Roundtable: Closing Time in Iowa

George Will, Leslie Sanchez, Donna Brazile, and Kathy Obradovitch.
12:15 | 12/11/11

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Transcript for Roundtable: Closing Time in Iowa
The last time you had a personal financial strain that forced you not only to give up a luxury but also to cut back on -- subsidy. Didn't have no running water until I was five or six years though it was during the depression -- -- -- we didn't have very much and I worked my way through college I can say that I grew up in a very modest sum we're still coupon clippers day we still go to consignment store today when I was young. We lived an apartment above a gas station square holes on Pennsylvania I didn't -- for. And if somebody is looking for someone who's grown up with that background and I'm not the person. Another standout moments from last night's ABC news debate in Des Moines, Iowa for the candidates on that stage time is running short. The Iowa Caucuses are just around the corner and -- is still Christmas a time when the political world goes into hibernation. So break -- opportunities and now few and far between so let's bring in our roundtable George Will. Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez democratic strategist Donna Brazil and joining us from Iowa and Moines register columnist Kathy -- -- Thank you for joining us -- it did last night change the dynamic in the race. It reinforced today in the sense that we now have a solid front runner and Newt Gingrich. And he's arguing with Mitt Romney -- -- the most collectibles which comes down to this right now with the clock ticking and as you say favoring Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich. Was a shooting star in this town the most prominent Republican from 1994 to 1998 he was at that point the most disliked politician in America probably and he was deposed by his own party -- -- -- the most electable. Mitt Romney says he's most electable I refer people to Jonathan last -- the weekly standard today. Says Mitt Romney has been in its 22. Contested elections upcoming caucuses primaries and general elections he's won five his -- seventeen. And -- -- and George have been saying that they should give. Jon Huntsman a serious second look I mean happy I didn't admit -- that the images is in the song is for Iraq. I don't have a dog in this fight I have a wife and that's -- lines -- And it doesn't it -- I do think that in fact if the clock allows enough time Republican rules have been changed -- us now. People are going to have to say we may need a third candidate. What was witnessed it and let me ask you don't know what do you think Mitt Romney until -- wrong -- thinking this morning. After last night -- well first of all hit silver foot in his mouth moment with that 101000 dollar wage. And that comes on the heels of of course making that comment months ago about 15100000. Payroll tax cuts as a lone bandit. And Mitt Romney's problems that Mitt Romney doesn't know how to. Transition himself from a general election strategy where he was focus on President Obama. To trying to appeal to the so so called self identify Christian conservatives. And the state -- -- His other problem of course is that he doesn't really have a big organization on the ground he's trying to play catch up because his goal is not to come in fourth place. Ron Paul has modernization. And George and I were talking in the Green around -- there's a foot of snow. And you have to -- -- people to the 16100 pre sense here's what Ron Paul will have a drive up to bring you to those precepts that. So it is it anything in -- -- image from the -- register. -- what Donna just said -- and what we've been told about does the -- the indicate his -- -- the -- an island right now. Ron Paul has a very strong campaign in Iowa and have to remember that he has the experience of having come in in fifth place in Iowa Caucuses -- years ago. He -- his campaign never really went away he kept of have an idea presence in the state. For this last four years he had keep people on the state Republican central committee. Is so he has been building up to this for a long time Ron Paul has say energized new caucus goers he energizes young caucus goers. Now typically those are not the most reliable people to go to the caucuses usually want old established people who have our veterans of the caucuses. You know 65 plus as he's been a demographic that you want. That Ron Paul has -- unique ability to not only energize those people that inspire a lot of loyalties and yet he isn't very good place. I know I won't I won't discount though Mitt Romney's organization he's got an experienced crew and he has been working on his organization even though the candidate let let me ask you about responding to Donna evoking and riches and what she said about George Bush Silva foot. In his -- this bets. Is that how -- that -- to play in Iowa. I think that Mitt Romney made a mistake there because. It was it -- false note. It isn't an indicator to people that he's not quite like us. The average median income in Iowa is less than five under it is less than 50000 dollars a year so a bat like that -- -- even though it was an off the key thing. It's one of those little false notes and -- because met Ronnie has not been here he is not campaign here in person. He is not made a personal connection with islands that kind of thing matters. -- Newt Gingrich solid front runner up. Could feel -- and does he have the organization to turn it into win in. Organization. A lot of it was it's not there yet the question about him is does he have the intensity and passion in those caucus goers in those early primary voters we don't really know is it's still -- -- level support. The interesting thing about him if you go back to Newt Gingrich in the 1990s -- the only true revolutionary. And that was what it what -- hearken to the city was somebody who took line. Bill Clinton at the height of his popularity had welfare reform it -- three times to do it telecommunications reform he battled on. Truth in sentencing. There were a lot of things in in markers. And milestones that he's using now -- say that he is that revolutionary. And do you think -- many in the Republican establishment that despite their records of winning and losing Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich that Gingrich might not is electable in a general. -- action against Obama do you think that's -- problem it. But there is a strong. Possibility that he will do the foot and mouth disease that we seen with other key contenders the long road to get to next November's many must believe that he speaks his mind and and it's not all of went -- and sometimes it's very. A -- that Mitt Romney has another problem. That is he has he's might be in the position. That Dick Gephardt percent in 2004. And and -- party. Howard Dean Kamen and searched at the top pick up part had to take him down so -- went negative and he's certainly raised arrogance negatives he also raised his own while doing. And John Kerry went right up the -- that again your third candidate. Talk about some of the things Newt Gingrich has opposed the auto focusing because he is the front runner we want to know how this is going to play out. He does say some pretty alarming -- some might say outrageous things. He said this week that the Palestinians weren't invented people and it came up on in the debate last night no surprise that Simpson. Do you agree with that characterization that the Palestinians -- invented people. No no I don't agree with that and that's just stirring up trouble technically and historically yes. You know under the Ottoman Empire and the Palestinians in a statement neither did Israel have a -- them to. -- what I said factually correct yes is that historically true yes somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists they teach terrorism in their schools it's fundamentally he'll -- time for -- they have the guts to stand up and say. And not lying about the Middle East I happen to agree with with most of what the speaker said except by going out and send the Palestinians are -- people. That I think was a mistake on -- -- part I think. You -- I think as people are probably suggest as well I don't think we want to. Maybe not I. No he he didn't want to take you back -- ratcheted up -- double down and basically called the whole Palestinian people terrorists so. Do you thing. That this is going to be a problem -- him as he goes -- these kinds of statements -- out of step with. TV Israeli leadership with the US leadership and and and everybody. There is a difference between pageantry improvements and he was erring on the side of country -- That said. I I'm not I'm not sure this -- what all people take away from that is he's read his history and that's fine and that reinforces his. His position as the house intellectual smartest man in the room a lot of. Hey it's and and is absolutely Andrew and for more than a third of the caucus school. Kristen event up -- -- -- very supportive of Israel and Newt Gingrich understands that while historically. May be incorrect diplomatically. Terrible this is about pandering to that based -- more. It at a -- aren't being credited Disney way in the eighteen hundreds they were -- the Palestinians but is the point the point is that that kind of brash it's that kind of conviction. Is playing is playing so it isn't a want if for instance full hopefully you'll. I think you know -- -- Anderson had 35 years of both carry on luggage is well historic stolen luggage. Is remorseful last night -- -- he did a good -- look I'm Catholic believe infinite forgiveness I want rent adjustment. Eight he -- less likely take a punch he can give a punch but the bottom line is is that he brings a lot of baggage and I think Republicans want somebody who is now only. Able to articulate -- anger but -- President Obama and Newt Gingrich cannot be President Obama. They go back to Kathy O'Brien the beach in in the -- -- that -- show up and had a strong night she did the whole new Romney mantra. And she's obviously trying to play to the social concerns that isn't. To date I mean having -- so -- in the Ames straw poll is it too late for a -- Michelle Bachmann. Can't come back but she needs some pretty extraordinary things to happen in the next few weeks she basically -- -- really unite them religious conservatives. That means that she's got a knock out Rick Perry. Rick Santorum who has spent more time in Iowa than anybody else. And she's got to really convinced that -- of the religious conservatives that -- Gingrich is not that got in fact Newt Gingrich is drying substantial support from social conservatives and religious conservatives as well as a spectrum of Iowa caucus goers. But there is he has enemies and and the Samsonite the luggage the baggage. Those kinds of things do not play well with certain evangelical groups that would like to promote somebody else the problem -- that those groups. Along with religious conservative generally cannot decide who they like better -- in the absence of if it Michelle Bachmann is that person and she could do well but she is not done so far. All this demonstrates some of their interest in wrinkles out there. You talk about how the evangelicals and Iowa want to defend Israel that put that hurts Ron Paul who doesn't want to spend much of anything on the other hand. According to FEC reports federal election commission -- the third quarter. Ron Paul got more contributions. From active duty military -- the other Republican candidates combined. -- written Ron -- won only 17 -- in the 2008. Caucuses. A 1191000. People showed up if Ron -- in Lawrence a caucus electorate. Get more voters to register that night as Republicans Ron Paul can be what I thought it expected that. We know about like his is caucus goers are not going to be dissuade other we will be dissuaded. In terms of other candidates but if I wanted to go back to Bachman -- at a that was that statement she worked very hard -- on I and I can eyes but that -- tying -- became so transparently in I'll creaky old. What a New Hampshire is it. It's going to be hard to do that because the Iowa results are going to be so interest -- in imparting momentum to everyone but him. Bob -- -- supplement -- -- doesn't have to win this conversation will continue in the Green wrote.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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