Meet the Press | November 04, 2012
>>> our political roundtable, joe scarborough , savannah guthrie , our own tom brokaw . mike murphy , republican strategist, and the mayor of newark, new jersey, cory booker . you have been working hardest of all in all of this. how are things in the wake of hurricane sandy for your folks in newark and around the area?
>> there's a tremendous amount of suffering in new jersey and this region right now, an impotency of words to express what happened. the suffering going on now that you have people without power and now in our sixth day, approaching our seventh. so it's going to be a very difficult road to get out of a state of emergency , in other words to get to a point where we stabilize folks. but then the cleanup and the restoration as people have had their lives devastated and lost everything in this.
>> what effect in the federal government are you feeling? do you give the obama administration high marks at this point for what they are delivering?
>> i give everybody high marks. i give president obama , i give governor christie, i give countless local leaders. this is the best i've seen it. we've now been through a number of challenges really going back to this area being hit so hard by 9/11. it seems like every challenge from 100-year snowstorms to the hurricanes, people are gets better together. but obama was on the phone with me directly the night of the event. the governor was reaching out to me before the event even happened to make sure we had what we needed. the integration of services, sharing of communication, the sharing of critical assets was really an incredible job.
>> joe scarborough , there is a political impact of this. i talked to republicans close to mitt romney who said governor christie was doing his job but he was really effusive in his praise before anything was delivered. you look at the numbers from chuck todd , there's a political impact, isn't there?
>> there may be. there certainly was in 1992 with george h.w. bush and again in 2006 . with george w. bush and his mishandling of the hurricane. but it's hard to say. people in the romney camp felt like and i sort of sensed it as well this did freeze the race in place for a couple of days. but you look at polls this morning out, a new one in pennsylvania, has it tied. new hampshire, a poll there has it tied. ohio. the dispatch poll, plus two obama , within the margin of error. florida poll, miami herald has right now romney plus six. so we go into this weekend, and republicans hoping this is a replay of 1980 where ronald reagan made a late break. but reagan had started his break a little earlier. by sunday, jimmy carter knew the race was over. if this is a late break, it's a really late break. looking at the polls, romney can do it. the question is, whether the hurricane stopped the momentum for 48 hours and if that will stop him from overtaking the president.
>> tom brokaw , you have seen this before, and you have the ultimate political foe of the president giving him such high marks. a republican and a democrat working together, leadership at the highest level, and this has been a problem for the president.
>> the president reached across party lines . some of our polling people have been talking to undecided voters out there in colorado and other places, and they saw the president as a leader in a way they had not before, because nothing like a hurricane or national tragedy of this magnitude creates empathy across the country. it's not just confined to connecticut and new jersey and new york. people everywhere can say, that could be me, and how did the president handle himself? i think it did help him and hurt romney by freezing his campaign. but the fact is, this thing has been moving every 48 hours or so, we're back to essentially a tie. in the battle ground states. it will be a photo finish .
>> savannah, also there's a lot of people who are still without gas, electricity. there's growing frustration. that has a potential impact as well.
>> and it continues on as people start feeling that the federal response isn't what it should be. but when you have a race this tight, things like a hurricane can move the needle when you're talking about a race that's so close. it was an important moment for the president because in the last three or four weeks of the campaign, i don't think he was going out of his way to appeal to independents whatsoever. this is a campaign built to turn out the base of the party. and here was a moment, handed to him seemingly from above, where he could look like that strong independent steady in a storm very appealing to the middle of the road voters. and i might add to unmarried women voters who are going to be very key in this election.
>> mike murphy , 48, 47. does it look a lot like 2004 for you where it broke for president bush there at the end or not?
>> well, it does, because i think you see the same republican enthusiasm. president obama has an advantage of demographics. mitt romney has an advantage in enthusiasm. and we got a great polling lock on what happened last week now. everything is tied. so what's going to happen yesterday, today, and tomorrow. i'd rather have enthusiasm right now than anything else. it will be a very close election . we got a new poll in ohio shows it's two points. people forget the margin of error. this stuff is tied. it can go either way .