Guests: Hilary Rosen, Peter Fenn, Charlie Gasparino, Susan Molinari
JOE SCARBOROUGH, GUEST HOST: Well, it‘s resignation day in America today. Hillary Clinton supporters Geraldine Ferraro went on national television this morning and she fanned the flames of that controversy that she had started about Barack Obama. Later on she resigned this afternoon from her position as Hillary Clinton‘s fundraiser.
Meanwhile New York governor Eliot Spitzer punctuated his spectacular fall from Grace by resigning in the wake of his implication in a prostitution ring.
I‘m Joe Scarborough in for the great Tucker Carlson. Welcome to the show.
Ferraro went on national television this morning and defended her comments over the last few days, when she said Barack Obama was, quote, “lucky to be an African-American man,” because if he were white or a woman, he wouldn‘t be the leading candidate for president. Ferraro first said it Monday, then she poured fuel on the fire yesterday, and here is what she said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC‘s “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”)
GERALDINE FERRARO, FMR. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My concern has been over how I‘ve been treated as well, and I‘m hurt, actually hurt by how they have taken this thing and spun it to imply that in any way, in any way I‘m racist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: In the meantime Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in yesterday‘s Mississippi primary with a vote that broke down almost directly across racial lines as more than 90 percent of African-American voters choosing Obama and 70 percent of white voters picking Clinton.
Why is Geraldine Ferraro saying what she‘s saying? Why didn‘t anybody in the Clinton camp stop her? And what is this conversation doing about the campaign and the Democratic Party? We‘re going to be talking about it straight ahead.
And we‘re going to look at the end of the Eliot Spitzer era. Eliot, we hardly knew ye, in New York and national politics it‘s come to an end with his wife by his side. Spitzer resigned this morning effective Monday as governor of New York. Why would he risk such a perfect life on a sex-for-hire scandal? And where does today‘s resignation leaves Spitzer, New York, the state of politics in that state and across America?
But let‘s begin with the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, which showed Barack Obama won again last night in Mississippi and Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro resigning this afternoon bringing Obama‘s race back into the campaign this week.
With us now to talk about it, MSNBC political analyst, the guy who ran for president a couple of times himself, Pat Buchanan.
Pat, you know Geraldine Ferraro. You worked with her. Should she have resigned today?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think she probably did the right thing, Joe. She had become a real controversy. She‘s being fired at from various sides from Obama. They are attacking her, I think, unfairly. And I know a couple of folks in national campaigns when they become controversial they immediately stand down in order not to make themselves the issue and to get out of the way and let their candidate make their case.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, you say that she was attacked unfairly.
SCARBOROUGH: But at the same time shouldn‘t somebody that once ran on the national ticket herself know better than to say Barack Obama is lucky to be an African-American man, and he‘s getting all the breaks because of it?
BUCHANAN: Well, I don‘t know if that‘s exactly what she said. I think she said if he were not an African-American he would not be in the position he‘s in. And I think her statement is undeniable.
I mean if he were not an African-American, Joe, would he, as a state Senator, been named the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention in 2004? Would he have won, as you mentioned, 91 percent of the African-American vote in—Mississippi? Would he be ready to roll through Philadelphia like Sherman through Georgia?
Clearly the fact he‘s an African-American got him entry and got him a seat at the table. He‘s used that extraordinarily well as a candidate and he‘s run a tremendous campaign in terms of organization and his own handling himself...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Pat, I mean, I think, though, you‘ve made the point right there. Geraldine Ferraro suggested in her statement that Obama was winning because of political affirmative action. This is a guy that raised $55 million in February. Find a white politician that‘s ever done that. This is a guy that gives inspiring speeches that really just have changed the face of American politics this year.
You can‘t make that argument. You could have made it a year ago. You can‘t make it now, though. Can you?
BUCHANAN: Well, if she had said the only reason he‘s where he is because he‘s an African-American, that would have been non-sense cal, because there are African-Americans have run before, and none of them has done as well or who‘s headed for the nomination as Barack appears to be.
But clearly I think that the two are not mutually exclusive. He‘s run an outstanding campaign, but would he have a campaign and be in the contest, initially would he be sweeping the African-American districts if he weren‘t African-American? I think no.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mean, he started sweeping the African-American districts just a few months ago after the Clintons—after Bill Clinton, actually, in South Carolina stepped on himself. Before that, Hillary Clinton was winning among African-Americans in South Carolina and other states.
BUCHANAN: Well, I mean, actually there weren‘t a lot of African-Americans in Iowa and New Hampshire and Barack wasn‘t on the ballot.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I‘m talking about the polls, though. The polls that were out.
SCARBOROUGH: .late last year actually had Michelle Obama complaining that African-Americans needed to wake up and start believing that her husband could actually win the presidency.
BUCHANAN: Well, what they are saying is, look, you‘ve got an African-American here that can win. Get off your butts and get behind him. Now that—you can make that argument just like she said herself, if she weren‘t a woman she wouldn‘t have been on the ticket. If Mitt Romney were not a Mormon, he would have done a lot better in the south. If Mike Huckabee were not an evangelical Christian, he would not have rolled through the south the way he did and in that community.
These things are reality. I—you know, what Geraldine Ferraro was saying to me was something that was a simple statement of fact that Barack Obama, the fact he‘s an African-American, is a tremendous asset for him, certainly it is in the journalistic community. And the idea that she‘s hung out to dry for telling the truth, that bothers me, you know?
SCARBOROUGH: You say it is in the journalistic community. Are you saying journalists are biased towards Barack Obama because he‘s an African-American?
BUCHANAN: Sure. I mean many of them want to see him win because he is an African-American. They talk about how wonderful it would be for the country. And—you know you saw him spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” how they‘re falling all over each other. I mean when journalists had become a joke on “Saturday Night Live,” because so many of them on the liberal side seemed in the tank for Barack Obama, I think there is a point there.
SCARBOROUGH: Finally, last night, real quickly, Mississippi broke Barack Obama‘s way. What‘s that mean for Hillary Clinton? Is her back against the wall?
BUCHANAN: I think what she‘s got to do, Joe, I think she‘s going to lose the pledge delegates. She‘s got to run up enough of a score and I think almost win the popular vote in all the states, that means run up the score in Pennsylvania. If she goes to the superdelegates and said, look, Barack cannot win the big states. He‘s shown that. He‘s winning these red states. He ain‘t going to win in the fall, Mississippi, et cetera.
Now, if you nominate him, we‘re going down to defeat, I won the popular vote. And when you win the popular vote, you don‘t let the electoral college take it away from you, do we? And if she wins the popular vote, she‘s got an argument. But if she doesn‘t win that, Joe, I don‘t think she‘s going to have an argument. I think Barack is going to be the nominee.
SCARBOROUGH: I think her best argument is she wins Pennsylvania, she wins the popular vote, and then she says, hey, I want all those people that voted for Reagan twice.
SCARBOROUGH: .and my husband twice, those white, blue-collar workers making less than 50,000, if you want to win Ohio and Pennsylvania and the White House, you better vote for me.
Pat, thanks. Stay with us. We will be back with you in a little bit.
But first, Barack Obama‘s advisor lost her job for calling Hillary Clinton a monster. Now Geraldine Ferraro is leaving the Clinton campaign after her comments involving Barack Obama‘s race. What will the impact be on the election?
Plus it wasn‘t even close for Hillary Clinton in Mississippi. Barack Obama beat her by double digits. Will this big loss hurt her in Pennsylvania? We‘ll talk about that and much more and whether the Democratic Party can survive the fight between Clinton-Obama when we return.
You‘re watching MSNBC, the place for politics.
ANNOUNCER: TUCKER is brought to you by.
SCARBOROUGH: The Democratic presidential race has turned into a debate about race. Geraldine Ferraro dumped by the Clinton campaign because of her controversial comments about Obama. What will that impact have on the election? We‘ll talk about it more when TUCKER returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERRARO: Every time somebody opens their mouth, Bill Clinton, racist. Governor Rendell, racist. Geraldine Ferraro, all of us have records of anything but racists.
My concern has been over how I‘ve been treated as well and I‘m hurt, actually hurt, by how they have taken this thing, spun it to imply that in any way, in any way I‘m racist. And to use it to attack Hillary because they can‘t speak about the issues, I find is just appalling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: What she says is appalling, apparently appalling enough to cause her to resign from the Clinton campaign even though Hillary Clinton said she had no official role. Could Ferraro‘s remarks actually help the Clinton campaign? Or is it part of a larger strategy to help swing more white voters their way?
With us now to talk about it Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen and Democratic strategist Peter Finn.
Hilary, let me begun—begin with you.
HILARY ROSEN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Hey, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Everybody is focusing on race. What I think the Ferraro issue is about is more about gender. There are a lot of women out there, whether they‘re white or black or Latino, you name it, that feel like Barack Obama has been given a free ride in a way that Hillary Clinton or any other woman would not be getting. Do you think that‘s part of Geraldine Ferraro‘s frustration?
ROSEN: Well, I know Gerry Ferraro, and I‘m sure that that‘s where her initial passion came from because she‘s been a longtime feminist and has broken some barriers as a woman herself.
You know, I think most women feel like any guy, white or black, who had the—was in the Senate for two years wouldn‘t be—if it was a woman wouldn‘t be taken that seriously. It‘s just—you know, shoot me for it. It‘s what I think.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, yes, you know, that‘s actually, that‘s—the
night of—the night before New Hampshire, when it looked like Hillary
Clinton was about to get washed away and looked like her campaign was over,
that‘s exactly what Gloria Steinem wrote in an op-ed in “The New York
Times.” And I just happened to talk to too many women that didn‘t believe
that what Miss Stein was saying is head on.
ROSEN: Well, you know, I think the problem with Gloria Steinem and Gerry Ferraro, and a lot of other—Robin Morgan, a lot of other really articulate feminists that have been speaking out on this issue was that everybody just ends up taking it one extra step, which is a mean step. I don‘t think we need to hold Barack Obama responsible for what is generally a larger society problem.
ROSEN: And I think the fact that he is doing what he is doing is fantastic. And so—but I think what people are really trying to do is talk from their own experience and what it ends upcoming out of their mouth are bad, you know, and nasty criticisms of him.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, and anger, frustration, pent up obviously in years of seeing this in society or in the workforce or in their own personal lives.
Peter, let me bring you in here. The bigger issue right now for Democrats is the fact that you have a lot of women who were very angry about Hillary Clinton being treated badly by the press and by male politicians. You have a lot of African-Americans who are very angry at Hillary and Bill Clinton because they a feel—then Geraldine Ferraro because they feel they‘ve been playing the race card inappropriately.
The question is: how does the Democratic Party pull everybody together
PETER FINN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I‘ll tell you. I think that is the crucial question for us, Joe. And you know, this anger can‘t persist for six weeks before Pennsylvania and throughout the summer. No question about it. It‘s very odd to me, too, because, you know, I‘ve known Gerry Ferraro for a long, long time. She was one of my very first clients when I started my consulting firm in 1984. I love her dearly.
I think, you know, her comment was absolutely correct when she said, look, I wouldn‘t have been on that ticket in 1984 if I wasn‘t a woman. They wouldn‘t have chosen me and she.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait, let me ask you. Let me stop for a second, Peter, because obviously Hilary knows and respects her, you know and respect her.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan knows her and respects her. Nobody actually thinks that Geraldine Ferraro has a racist bone in her body, do they?
FINN: No, except, you know, the problem with this now, Joe, is we‘ve seen this over and over, the resignation of aides and advisors. I mean, if anything in this campaign, presidential campaigns means always having to say you‘re sorry.
FINN: You know? I mean we‘re in a terrible situation here. I have a solution, though, and it‘s called zip it. And that means that this campaign shouldn‘t be between the candidates and their specific spokespeople and forget the advisors, forget the outsiders who have consistently blown up this.
Years ago would that be lucky to make the B section of papers. Now we get this stuff and it‘s talked and talked and talked to death. So I really think if the Democrats are going to get their act together, and it‘s their problem right now, then they have to begin to say to their people, look, you know, stop going out and free wheeling it. You can‘t be a lone ranger any longer. You got—you know, this has got to stop.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, there‘s—there‘s no doubt about it. We‘ve got to go to break, Hilary, but we‘ll be back and I‘ll get back to you about it. But there is no doubt that between now and Denver, the Democrats have to figure out a way to get everybody together and that‘s tough, especially with women and African-Americans angry right now with what‘s going on.
Stay with us. We‘ll be back. Also we‘re going to be talking about Eliot Spitzer. Of course, he resigned today as governor of New York and that resignation effective on Monday.
Hillary Clinton loses a superdelegate because of the sex scandal. But will it have any other impact on the election.
Plus Bill Clinton told voters in Ohio and Texas his wife needed their help to keep her campaign alive, and they helped her. Now it‘s Pennsylvania. And he‘s telling Pennsylvania voters, Hillary needs you. Will voters listen to Bill again? We‘ll see when we come back.
You‘re watching MSNBC, the place for politics on TUCKER.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ELIOT SPITZER (D), NEW YORK: I‘m deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. To every New Yorker and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.
Over the course of my public life, I have insisted, I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Eliot Spitzer gone, not just as governor of New York but also as a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton. Will his departure have any impact on the primary race?
With us now the “King of the Club” author, CNBC on-air editor Charlie Gasparino, and also former—Republican congresswoman from New York Susan Molinari.
SUSAN MOLINARI ®, FMR. CONGRESSWOMAN FROM N.Y.: Hey, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Susan, they tried to make you a Democrat, I saved you.
So you know Spitzer well?
CHARLIE GASPARINO, CNBC ON-AIR EDITOR: What will my mother say about that? (INAUDIBLE).
MOLINARI: Right. Exactly.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s right. So talk about the fallout from this.
GASPARINO: It‘s amazing. I mean, you know, I‘ve never seen a guy rise that fast. I mean, you know, he started in 2002. He‘s basically an unknown as the New York attorney general. And then, you know, he had a couple of good cases, and then he became the enforcer of Wall Street. Literally, almost.
SCARBOROUGH: And he has no friends. I mean he has.
GASPARINO: Now he has no friends.
SCARBOROUGH: He has no friends because as he was going up he upset Republicans. He upset Wall Street, even Democrats.
GASPARINO: Well, that was the good part about him.
GASPARINO: That‘s the part I really loved about Eliot Spitzer. And this is not all bad.
GASPARINO: I mean Eliot Spitzer, you know, stepped on a lot of toes, her over prosecuted in many ways.
GASPARINO: But what was great about this guy is that he had no friend as a prosecutor. He went after Democrats, he went after Republicans.
SCARBOROUGH: Went after everybody.
GASPARINO: It was the good part about him.
Susan, let me ask you about the politics of this. You see any fallout nationally for the Democrats?
MOLINARI: You know, I think, because he resigned today, I think the questions nobody is going to really hold them necessarily responsible for what Eliot Spitzer did. I do want to join in and say that while he had no friends as attorney general, part of the problem was also that he didn‘t have many friends when he was governor. He, you know, had some problems with regard to the Senate majority leader Joe Bruno. He has his issues with the assembly Democrats when they went to pick a controller.
So I mean, this was a guy who kind of just was, quote, unquote, by his own language, “a steam roller.” And then I won‘t talk as Charlie, your mom wouldn‘t like that either if I finish that quote. Really just sort of lived on his own.
GASPARINO: The F-ing steam roller.
GASPARINO: You know, listen, that‘s why a lot of people liked him when he got—first got into office.
GASPARINO: I mean “The New York Post” gave—basically endorsed him because he didn‘t like either side. And by the way, Albany, no offense to Susan Molinari, and I, you know.
MOLINARI: Never (INAUDIBLE)
GASPARINO: She‘s a Republican from New York, but—I got to tell you that the Republicans and the Democrats were both pretty evil up there. It was gridlock. You know we had the highest tax burden—do you live in New York?
SCARBOROUGH: I do now.
GASPARINO: OK. It‘s the highest tax burden in the nation.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I learned.
GASPARINO: It‘s a dysfunctional government, most people thought that Eliot Spitzer would get in there, as nasty as he is, and kick some ass.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. I actually bounce back and forth from Florida and New York. Thank God my home is in Florida.
MOLINARI: Yes, I guess we know where you pay taxes.
SCARBOROUGH: Florida, baby. Florida.
So Susan, I guess, if Republicans try to use this, now, against the Democratic Party nationally, it‘s going to be problematic because it seems like most of the scandals have broken the Republicans way of late. And we‘ve got a senator that is still in the Senate that got busted with a prostitute himself.
MOLINARI: You know, I don‘t think, you know—and hopefully the Republicans have learned the lesson that when somebody, you know, has, you know, done themselves damage, that, you know, you just get out of the way.
And look, you know what, this is not a gleeful story. This guy has a wife, he‘s got three daughters.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Yes.
MOLINARI: I really think if the Republicans are smart in a national election, and it certainly seems like Senator McCain‘s M.O., that you stay out of it.
GASPARINO: Stay out.
MOLINARI: .and you respect this tragedy.
MOLINARI: And you know, deal with Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, and everybody else is really just secondary.
GASPARINO: But you know, this is an amazing story in and of itself.
GASPARINO: I mean this is the type of guy that, you know, one of the interesting thing and negative things about Spitzer is that if—you know, these types of personal indiscretions were the types of things that he used against.
SCARBOROUGH: He used again against Dick Grasso, right?
GASPARINO: I wrote about it in the book. Basically, you know, he was investigating, he was the attorney general, he basically monitored the executive—the pay of the executives or nonprofits Dick Grasso ran in New York Stock Exchange, which was not for profit. He made a lot of money, he sued him. Instead of just going after him on whether his pay was reasonable, he started interviewing people about whether he had sex with his secretary, put his secretary under oath.
SCARBOROUGH: He investigated—and there was no evidence of that whatsoever.
MOLINARI: No, no. Yes.
GASPARINO: It was very sconce. Very sconce.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean live by the sword, die by the sword.
Susan, we saw hypocrisy like this in Washington all the time. You know, you wonder what.
MOLINARI: Well, absolutely. And.
SCARBOROUGH: .Eliot Spitzer was thinking.
MOLINARI: Well, and that‘s what—you know, it‘s just so amazing to those of us who followed his political career. Yes, it was an amazing trajectory but it was also one that he planned. I mean this is a guy that everybody you talked to said, you know, he didn‘t do bad things in college. He was the guy that really lived his life, you know, looking to be attorney general, governor and then maybe more.
So to look at a guy that, you know, was happy for people to say maybe he‘d be the first Jewish president to sort of just blow himself up like this is Shakespearean.
SCARBOROUGH: It is.
GASPARINO: There was almost a zealot‘s gleam in his eye, though. I mean if you ever covered this guy, even Wall Street, it was really always black and white. And as you know, there‘s so much gray. You know even.
GASPARINO: Even the really bad guys on Wall Street, there‘s gray there.
MOLINARI: OK. But really.
GASPARINO: And he never saw that.
MOLINARI: But the concept of prosecuting prostitution rings in New York while potentially engaging in one or shortly thereafter is just.
GASPARINO: He—prosecuted conflicts of interest like crazy and he was involved in many conflicts of interest involving fundraising.
GASPARINO: I mean he was interesting guy in the sense that he embodied some of the traits of the people he went after.
All right. Charlie, thank you.
GASPARINO: Any time.
SCARBOROUGH: Greatly appreciate it.
GASPARINO: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Susan, really good to see you.
MOLINARI: Thanks, Joe. Nice to see you.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Coming up next, Barack Obama, he won big in Mississippi, beat Hillary Clinton by 24 points. So who came out to vote for him? We‘re going to take a look at the exit polls.
Plus John McCain‘s campaign telling reporters and staffers to stay on message and not to launch any personal or negative attacks on the Democrats. That means don‘t mention Barack Obama‘s middle name anymore. Right? Can the Republicans play nice? We‘ll talk about it when we return on TUCKER.
You‘re watching MSNBC, the place for politics.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you, Melissa, seems like old times. A big win for Barack Obama in Mississippi. The turnout was huge; 400,000 votes were cast. Compare that to the 460,000 people in Mississippi who voted for John Kerry in the 2004 general election.
That 400 pound gorilla known as race refuses to leave the room. According to exit polls, African-Americans made up half of the electorate and Obama won nine out of every ten black votes. But among white voters, Hillary beat him by 44 points.
Here to break it down for us, the guru of electoral math, NBC News political director Chuck Todd. Chuck, right now we‘re looking at trends. Compare these numbers to South Carolina numbers and Georgia numbers. Is this about Hillary Clinton losing support among black voters or is this just about the south?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I do think that there is evidence that it‘s just about the south. However, when you look at there‘s one other part I would add into this, and that is how well she did in southern Ohio. A lot of people argue that southern Ohio has a lot of southern tendencies to it, culturally, and that there‘s still a lot of resistance on racial lines when it comes to African-American candidates versus white candidates.
But you are seeing, particularly in the south, and particularly in the African-American, continues to somehow—it‘s as if you don‘t think Obama can earn more of it. You know, 85 percent seemed like a high number; 80 percent seemed like a high number. Now it‘s over 90. It seems to be growing and growing. Look at the turnout.
SCARBOROUGH: What a demographic nightmare for the Clintons.
TODD: It really is, particularly when you look at—you know, we‘ve got a new NBC “Wall Street Journal” poll coming out later tonight and tomorrow morning. What‘s interesting, Joe, is that among Obama voters, folks that are supporting Obama, Hillary Clinton‘s unfavorable rating has sky-rocketed. She‘s almost barely over one to one, something like 50 to 45. But Obama‘s favorable rating among Clinton voters is still fairly high. It‘s about 55-20.
so when you look at it that way, you just see that if Clinton is the nominee, she‘s going to have to work very hard to win over skeptical Obama supporters, while Obama is going to have a little bit of an easier time winning over Clinton supporters. At least Clinton voters seem to be predisposed to liking Obama.
Right now, Hillary is having a problem with Obama supporters.
SCARBOROUGH: Of course, probably also a race issue.
TODD: It absolutely is a race issue, 100 percent.
SCARBOROUGH: You brought up southern Ohio. Did Hillary do well in southern Ohio?
TODD: She did very well. She won a lot of those counties 70-30. Parts of southern Ohio have—are parts of Appalachia. There definitely is—Southern Ohio can have some tendencies of the southern old racial divide.
SCARBOROUGH: What‘s fascinating, Chuck, is the fact that we‘ve been hearing for some time that Barack Obama can bring everybody together. Right now, if I‘m a Democrat and I‘m a super delegate, I‘m waiting to see if Hillary wins Pennsylvania, because I think to myself, OK, let‘s talk about toss up states that matter. Ohio, Hillary Clinton does well among white, blue-collar voters making less than 50,000. Pennsylvania, she‘s probably going to do well among white blue-collar voters. Those Reagan Democrats are the people that swing elections. If Hillary wins in Pennsylvania, she has a pretty strong argument that she‘s the Democrat that wins swing states that matter, right?
TODD: The problem is you need both pieces of this coalition. What a super delegate has to decide is which one is going to have an easier time winning over—you look at the turnout advantage that Obama supporters—if Obama is at the top of the ticket, you‘re going to see a surge in African-American turnout like this country has never seen before. You might see that among young voters. The question is, are you going to see a surge in that blue-collar vote for Hillary Clinton for sure, or are there still going to be question marks that John McCain still has a decent shot at wooing some of these Reagan Democrats over to him, even if it‘s Clinton at the top of the ticket That‘s the struggle that super delegates are going to have.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s a great point. I didn‘t mean to cut into you there. You‘re exactly right. John McCain will do better in Ohio among these voters and Pennsylvania among these voters, among blue-collar.
TODD: Michigan, too.
SCARBOROUGH: Michigan also than George W. Bush did. He just wasn‘t a cultural tight fit. He was a Texan that didn‘t play as well as somebody like McCain. You‘re right.
SCARBOROUGH: I think this is where McCain, no matter who he faces—
McCain is basically the only Republican that could have been put up, because of how uniquely he can help with the math—McCain is going to help make the southwest not as competitive. He takes Arizona off the table. He‘s going to do well in these rust belt states, a little bit better.
He may do well in New Jersey. He at least forces Democrats to spend money in some areas that they were racking up decent totals with, even with a guy like John Kerry, who didn‘t comfortably fit those blue-collar stats.
SCARBOROUGH: Not a blue-collar man himself. Chuck Todd, NBC News political expert, guru. We greatly appreciate it. For thoughts on Mississippi results, back with me again, MSNBC political analyst Hillary Rosen, Democratic strategist Peter Fenn and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.
Peter Fenn, let me begin with you. Let‘s talk about Ohio. We‘re talking about race. We‘re talking about the split. You look at the white voters in southern Ohio breaking for Hillary Clinton. You look at the black voters in Cleveland breaking for Barack Obama. Again, how do we put Humpty Dumpty back together again so one candidate can win white voters in southern Ohio and the same candidate can win the black voters in Cleveland?
FENN: Well, I think, Joe, this has got to be about change. It‘s got to be about no third term for George Bush. It‘s got to be about economic concerns. You want to make sure that you‘ve got a strong African-American turnout, be it in Cincinnati, southern Ohio, or be it in Cleveland. You‘ve got to make sure that you are appealing to those disaffected workers who have lost their jobs because of NAFTA in Ohio.
This is—I think Humpty Dumpty can be put back together on this. I hate to say it. A lot of people never thought that could happen. You‘ve got a situation, I think, where people are really angry and they want to do something different out there. And that isn‘t about race or gender or—you know, it‘s at every income level.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m sorry. Go ahead, Hillary.
ROSEN: I was going to say, I think the leadership on this will end up coming from the top. The ace in the hole for how this coalition gets put back together, I think, is in the spirit of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They are not out there even today trying to campaign by race or by district or by a demographic. They are really both trying to appeal to a broad sector. I think in various states have both shown that they can get different kinds of votes.
I think it‘s pretty clear these are two candidates who are committed to a united Democratic party. They just want to be the one to lead it. That‘s a different mind-set than actually saying the party itself is divided.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, you ran as a Republican and as an independent. You certainly know those blue-collar NAFTA voters in Ohio. They are a different type of voter than progressives in Cleveland. Aren‘t they?
BUCHANAN: They sure are. I think the only way to put Humpty Dumpty together again is for Humpty to put Dumpty on the ticket. Hillary, from what Chuck said, is going to have to put Obama on the ticket. Let me tell you the area, Joe. You take Cleveland, the Mahoney (ph) Valley, you take northeast, West Virginia, you take western and southwestern Pennsylvania; that is the industrial block out there. Those folks despise NAFTA.
That is McCain‘s problem in winning those votes. He came out again yesterday or the day before enthusiastic about NAFTA; 85 percent of those people think it‘s a curse word, a four-letter word not a five letter word. I do agree with Chuck. He can win—McCain can win Pennsylvania. But if he‘s going to win Ohio and Michigan if he puts Romney on the ticket, they‘re going to have to take another look at this NAFTA thing. You can‘t run in favor of NAFTA and win those states.
ROSEN: It‘s got to be more than NAFTA. Those guys are tax cutters for the wealthy and we‘re talking about appealing to working class, people who have been screwed by the wealthy in most cases this last few years.
FENN: You‘re right. McCain, when he says these jobs are not coming back, that was a killer for him in Michigan. He cannot run a campaign saying to folks, sorry, not going to happen. Bye-bye.
BUCHANAN: Joe, the campaign slogan, the jobs are not coming back, the illegals are not going home, but there will be more wars. That‘s not a winning combination.
SCARBOROUGH: Then you release the balloons and they rise to the ceiling and Lee Greenwood gets on stage and sings “God Bless The USA.” I don‘t know that that works. What is John McCain‘s economic message, though, because he‘s not going to get off of NAFTA.
BUCHANAN: He‘s a Kemp-ite. He‘s going to be for tax cuts. I think Barack Obama will be hurt by all the tax increases if the economy is going down. Nobody believes you ought to raise taxes when an economy is going into the dumpster. I think he has to get off those. I think the Republican message of not raising taxes I think is still a good message, even with working and middle class folks.
SCARBOROUGH: I think so. Pat, thank you. Greatly appreciate you being with us. We‘ll ask Hillary and Peter to stay with us. We‘ll be right back with them.
First we have something to report. There‘s information from the “New York Times” that we want to share related to Eliot Spitzer. You‘re looking now at a picture of the “New York Times” online. Of course, it was the Times that was the paper that originally broke the story about Eliot Spitzer. The paper has now posted pictures of the 22-year-old woman they believed to be, one, involved in a rendezvous with Governor Spitzer. The paper notes that she was in court and she has not been charged in this case. NBC News is working to confirm this report.
Mitt Romney‘s quest for the White House was over. Well, he decided to get back into the race. The former Massachusetts governor now is trying his luck in the VP sweepstakes. You‘re watching TUCKER and MSNBC, the place for politics.
SCARBOROUGH: Some additional information on the “New York Times” story that identifies the call girl in the Spitzer case. NBC News has spoken to the woman‘s attorney, who would neither confirm or deny that his client was the woman in question, but said that the reporting in the “New York Times” is generally accurate.
Mitt Romney finally resurfaced after dropping out of the Republican race for president. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY ®, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice-presidential nominee, myself included. Of course this is a nation which needs strong leadership. If the nominee of our party asked you to serve with them, anybody would be honored to receive that call.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You think you might.
ROMNEY: And to accept it, of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Now, Mitt Romney has made it known that he would be honored to be considered for vice president. After a bitter primary fight where it was clear that Romney and McCain despised each other, it seems appropriate to quote the odd couple; could McCain and Romney work together without driving each other crazy.
Here they are again, Democratic strategist and MSNBC analyst Hillary Rosen and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Hillary.
ROSEN: First of all, Joe, you‘ve got Democrats psychoanalyzing Mitt Romney, which may make us the most objective.
SCARBOROUGH: That would make you the most objective. By doing that, Hillary, you could also have insight into your own process and see that things may not be so bad three months down the road because this happens in politics time and time again. Two people run against each other in a presidential campaign. They hate each other. Their wives hate each other. Their staff members hate each other. Their families hate each other.
ROSEN: Everyone wants to get elected.
SCARBOROUGH: There they are with their arms in the air at the convention. Do you think this could happen?
ROSEN: I hate to sound naive about this, but John McCain has confounded people all year with the integrity of his campaign and really not listening to sort of conventional wisdom and punditry. It just seemed to me that Mitt Romney proved himself during the campaign to be such an inauthentic candidate over and over and over again, and ended up not really winning the base that he was supposed to win in the first place, which was sort of the Christian conservative base.
So I think the combination of him not appealing to Christian conservatives, which we think John McCain probably needs to have in a VP candidate, and having just a personality and a political strategy that is so diametrically opposed to John McCain‘s profile; I think those two things alone probably rule him out.
SCARBOROUGH: Peter Fenn, if you look at one person in the Republican party that seemed to be the head of the conservative movement right now—you usually find out who that is at CPAC, when they have the conservative convention, it would be Mitt Romney, right?
FENN: I think he did do very well at the end with some of the conservatives, Joe. My sense of this thing is if McCain is smart, he waits awhile. He doesn‘t move on this right away. It is hard to campaign for vice president. A former governor of Massachusetts tried it, Endicott “Chub” Peabody, years and years ago, tried it and fell on his face. I think Romney has to be a little careful here, too. He‘s probably deep sixing all those negative ads that he put up against John McCain right now.
SCARBOROUGH: It was tough. Let‘s talk about the Democrats. We‘re going to let the Democrats psychoanalyze Democrats. Let‘s just say there‘s not a dream ticket. Hillary, if Obama wins, if Clinton wins, who should their vice presidents be?
ROSEN: Well, it feels pretty clear that if Senator Clinton wins, she ought to be asking Senator Obama to be her running mate. It‘s a little less clear, I think, to the Obama team that Senator Clinton ought to be his running mate. Frankly, I think either one of them would be lucky for the other one to do it. I think the call of the party, the call for unity would be a very strong pull for both of them.
SCARBOROUGH: If you explain to Americans that don‘t follow politics really closely that when you get to the convention, when they call you up to the hotel seat, when you sit down with the party‘s nominee, when you‘ve got the most powerful people in the party sitting around and they say, we need you on the ticket for the good of the party and the good of the country; Peter, that‘s not something you just sort of blow off and walk out the room and go down to the swimming pool, is it?
FENN: No, it certainly isn‘t. If you look at history there, Joe, Lyndon Johnson had no interest in becoming vice president all along. The Kennedy people were apopletic about Johnson. When they got in the hotel room, the deal was done. They moved ahead. George Bush and Ronald Reagan, that was a tough campaign.
SCARBOROUGH: They didn‘t like each other.
FENN: No. One of the things that had to happen was George Bush had to say, I‘m not pro-choice anymore. I‘m pro-life. By the way, those economic politics which I called voodoo economics, I‘m standing behind them. So, you know, a lot—
ROSEN: It was successful for both of them. Reagan had two terms and George Bush followed to be elected president.
FENN: Absolutely. Hillary is correct on this. I do think that it is very tough to imagine if Hillary Clinton wins this thing that she does not pick Obama. I don‘t know whether Obama would take it. But that enthusiasm isn‘t going to have it. The other side of it, I think that if it‘s Obama at the top of the ticket, you get somebody like Chris Dodd in there with serious foreign policy defense.
SCARBOROUGH: Whoever ends up number two in Denver, if they are asked to be vice president to keep the Democratic party together and win the White House back, if they want a future in Democratic politics, they will say yes.
ROSEN: They will have to do it.
FENN: Absolutely correct, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks so much. Stay with us. Coming up next, we‘ll be talking to our panel about the dual over Michigan and Florida delegates. It‘s heating up between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Can they strike a compromise. Who should pick up the tab? We‘ll tell you when we return on TUCKER on MSNBC, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Over the last few weeks, there‘s been a lot of discussion about what we should do to ensure that the voters in Florida and Michigan are counted. Well, in my view, there are two options: honor the results or hold new primary elections.
OBAMA: We were told that Michigan and Florida wouldn‘t count. We said we wouldn‘t campaign there. Senator Clinton said the same thing, that they wouldn‘t count. Now, her campaign is suggesting that they should. What we want to do is to make sure that the Florida and Michigan folks are seated, but to do so in an equitable way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: They are in, they are out. The delegate debate in Florida and Michigan is officially not going away. Now, a serious battle is under way to do what—what they should do about the disputed delegates. Now everybody is agreeing that the delegation should be seated. Nobody can figure out exactly—determine who gets to get in and what the delegates will be able to do as far as voting goes.
How will this unfold? Let‘s bring back in MSNBC political analyst Hillary Rosen and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. Hillary, how do we split the baby here? We need King Solomon to take care of this.
ROSEN: I think it‘s pretty clear that Chairman Dean doesn‘t want any decisions made until after Pennsylvania and North Carolina. They want to see if the game changes enough after those primaries to avoid having to make a decision here at all. So putting it off seems to be the modus operandi of the day.
Having said that, you have to hand it to Michigan. Florida kind of had a better case for their delegates to count. The Republican legislature kind of screwed them. Now Michigan is saying, we have to do the same thing for both states, no matter what happens. They have created a bigger mess.
SCARBOROUGH: Peter, if we wait until after Pennsylvania, my gosh, what are they going to do? Are they going to do Florida and Michigan a couple of days before they go to Denver? That‘s a nightmare for Democrats?
FENN: That‘s a complete nightmare. You‘re absolutely right, Joe. They have to hold elections in June, I would think. You go beyond that, you‘re in deep trouble. What is not going to happen here is what Hillary Clinton said, which is these delegates are not going to be counted based upon these two results. That is a non-starter.
The question now becomes what kind of an election or caucus, although caucus seems to be off the table right now, is going to be held. My sense is you‘re going to have a mail-in election.
SCARBOROUGH: Mail-in elections that may be paid by private sources.
FENN: Sure. Jon Corzine will write a check.
SCARBOROUGH: That must be nice. Hillary, it seems—what are you reading from Obama? Do you think he wants to avoid a revote?
ROSEN: Sure he wants to avoid a revote. He‘s got the delegate lead. If he can retain that lead through Pennsylvania and North Carolina, why would he want to add to it, when Senator Clinton is obviously stronger in Florida and Michigan. So, you know, I don‘t see either of these campaigns changing their position here.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Hillary, thanks so much. Peter, great talking to you. That does it for us and thanks for watching. TUCKER will be back tomorrow night. Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.
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