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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 3, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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his side of the story. the former penn state coach accused in a sex abuse scandal goes on camera and answers some pointed questions, we're going to hear his answers. decision day for herman cain. after meeting with with his wife, the front-runner is expected to announce in a matter of hours whether he's still in the race, another battle on capitol hill. this could cost you thousands of dollars from your paycheck next year. letters to santa. some of them are heartbreaking, though. we'll tell you what one man is doing to make life better for some kids. good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekend with alex witt." it's 9:00 a.m. on the east coast. 6:00 a.m. out west. the man at the center of the penn state scandal is revealing
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new details. jerry sandusky spoke to "the new york times" in a wide ranging exchanged that stretched over two days. and he denied he ever sexually abused any young boys. >> these ealallegations are fal. i didn't do those things ch. i don't know. >> sandusky was also asked about the interview he did last month on nbc's "rock center." >> are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys? >> am i sexually attracted to underage boys? sexually attracted, you know, i enjoy young people. >> i was sitting there going what in the world is this question? you know, if i say no, i'm not attracted to boys, that's not the truth, because i'm attracted to young people, boys, girls --
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>> but not sexually. >> right. i enjoy spending time with young people. i enjoy spending time with people. my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young. >> nbc's national investigator correspondent michael isikoff is live. if the viewers were able to hear the voice coming from off camera, that was his attorney, saying to clarify, not sexually attracted, right. >> right. >> and a lot of people will wonder why his attorney let him do the interview. they describe himself as a misunderstand father figure. he admits ha he gave gifts, computers. golf clubs, opened up bank
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accounts for them. he portrays this as a sign as how much he cared about the kids. kbu it fits a pattern of somebody building trust in the kids, targeting them so he could then sexually abuse them. do you think this enhances his image? or further makes a duringing case about what he may have done? >> look, you have to believe that at least sandusky believed that somehow he's defending himself here. he's been portrayed as the horrible monster in the press. and he wants to put out another public image. but it's important to remember that he's facing serious criminal charges. and that anything he says in an interview like this can be taken by prosecutors and used against him. and he could be confronted in a courtroom about it. it could be argued before jury.
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also in the mounting civil cases he's going to be facing. so there isn't any defense lawyer who -- or there's very few defense lawyers wo would let their clients do interviews like this. that's what is so extraordinary about this. >> absolutely agree there. well, penn state's athletic director tim kcurley is charged with lying. that's all what this stemmed from initially. here's how sandusky survive that had meeting. >> i told him that it didn't happen. in my mind there wasn't inappropriate behavior. and i said, if you want, you could speak to the person, the person who was involved. >> why do you think he was not inappropriate behavior?
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because he admits to have treated a lot of kids kpr the second-mile organization some of whom he's adopted. he would routinely shower with the kids. zl y >> you know, he does acknowledge at points about having relationships with the kids that almost any parent or guardian would say wait a second, this is not your child. you don't interact with a young person this way. you listen to it. we watched it. people can judge for themselves how convincing he is when he describes them as not being inappropriate. but i think many people may have a different viewpoint when they watch it than sandusky wants them to have.
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>> i think you're right. many thanks from state college, p.a. all of you keep it here. i will be talking with joe becker, who conducted the interview with sandusky. we are awaiting a major announcement from herman cain just hours from now. he's set to say whether he will press on with the campaign or drop out of the race. after being accused of having an extramarital affair that lasted for 13 years. good morning, peter alexander. set the scene for us. >> reporter: good morning. you can hear the music is going. herman cain is scheduled to make the major announcement. in a campaign unpredictable like this one, nothing is final until he said so. but a source close to the cain cam main he wants to protect his family for many fallout from the allegations he's facing. >> late friday night herman cain returned home to face his wife
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gloria for the first time since his latest scandal became public. >> i'm real sassy because of all of this media firestorm stuff. why? because my wich and family comes first. >> this just days after atlanta businesswoman ginger white came forward claiming she and the godfather pizza ceo had a 1-year affair. >> my wife did not know about it. that was the revelation and surprise. my wife find out when she went public with it. while cain described her as a long time friendship. the unemployed mother of two claims it was more than that. it was a sexual affair. >> this latest controversy is heavily damaged cain's standing in the polls. cain's support is down to 8% among caucusgoers. down from 23% one month ago. his campaign is still pressing
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forward. launching new ads in iowa, including this one that targets the media. >> the media won't tell you what one of the mothermost lie detector experts said about herman cain. >> and herman cain canceled a sunday night dinner that was scheduled to occur with big media stars. and the announcement is schedule to happen here shortly after 1:00. i spoke to the georgia press secretary within the last half hour. he says that's the schedule at this moment. >> well, perhaps a foreshadowing. although we'll see you in a few hours. thanks, peter al exsander. we'll have live coverage of cain's announcement today at noon. here's the twitter question of the day, should ere man cain stay in the race? do talk to me. i will be reading your tweets the throughout the morning. michele bachmann continues to focus on newt gingrich while courting voters in south
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carolina. congressman bachmann compared her pro-life decision to that of gingrich. >> there was another candidate in the race today, former speaker newt gingrich, who said he would not protect life until the issue of implantation and he would get behind embryonic stem cell research. i want to make it very clear that's not my position. i believe at protecting life at all stages for conception to natural death. he also went after newt gingrich. >> i think he's all over the map philosophically. i do resent a bit the amount of money he got from fannie mae and freddie mac. to me that's taxpayers money. >> gingrich will be meeting with donald trump on monday. mitt romney, ron paul, rick
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santorum. they have events planned in new hampshire. newt gingrich will host a tea party town hall in stanton, new york. and mike huckabee here in new york city later tonight. tomorrower democratic presidential candidate george mcgovern is in a south dakota hospital after falling and hitting his head. the 9-year-old fell at the university, just across the street from his home. witnesses say he was conscious after hitting his head on the pavement. the he was getting ready to take part in a live tv interview on c-span. new this morning, the dramatic drop in the unemployment rate is not enough to help american who is are struggling. the national unemployment rate stands at 8.6%. employers added 126,000 jobs. the president says the u.s. kmeeds to keep growing the economy. he's urging the americans to contact republicans in congress and tell them no extend a
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payroll tax cut that is set to expire. >> tell them not to vote to raise taxes on working americans during the holidays. tell them to put country before party. put money back in the pockets of working americans. pass these tax cuts. good saturday morning to you. >> let's get your interpretation of the jobless numbers. >> well, they're not exactly popping the champagne corks around here. it's not a chris mat miracle. it's very positive news. the unemployment rate dropping unexpectedly. over the course of the recession, we've seen the unemployment rate go up as high as 10%. and then up to 9.1. each month brings bad news politically and economically for the obama administration. we have to mention there are still 13.3 million americans who are out of work, and looking for
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work. yesterday's news was certainly welcome by the president. they will push for the congress and republicans to push the payroll tax cut due to expire the end of the year. let's look at the numbers. leisure and hospitality. health care, 17,000. one fly in the ointment there, construction jobs down 12,000. if you look at the ethnic breakdown. still troubling news for minorities in these figure. the national average at 8.6%. african-american unemployment. 15.5%. hispanic, 11.4. asians at 6.5. and one more fly in the ointment finally. 300,000 people. 315,000 to be exact over the course of the last month have simply given up looking for work. the 21st consecutive month of private sector job growth. some of the good news is reflected as a consequence for
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the fact that people are giving up trying to find a job, alex. >> that's mind boggling and painful to listen to. more on the herman cain announcement. what will he say? and later, office politics. why this long-time democrat is longing for the days of ronald reagan. you're watching "weekend with alex witt." you name it.
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new developments this morning in the case of an american man kidnapped in pakistan. they helped al qaeda kidnap warren wiensten. he was abducted back in ago. with a good day to you, atia, okay.
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so al qaeda claimed sole responsibility for the kidnapping earlier this week. how then did the taliban get involved? >> god morning, alex. according to the nbc colleagues, they were able to obtain information from the pakistani taliban. known as the ttp. they say they work in one with al qaeda they are one organization. they say they were behind going to warn's house in pakistan on august 13th, abducting him, and taking him from house to house until they felt it was safe enough to announce the fact that they were behind the abduction. that being said, they still consider him the leader of al qaeda as their own leader. and they are leaving it to him to be behind the negotiations and the demands to release him. those demands include releasing all prisoners from guantanamo bay and other prisons that the u.s. may hold throughout the world, stopping air strikes in places like afghanistan,
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pakistan, somolia, yemen and gaza. and being involved and releasing all prisoners that they've obtained, expecting them to be involved with the taliban and al qaeda as well. obviously demands that are hard to meet for any american leader, commander throughout the world. so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. this is not good for the 70-year-old american abducted from his home in lahore, pakistan, back in august. >> atia, thank you so much. iranian diplomats are back if tehran after being expelled from britain. about 150 people gathered at the airport to welcome the diplomats back home, but the iranian government kept the wem away fr the cameras. a small group of ghon stray tors were protesting the tuesday attack in iran. let's go back to follow ticks. what could be a may shore shakeup in the gop field today. herman cain will make a public announcement soon after a woman
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came forward this week saying she had an affair with him that lasted for 13 years. >> it wasn't alove affair. it was a sexual affair. as hard as that it is for me to say, and as hard as it is for people to hear it, it pretty is what it is. i'm surprised that he hasn't -- that he's treating me as if i'm lying about this. that does bother me. >> i'm joined by cnbc chief washington correspondent john harwood. good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> i want to know what you think is going to happen with cain. >> well, the signs suggest he's going to get out of the race. we've seen the 2012 republican campaign is nothing if not unpredictable. he could stay in but in some sense it doesn't matter. his force in the race is so diminished. a new des moines register poll coming out this evening in iowa will show him in single digits, having led the poll at an
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earlier point. so he's a spent force in the race. whatever he does today. and that's going to have consequences for the candidates in particular romney. >> how do you think it will affect gingrich and romney? >> well, newt gingrich as hot as a candidate can be in a race like this. he's been surging in the polls. the race has been divided sort of in an establishment slice that mitt romney has got, and the rest, the more fervent, the tea party republicans have been going and flirting with various other candidates. newt gingrich has been surging with the group. and you can expect him to pick upmost of the loose change that's left on the table after herman cain either continued in a diminished state or gets out. and newt gingrich is posing a threat to mitt romney hapt seen in the race so far. >> it's interesting. i'm reading the details for the des moines register poll.
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an interesting question asked about the candidate post likely the to have a scan zal in the white house. at the beginning of the polling herman cain's number was 25%. it has risen to 47%. there's a comment by one person who says that would not be very presidential to put it in the white house. we also talk about the latest poll that shows cain at 14% among the republican and gop leading voters behind gingrich and romney. we should know that was taken before the alleged affair. if you look at all the numbers and what you're seeing on the trail, john, is this now a two-way race between newt gingrich and mitt romney? >> i think so. most of the republican professionals i talked to exploring that question it that. they still consider despite the surge in the polls, mitt romney a favorite for the nomination. because of the depth of his organization. the fact that he's run before. the fact that newt gingrich has
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a lot of baggage that hasn't yet been fully explored. we don't know for sure whether this will be a race that breaks the rule. whether the meticulous building of volunteers and apparatus for the campaign matters less than it has in the past in an age of social networking, when somebody like gingrich can get hot and blow past all that. it makes a fascinating ride. newt gingrich was left for dead at an earlier point in the year is enjoying it like i'm not sure he enjoyed anything since he led the republicans to the majority in the house in 1994. >> particularly since the entire campaign staff said see you. and then he's back. very quickly, unemployment is down to 8.6%. this may be on the backs of 315,000 people who said we are done looking for jobs. there are temporary holidays in the mix.
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so what does this mean for the president? >> it's a piece of good news. and everybody realizes, i think, that this economy is weak, will be weak. the labor mark is weak and will be all the way through the re-election. but what the white house can take from this is there's a succession and a series of small, positive signs that they hope will create an impression among voters that things are getting better. they're moving in the right direction. that's not going to take away the anxiety, the fear, the unhappiness. better is better than worse. and that's the direction that we seem to be moving in. >> true. roy mcilroy wants his trophy back. it was shipped to shanghai. when no one was at there to receive it, the chinese impounded it. good luck with that.
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in just a few hours we're going to find out if herman cain is staying in the presidential race. he's faced a string of allegations and an extramarital affair. ginger white said her 13-year relationship with cain was physical and not a love affair. it's today's one-minute playback. >> when i met herman i entered into this relationship, friendship, pretty much knowing, you know, number one, what you're doing is wrong, and number two, i was very intrigued. she's a very intelligent man. he's very fun loving, and he
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offered me a getaway, you know a getaway from the normal day-to-day hustle and bustle. so he would send me tickets. he would fly me off. we would have a pretty simple weekend. i thought we were friends, and he made a comment to me, and he laughed after. he may have only been joking. but i said, wow, running for president is pretty major. i said, i guess we won't be friends anymore, huh? he said, probably not. i was like, wow, okay. at least you were honest. >> well, in the interview white apologized to mrs. cain and the cain family. she also said she has not received a dime for telling her story. ionary material, infinicel, that forms to your body and absorbs up to 60% more than kotex regular ultra thin. always infinity.
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assistant coach is defending himself again during an extended interview with "the new york times." he decided ever sexually abusing children. >> i'm not the monster i've been made out to be. i never engaged in sexual acts with these young kids. the media, the authorities, whatever, they've taken everything that i ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever. >> and keep it here on msnbc. we're going to have more of sandusky's interview at 11:00 a.m. eastern. i'll be talking with joe becker who conducted the two-day interview with sandusky. a new report on newt gingrich says his surge in the race for the gop nomination is straining his small campaign staff. the story says that gingrich is virtually a one-man band, writing his own memos to staff outlining his strategy. joining me from washington is
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james helman of politico. good morning, james. >> good morning, alec. >> let's talk newt gingrich. is it good or bad for the gingrich campaign? does he have more direct control over his message, or is he stretched to thin? >> it's really bad. in the long term. this is going to be a drawn out nomination battle. he's up against a juger nut in mitt romney's campaign. he has a massive staff. he has a huge organization. he has lots of strategists. in some ways he's running this guerrilla campaign. but when it comes to a long-haul campaign it doesn't work. you can see it in missouri. this week mitt romney's campaign rolled out 39 new endorsements from missouri politicians, meanwhile, newt gingrich didn't get on the ballot because they forgot to file the paperwork. so ultimately it's nice to run a guerrilla campaign. but mitt romney has a huge advantage strategically?
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>> do you think he'll have more money to work with, get more donations? is it inevitable he's going to grow his campaign staff? >> it is inevitable. he's bringing on new people in iowa and florida. there's only four weeks now until the iowa caucuses. even in f the money pours in, there's not a lot of time to build the ground game. this year we've seen the debates matter more than they used to. perhaps momentum is enough alone to win. >> you interviewed romney's surrogate, governor chris christ christie. he told you those attacks were the greatest thing in the world for him. why is that? >> the romney campaigns wants to make it between mitt romney and barack obama. they are trying to stand above the fray of the republican nomination. and ultimately they say that the democrats are attacking them because they fear mitt romney the most. they see him as the most electable in a general election. so the attacks show that they're afraid of him.
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>> but do you think, james, that that is a bit premature? i mean, clearly they're running campaigns and ads and they'll have forethought, price them, get them out there, and now the numbers suggest that it's newt gingrich in the race as well. >> yeah, i mean, the president would love to run against newt gingrich. they see him as so flawed in so many ways. they think they could win a landslide and a mitt romney race would be really close. regardless of what he told me, ultimately the attacks that the democratic national committee and the obama campaign are waging are working. romney's negatives are up. people see him as a flip-floper in a way that they didn't a few weeks ago. and so the democrats' attacks are bludgeoning mitt romney. >> so hang on. do you think that the obama campaign, now we're really getting to the psychological. do you think they are targeting mitt romney in the hopes of bringing him down earlier so they eventually do run against newt gingrich? >> in part.
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i think definitely. there was a lot of frustration in chicago at the re-election headquarters that other republican opponents haven't been hitting mitt romney that hard. everyone is stunned that romney is the front-runner. republicans haven't been going after him for flip-flops and changing positions and lacking a core. and so the white house and the administration felt like they had to pick up the slack. z >> two big developments overseas. diplomats for the iranian embassy and london are home after being tossed out by the british government amid escalating tension over the iran's nuclear program. and another nuclear hot spot. i'd claim eed responsibility fo the kidnapping of warren weinstein from his home in lahore. joining me now is general barry mccaffery. let's get to the hostage
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situation. how does the u.s. deal with this? >> pakistan is a difficult place to be. a diplomat. and they're obviously in many ways cooperating across the border with the network fighting u.s. troops. it's a tough place. i don't see how we get them back. we won't negotiate directly. hopefully the pacs will help recover him. >> the mar group have a polish engineer who is taken in september a couple of years back. the polling did not meet their demands. when you look at al qaeda, does it suggest it's still a viable sbi city? >> i don't care there's any question though we have taken out probably more than two-thirds of the senior al qaeda leadership, either killed
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them or captured them in one nation or another, they're still there, and particularly in pakistan. that ends up being in some ways the heart, the reservoir of their effort. a lot of it, alex, directed not at us, but at the pakistanis. so it's a viable local organization and a great threat to us in afghanistan. >> let's get to the situation in iran. after the iranian students stormed the british embassy in tehran there, iranian diplomats were expelled from britain. does this now keep the tension escalating? these actions? >> iran is a big deal. a million man army is a giant nation. you know. it's larger than alaska. 77 million people. they're a clear threat, perceived by the saudis, the sunni arabs. they're a threat to u.s. national interest. oh, by the way, they're going nuclear. by 2015 these people are going
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to be a nuclear power. they have missile systems that can reach israel. i think at the end of the day -- by the way, secretary clinton, this is probably as sensible as we can make it at this point. we're trying to hem them in. they're a giant threat. it's moving in the wrong direction. >> it would seem no one can prevent them from developing these weapons if they want to. >> they went further than we did, by far. it's an attempt to ensure that they don't have larger industrial capacity to produce the material. i don't think it's going to work in the long run. we're not getting much support out of the russian, the chinese or others. so in the long run, i think they do succeed in developing viable nuclear weapons programs. and, alex, that's going to have a tremendous effect of
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intensifying tension in the middle east. the israeli survival will be at risk with the nuclear power. never mind the fear generated with the zsunnis. >> thank you. time for office politics. this week we took our cameras to the office of mark zuckerman. he was a strong supporter of president obama in 2008. this week he talked about his pes miss on the economy and on the president. >> when you look at washington, many people perceive it to be broken. you are a long time democrat. zwl yes. >> talk about the super committee failure, what you think happened there and what that does in terms of permeating the way everybody sees things no now. >> yes, it's surprising that
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they failed. it's another example of our government. a government that is so polarized between the two parties and one which lacks the presidential leadership to bring the parties together. this would be my most serious concern, that there is not what ronald reagan was able to do on social security with tip o'neil. in 1983 they led a complete rehabilitation of the social security system that ruz oning out of money. we had 25 billion in the social security fund at that point. they raised the -- in effect the tax rates. they changed the eligibility in terms of extending it. they did it in a bipartisan basis. and they both understood this was not easy, but it was necessary. and they were able to do it. we have not been able to replicate that kind of bipartisan activity in this government under president obama. and ultimately it has to take a presidential leadership to do
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it. >> even before. i looked on the wall. there's an editorial that's "let's end the blame game." that was 1994. >> it happened before. don't get me wrong. this is not unusual. when you get to the level of crisis that we are in this country. when you have 24 million people in this country who are either involuntary part time workers or 60 million of them are basically unemployed. that is a national crisis. we have in america 48 million people who are living below the poverty line. this is america. that's a disgrace. both parties have got to find a way to resolve it. that doesn't exist. if you want me to give you a specific illustration, the pot goes before the congress e recently with his american jobs act. forget the fact that you don't get a congressional cooperation by going on national television and speaking to both houses of congress. but the day afterwards he goes and he campaigns in eric
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cantor's district. the leader of the republican party in the house. the next week he campaigns against a speaker of the house. also a republican. well, they're not stupid. they understand that's the way he's going to play the game. you're going to have a deadlock. that's not presidential leadership. that's a president focusen on his politic t ticks and what he thinks he can do instead of blaming the republicans. it's the blame game. >> well, by the tone of your voice and what you are saying and other things you have written, gone on record with, i'm going to guess if the election were held today, you would not be using the daily news to endorse president obama as you did back in 2008. >> yes, i endorsed the president, and i worked in his campaign. and i've been a democrat virtually my entire life. however short that life is. so i'm very dismayed by what we are witnessing. i don't make commitments at this
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stage of the game until i know who the other candidate is going to be. would you ask me whether or not i am dispointed in the lack of competency. absolutely i am. i'm one of many, many people who lost fay in the administration. >> we'll have more of my interview later on in the show. including his take on the 2012 republican field and which candidate could emerge at the top. still ahead, shop signs, but are ho holiday shoppers spending with more confidence or sick and tired. >> and can you help santa out? [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thank you card 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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right now post offices around the country arabling to
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find volunteers to answer millions of heartbreaking dear santa letters from children in needs. letters like this one in new york. hi, my name maritza. if you could get me one or two meants because my dad is in a lot of pain. he broke his leg with a forklift. my dad could not go to work. i'm joined by patrick reynolds. patrick, good morning. zbr good morning. that's a killer letter. oh boy. >> it absolutely is. this hebs deliver christmas gifts. u but you do it after receiving letters like this. and you know you can't help every child. >> there are way too many letters, not enough people. for 99 years the u.s. postal service has been getting these letters out to the public at christmas time. usually there's only one branch in a big city. one branch, a mill processing, and the major mail processing
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station will have an operation santa north pole room. the public is invited to read the letters. i would recommend more. >> of course. and try to do something. and answer then on behalf of the organization. you look at the numbers that are staggering. you are up to 30,000 letters a year addressed to santa. so there's a huge volume of letters here. do you get to every one. >> there aren't enough people to volunteer. so we need volunteers. whether you're, you know, alone and sad at christmas or whether you have a family and you can bring your kids to teach them the real meaning of christmas, get down to a postal branch that has operation santa going. again, there's only one in the city and 75 in the entire nation. our website will link to the ups
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guide. how to get an operation santa branch, suggest gifts to buy, backpacks, school supplies, clothes. some kids are asking for a warm sweater or a coat. >> even something nice for dad. but i'm curious, you see all of these letters every year, patrick. is there any one letter that sticks out in your mind as particularly moving? >> oh, boy. sure. there was one from a little girl and, by the way, not just for dad but for the single moms out there, a lot of these people that are sin mothers. >> right. >> we always include a gift for the single mom living below the poverty line and there was one letter from a girl that said, dear santa, my older brother's shoes have holes in them. i don't need anything for
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myself. i'm okay. but what i really want is shoes for my brother, please, santa, send us those shoes. that's all i want for christmas. >> see, i get teared up. i can understand how that one got you. it's a wonderful organization that you have. it's called beanelf.org. >> thanks. sweetie and sunshine are on their way, a 5,000 pound panda sent off to scotland. they are arriving tomorrow at the zoo where they hope it will encourage those two to get frisky. the real question is, do you think they are going to wear kilts? i'm thinking no.
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the search is widening in florida for a mom who has been missing for 16 days. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, alex. from the moment they noticed her missing, even volunteers spreading that search to another county. the search for michelle parker is expanding on air and under water. there is still no sign for the missing mom. >> my heart is aching. every day i see her face and she's not with our family, it's killing me. it's absolutely killing me. >> reporter: on friday, divers
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searched near the home of her ex. he has denied any involvement. >> he's accused of throwing it all away. >> reporter: on the day michelle went missing, the two appeared in a taped episode of "the people's court" arguing over an engagement ring. smith was back in court, this time in a custody battle over the 3-year-old twins he fathered with her. >> he has a pattern of engaging in domestic violence with women he's involved with. >> reporter: despite that, the judge ruled that he can keep custody of his children. when michelle went missing, her family set up a command post
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near where her cell phone ping last was located. >> there are no clues of michelle or her whereabouts. >> reporter: so police are now turning their attention to a new location near the bar where michelle worked as a bartender. friday night friends and family held a silent auction there to raise funds for michelle's three children and the search efforts to find their mother. that was the second fund-raiser michelle's friends and family held at that same bar in two days. the one on thursday night raised over $500. alex? >> let's hope they got more money over there. thank you very much, lil lilia luciano. also, in today's must see, must avoid, lady gaga's new music video. has she gone too far?
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lady gaga has a new video out. what point is she trying to make? good morning. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." there is long speculation that this is the end of cain's campaign train. he was accused of having an extramarital affair that lasted 13 years. peter alexander is with us. any clues in decision making? >> reporter: good morning to you. herman cain is leaving the reporters in suspense. this was intended as the campaign headquarters here in his hometown.
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however, it's not clear if this will be the announcement of a national headquarters or the end of his campaign. sources say that he will probably end the campaign because of the fallout. i'm handed one of these t-shirts. we asked if they would be selling these t-shirts as a clearance sale. no real good indication and shortly after 1:00 today in a campaign and what the impact is. >> reporter: obviously, the recent figures, iowa caucus state, in the first day of yan
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we saw herman cain at 20%. now the number has dropped precipitously down to 8% just yesterday. he put out a new e-mail asking for support. the only real way to know whether we have viability is by our supporters' willingness to invest in this campaign. that money hasn't been coming in the way that it needs to. >> peter alexander, thank you. we invite all of you to stay with msnbc. bachmann not backing down and paul packs a punch. time for political headlines.
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>> i will build a fence in the very first year as president of the united states on the entire southern border. i will make sure that the security guards are on that fence and keeping with the laws of the law of the fence. >> especially critical of gingrich was ron paul taking advantage of mortgage giant freddie mac. >> i do the amount of money that he got from freddie mac. because to me that's essentially taxpayers' money. >> gingrich, meanwhile, will meet with donald trump on monday as for today, rick santorum,
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events planned in new hampshire. and south carolina, newt gingrich meets with tea party members and the forum hosted by 2008, mike huckabee in new york city. let's get back to herman cain's big decision on whether to press forward. erin, good morning. >> good morning. >> what are you hearing about today's big announcement. >> i have heard everything. a lot of times, supporters will pay one thing because they want the candidates to do for himself. and i guess to gauge his support and the rest of the candidates, we just don't know because the campaign has been throwing us
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all for a loop. we'll have to see what happens today. >> yeah. i'm looking at the fact that money may be involved and some two months ago it looks like the campaign had $650,000 on hand. he's unoccurred further debt. we know the support, the donation has dwindled and he wants to pay down his campaign debt. >> absolutely. newt gingrich we talked about this summer, he was in a world of hurt as his fundraising was concerned and that was part of the reason to stay in, to pay down the debt. he has a lot of support. he can use this against him, say that there's been a media conspiracy against him, raise money off of backlash. we don't know. we won't know until we hear from him today. >> i want to get your take on the unemployment situation. 8.6 now and down from 9% the month before.
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here's what republicans have to say about it. here it is. >> more than 300,000 americans left the labor force last month. i think we should all be concerned about that. as you may remember, the obama administration promised that unemployment would not exceed 8% if we passed other stimulus bill. that promise has gone unfulfilled. >> do you think republicans overall are frightened by what a downturn in the unemployment numbers could mean for the president? >> i don't think they are frightened at all. i think what they are saying is absolutely true. if the unemployment number continues to go down, it's interesting, alex, they are right. the number is good for obama but the context is bad. and they are absolutely right about that. >> okay. what about the gop field as you look at that? who do you think benefits the most from this unemployment news? >> i don't think any of the
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republicans actually benefit. people are talking about how it hurts mitt romney because his candidacy is based solely on the economy and the economy being in bad shape and him turning it around. if anything, it could potentially give candidates a look at others with strengths. for instance, jon huntsman. it doesn't really help any of these candidates necessarily. >> okay. erin, you have about an hour and a half coffee break until we talk to you about the big three. lee have a live interview with buddy roemer and whether he will run as a presidential candidate. in a just released interview, jerry sandusky is defending himself against the child sex abuse allegations. >> these allegations are false. i didn't do those things.
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i don't know. >> sandusky with his lawyer present was also asked about his interview last month on abc's "rock center". >> are you sexually attracted to underage boys? >> am i sexually attracted? sexually attracted? i enjoy young people. >> what in the world is this question? what is -- you know, am i going to be -- if i say no i'm not attracted to boys, that's not the truth because i'm attracted to young people, boys, girls -- >> but not sexual. >> right. that's what i'm trying to say. i enjoy young people.
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>> michael issacoff is at penn state. yp didn't jerry sandusky roar back and say, are you crazy in of course i'm not attracted to young boys. it was just disturbing, the reaction. >> reporter: well, why he gave the interview at all is a question that a lot of people are asking. in this interview, sandusky describes himself as a misunderstood father figure. he talks about how he gave gifts and money to kids, even opened up bank accounts for some of them. he says it's because it's a sign of how much he cared for these kids. but prosecutors can use that same information to make their case that this was how this fits a pattern of how he targeted kids, tried to build their trust so he could then sexually abuse them. and inevitably, that's going to be what they argue and what
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plaintiff attorneys argue against sandusky. >> he also talked about the nonprofit organization that he started, second mile. let's listen to part of that right here. >> my idea of the second mile was to start a foster home with live-in house parents that would take care of the kids just like dottie and i did. i we wanted it to be like our family. the neatest thing about the second mile was that these kids were accepted. you know, they were cared about. they felt significant. and when they did something and succeeded, it was -- man, it was -- that was neat. you know, that was something really special. >> so michael, where do things stand right now in terms of the investigation? >> reporter: there was a civil
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suit that was just filed this week by an additional victim. not one named in the eight -- in the grand jury indictment. and in just ten days there's going to be a preliminary hearing where prosecutors have the first chance to lay out the evidence that they've got to argue that this case needs to be proceeded to trial. sources are selling nbc that they expect to take a full day of presenting evidence, putting on multiple witnesses. we can presume they are victims who will tell their story for the first time in an open courtroom and the public will get a chance to hear. >> michael isakoff, many thanks for that from penn state. who is the biggest threat? mitt romney or newt gingrich? plus, the story behind the new lady gaga video. is it a must see or a must avoid. and shoppers who are sick of being frugal.
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getting you the discounts you deserve. now, that's progressive. call or click today. turmoil in the 2012 race and no matter what the announcement does to the gop field, there is not a clear front-runner. joe watkins is here and arturo davis. good morning. looking at the cain announcement today, what do you think this turmoil means for the president's re-election strategy? does this make things harder? >> well, i think the white house
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is rooting for anyone to be the nominee. that's based on the fact that romney has been running ahead of obama in many key states and even nationally for the last four mounts. no other republican can consistently say that. there's no question that many democrats are rooting for anybody to be the nominee but it may be premature to assess any of that. who knows which of these candidates, gingrich, for example, can continue to grow over the course of the next several months and ultimately who knows how any of them would do on a stage with barack obama in three or four debates in the fall of 2012. >> joe, what do you think about this drawn-out process? does this hurt or -- hold on. we have mitt romney live in new hampshire. let's go there live to see what he's saying this morning. >> change in dramatic ways is the kind of leadership that
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people in america are waiting for. >> what is your position with speaker gingrich that voters should look at? >> over time i think the speaker will lay out oh his positions and i can lay out our differences. i don't know a the lo of those. he said something about appealing the child labor laws. i don't agree with that. we'll get a chance to evaluate those. >> when governor perry disagreed with you, you spoke about that. do you think you agree with him on immigration? >> he hasn't really laid out what his plan is. there's other places that he believes that we should have zero tax as a capital gains for people regardless of their income and i believe that should
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be focused on people with a middle income. but we have very similar views on a whole host of issues and some places i'm sure there are differences. but i happen to think that the biggest differences is his lack of experience and that experience will figure into people's consideration as to who should be the nominee. >> governor, you've got -- >> i'm sorry? >> how long should one be in politics to -- >> four years as a governor does not make me a life-long politician. i spent 25 years in business and, by the way, if i could live 150 years, i could do a lot of other things. but 25 years in business and i'm starting at the ground level, working my way in that enterprise, ultimately leading
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it. then starting a business of my own and then going off to the olympics, which is going in one direction, changed the direction, made it highly successful and i say we because we do that as a team. leaders know how to build a team of extraordinary people who collectively are able to accomplishment great things. and in massachusetts, there are a few democrats, and then the population i was able to lead massachusetts and that kind of experience, that executive leadership is, in my view, a critical and valuable capacity to lead the country. the united states of america and i have a senator but he's not lead an organization. and i have. and i believe the capacity to leave, to bring us back is
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essential now and it's important for me to be the nominee and hopefully i'll be able to convince just enough people of that to become the next president of the united states. >> governor romney, you've got -- >> what defines that authority? >> i think people make their own assessment. i don't advise people as to what they look at and don't look at. they will get a chance to look at my family, my belief, my faith and i can't tell you how people will make up their mind. >> governor, you have chris christie campaigning on your behalf next week, you have tv ads and direct mail. do you need to be there? >> i've been there twice and i will be there next week or the week after. i'll be in eye he wa just like i am here in new hampshire. and south carolina and florida. there are a lot of early primary
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states. i'll be spendings much time in each one of them. and likewise south carolina, florida. i'd like to win them all. i don't think that's -- >> all right. so we're listening to something that hasn't happened for a while, and that is mitt romney out on the campaign trail answering reporters' questions. they were not super hard hitting or he was able to give softball answers without much details. arturo, as a reporter, what questions would you have asked? >> well, mitt romney's campaign is reminding me of hillary's campaigning four years ago. i think there is a lot of intrepid and there's an unstoppable amount of momentum. romney has not given the message
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of where he would take the country. the question for romney is, what is the simple cogent reason for why you're a better nominee than newt gingrich. i heard some bullet points and jabs at newt gingrich but not as to why a romney nomination is better for the republican party than the gingrich. romney better make that case or gingrich will steamroll over them. >> they talked about taxes and immigration and he said we have differences on that and i'll let him explain further and then we'll get to that. joe, i'm curious about an nbc poll that was conduted of 12 gop primaries. he said, he has strong moral character, strong leader, and a role model. that's the positive.
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in the minus column, not strong enough, republican in name only, and wish she wash she. and associated with romney care. do you think he would be the tough opponent for the president to face? >> if you don't think that the team is worried about mitt romney, look at the tough ad that the dnc put out against him. one man, two men trapped in one man's body. it was a tough ad. very effective ad put out by mitt romney. i agree with congressman davis, that the obama team would prefer not to run against mitt romney. i think he would be a strong and date on the campaign trail. newt gingrich is somebody that they would more rather run against. newt gingrich is much more dangerous because of his long experience on capitol hill, because of his tremendous ability as a debater and master
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ree of detail as well as his ability to talk about what he would do specifically. and he's been very, very convincing. that's one of the reasons why he is slowly gaining momentum and coming up in the polls. now you see him leading in a large margin in florida and he's doing very well in new hampshire. which is, of course, the state that mitt romney needs to win by double digits. >> i want to ask you about the jobs report yesterday. certainly good news going in the right direction. how much does this help the president and do you think it must stay? if it stays at 8.6% one year from now, 11 months from now, can the president still win? >> well, the jobs report, look, today was good news for the president because most americans got to look at the paper and said that unemployment rate went down. but if you look at the underlying numbers, we created a number of low-wage service jobs,
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retail jobs, good, honorable work but it's not high wage work. manufacturing jobs frozen. construction jobs frozen. the kind of jobs we need to generate to get the economy moving we're not creating and i think we have a lot more bartenders last month. what all of that means is people who used to have good wage jobs are now moving to a lower wage sector of the economy and when are we going to turn this around or move in a sustained direction as we did in 1983, '84. i think there is a lot of out there in europe. it's way too early for anyone, certainly for democrats, to be doing a celebration dance in the end zone. >> all right. gentlemen, many thanks. the fly in the ointment for the latest jobs numbers. we'll get to that. also, what the american airlines bankruptcy means for your flying miles.
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all right, i'll be right back. okay. ♪ [ male announcer ] sometimes the giving can be just as amazing as the gift. what do you think? [ laughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] the lexus december to remember sales event is here, but only for a limited time. see your lexus dealer for exclusive lease offers on the 2012 ct 200h and, as a gift from lexus, we'll make your first month's payment. welcome back to weekends with alex witt. will allegations of sexual harassment and extramarital
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affair shatter the cain campaign? he says he will decide where to continue his bid for the white house. do you expect cain will announce the end of his campaign? any indication what his next move is? >> no. i mean, there's two sides to this. you're right. he's opening a campaign headquarters. it's really unpredictable. all of these normal tea leaves that political pundits try to read into what a campaign will do, you can't do that with folks that are not accustomed to being in politics. it's unconventional. we've seen with herman cain, it's an unorthodoxed campaign. this is a guy campaigning in alabama, ohio, places that are
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not early states. we should not be able to say with any certainty what he's going to be doing. >> one thing we know, he did meet with his wife gloria on friday. it's the first time that he's seen her since the allegations of the extramarital affair surfaced. >> we know that he had not talked to his wife face-to-face yet about this woman who came forward accusing him of a 13-year extramarital affair. that really leaves the ball in her court. gloria cain has stood by him. she's not been on the campaign trail very much. but she had that one interview, stood by him. but this being different, this is something that should be a game changer for his campaign. >> also, the timing here, has that been amended? first it was festivities. now he's expected to come out at
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noon. where does that stand now? >> i know that he was supposed to be around there. last i heard, about 1:00. so the festivities are supposed to start at 11:00. he's supposed to be there around 1:00. maybe he will make an announcement between 1:00 and 2:00. we'll see where it goes. when he's there, he will be ready. >> we will, indeed. thanks so much. here's what we've been asking you. should herman cain stay in the race? and here are some of your tweets. kaib has become a side show. we demand serious why should cain leave now? in january he qualifies for federal matching funds and could leave after some votes are cast. if sexual scandals kept candidates out of the race, we'd have very to stay in. cain should exit from the race for the sake of his family. keep talking to me.
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my handle is at alex witt. let's get an update now on the new developments in the miss he steer yous case of an american kidnapped and being held prisoner in pakistan. back in august, militants raided the home of warren and al qaeda has claimed responsibility for his abduction. joining me in the studio, good morning to you, this is not a good situation. what do you know about the latest? >> some claim has been made and it's been four months since he went missing. this gives investigators something to work with. >> okay. but we've got both the taliban and al qaeda involved here. how does that play out? >> some new details we just learned this week show a very close level of cooperation between taliban and pakistani
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taliban. they are telling us that zawahiri carried out the actual kidnapping. he was then moved from place to place until they ended up in an area that they felt was secure near the border with afghanistan. now zawahiri feels he's in a better position. he asks for release of all prisoners from guantanamo bay. he asked for the release of all prisoners being held in affiliation with the taliban or cal kwid da. he asked for the cessation of all air strikes and there's no idea how any of these can be met. >> yeah. very tall order. okay. ammna, thank you so much. >> thank you. a positive jobs report. we'll go inside the numbers. sales are surging but the question is why.
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and american airlines files for bankruptcy. vera gibbons is joining us. let's get to that with the unemployment dropping to the lowest point at 2 1/2 years. but 300,000 people stopped looking. so -- >> right. >> should we be smiling? >> the white house is smiling. it's definitely a psychological boost that they are feeling more confident. they are adding to the head count there. even with the gains, we are recovering the millions of jobs that we have lost since the recession started. you still have 13 million people out of work. so while it's a psychological boost and it's nice to see the unemployment rate drop to 6.8%, we have 315,000 people who stopped looking for work all together. so once you look under the hood, you see job growth still sluggish but it's nice to see that companies are feeling better about the economy and adding more employees.
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>> and you and i were talking about black friday and the boost of numbers. are people more confident or are people tired of being so frugal? >> i think people are tired of being frugal. i think people are going over their budgets. 43% spent more than they expected to over the shopping period black friday and cyber monday. you have over 20% expecting to have more debt on their credit cards. you're seeing an increase of credit card use after declining use in large part because of online sales. big growth there. the holiday hangover will ensue. what about american airlines filing for bankruptcy. >> your tickets will be fine. when you see a bankruptcy you see them increase the availability to boost confidence
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and people continuing to build on their miles. they cut routes and cut back on the number of planes and routes that are not profitable and that generally does result in higher fa rech fares when they do that. a powerful windstorm is working its way east after leaving damage on the west coast. nearly 40,000 people are still without power in the l.a. area. you are seeing 90 mile-an-hour wind gusts. where is that storm front now and what can you expect outside where you are? chris warren has all of the details. good morning, chris. >> good morning to you, alex. we're watching the storm in the middle part of the country and it has a double threat to it. it has the snow and the rain. we can take a look at it here on the radar combination. and there's a pink line to the north of where you have the green. that's where you're seeing the change over to snow. we have several watches and
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advisories in effect for snow. the pink is where we have the highest totals. keep in mind, much of what you're seeing in new mexico has already fallen. we see it go into parts of wisconsin and then the other side of things, the rain. heavy rain and possibly flooding rain over the weekend. parts of arkansas, missouri, and all the way into the great lakes, we see heavier rainfall there as the system moves out. for the rest of this day, it's not looking too bad in the northeast. a little on the cool side. temperatures in the 40s and storms possible in texas with temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s. we'll take whatever rain we can get because of the drought conditions there. on sunday, increasing clouds in the northeast and still looking pretty mild. >> okay. we're loving that for here in the northeast. thank you, chris warren. lady gaga's new outrageous video. must see or must avoid? we'll give you a look.
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lady gaga's latest music video has her fans puzzled. is it a must see or a must avoid? ♪ >> all right. amy palmer is joining me. >> good morning, alex. >> it's 14 minutes long. the beginning has her not singing. let's show people what we're going to discuss. let's play that. here it is. >> i'm going to make it. >> blood pressure 90 over 40.
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a little low but then again you've always been on the low side. >> i'm going to be a star. >> okay. >> okay. >> explain. >> it's really her artistic version of her journey to fame. anyone who has had a setback can explain what this video is like. this is the worst day of my life when my label dropped me. i pulled myself up from the bootstrap and got back on the saddle. what this is is a tongue and cheek look at how she did it. and it's beautifully directed. she directed the video. she looks amazing. it's just one of those things that you look at and you say, she is such a superstar. for us, it's a must-see. >> because we're fascinated with her. >> right. >> but if you don't like her and you don't get her, it's a must avoid. >> is there anything that gag gag cannot do?
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>> no. >> she's in her mid-20s. the sky is the limit with gaga. >> war horse is coming out in a few weeks. last time i watched one of these, i started crying. here it is. >> okay. well, that's not one that is going to make you cry but -- >> no, thank goodness. >> that said, what do you think? >> this is a must see. it is coming out on christmas day. it's a great film to bring your kids to. it's a bit touchy. we talked about how animals make us cry but it's based on a children's book and the broadway show that is a huge hit here in new york city. i think it's a beautifully
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directed film. it looks compelling. to me it's a must see. >> i think i i agree with you on this. how about this film coming up with a cult-like film, the girl with the dragon tattoo? >> that is a must see if you've read the books. i think it has a built-in audience. it's a little creepy and directed by daniel and christopher plumber. this is a must see if you like this type of film. i have a feeling it's going to sweep the box office. >> so it can compete with war horse? >> yes. >> any predictions? >> i think war horse. it's a time for holidays and people will be together and go see "war horse". >> as always, thank you. >> thank you, alex. newt gingrich and the eve van gel cals in iowa. how he could be gaining traction
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>> exactly a month from today, the 2012 presidential season officially kicks off in iowa. the latest poll shows a nose-dive from herman cain. he's gone from 23% in late october to 8% now. chief political writer for the register is here. jennifer, good morning. >> good morning. >> let's hear about herman cain showing and why it's changed. >> our polls show that support collapsed even before the ginger white allegations came out. we started polling the day before and he had dropped from that 23% you mentioned in october oh down to 12 the day before those allegations came out but after the allegations came out, then he really started tanking in iowa and down to 4%
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support in iowa. so it's not to say that every one in iowa has turned away from him but those that have have told us the reason, the primary reason is that they just don't think that he has a handle on the issues. they don't think he's studied enough or quick thinking enough to be president. >> i think there's one woman here who says, you have to know all of the issues and too much is coming out about his past and i don't think that that would be presidential. as herman cain surges to the front of the packs, what do you expect from him with the cautions? >> his organization in iowa has been paper thin. as you know, his entire iowa staff quit in june. a couple of them have been brought back on board and there's a four-month gap where
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people are not organizing in iowa for him. for him to be successful on january 3rd, there has to be more organized caucus-goers rather than relying on some one -- a campaign to cart them there. >> how about bob fan derplats. he's quoted saying evangelicals will give newt gingrich a second look. i think they believe that he's changed their life. on the ground does it feel like he's gaining traction with evangelicals? >> there is some iowans and they are turning some of them towards a man who has admitted having a relationship outside his marriage. but they are just not -- the ones that i've talked to are not worried about that. they really like gingrich because he seems comfortable, he seems confident, his ideas seem
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solid. they are just very confident that he could be doing something about the economy and doing something in washington and that's the big draw for newt gingrich. >> what about the eve van gel cal voters for romney? >> there is a problem with the conservative christians and also a problem with strong tea party supporters as well. >> is that because of the mormon faith? >> i don't think so. i really don't. at least no one mentions that to me. but the main thing is in iowa, there are a lot of fiscal conservatives that have never caucused before. i think some strategists hearsay that if mitt romney was able to inspire them with the business message that he's got, fresh faces out to the kaukds on caucuses on january 3rd, that could be a big deal. they say it's more about the
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economy. >> jen, thanks. >> you're welcome. herman cain's announcement about his political future at the top of the hour. hey, the new guy is loaded with protein! really? 25 grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat, too, and has 5 grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i--- [ both ] oooooh... what's shakin'? [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. new ensure high protein... fifty percent of your daily value of protein. low fat and five grams of sugars. see? he's a good egg. [ major nutrition ] new ensure high protein. ensure! nutrition in charge! [ major nutrition ] new ensure high protein. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people came to louisiana... they came to see us in florida... make that alabama... make that mississippi. the best part of the gulf is wherever you choose... and now is a great time to discover it. this year millions of people did. we set all kinds of records. next year we're out to do even better. so come on down to louisiana... florida... alabama... mississippi.
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in my mind it wasn't inappropriate behavior. >> he's talking again. jerry sandusky gave a four-hour interview over two days. herman cain, the candidate prepares to announce whether he's staying in the race. another voice, another choice. another candidate could emerge in the battle for the white house. is he a viable alternative? time and money. how they lost $34 million at work. good morning. this is "weekends with alex
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witt." it could be a major turning point for herman cain. he will announce whether he is stepping down or staying in the race. >> good morning. we're standing outside what today would be officially opened up as the georgia headquarters for president campaign joined by press secretary of the georgia offices. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: the first question is given herman cain's announcement that this would be a major statement and a reassessment, is he going to stay in this race? >> we certainly hope so. you can see the excitement and we're all excited being here since the wee hours of the
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night. >> reporter: herman cain has been emotionally affected given the glare of the allegations made against him, including a 6 46-year-old woman that claims she had an extramarital affair with herman cain. what impact has this had on he and his family? >> from the campaign, it took away some of the steam but i think we're back on track. i hope the conversations with his wife went positive. we're hoping for that. and we hope that we are here monday and up and running and moving forward. >> reporter: so what does moving forward mean? where do you go next and what happens today if this isn't the end of it? >> we keep plugging ahead. >> in terms of viability, the challenge for candidates is going to be money and support. >> sure. >> reporter: there's an e-mail
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appeal from the campaign saying we can only go forward if we have the monetary investment from our supporters. >> sure. >> reporter: how has that been? >> well, i think it has slowed down. if you look at other candidates in the polls and front-runners, they've probably experienced the same thing. we are hoping the same for mr. cain. >> alex? >> right off the bat mr. ortiz hopes that he's staying in the race. does he know what the announcement will be? >> reporter: i guess the question is, do you know what the announcement will be. you say you haven't spoken to the candidate in several days. >> i haven't spoken to him. >> reporter: explain the frustration that as the georgia press secretary you don't know if he's going to stay in the race? >> no frustration. it's a great crowd.
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we've been enthusiastic about supporting him. >> we have seen it. you're still selling t-shirts at full price. the poll numbers announced that a month and a half ago, your candidate was in the lead. >> right. >> the newest numbers over the last several days show that he's at 8%. nearly half of people polled showed that there would be a scandal that surrounds him in the white house. how discouraging is it to watch the numbers slide like this given the highs that you've recently enjoyed? >> one of them is the front-runner. it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that -- >> newt gingrich? >> that's correct. and everybody pretty much thought he was lost in the crowds and now he's up there. so there's no reason why he can't experience the same update. >> it's easy to get lost in these crowds. >> thank you so much. appreciate the opportunity. thank you. >> we appreciate it.
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again, alex, as we've just heard, that announcement should be made at 1:00 today. herman cain, the team on the ground, left an hour ago. it was a significant meeting he had last night. of course, the first meeting with his wife of 43 years, gloria. the first time that the two have met face-to-face since the allegations were made by that woman, ginger white, who acknowledged that she had an affair with herman cain for more than a decade. >> nbc's peter alexander. appreciate that. we invite all of you to stay with msnbc. the announcement will occur here at 1:00 p.m. stay with that. and jerry sandusky gave an extensive interview with the new york times and denies the allegations. >> those allegations are false. i didn't do those things.
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i don't know. >> joining me now is a "new york times" reporter who conducted that interview. good morning. >> good morning. >> this was quite an interview. first of all, how did you get this interview and there was a lawyer present. so many people suggested that he never should have spoken to you or anybody else. >> look, he's clearly trying to get his story out there. but i think you're right. one of the most surprising things to me about this interview is that he consented to do it at all. not necessarily surprising that his lawyer was there. >> sure. >> but it was a result of several days worth of conversations and i spent a lot of time up at state college and was able to -- >> you got the gift. let me tell you. >> you asked sandusky about the question that was posed to him on nbc's "rock center" by bob costas and i want to play that. here it is. >> are you sexually attracted oh
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to young boys, underage boys? >> am i sexually attracted to underage boys? sexually attracted? i enjoy young people. >> i'm sitting there saying, what in the world is this question? what is -- you know, am iing about to be -- if i say, no, i'm not attracted to boys, that's not the truth because i'm attracted to young people, boys, girls. >> but not sexually. >> right. i enjoy -- that's what i was trying to say. i enjoy spending time with people. i mean, my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young. >> okay. that was just weird. did he not hear the word sexually posed by bob costas? it was as if he was in complete denial that the question was even asked and then the lawyer
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jumps in. >> look, he talks about his regret in the way in which he answered that question with bob costas and then tried to expand upon that. it's not my position to say whether he had difficulty with it or not. i think viewers can judge for themselves. >> it's interesting there. let's talk about penn state's athletic direct for, tim curley who has been charged with lying about the inappropriate behavior with the boy in the shower. here's how sandusky describes that. let's take a look. >> i told him that i -- you know, that it didn't happen and that in my mind it wasn't inappropriate behavior. and i said, if you want, you could speak to the young person that was involved. >> i'm curious during the
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interview how much was he just speaking with you and how much was the lawyer weighing in? how much was he having to listen to him? >> he was pretty much speaking to me for most of the interview. as i said, it's not surprising that you'd want to look at your lawyer and say, can i answer this question? but for the most part he was speaking to me. one of the things that i think was really interesting about the interview was that in addition to this grand jury report, one of the huge questions in this whole case is, what did penn state officials know and what did they do? and jerry sandusky in the interview, you know, shed a significant amount of light on that. you know, he said joe paterno never said to him -- >> never? >> never. not in '98 when there was a campus police investigation of inappropriate behavior in the shower and not after 2002 and yet he continued to go to the facility and he was around. also, you know, he describes this interview or this meeting
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with tim curley. now, tim curley told the grand jury, i didn't know there was anything criminal. i thought it was horseplay. i think that's how he described it. jerry sandusky, you know, in the interview said that tim curley, in his words, was quite concerned and told him that he couldn't bring kids to the locker room anymore. jerry sandusky asked him, couldn't i just work them out? no. so, you know, he's shedding some light on sort of what transpired. now, of course what we know is that they never went to the police. tim curley, paterno, and graham spanier never went to the police. >> can i ask you -- this is a man that is being described as so uber car ras mat particular. what was your take on him? >> i think that readers and
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viewers should check out our website. >> and they will. but do they find him to be very charismatic? is there a delusional factor? >> he's clearly a man under siege. he talked about the fact that he used to be a guy that everybody wanted to know and that he really is now sort of hung customered down in his house. he really just has his kids his wife and his dogs to talk to. he was animated when he was talking about his relationships with kids. you know, less animated and i don't want to talk about the charges facing him and interestingly, you know, he was very loyal still to coach paterno. and very upset, talked about -- very upset that he got fired as a result of this whole thing. >> it's an extraordinary
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interview and story. jo becker, many thanks for coming in from the "new york times." >> thank. >> you can see the full interview at ny times.com. president obama's re-election prospects look shaky but may not be as difficult as it may appear. joining me from washington, d.c., is reed wilson. hello. how are you? >> hi, alex. >> glad you're here. a very interesting article. you point out the obstacles that the president is facing. job approval is down and you say that the changes across the country are going to help the democrats in 2012. let's get to those changes. what kind of changes are you talking about? >> president obama's coalition in 2008 was based it -- got a huge boost from minorities and from overperforming with white voters who had college degrees.
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those are the populations growing faster than any other and, by the way, the white voters without college degrees, the voters who have largely gone away from the democratic party are backing a slightly smaller portion of the electorate. these changes are microscopic over a four-year period where the changes make up about a 1% net gain for president obama but, then again, 1% is a pretty big change in terms of politics, especially in states like north carolina where he won by 18,000 votes in 2008. >> yeah. you outline the growth of the coalition in 2008, growing by this one point, a handful of states that include ohio, north carolina, virginia, pennsylvania and it's grown by 2 points in virginia and pennsylvania. it's grown by 3 points in nevada. break this down in terms of where the growth is coming from. >> remember, this election in
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2012 is not a race to 50% plus one. it's a race to 220 electoral votes. the real fight is going to come down to 11 states, most of which president obama won -- all of which president obama won in 2008. so in these states, as the shift is happening towards his coalition, that is going to help mitigate some of the bad feelings, approval ratings, some of the folks who might not want to vote for president obama a second time around. so in those key swing states, those 11 key states, president obama has a very wide path to get to 270 electoral votes. he doesn't have to win ohio and north carolina and florida and virginia. as a matter of fact, he could lose all of those four states and still end up winning 270 electoral votes. this shows you just how wide the path is and just the sort of slight changes that are working in his favor.
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>> right. and he points out he needs just 74 and wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. based on the last five elections in the president's corner. >> well, that's the interesting part of all of this. those are the three states that the states voted and wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania, they are hugely hurt by the economic downturn where president obama's approval ratings are not good, high percentage of white voters, voters who -- >> union voters, too. >> exactly. they have trended away from the president. they really do have a shot at winning. it's been five elections in a row that the democrats have won
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those states electoral votes. at the end of the day, they are likely to stay in the republican column. >> yeah. got to fight for them. real quick, do you think that night is going to turn to one state that we are all waiting for at 2:00 in the morning here? >> no. i think that's what president obama is doing well that john kerry couldn't do well in 2004. carry focused primarily on ohio and florida. come election day next yeerks we're going to look at north carolina, ohio, virginia, and florida. it's a much wider field and that works to the president's advantage. >> reid wilson, we've got to go. thanks. still ahead, fact or fiction, including the time winning power. and new suggestions for jon huntsman that could give him hope. and what does buddy roemer offer that is much different? we'll ask him. ♪ the weather outside is frightful ♪
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right now jon huntsman is campaigning in north carolina. his white house run may find new life if he's willing to change the course. todd whitman is urging jon huntsman to run as a third-party candidate. he has refused to rule out that idea. our next guest is all too familiar with playing the underdog. buddy roemer has not been included in a single debate and not included in any polls so he wants to change parties. nice to see you, governor roemer. and thank you for joining us. >> i'm not going to change parties. >> no. >> you say you might seek third
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party elect nomination. >> that's correct. it's a national movement for unity, for rebuilding america from the center. i'm a proud american and i'm the only one running for president that's been a congressman and governor. i'm the only guy running for president that doesn't take special interest money, no pac money, into super pact money. that's the way i've always done that for congress and what you get is a leader free to lead and is not owned by goldman sachs or ge or special interests. but i appreciate being on your program. i just wanted to clear up, i'm not changing my purpose. i'm a republican. but i'm trying to get on the national stage to talk about these important issues and the only way to do it might be americans elect. >> all right. now, governor roemer, first of all, are you then officially
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running under this american's elect umbrella which for some you may have trouble distinguishing yourself as a republican in something that may be deemed to be as a third-party candidate. so are you running for sure under this guise? >> i'm attempting tochlt now, there's a process, alex, to get this done. and the results will be out in may as you go through the process. but the americans elect allow you to be the party of your choice and i'll be a republican but they ask you to put a ticket together that include as vice president who is independent or a democrat. i am going through that process now i am going to be in the new hampshire primary as a republican on january 10th. in fact, i speak to you this morning are today from new hampshire. this is where i run my campaign. but i have been shut out of
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every debate, alex. i talk about campaign financing, campaign reform, i talk about unfair trade with china and i have not been given a chance. the only guy in the race with experience to do this, i have not been given a chance to be in a debate. i'm trying to reach out to a different way. not to change my views but to ask america to consider something different. a unity ticket so we can rebuild this country. all right. governor, campaign refinance reform while an important issue, and broadable that you want to try to do something to change that, it's not exactly on the top of most american's minds right now. and so do you think that that may be part of your problem? >> absolutely. you are right.
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there hasn't been a single question asked in ten national debates of mitt romney. where do you get your money? newt gingrich, where -- >> and roemer, i do respect that but with limited time and the economic situation that americans are dealing with, don't you have concerns that your major platform is way down on the list of things that they need to discuss and be concerned with right now? >> being the only person who has served in washington and as governor of his state, a state that was corrupt and we cleaned it up, we took unemployment from 12% to below 6% and we did it in four years. here's my point, alex. you're not going to have the kind of america that reaches out and pulls together until you take the special interests out of washington. and i'm very specific. so let me take your question.
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buddy, you're not on the debate because your question is not on everybody's mind. yes, it is. talk to americans. they don't trust washington. they don't trust their politics. they call d.c. the capitol of corruption. i mean, newt gingrich gets $1.2 million from fannie mae and freddie mac, the same agencies that brought america to it is knees? and the reason it doesn't show up in the polls is because i'm not included in the polls and they won't let me get on the debate. i remember when herman cain was at 2% and two days later he was at 23%. what changed? he got on the national debate. i have asked the republicans to give me a chance to bring niece
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issues to america. >> and you said you would be interested in bringing a democratic to the ticket and that would include bowles and lawrence lessig. >> right. >> do these two both have communication with you? >> i've talked to larry. a great guy. i've talked to him about campaign reform. the reason i make it the issue, if i can say it again, is that nothing will get done, unfair trade, job creation unless we get the big special interests out of washington. it's not going to work any other way. i've talked to irskin bowles.
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i have just started that process. once again, i am a republican but i am an american first. i believe in america. i think we're headed in the wrong way and we need to pull this country together. >> all right. governor buddy roemer. a man with a lot of passion, thank you for your time. >> thank you, alex. if time is money, a lot of americans just let $34 billion slip through their fingers. vera gibbons is going to explain that. that's next. can i help you? yeah, can i get a full-sized car? for full-sized cars, please listen to the following menu. for convertibles, press star one. i didn't catch that. to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service, and neither do we. that's why, unlike other cards, no matter when you call chase sapphire preferred, you immediately get a person not a prompt. chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color.
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coming up, a big drop in the unemployment rate. will it help propel president obama in the 2012 race? and he has something to tell the american people but will herman cain say so long? he's expected to make an announcement. we'll bring it live here. you name it.
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time now for the big three. three topics and three talkers. the cain train potentially derailed and newt gingrich stoke new outrage about kids living in poverty. here they are. >> really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. so they literally -- they have no habit of showing up on monday. they have no habit of staying all day. they have no habit of, i do this and you give me cash unless it's illegal. >> i'm joined by erin, reporter for clear politics and joe watkins and goldie taylor. good morning, the three of you. >> good morning, alex. >> good morning. >> joe, tell me why newt gingrich singled out poor kids. you know, does that really seem fair and he did not think that would be something that people
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are sensitive to and say, why are you going after them? >> well, he singled out poor kids because he knows for america to be as great as it can be, it has to change what happens to poor kids and in this neighborhood, whether they are poor white kids or poor neighborhoods. as somebody who has worked with poor people for a long time, it's right on target. too often there's not an example of somebody going to work and somebody with a work ethic. newt gingrich as president will change that. i like the fact that he's tackling the tough issues and talking about how to change it. >> you know what, goldie inappropriate ter jekted there with a wow. i know her voice. taking control of an ownership of their own schools, where do you think he's going with all of this? >> you know, i appreciate that reverend watkins has worked with poor people but i've been poor
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people and the fact is, 66% of poor people in this country are working. the fact is, they are just not making a living wage and so black parents, hispanic parents who are considered poor and fall beneath the poverty line work one, two, sometimes three full-time jobs to make ends meet. they are seeing a poor ethic among their parents, among the school teachers and the people in their community. >> but he's talking about the poor kids who don't have someone working in the house. unfortunately, too many don't have a -- >> and you think the ethic is to pull them out of school and put them to work on a factory? you can teach a worth ethic in so many other ways and, yes, there is a way to do it for parents. give a meaningful opportunity.
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why send the parents to work? and i think when you have -- i think -- i don't think he was talking about that at all. he wanted to strip away child labor laws is what he said. >> joe? did you interpret that? >> no. what i interpreted it was newt gingrich saying we have to do something about too many kids trapped in a cycle of poverty. >> how about if you fix quality basic education, the high school dropout rate? how about you stop there? >> that's true. but you have to talk about jobs and working and an example. i try to be -- for the kids that i work with that don't have a dad, i try to be that dad for them. but they need fathers and mothers in the home that can provide that kind of an example for them on a regular basis and i like to think that they are tackling the issue. most often they don't talk about folks that are really suffering. newt gingrich is tackling the
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issue saying, that's a wonderful thing. i would like to see it change for some of the kids that i work with. >> here's something that is interesting and i'm going to ask this of you, erin. what we're witnessing here between goldie and joe is probably a reflection of a lot of conversations going on as a result of what newt gik rich is saying. do you think, by the way, it has a marie antoinette feel about it? it does here. erin, can a candidate really win a general election making comments like this about disadvantaged children? >> we're not in a general election right now and, sure, if it's stoking anger on the left, that's good for newt gingrich because right now he's trying to win a primary and he's talking about personal responsibility and that's all he really needs to do right now and it's making him far more popular with his base to go forward and win this primary. >> do you think that is short sided?
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because it's one thing to win the primary but we all know in a general election, you know, things will come back to haunt you and ultimately when you're looking at getting the middle 10%. the independents which is what every election comes down to. >> you have champions like bills cou coulds could bee who says you've got to take responsibility for what you do and do a better job. newt gingrich's message about personal responsibility is going to resonate with a lot of people and not just republicans. but americans who care about changing it for folks who are struggling right now. >> here's one other thing. he's not saying let these kids starve. he's saying, let's teach them how to work for themselves. there's a little bit of a difference there. he's nuancing it somewhat but not turning it off completely. >> goldie? last words for you? >> i think it's ridiculous.
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those that are center right like i do, to put them to work is an absolutely ferocious idea. this is when he send he wants to send kids to group homes. it's going to be a greater example for them than their own parents or extended family. the fact is, fatherlessness is a problem in this country. if he wants to combat childhood poverty, let's combat the children that live the majority of their lives without their biological fathers in their lives. let's fix that and then see a break in the cycle of poverty, not by putting 8-year-olds to work. >> thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. it's been a week of twists and turns on the hill and on the campaign hill with newt gingrich getting a lot of attention as the front-runner, congress still battling for the payroll tax
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that is set to expire. joining me from washington is david hawkings. good morning. >> nice to see you again. >> you too. let's go to our first fact or fiction question. 15 years after coming to congress, newt gingrich earned more than 60 times the year before he was sworn in. >> that's a fact. the year that he ran for congress the first time, 1978, he made a grand total of $10,000 teaching at west georgia community college. and then he came to congress and immediately started this idea machine that we know that he's turning out ideas fast and furious, wrote a lot of books, gave a lot of speak speeches and by the time he became the speaker, he became $675,000. most of that from book royalties. also, the speaker's salary was $171,000. by the time he left congress,
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though, he owed $300,000 in an ethics penalty that many people have forgotten but he's brought his net worth up to $7.5 million. >> fact or fiction, the drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 shows that the economy is doing better. >> that is sort of fact-ish. clearly after 28 of the last 30 months where the unemployment was 9 or above 8.6% looks pretty good but there are numbers underneath that that are cautionary. the biggest of all of that is while 278,000 people came into the workforce last month, more than that, 315,000 people gave up looking for work altogether. 120,000 new jobs, which is a big number, is still not quite enough to account for every new person that is getting a job in the month. we're still not there yet. >> okay. fact or fiction. there is no hope for compromise
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between the democratic and republican proposals pay for the extending the payroll tax break. >> that is fiction. the republican leadership on both the house and senate is absolutely convinced that the politics of the wintertime insists on extending it for another year. they are going to have trouble selling that to their conservative rank and pile. they have thinks that they think will help conserve jobs like building a new gas pipeline across nebraska and deregulating, of all things, industrial boilers. that's what they say are job creators that the conservatives will buy. >> okay. i need a really quick fact or fiction. congress will be home for christmas. >> they will get out of here and they will get it done. >> okay. david hawkings getting it all
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begun for us. thank you. >> thank you. it was supposed to be a festive grand opening for the headquarters in at llanta but h is supposed to make a major announcement, will he throw in the towel? we'll be live on it. ♪ i think i'm falling ♪ i think i'm falling ♪ i think i'm falling [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ for you [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store. shop our largest diamond store online anytime at zales.com.
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a live look now at the an lan ta headquarters for herman cain, there was a grand opening scheduled but now with the big announcement scheduled around 1:00 p.m. today, he may be droppinging out of the race. no one knows for sure and that would include, it seems, his press secretary for georgia. so we're, of course, keeping all eyes trained on this. we're going to bring you everything that happens from atlanta live on msnbc. in the meantime, some are calling the republican race a romney-gingrich showdown. we're awaiting cain's
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announcement on whether he's ready to fight or drop out. time now for more of my office politics. my interview with mort zucker man, he told me that he's disappointed with president obama. zuckerman was a big supporter of obama in 2008 but says that the white house demands more of him. >> it's leadership. i don't care what it is or how he experts leadership, it's not working. there are many other problems why it is not working. part of it is he's too cool and has no opposition with those in congress. if you don't have a relationship with people on the other side, since you know in our system you're going to have a lot of differences, it takes that kind of personal relationship to have you work through it. it's the same that is true in business. that they don't have. and who would have thought that? i didn't think that. >> do you see any one of the gop
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candidates out there who you believe has you believe has the ability to work capitol hill, if you will? >> well, i frankly saw two people in the republican side who i believe would have had that capacity. maybe three. one was jeb bush, and he's not running. i've had some exposure to him. i think he's an extraordinary talented governor, with the right focus on education. number two, jon huntsman is an outstanding -- >> why is he not catching on? >> i'll tell you why, and i am only an amateur with this wing. the mood of the country is one of anger and disappointment and they want somebody who can articulate. he's too low key of a candidate to catch the mood of the country. >> what do you make of newt gingrich? >> newt gingrich, who by the way, frankly i know very well. he's a very intelligent man, a really smart man.
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and he's been around the trail off enough to know how to handle these issues and to handle the press, because one of the things that people like when they see him on television, he doesn't take any crap from the press and he gives as good as he gets and people admire that. they are looking for somebody tough enough to handle these issues. >> was he your third candidate you said you think could do it? >> i don't know. he was the leader of the republicans and the house. he was the speaker. >> let's get to the finances and the thing that's cost so much butz in this country, which is the millionaire tax proposal. your thoughts on that? >> well, i have -- i completely support higher taxes on the wealthy, completely. i've done it for years. i was opposed to the bush tax cuts when bush was president. i was opposed to the extension of the tax cuts when obama was president. i think in this country the wealthier are going to have to do more in order to make it possible for the american
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public -- everybody has to contribute, and it's all right for the wealthy to contribute more. >> you must be a collector of art. i've heard about your own private collection. what is it about that painting there that has you putting it on the wall? you see that from where you sit. why is that one there? >> that says that everything is essentially chaotic, but sometimes you can make sense out of chaos. >> you can get more of my interview tomorrow on our show. he's going to tell me how a young man from canada driving around in an old chevy became a billionaire. herman cain promises to make a big announcement about the future of his candidacy. we'll bring it to you live here.
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approaching the top of the hour. we're going to extend our live coverage here as we await herman cain's announcement. we're giving you a look right now at his about to be opened atlanta campaign headquarters scheduled a long time ago for today. but the question remains, will this be his swan song from the presidential race? he will be making a statement sometime in the 1:00 hour. we'll bring that live to you with the help of chris hayes and our panel today. [ male announcer ] how are we going to make this season better than the last?
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