tv NBC10 Issue NBC January 31, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm EST
♪ the presidential nomination process kicks off tomorrow in iowa. it's a first glimpse at the winners and losers picked by the people not the polls. monday evening's caucus results could spell doom for one of the candidates and celebration for another. >> good morning. decision 2016 heaps up. the big day is near. tomorrow's iowa caucuses will have a nation wide impact. a first time that a candidate can show they have what it takes to win. pennsylvania senator rick santorum came out in top in iowa
but later lost the nomination to mitt romney. in 2008, the republican winner was former arkansas governor mike huckabee. since iowa became the first caucus back in 1972, only three republican winners have gone on to become the nominee. five for the democrats, including president barack obama in 2008. caucuses in iowa are nothing like the primaries in pennsylvania, new jersey, and delaware. in iowa, voters gather all at the same time on monday night. the republicans vote by secret ballot and the totalled are tallied statewide. the democrats discussions are more like a debate. attendees group according to the preferred candidate to be counted. the candidate must get 15% to survive. party officials count the votes not government officials. again, those iowa caucuses are tomorrow and i'll be there. be sure to stick with nbc 10 from the center of the action beginning at nbc 10 at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and all day on
monday. with me to discuss the impact of the iowa caucus results and what they could mean for the area are two local political insiders. republican political analyst joe watkins and philadelphia democratic political consultant eleanor debbie. thank you for being here. let's start with the democrats. i talked about there are no sure things. hillary clinton has been here before. things didn't turn out for her the way she wanted. has she made the changes this year that could have a different result? >> from what i understand talking to the staff in iowa, there's a large ground game there and it's getting everyone to the caucus. from what i understand the pennsylvania staff is out there. they're doing everything to get the people there. guess what. it's supposed to be good weather. so sometimes iowa this time of the year is a little iffy. it might look like we had last weekend but it's warmer and sunny. i think there's going to be a massive turn out and there's a
lot of interest. and i see a lot of interest in both sides of the aisle in this presidential election. >> how important is iowa for her? is it a must win? >> it's not a must win. it would be great because barack obama won it in 2008. i think she wants to win it. i think she's out there. i think she's talking about the issues. she's found out what the issues are in iowa and she's really focussing on that. she's looking at that and looking at new hampshire. she's really focussed on there. she was in philadelphia last night. she made it quite clear that iowa is very important to her. on. >> on the republican side, there was a report ted cruz talking to folks, talking about donald trump, his rival saying for he won the iowa caucuses that he could be unstoppable. obviously he's trying to motivate people. but is there some truth to that? >> it could be a self-fulfilling prophesy, actually.
basically what he's saying if donald trump wins the iowa caucuses, it will be a test of how strong donald trump's ground game is. if donald trump wins the iowa caucuses, it's going to be hard to stop him because he's likely going to win new hampshire. he's got a sizable lead in new hampshire and likely going to win south carolina. and then maybe nevada after that. it would be very hard for anybody to up end him if he gets ahead of steam. >> he's getting so much free media. that is what is driving the others crazy. they're doing paid media and he's just getting it free. >> and there are so many candidates still in this race on the republican side -- >> for the moment. >> could this go on longer, even though, you know, we're talking about him potentially being unstoppable. could it end up going longer because there are so many than it usually does and states like pennsylvania that have these later primaries. could we end up being more of a player. >> people say hypothetically we might not know anything because
the way the primaries are being weighed by republicans now until march or april. but you have to realize that for candidates that are in the game now, it's a matter of money. you have to have money in order to pay the salaries of your paid staff in all those states. >> and move them around. >> and move them as needed. if you lose badly in iowa and you lose again badly you don't place in the top group in new hampshire and then south carolina comes along you don't place in the top group there, it becomes hard for you to continue to raise the money needed to pay your staff people to keep going. so you'll likely see people drop out of the race if they don't do well in iowa, new hampshire, and certainly by south carolina they're done. >> what would happen is a large donors begin to narrow the field by how they do that is by not contributing and then the candidate can't pay the staff and they have to say it's over and they back out. and joe is right. what is happening here is, i think, by nevada there will be a
few less republicans. look, i think on our side o'malley is going to have to get out shortly. it's basically hillary and bernie. and, you know, look, it's going to be over for us by the time it gets to pennsylvania. in pennsylvania hillary has such a ground game and such strong support. all the leadership here, senator casey the highest ranking senior senator from pennsylvania endorsed hillary. she's got pennsylvania. her thrust has to be the caucuses. but she knows that she's going to come in here strong. she would like to have some of them under her belt to say i have popularity all over. >> watching what is what happened with bernie sanders and donald trump, as well, as you're talking to folks here in this area who may be running for office very soon. are they watching what is happening with those two? and maybe kind of changing how they are approaching? >> you have to. you have to be concerned. and whoever is at the top of the
ticket will have an impact on your race if you're running statewide, for instance, in pennsylvania this year. whoever is at the top of the ticket on the d side or the r side will have an impact on your race. s it has an impact on who comes out to the polls to vote in november and the enthusiasm of your side. so it doesn't mean that a candidate still can't win if the person leading the ticket on his or her side isn't who they want to see there. but it means they'll have to make the stronger case for themselves. but you can't deny the fact that whoever is leading the ticket has an impact. certainly when barack obama won, he brought a lot of democrats in with him back in 2008. he ran and got a lot of voters to show up at the polls. it had a huge impact for candidates running nationally. >> and remember this year in pennsylvania we're electing a united states senator, the house of representatives congress, state house, state senate and treasurer, authditor general, a
attorney general. all of those offices are looking who is at the top of their ticket and it will mold their campaign, too. >> not just that, we given the attraction of candidates like donald trump and bernie sanders, could they potentially change their message? >> i don't know if they'll change their message, but i think what they're looking at is to see if they're going to cherry pick some of the issues and say maybe it's not something i'm focussed on and it may change not so much the message but where they prioritize the issues. >> yeah. it's been, you know, fascinating to watch. what will iowa tell you? what will the results from iowa actually tell you? >> i think the number one thing it will tell us is the level of interest. i'm predicting there's going to be a larger turn out ever. just because, i think a lot is maybe the weather and, also, the interests. i think young people are engaged in this. i say that bernie sanders has given a young people a boost in this campaign. and age lot of people are coming out to see donald trump. >> what will iowa tell you?
>> it will tell us how good donald trump's ground game is. certainly he's been leading nationally in the polls by a substantial margin, and he's been leading by a smaller margin in iowa. whether or not he's able to make that -- turn that into a victory in iowa will be tedetermined by how long strong his ground game is. it will tell us ground game in new hampshire and south carolina might be look. for the most part, it will show us how close the polls are to ground game. >> we don't hear much about donald trump's staff. we don't know who he has out there. >> we could be hearing a little bit more pretty soon. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. appreciate your perspective today. next on nbc 10 "@ issue." a new book about chris christie's rise to power. we'll talk to the local author who followed christie.
you want me to go down there with a mop? >> a comment that didn't sit too well with res dents of the jersey shore. chris christie said it in new hampshire when asked why he wasn't back in new mexico doine in the blizzard aftermath. he's known for being outspoken but some say he went too far. the local author is too familiar with the governor and the outbursts. american governor chris christie is written by a former enquirer reporter. it covers everything from the bridge gate scandal to christie's weight. matt is with me now. thank you for joining us. >> do you wish you were still writing? >> yeah. he continues to make news and continues to provide to thor for somebody trying to tell a story about interesting politician. who says that? it's compelling. a governor of a state that is experiencing flooding somebody
asked why don't you go help? you want me to bring a mop? he ended up softening the tone toward the end and worked his way out of it. he finds himself in these situations where he says something that is seemingly outrageous but seems to attract people's attention. >> you have covered him for a number of years. let's talk about some of his tough talk that we often hear from him. are we hearing sort of an unvarnished view of a guy, or are we seeing a carefully crafted image? what are we seeing, from your perspective? >> i think it's a little bit of both. i think it's mostly genuine. you know, when he's saying sit down and shut up to somebody who heckles him at a meeting or town hall meeting, he's getting a little upset and he's like, you know, gets angry and he's letting it out there. i also think, tell it like it is is the name of his campaign
slogan. i think he accentuates it. i think he knows that is his image and has tried to highlight it. >> he's okay with it? >> sure. not only okay with it, but youtube clips of him yelling at constituents or going after public school teachers to try to argue with them about his policies to cut their benefits, his team is taxpayer finance wi them on youtube, send them out to reporters and tv producers around the country. it's an image that part of who he is but something that has been very cultivated and sophisticately cultivated by his staff in order to build the national reputation. >> how did it start? how did they decide it was going to be a strategy? >> i think it was happenstance in his first year in office, a teacher got up at a town hall meeting he was holding and challenged him on something, and he said -- and he went after
her. she kind of got upset with him and he just put her in her place. than video virally spread in conservative circles around the country. his team realized they had something unique on their hands. a guy that could talk in front of a microphone, a guy quick on his feet, and saying thing that was resonating with a certain conservative around the country. they started doing things like, you know, they hired a stage management expert for the governor's office so when they would have town hall meets they had the right light to look good. they hired a video team to go around to his public events so they could cut the youtube videos immediately and send them around the country. they recognize from that one town hall meeting where he yelled at the teacher they had something very potentially viral on their hands. >> and you certainly have been on the other end of some of
those. tell us what is that like when he's staring you down and saying those things to you. you have to know that some of your questions might ill is it that. >> it's somewhat intimidating. i don't love confrontation. he does. you kind of expect it. there are different kinds of things, you know, the other day i asked him about crime rate in camd camden. i was challenging him and he was like matt katz you're a law enforcement expert. and he moved on. there's the sort of sharp barb he moves past you. there are other times i write about in the book he pulled me in the suv because he didn't like an article i had written and got in the front seat and put me in the back and turned around and scolded me pretty harshly for several minutes. i tried to defend myself but an
intimidating moment. he's a large presence. he's powerful man. there was a time in the book i sat down with him twice for the book and asked him about bridge gate. he didn't like the direction of the conversation and threatened to kick me out of the room using intimidating language. >> did he stay? >> he stayed for the whole interview. despite the fact he can be unusually aggressive with the media that he has been generally there in terms of providing used to fire department foeder. as mad as he was at us, or upset he might be with things the in book, he called on me last week at press conference. i think he understands this is a business and he doesn't necessarily take things too personally. but it can sometimes be pretty difficult to deal with because he's quite intimidating.
>> you covered him for a number of years. and that has advantages and disadvantages. you certainly got to know him both by talking to him and also by observing. but i know there was one review of the book that had a little bit of criticism said that maybe the governor got off a little bit too easy. that maybe there was a lack of critical distance. how do you respond to that? and how do you balance that? >> yeah. i've gotten that from both sides. i've gotten that i was too harsh on him. somebody wrote that i threw the book at him. that's criticism we hear as journalists. i've heard i was a closet christie republican. i've heard that i was, you know, a liberal trying to go after him. i heard it while i was reporting on him. i try to call it like i see it. one reviewer said i liked him too much. i do like him. i've been covering him for five and a half years. i couldn't be around somebody
this much time without, you know, at least liking, following him and watching him. we're not friends. we're not going to, you know, go out for beers after the new hampshire primary. i absolutely have critical distance. as critical -- i a third of the book is about bridgegate, the scandal that nearly ruined his career. i also wrote about moments where he displayed remarkable leadership like the days after sandy where he went down the shore and hugged victims and met with the president of the united states of the opposing party right after the big storm. very controversial moment. but it was a remarkable display of leadership. >> give his reaction to sandy, what was your reaction to how he handled the blizzard? was it consistent? did it fit with what you've seen before? >> i was surprised. he was running on his leadership
after sandy when interviewers asked him why are you different than marco rubio and he said marco rubio has never lead anything. i lead the people of new jersey after a natural disaster. i was surprised. he didn't use the opportunity of the storm to display the same kind of leadership but i understand he didn't want to leave new hampshire. his entire political future rests on the next couple of weeks. he has to do well new hampshire. he knows the only way he can win new hampshire if he can get in front of as many people as possible. he's selling new hampshire on his personality. he wanted to be in new hampshire doing town hall meetings and winning votes at every one of those town hall meetings. he wasn't happy he had to go back to new jersey and lead a storm response. he thought that it was unnecessary. i'm sort of sympathetic to that. but he clearly miscalculated a little bit by sort of poking people back home in new jersey
in the eye about, you know, flooding and making a joke about that and, you know, hesitating in terms of whether or not he was going to come back at all. i was surprised how he handled it. >> are folks in iowa and new hampshire, are they seeing the chris christie that we know back here? is it translating out there? >> it is. they're seeing a milder version of chris christie. >> in what way? >> town hall meetings in new jersey there's a big, like, booming -- almost like a world wrestling event. there's a booming announcer voice and he bursts into the town hall meeting from behind a curtain and he sets down rules. don't yell, raise your hand. and it's kind of very jersey. he tones it down in new hampshire. >> it's not jersey. >> he does a little bit of jersey stuff but tones it down. otherwise his personality is resonating. he tells some of the same
stories. he told the story that he became famous for in new jersey about his mother on her death bed. he told the story in new hampshire and every time it brings laughter and tears. people are moved by the way he talks. >> all right. matt katz, thank you so much. and matt's book, again, called "american governor chris christie's bridge to redemption." we'll be right back.
a video that a police officer cleaning snow off an elderly woman's car has gotten a lot of local attention. the video has tens of thousands of views on facebook. the officer pulled the driver over last week because she had snow flying from the roof. the woman said she couldn't do it herself because she couldn't reach that high. it's illegal to drive with snow
on your car in new jersey and pennsylvania. but instead of giving her a ticket, the officer leech gave her a helping hand. leetch said it's all in a day's work. >> the department is filled with a bunch of people who are like myself we just do our best to try to help everyone in the town out and it just is part of our job. >> a passing driver called the department who found the dash cam video and posted it online.
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