tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current February 8, 2012 10:00am-10:31am PST
>> all right. that's it. 398 days >> all right. that's it. 398 days since john brain boehner and the. s took the house. >> it would could be a big night no rick santorum, he's got an early lead in minnesota. the results are trickling from, and we will have the latest. then an interview with california's lieutenant governor, an early and ard either supporter of gay marriage with reaction to today's decision, proposition 8 ruled unconstitutional. and then, president obama changes his tune on super pacs. and he now says that he's going to tap into them for his election fight. what dpifs? that and much more over the next hour in the war room. come on inside.
>> the result are coming in, but we are with two great guests tonight, harmeet dhillon the chair of the san francisco g.o.p. and donnie fowler, who is head of dog patch strategies, the democratic consultant. so glad to have you both here tonight inside the war room as we check out the results as they come in. as you can see we have the board from missouri up. there's only one percent of the precincts reporting. santorum at 38% romney at 35, this has just switched within the past minute or so. only a few thousand votes in. it is predicted that santorum is going to win this. you notice that gingrich is not on the ballot here, so my first question is, is missouri really the state that is the best indicator of what the anti-romney, the
anticonsolidated romney vote might look like in someone like rick santorum? harmeet, what do you think? >> i wouldn't put it that way governor, i think missouri is a very strong state for santorum because of its high percentage of he evangelical vote herbs and that doesn't correspond necessarily to romney voters, but he does have throughout the country strong support from that particular demographic. >> in fact this area is considered the buckle of the bible belt. we'll be watching those results as they come in. it's interesting, though, in the 2008 republican primary mccain won this primary over romney. mccain 33% romney came in third. huckabee beat him out. what do you think in terms of santorum's chances donnie, as we move forward, if in fact he does take missouri and maybe even minnesota? >> well, mitt romney's turning out to be the botox candidate of 2012. no matter what he does, over time the wrinkles keep showing up whether it's his economic record when he was in business,
whether it's his showing in these primaries and caucuses. romney won colorado and minnesota four years ago. he has a really good chance he's going to lose the estates this year of the so if you're santorum, or you're gingrich, or you're paul, you're feeling like you've got a wounded duck here. >> well, you've got a chance at least, right? >> yeah. >> it means after tonight if in fact santorum wins, that we see potentially life in this republican primary extended, right? >> i would agree governor, but i see this more as a zero sum game between santorum and gingrich. i don't see these results decreasing romney supporters among the voters. >> it's interesting if you looked at the polling going in the prediction was santorum would win missouri by 35% and romney by 32, so you're right it's have question of gingrich, what does he do after tonight? let's look at what happens in minnesota. minnesota 2% of the precincts reporting, look at the santorum number 49%.
just 2%, there's a long way to go, but look at ron paul, significantly ahead of mitt romney. no wonder he was downplaying the results today. and gingrich again coming in last. we'll see what happens but here's what the prediction from minnesota looked like as they were going into tonight. the prediction was that santorum would win 33% romney 24% gingrich 22% and ron paul 20. kind of interesting. and in this one this state in 2008 the republican caucus, romney won it over mccain. so what does this mean? how does he spin this coming out if in fact he comes in as low as you see here? harmeet, how does he react? >> well, it shows he has some work to do among conservative voters obviously. again, minnesota is a state with a high number and percentage of evangelical and christian voters and so romney's got to be concerned by the fact that he's got the support of the governor of the state. >> he should be concerned that he has the support of the former governor.
>> correct. >> of the state. the current dofer, mark dayton, is actually a very popular republican. in fact in all three states, colorado minnesota missouri, the democratic governors are all very, very popular. could be important in the general election, obviously but here in this republican primary what does it say about tim pawlenty? >> well, it says doesn't have very strong coattails in the state where he used to be the governor. >> it sure does. >> there's a general rule in politics these days that endorsements adopt matter. voters are tired be being talked to, being told how to vote, and they've been told for a year that mitt romney is their nominee whether they like it or not, and a bunch of governors told them, a bunch of senators have told them, the national media has told them. >> donald trump told them. >> yes. >> very influential. >> but they're not having it. >> people are not having it. i think the party is feeling its oats. i'm going to show you colorado. rad is just finishing, so we don't have any results yet. just to give you the figures on what is expected in colorado
tonight, the prediction was that romney would win this, but by just a small margin. 37 with santorum maybe 27, gingrich 21, and paul 13. but, of course, as we look now the most important state to watch at least for the next few minutes are going to be missouri and minnesota. donnie i'm curious to know whether you think this signals that gingrich is dead. >> well, gingrich gets to decide that, and he's angry. there's nothing like a wounded animal to be afraid of. and he's wounded. by romney and by the super pac. romney is being wounded not by gingrich as much as he's being wounded by his own base. a majority of republicans are not very happy with the republican choices they have. >> sure. >> compared to last time. >> for sure. >> and turnout was lower in nevada, lower in florida. looks like it's going to be lower in these three states, than it was four years ago. so this anti-obama, change the country, conservative wave is not showing up so far.
>> and harmeet your opinion of newt gingrich? i'd love to know, who are you supporting? >> well, i'm not going to say because i'm the chairman of the county here. i would vote for any of them over president obama. >> okay, she's gotta say this. because of what her position is. >> i think you're seeing a split field for that very reason i articulated, a number of strong candidates that appeal to different sectors of the party the libertarian wing, the business wing, the sort of movement conservative wing represented by gingrich, and the social conservative wing with santorum, so we have all different aspects in our big tent republican party. >> well, california obviously a democratic state. i would say san francisco g.o.p. must have pretty small meetings. it's pretty much a progressive community. we'll talk about that a little bit tonight. hang on. really appreciate you both being here. democratic strategist donnie fowler, san francisco g.o.p. chair woman harmeet dhillon
thank you so much for joining us. and up next, unconstitutional. california's same-sex marriage ban loses another leg to stand on. setting up a legal showdown that could reach the supreme court. california's lieutenant governor gavin newsom will be here with his view on the ruling. plus family. friends. even mitt romney's dog. opposition research is a no-holds-barred business. we're going to take you inside the world of political detectives. and the concession phone call. it is the classy thing to do. as long as you actually do it. a little later our brett erlich will explain. those stories and much more, all ahead on the war room. we will be right back. only one who thinks an amendment to the constitution may be in order. that's next on "the war room."
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covered in rich, creamy chocolate. almond joy and mounds. unwrap paradise. >>this is outrageous! [[vo]]cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the rest of the media seems like, "ho-hum, no big deal." we've have no choice, we've lost our democracy here. just refreshing to hear. no other television show does that. we're keeping it real. >> major news on the gay marriage front today. federal appeals court ruled that california's ban on same-sex
marriage is unconstitutional, and the next stop is likely to be the supreme court. or maybe not. in strongly worded opinion the appeals court panel wrote quote, ... >> and then they added this rather entertaining flourish ... >> white house press secretary jay kearney didn't respond to that argument and said, the president did not want to comment on this case. on the republican side, though, mitt romney slammed the decision. in a statement he vowed to protect, quote traditional marriage. and cast himself as the leader in a movement to, quote preserve our values, unquote. but mitt's values appear to be out of line with the american public. for the first time ever, a majority of americans 53% now
think that gay marriage should be legal according to a 2011 gallup poll. and that is a -point increase over the previous year. lord only knows what it would be right now. and there's a stark difference between age groups. a full 70% of people who are 18 to 34 support gay marriage. on the other hand, just 39% of those who are 55 and older do. here's where the right to marry stands nationally. 29 states now have a statute or constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. 8 states have legalized civil unions. and 6 states have legalized gay marriage. there is perhaps no political figure who is more closely associated with the issue of gay marriage than my next guest gavin newsom is the lieutenant governor of california. and i am pleased to welcome you. here in the war room. >> thank you. >> thanks for joining us. >> it's an honor. >> is you've been fighting for this. >> yeah. >> you've been leading it. what's the significance for california now? >> it's remarkable, we're here in san francisco almost eight
years to the day when we initiated weddings between 4,000 couples over a remarkable month tried to put a human face on this issue because you can debate the issue of civil rights, you can debate the issue of gender equalitiy and mearnl equalitiy, but you have to pataki face on it, create a narrative story of love, devotion relationships and that's i think dramatically what's begun to change. and not what we did in san francisco in '04 but how we've talked about this, human i had the issue. >> changed the dialogue. >> substantively across the country, and that's what you see in the polls and you seat generational components of this where there's a real sense of progress as relates to convincing young folks there are other things we need to be focused on. so i think we're making tremendous progress. people are coming around not just in national polls but even in they their own hearts to the notion that separate is not equal, and the idea of running the 90-yard dash on civil unions is not a full construct and the full you constitution should be
afforded all measures. >> -- all americans. >> in california today if somebody wants to get married andate gay couple, what happens to them today in light of this ruling? >> we anticipate the stay will be upheld, so right now no majors are moving forward. about 18,000 couples did get married within five and a half, six months between the california supreme court interestingly, republican ron george chief justice writing the majority opinion making the opportunity for people to get married available. we had six months where that door was open, then prop 8 closed that do, and that's what this decision ultimately adjudicated, that waits wrong to deny rights that were already extended to a protected class not an dissimilar opinion to the one justice kennedy at the u.s. supreme court advanced on the 1996 decision in colorado. >> the jungle was have shrewd in tailoring this opinion toward that particular decision. on the other hand, some have said this may be too narrow for the u.s. supreme court to take up. >> that's the bittersweet point.
we wanted to see this advance judge walker, the lower court the district court's opinion in toto where there were 80-plus specific findings of fact that there were extraordinarily compelling and it was a much broader decision that could have been adjudicated at the appellate court, but this at least advance as prop 8 constitutionality in a way that gives us tremendous confidence to turn the corner on this in the near future. >> on this particular case, the folks who lost to those in favor of proposition 8 say that they are or are not going to take it to an enbanc panel of the th circuit? are they going going to take it to the sphreem, do we know? >> they're taking their chances it's one of the larger circuits, there's risk there. the hope and expectation is it goes to the u.s. supreme courtment with we want the larger question, not the narrow question of california, as much as that's important to me and people in california, tbheed to advance this across the country. >> so assuming it's not this
case that raises that broader issue, what case is it? >> it's the right question. we know the doma decision is compelling obviously that's taking defense of marriage and we know the obama administration did the right thing in pulling back from their defense of doma. we're making a lot of progress, and invariably something goes in front of the court i hope what david boyes has put togetrnd tedlslsen. >> let's tete t te presio ntpsint amam u wu wayay kearneyey today saiai he has not changed his position on this. >> yeah. >> now i know there is some other data out here from that gallon -- gallup poll, which is that 78% of liberals support gay marriage 65% of moderates support gay major -- marriage. so if you had to give president obama advice in the middle of an election should the president reverse his decision? >> i think he should do what he thinks -- well, i think he should do the right thing. as dr. king reminded us, it's
always the right time to do the right thing and stand up on principlement you can't run the 90-yard dark as i said on equality, marriage is marriage f. we believe in full equality for some americans regardless of gender and ethnicity we need to believe that. >> what would you suggest? >> to do what's in the best interest of his reelection, because no president in history has done more to advance the rights of the gay community than president obama. >> is it an important thing he's done? >> he's done a remarkable a. a significant year was 2011 with don't ask, don't tell. on doma, what he's done in antibullying legislation, the number of appointees. >> do you think all of these are sufficient to assuage the gay and lesbian community for him not coming out in support overtly of gay marriage right to you? >> i think again truly no president's done more, and i believe fundamentally the best is yet to come with president
obama. to deny him the chance to prove that or me to prove my belief i think would be a terrible mistake for the gay an lesbian community. i think we need to embrace him wholeheartedly, in mind of how far we've come in a very short period of time stand up and do the right thing. i have great confidence he will. good people can disagree, not just republicans but democrats can disagree on this and i understand probably more nanny human being how difficult this is even within my own party i took an enormous amount of grief for many years within the base of my party that believed it was too much too soon, too fast. >> talk about that for a moment, because you were on the fronten lines and somebody who was roundly criticized certainly by folks across the country people who said, oh, sure, it's easy for him in san francisco to be in favor of gay marriage, but how does that play out? do you feel a sense of vindication today? >> oh, vindication pride spirit, you know. i think the one thing that, more than anything else, the great victor in all this was the u.s.
constitution. see, my point and the point i've made over and over again there's something right with the constitution. president bush thought there was something wrong. mitt romney and santorum think there's something wrong with the constitution. isn't that ironic, from my perspective, it doesn't allow us to discriminate, that's why they want to amend it. i don't think it needs amending, we need to uphold the principles of the constitution, of this great republic, our democracy and that's the liberty and freedom of all to live their lives and be fully expressive. so the irony is in many respects more of a strict constructionist, the constitution was a real victor, and i think those that believe otherwise are making a huge historical mistake, and with all due respect to mitt romney, to suggest as he and governor christie have, as well, that somehow the rights of the minority should be submit to the whims of a majority is pretty damning because either they're not historians or completely denied their history lessons. no government can afford it on that principle. in 1967, 70% of americans
opposed interracial marriage, the year the u.s. supreme court jected those 16 states and denied it. imagine if we submitted that class of people. >> the change of people's opinion has been more inspiring than almost anything else. >> yeah. >> the rapid change of people in recognizing what's fair and what's not fair, what's just and not just. thankthank you for your leadership on i. let's hope that it goes one way or the other to the supreme court. >> yes. >> and that the justices on the supreme court actually find fairness as well. we hope that we have five justices which may include justice kennedy on that decision. so gavin newsom, thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> we're glad to have you here. >> thank you. >> up next, for better or worse politics is not the place you want to end up a dollar light and a vote short. camp obama jumps into the super pac pool, and we'll tell you why. and later, words can be
deceiving. they can also be revealing. geel inside the language of politics. you are in the war room. only on current tv. [ male announcer ] cookies with smooth caramel and chocolate. ♪ ♪ hmm twix. also available in peanut butter. it gives me a healthy scalp and great looking hair. does it do anything else for you? no? no? yes. [ male announcer ] head & shoulders. 7 benefits. 1 bottle.
icy, cool flavor in a delicious 5-calorie stick of gum. ♪ ♪ polar ice. from extra. >> tonight's behind the lines it's all about super pacs. the three biggest super pacs are republican controlled, including restore our future. it's closely tied to g.o.p. front runner mitt romney, and as of december, the last time it had to disclose its donation, the super pac had taken more than $30 million in, but how much it's raised between now and then anybody's guess.
all secret. we have to wait until a filing. president obama has been a staunch opponent of super pacs, and the citizens united decision. but political reality has set in and he now says he will use them in his reelection campaign. why the about-face? senior democratic officials warn republican operatives like karl rove and wealthy g.o.p. dopers like the koch brothers will spend a half billion dollars to defeat president obama. so is president obama responding to a political reality or trying to have it both ways? democratic strategist donnie fowler joins us again in the war room and from washington we're joined by the organizer of national occupation of washington kevin zeese. thank you so much, both of you for joining us. let me start by asking you for a reaction to something that senator russ fine gold, former senator, said. this is what his comments were. he said the decision by the president was quote dumb strategy. he said, ...
>> let me start with kevin. what's your response to that? >> corporate lite is being kind. i think this kind of mass spending on elections is more corruption of our government. it really shows the december function of our government. the federal election commission, the department of justice, the f.b.i. could have investigated karl rove's two crossroads and crossroads gps. he was using a nonprofit 501c4 to hide donations and avoid federal election laws that show shob something they took on a year ago. our group protect our elections, complained about that and vanity seen any action. president obama has sunk in and surrendered to big money. this is not new for him he was the first president to run without using the campaign finance laws in his first election. so he has been a big-money
candidate throughout, he's holding campaign fundraisers of $38,500, that's more than the median income of americans. it shows why people are out of touch with the government, the government is out of touch with the people and we need an occupy movement to challenge both political parties. >> donee tell me what you think. >> sometimes i think progressives would rather bring a knife to a gun fight and capitulate the battle. the problem here is we cannot unilaterally disargentina's the president cannot unilaterally disarm. he's facing an overwhelming amount of money that's hidden behind the karl rove, koch brothers axis, and we'd rather, sometimes progressives and reformers would rather be weak and right than like the republicans, strong but wrong. >> let pe ask kevin that. obviously you've got 500 million dollars, potentially, being raised on the republican side. isn't there an argument, a good argument that if we really want to see a change in this, which is really a constitutional amendment to get money out of
politics, corporate money out of politics that the best way to do that is to make sure that president obama in the second term leads the charge for a constitutional amendment to do so, and his campaign manager jim messina said effectively some language like that today. isn't that the best strategy rather than giving up? >> no, no one's giving up. in fact what the occupy movement believes is an independent movement to pressure both parties. we don't see president obama as progressive or even liberal his healthcare bill was for the insurance industry, his energy policy favors nuclear energy he's not progressive not liberal. we see him as part of the corrupt system, sorry to say. we're focuses not on the elections but on building a movement to transform the society away from the corruption of both these political parties. >> maybe he can talk to mitt romney and the republicans too. he says he's not a progressive. >> i'm t republicans too, they have criticism, no question.
>> here's the important thing jennifer that the vast majority of president obamaes election money in 2008 was from small donors of less than $150. and that's also turning out to be true this time. so any sense here that big-money corporate america is going to walk in and support a president that they haven't supported so far is crazy. the money is going to come from working families, our friends in labor, our friends in the clean air -- >> well, i think a point for the super pac is it's going to come from wherever it can come from. my point is -- >> if we -- >> hang on kepcher if we want to see this change we're not going to get it if the prups do it, if the republicans are in power. there's not another candidate out there that has talked even about citizens united being the wrong decision in changing the laws. and i'm wondering if on the progressive side of the spectrum, and i completely understand what you're saying and your frustration about seeing this happen today. however, i feel like our best shot at getting the law changed is with president obama.
certainly then thoughing in the towel with the republicans. >> well no, one wants to throw in the towel the republicans or the democrats. what has made change happen in the past is independent movements that challenged both parties. dr. martin luther king never endorsed a candidate he believed it was important to have independent, two parties he pressured both parties he got support and opposition for both parties. that's what's going happen. we need a people's movement that will push the politiciansings year not going to trust the poll situations, including president obama. >> i respect that, i really do, but i also want to make sure that we have the best opportunity to get a constitutional amendment and i think that lies with president obama rather than the republicans, and my question to you, kevin the last sort of way i'd love to wrap this, is to ask you whether the occupy movement, assuming that there is a national push, can the occupy