NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montano highlight some GOP presidential hopefuls to watch in the latest edition of Inside the Boiler Room.
Thanks to Steeler Fan-380417 for the question and a big thanks to everyone else who submitted questions-- keep them coming!
MARK MURRAY: Welcome to “Inside the Boiler Room” I’m Mark Murray joined by my colleague Domenico Montanaro. Domenico, it’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these “Inside the Boiler Rooms.” You and I have been talking about 2016, it’s never too early to talk about 2016.
And we have a question coming from a Steeler Fan who asks: “I know it is early, but how are you handicapping the 2016 race for the Presidential nomination in the Republican Party. Is it Christie v. Rand Paul? Is Scott Walker a dark horse? Anything else?”
And really that first topic of conversation is that fight between Chris Christie and Rand Paul right now.
DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well Chris Christie and Rand Paul have obviously been like the flavor of the week because they’re going back and forth about everything from Sandy funding to bacon. Who’s bringing home the bacon? Obviously you’ve got the two for them who represent very different strains of the ideology on national security in particular of the Republican Party. It’s a fantastic preview for what we’ll probably see in 2016. Even if Christie doesn’t run, Rand Paul is going to run and there’s going to be someone to oppose him because they never want to be out-toughed by Democrats.
MURRAY: In a political environment where there is so much negativity about Congress and Washington, DC I’m not going to be surprised if somebody comes out of the box from one of the governors on the Republican side. We mentioned Chris Christie- another one to watch: Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin.
MONTANARO: Well Scott Walker we know is a potential dark horse. This is somebody who survived a pretty hotly contested recall election after his push for collective bargaining rights to be done away with in the state. And a lot of Republicans really like him. They think he’s a champion for their causes. And remember, it’s all about getting through a primary.
MURRAY: Well, it is. Scott Walker has the potential of winning in Wisconsin- three times when you include that recall. He is somebody to watch. Another person we still need to watch, and some people have discounted him is Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida. It does seem that the immigration debate has hurt him. But, Domenico, I’m not counting the guy out at all.
MONTANARO: No way. Immigration, there might be some wrinkles. But look, you have a Hispanic Senator who has a big megaphone. He can appeal to factions of the Republican party that Republicans have struggled with, Hispanics. He speaks Spanish fluently. I think that will be something where you start to see the aircraft carrier turn on the message front when that message ramps up.
MURRAY: It’s important to note that our NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that he had been nicked up by conservatives among Tea Party types but it was also something that was fixable. It’s not like his numbers were upside down. They’re still good but this is why he is going after Obamacare, why he’s talking tough on really conservative red meat issues getting the conversation away from immigration.
Transcribed by NBC's Karly Schledwitz