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Notes on the February 26, 2012 Broadcast of Meet The Press

February 26, 2012
David Gregory dispays a Rick Santorum branded sweater vest

(All rights NBC News)

This morning’s Meet The Press began with former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) who is basically tied with former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. It seems like Santorum has been on Meet The Press a lot recently, but host David Gregory made it clear that Romney has declined their standing invitation to appear.

The broadcast featured a report from Afghanistan on the killing of Americans over Koran burnings. Santorum criticized President Barack Obama for apologizing for the accidental burnings.

On the Michigan primary (this Tuesday), Santorum says his “positive message” is winning over Romney’s negative ads and “timid ideas.” Santorum raised suspicion about the political relationship between Romney and Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), but failed to make a direct accusation of a “handshake deal” on collaboration between the two.

Last week, Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for wanting everyone to go to college. He tried to explain here how is position is different than the president’s, but I still don’t get it. Both guys say they want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college. Neither has said they would force anyone to go to college. But only one of them has stooped to name calling.

Gregory pressed Santorum on why he is in favor of government help for manufacturers but not for individual workers. He said this is because manufacturers are facing international competition. But, of course, American workers are also facing international competition. Gregory did not follow up.

The segment ended with a discussion of the “Rick 2012” car the campaign is sponsoring in today’s Daytona 500.

Next up were Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) and Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ). Brewer began by announcing her endorsement of Romney just ahead of Arizona’s Tuesday primary. She also predicted that the GOP race will be over on Super Tuesday (March 6).

Brown said the 2012 general election will be between a reckless man (the GOP nominee) and a reasonable man (President Obama).

In a discussion about immigration, Gregory said they wanted to show a clip from Brown’s appearance exactly 34 years ago today, but they couldn’t find the tape. What?

Ultimately, the immigration discussion was substantive and highlighted the differences in the way border states respond to the issue.

In the roundtable, NBC’s Chuck Todd said one wildcard in Tuesday’s Michigan primary could be Democrats crossing over to vote for Paul or Santorum. GOP analyst Steve Schmidt says the Republican nomination rule changes mean the race can go longer and all candidates will be degraded.

Todd reminds us that by Super Tuesday there will not be enough delegates left to be decided which could give a new candidate enough to win the nomination. So this argues against someone else getting into the race. However, if your strategy is just to win enough delegates to deny someone else the win… and to guarantee your own voice at a brokered convention… a new candidate could still make the jump.

In response, Schmidt said that a Michigan win for Santorum will cause “panic” in the Republican party.

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker offered her take that Romney is a “dork,” but voters need to look at him like a doctor who has a bad bedside manner. She asks, do the American people care if he is a dork as long as they believe he has the cure?

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2012 12:36 pm

    So Kathleen Parker thinks Mitt Romney is a “dork”! Only Parker, Gregory, and the National Press Club do not know most families in Northern states have two cars for a very good reason! There is the “winter” one — often scarred, and rusted by salt and chemicals of roads, and the good one safely in the garage during the snow season.

    The problem in America is we have a press corps that does not speak the language of living experience with the rest of the nation. It’s hard to soar like an eagle (or watch TV)
    when all we see is a flock of turkeys!

  2. February 26, 2012 1:21 pm

    I think you may be right about elites not understanding the way others live. But I am not sure this explains Romney’s comments about cars. I assume he has multiple cars (Cadillacs) because he owns multiple residences (which doesn’t have much to do with the living experiences of the rest of the nation, as you put it).

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