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JOHN KING, USA

Interview With Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman; U.S. Citizens Deported By Mistake

Aired January 5, 2012 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm John King.

We're live tonight from Bedford, New Hampshire. Just five days from now, this state holds its leadoff presidential primary. Mitt Romney is the far away front-runner here. We will take you inside his voter-by-voter effort to protect that big lead.

The former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman not only skipped Iowa; he showered insults on the state. He joins us amid signs his New Hampshire-first strategy could prove fatal.

Plus, a border security foul-up: how a teenager who was a U.S. citizen and doesn't speak Spanish mistakenly is deported to South America.

Tonight, Mitt Romney's feeling so confident about his chances here in New Hampshire, he isn't even here. Romney started a quick trip to South Carolina this afternoon, leaving his rivals to snipe at one another at what is turning into a battle for survival and for second place.

Newt Gingrich belittled Rick Santorum's record going all the way back to when they served together in the House back in the 1990s. Gingrich then was speaker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you think of us as partners, he would clearly in historical experience would have been the junior partner. He's not a bad person. I want to be clear about this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Well, Senator Santorum took offense at being labeled a junior partner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was no junior partner in that. Newt was not involved in that revolution when it came to the corruption and the scandal. He sat on the sidelines.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: CNN's Jim Acosta keeping up with the increasingly pointed back and forth.

Jim, Romney's in the lead here. I assume if Gingrich and Santorum are going at each other, they think maybe they can't get to the top, so they have got to fight for second or third.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that's right, John.

Rick Santorum is not campaigning in relative obscurity anymore as he was in Iowa right up until those days before the Iowa caucuses. He is now one of the big targets in this campaign and he was feeling it today. Newt Gingrich went after him as you just mentioned there, calling him a junior partner in the Republican Revolution back in the 1990s.

And I caught up with Senator Santorum and asked him about that. And that's the clip that you just played there. And Santorum had a pretty sharp response. He said, look, if you go back to the House banking scandal before Newt Gingrich was the speaker of the House, I, Rick Santorum, was part of the gang of seven that brought that to light.

So, Santorum is saying, hey, I was part of that Republican revolution before you were, Newt. And it went back and forth all day long. Gingrich then went back to Santorum and said, hey, you don't have the capacity to mount a national campaign. And Santorum said to me -- I asked him about that, he said, wait a minute, I just raised $1 million in one day, what do you mean I can't run a national campaign?

I asked him, though, is that enough money to continue the way you're going right now and trying to catch up with Mitt Romney? And he said there's a long way to go in this campaign, John, he's only getting started.

KING: Only getting started.

Jim, any evidence at all that there's a big enough Iowa bounce for Rick Santorum in the polling here in New Hampshire?

ACOSTA: There is a poll that came out in the last couple of days from Suffolk University. It is one of those polls, though, John, that started before the caucuses and then ended after the caucuses, so it's difficult to gauge.

Santorum does have a little bit of bounce out of that momentum he was starting to build in Iowa. It's not clear yet whether or not that's going to take hold in this state. But it's interesting to watch Santorum out on the campaign trail. We were with him just a couple of hours ago in Concord, and he was at a College Republican conference.

And he got into it on the issue of gay marriage and was actually booed as he left the podium at the very end of the conference. And it just goes to show you that Senator Santorum is not campaigning without the press towing behind him. He definitely has people watching him right now, not only the press, but conservative activists in this state who want to make sure and kick the tires and make sure he's the real deal and can be the real alternative to Mitt Romney, John.

KING: Jim Acosta, live for us in Manchester tonight, Jim, thank you.

Let's take a closer look at that rocky day for Rick Santorum here in New Hampshire. Take a look right here at what happened this afternoon. He's in Concord, Santorum defending his opposition to same-sex marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Everybody has a right to be happy. So if you're not happy unless you're married to five other people, is that OK?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm asking her. So there is some objective standard?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (OFF-MIKE) for two men to have the same rights as a man and woman.

SANTORUM: Well, what about three men?

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: Stop. If she reflects the values that is marriage can be for anybody or any group of people, as many as is necessary, any two people or any three or four, marriage really means whatever you want it to mean.

For those of you who say, well, I want to keep marriage as what I believe marriage is, in fact, what marriage has always been, which is the union of a man and a woman, why? Because I believe we are made that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Santorum ended up getting booed off the stage as Jim Acosta noted at that event with college students.

Let's bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, he was asked a question, I want to be clear, as Senator Santorum did not bring that issue up. But it is a reminder of how campaigns have changed. When you go to an event like this, New Hampshire retail politics, there's always groups asking questions, but increasingly, you find people from the other campaigns or people from Democratic organizations or from gay and lesbian interest groups and the like showing up at events, deliberately trying to provoke the candidates.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, absolutely.

When you think about New Hampshire, though, John, you think of voters who may be conservative, but they're much more attuned to the fiscal issues than the social issues. But there were clearly people in this audience who wanted to push those buttons with Rick Santorum, because that's where the controversy lies for him.

And they want to remind people that he's very conservative on these social issues, that he opposes gay marriage, that he opposes things like stem cell research and on and on. When you get to that top tier, the scrutiny becomes tougher and people start going after you, and I think that's what we saw today.

KING: And when you watch -- as we were just talking with Jim -- the subplot here, Romney's obviously in the lead and we will have debates over the weekend and there's no doubt he will have the kick me sign on him, but you have a struggle.

Ron Paul polls second here at 18 percent, another state where Ron Paul has hard support. For Gingrich and Santorum, Santorum obviously with the tie in Iowa or just second place in Iowa, he can move on. He can say at least I have one good performance. What's the New Hampshire challenge?

BORGER: Well, I think the challenge for the others in New Hampshire is to get Mitt Romney out of the stratosphere. They kind of figure they're not going to win, but they have to bring him back down to earth. And that's what they're really trying to do, so they can go on to South Carolina and say, you know what? Mitt Romney is the weakest front-runner we have ever had, which is what Newt Gingrich said today.

They want to weaken him, they want to take him out of the 40 percent range and get him back to where he's always been, which is in the 20 percent range. If Mitt Romney doesn't do as well as he's now polling, they can say, you know what? We're moving on to South Carolina and he is a vulnerable front-runner.

And, John, let me add one other thing, that I learned from the Santorum campaign today that they're going to make a very large ad buy in South Carolina. They say it shows that the money is now coming in and that they will be ready to take on Mitt Romney in South Carolina, because they believe they have a really good shot at that state where the moral values issues are very dominant.

KING: Five days from New Hampshire, then the campaign ships on to South Carolina, complicated chess, as Gloria indicates there.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Got to plan ahead.

KING: Gloria Borger, thanks for your help tonight.

You do have to plan ahead. And as Gloria noted, Mitt Romney's way ahead here. One of the questions is, can he protect that lead with just five days?

Let's take a moment now. We're going to take you inside the Romney campaign strategy to protect that big lead. We went by the campaign headquarters today. Many volunteers at the Romney campaign, and he has the biggest organization here and he has the deepest organization here.

You see the volunteers on the phone. They're not calling as you often see saying I'm calling Mitt Romney, do you support our guy? What they're doing is going through a Republican voter list. They're calling up almost as if they're pollster, checking. Each of these voters have been asked before, who are you going to vote for?

The Romney campaign knows who its voters are. Listen here as they're going back to double-check to make sure they're not losing anybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if the primary were held today, which of the candidates would you most likely support? And I can read through the list if you need it. Oh, great.

And thinking about your support for that candidate on a scale of one to five, with one meaning certainly you will vote that person and five meaning you are open to other candidates or could change your mind, how committed are you to your first choice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Excellent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's what you call working your lists or as Santa might say checking it twice at the Romney campaign. Nice to get an inside glimpse at the campaign. We will keep doing that as we're here.

Ron Paul finished a strong third in Iowa. He's flying into New Hampshire tomorrow afternoon for a rally at the Nashua Airport. Today, one of his aides telling CNN Paul's campaign has raised $13 million in the past three months.

Shifting now to other news today, President Obama gave Republicans a new target for likely campaign attacks. At the Pentagon, the president unveiling plans to cut military spending and change the country's overall defense posture. No longer will the United States be prepared to fight two ground wars at the same time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible, and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let's check in live with our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence.

Chris, is the defense secretary and the military brass, they on board with this? CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Seems so publicly, John. And you could make the argument that the military could never fight two ground wars. The Army had to add 90,000 troops just to get through Iraq and Afghanistan.

I spoke with an official who said, look, if you think that the danger, your greatest danger is right around the corner, you keep the number of troops high. But the military feels the greatest danger may come down the road. They're cutting about 47,000 Marines and soldiers. And I'm told by one official, that number will probably grow even higher. And Secretary Panetta admitted these are very tough choices ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON PANETTA, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There's no question, there is no question that we have to make some tradeoffs and that we will be taking as a result of that some level of additional but acceptable risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE: Now, critics say the new plan will worry U.S. allies and embolden U.S. enemies. One official said it's like going from having a comprehensive health care plan to actually just buying insurance for the diseases you think you will have in the future -- John.

KING: Interesting way to put it. Chris Lawrence, a big debate in Washington certain to play out on the campaign trail. Chris, thanks so much.

Ahead, tonight's "Truth" lets you decide if Rick Santorum insulted African-Americans while discussing welfare and poverty.

And in just three minutes, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman says Iowa picks corn and New Hampshire picks presidents. We will ask the candidate what happens if New Hampshire picks someone else.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Jon Huntsman's betting on New Hampshire Republicans to keep his presidential campaign alive. He spent 68 days in this state, held more than 150 events. Governor Huntsman is with us now.

That commitment, you mentioned that -- I mentioned that time commitment, and yet, if you look at the polls, you're still struggling. The new Suffolk University poll out, Governor Romney at 41 percent, Ron Paul at 18, Rick Santorum at 8, and then Gingrich and Huntsman at 7. There's only five days left, Governor.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we had a CNN poll, in fact, two or three polls, putting us at 13 yesterday in strong third place.

We have beat market expectations, John. Wherever the marketplace suggests our performance ought to be, we've got to do better than that when we wake up on the 11th. And if we can pull that off, then we can move forward.

KING: Define that. Because you make the case as you travel this state that you can't trust Mitt Romney, that he changes his positions, and that conservatives can't trust him, Americans can't trust him. If he's at 41 and you're at 7 or maybe in the low-to-mid teens, isn't that evidence they trust him more?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I think we're putting a little too much emphasis on polls. You can have 100 percent name recognition and people might be there for the time being. But let's also remember that probably 50 percent of this state is undecided.

So, there's a lot of blue sky and a lot of opportunity and room for growth for the rest of us, as we saw in Iowa. The establishment tees up Mitt Romney, 75 percent of those who turned out to vote basically said, "That's not where we're going. We want an alternative." I think the same is true in this state as it is throughout the country.

KING: You know how this works, though. He did get a win, eight votes, winning ugly beats losing. He wins in Iowa. He's expected to win here. Do you -- you don't think you can beat him, do you?

HUNTSMAN: We're going to do well. We're going to exceed market expectations.

KING: So, if he wins the first two, what will the market then be, heading onto South Carolina where, if I'm right, I think you have maybe five or six staffers.

HUNTSMAN: It's going to be wide open. As I say, 75 percent of those in Iowa, which is representatives of Republicans across the board, didn't want to take the establishment recommended candidate. And that says something about the marketplace.

I think this race goes on a very long time because of the unsettled nature of where the Republican Party is right now.

KING: Is it to you a question of trust, or is there -- pick one issue where you have such a sharp contrast with Governor Romney you would say to Republicans and Independents in this state, "Here's your reason right here. Here's the one issue."

HUNTSMAN: "What is your core? You run for the Senate as a liberal. You run for governor as a moderate. You run for president as a conservative. People want to know who you were yesterday and what you're going to be tomorrow, and they want to know that there's going to be an element of consistency with that."

I think the whole issue of trust is going to be a huge one in this election cycle, because we have a trust deficit in this country, just like we have an economic deficit. People no longer trust their institutions of power. They no longer trust their elected officials, and I would say it's going to weigh very, very heavily in the minds of the voters this go-around.

KING: The incumbent president of the United States went to the Pentagon today and announced the new defense strategy, and we for years have had this fight-two-wars strategy, the military would be ready -- it's a Cold War, basically. If we had a war with Russia, we'd be ready to do something else.

The president today says it's time to adjust that strategy, be leaner, meaner, and save a lot of money.

You've had the courage at Republican events -- a lot of conservatives say no, don't touch the Pentagon. You and your town hall say, look, we have to cut everything. Look at everything, anyway. Is the president right, here, or is he going too far?

HUNTSMAN: Well, you've got to find greater efficiencies in the defense budget, there's no question about that, and we have to prepare -- be prepared first and foremost to have a defense budget that is based on a strategy.

And that strategy must be protecting the American people, realizing full well that we're not likely to fight a large land war in Europe anytime soon. But we do have this challenge called "terror" for as far as the eye can see into the 21st century.

But that's all got to be driven by what I think to be our most important foreign policy priority right now, and that's economics. We've got to drive the debate by economics, trade, investment, and engagement. And this president has been nowhere to be found on international trade issues.

KING: I was in Iowa last week, and you were here saying "Iowans pick corn, New Hampshire picks presidents." They didn't like that so much out in Iowa. But what if New Hampshire picks somebody else?

HUNTSMAN: Well, you don't have to always take the number one slot. I think there will be several tickets out of New Hampshire. You have to have one of those tickets.

KING: If you were the --

(CROSSTALK)

HUNTSMAN: And you get one of those by exceeding market expectations.

KING: If you were the Republican nominee, Iowa will be a swing state next November. What would Jon Huntsman say the day he landed after the convention in Tampa that said, "Hello, Iowa. Sorry?"

HUNTSMAN: No. We love you, and we're going to improve your export markets abroad, and that ought to make ever agro and every small business proud of a president who is going to be advocating that.

KING: Governor Huntsman, appreciate your time -- HUNTSMAN: Thank you, John.

KING: -- and it'll be New Hampshire the next five days, we'll keep our eyes on it.

HUNTSMAN: It's a pleasure to be with you, as always.

KING: Good luck, sir.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you.

KING: Rick Santorum's under fire tonight because he voted for among other things that now infamous bridge to nowhere. We will show you some of the other pet projects he supported during his days in the Congress.

Also when we come back, next, a market record, not on Wall Street, but on Tokyo's fish market.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back. We're live tonight at the spectacular Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, New Hampshire -- more of our coverage of the New Hampshire presidential primary just five days away now.

(NEWS BREAK)

KING: Up next: how a Texas teenager ended up being deported to Colombia even though she's a U.S. citizen -- one important clue, she lied about her name.

Also, the truth about Rick Santorum said about welfare and African-Americans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: In this half-hour, the truth about Rick Santorum's comments, inflammatory words about African-Americans. We have also been digging into his record for supporting the pet projects so beloved by members of Congress.

And Steve Jobs as you have never seen him before. Apple says you shouldn't see him like this.

Tonight, authorities from Texas to Washington are trying to figure out who made a whopper of a mistake. Somehow, a girl who is a U.S. citizen, doesn't speak a word of Spanish was deported to South America because she gave authorities a fake name.

The girl's mother who has been trying to find her for over a year is among those demanding answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNISA TURNER, MOTHER: I mean, I just -- there has to be adults involved. No 14-year-old can change their name and get to Colombia on their own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: CNN's Ed Lavandera has been looking into this case.

Ed, walk us through how this happened.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this is baffling, troubling and very frightening for the family of now 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner.

But all of this starts back in November of 2010, John. Jakadrien, we're told by family members, runs away from home. Family members start trying to figure out where she might be. Then we cut to April of last year. Jakadrien is arrested for shoplifting in a mall in Houston. But instead of giving authorities her real name, she tells them she is 21-year-old Tika Cortez, and that's where this incredible process begins.

She goes to the local sentencing process, pleads guilty to the theft charge, spends at least four days in jail and then, because she's told authorities that she is Colombian, she was held over by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, excuse me, ICE, and then they begin deportation proceedings. She doesn't have any identification with them. It's not exactly clear why they took her at just face value and that sort of thing, but they say -- ICE officials say she has fooled a lot of people and lied outright throughout this entire process, not only on the local level but the federal level.

But then also had to convince Colombian authorities, without identification, that she was Colombian, as well. She received the proper paperwork to get into Colombia. She was then deported.

Family members say that what they have seen, they've been following her throughout various Facebook and Twitter postings, and what they say is a very discouraging and very frightening situation.

We now understand that this young girl is in the custody of the Colombian government and being held in these juvenile services that care for children in dangerous situations. But why it's been taking so long. We're told that the foreign ministry in Colombia is trying to get her back to the United States, but this has been going on now, these conversations, for more than a month. It's not exactly clear why it's taking so long to get her back, John.

KING: Ed, is the Colombian government helping in that effort or are they resisting?

LAVANDERA: Well, that's what is kind of difficult to tell at this point. The public -- and we've reached out to the Colombian consulate in Houston where presumably they would have sent officials over to speak with Jakadrien Turner, but last year -- and we're told by our colleagues down in Bogota, Colombia, that the foreign ministry is working on getting that back -- on getting her back.

But this has been a very slow process, which leaves many people here in the United States very confused as to why this is taking so -- taking so long. She was essentially given Colombian citizenship. So that might be, you know, the revocation of all that. That might be one of the things slowing all this down.

But it's been very difficult to get answers. We've been awaiting most of the day from statements from the foreign ministry in Colombia and haven't received those statements as of yet.

KING: Ed Lavandera, fascinating story. We'll stay on top of it. Thank you.

One of the criticisms of Rick Santorum. He comes out of Iowa with a big bounce, coming in just eight votes behind Mitt Romney. Now some of his conservative critics, his rivals, and Tea Party activists say he's no consistent conservative like he promises on the trail.

One of their points of evidence, the earmarks Senator Santorum received for his state of Pennsylvania when he was in Congress. Among his new critics, a man who was not his friend when they served together in the United States Senate, John McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: He and I had very strong differences on earmarking and pork-barrel spending. I believed that earmarking is a gateway drug to corruption. And Senator Santorum supported it and engaged in it as much as he possibly could. I strongly disagreed with it, and that was a fundamental difference we had in the Senate. But I still respect him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Our senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, has been looking into the Santorum record when it comes to earmarks. And Dana, some members of Congress are legendary. Put Senator Santorum into context.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, he's up there. But the problem that we have is that he was defeated, John, from the Senate in 2006. That was before senators and members of the House were required to disclose exactly what earmarks they had.

Now Rick Perry, one of his chief opponents, is running an ad saying that he got about $1 billion in earmarks. I talked to somebody from the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense today. They track this. They actually think it could be more than that. But they're just not entirely sure.

But what you can look at is what Rick Santorum said himself, John. If you just do a simple Nexis search, you'd see many, many press releases he sent back home to Pennsylvania touting all of the money he got home -- sent home.

For example, about $1 million, he said, in medical research to improve treatment of soldiers wounded in combat. Obviously, that is something that is not controversial, but maybe what is, is that he directed it to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Why there? Why not someplace, anywhere else in the country? That is one of the questions about earmarks, why many people say that they were done away with.

He also, of course -- we talked to him about this last night, John -- voted for the variance on the Bridge to Nowhere. He didn't have to vote for that. He could've voted to send that money elsewhere. But he was somebody who very much thought that bringing home the bacon was the path to reelection, so he was worried about crossing the man who put that in, the powerful chairman of the corporations (ph) committee. He was worried that he wouldn't get his own earmarks down the road for Pennsylvania.

KING: This is a generational question, if you will. This used to be common practice in the Congress. So you have some of the new members, and especially the Tea Party members, who say no way. You have John McCain saying it's a gateway to corruption. Listen to Senator Santorum. He was here last night. He said, "Sure I did it. So what?"

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The idea that earmarks are the problem in Washington, D.C., is just ridiculous. The problems are the entitlement programs and this desire to spend more money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's right, Dana, on the size of the money. The earmarks are a small slice of the pie. But it's become a very symbolic, powerful issue for the Tea Party activists, no?

BASH: Absolutely. It has become very symbolic. They point to the fact that, when people take earmarks, it's just an example of people who have been in Washington too long, who are drunk with power and want to stay in Washington by making clearer to their constituents that they can bring the money that they don't necessarily -- they don't necessarily need to get for projects that they don't necessarily need.

But, just to underscore this point, and this is, I'm sure, what you were making, John: many, many people did it. It was very -- done across the board from the Senate Republican leader on down. It was -- people like John McCain who didn't get earmarks, they were very much in the minority. So Rick Santorum was not alone in members of Congress bringing home the bacon.

KING: Dana Bash, our senior congressional correspondent. Dana, thanks.

New Hampshire Republicans get their say in the presidential primary in just five days. Mitt Romney is so confident about his chances in New Hampshire, he spent the day in South Carolina.

Romney's political portions (ph) have shifted dramatically. In December, "TIME" magazine had run the cover asking, "Why don't they like me?" The new issue of "TIME" has the same photo but with a different caption: "So you like me now?"

Joining me now, live at the Bedford Village Inn, is Joe Klein, the political columnist from "TIME" magazine, and the former New Hampshire governor, John Sununu, who's a Mitt Romney supporter.

Governor, thanks for the snow. Getting a little bit of snow. We had no snow in Iowa. There are a few flakes falling here in New Hampshire. You know what's happening here in five days. Your guy, Mitt Romney, is at 41 percent. Now everyone -- they think they probably can't beat him so let's take him down. Let's show them he's weak.

Speaker Gingrich is here. He says why would anyone vote for a timid Massachusetts moderate? I've known you for a long time. You're not timid and you're not a moderate. Is Mitt Romney?

JOHN SUNUNU, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: Let me first correct you. Mitt was here this morning. We had a couple of events here this morning. He went to South Carolina just for the afternoon and evening. He'll be back tomorrow.

Look, Mitt Romney is a conservative Republican. He -- he served as a conservative Republican governor in Massachusetts. He cut spending. He cut taxes. He stood for life on -- when they tried to change the definition of life. He fought the gay marriage, and he kept Massachusetts out of the Greenhouse Compact, which is basically a Gingrich-type cap and trade. The fact is, as governor, he was conservative.

The last time we paid attention to a label like the one you used is we bought a bill of goods of somebody being a Georgia conservative. We ended up with Jimmy Carter.

KING: Big beef (ph). Governor Sununu knows how to land one when he wants to land one.

JOE KLEIN, "TIME" MAGAZINE: That's what's known in the trade as a sound bite. Look, I feel like the ancient mariner here.

KING: You are the ancient mariner here.

KLEIN: I'm in favor of -- I'm in favor of earmarks. And what's wrong with bringing home the bacon? That's what politics is.

And I'm in favor of moderation. What's wrong with that? That's how things get done.

Mitt Romney was in favor of a lot of the same things that Newt Gingrich was in favor of in the early '90s when the Republicans were really coming up with some very creative domestic policy ideas like the individual mandate, like cap and trade, which your old boss, George H.W. Bush, you know, initiated...

SUNUNU: Cap and trade is not the problem. It's what you apply the cap and trade to.

KLEIN: We could get into -- but the fact is that Mitt Romney was in favor of those things. He governed as a moderate and he governed well. And he's moved to the right since.

KLEIN: I want to read you some words from this guy right here. He's an excellent writer, and I want to read this to you from "TIME" magazine. "Romney is still the overwhelming favorite for the Republican nomination. He has the scenario he wanted. The two greatest threats to his candidacy, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, were trounced in Iowa. But there's a subtler threat to Romney's long-term prospects. He remains an unloved front-runner who may not inspire sufficient numbers of Republicans to come out and vote."

We hear this all across the country. He got almost exactly the same number of votes in Iowa four years ago and then same, 25 percent. Here, he owns a vacation home. He's from Massachusetts, so he's supposed to do well. But why is it when you travel the country, people go, "Romney? Yes, OK"?

SUNUNU: The point is that you're going to a primary process. Even when George Bush won in New Hampshire in '88, he only got 39 percent of the vote. You've got to remember the reality of the numbers.

What we're talking about in Iowa is the governor last time was basically running against one or two people. This time he was running against six others. So you've got to put the numbers in context. Mitt Romney has got a strategy that's not going to end in one week or two weeks. It's a strategy that takes him all the way through to pick up the 1,150 delegates he needs.

KING: The governor says it won't end in one week or two weeks, and yet even though winning ugly beats losing, and he won Iowa by eight votes, if he wins here and wins convincingly, it's pretty hard to stop him. Speaker Gingrich makes the case...

KLEIN: It depends what happens down south. I mean, this looks a little bit like the 1976 race where Ronald Reagan started off weak and then he came back in North Carolina and Tennessee and Texas and places like that.

One of these other guys, one of these so-called true conservatives is hoping to be "the one." And what Romney has to do from here on out is get 51 percent of the delegates, which is going to be -- you know, with proportional voting this time, is harder than it would have been in the past.

I do believe, though, Governor, that if Romney can see this through, just standing you know, as an observer, that he would be by far the strongest candidate against Obama.

KING: When you look down the road in this scenario, when you look at is it Perry. Announced that he's going to camp out and wait in South Carolina. Is it Gingrich? Is it Santorum? Who of them -- or is it Governor Huntsman. Who of the other candidates do you view as the potential long-term threat?

SUNUNU: I'm very partial to governors. I really am. I think -- I think governors in a campaign like this, even though they might get beaten down occasionally, can project executive strength, and so I think...

KING: So you think Perry or Huntsman is a bigger threat?

SUNUNU: Not Huntsman. Huntsman is running in the wrong primary.

You know, Governor Perry still has a chance to come back. And we take nobody for granted. I think the Romney campaign has done one thing right, and they take every challenger in there seriously and they take them one at a time.

KING: Governor Sununu, Joe Klein, appreciate your insights today. Five great days to go here in New Hampshire.

And still ahead here, the truth about Rick Santorum's remarks that have so angered African-Americans.

And, depending on where you were born, you probably grew up with a Kodak camera. Today, Kodak might be near the end of the line. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: First the National Urban League took after Rick Santorum, now the NAACP. Their charge: that the Republican presidential candidate was insensitive and offensive in an Iowa speech last week in which he singled out black people, while saying the best way to fight poverty is to help people find jobs, not give them taxpayers' money.

Right here on this program last night, Senator Santorum suggested it never happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I looked at the video and I don't -- in fact, I'm pretty confident I didn't say "black." What I think I started to say a word and sort of -- sort of mumbled it and changed my thought. But I don't -- I don't recall saying "black."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Tonight's "Truth" puts Senator Santorum's memory to the test and lets you make the call.

Sunday, Sioux City, Iowa. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Here's a little more from our conversation with Santorum last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I've looked at it several times, I was starting to say one word, and I sort of came up with a different word and moved on, and it -- and it sounded like "black."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It sure did. It sure did. Let's listen one more time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Did he say "black"? It sure sounded like it. To be fair, it is a bit muddled when you listen closely, but saying "blah people," of course, makes no sense. Was he tongue-tied? Did he realize he was about to say "black people" and realized it would cause a stir and decided maybe not to finish the word?

The truth is, we can't read minds, but the Urban League and the NAACP think the senator's intent was crystal clear. They accuse Santorum of lazy and inaccurate racial stereotyping and sending (ph) out black people as he discusses government assistance.

There the numbers don't lie. The face of poverty in America is overwhelmingly white. Just 13 percent of those below the poverty line are African-American, and 23 percent of Food Stamp recipients are black.

Regardless of whether he said "black" or "blah," Senator Santorum insists his career proves the critics wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: So match my record up, go look at it, and then look at what was probably just a tongue-tied moment as opposed to something that was deliberate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That record is getting more scrutiny now because of Santorum's success in Iowa. And one statement at one event is by no means a fair test of a candidate's views on race.

But truth is, Senator Santorum can't escape and shouldn't shrug off what he said. He's running to be president of all Americans and is accountable for everything he says. And one of Santorum's critics is also a man the senator says can attest to his longstanding work in the African-American community. Marc Morial is the president of the National Urban League.

Marc, thanks for joining us. Just straight up front, Rick Santorum and race. Rick Santorum and race. He says you've known him for a long time when you were mayor of New Orleans at the Urban League. He says he's on your side, that he's a champion for equal rights for everybody. Is he?

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Let me say what's important here is what Rick Santorum said on Sunday -- I believe it was in Iowa -- that shocked and surprised me. And because he and I have had a relationship of respect, even though we don't agree on issues, I was really shocked at what he said.

And what he said was not only insensitive, it was pandering, I think, to the worst interests in the American people, and divisive. He's auditioning to be the leader of the nation. The leader of the nation has to represent and respect all people. And I think what he did was deliberate. I think it was divisive.

And I wish what Senator Santorum had said was, "I said it. I didn't mean it. I regret it," and moved on. I think what he's done is he's compounded the criticism by sort of, you know, creating some confusion about whether he said it or not.

You heard it; I heard it. I was shocked, surprised. He should be ashamed. And it's just something we've got to speak out against, because the facts are simply otherwise in terms of who makes up those Americans who need social safety net programs. The fact is that all- Americans benefit. The fact is, we're one nation.

KING: You say you believe it was deliberate. I want to read from the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He issued this statement tonight: "Santorum's comments are not accidental. They are a calculation to target immigrants and now blacks. He's appealing to the fear vote that will take us backward, not the hope vote that will take us forward."

Do you -- this is a tough one here. You are a politician, the mayor of New Orleans. You're in public life. I'm on live television all the time. Sometimes you do have a slip of the tongue. But you say, Reverend Jackson saying, that he's doing this on purpose, essentially a wedge issue to get votes. Is that what you believe?

MORIAL: Well, I think you've got to take his words for what they meant and take the context and the audience and timing. It was just before the primary. He obviously was appealing to the most conservative votes in the Iowa caucuses.

And I do believe that we have to speak out in this 2012 election cycle of those rhetorical flourishes that would divide the nation. And I think the senator was trying to make a point. I think he made it by utilizing an inappropriate and offensive racial reference. I think he should disavow it. But I also think, John, that those that are running against him should also disavow those comments as having no place in the discourse around who would be the Republican nominee for president. I'd like it see that. I'd like to see those of you in the journalistic community challenge those candidates to disavow the comments of Senator Santorum. I hope he will say, "I said it"; he'll say he regrets it; and he'll move on. And let's have a debate about the purpose of the future of the nation.

KING: Marc Morial, National Urban League. Marc, appreciate your insights tonight. We'll stay on top of this issue as it goes forward. Take care, Marc.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" coming up at the top of the hour. Erin is here with a preview. And Erin, you're following Mitt Romney down in South Carolina tonight.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. We're following him down in South Carolina. As you know, he was down with John McCain and Nikki Haley today, trying to make that fight. As you know, about 45 percent of the population of South Carolina evangelicals. We saw those evangelicals going for Rick Santorum in Iowa.

But has South Carolina become a must-win state for the former Massachusetts governor, John? That's the big question. Now a few weeks ago it was, "Oh, he won't win South Carolina. It's OK." Now, it doesn't seem that it would be OK.

We're also going to be joined by Mitt Romney's top adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, and answer those questions and talk about what margin of victory the governor needs in New Hampshire to really try to become the presumptive nominee, as he has been trying to do.

Also, John, you know, Amy Chua, I don't know if you know that name, but a lot of people do. She is the Tiger Mom, the infamous Tiger Mom. She's our special guest. She says that being a tiger mom is so successful that her daughter in college now, they don't have to ask her where she is at night. They don't have to ask her what she's majoring in. That tiger parenting -- that means a lot of discipline -- worked really darn well. So we're going to talk to her tonight.

Back to you.

KING: Maybe I'll have her spend a little time with my 18-year- old son and see how that one goes.

BURNETT: Whip him into shape.

KING: All right, Erin. Thanks. We'll see you in just a few minutes. And whip him into shape, exactly right.

Ahead here, a new report says you're about to get some big discounts on popular electronics this year. We'll have the details.

Plus, there's a big GOP debate tomorrow morning, moderated by Larry King. What? No, this one is a spoof with some big-name comedians. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back. Here's Kate Bolduan with the latest news you need to know right now.

Hi, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, John.

Eastman Kodak continues to fight for its business life today. The 131-year-old camera company is reported to be preparing to file for bankruptcy. And a "Wall Street Journal" report says the company is selling patents and is in talks with banks, seeking $1 billion to avoid filing for Chapter 11 protection.

Here's an interesting one. Apple is trying to stop an action figure being created to look like the company's late founder, Steve Jobs. British newspaper "The Daily Telegraph" reports that Apple sent a cease and desist notice to stop the doll maker. In 2010, Apple did stop a new company from selling a bobble-head doll.

And finally, finally everyone, some good news for cash-strapped consumers. A new report says those gadgets we all love probably won't see an increase in cost. DealNews.com tells CNN that smart phones, GPS devices, tablets, notebook computers and all those, and the e- readers that we all love, are all likely to see lower prices in 2012. Why, you ask? Well, the report says customers aren't willing to pay the high prices they once did for electronics. So go out and buy, buy, buy, John.

KING: Check the prices first. The good old rules of supply and demand. Kate, stay right here. You've watched all the debates this campaign season, right?

BOLDUAN: Of course.

KING: OK. Well, this is usually, every night in the program we do the moment you missed. Tonight, it's a moment you might not want to miss. Tomorrow, our friend Larry King will moderate a mock Republican debate staged for Yahoo! and the comic Web site, Funny or Die. Not only will Larry be there -- we know he's a great moderator former boxing champ Mike Tyson -- look at that -- he's going to play Herman Cain. Horatio Sanz, striking look-alike right here with Newt Gingrich.

BOLDUAN: Oh, I don't know.

KING: Maybe not. A 16-minute mock debate, Yahoo! News, tomorrow morning at 8 Eastern. You're going to be there. You're going to watch, right?

BOLDUAN: I will be there. And here is my question.

KING: It's interesting. BOLDUAN: I think this is fabulous. Here's my question: who would play you, John? Who would you want to play the John King in the Funny or Die debate?

KING: You know, I'm not taking the bait there.

BOLDUAN: Come on.

KING: Whatever I say, you know -- whatever I say -- who would play Kate Bolduan?

BOLDUAN: Oh, some beautiful, amazingly smart, you know, one of those actors.

KING: Well, I think I -- I think I'd find one of my brothers just to keep him off the street. Get them to do it for me.

BOLDUAN: Oh, good answer.

KING: All right, Kate, we'll see you tomorrow.

We're going to stay in New Hampshire. We want to thank our friends from the Bedford Village Inn for hosting us tonight. Ron Paul arrives in New Hampshire tomorrow afternoon. We're going to sit down with him. He'll join us on the program tomorrow night.

We'll continue our coverage here in the great state of New Hampshire. Five days away from the big presidential primary. It's a lot of fun to be here. Little chilly, but at least one of us likes that.

There's the beautiful Bedford Village Inn.

We'll see you tomorrow night. That's all for us. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.