The Last Word | May 02, 2012
>> presidential campaign history. a history that we will soon forget.
>> in a real sense, we can be free of radical islam , saudi kings, and chinese bond holders.
>> and we are now free of newt gingrich because he apparently recently learned to count, he is no longer so confident about his future.
>> i'm going to be the nominee.
>> we are going to win and we will be in tampa as the nominee in august.
>> by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon.
>> by the end of my second term. gingrich may be gone but his contribution to the presidential campaign will not be forgotten. essentially his contributions to the obama re- election campaign .
>> as a man wants to run for president of the united states , who can't be honest with the american people , why should we expect him to level about anything if he's president? you certainly have to say that he engaged in behavior that left behind 1700 people.
>> there was a pattern in some companies, a handful of them, of leaving them with enormous debt and then within a year or two or three having them go broke and that is something he ought to answer. i don't know of any american president who has a swiss bank account . i'd be glad for you to explain that sort of thing. the romney machine can drive down turnout, run over opponents with negative ads. it doesn't seem positive. the result is very, very worry some if you're thinking about the fall campaign.
>> are you calling mitt romney a liar?
>> newt gingrich could not bring himself to endorse mitt romney today, even though gingrich has already lost his two most prominent endorses, mitt romney and herman cain who has endorsed their party as the nominee. this is the best newt could do for mitt today.
>> as to the presidency, i'm asked sometimes, is mitt romney conservative enough? and my answer is simple. compared to barack obama , you know, this is not a choice between mitt romney and ronald reagan . this is a choice between mitt romney and the most radical leftist president in american history .
>> any political media today controlled by newt gingrich is an odd one. mitt romney issued a statement about newt today that was presented on fox news this way.
>> mitt romney has released a statement on the departure of newt gingrich on the campaign. it reads, in part, ann and i are proud to call newt and callista friends. we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead. that from mitt romney . politics is weird and creepy. and now i know even the elucist attachment to reality.
>> and now for more weird and creepy, joining me now are steve, a political columnist for salon and msnbc analyst and richard wolf , an msnbc political analyst . we will now spend a few minutes discussing the weird and creepy. starring newt gingrich . mr. alec baldwin sat in that chair last night and said, all you have to do in the obama campaign is run newt gingrich stuff, which they are not doing.
>> it's clear to me that even in a presidential primary in the same party, harsh words are going to be exchanged. what gingrich said about romney stands out for two reasons. one, unusually vicious personally. he called the guy a liar. but number two, a lot of the attacks were basically the same attacks that democrats want to be making against mitt romney in the fall. all the stuff about bain involves a swiss bank account . what i think about is, if there's a parallel here, it's 1980 . one of the most devastating general election ads that i've ever seen was run by ronald reagan and they took 30 seconds from ted kennedy against carter, railing against jimmy carter and his failure as president, there was the ad.
>> richard wolf , to be fair to newt gingrich --
>> -- and there's no reason not to be. everything he said about mitt romney was a legitimate shot in the presidential campaign . i don't remember him taking any cheap shots.
>> no. and he had reason to be disdained. of course, the irony was is that here was a guy that had doing something more than anything else and has delighted in tearing people down and not engaging in politics but also as a permanent campaign and precisely the tactics that poured heat upon his head and they did him in. so, yes, all of his defense and counter attacks, yes, they were grounded in more reality than that statement we heard from mitt romney but the tactics that killed him and tactics that he unleashed on american politics for much, much bigger deal and goals and damage to our society than, frankly, this election campaign .
>> let's listen to the last thing that president obama said about newt gingrich , which was actually at the white house correspondence dinner.
>> now, i know at this point many of you are expecting me to go after my likely opponent, newt gingrich . newt, there's still time, man.
>> steve, newt should know that by saturday night, in fact, long before that, had he become a joke. and so today when he comes out there to do his farewell announcement, he maybe should have written something down instead of this wild gingrich stream of consciousness , this is how weird and creepy i can be as shepherd smith picked up on.
>> you've got to stick with your brand.
>> and he's an anti teleprompter brand.
>> but he said in the year 2020 , and the end of the mitt romney term, he thinks he will be too old to be viable to be a presidential campaign . so he conceded that the gingrich 2020 campaign will not get off the ground.
>> i want to go back to the original burst of i guess honesty in newt's case that spells trouble for his campaign. he was on "meet the press" with david gregory a year ago and this was his first big problem.
>> i don't think right wing social engineering has any more desirable and a better medicare system and more choices for seniors. and imposing radical change , i'm going to be against a conservative imposing radical change .
>> richard wolffe , it is kind of a miracle and that was against the front-runner of the candidacy that for a while, the republican party really didn't want to see make it all the way.
>> right. because if there's one thing more weird and creepy than newt gingrich , it's actually the multiple personality disorder of the republican party . how could someone so wrong be so right? his critique of the ryan plan was spot on but his critique of the president, he called it the in the american history and it's barely 24 hours after president obama says we're going to be in afghanistan after 2024 , not a very good radical leftist . failure at being a social radical and he had moments of lucidity and completely you're going to have to be selective about these quotes if you use them from chicago, by the way. some of them go right off the rails.
>> i assume the mitt romney campaign doesn't care what newt gingrich says at this point. doesn't care if he endorses. he will at some point endorse but they don't care.
>> that's the one solace that they can take, about how this played out. the newt gingrich campaign was the triumph of political science . whatever the elite party thought, the first thing they did was knock him down and so he has very little standing.
>> big names in washington came out and said, in effect, newt is crazy.
>> absolu saying, don't go with this.
>> whatever lack of enthusiasm there was for romney , there was total enthusiasm to make sure that newt gingrich did not leave this party.
>>> coming up, more on the gingrich effect, including how newt destroyed the founding father's vision of congress.
>>> and how republican party gay bashers targeted the romney campaign and forced an openly gay member of the romney team to resign. and in the rewrite tonight, you are going to hear the vicious baptist pastor who advocated child abuse in his sunday sermon. he