Guests: Lanny Davis, A.B. Stoddard, Peter Fenn, Chip Saltsman, Marion Barry
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: From super Tuesday to what happened Wednesday.
Welcome to the show.
Half the country voted, results trickled in deep into the night, and as the dust settles, John McCain‘s grip on the Republican nomination tightens, Mitt Romney slips away, Mike Huckabee shows strength unexpectedly, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appear to have battled to a draw.
Today, Senator Clinton asserted her power in the country‘s most populous and traditionally most Democratic states, New York, New Hampshire, California that gave her decisive wins and her most important delegate margins. The Clinton campaign was cautiously confident about the night and as the states fell her way, the candidate appeared to look forward to the general election in November.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), ‘08 PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL: Now we know the Republicans won‘t give up the White House without a fight. Well, let me be clear. I won‘t let anyone swift boat this country‘s future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: But wait a second. If the Hillary Clinton for president campaign is in such good shape, why did she personally lend her campaign $5 million in an attempt to stay competitive with Barack Obama?
We‘ll ask Lanny Davis in just a minute.
Senator Obama, meanwhile, won smaller states and more of them. His dominance of caucus states like Kansas and Idaho continued as he rolled to lopsided wins in many of the evening‘s red state contest. Afterward, he did what he does best, delivering more oratory, short on specifics maybe, but long on spine tingle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ‘08 PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL: Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we‘ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: With small state caucuses, the Chesapeake primary in Ohio and Texas, still waiting on the horizon, we‘ll visit with both camps to assess this flat-footed tie.
On the Republican side, John McCain‘s winner-take-all haul in the northeast and his big win in the state of California has him way out in front for the Republican nomination. But he also rams were also big part of last night‘s story. Where does Mitt Romney go from here, having spent more than $1 million in campaign money for delegate earned? And what role does the unsinkable Mike Huckabee play now that he‘s displayed he has genuine force in the southern states.
We‘ll tell you the future of the Republican race and visit with Chip Saltsman, Mr. Huckabee‘s campaign manager.
We begin with the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama‘s virtual split of Super Tuesday. Joining us now, Clinton campaign supporter and former White House special counsel to President Clinton, Lanny Davis.
Lanny, welcome and congratulations. Mrs. Clinton did much better, I think, than a lot of people expected last night.
LANNY DAVIS, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER: Well, better than I expected and it was a divided contest and two great candidates are with different messages and different constituencies. But I just have to tell you that there‘s no way to spin this fact. If you were to choose which side to be on last night between New York, New York, Massachusetts and California, versus Idaho, North Dakota, and that pinion of Democratic strength Utah, and they‘re counting those as things to be happy about, I think we had a lot more to be happy about last night.
CARLSON: OK. Well, I think that‘s actually probably a fair assessment, though I prefer Idaho to New York any day of the week. That‘s another question.
Here‘s what‘s - is very striking to me, though. The story today, the headline could be, Hillary Clinton exceeds expectation. She sure is the frontrunner. Her opponent Barack Obama concedes she‘s a frontrunner. And yet instead, this afternoon, we have a new storyline which steps on that storyline and it is this. This is straight from the mouth of Hillary Clinton herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I loaned the campaign $5 million from my money. I loaned it because I believe very strongly in this campaign. We had a great month fundraising in January. Broke all records, but my opponent was able to raise more money. And we intended to be competitive and we were and I think the results last night proved the wisdom of my investment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: $5 million for someone who spent her life serving little people, she‘s pretty rich. But the real question here, when was the last time you saw a winning campaign run out of money?
DAVIS: John Kerry loaned some money and made a big difference, as you remember in his comeback. Look, I like being.
CARLSON: Not at this stage, though. It was before Iowa.
DAVIS: It is unusual, but I like being the underdog, running against the fat cat, better financed opponent. But, no, this is something that shows that in a state like California how much we were outspent with the Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Oprah, everybody describing a surge. It was an overwhelming sensation in this thing that Obama was going to sweep us. And the fact that she dug deep into her own personal resources, as John Kerry did, tells me that she‘s willing to spend her own money.
CARLSON: Wait. She is absolutely willing to spend her own money in pursuit of her dream of running the country and having control over its population. But it‘s sort of unusual if you think about the fact that Terry McAuliffe, maybe the greatest fundraiser in the history of American politics, is her fundraiser. So what does it tell you about her support among ordinary people that she needs to lend herself $5 million bucks? Again, that can‘t be construed as a good sign.
DAVIS: Well, you know campaigns have cash flow problems. And in this case, spending everything that she possibly could to do what she could yesterday and still she was outspent by Obama—I know in California, she was outspent on television by a considerable margin and she still won in California. So at this stage, I look back what John Kerry had to do. He had to bridge over where he was and where he came out of Iowa and that‘s probably what she‘s doing right now.
CARLSON: So what about John Kerry and what about Ted Kennedy? John Kerry was the last.
DAVIS: Oh thank you for asking.
CARLSON: Well, no, if you think about it, John Kerry was the last nominee of your party. So in some ways, he really is still the leader of the party. He‘s the last Democrat all Democrats agreed could lead the party. OK? So he‘s still a big deal in your party. And Ted Kennedy is, of course, this icon who people revere and we all agree not to talk about his past, because it‘s embarrassing, so we don‘t. Are they not as popular as we thought they were?
DAVIS: Well, when I was on your show about a week ago, I said most endorsements don‘t count that much. And somehow they convinced themselves in the Obama campaign that having all these endorsements were going to change a lot of voters‘ minds.
CARLSON: But wait, hold on. It was more than these endorsements.
CARLSON: They had both senators from the state and (INAUDIBLE).
DAVIS: Right. If I were John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and governor—remind me of the governor of Massachusetts?
CARLSON: Deval Patrick.
DAVIS: Deval Patrick, I‘ve planked out his name because he worked in the Clinton administration and.
DAVIS: Look, John Kerry asked Bill Clinton to get out of a hospital bed after a quintuple bypass to campaign for him in Philadelphia. Then he not only endorses Barack Obama, which is his right, I respect that, he then attacks Bill Clinton‘s truthfulness or whatever he said. I just think John Kerry had a bad night last night and I‘m not sorry for that.
CARLSON: OK. He and a lot of liberals, a lot of, not just John Kerry, but a lot of thoughtful liberals, have accused the former president of injecting race into this contest.
DAVIS: Which I completely, factually challenge. You know that.
CARLSON: OK. I‘m just saying. He‘s not alone in claiming that.
DAVIS: I agree with you.
CARLSON: Barack Obama won somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 percent of the black vote in some states. Why is that?
DAVIS: Joe Lieberman won most of the Jewish vote. Jack Kennedy most of the Catholic votes and Italian-American women vote.
CARLSON: Eighty percent?
DAVIS: Certainly. Motherhood and apple pie that people are proud of their ethnic.
CARLSON: They just vote their color basically?
DAVIS: No, I didn‘t say color. I just said Jack Kennedy was a Catholic and won for the first time.
CARLSON: They vote their tribe, is that what you‘re saying?
DAVIS: They have an ethnic or religious or whatever tribal affiliation, but I can tell you Joe Lieberman won 90 percent of the Jewish vote because we were proud of Joe Lieberman. But here‘s the fact about what happened unusually in California. She won a majority of the 18 to 29 vote in California and Massachusetts. So she has broken into young people for the very reason I think Barack Obama depended on endorsements rather than message. His only message is a very high oratorical message, which inspires a lot of people, and I admire him for that. Where‘s the beef, and I think that‘s what‘s starting to bother people. Where‘s the beef?
CARLSON: All right. Lanny Davis, speaking not on behalf of but in favor of the Clinton campaign.
CARLSON: Thanks a lot, Lanny.
DAVIS: Thank you.
CARLSON: Hillary Clinton thought she‘d have the Democratic nomination locked up by now. Right now that race is far from over. She is tied, in effect, with Barack Obama. He may be up a little bit in the delegate race. What does that all mean?
Plus Mike Huckabee wins the southern vote and says he‘s not dropping out of the race until someone locks up the nomination. And mostly likely it won‘t be him but what effect will his staying in have? And could it be him?
You‘re watching MSNBC.
CARLSON: Some thought Super Tuesday would determine who the nominees for the presidential election might be. That may worked on one side but possibly not the other. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still tied. What can we tell from the results last night? We‘ll go deep inside the numbers coming up.
CARLSON: In boxing, a split decision isn‘t good for either fighter but in politics it means living to fight another day. So if the Clinton/Obama smackdown remains neck and neck as winner turns to spring, which candidate does that help?
Here to tell us, associate editor of “The Hill” A.B. Stoddard and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.
Alexander Stoddard, I was - I will confess surprised last night‘s results. I thought I‘d bought into, I believed the poll numbers for one thing. But.
A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”: Never.
CARLSON: Yes. Never.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We‘ve got to stop doing that.
CARLSON: That Barack Obama was going to do better than he did. Let me just say one thing, which is spin, but I also believe it‘s true. A Clinton adviser said to me yesterday morning, look, Obama has had two of the best weeks that any candidate has ever had in the history of presidential campaigns. Given that, I mean the press loves him, all the opinion makers on the Democratic side love him, he‘s got these rallies, all these endorsements. He‘s got to do pretty well or else that reveals a basic weakness in the campaign.
STODDARD: Well, California wasn‘t even close. A lot of people thought he was going to take California.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
STODDARD: And the wind was at his back there. That‘s disturbing. And I think that, you know, the fact is he has a lot to be pleased with today. He got more delegates, he won more states, he got more red states, he increased his white vote, I mean a lot of good things happened for him. They can lick their wounds and carry on. But we will see, actually, I think in the next 10 days or 20 days if there was - if there is a real weakness.
It might have been a pause. There have been pauses in this campaign where we all are convinced that we know the outcome. And then it‘s a total surprise. I‘m not really so sure we know that there‘s some fatal weakness in the Obama campaign tonight.
CARLSON: There got to be a lot of really terrified people out there. Peter, when an invading army comes into a country and then is repelled, the people who collaborated with that army typically are rounded up and beheaded. When Barack Obama looked like he might win, all these liberal columnists came out and sort of attacking the Clintons. If Mrs. Clinton wins in the end, what is going to happen to these people?
FENN: Watch out for the liberal (INAUDIBLE).
STODDARD: Yes. They need to hide.
CARLSON: No, but that‘s - I mean I‘m serious. What would happen to the liberal.
FENN: You know - yes. This is very interesting.
FENN: I think they‘ll be fine, probably all survive. But you know, the Center, for me, in Public Affairs did a little study about the post-Iowa coverage. Eighty-one percent positive coverage for Obama, 51 percent positive coverage for Hillary Clinton. This goes to the point of he had a very good month. He had a darn good month in fundraising, as we just found out.
CARLSON: That‘s true.
FENN: And he‘s got - he also has the advantage, I tell you, you‘re right, A.B., I think. The next 10 days are Obama days. They should be. I mean if you look at Saturday coming up, you‘ve got two caucus states where he does extraordinarily well and you‘ve got Louisiana. Then you‘ve got the Potomac primary on Tuesday, which is three states that he could conceivably carry. So he could do—in a week, he could six states. Boom.
Now that—I‘m not saying he‘s going to. But you know.
STODDARD: Now there is this scenario where.
FENN: But I think the press now, there‘s a step-back period. You know, I think we‘re into a different phase of the game.
CARLSON: Well, they probably ought to be.
FENN: Well, I think they probably should.
CARLSON: I mean maybe we should - I mean, you know, I personally.
FENN: I think messaging is going to change in this campaign. I think you‘re going to see Obama be a lot more specific about things. They‘re going to - I mean he‘s not going to give—he‘s going to give inspirational speeches, but they‘re going to be different. Hillary‘s going to.
CARLSON: But what an act of (INAUDIBLE) is this, though? I mean does anybody in the press know anybody else who is voting for Hillary Clinton? Hillary Clinton voters, were learning from this exit poll data, turn out to be less educated, less affluent than Barack Obama voters. So I wonder if maybe part of this phenomenon is that no reporter really knows a Hillary Clinton voter. It‘s like Paul (INAUDIBLE) in 1972 saying, I never met anybody who voted Richard Nixon. How did he win? Do you think that might have something to do with it?
STODDARD: You know what? I doubt that. She has many women—she has many older voters and there.
STODDARD: You can‘t say old folks aren‘t educated. I think that - actually I think what this.
FENN: Who you calling old, by the way, A.B.?
STODDARD: I think that what this reveals, actually, is that there - you know, when you look at these exit polls, you often see this 71 or 70 percent figure about party faithful being happy with either outcome.
FENN: Right. Exactly.
STODDARD: I think that the fact is that it‘s a very volatile electorate in the primary, that they really like both of them. And so therefore there is a lot of last-minute rushing to her side or his, a lot of things we can‘t see in the polls.
STODDARD: And I think it‘s because people are changing their minds.
And I think that it‘s more volatile than.
CARLSON: But they represent such different things. How could you like them both?
FENN: They don‘t - no, no, that‘s not true. I will tell you, this is
you know, we‘ve been doing this for a year now. I told you I‘m neutral.
I got to vote. I‘m getting my absentee ballot. I‘ve got to vote next week. I do not know today who I‘m going to vote for in this election, honest to God. You‘d think I‘m crazy. But it‘s true, I think you‘ve got a situation where folks are weighing a lot. This is fluid, fluid, fluid, is the word of this election. I will also say, in your analysis, you have to watch it with this, because if you go to Barack Obama is the candidate of the chi-chi libs, then you go the way of Paul Tsongas and Bill Bradley.
CARLSON: But he clearly is. The Clinton - one of the reasons.
FENN: Well, he better not be or he may go that way. My point is he - look, he‘s doing very well in this. But, you know, for someone who - and actually everybody says, you know, Democrats say, they hate Hillary Clinton. Democrats do not hate Hillary Clinton. Both of their likability factors are in the 70s.
CARLSON: Eighty percent of Democrats who write syndicated columns hate Hillary.
FENN: You are right.
CARLSON: And you would think that would have some affect but apparently it didn‘t.
We‘re going to just take—we have actually a lot of numbers from inside the exit polls last night and we‘ll get to those in just a minute.
Meantime, John McCain wins big on Super Tuesday. Looks like he‘s close to locking up the nomination. The indisputable frontrunner, what does McCain think about that?
Plus Hillary Clinton will be moving on to another round of presidential contests this weekend. Some say she ought to be worried. We‘ll tell you why.
This is MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ‘08 PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL: Although I‘ve never minded the role of the underdog, and I‘ve relished as much as anyone come-from-behind wins, tonight, I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party frontrunner for the nomination. Thank you, United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That was John McCain, using the “F” word. From the first day the Straight-Talking Express rolled out of the garage in Arizona, John McCain has nursed his role as the comeback kid, the underdog, the guy they left for dead last summer. And he was that guy.
But after his big Super Tuesday victory last night, even he now admits he‘s in the driver‘s seat. Does Romney have a chance of catching him? Has Huckabee sealed McCain‘s fate as the nominee? It‘s a complicated situation on the Republican side. Here to explain it, associated editor of “The Hill” A.B. Stoddard and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.
A.B., you just wrote a column about this, about John McCain. Is he—he is a great underdog. Is he a great overdog, lead dog?
STODDARD: The challenge to him right now is so tough. I don‘t - I think - I don‘t think anyone envies him. He doesn‘t get to run in the general against (INAUDIBLE) white male Democrat. OK? Not going to be fun for him, either one.
He is talking about other wars and, you know, quoting Chairman Mao and can‘t even - he can‘t talk about the economy at all. He didn‘t mention the word in his press conference today, he wouldn‘t answer a question on it in the last debate. But the most important thing is this.
CARLSON: Why, I love all that stuff. You just described my dream candidate.
STODDARD: The most important thing is this. I mean he not only has to engage a middle starved for change.
STODDARD: .to win the general, he has to assuage and engage his own angry base. It‘s a twofold challenge and it‘s just more than daunting.
CARLSON: Boy, this is a (INAUDIBLE) among the country. No matter who the Democrats put up, you will have a very clear choice between someone who literally refuses to pander to voters, the guy who went to Iowa and denounced ethanol, and people who poll test virtual everything, particularly her. Don‘t you think? It‘s going to tell us who we are as a country, I think.
FENN: That‘s where I would come down by the way. I mean first you hit the age and then you hit my dandruff. But that‘s OK, I will let it go.
STODDARD: I didn‘t say you were running for president.
FENN: I‘m just kidding. I‘m just kidding.
STODDARD: I‘m just saying he‘s only - he‘s probably only run against white male as of late, right?
FENN: No. This is interesting because, you know, I was with a bunch of these folks last night on the air and the conservatives, Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson, we are strange bedfellows, no question, but you know, they are furious. Now I don‘t know how long they‘re going to stay furious. And it isn‘t just they don‘t like him personally, it‘s not that, you know, the temper thing they kept talking about. But they think, they think that he‘s a disaster economically. And they are going to hit him on his votes against the tax cuts and the fact that he says he doesn‘t know much about economics and they are going to stay on him. Now how long they‘re going to do it?
CARLSON: It‘s just - you know what? It‘s so ludicrous I can barely sit here and listen to it. These are people who are calling John McCain too liberal to lead the Republican Party. They are, in many cases, the same people endorse, in some cases raised money, for Rudy Giuliani, who literally is liberal. This has nothing to do with ideas, not even with ideology. It has to do with power. Who controls the Republican Party and the conservative apparatus? That‘s exactly what it‘s about and they lie and pretend it‘s about idea. McCain‘s a screaming liberal. Giuliani wasn‘t? I mean it.
STODDARD: I think if there‘s a way out for McCain and the way out is this. He has to—they need buy-in. It is about power and they need buy-in. He needs to go to them and say, for all my (INAUDIBLE) in the past, let‘s talk about what I‘m going to give you for the future. Part of my legacy will be to rebuild the Republican Party and I will choose a vice presidential candidate, not the tax and spender liberal, Mike Huckabee, who they can‘t stand, but a real comer in the party like Governor Mark Stanford, Governor Charlie Crist or Rob Portman of Ohio, someone that the conservatives know will be the face of the Republican Party of tomorrow.
And that will show that he‘s invested in rebuilding the party, which is what the conservative base is.
CARLSON: Well, I bet.
FENN: Tomorrow he‘ll do that at C-Pac.
FENN: But his statement today which is telling him to kind of cool it and relax. And I mean and if he calls them friends.
STODDARD: Well, he‘s grumpy.
FENN: He calls them friends.
CARLSON: You know what? He‘s not—I bet he won‘t do squat. I don‘t think McCain is coming around. I don‘t believe that for a second. I think the more you.
FENN: He‘ll talk about.
CARLSON: .hit McCain.
FENN: He‘ll tell you about Supreme Court justice.
CARLSON: He‘ll talk about Supreme Court justices, he‘ll talk about staying the course in Iraq and not waving the white flag.
CARLSON: I was with him all day yesterday. I heard a bunch of his speeches. I mean he‘s hot on that. But there‘s no way he‘s going to get out there and truly pander to the people who have been attacking him. And by the way, the people who work for McCain, I think are literally about to go crazy. I mean their heads are going to explode. They keep saying the same things, which is, he‘s not liberal. Here you had Mitt - and I sort of agree with him. You had Mitt Romney attacking McCain for voting against the prescription drug benefit. Who‘s the liberal?
STODDARD: Yes. Interesting.
FENN: Right. Right. Right. How is Romney the conservative candidate? I mean that - you know, the other thing is, you‘ve got folks like Charlie Black. I mean Charlie Black founded the conservative political action committee back with Terry Dolan. I mean he‘s been in this movement since Ronald Reagan for years. So I think it‘s a tough call. But he, again, is walking a fine line because John McCain wants the moderate votes. He wants to take the center.
CARLSON: We‘ll be right back.
Barack Obama had a double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in California the day voters went to the polls, but then he lost to Hillary Clinton by double digits. Why were the polls so very, very wrong?
Plus, at least 52 people killed after dozens of tornadoes tear through the American. The latest on that sad story after this break.
CARLSON: Race, sex, and politics; it sounds like a nostalgia trip back to elections gone by. But the reality of presidential politics in today‘s Democratic party is the same as it has always been. The candidates pretend otherwise, but the exit polls suggest voters are leaning heavily on race and gender to determine how to vote for. Is that a good trend or a bad trend?
here again, associate editor of “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Welcome back. Before we get to that, we have what we call a hot note here at MSNBC. NBC News confirms some Clinton campaign staff have voluntarily chosen to work without pay this month as the campaign faces a cash crunch. These include the campaign manager, no money for some of her staff. This sounds like, as you were just saying—this sounds like—who does this sound like to you?
STODDARD: It sounds like Rudy Giuliani‘s campaign in the final days and Mike Huckabee‘s campaign that we all wrote off and apparently came back from the dead last night. But Patti Solis Doyle—this is really something—the campaign manager. I‘m stunned. I‘m stunned that she loaned herself five million and I‘m stunned they would have—
CARLSON: Especially the day after they win California. Talk about losing control of the news cycle, losing control of the story people are telling about you. She could have been—the headline, Hillary front-runner. Now it‘s Hillary out of cash, staff works for free.
FENN: I‘m not—I‘ve been in campaigns where we didn‘t take salaries and six of us stayed in a Motel 6.
STODDARD: It worked for John McCain.
FENN: It did work for John. I think part of this probably is that she just wrote a five million dollar check. I think the staff said, hmm—whereas Rudy Giuliani didn‘t loan himself a nickel, as far as I know.
CARLSON: He may not be as quite as rich as the woman of the people, Hillary Clinton.
FENN: I think he is.
CARLSON: He probably is.
FENN: I think he is.
CARLSON: We should point out, to be totally clear, that we believe at this moment Barack Obama has already delegates than Hillary Clinton. I think he is technically—It looks like by four delegates here—the front-runner. Let‘s talk about the results last night and contrast them to what we thought the results might be. Here is the Zogby poll that was the headline on Drudge, everybody was talking about going into last night‘s results. We‘ll put it up and compare it to the primary results.
The Zogby poll had Hillary Clinton at 36 in California, Barack Obama at 49 percent. In other words, Barack Obama winning by 13 points. The actual results were Hillary Clinton 52 percent, Barack Obama, 42. He lost by ten. That is a spread, Peter, do the math, of 23 points. That poll miscalled this by 23 points. There‘s almost no way you could be that wrong. How did that happen?
FENN: We have talked about the fluid electorate, but I don‘t think they‘re quite that fluid.
CARLSON: There‘s something going on.
FENN: I think that the turnout models were clearly wrong for him. There was a larger Hispanic vote than he obviously thought there was going to be. In California, Hillary and Obama split the youth vote. In fact, I think she won it narrowly. Some of those numbers were way off. This is scary because people—those numbers are terrible. And it was a trend. He was—I‘ll tell you, we were all buying it. I was out in California for the debate last week and people out there thought that Barack Obama was moving a point to a point and a half a day and was going to take California.
CARLSON: Thirteen points wrong. This suggests something profound.
STODDARD: So was New Hampshire. They were 18 points wrong.
CARLSON: And both of them centered on one man, Barack Obama.
STODDARD: Everybody‘s going to raise the question of whether or not people tell pollsters they‘ll support an African-American and then do something different.
CARLSON: I hate to bring that up, but you kind of half to. I mean, 23 points off, is that the explanation.
STODDARD: I would like to think that it‘s a faulty poll, combined with something happening at the last minute in the ballot box. I don‘t know—I think Peter‘s right, other factors. Clinton has—having nothing to do with Hispanics maybe not voting for an African-American. I think the Clinton lock of goodwill with the Hispanics is unshakable in California and that really obviously was good for her.
CARLSON: The reason I think that race may have played a part in these poll numbers being as wrong as they were is because race clearly played a part in all the races last night, and in this entire campaign on the political side. David Paul Kuhn of “The Politico” writes a very smart piece and headlines it this way, “the Super Tuesday fault lines broke along gender and race for Democrats, and along political philosophy for Republicans.” Very smart. Hillary Clinton won white females by 20 points over Barack Obama. Obama won, of course, huge—very high, 80 percent of the black vote in some states.
Men voted for Obama, women voted for Hillary Clinton. It‘s just your normal race/gender Balkanization you see everywhere.
FENN: You have a little of that.
CARLSON: A little of that?
FENN: We‘ve talked from the beginning, once he‘s a serious candidate, he‘ll get the black vote. But then we talked about too, Barack is winning in Idaho and Utah. Not a lot of African-American out there.
CARLSON: White females vote by 20 points for Hillary Clinton.
FENN: Especially young females. But the other point I think you have to make on all this is it isn‘t an anti-vote. In other words, these—whether they‘re African-Americans or Hispanics, young or old, they‘re not angry at Hillary. They‘re not after Hillary. They‘re not angry at Barack. The polls show that.
CARLSON: It‘s like how liberals describe affirmative action; no, you can go to college because of your color, but you can‘t. But you‘re not getting screwed, I promise. Everyone wins, except you lose, but you don‘t really lose. Of course it‘s—voting for someone is voting against someone else.
FENN: I understand that. But the point being, if you‘re going to a general election, you‘re going to get that support. It is not—these people aren‘t peeling up. This is the concern people have about McCain, is that a lot of those folks are going to sit on their hands and not vote for him because they deeply dislike them. You do not see that in the Democratic party.
CARLSON: Unless the Democratic party nominates Hillary Clinton, in which case every person—John Anderson voters from 1980, people who don‘t even think of themselves as Republican—
FENN: Are they alive?
CARLSON: To the extent they are alive, they will vote for John McCain. Don‘t you think?
STODDARD: I have readers who are liberal Democrats who were happy a couple of months ago with both of the choices, and now they said, because of what the Clintons did, they‘re going to support John McCain.
CARLSON: Mike Huckabee last night surprised me, impressed me. He‘s impressed me the last couple of debates as the most articulate, interesting funny guy on the stage. What does he do with the delegates he‘s accrued, with the power he‘s amassed. He won a bunch of states last night.
STODDARD: And I believe he has a following and I believe that it‘s not enough to get him the nomination. I believe he‘d like to be president. I believe he‘d like to be vice president if he couldn‘t be president. I don‘t believe it would be wise for John McCain to pick him. I don‘t know if he‘s going to be happy to run the faith based outreach program or to be HHS secretary, but there‘s a future for Mike Huckabee.
CARLSON: There absolutely is a future. Were you surprised by what he did last night?
FENN: I was very surprised, unbelievably surprised, especially in those border states. You give him his home state, but when he gets into Missouri—Exactly.
CARLSON: You win Missouri, you‘re a serious person.
FENN: The other point here is all the focus was on the other two. He was getting very little action. He didn‘t have the money.
STODDARD: But he‘s third in delegates—you‘re saying—
FENN: Oh, no, no, before the vote—Delegates, forget it, he‘s not going anywhere. But there‘s something out there and I think that‘s where McCain has to go.
CARLSON: But what does McCain do? To this point he‘s treated, in an affectionate way, but essentially he‘s treated Mike Huckabee like his little buddy, like Skipper treated Gilligan, like his little friend who helps beat—it‘s true though, he has—who helps beat the big bad—exactly, Richy Rich.
STODDARD: He continues to do the same—just today at a press conference, he said, I have enormous affection for him or something like that, because of the way he‘s conducted himself in this campaign and not running negative ads and not attacking. The best thing for John McCain is to keep saying nice things about him. He can‘t say, oh boy, he‘s more popular than I am in southern states.
CARLSON: What if Romney gets out?
STODDARD: I don‘t think—Mike Huckabee‘s not going to get the nomination.
FENN: No juice, Tucker. This thing‘s over. Let‘s face it, this thing is really over, unless something unbelievably crazy happens.
CARLSON: We‘re about to talk to the campaign manager for Mike Huckabee. I‘m going to ask him this question. I just want a ten second answer, should he get out? Let‘s say Romney were to get out after next Tuesday, which seems like a plausible scenario to me. After Chesapeake Tuesday he gets out. Should Huckabee stay in just for the hell of it?
STODDARD: I don‘t know. He and McCain are going to have to talk about that. I don‘t know what he wants ultimately. If he really wants to make nice with John McCain and get something from a McCain administration or a McCain ticket, he would have to stop soon. If he really wants to keep fighting him—
FENN: The only way is if people suddenly flock to Huckabee, which I don‘t see happening, and he thinks he can really benefit from a one on one race. The one thing he hasn‘t talked about is the economy and he‘s got to talk about the economy in a serious way.
CARLSON: I like his idea of building an extra lane down I-95 from Bangor to Key West. I liked it. Thank you both so much.
He served up one Huck of a surprise on Super Tuesday. What‘s next for Mike Huckabee? We‘ll ask his campaign manager, Chip Saltsman. And the battle between Hillary and Obama now heads to the nation‘s capital. Who holds the edge with D.C. voters? We‘ll talk to the former mayor for life of the District of Columbia, Marion Barry, who joins us live next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, over the past few days, a lot of people have been trying to say that this is a two-man race. Well, you know what? It is! And we‘re in it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: He is in it, all right, but for how long and to what end? Huckabee‘s appeal is siphoning votes not just from Mitt Romney, but also from John McCain. How does he pull that off? Why didn‘t we notice it earlier? What‘s he going to do with his new found power. Does he want to play the role of king maker? Is he angling for Dick Cheney‘s gig? Or is there another plan?
Joining me from Little Rock is Huckabee‘s national campaign manager Chip Saltsman. Thanks for coming on and congratulations on last night. That was really impressive.
CHIP SALTSMAN, HUCKABEE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Thank you, Tucker. Always good to be with you.
CARLSON: I was—I‘m not—I mean this as a pure compliment, but I was really surprised by that. What‘s the next state you‘re going to win?
SALTSMAN: Well, we‘re going to go on to Saturday, which is Kansas, Louisiana, Washington state. Then the next Tuesday, we‘ve got Virginia, which is a winner-take-all state, Maryland and D.C. So we‘re going to be working on those states the next couple of days and be in D.C. on Saturday for C-Pac and we‘re going to fight this through. As Yogi Berra said, it ain‘t over till it‘s over. And in this case, it‘s not over until somebody gets 1,191 delegates and nobody‘s there yet.
CARLSON: Which of those states should we, who are following along the progress of Mike Huckabee at home, which should we be looking at carefully?
SALTSMAN: I think we can do really well in states like Kansas. It‘s a caucus state. There are a lot of conservatives there. There are a lot of people who have been rallying around Mike Huckabee since the very beginning. States like Virginia and Maryland as well. We may surprise people in Washington State. It is a very fluid race. And the one thing that we found out from the very beginning, which is now this race that we‘ve been in it for about a year, is the national pundits and the smart people are usually wrong about what‘s going to happen next. We‘re going to do what we always do, which is get Mike Huckabee out in front of the people. What we found out, when we do that, good things happen.
CARLSON: What‘s your plan? If Romney gets out after next Tuesday, are you going to stay in and go head to head with John McCain, your friend.
SALTSMAN: They‘re all our friends.
CARLSON: He‘s really your friend.
SALTSMAN: I don‘t know if you can put a degree on your friendship. Some people are better friends than others, I guess. Look, we‘re in this race to win the nomination. We‘ve been doing that for a year. There‘s been lots of time where we‘ve been written off in this race, at the very beginning, sometimes in the fall, and then just last week. I mean, people were talking about this is a two-man race. What we showed Tuesday night that it may be a two-man race, but Mike Huckabee‘s definitely in it, and we‘re in it to win it.
CARLSON: He is definitely in it. No one would contest that. But if you‘re in it to win it, why aren‘t you all going after John McCain, who is now the front runner? why aren‘t you all calling him a liberal and saying he can‘t win November, and all the conventional attacks? Why aren‘t you leveling any of them against him?
SALTSMAN: I think what you said, it‘s a conventional attack. We‘re running a very unconventional campaign. When Mitt Romney was hammering us in Iowa with about 15 million dollars worth of negative ads, we decided not to go negative. We‘ve always thought the best way for Mike Huckabee to be elected president is to talk about what Mike Huckabee would do if he‘s president, as opposed to tearing somebody else down.
CARLSON: I think that‘s fair. But you‘ve got John McCain, who‘s got a pretty, at this point, compared to your campaign, an overwhelming lead in delegates. You need to tell me and everybody else why your candidate is preferable to the front-runner. And you haven‘t really done that. Are you going to?
SALTSMAN: Tucker, I think we have. We‘ve talked about what Mike Huckabee would do as president. We‘ve talked about his big idea on the Fair Tax, which is put the going out of business sign on the IRS. We‘ve talked about his record in Arkansas, where he cut taxes 94 times, where he took a 200 million dollar deficit and turned it into an 850 million dollar surplus, all along improving roads, education, health care. Just a couple of weeks ago, an education group came out and said Arkansas now has the eighth-best education system in the state. That‘s a lot better than 49th, which it was just a few years back. So I think we‘re going to be running on our record, which is what works best for Mike Huckabee, when he‘s talking about himself, not other people.
CARLSON: So Romney yesterday accused your campaign, the Huckabee campaign, of colluding with the McCain campaign to deny him a victory in West Virginia. The McCain people pretty much denied it. Was there any conversation between your campaign and McCain‘s campaign about that caucus in West Virginia?
SALTSMAN: No, there was no deal. And just—
CARLSON: Was there conversation about it?
SALTSMAN: No, there was no conversation about it. And just the day before that, Governor Romney said, you know, there‘s no whining in politics. Yet the next day, he‘s whining about some kind of deal. Look, politics is a full contact sport, you win or lose. He lost West Virginia, and you move on.
CARLSON: OK, so there was no—that‘s interesting. So you‘re saying point-blank, unequivocally, your two campaigns did not talk about denying in any way the victory to Mitt Romney? You didn‘t collude at all?
SALTSMAN: Tucker, if I was on that great show, “Deal or No Deal,” I would hit the button and say, no deal.
CARLSON: No deal, all right. That is excellent. Chip Saltsman, I really appreciate it. Again, congratulations from last night. That was very surprising in a good way to a lot of us. Appreciate your coming on.
SALTSMAN: Thank you, Tucker. Yes, sir.
CARLSON: Up next, the battle for D.C. voters, which Democrat has the best chance at winning next week‘s primary? We have an expert on that subject. Former Mayor of Washington, D.C. Marion Barry is here in the studio. We‘re back in a minute.
CARLSON: Next Tuesday is the so-called Chesapeake Primary. Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia will vote in the primaries and for the first time, may be in history, those votes will matter, considering at least on the Democratic side, it is still a tie. Joining me now is a man who‘s uniquely situated to assess what might happen. He‘s the long-time former mayor of Washington, D.C. and a current city councilman from there, Mayor for Life Marion Barry. Mr. Mayor, thanks for coming on. Excellent.
MARION BARRY, FMR. DC MAYOR: I am too, excellent.
CARLSON: So what‘s going to happen next week?
BARRY: Well, I‘m not formally endorsing Obama yet, but I‘m going to vote for him and support him. I think he‘s going to win. D.C. has been the home of the Clintons for a long time when they were president and a lot of operatives still here. But I think that Obama‘s message, Barack‘s message is just crystal clear. It‘s one of change and God knows we need change in this country. And I think it‘s one that‘s appealing to the future, as opposed to the past. And I‘m as excited—
First of all, we have two outstanding Democrats, outstanding Democrats. And either choice will be an excellent choice for the country. And either one would beat the Republicans. That‘s very clear.
CARLSON: You really think, though, that Hillary Clinton lived here all those years, lives here still in Washington. It‘s really a rejection of her, isn‘t it, a vote—
BARRY: No, no. No, no, no. The Clintons were very, very helpful for Washington. They‘ve supported statehood. They‘ve supported a self-government. I remember going to at least a half a dozen situations at children‘s hospital where Senator Clinton, when she was first lady. So that‘s not a rejection of that. It‘s a rejection of some of maybe the ideas.
I think the thing that turns us on here in Washington the most is the consistency of Barack. He was against the war from the very beginning. He‘s not been afraid to say, I was opposed to the war. I wouldn‘t have voted to authorize the war. I‘m going to bring the troops home. That is the equivocation—if I had known, I would have done this and done that, as opposed to just being clear that either I was misled and I made a mistake, or something like that.
But then there‘s the economy. And I recall Barack had a big press event in South East Washington, which I represent. He talks about sending, what you call, parenting college. Where you get these parents—the issues he‘s talking about appeals to—
CARLSON: What about, a lot of Democrats have said they believe—this is liberal Democrats again talking, saying they believe that the Clintons, particularly Bill Clinton, injected race into this contest by comparing, among other things, Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson and by doing that made it harder for him to win Hispanic votes.
BARRY: I‘m not paying any attention to that. I‘ve been busy looking at what the issues are. And the candidate is Senator Clinton, not Bill Clinton. And I mention what she says—
CARLSON: Do you think as a black man, it would be tough for Obama to win Hispanic votes?
BARRY: No, I don‘t think so. I think what happened in California was an enormity, in the fact that the Clintons have some deep, deep roots in California. And, as I understand it, early on they signed up all the Hispanic leadership right across the board. And they also got a significant amount of black leadership, Maxine Waters and a number of other people. That‘s a long history with that community.
But I think if we look at other Hispanic communities, in Texas and other places, I think Barack is going to get a significant amount. There‘s an alliance in some instances between the Hispanic community and the black community, because we both are oppressed in a lot of instances. And so therefore you have to try to save your strength on that.
California shouldn‘t be the bell-weather has to what happens with Barack and Hispanics. The other thing about Barack, he appeals to young people. At American University, you couldn‘t hardly get in there. People were all over the place.
CARLSON: About a block and a half from where we are right now. You said you appreciated the Clinton‘s support for the idea of making the District a state.
BARRY: No question, Barack supports it too.
CARLSON: He supports it too.
BARRY: Absolutely supports it.
CARLSON: So if Barack Obama becomes president—I think we‘re going to have a Democratic Congress.
BARRY: And a Democratic president.
CARLSON: That may happen.
BARRY: No, it‘s going to happen.
CARLSON: Then you would see D.C.—
BARRY: I think Maryland‘s going to go for Barack too, and Virginia will probably go to the Clintons.
CARLSON: So if D.C.‘s a state, thanks to Barack Obama, are you running for Senate.
CARLSON: No, I‘m happy what I‘m doing now. We have some outstanding people in this town—
CARLSON: You‘d rather be a city councilman than a senator?
BARRY: I‘ve served 30 years of life, 16 years as mayor, almost ten years in city council. That‘s enough. Let some younger person come in and let me go do some other things after a few more years of this job.
CARLSON: What do you think the chances are that a Republican carries D.C. in the general election?
CARLSON: I just wanted to see the expression on your face. That was it.
BARRY: Are you hallucinating?
CARLSON: That was really a theoretical question.
BARRY: We are 80 percent of the vote here. Ask me already about who I like as a Republican. I like Huckabee.
BARRY: I grew up in the south and he‘s kind of a folksy kind of guy.
CARLSON: Former Mayor Marion Barry, we are out of time. I appreciate you coming on.
BARRY: Vote on Tuesday. Vote for Barack.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.