The Last Word | January 12, 2012
>> republican party fought over what to make of mitt romney 's record at bain capital . donald trump weighed in tweeting, newt's attacks on mitt romney record at bain an attack on free enterprise , mistake. i guess that does it. but newt gingrich doesn't want trump, rush limbaugh , or fox news advice on this one. newt gingrich still wants answers.
>> so i have been asking some questions and i am amazed at the intensity of the counterattack. it's almost as though if you ask questions you're somehow challenging the whole system. the american people have the right to know what has been happening to their economy and any candidate for president has an obligation to tell us and i think the idea that these extraordinary wealth of institutions are going to somehow bring enough pressure to bear to say, you better shut up tells you just how bad off the system has gotten. no one tells the american people that they aren't allowed to learn what has happened in their very own country.
>> and rick perry agrees.
>> it's a matter about vetting a candidate. i mean, i didn't hear anybody questioning when they were attacking me for things that hi done and li will tell you when people point to where you made a quick profit and quick people out of their jobs, that is an issue that's got to be addressed.
>> today, rick perry 's anti- bain protest cost him top republican donor barry win. he says it's like finger names on the chalk board . it just kind of irritated you to hear those kind of attacks. winn now supports the romney campaign. here is wynn defending mitt romney today.
>> any time a job is lost it's a tragedy. for the family that loses the job, it's devastating. i understand, by the way, that the obama administration is going to work very hard to put free enterprise on trial. but you know what? it works. but the downside is sometimes businesses in trouble need to shetd employment to ultimately survive and then hopefully grow again. that's what you've seen with general motors and chrysler and others.
>> karl rove offers free advice to romney in today's wall street journal . most republicans will likely ignore much of the criticism over bain because they generally approve of successful business businessmen. that's not going to be the case in the general election . mr. romney can help himself enormously if he uses the weeks ahead to forcefully front this issue. and now for the disclaimer that is stuck in this teleprompter every time we say bain capital , nbc universal is each part of the weather channel . joining me now, host of msnbc's morning joe , joe scarborough . thanks for joining me tonight.
>> i am bain capital along with you, lawrence.
>> here we go. it's time for the class warfare starts right here right now. joe , you're down in florida. you are our southern senior political republican analyst here at this network and it's coming your way. south carolina 's always been where if the campaign hasn't gotten crazy already, this is where it gets really crazy. did you imagine this happening, that this would be what they are fighting about in south caroline?
>> no. it's unbelievable and i can't believe the mistakes that newt gingrich is making over the course of the campaign but this has to be the worst yet. over the past 24 hours , the republican party has gone from rolling their eyes at the guy that they know is going to eventually get the nomination, mitt romney , to suddenly coming together in a way that the party hasn't been since ronald reagan went to the berlin wall and told gorbechov to tear it down. all are coming out and criticizing newt gingrich and criticizing, of course, rick perry . in fact, the only person defending the two seems to be sarah palin . and you want to talk about a an unholy triumph, it's just everything seems to be working in the favor of mitt romney . the guy is like mr. magoo. you're going from doing this hire-wire walk with the republican party that doesn't seem to want him and yet he's stumbling towards the nomination and newt gingrich is helping him get closer by the day.
>> i want to listen to what sarah palin said. i'm wondering, listen to the way she puts it, whether she found a way to connect this to a blue collar republican view of what this bain stuff might be. let's listen to how sarah palin put it.
>> governor romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at bain and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim and was it u.s. jobs created for the united states citizens ? you know, the 100,000 jobs and i believe that that's what governor perry is getting at is, you know, own up to the claims that's fair.
>> joe , south carolina has watched their textile jobs move off shore for decades now. is she saying something that could play in south carolina ?
>> no, i really don't think so. not in the republican party . as you know, i came in in '94. i was one of those pro types. i ran against the republican establishment locally, statewide, and nationally. of course, newt said i couldn't get elected in '94 because he thought i was too conservative for my district but i was a populist and yet this is not an area that i would go into if i were running an anti washington campaign. an anti big business campaign. i think you could talk about tax reform . i think you could say in northwest florida or alaska or in south carolina , it's not right that warren buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. i think everybody gets that. this, though, seems to go with the very nature of capitalism. just like you proudly proclaim yourself as socialists, we proclaim ourselves as capitalists and, yes, capitalism can get messy. my father lost his job from lockheed. the favorite job he ever had. he was out of business for two years and he understood he lost his job because rolls royce went bankrupt and they had to fire middle managers. he couldn't find a job for two years and yet my father remained a republican because he said, you know what, to channel mitt romney , it ain't bean bag . that's what capitalism does. there are some benefits to it. there are some rewards to it. but also it can hurt sometimes. and that message that sarah palin is making just won't play with the republican base.
>> joe , mitt romney today in giving his response to what he thinks is going on, he called it envy. he said that like that thing you just said about a populist republican could talk about in a campaign just what the top tax rate should be and maybe it should be a little different under certain circumstances.
>> that is something that mitt romney says is about envy. he reduced it all today to envy. does he have to find another way -- does the rich guy with hundreds and millions of dollars have to find another way of talking about the 60% of the people in this country who actually think -- it's actually higher than that in many polls, actually thinks that taxes should be higher on people like mitt romney ?
>> of course he does. that is a the wrong way to set it up the the fact of the matter is, mitt has handled this poorly from the beginning. he should have told the truth about bain capital . the job of bain capital is not to create jobs. it's to create profit. and if you invest in bain capital , whether you are in a public union and it's for a pension or whether you're a private investor or whether you're a university that wants to make money, they understand bain capital is not about creating jobs. it's about increasing profits. making companies as profitable as possible but the bottom line at bain capital is the bottom line and it has nothing to do with jobs. it has everything to do with profits and if you are a capitalist, if you are a free market conservative, there's nothing wrong with that. but i think mitt has to take a better tact than that. people think it's wrong. people think it's wrong that billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than, say, their secretaries and people that work in their yards. people think that it's wrong that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. but you don't tackle this problem, at least in the republican party , by attacking the free market . you do it by attacking tax codes and other things.
>> joe scarborough , msnbc's " morning joe ," the man who would be tonight's front-runner in south carolina if he could just tear himself away from morning joe . joe , thank you very much for joining me tonight.
>> well, you can say that ever about 10,000 republicans across the country right now. it's not really a great compliment.
>> it is one of the weaker fields but my money would be on you. joe , thank you very much.
>> it is painful to watch.