Martin Bashir | September 28, 2012
>>> we begin this friday with no shortage of confidence from mitt romney even as his ineptember draws to a close withublican nominee. this time it's in the form of nine polls in nine battleground states with the president leading all nine. now, in britain 999 is the number to call for the emergency services , and mr. romney might consider doing the same with the president now leading nine swing states by an average of six points consistent with his national average. the three newest battleground polls show yet more evidence of mr. romney 's september slump. north carolina , the president up by two. nevada, the president up by two. even new hampshire, site of one of mr. romney 's many luxury homes, the president leading by seven points. but what about all that jet skiing ? well, never fear, mitt's hard at work doing what he does best, attending a fund-raiser today at philadelphia's union club . here it is, looks quite posh. i guess it should be at $50,000 a plate. wait a minute, no, sorry, that's wrong. that's a mistake. that was actually from "trading places," the firm of duke & duke. here is the actual video. let's listen to mr. romney on his chances in the keystone state .
>> on november 6th i'm going to win pennsylvania and i'm going to become the next president of the united states .
>> okay. just to clarify, the romney campaign is running no ads whatsoever in pennsylvania . mr. romney is down 12 points in "the new york times" poll this week. pennsylvania is not in play. i guess that's why tonight he'll head up to battleground massachusetts. yes, another fund-raiser. this time with the president of the new england patriots, son of the patriots owner. good thing that strike is over. could be a bit awkward collecting 75 grand a plate. if you're wondering why mitt romney isn't complaining in, say, florida, it may be that mitt romney never, ever wants to cibo se see boca raton again. case in point, vice president joe biden in boca raton this afternoon who had a quite different view of the 47%.
>> these people are fighting back with every single thing they have. i don't sense any sense of dependency. they're just looking for a little opportunity, a level playing field , a fair shot. my dad used to say, joey, i don't expect the government to solve my problems but i do expect them to understand my problems.
>> did i mention that mitt romney will be fund-raising up in chestnut hill ? let's get to our handle. in washington eugene robinson , pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post ," and here in new york msnbc political analyst jonathan alter who is a columnist for the bloomberg view. eugene , i have taken the trouble of going back over a number of your columns written during this campaign, and here is what you say about mr. romney in no particular order. the candidate, you say, he's robotic, unknowable, ideologically incoherent, severely out of touch, contemptuous, and condescending. so i guess you won't be on his christmas card list this year, but does this explain why mr. romney 's star is now fading?
>> now, let me tell you what i really think, martin.
>> thank you.
>> no, look, as a candidate he leaves a lot to be desired, and you're hearing that not just from me today. you're hearing it from other republicans who are complaining in print and on the airwaves about -- or asking the question, well, why doesn't romney do this or why doesn't romney do that. romney is romney . mitt is mitt, and, you know, we knew there was -- that the field was weak. we talked about it all spring during the republican primaries , and the weak field, surprise, surprise, produced a pretty weak candidate.
>> jonathan, when mitt romney went to london, one tabloid newspaper described hip as mitt the twit, but we're also hearing that romney may be the victim because the republican party has hewn so far to the right that it's simply impossible for him to win the base of his party and win independence within the electorate. is that fair?
>> you know, i don't really think it is. i mean, i agree that the republican party has moved far from the right and it would have taxed any politician to get back to the center, but he was his own worst enemy during the primaries. he didn't have to go to the right of newt gingrich and rick perry on immigration to win that nomination. if he had come out and, you know, said that he was for the dream act sort of the way gingrich did, he still would have gone on to win the nomination and now he would be in a position --
>> you think so?
>> -- to compete for latino votes, but he's not a skillful enough politician to anticipate that, and all he can do is say whatever is necessary to get him through the day. this comes out of his experience in the business community where, you know, all he did when he went in and closed these deals is say whatever was necessary to close the deal no matter whether it was true or not and then he'd negotiate about it later, you know, after he took over the company. so this is the world he comes out of, and it just does not equip him for politics. here is the other thing that i think has been missed in the last couple days is there's been some, you know, journalism that says, well, okay, he's not equipped for politics but he'd be a good president. no. if you're a bad politician, you're not going to be a good president either.
>> right. eugene , as a top romney official tells politico today, lousy candidate, highly qualified to be president, just as john was saying. the candidate suit fits him unnaturally. he's naturally an executive. their headline, in the end it's mitt. i guess that confirms both of you in the sense that this man may have been a good businessman, but he's neither a good politician and he certainly wouldn't make a good president.
>> i think not, martin. i mean, the skills and habits of a ceo are not those that one really needs in the white house . it's all about -- you know, you have to bring along congress. you have to bring along the country. you have to get stuff done.
>> you have to have some policies and you have to win people's support.
>> exactly. and you can't just say, well, it's going to be this way and it's going to be that way and you can't just, you know, change strategy on a whim or because you read the latest management gurus latest book. it doesn't work that way, and i think we would have seen that if it were at all likely that mitt romney would become the next president. i think it's becoming less likely and i think that's a good thing for the country.
>> okay. john, some on the right, of course, the polling and stuff is a complete hoax, and fox news' chris wallace for one is fed up with it all. listen to this.
>> what do you mean that romney is in trouble? what, because of this poll manipulation crap?
>> let me just say something. this poll stuff is -- the criticism of the polls is craziness. i actually did some research on this today, which is more than you've done.
>> so mr. wallace has obviously been doing his rervesearch.
>> chris wallace is a journalist. he's not trying to salvage any argument he can for mitt romney . you know --
>> but his questioner referred to this polling crap.
>> look, wallace is actually trying to introduce some facts to fox news from time to time. i'm not defending all of his journalism. but what has intruded into the process is a disregard for basic facts. you have people like dick morris on the air saying he would win by five points if the election were today. is he smoking something?
>> that's a very good question. we can't confirm that. we have pictures live of the president speaking at a campaign event in washington, d.c. eugene , perhaps romney should try disappearing for a while, then he might become as popular as george w. bush because shock, horror, as it stands now, the former president is actually more popular than mitt romney , though they're both, as they say, underwater. what do you think?
>> well, perhaps that could work but it's an inconvenient time for romney to disappear given that there's this election in a few weeks. however, he does keep disappearing. he keeps leaving the campaign trail to do these fund-raisers. one asks again what are they thinking in boston, what are they doing in boston, why are they running the campaign this way? and in the end the campaign comes down to the candidate. i mean, you can't blame it on the consultants. you can't blame it on the people around him. tough hold the candidate accountable for the way the campaign is being run.
>> to be fair, eugene , you have been holding him accountable throughout all of your columns.
>> i was just going to say mitt romney at this point might as well go down to the cayman islands where former president shall is appearing at an investor conference --
>> four days before the election. thanks very much for that, mr. bush. eugene robinson , jonathan