NewsNation | May 04, 2012
>>> we are all waiting to find out exactly what happened after mitt romney and rick santorum had that private time together in pittsburgh earlier today. this is still, there is still no endorsement by santorum but the dnc is already out with a new ad regarding this dynamic duo . it use santorum 's sharp words against romney during the primary to attack romney 's economic message.
>> as governor of massachusetts had a job creation record. it wasn't the worst. it was third from the worst. 47 out of 50.
>> so at this point, is santorum at all a help to mitt romney or the question we asked with newt gingrich , does he hurt him? let me bring in the political panel. the political reporter with the " washington post ." and jimmy williams with us, strategist and msnbc contributor. i'll start with you. i think it is the same music that was in the newt ad that we saw earlier this week where the democrats pull newt's words regarding mitt romney and put the little music behind to remind those who may have forgotten just how scathing some of these attacks were from republicans, directed toward mitt romney .
>> that's right. and i think this will probably be --
>> probably? can we just bet on that. it will be part of the theme.
>> it will be part of the theme. i think so. at some point santorum will come out with an endorsement. he single his supporters a letter a couple minutes ago saying that he has some big announcement that he will make soon. but first, he asked his supporters to help him handle this debt. and i think in a lot of ways, upper most in his mind is handling that debt and how mitt romney might be of an assist to him in paying that down.
>> let me play what mitt romney said on fox regarding this endorsement. the one he's waiting on from santorum .
>> governor, i don't mean to interrupt you --
>> i don't think we have plans for an endorsement today. i think all republican there's come together in the final analysis and support my candidacy.
>> santorum holding out particularly interesting. of all the people who ran, those candidates on the list, many, even those who are not fans of rick santorum 's see him as a man of conviction. you may not believe in him but he seem to put his heel in the ground regarding the things he believes. and it seems as if he is kicking and screaming , going in the way of mitt romney .
>> well, look. there is no love lost between these two men.
>> is it something more than a love lost?
>> when you have michele bachmann who was out with romney yesterday. okay. i want to play that. it was more than a love loss here.
>> it is very clear that he will be the republican nominee. and i'm going to be for the republican nominee. and we're going to do everything we can to defeat barack obama .
>> he goes on to ask, is that an endorsement which is the more significant part of that interview. and santorum stammers through that. it is not about not liking mitt romney . he said he was the worst person to run against barack obama .
>> he did. that 90-minute conversation he had this morning, the campaign adviser said it would be a candid conversation. i'm pretty sure the last six months have been a remarkably candid conversation between the republican candidates. and i would not have wanted to be in that room. i think, look. santorum is clearly the most conservative person that was running for the republican nomination. and i think he walked into that room. again, i'm just assuming to say, look, you're not conservative, mitt romney . there is no love lost between us , as i said before. what do you need amy to do to help you, and b, here's what i need from you. and i bet you that was a remarkably mature conversation between two men who just don't like each other.
>> what does, we get the debt with santorum but at this point, as you envision it. it is like puppet theater . you envision in your mine that santorum walks in and says, mr. romney , the guy that i said is the worst person to run against barack obama . i said that the health care law you signed in massachusetts is exactly the same as the law you vowed to republicans that you will repeal. that the president worked hard to pass. what can i do for you? that's what you think santorum is offering up? what can i do for you, mitt romney ?
>> i think in some ways, he is coming to the table, santorum , saying here's what i can do for you. but you've got to do something for me, too. santorum at least frames himself as not only a sort of the head of the most conservative wing of the party but also these reagan democrats . these working class folks who help him almost beat mitt romney in michigan. helped him do so well in ohio and he did well in the south among those evangelical voters. that's what he's coming with. he wants to be a leader of this party in some ways and be a real player. he probably wants a prime time speech at this convention. in tampa in september. so he obviously has a wish list of things he wants, too.
>> what i was trying to say, rather than saying what can i do for you, he's like here's what you can do for me.
>> it is definitely going to be a quid pro quo . what is the one place that i think the new poll that came out yesterday, the day before, i think he had something like 47% of conservatives don't want mitt romney . and what does mitt romney bring? 47%.
>> absolutely. he's in the jobs report. unemployment, 1.8. mitt romney obviously no surprise. the president admitting to some degree a disappointment but still points to the more positive sides in that employers are bringing people into the fold here. but i want to bring out, our first read team says this weak jobs report will help romney get back on message after president obama 's big week and the attention of foreign policy being with the president. what do you think?
>> i think that's right. i'll give the romney camp complete kudos for actually pouncing on that and they will stick with it. what we do know about mitt romney is that he will say something remarkably dumb pretty soon. probably by saturday, sunday, which is the next day. today he said i think in pittsburgh that if barack obama wasn't going to build the key stone pipeline, he would do it himself. the first thing that hit myself, like you're going to bull your own car elevator in california. so what we do know is that it is a good opening for the romney campaign. what we also know is that romney will screw it up and say something remarkably out of touch with the american people .
>> and on the campaign trail officially off things in columbus, ohio, richmond, virginia. he has a lot planned here. so he has the bully pulpit . this opportunity to, if the word is not spin, it is to give his vision of the jobs market and tie it into this report so his story line that he wants the american people to see has an opportunity to be talked about all weekend long and leading into the sunday morning programs.
>> that's right. and i think what you've seen from this president so far, if you look back at what's happened. he wants to expand the conversation beyond just the economy. he want to talk about foreign policy , student loans. he wants to talk about contraception and health care . in that way he boxes mitt romney in who does want to primarily focus on the economy. he gave a new bar today, mitt romney did, in terms of what is an acceptable level of unemployment. he said anything above 4% would be unacceptable. this to me means he is anticipating, this unemployment rate will start to go down. and he has to sort of frame it in a different way.
>> he paints himself in a box. he has to say how would mitt romney , president mitt romney get the unemployment rate down to 4%.
>> that's where the obama camp has an advantage. because all they have to do is point to governor romney 's record when he was the governor of massachusetts .
>> and they've done so.
>> thank you so much. great pleasure, have a great weekend, guys. thank you.