Mitchell Reports | March 30, 2012
>>> is the republican presidential race as a finally all but over? let's bring in --
>> we are entering a phase where it could become counterproductive this drags much longer.
>> we've got to the come together behind who i think has earn this had nomination and that's mitt romney .
>> kenny rogers said it's time when to hold them, time to fold them. i think it's time for people to get behind this good man.
>> and the headline out of there was president bush 's sox. let's bring in our panel, white correspondent major garrett . one very striking thing that happened there was also what president bush said about his son, the other president bush . first i want to mention marco rubio . in his endorsement of romney to the daily caller, he said there are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president but they didn't. i think romney would be a fine president and he would be way better than the guy who's there right now. well, that's hardly.
>> kind of backhanded. don't you think? doesn't it feel that way? look, one thing that's interesting about this field, think about it this way. the last time that romney ran for a race in a general election and won was 2002 . last time santorum did that was 2000 . last time newt gingrich diagnose that was 198. these are not exactly successful current, contemporary coalition-building is successful republican politicians. the one who are all passed on this race. that's one confident things raubiol is talking about.
>> one of the interesting parts about the big endorsements over the last couple days is the two folks that made the most news paul ryan and marco rubio are part of the new generation whereas romney are from the republican party that is evolving and has moved on.
>> paul ryan is going to be in wisconsin campaigning, already is in appleton, wisconsin, campaigning with that vote. and according to our nbc news mayor rift poll, romney is pulling ahead of santorum there. what about this very awkward moment where president bush , i think we can play a little bit of that tape, where bush senior turns to romney and says have you talked to george or talked to the president? let's watch.
>> we'll see the rest of you on the trail.
>> no questions?
>> governor, have you met with j.w. bush while you've been here and sought his endorsement?
>> i haven't met with president george w. bush . we speak from time to time.
>> so president bush , the elder says has he endorsed you? and mitt romney says no. you covered the bush white house .
>> major. what is going on there? are they holding back in does mitt romney not want to be embraced by george w. bush ?
>> well, i'm not exactly sure where romney is on that. i think eventually he will take it. what i clearly believe george w. bush has detected in all of this for every candidate is an arm's length at best and in some cases underlying notes of hostility about his presidency, about what it was and what needs to change. i'm not sure he's exactly eager to jump into this. and every president is hesitant to jump in unless they are sure it's wanted, south and sought. a former president looking at a candidate saying no questions? what? no questions.
>> romney wanted to shoo the president corps out there and have the picture and let it go at that. president bush was used to the photo op where there's always the interaction and one of the other things that's striking is think about jimmy cartner 1996 when he was barely invited by bill clinton , the only living former democratic president barely invited to be a guest at the convention rather than delivering a big speech was up in the stands.
>> and in 2000 , al gore tried to solve that and make carter a much more prominent part of his convinces in los angeles reattaching himself to carter after very difficult carter/clinton years.
>> that's the weerds part about george w. bush . as the republican party has evolved, it has evolved as a reaction against george bush . the tea party anger is not only geared towards president obama and democrats, geared toward the republican party that spent too much. got into too many wars and essentially got away from its conservative principles.
>> and was too liberal according to some on immigration. the endorsement would be a ticklish at best.
>> having all kinds of fun, let's look at their spoof of the open mike incident.
>> your mission is simple, mr. obama. to gain unchecked flexibility. dmitri will transmit the information.
>> starring barack obama as president flexible. dmitri immediate vedov. and putin as himself.
>> you can't go wrong with a bare chested putin , right?
>> the russian people might have a disagreement about that. i think it was significant moment for the president. i wrote about it and i thought it was at least as significant. i won't say i jumped into it. a lot of people jumped in about etch a sketch. not on the ballot, not leading the country, not trying to lead the country. the president as leader of the country said two things that he later said are consistent with everything he said but in that place, to dmitry medvedev , who everyone knows is an underling and possibly a delegitimized puppet of putin carrying that message is i don't think what the president would have liked the nation to hear. [