The Daily Rundown | April 03, 2012
>>> morning from washington it is tuesday, april 3rd , 2012 , a primary day. this is the daily run down, i'm chuck todd . get right to my first read of the morning, start in wisconsin . rick santorum claims the state suspect do-or-die. yes, it is. we all disagree. voters going to the polls in wisconsin , maryland and here in the district of columbia . three contests where mitt romney is comfortably ahead earthquake the romney campaign seems to be taking nothing for granted.
>> take the next step in which is, which i need to you go out in vote. i need to you get out and vote are get your friends to do the same thing.
>> santorum is counting on a rural turnout in yet another big industrial midwestern state to keep his candidacy alive.
>> i'm asking small-town america, rural america , rural america , rural wisconsin , to come out and speak loudly.
>> you know, a quick look at today's primaries by the numbers. 39 delegates at stake in wisconsin it is a modified winner-take-all, 37 delegates up for grabs in maryland , another modified winner-take-all, congressional districts and statewide and washington, d.c. is fully winner-take-all, where santorum is not on the ballot. 16 delegates at stake there romney is just south of half of the 1,144 he needs win the nomination with 490 in our nbc community. santorum has less than half that number, sitting at just 203 delegates tonight. co-wing a couple of congressional districts tonight, maybe one in maryland , we will see. mitt romney wins wisconsin tonight there is no stopping him from getting to 1144 . though santorum now acknowledges the odds of winning the nomination are against him, he argues that a prolonged fight isn't bad for the party. stumping in wisconsin yesterday, he said a contested convention would be "a fascinating display of open democracy ."
>> i think this pry america the long ter goes, the bet ter is for the party. people even said, go to the convention would be dangerous. no i think it would be an energizing thing for our party to have, you know, a candidate emerge who this a -- who isn't the isn't the blessed candidate of the republican establishment.
>> santorum is digging in for another month of campaigning.
>> crisscross pennsylvania, the maps look better for must may.
>> he is desperately trying to get may. a new quinnipiac poll out shows santorum is leading romney by six points in his home state, 41-35 among likely republican voters, single digits, folk, not good for santorum , especially if he loses tonight. pennsylvania's primary is april 24th . the calendar says to sd primary day but the words and actions of the republicans and democrats alike have the feel of the general election today. in a 12:30 speech to newspaper executives at the associated press lunch.the president will strike back at the republican budget plan. promoted by the guy who has been romney 's constant companion in the trail the last 72 hours , congressman paul ryan . according to excerpts of the speech, the president will say broad-based prosperity never trick reallied down from the success of a wealthy few it has always come from the success of a strong and growing mild class. this congress hal republican budge pet, however, is something different all together. it's a trojan horse . disguised as a deficit reduction plan, it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. it's nothing but thinly veiled social darwinism . it's antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who's willing to work for it. the white house is billing this as an important speechly build on the themes of economic equal that president began to lay out in december back in kansas, if you recall. by the way, this ap luncheon speech is historically a marker speech for presidents running for re-election n 2004 , george w. bush used it to defend his iraq policy before the newspaper editorsing "we are changing the world for the better." every sitting president since calvin coolidge speaks there. romney speak there is tomorrow. rom think? trying to exploit what he believes is the president's biggest vulnerabilities, high gas prices .
>> he somehow doesn't like the energy we have in abundance, coal, oil, natural gas . he has made it harder and harder for us to get those resources.
>> today the team, team obama, is trying to respond, attacking romney by name in an ad for the first time this new tv ad is called "remember," airing in colorado, florida, iowa, nevada, ohio and virginia.
>> under president obama , domestic oil production 's at an eight-year high. so why is big oil attacking him? because he's fighting to end their tax breaks . mitt romney stood with big oil , for their tax breaks , attacking higher mileage standards a reend newables. so when you see this ad, remember who paid for it and what they want.
>> you see what they are doing there, a little bit of a response ad, actually, a lot of a response ad to the american energy association conservative interest group there and it's a little bit of an attack ad on romney . romney enjoyed having his name in the ad, it appears. he fired back.
>> i think is a kind of amusing and actually troubling for the president of the united states to be looking for someone to blame. a lot of qual that's you look for in a president. blaming other people is not one of them.
>> seated among oil drums for that fox news interview, by the way, romney anticipated the charge that he has defended tax breaks for big oil .
>> not sure precisely what big tax breaks we are talking about. what i like to do is to get the tax rate down so we are competitive with europe, for pete's sakes, get the tax rates down and eliminate a lot of the deduction and breaks and the special deals that a lot of different industries get.
>> i'm guessing the obama administration would have asked for that backdrop for romney . and another response to a tv ad campaign by a c -- a conservative group by the koch brothers. finally i president obama gave his first response to the supreme court oral arguments over the health care law , saying it will be uphechld the only surprise is that he went public with the strategy that we reported last week that the white house was going to fall back on if the court ruled against them.
>> ultimately, i'm confident that the supreme court will not take what would be an unpress depend -- unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress.
>> the president wand the court, hoe called a group of unelected people, about overturned the law.
>> for years, what we have heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint . well, there's a good example and i'm pretty confident that this -- this court will recognize that and not take that step.
>> interesting decision there by the president to quote conservative rhetoric about the courts and puts conservatives in a little bit of a box on this one. they criticized the president too hard because if they have ever used anti- judicial activism rhetoric in their own political arguments it will look hypocritical. last night, mitt romney did his best to respond to the president.
>> isn't this wonderful, to finally have a liberal talking about judicial activism ? what the president is complaining about, however, is that the supreme court might actually apply the constitution to the bill that he passed.
>> more proof that judicial activism is, of course, in the eye of the beholder .