Martin Bashir | March 20, 2012
>> joining us now, our star studded panel of experts. msnbc contributor, and abby huntsman livingston. the daughter of former gop candidate governor jon huntsman . apologies to darrell issa because you're both women and both clever.
>> we're going to talk about viagra.
>> stop now.
>> we've got first ladies everywhere. we've got the president's wife appearing on dave letterman . calista selling books about an elephant. what is the thing you've been most interested in? what have you learn most about the first wives?
>> for me, it is about mrs. santorum's love of shooting and guns.
>> these wives are wonderful ladies, as you've seen. like you just showed, there is a new gaffe every day.
>> they can provide a personal side to the candidates that people don't see. and so i think they are only helpful right now.
>> what you're saying is they're more intelligent and more sensible.
>> that's what you're saying. crystal, rick santorum is really leaning on his wife, as you know. she's having to go on to tv and kind of defend him and say he's not really worried about contraception even though you and i know that he would leave to it states that ban contraception. and she is walking him back from some of his other gaffes. is she his greatest asset?
>> i would say so. it like the, see, i don't hate women . i have a wife. she loves me. i love her. see, i don't hate all women . and it is interesting to me, the way that she said that. the, you know, he's not going to do anything on that issue. it was almost like, i'll see to it that he's not going to do anything on that issue. but yeah. to abby's point, you watch these women and romney , karen santorum, i love the president but how amazing is michelle obama ? i look at this and i think gosh, we need more women in office. these women do a phenomenal job. they totally connect to people better than their husbands.
>> what i think is the most, president obama is struggling the most. and i think ann romney is what he needs. he's done everything to connect and he just can't connect.
>> your father's failure to since is down to the fact that it was your mom's fault.
>> one of the thing we have to focus on, the fact that republicans are doing thing at the moment which appear to be negative toward women . we know that in tennessee, a bill would require the names of all doctors who provide abortion services to have their names published. why not just put a target on their name on a website and have a map. why this?
>> i think it is a very personal issue. i don't think it's one the government needs to get involved with. it is really unfair to women . it is like we're being targeted. i think that's also why women need to be more active in running for office and speaking out.
>> but crystal, we know about the blount amendment. we know that the attempt to introduce the proposal for a transvaginal probe. we know about rick perry 's proposal. these republicans do have a problem.
>> and mitt romney said he would defun planned parenthood as well and box mcdonald is a possible vice presidential pick. i don't think this issue is going away as they go state to stay, whoever ends up being the nominee, it looks likely to be romney will get press. governor romney , where do you stand on transvaginal probes? if you look at the polling, mitt romney is trailing the president by 20 points. john mccain lost by 13 points. if you look just at women who are of child bearing age, he is losing to the president now by 30 points. so he is going to have to do a lot more than just bring out his wife on the campaign trail to convince women that he is worth supporting in have no.
>> the narrative will move to the middle. the longer the primary goes on, the harder for romney to get that message to the independents. ? allot of damage has been done though.
>> thank you so much. both