental
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health challenges. take a listen. >> what do you think of when you think about your mom. >> first of all, you'll get me teary-eyed. i get teary-eyed when we send christmas cards. my whole emphasis on brain science comes from directly dealing with -- see, i get very emotional. the real problems of real people, it's not a theory. it's in fact my mother. >> reporter: over the last several weeks, gingrich has been hard hit by these ads, largely by mitt romney's supporters, the super pac for fines for ethic violations during his time in congress. nearly $3 million being spent on himself. >> going back to the news that you shared about the recent fundraising letter, is this a
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signal that his campaign is in trouble. >> reporter: across the kourp tree it's increasingly appearing that it's going to be rick santorum or perhaps rick perry. gingrich has said his last stand, as it were, or his significant stand is in south carolina, several weeks away. the attention is from the former senator, rick santorum. iowa state and iowa were both playing, a lot of fans gathering there. a lot of the fans who saw santorum come in there said that we are here to watch football. enough of the politics. some people are saying that they heard enough. rick perry, politico reporting that his new advisers are
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blaming his old advisers, anticipating that they may not have the numbers that they are looking for on tuesday. >> peter, thank you. republican presidential candidate rick perry was agreeing with a frustrated voter who complained about the presence of multiple languages in every day life. perry's home is home to many hispanic voters. cain's former campaign manager hasn't seen any gop candidates to put the country back on track. >> politico reporter, alex, thank you for joining us. >> reporter: thank you. >> you're there at java joe's. we've been asking everybody, what is your take on iowa. who has the momentum?
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>> reporter: veronica, there's a strange sort of new year's eve calm before the storm and i think the big question that you have right now as you've been discussing, if you had to assign to somebody, you had to sign to and the campaign all along, it's his mention that a fundraising letter and does this mean that his campaign is in drier states?
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>> anded it challenge for all of the conservative challenges, it's going to be convincing voters that they have to stay invested in the campaign past tuesday. you have a very realistic chance and whoever comes in third, wanting south carolina. that means 18 days of money that they have in the bank. >> gingrich is doing well in south carolina and florida. >> you know, gingrich is the kind of candidate, because of the overall experience that he's had in that campaign, he could very well say on wednesday morning i've been counted out of this race before. after having been left before dead politically, if he stays through the debates he has a chance for getting back in the action. there's a pretty good chance that you're going to see him
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heading into new hampshire. you have the two and santorum for that matter to chin. >> mitt romney is already in new hampshire. he doesn't want to lose his edge. you wrote that huntsman is trying to grab his lead with an ad. let's take a listen to it. >> they have risen, fallen. say anything, do anything. vote jon huntsman. >> i think it's the first time in the race that and this is the first time that you have mitt romney on one side, another
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candidate and about that is certainly the case, that huntsman and his up supporters are going to make. >> come will anyone drop out? >> for conservatives trying to drop the anti-romney candidate, it's really the key one at this point. in 2008, folks remember all too well that you had a bunch of conservatives oppose john mccain. letting go a candidate conservatives didn't slip through. i think you're going to have pressure on michele bachmann, rick perry, to really have a conversation with themselves. >> alex, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. and be sure to watch msnbc tuesday for all day coverage of the iowa caucuses. we'll bring you all of the results and analysis of the first votes of the presidential campaign. president obama is looking
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ahead in his weekly address to the nation. >> there's no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change. and as we head into the new year, i'm hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger. to grow our economy, create more jobs he and strengthen the middle class. >> the president and he and his family continue their vacation in hawaii. to avoid an end of the year tax cut, it makes him hopeful for the country and thanked americans for making their voices heard in the debates. well, we are counting down to the hours of the new year. folks on the other side of the globe have already welcomed in 2012. hong kong celebrated the start of the new year about ten minutes ago. crowds gathered to watch the impressive display over victoria
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harbor. before that, japan said hello to 2012. thousan thousands of temple goers released balloons. and back here at home, a million revelers are expected to crowd into times square to bring in the new year. 17 you blocks will be blocked off for the big bash. adidi is joining us live from times square now. >> reporter: crowds are getting increasingly thicker. as you walk closer to time's square and a view of the ball. they are testing out the noicemakers this morning. many are lining up. behind the barricades, several hours before they are allowed on the street. that's around 4:00 this afternoon and police are going to stop traffic and position folks into their positions for the midnight ball drop. now, in advance of tonight's festivities, times square officials did have a couple of events leading up to this.
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this is a carefully cor choreographed event. lady gag ba was chosen as a surprise guest in part for her charity support as well. another event that they had a couple of days ago, in advance of today, is a practice confetti drop. what happened is when they went up and threw handsful of confetti to make sure that they were air-worthy enough. and some of the messages are going to bear messages submitted by people from all over the world and the most common theme among those messages was of love. and then a couple days before that, on wednesday, actually, they had what's called good riddance day, which is people
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coming here and smashing them with a sledgehammer or smashing them. >> adita, we appreciate it. thanks. newt gingrich may be dropping in the polls but he's picked up a key endorsement in iowa. that's ahead in our continuing coverage to the countdown of the caucus. also, grilling the front-runner. joining us to talk about the question to mitt romney that can loom even larger as the primary season rolls on. and paying dividends. kelly clarkson's endorsement. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ coughs ]
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live pictures of java joe's pictures in iowa. just three days before the legendary iowa caucus. more coming up this hour. and we are counting down to the end of the year this hour. a closer look at those caucuses and the year ahead, political reporter for roll call. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> a lot of iowans can still change their minds. is this fact or fiction? as men as 20% of iowa voters are still wavering? >> that is absolutely a fact. this is what makes the iowa caucus so unpredictable. it's not like voting in a booth. most americans go to a booth. you go to a meeting ee he
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sengsly and you talk with fellow voters and no one really knows how you vote in the end. >> and the big question is how important overall are the iowa caucuses when it comes to picking a president. fact or fix? fiction? only one winner of the republican iowa caucuses in m modern history has gone on to become president. >> that is a fact. iowa has a 60% success rate in terms of picking the nominee for the party. in terms for the actual president, only the last two, barack obama and george w. bush won the iowa caucus and oo eventually won the presidency. >> because of new rules, fact or fiction, it can take longer for a gop candidate to win the nomination this year? >> that is a fact. four years ago, republicans took
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a look at the calendar and decided to overhaul the way they assign delegates and the way that the party picks its nominee. it used to be by the end of february or super tuesday you would have a nominee. you would know that this person had enough delegates. it's not that case anymore. they've redone the delicate process so only a fraction, a small amount, could be looking at a very long nominating process that could go until june and some speculate could go until the convention in august or september. >> wow. looking back now at 2011, the big theme on the campaign trail has been taxes, taxes, taxes. >> uh-huh. >> most americans don't want to increase taxes on the rich. is that fact or is that fiction? >> that is fiction. six out of every ten americans, according to polling, say that the government should increase taxes on the super wealthy. when we get down to the details of that, 35% say that they shouldn't increase taxes over people making $1 million or more
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a year. most say, tax the rich guy, don't tax me. >> there's a huge showdown over this in congress. >> absolutely. >> i've got to ask you about the members of congress. theoretically, they are just like you and me. fact or fiction. members of the congress represent the soci oechlteconomic spectrum of the united states. >> fiction. most members of congress are millionaires. most are wealthy compared to the rest of the population. >> half of the members of the house are maillionaires, right? >> absolutely. >> happy new year to you. >> happy new year to you. ever since she won the iowa straw poll, it's been downhill for michele bachmann. she's still holding out hope. nothing to do with
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presidential politics and everything to do with money. plus, new year hope. in a poll, 67% of americans are optimistic that the nation's fortunes will improve in the year ahead. but how will politics play a role? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." 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. no matter where you want to go, one step at a time is the only way to get there. go to genworth.com/promises. ♪ ooh baby, (what) can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance?
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you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you want a firm bed you can lie on one of those. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. it's really shaping to my body. once they get our bed, they're like, "why didn't i do this sooner?" at our year-end closeout event, save up to $800 on selected 2011 bed sets. and through saturday, receive 24-month financing. only at the sleep number store, where queen bed sets now start at just $899.
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michele bachmann won the iowa poll back in august but you wouldn't know it by the people greeting her at the campaigns days before the iowa caucus. joining me from java joe's is jamie. what happened to her in the straw poll. she's last place in the n nbc marist poll: wh.
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what happened? >> well, i think the hpv situation hurt her, the medical establishment bushed back. after that, she was probably seen as the less viable candidate. but here in iowa, the magic just seems to have slipped away auto bit and the bus tour ended only on thursday night. yesterday she showed up at a sioux city diner and they had no whied that she was coming. only five supporters waiting for her. >> and there have been some departures from her campaign staff. has she recovered the loss from her political director that went on to join ron paul's campaign?
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>> well, this whole thing is a one-two punch, veronica. her iowa state director -- i'm sorry. her iowa state chairman left to go to the ron paul campaign. there was an ugly back and forth in which bachmann accused him of receiving money from ron paul. the gentleman denies it. later that night her political director issued a statement via the campaign in defense of that gentleman and he left the next day. but the important thing is that it's all very personal. and there were teary eyes. one of the gentlemen on the campaign was the outgoing chairman's best friend. i saw him crying in the corner of the room later that evening. i saw the congressman hugging her staffers. it's an emotional thing. >> jamie, we appreciate it. thank you. now to our public service reminder, to anyone who plays the lottery, you have to check your tickets.
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so one waited until the last minute to claim a 14$14.3 milli iowa hot lotto jackpot. the ticket was going to expire thursday night but a representative of the ticket turned it in less than two hours before the deadline. the real winner is a mystery since it's being claimed by a trust. whoever this is, it may be a new year's eve to remember. that's for sure. e event of the year where our prices are even lower. save money. live better. walmart.
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road and i want to make sure that we have a good start and we have a good finish. >> joining me now from des moines is nbc's andrea mitchell on msnbc. good morning. >> good morning to you, andrea. nice to see you. you talked to romney about several issues. >> happy new year. >> happy new year. what did he have to tell you? >> he seems very confident. he has played a pretty safe campaign. as you know, he went back to new hampshire overnight. he's heading back here to iowa. he's out front. he's in a tight race with ron paul. he seems to feel, especially these campaign advisers seem to feel, that with new hampshire under his belt, that doing well in iowa, placing first or second, would be a pretty good bet, a pretty safe bet right now. talked about a number of things. one of the things that he's being very cautious about is not putting himself out front on anything that might cause controversy, including whether or not he as a candidate or
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nominee or potential president of the united states will be traditional, release his tax returns. >> we're getting a bit of ahead of ourselves in terms of when and i certainly will follow the laws. >> there's tradition, precedence. >> i remember when running for ted kennedy, he wouldn't release his. i said, i'll release mine if you release yours. i was unable to do that and we have a very full process for scoping out the various candidates for president, learning about their assets. and with regard to my tax returns, why, time will tell. that's not something i'm planning today but never say never. >> but if you were president, it's not that hard to make a commitment that if you're elected president of the united states that you would release the tax returns. every president does. >> you know, if i become president, why, then, i'll consider that. it's premature for me to be talking about that at this stage. >> people know you're wealthy. >> yeah. i understand. >> there's nothing to hide.
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>> i agree. there's nothing to hide. >> chris christie said jokingly that he's from jersey and if they didn't vote for you, that he would come after them. is that a possible future ticket? >> you can't eliminate anybody as a possible vp contender. >> what would -- >> you get a long list of people. i don't want to give any indication of who might be on the short list or who would be a final contender. but i'm sure chris christie, among many others, is one that any number of the people running for president would be proud to have as a running mate. >> i also talked to chris christie, the popular new jersey governor, who has ruled out a presidential run but has not ruled out being a potential running mate. >> andrea, i want to ask you a question about a different
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candidate, one who has had quite a surge in the polls. rick santorum, what do you make of his momentum? is it real? >> he's been slow and steady. he went up with a new campaign ad today in iowa and is planning to unveil it in new hampshire as well, they say, depending on monday and what happens here on tuesday night. his ad refers to himself as the real conservative, the true conservative. that's what he's emphasizing. the all around conservative on values and economic issues. so that is clearly the contract that he is trying to make with romney who has had issues about whether or not he's been consistently conservative enough for voters. whether this momentum can continue, i'm on my way out to a rally and we'll have that interview later and he's going to be on "meet the press" tomorrow after he says he's ignored and claiming that he has advantages over the other candidates because he's been able to win in pennsylvania where you have to pick up a lot of democratic votes so that he
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would be a better presidential vote against barack obama. that's his claim. he lost very badly in pennsylvania when he lost his re-election effort. but, still, he is obviously climbing and getting a lot of attention. so we're heading out there now. >> all right. andrea mitchell, we appreciate you covering in iowa. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. and, again, happy new year to you and the whole team at 30 rock. >> be sure to catch "andrea mitchell reports." she'll be in iowa live for the caucuses there. we appreciate her reporting. time now for more office politics and more of our favorite moments this year. alex witt had rare access to some of the wild minds and here's what they told her about the political year ahead. >> you've just got to find some way to find common ground. that's not an impossible art. it happens all the time in the political world.
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it just is not happening now. >> we don't care about your partisan differences. i don't care that you signed a pledge to somebody or that you're protecting for the democrats. we want to you do things. >> in the last 40 or 50 years, however, i'm not seeing it as bad as it is now. i think what happened is, it's got a lot to do with campaign finance. because these characters have to dial for dollars and go home on the weekends. >> the republican for not being willing to accept the fact that you have to make a decision and hear from his last. >> so -- >> he doesn't like the company.
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>> the president goes before the speaking to both houses of congress, the day afterwards, he campaigns and eric cantor, the leader of the republican party in the house, next week he campaigns and speaker of the house, also republican. they are not stupid. they understand if that's the way to play the game. if it's basically nano and nano, you're going to have a dead lock. >> how does this president win next year? >> there's only one way. the republicans have to nominate a loser. >> i think romney has a better shot than others in that field against barack obama. >> one of the things that he does is, it's as good as it gets. >> i've had other pollsters and in the republican primaries, is as much as 20%, meaning before
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you open your mouth, there's as much as 20% of the republican electorate who under absolutely no circumstances would vote for a mormon candidate. you'll get 50.1% of the vote. >> i'm not sure he's able to move the primary. >> prehistorian dinners, where a group of fellows and i go down and have dinner with him and tell him what our presidents will do and he loves to listen to what other presidents can i learn from? >> this is my great grandfather, herbi lewis. a member of the hockey h spokca
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cigarettes. if you look closely, he has a ham berger in the other. >> my husband wrote the famous speech that was delivered to the joint members of congress. >> i would love to put this in my office. what is this? you and mike barnicle. >> i had some time and decided to just go to malawi and see what i could do. i found a guy with a very small operation who had one of these desks as an example of what he could make if someone could come along and finance. >> what is it about that mural painting there that has you putting it on the wall?
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you see that from where you sit every day. >> yeah. >> what does that say? >> that everything is essentially chaotic but somehow or another you can make sense out of chaos. >> that's what that says? >> that's what it says. >> hmm. stay tuned for more office politics here on "weekends with alex witt." in today's big three, the fight over the hawkeye state. how make it or break it is iowa really? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." premier of the packed bag. you know organization is key... and so is having a trusted assistant. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above
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time now for the big three panel. today we're looking at who has the edge in iowa. the caucus seal of approval, what it really means for the gop candidates and newt gingrich's
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hillary moment. >> i get teary eyed every time we sign christmas cards. >> i'm joined by erin mcpike and joe watkins, also msnbc contributor, joy-ann reid. joe, let's go ahead and start with you. context there to gingrich's tears that we were just watching. he was remembering his mom who died ba income 2003 and then went on to talk about mental challenges that sthe faced later in life. this isn't the gingrich that people are used to seeing. wa was your reaction to this. >> my reaction is that he has a heart. he obviously loved his mother dearly and a lot of the poll tea that he talks about is based on
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the fact that he has had personal experiences with the challenges of brain dysfunction. so i think it's a good thing for newt to have that kind of public display of emotion. i think it helps him in the long term. certainly in iowa. it helps dispel some of the negative ads that have been coming his way. >> you think it humanizes him. hillary clinton in new hampshire talked about how she loved the country and then went on to win. do you think he will benefit from the emotional moment? >> i think he might. i mean, there's a lot going on in iowa but i agree with joe. it shows that gingrich is a human, that he has a heart. it's been up and down. i think it's absolutely natural and it might help him and hurt him. i don't think it's going to hurt him much or do much damage at all. >> you know, he mentioned something really important, was
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that he's tired, co-just be exhausted. joy-ann, what is your take on this? >> what erin just said is my thought. he had this really big high where he was assuring people to be the nominee and then all of a sudden the super pac got at him and he's faced a lot of scrutiny in general over his campaign, not getting on the ballot in virginia, et cetera. i think he's showing a bit of tiredness and emotional strain. i don't think it helps or hurt but in the iowa caucus is probably in the end won't matter. >> let's talk about his strategy for a second because there was a story in the new york times that says gingrich's top aides think that he needs to attack and stay positive. we've seen this warmer side of gingrich with the tears. do you think his candidacy can survive? >> i think he's doing the smart thing and the only thing that he can do. the only way to be in the attack
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mode is to money to get your message out. he doesn't have money. he's late to the game in terms of organization. that's so important in the state of iowa. >> all right. that question was for joy-ann, joe. >> i'm sorry. joy-ann, sorry. >> any time, joe. i kind of agreed with what joe said any way. newt gingrich is good when he's in attack mode. that's when he's at his best and that's what appeals to the republican base. sort of tearing up and being emotional, sensitive, not so much with this particular base. i think what he needs to do is to attack and by trying to go positive, i think he's giving up his core strength and he needs to attack mitt romney. that's what he should be doing. >> we have joy-ann and joe. now let's get erin. not necessarily a must-win state for anybody but will losing be a bad sign?
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how well do these candidates need to perform to stay in the game in iowa? >> well, generally speaking people say that there are three tickets out of iowa. if you are not finishing three,u have no business going to new hampshire and south carolina and beyond. but because there's a different crop that's doing better in new hampshire and south carolina, as long as people aren't coming in fifth or sixth, i think the first four spots will ensure candidates can go on. >> joanne, is somebody going home wednesday morning? >> the biggest pressure will probably be michele bachmann. i think there's something to the fact that her being a woman is holding her back with religious conservatives. i think mitt romney can afford to lose iowa and go on. i don't think rick santorum can afford not to be in the top
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three. each candidate has a different standard. >> all right. the three of you, thank you for joining us. and you oar going to be back with us in a moment. mitt romney answers a child's question each he admits makes him sound like a politician. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] we are taking ultra downy with silktouch to the streets. which shirt feels more expensive? oooh, ooh la la. 'm feeling their muscles. yup, yup. that one. that one's softer. [ female announcer ] actually, it's the same t-shirt. really? [ female announcer ] but this one was washed in downy. that's why it was softer. it has a real soft velvety feel. let me try again. ♪ divine. why spend a lot of money when you can just use downy? [ female announcer ] it's an upgrade in a bottle. upgrade your freshness with downy unstopables -- scents that last for 12 weeks!
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thank you. and that's a darn good question. and the answer is, yes and no. sounds like a politician. i apologize. >> mitt romney in iowa, serving up a great sound bite. a yes and no answer. back now with erin pike, joe watkins, joanne reed. joe, romney is topping the nbc news poll, and a commanding lead in new hampshire. so what are you thinking?
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do you think he wishes he might have answered that question differently? >> oh, no. i think mitt romney is having a good time right now out of the campaign trail. nobody expected him to do well in iowa. he was expected to do maybe third or even fourth. but right now he's leading in the polls and has a very good chance to win iowa. if he wins iowa and new hampshire, he's in great position. >> you don't think this will affect him? >> not at all. >> do you think his opponents take this response and run with it? you can see the attack ads spoofing his yes and no answer. >> if you are mitt romney and you are a reputation for being a flip-flopper, the only answer that you can never, ever give is yes and no. not smart, mitt. this plays right into the idea that he has no core. he can't even answer a kid's question, yes or no. >> erin, do you think romney lives to regret this exchange?
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>> no. i was actually at that event, and he went on to say that it's hard running for president because he's away from his family and he's in a different place every night. but he said it's not hard because he gets to meet lots of great people in america. it was a standard answer but it was not that big of a deal at all. >> that sound bite is what is going to be in the ad. the ad will include yes and no. >> but at this point, joanne, rate the week who had the best and worst week? >> the worst week would be michele bachmann because she seems to have disappeared from the stage. i think the best week might go to rick santorum. >> joe? >> best week, mitt romney. worst week i would agree with joanne, michele bachmann. >> 15 seconds, erin, let's let you wrap it up. >> i agree with joanne. santorum had the best week. michele bachmann had the worst week because she's fading. >> all right.
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happy new year, guys. thanks for joining us. that's going to wrap up this saturday edition of "weekends with alex witt." join us again tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. happy new year to you. thanks for joining us today. over at prilosec otc yous have asked yours truly to teach you about treating frequent heartburn. 'cause i know a thing or two about eatin'. if you're one of those folks who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... well that's like checking on your burgers after they're burnt!
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