Mitchell Reports | December 13, 2012
>>> our new nbc news wall street journal poll shows that republicans don't exactly have public support for their bargaining position in these fiscal cliff talks, so how will the negotiations now affect the party's efforts to rebrand itself after losing the presidential election ? roger simon is politico's chief political columnist and joins me now. great to see you again. thanks for being here.
>> thank you.
>> they're going in against real headwinds. the president having 38% support in his positions. john boehner , only 19%. more than three-quarters of those polled agree with the president's bargaining position about upper income --
>> the republican party has a lot of problems. i mean, three big ones . your poll asks people to pick words to describe the republican party . they picked bad, broken, weak and lost. those aren't the greatest words.
>> that's not a bumper sticker you want.
>> the second is the hand that they're playing. if they get what they want, they get no tax increases for millionaires and billion aurs and cuts to medicare, medicaid, and social security . is it a great land to play for 2014 ? thirdly, they just don't have a leader. i mean, who is the leader of the republican party ? i guess john boehner comes the closest, but this afternoon president obama is not spending his time talking to john boehner . he is giving interviews to local tv stations, to change some of the numbers that we just saw on your poll so that by the time we hit the fiscal cliff fall-off point, the public will not equally blame the democrats or the republicans. they will blame the republicans. i don't think john boehner can do local tv hits and change people's minds.
>> that's always, of course, the megaphone that the white house enjoys, and they add this to the schedule because they can tell day by day how it's tracking.
>> how is this going to affect issues coming up? for instance, immigration.
>> well --
>> which the president said to "the des moines register " before the election, is one of his top priorities.
>> i talked to people in the white house who are very familiar with the legislative agenda of the president, and they say comprehensive immigration reform -- we're not talking just the dream act that affects children and doesn't do anything about the 11 million. we're talking about putting 11 million people on a road to citizenship that the president is committed to this. it isn't just a political ploy to get hispanic votes, though it will. it's going to come out -- it's going to come up right after immigration. i'm sorry. the inauguration. he is very serious about it, and they feel it's win-win for them. if they get it, it's another historic piece of legislation to go along with health care . if they don't get it, guess who gets blamed. the republicans in 2014 . they lose even more hispanic votes.
>> sounds like a centerpiece of the state of the union .
>> people are going to hear a lot about that. as soon as we get passed this fiscal stuff, if we ever do. stla that's a big if. roger simon , thank