WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: Santorum And Romney Duke It Out, Gingrich Turns Into Chuckie, POTUS’ Recess Appointments | Roland Martin Reports

WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: Santorum And Romney Duke It Out, Gingrich Turns Into Chuckie, POTUS’ Recess Appointments

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney duke it out in Iowa, Republicans are absolutely freaking out about the prospects of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich rise in the polls being challenged with negative political ads, POTUS recess appointments plus Robert Traynham Vs. Cornell Belcher.

MR. MARTIN:  All right, folks.  Let’s get right to it.  We had Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum duking it out in Iowa, and here’s what’s amazing to me.  Republicans are absolutely freaking out about the prospects of Mitt Romney, and I’m goin’, “Isn’t this why they have primaries – that you run to amass delegates to win?”  It’s only one contest so far.  Why are they losing their mind[s] over the prospects of Romney, or even a Santorum?

MS. KAREN FINNEY:  Well, particularly after a whole season of, you know, one went up, one – [the] other went down.  The other went up, the other went down in terms of the who’s the “not Mitt.”  So, they knew this was going to happen, although I think that’s part of the reason there’s the conservative gathering over this weekend, where they’re all caballing in Texas.  I’m sure it’s to figure out “Can we live with Romney – if that’s who we have to live with?”

MR. MARTIN:  I mean I – I – I don’t get it, because isn’t the whole point of a process to allow the people to decide and not the establishment?

MR. CORNELL BELCHER:  But that’s – but that’s what the fro- — that’s what the fear is.  I mean, you know, Robert’s folks have been brutalized over the last year or so.  Look at the primaries.  The Tea Party is – has absolutely brutalized the Republicans in – in the primary and scared the beejeezus out of the Washington establishment, and the Washington establishment is clearly saying, “We want Mitt Romney” – but the Tea Party has yet to speak and coalesce around a candidate.  And I’ve got to think that when the Tea Party coalesces around one of these other conservative candidates, if he – if he or she ha- — if he has the time at this point and has in- — can raise the money and infrastructure, that candidate’s going to beat Mitt Romney, ’cause the vast majority of the conservatives don’t trust Mitt Romney.

MR. ROBERT TRAYNHAM:  What I don’t understand – the premise of your question is Republicans “freaking out.”  I don’t know what Republicans are “freaking out,” Roland.  The –

MR. MARTIN:  Robert, you –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — primary –

MR. MARTIN:  — haven’t watched TV –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — let me finish.

MR. MARTIN:  — for the last three weeks?

MR. TRAYNHAM:  I – I have, and – and what I’ve seen is –

MR. MARTIN:  [Crosstalk].

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — what — I’m – I’m sure – I’m sure I’ve seen what you’ve seen, and that is – is that the American people are speaking and saying, “We don’t know who we like yet.”  “Sometimes, we like Herman Cain.”  [Chuckles.]  “Sometimes we like” –

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — well, no.  Well, I’m just being what – honest what the polls are saying.  “Sometimes, we like Ron Paul.”  “Sometimes, we like Michele Bachmann.”  This is what the primary process is all about.  It’s sausage making.  I remind you that back in 2000, Democrats were having the very same conversation when Al Gore and Bill Bradley were f- — were fighting, literally, for the Democratic nomination.  Did you want to go with the liberal, or did you want to go for the moderate?  I remind you that back in 1980, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were still having this conversation.

MR. MARTIN:  Okay.  First of all –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Prior – let –

MR. MARTIN:  — first of all –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — me finish.

MR. MARTIN:  — 2000 –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Primaries –

MR. MARTIN:  — Al Gore –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — primaries – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  — was a sitting vice president.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — but the –

MR. MARTIN:  It was –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — but the –

MR. MARTIN:  — not a –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — point is –

MR. MARTIN:  — a – it wasn’t even close to the same –

OFF CAMERA:  No – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  — thing with Bill Bradley.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — yes, it was.  Yes, it wa- —

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Okay.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — well –

MS. FINNEY:  But the –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — if I could –

MS. FINNEY:  — but the thing –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — finish – and the reason why it was is because th- — and I looked at the clips, by the way – is because a lot of Democrats and a lot of the national press were saying, “But wait a minute.  This is all” – “This is a struggle between the heart and soul of the Democratic Party” – in 2000.  “Why is Al Gore being challenged?”  The reason why he’s being challenged is because a lot of liberals at that time didn’t know exactly where he stood on the –

MR. MARTIN:  [Crosstalk]- —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — issues.

MR. MARTIN:  — there – to me, there’s a difference between somebody who’s a sitting vice president and someone running against him, b- — [and] between what’s happening here.  There literally is a significant anti-Mitt Romney –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. MARTIN:  — [crosstalk] – in – in the party –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. MARTIN:  Chris – Chris, go ahead.  [Crosstalk]- —

DR. METZLER:  [Crosstalk] — it’s[?] because there’s a fight in the Republican Party:  “Do we want to be practical, or do we want to be ideological?”  That’s the problem that’s going on in the Republican Party right now.  So, if they want to be ideological, they’re going to have to go with someone like Santorum.  If that happens, the pragmatists fear that he’s not going to be elected.  So, do they really want four more years of Obama?  That’s the question.

MS. FINNEY:  But this is the tension that has been going on for a very long time – on both sides, frankly – in terms of it is about letting the voters have their say.  I mean we did, as the Democratic Party, go through this in 2008.  I love[?] – [crosstalk] – all the pundits tried to predict, and every time, they were so surprised because they sai- — and I would say to them when I was at the DNC, “It’s ’cause the voters are going to do what they’re going to do” –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. FINNEY:  — “and you can’t tell them what to do.”

MR. MARTIN:  Right, and – and that’s – that’s the point I’m making; because, again, when I hear – again – the establishment make their argument, I keep saying – again, folks were freaking out on Tuesday night, saying, “New Hampshire – what’s going to happen next?”

And I’d say, “Guys, you[’ve] got to win the nomination.  This is why you actually run.”

MS. FINNEY:  That’s right.

MR. MARTIN:  One person who was also, you know, really getting upset is Chucky – Newt Gingrich.

MS. FINNEY:  [Laughs.]

MR. MARTIN:  I mean he – he is so mad at Mitt Romney, he looked like the movie character Chucky.  I mean he is –

MS. FINNEY:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — hot and upset, and I’m sitting there, going, “Newt, suck it up!  You sound like a little wimp, complaining about negative advertising.”  I’m sure Jim Wright’s in Texas going, “Yeah, now you know how that feels, huh, Newt?”

MR. TRAYNHAM:  And this is the Newt Ging- — I’ll re- — this is the Newt Gingrich that we knew and fell in love with, and hated, in the mid-1990s.  He’s very thin-skinned – very thin-skinned – and, thus, in the process, wha- — it’s – it’s really – it’s a war in his head – really.  And it is “us” against “them.”  “And if you’re against me, I’m going to” –

MS. FINNEY:  “It’s me against them” – [chuckles] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — well, okay.  Okay.

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk]- —

MS. FINNEY:  — actually.

MR. MARTIN:  Cornell.

MR. BELCHER:  But – but the – really – but, really quickly, this point is – and – and [to] take it to a broader point – is that Newt’s got a lot to be angry [about], but not angry, necessarily, at Mitt Romney.  He should be angry at – at the process now, ’cause this – ’cause this is what will become the problem.  We now have millionaires upon millionaires [who] can simply write million-dollar checks and – and influence – and influence the – the – the – the process and have no accountability or responsibility.

MR. MARTIN:  But the GOP –

MR. BELCHER:  To – to –

MR. MARTIN:  — is cool with that!

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk] – to – to – [crosstalk] –

MS. FINNEY:  But you know what?

MR. BELCHER:  — wait, wait, wait, wait!  But – but s- — but it’s the super PACs ge- — jumpi- — jumping in this, and it’s the influx of all this money.  And you cannot tell me that the – that the voters and the voice of the people win out when you have millionaires putting this kind of money in the process.

MR. MARTIN:  Karen.

MR. BELCHER:  It undermines the – the democratic –

MS. FINNEY:  Two things.

MR. BELCHER:  — process.

MS. FINNEY:  Number one, Gingrich was fine with it when it wasn’t him who was the target of all that.  So, that’s my problem with him on that.  Secondly, in Iowa, you have 660,000 registered Republicans.  110,000 of them turned out, so that means the majority of registered Republicans decided to let a small group of people make their decision for them.  That has nothing to do with big money going in or going out.  That means you have to have your responsibility to –

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk] –

MS. FINNEY:  — go –

MR. BELCHER:  — you’re –

MS. FINNEY:  — vote!

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. BELCHER:  — here’s where big money does actually –

MR. MARTIN:  Okay.

MR. BELCHER:  — absolutely, ’cause this is an interesting conversation.  This is where big money does have an impact.  Newt Gingrich was – was rising in the polls.  Big money said, “We’re not going to let Newt Gingrich rise in the polls,” and they spent millions of dollars attacking Newt Gingrich.  Those millions of dollars do absolutely influence it.

MS. FINNEY:  [Crosstalk]- —

MR. BELCHER:  And guess what?  Going – [crosstalk] –

MS. FINNEY:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  — South Carolina – [crosstalk] – Florida –

MS. FINNEY:  — but if – but if –

MR. BELCHER:  — that money’s going to –

MS. FINNEY:  — he didn’t have – but if he didn’t –

MR. BELCHER:  — influence the –

MS. FINNEY:  — have – if he didn’t have –

MR. BELCHER:  — contest!

MS. FINNEY:  — baggage – if he didn’t have all that baggage and wasn’t trying to lie to the voters –

MR. BELCHER:  Yeah.  I’m not taking[?] up –

MS. FINNEY:  — about who he really was –

MR. BELCHER:  — for Newt Gingrich – I’m not taking up for –

MS. FINNEY:  — it wouldn’t ’ve necessarily –

MR. BELCHER:  — I’m not taking up –

MS. FINNEY:  — worked.

MR. BELCHER:  — Newt Gingrich.

DR. METZLER:  So –

MR. BELCHER:  [Laughs.]

DR. METZLER:  — Newt is mad because of the fact that he did not have the money to run the advertisements –

MS. FINNEY:  Right.  That’s exactly – [crosstalk]!

DR. METZLER:  — that’s why he was mad –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk.]

DR. METZLER:  — to defend himself.

MR. MARTIN:  And what’s –

DR. METZLER:  So –

MR. MARTIN:  — also interesting is that he virtually has no surrogates.  I mean, seriously.

MS. FINNEY:  Yeah.

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. MARTIN:  You don’t have people out here defending – [crosstalk] –

MS. FINNEY:  Right.  That’s it.

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk] – person – there’s one person I think our audience – your audience would probably recognize, and that’s J.C. Watts –

MS. FINNEY:  Yeah.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — which I thought was ironic.

MR. MARTIN:  Yeah, but he[?] doesn’t –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. MARTIN:  — say much.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk] –

[CHUCKLING.]

MR. MARTIN:  All right.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] –

[CROSSTALK, LAUGHTER.]

MR. MARTIN:  I – I – I just want to go to this – [crosstalk] – Obama Administration when it came to the [recent appointments] – appointing Richard Corday, of course, [to the] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also the National Labor Relations Board.  And I must say – I’m saying, “Yes, it’s about damned time, Mr. President.  Thank you for finally realizing the other side – they‘re not going to play this game nice, and you’re going to have to go there and go all the way and say, ‘Look.  You guys wanna play the game?  Fine.  Let’s play the game.’”

Now, I personally think it’s ridiculous when Democrats and Republicans block presidential appointees to the point where they can’t get a[n] up and down vote, but what he did this week – I’m saying, “Hey, good job.”

DR. METZLER:  We- — well, except for the fact that Congress is not in recess.  Now, he had an opportunity to do it.  There was that one – one point when the gavel was up; it had not gone down.  It is at that point that he should have done it.

MS. FINNEY:  That one, little –

DR. METZLER:  You know –

MS. FINNEY:  — second!  [Crosstalk] —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Well, look.

DR. METZLER:  — yeah, that’s right.  That’s –

MS. FINNEY:  — [crosstalk] –

DR. METZLER:  That’s right!

MS. FINNEY:  — [crosstalk].

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk] – but to your point, constitutionally, I believe he was obviously within his right to do that.  I mean, obviously, it pisses a lot of people off.  However –

DR. METZLER:  [Crosstalk] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — however

MR. MARTIN:  Now – now, for the people watching, it is in the Constitution –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — that presidents can –

MR. MARTIN:  — for the President to make recess appointments.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — correct.

MR. MARTIN:  Go right ahead.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  So, having said that –

MR. MARTIN:  [Chuckles.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — to your point, it’s almost like, “Finally!”  Finally, this man has a spine.  Finally, he’s going to stand up for what he really believes in; and, thus, in the process, finally, it seems like maybe he’s in campaign – reelection mode.

The question is – that I’m hearing from a lot of my Democratic friends is, “Why didn’t he do this five months ago, or six months ago?”

MS. FINNEY:  And I will say it’s because he made the mistake of treating the congressional Republicans –

MR. BELCHER:  [Laughs.]

MS. FINNEY:  — like they were adults who could be trusted –

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk.]

MS. FINNEY:  — to govern.  And now he realizes, “You know what?  They actually don’t care about governing, so you don’t get to be treated like an” –

MR. MARTIN:  I’m sorry.

MS. FINNEY:  — “adult.”

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Well, you –

MR. MARTIN:  I mean – [crosstalk]- —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — know –

MR. MARTIN:  — frankly – [crosstalk].  Okay.  I knew –

MS. FINNEY:  And I’m totally cool with it.

MR. MARTIN:  — from the moment he got in, Republicans were going to block him.  And I knew m- —

MS. FINNEY:  He was –

MR. MARTIN:  — from the mo- —

MS. FINNEY:  — trying.

MR. MARTIN:  — and I – and I also knew the moment when Bush got in, that Democrats would do the exact –

OFF CAMERA:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  — same thing.

OFF CAMERA:  I mean –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk] – well, no.  Well, no.  The – the fury and the – and the acidit- — and acid – that – that – that we now see in the process is not what you s- — what – what you see in the p- —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Oh, Cornell –

MR. BELCHER:  — in the – in the past.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — please.

MR. BELCHER:  No!  No!  No!

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk] – challenge you –

MR. BELCHER:  There’s –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — on that.

MR. BELCHER:  — no – well, okay.  Challenge me on that, but let –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk.].

MR. BELCHER:  — me – let me –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  I mean –

MR. BELCHER:  — let me – let me make this –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — I was in the Senate –

MR. BELCHER:  The –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — I was in the Senate –

MR. BELCHER:  — fury – they have not let him get one up or down on a- — on – on almost – on almost any appointment, and –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — can – [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  — the – and the – and the –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — with you.

MR. BELCHER:  — lang- —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  I – I can challenge –

MR. BELCHER:  — and the – and the –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — you on that.

MR. BELCHER:  — and – and the – and the language.  D- — Demo- —

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Don’t go there.

MR. BELCHER:  — Democrats in the Senate did not do what Republicans in – in the Senate are now doing –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Yes, they did.

MR. BELCHER:  — are doing.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  No- — [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  No, they –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  — no, they – no, they –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. BELCHER:  — didn’t!

MR. TRAYNHAM:  That is not –

MR. BELCHER:  No, they –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — accurate!

MR. BELCHER:  — did not.  No –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  That is not –

MR. BELCHER:  — they did not!

OFF CAMERA:  They absolutely did.

MR. BELCHER:  No, they did not!  Look at – look at all the – look at all the appointments he has sitting there, waiting.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — and – and you know – [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  And no way

MR. MARTIN:  Robert, go ahead.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  — Bush had that!

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — we could[?] –

MR. BELCHER:  No way Bush had that –

MR. MARTIN:  Robert, go ahead.

MR. BELCHER:  — many sitting o- — around, waiting.  It’s gotten[?] to a point –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — we – we –

MR. BELCHER:  — it’s just not factually –

MR. MARTIN:  Robert, go ahead.

MR. BELCHER:  — true!

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — we – we need to – we need to be on next week, and I’ll do my homework, and I’ll show you all the –

MR. MARTIN:  Here’s the –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — list –

MR. MARTIN:  — deal.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — hold on.  Hold on!  I’ll show you the list of all the people — Miguel Estrada – you go on down the list of all the folks that the D- —

MR. BELCHER:  Robert –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — let me finish –

MR. BELCHER:  — I will take you –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — that the –

MR. BELCHER:  — on –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — Democrats –

MR. BELCHER:  — person for –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — that the Democrats –

MR. BELCHER:  — person –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — personally –

MR. BELCHER:  — o- — on – on who the –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — that –

MR. BELCHER:  — Republicans have been –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — the –

MR. BELCHER:  — blocking versus – the w- — let’s – let’s have a –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — but let’s go back –

MR. BELCHER:  — [crosstalk] – history[?] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — to your point.

MR. BELCHER:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  But let’s go back to your point.  Your point –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — was –

MR. BELCHER:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] –

[CROSSTALK.]

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Robert, Cornell –

MR. BELCHER:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — hold on!  Your point was –

[CHUCKLING.]

MR. MARTIN:  Robert –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — you said –

MR. MARTIN:  — Cornell –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — that – that – that – that Republicans did not have – do the same, exact thing to –

MR. MARTIN:  Robert –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — Democrats and vice –

MR. MARTIN:  — and Cornell –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — versa.  My point is – is that –

MR. MARTIN:  — Robert –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — Democrats did –

MR. MARTIN:  — Robert –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — the exact[?] –

MR. MARTIN:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. BELCHER:  — no, my – no, my point –

MR. MARTIN:  — Robert –

MR. BELCHER:  — is the level –

MR. MARTIN:  — Robert –

MR. BELCHER:  — that the level of hostility –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — [crosstalk] – reality –

MR. MARTIN:  — gentlemen –

MR. BELCHER:  — that – that Republicans are now showing this –

MR. MARTIN:  — gentlemen

MR. BELCHER:  — president – there’s no way we’ve seen that –

MR. MARTIN:  — gentlemen!

MR. BELCHER:  — in the past!

MR. MARTIN:  Robert –

MR. BELCHER:  There’s no way

MR. MARTIN:  — and Cornell –

MR. BELCHER:  — that’s accurate.

MR. MARTIN:  — here’s the deal.

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk] – my point –

MR. MARTIN:  Both of you –

MR. BELCHER:  — is accurate[?].

MR. MARTIN:  — will be back on the show next week.  We’ll present to our audience what the actual facts are, and then they can see it for themselves.  So, both of you, calm the hell down.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Okay.

MR. MARTIN:  All right, then.

[LAUGHTER.]

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  So, let me go real quick.  Will New Hampshire matter?  We think Mitt Romney likely is leading big-time in the polls.  Is the real issue after Tuesday what’s going to happen in South Carolina and Florida?

MS. FINNEY:  Uh, yes; and it matters, though, that Mitt actually has a good showing, a strong showing in New Hampshire.

MR. MARTIN:  Chris?

DR. METZLER:  New Hampshire doesn’t matter.  It’s South Carolina and Florida.

MR. MARTIN:  Robert?

MR. TRAYNHAM:  South Carolina since 1980 has always chosen the Republican nominee.  It’s South Carolina.

MR. MARTIN:  Cornell.

MR. BELCHER:  New Hampshire doesn’t matter, ’cause – and – and the Republicans sh- — the point[?] [is?] it should set up – New Hampshire has high expectations that Mitt can’t Ro- — can’t meet, and South Carolina and Florida matter.

MR. MARTIN:  Last, quick round:  is John Hu- — Huntsman dead after Tuesday?

MS. FINNEY:  Yeah.  Time to go home.

DR. METZLER:  He’s been dead.  He’s a Democrat.

MS. FINNEY:  Oh!  Oh, wait a second!

DR. METZLER:  [Laughs.]

MS. FINNEY:  What?

MR. TRAYNHAM:  He’s a –

DR. METZLER:  [Laughs.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  – he’s a – he’s a dead man walking.

MR. BELCHER:  He is done.

MR. MARTIN:  And it’s amazing.  He’s a pretty nice guy who’s reasonable – which means he cannot win the GOP nomination.

All right, folks.

DR. METZLER:  [Laughs.]

MR. MARTIN:  Karen, Chris – Robert, Cornell, we’ll see the two of you next week.  It’s gonna be the WWL –

MS. FINNEY:  Round two, baby!

MR. MARTIN:  — on this show.  Okay!

  • Bmalikalu

    I was expecting to see Robert Trayham and Cornell Belcher this week.  When will they be back on the show?