msnbc | August 28, 2012
ng coverage of the republican national convention in tampa, florida. that, of course, is the keynote address for the convention, new jersey's governor chris christie . i'm desperate to hear chris matthews ' response. i have to say personally, chris , i'll throw it out to you, i am a fan of chris christie as an orator. i enjoy hearing them speak. i think he is a guy that who brings a looseness to his political conversation that even when you disagree with him, it makes you want to pay attention. so i like that about him but this speech not only i think was a bad speech, i think that this was one of the most remarkable acts of political selfishness i have ever seen on a stage this big. this was a 2600-word speech in which he used nearly 1800 of those words before he first said the name " mitt romney " and as soon as he said mitt romney , he went back to talking about himself for hundreds more words. this was chris christie accepting the nomination of the republican party for 2016 because mitt romney wasn't even interesting enough to talk about in the keynote address that is supposed to be more mitt romney 's nomination. i find this speech to have been totally shocking, completely opposite to what i expected.
>> well, it seemed to fit, however, perhaps more grandly into the whole pattern of tonight. that the best speeches tonight, the best speech parts were not about the presidential nominee of the party as of tonight. casey's speech out of ohio, the best parts of that were about ohio and what he accomplished there. the best parts of santorum's speech were about his family with a difficult birth and difficult child, his youngest daughter and i have to disagree about the quality of the speech. i think most pros will say that was a barn burner we just heard from chris christie . that was a great speech with a touch of churchill but not a touch of romney in it. something that may sound painful to republicans, but i saw a candidate for president tonight wheeled out as if he were a statue in the hall of presidents in nearby orlando. he did not seem like a human being sitting there. i was thinking there was john going nuts and romney not even moved by it. he is a hard candidate to sell, mitt romney , nobody tried very hard to do it tonight. i agree with you about that, rachel. 9 best parts of the rhetoric and there was some towering rhetoric on this fellow from new jersey had nothing to do with the nomination of mitt romney for president and means they haven't achieved their goal tonight. i don't even think his wife wanted him up tonight because i think it's too hard to do. by the way, howard fineman is sitting with me.
>> i would love to hear howard's take and steve's take as a republican strategist and orator among us we should hear from reverend al sharpton . i'm appeared to be talked out of my opinion, what the republican party did nose was make the case for their bench, if not for the team on the field alt least the team that might be on the field in four years. let's go to howard and hear his take and what he's been able to report from the campaigns tonight.
>> a couple things i found on the floor earlier tonight, i have to agree with chris . i was in the texas delegation.
>>> that's why i'm wearing my texas pun. even though romney isn't much of a presence they try to clamp down on the rules, change the rules and centralize power in a party supposed to be about decentralizing power. they were furious with him for that power grab. that's emblematic of what's going on. a grassroots party sitting there in the hall that somehow disconnected from the guy they're about to nominate. and i think that was evident on the floor tonight and evident in the speech tonight and i'll say one other thing about christian christie 's speech. i thought it was very tough and aggressive toward the democratic party . it was a tough combative speech but it was nasty and mean in tone, which might be fine for chris christie and make him feel good and might score some points for the base, but does nothing for what this -- chris was saying the main objective of what this convention has to be, to tell us who mitt romney is and why he would be a better steward of the economy, open him up, talk about him, explain him. this speech did none of that front, and i even think that ann romney 's speech never used the kind of anecdote or line or moment that we didn't know about that somehow was revelatory that made everybody sit up and say, that's interesting, i didn't know that about mitt romney . that makes me think he might have the value and character to be something more than a spreadstreet mr. fix-it. that's what they need to do here. i don't think they did it tonight at all.