Mitchell Reports | January 06, 2012
>> new hampshire primary here is just few days away. evangelicals are off course a significant key it a win down there. how can romney be stopped with such a divided field in religious leaders are gathering in texas to talk about that. dr. richard lamb, president of southern baptist convention know et the play. thank you for joining me.
>> how are you.
>> well we are all well here in new hampshire . but we are wondering, is there going to be some gathering and some decision to join forces and back one conservative going into south carolina against mitt romney ?
>> well, there's been a lot of discussion, among social conservative leaders sense tuesday night. after they finished pinching themselves wednesday morning, that one of the truest of true social conservatives had risen to the top in rick santorum . pinching themselves to see if they weren't dreaming. then the discussion started. you might want to buy stock in one of the telephone companies because they've had a lot of business with conference calls , discussing this issue. because if you took the vote that santorum got, and you took the vote that gingrich got and you took the vote that perry got, and you took the vote that bachmann got, you would have outvoted romney two to one in iowa . but because of the division among the conservative candidates, there is real concern that romney will win without having to face one concentrated effort of a conservative challenger. and what i've heard over and over again, this these discussions, is we don't want to make the same mistake this time that we made with huckabee in 2008 . people didn't rally around huckabee as the, you know, social conservative alternative because they didn't think he could win, until it was too late. and mccain had the nomination sewed up. now, it is a little more diverse this time. and we don't need to make the decision as early. what i hear conservatives saying is, we need to keep talking about this and we need to let gingrich and santorum and perry continue to make their case. but at some point, earlier rather than later, we need to try to unite all of the conservative -- social conservative forces, around one candidate and have this great debate that so many people want to see between the romney and the nonromney.
>> dr. land, to that point, perry surprised some folks by deciding to go on. he's got $4 million. he is going into south carolina , so he is still in it. this is rick santorum certainly making an appeal here no the evangelical vote. hats let's watch. rs.
>> the gi asked a question, he said, we don't need a jesus candidate, we need an economic candidate. and my answer to that was, we always need a jesus candidate. someone who believes in this. right?
>> now he is the most logical of these -- the three people still standing on the conservative side for you evangelicals, is it not? but how do you sur persuade gingrich to back out?
>> you don't persuade them. you con trunt them with facts at a later point. santorum has to do the convincing. he did a lot of convincing in iowa . he's gotten an iowa bump out of iowa and new hampshire and in south carolina . he is raising money and surging. the question is, what's going to happen in new hampshire and what's going to happen in south carolina . if in south carolina santorum outperforms gingrich and perry , i would think that social conservative leaders can make the case. mr. gingrich , you said santorum is a good friend and you have similar views and you have been colleagues for many years. he is running better than you are. how about joining forces with him in florida? then say the same to perry .
>> now, newt gingrich is a complicated political figure. most recently this is what he had to say about food stamps and african-americans. let's watch.
>> every american of every background has been endowed with the right to pursue happiness. every american of every background should have an opportunity to get a job and not be dependent on food stamps . every american should go to a school where they get educated. i am for conservatives to go into the poorest neighborhoods of every ethnic group and helping every american have a chance to pursue happiness. it takes a lot on the part of the elite media to distort that.
>> the fact is that the naacp put out a statement pointing out that most people getting food stamps are white and most people taking food stamps have a job and he called it shameful and divicive. newt gingrich would argue a lot of twists and turns that make him controversial.
>> i think newt was try hard to talk about the opportunities in society versus the entitlement society and he's basically right and the head of the naacp is being too sensitive. i think santorum was a cohost along with jc watts of the faith-based initiative summit which i attended back when the president started faith-based initiatives under george w. bush . 80% of people who came were african-american and hispanic and the faith-based initiatives is an opportunity for us to get off the liberal plantation and out of the liberal barrio and have people live in the zip codes that have problems and make the decisions about what's best for the people in those zip codes instead of having liberals come from across town and tell us what's best for us.
>> we will have to leave it there, but are you going to be in texas at this summit?
>> there is no summit this weekend. if so, i'm not going to be there.
>> in a week or so.
>> no comment.
>> okay. i will take that as a non-denial denial or confirmation. the bottom line is you say after south carolina and before florida, if gingrich doesn't improve, there is going to have to be a coming together.
>> there will be a lot of things encouraging that. no one can tell new gingrich what to do. there will be a lot of encouraging.
>> thank you very much. good to talk to you again. from the southern baptist convention ,