The Last Word | November 14, 2012
>>> mitt romney got caught once again saying what he really thinks today and in a "last word" exclusive, we have the "new york times" reporter who heard him say it.
>> i care about a hundred percent of the american people .
>> mitt romney 's press conference called.
>> it's not their fault, it's somebody else's fault.
>> obama, romney argued, had been very generous with black, hispanics and young votevoters.
>> i think the surprise was some of the turnout, especially in the urban areas .
>> paul ryan lost his hometown.
>> he lost his hometown --
>> which is not a particularly urban place.
>> they voted against him twice.
>> losing never feels good.
>> president obama will hold his first press conference --
>> to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
>> will the fiscal cliff be the number one conversation piece?
>> there's only so much we can say about this fiscal cliff/slope.
>> i argued for a balanced approach. the majority of the voters agreed with me.
>> i think they're popular ideas.
>> i think the majority of voters agreed with me.
>> clearly president obama won.
>> losing never feels good.
>> no more mr. nice guy .
>> the president responds to questions about susan rice --
>> about the benghazi attacks.
>> senator mccain and senator graham want to go after somebody, they should go after me.
>> former cia director david petraeus will testify before the senate intelligence committee .
>> general petraeus had an affair with his biographer. people are snapping up copies of the book.
>> it's so pathetic.
>> the book is available in hard cover and extremely hard cover.
>>> today on an i'm sorry i lost conference call with top campaign don't oorors, mitt romney said the president won the election because he game african-american and latino voters, quote, gifts. abc news has this audio.
>> what the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.
>> romney also said that the president's campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift so he made a big effort on small things. those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars. he said the president followed the old play book of wooing specific interest groups , especially the african-american community, the his it andic community and young people . mr. romney explained with targeted gifts and initiatives in each case they were very generous in what they gave those groups. he also said our strategy worked well with many people but for those who were given a specific gift, if you will, our strategy did not work terribly well. mitt military particularly cited the president's health care plan. you can imagine for somebody making 20,000 or 25,000 or 30,000 a year you're now going to get free health care , you're now going to have it, you're going to get free health care , particularly if you don't have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 for farmly. likewise with his it andic voters, free health care was a big plus. but in addition the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called dream act kids. with regards to the young people , for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift, free contraceptives were very big with young college aged women and obama care, as you know, now 26 years of age or younger was now going to be part of their parents' plan and that was a big gift to young people . now we know what mitt romney is doing for three hours a day after the election. he's listening to this guy.
>> small things beat big things yesterday. conservatism in my humble opinion did not lose last night. it's just very difficult to beat santa claus . now, say what you want but romney did after a vision of traditional america .
>> and in their postelection slowdown, mitt and ann are obviously having dinners on trays in front of the tv listening to this guy.
>> the demographics are changing. it's not a traditional america anymore. and there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. they want things. and who is going to give them things? president obama .
>> joining me now, "new york times" reporter ashley parker, who was actually on the mitt romney conference call with his big donors today and msnnbc's joy reid and ari. was mitt romney aware that you and possibly others got on to the call?
>> no, i do not think he was aware. i think he thought he was just talking to members of his information finance team.
>> we just heard a pretty good tape of abc. my suspicion is there will be more tape of this phone call coming out.
>> i'm sure there will. i was on the call, an " l.a. times " reporter was on the call. a lot of that audio was in the stories that have already been published today.
>> will there be any more surprising we'll learn about what he said on this call the reports that are out there pretty much capture it all?
>> i think it hit the highlights where he was talking about the gifts president obama gave african-american voters, his hispanic voters and young voters. and also a pollster, he felt that sandies, the storm, that occurred the week before the election made a difference. one, he said it allowed the president to look presidential. you know, he was sort of doing presidential duties and handling the storm. the second thing was that it took up a lot of the awaves. newhouse said the public was rightly focused on the storm but it didn't allow the romney campaign to prosecute their message. the third thing he said was president obama was a able to make use of his relationship with governor chris christie and behave in an elevated bipartisan way that governor romney had been trying to do.
>> was there any whiff of bitterness with regard to the reference it chris christie ?
>> no. on the call he mentioned it was a statement of fact.
>> and what about responses from any of the big donors on the call? were there any complaints? were there any reactions from them at the notion that mitt romney used all their money in what was a losing effort?
>> the donors on this call were not able to ask questions. i've heard gripes from donors privately but on this call someone on it described it to me as a spin and grin. it was the romney campaign kind of explaining why they felt they lost and also thanking the donors for what they said was a very good job and talking about the donors actually going forward, about maybe an annual meet organize monthly news letter so this group of people, they said, could shape the republican party to come.
>> i would think you might have a reaction to this.
>> that would be the most expensive news letter in history. i thought i'd been black a long time. i didn't get my gifts. so i'm a little miffed with the barack obama white house .
>> it might be under your pillow, under the christmas tree .
>> i have a feeling chris christie might have gotten gifts before i did. i would think if you're trying to market a product, the product being the republican party , probably not a good idea to insult the following demographics you'd like to one day pursue, latinos, african-americans, young people . mitt romney has insulted everyone that the republican party operatives now want to win over. so i think the gift he might want to give his party is the gift of silence.
>> let's talk about the rank stupidity of romney and the candidate himself. how did he not know that others would be getting these tapes? this was at a big fund-raiser where he got betrayed in effect by videotape once before. at this point those donors have nothing before in letting ashley and others be involved.
>> when your staff sent me ashley 's articles, i hadn't seen the remarks yet. when i read them, it made me really angry. it made me feel like this guy who lost and has already had his time in the public eye and had his platform is coming back out to be racially divisive, to denigrate the president. i'm not the white house social secretary but if i were, i would say, mr. romney , you're now denigrating the public, you're spitting in the president's face, your invite to the white house is revoked forever. he has here a world view that has become so synonymous with the government party that, government is just a transaction. you ask those people who are suffering from hurricane sandy and relying on whether it's chris christie or barack obama whether they're getting gifts. they're not getting gifts. they're relying on our government to do what it does best, which is look out for people. and then fourth on a narrower point, his electoral analysis is totally wrong zap.s
>> it's a real losers analysis. people over 55 went for romney . we spend as a government more on them than we do on the groups he mentioned.
>> did you think he's oblivious to the sense that you and others would be listening to this?
>> alts week afrlt election and he's doing this postmortem and trying to figure out the numbers and what went wrong. i got the sense i don't think he was worried about reporters being on the call, i got the sense he was struggling to explain what happened to him. he actually said we expected to win, you expected to us win, what happened is still so upsetting to us that we can barely look to the future. that's what he seemed to be talking about on that call.
>> coming up, what happens in vegas stays in vegas and what happens in the cia ends up on every web site in america ? the last words intelligent correspondent who just happens to be based in vegas will explain it all.
>> and the senate has a new joe mccarthy , a republican senator who used the mccarthy model of character assassination today in lying about u.n. ambassador susan rice . he wasn't the only senator attacking susan rice today, but he told a provable lie that is something even joe mccarthy would have been reluctant to say. and that's tonight. aspirin, really? i