Jansing and Co | June 12, 2012
>>> hoping to seize momentum, mitt romney kicks off his five-day bus bonanza friday. the every town counts bus tour will hit six battleground states , including pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, iowa and michigan . it launches from the new hampshire farm where romney announced his presidential bid one year ago. let me bring in former chief of staff, west virginia democrat, senator joe manchin . and presidential candidate mike huckabee . good morning, guys.
>> good morning.
>> chris , i think this will be romney 's most intensive campaign swing since april. his campaign says he's meeting with families and business owners in small towns, all rural areas . i know you both worked on bus tours. why these states , why small towns, chris ?
>> i mean, these states , because he's are clearly the battle grounds. you're getting kind of a first glimpse of what the romney campaign thinks is in play. and in rural states , partly because you can control them better and in smaller towns. and i think they would not have as a welcoming crowd if you got into the more urban parts of the states . so i think that's just the reality of what romney faces. he's got bigger -- i think he's got more strength in the rural parts. much weaker strength -- or i should say much weaker support in the cities.
>> so you've got six states that president obama all won back in 2008 . if you're in that room or if you're on that bus and you're talking about what are we going to accomplish here with this bus tour, are you talking about getting him to be a little more likeable? to seem more accessible? are you talking about, okay, let's talk to some of these people, maybe we'll get some indications for patterns of what we should be messaging? what does a bus tour accomplish for a campaign?
>> a couple things. yes, those are some of the questions you'll be asking. i've always thought of a bus tour as an opportunity for your candidate to really be himself or herself. they can be a lot of fun. you see these candidates draw energy. you go back to bill clinton 's bus tour in '92 after his convention, took off across america. he was energized by it. even obama's bus tour, he was energized by it. i know my case, governor huckabee, you get to talk to real people in the communities that really are excited to see you as opposed to mean old press people that ask you tough questions. these are the people that really are talking about what's important. so it's a great opportunity for governor romney .
>> i'm guessing that over a weekend we'll see him flipping pancakes somewhere. just a guess. but having said that, he has come across a couple times recently as not being just a regular guy. and i want to show you example of that. take a look.
>> would you see that one of those chocolate -- goodies find this way into your lives? i'm going to do some testing on that one right there.
>> people joked that he didn't seem to know what a doughnut was. that chocolatey thing, that chocolate treat, that -- doughnut. it's a doughnut.
>> it's a rare thing. it's a specialty kind of doughnut. but, yeah, this -- and i will say this. bus tours are great opportunity for food. you get some of the best food out there. and i hope the bus tours take advantage of all of the local dives.
>> it's funny, but on a serious point, i'm sure mitt romney actually does know what a doughnut is.
>> sure, of course he does.
>> but is there also risk in it? if you're a guy, who frankly, is not necessarily somebody who, you know, does the kinds of things that the folks he's going to be visiting do.
>> well, it gives him an opportunity to roll up his sleeves and get out there, and we're going to filed out. look, i think governor romney , we know a lot of things about him, we know he's got a great family, hard- working guy . this is going to give him an opportunity to connect with some folks in smaller towns and states that are going to matter to him. this is a great opportunity for him to show us he is a regular guy that can get out there.
>> the other place he's going to be going, one of the places he's going is michigan , which is very interesting, i think, chris . obviously. it's where he was born, his dad was governor there. talk to me a little bit about what you think we'll hear in places like that. candidates on these bus tours, always trying to find connections. my aunt gladys three times removed through my cousin barney actually lives here kind of thing.
>> right. well, i think what you're going to see him is try to connect on a bigger level. when you go to michigan , what you're not going to hear him talk about, obviously, is the auto bailouts, which he opposed. and what our going to --
>> he says he should get some credit for the auto bailouts.
>> yeah. maybe in an alternative universe . we can give him credit. but the reality is, he's not going to talk about that. the risk, i think, for romney in these kind of bus tours, and you saw it, i think, with that clip with that amazing concoction called the doughnut, is you come across out of touch. you come across as not really understanding what average people are going through. and it's more than just talking points . because these are really unscripted moments. and those things can hurt you a lot more than those talking point events that you can do, you know, probably anywhere in the country. so that's kind of the risk, i think, that romney faces in going around these key states .
>> potentially big risk, potentially big