msnbc | February 28, 2012
>>> on that point of whether or not mitt romney knows that he is a rich guy and maybe that affects whether or not he knows how it sounds when he talks about rich guy stuff, how do you change that about a candidate if that is his problem? do you make it like put him up in a mirror and say mirror mirror on the wall you're the richest guy of all, you have to figure it out?
>> my feeling is the guy is born with a silver spoon , never been pressured to give the right answer. never had the big pressure in life where he had to be perfect to make it or overachieve to make it. he has been successful, how has he done it, will that play with the american people ? i think romney we're going to continue to see him not give the perfect answer can because he's never had to give the perfect answer, never been in a pressure situation where he's really had to worry about a job and being unemployed and the middle class .
>> not talking about perfect answers, talking about get it half right. there is no one in the romney campaign who can explain to any of us what he meant by the height of trees in michigan. or say cadillac, say one instead of -- this is easy. perfect would be great but how about an average answer.
>> steve, if that is your candidate, do you get back on script do you carry around a script and say don't adlib?
>> self awareness is an under appreciated virtue in politics. you had the photo out a couple weeks ago the son put out, i have no doubt to the authenticity, where mitt romney was washing his clothes, but the perception of mitt romney and perception is reality, is that he would never wash his own clothes, so you have to have an appreciation not how you view yourself but how other people view you. you have to have focus in every encounter when you're running for president of the united states .
>> you also have to worry about --
>> he had a lack of focus in some of these different encounters where these inexplicable statements that all added together have done him harm.
>> you also have to worry about not only how people see you but people think you see them. see, the danger of him not seeing himself as rich means he really can't understand people that are not rich. and what they go through every day and what it is to go to work and worry about your kids health care and worry about your mother's social security . so it's bad enough that you don't see yourself as rich and making $300,000 is nothing. it's worse that i don't think you understand that i'm not making that kind of money and what my life is about. that is what is ultimately the disconnect with romney .
>> i think --
>> every where they went, everybody knew this was the richest politician they ever seen and how come it never became an issue like --
>> charm is a factor. back in 1946 in the first race, first a war hero , working class guys in boston, the other guy said he's a war hero we'll look up to him, but there is a wonderful night of candidates night, each guy stood up and said i had to fight this way, i didn't go to college, college of hard knocks and jack's turn he stood up and said i guess i'm the only one that didn't come up the hard way and it was a joke. i want to tell you about mitt romney he's a boss, always been a boss. he tells john king i'm not going to answer your question. when he ran against ted kennedy , he said i won't answer your question. he's used to the business press where you can success magazine isn't "hardball" isn't any of our programs, you don't have to answer the question, you say the interview is over. look how he dealt with the tree thing. any staffer would have said governor, what is this with trees? cool it. he didn't because he said the same exact thing the other day, several days ago. he doesn't have people around him like you and i have been, you and i have been this, we worked with politicians, you got to get back to the other thing, i love you boss but you have to get back to this thing. i don't think he's trainable. i think if he's president of the united states and still possible he will be, we will put up with an arrogant president will hold press conference where he tells reporters, i answer the questions my way, you can ask the questions you want. he won't answer the questions. i've never seen a presidential candidate like this fella. he doesn't believe the press has a proper role to quiz him. the other thing is i don't think he's fixable by his staff. anybody saying the things he has been saying is not trainable.
>> this is contrary to the initial caricature of him he's a robot programmed to win elections and this fake thing, automaton you're saying he can't focus and you're saying he can't be trained.
>> he won't be bossed around by staff or press people.
>> john mccain said earlier in the campaign, what is the one piece of advice that you would give? he said get rest. he said every mistake that i made i made because i was tired out on the campaign. and unless you've gone through this it's as physically and mentally demanding as an experience that i think almost anyone could have. and i wonder if he's tired, whether he's not getting enough rest, but when you have these statements pile on top of each other like they have with him, they create a narrative that get terrible for him which is he's no better than the other candidates in a race against obama. the chances of mitt romney winning versus obama are no greater or less great than rick santorum , and of course that is not true. in the context particularly given santorum's comments over the last two weeks. so it's clearly an area of the campaign that should mitt romney go on to win tonight, should he become the nominee of the party where they have substantial work to do and you have to run a presidential campaign offering a positive message and vision for the future of the country. what does prosperity look like? what is a 21st century conservative vision to create opportunity in this country? and so far, there has been very little of that and if you're going to win, you have to be successful.
>> he was singing america the beautiful for a while. you can make fun of him he may not be a good singer, he was trying to be positive many.
>> he had a strong performance in the debate last week. santorum was killing himself with the social issues. romney talked himself down seven points by talking about nascar owners and his cadillacs. he will take defeat out of the jaws of victory it's him. i don't care how tired you are. you can be tired, you don't talk about cadillacs and nascar owners unless it's in you. weariness does not do that to you.
>> this is what i find interesting. he talks about the private sector , spent his life in the private sector . where are his business associates coming out being his surrogate. i did a deal with mitt, honest guy, brilliant, where are this is surrogates about all this success he had in the business world? i have been in business a while i've come across guys you can't do a deal with their way or the highway you lay it out for them it can't get done, this what is they will do. it would seem to me mitt romney right now is at a point he needs somebody that has done deals with him to step out and say he's a stand-up guy, he knows what he's talking about. where are the people?
>> as much as politics suggest people care about businessmen and want them to be president, they know it isn't true. if you brought that out on the stage, the question would be what was the deal? really, how much did mitt make? $190 million, really?
>> he would say i'm not going to apologize for being successful. i want everybody to have that success.
>> bring a couple employees that said he would be a good boss. where are all these businesses with all these jobs, give me two employees that say he was a good boss. he was really somebody that cared. he has not produced anything. here is a guy straps his dog to the roof of the car and can't apologize. and you're wondering if he's tired? he doesn't have it.
>> a word about the rich. scott fitzgerald said the rich are different than you and i but some of them think they are not. they are the kind of classy old world rich that do not get -- they are not vul garians like donald trump or athletes and movie stars who spent all every penny they have, there are plenty of people who don't have romney 's money who look like they have more by the way they spend, so yeah, i believe that there are moments when mitt romney does his own laundry and knows how do do it because he's that kind of rich. america has forgotten that kind of rich exists because those people don't draw attention.
>> like that senator who shined his own shoes? i remember him on west wing . you created him.
>> i think al sharpton 's point is the salient one, it's whether you can con receiimagine the average lif e of an american.
>> if you're fighting for cutting taxes on the rich it becomes more awkward to be wicked rich.