Who Has Control Of The GOP?13:02
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Republican presidential candidates businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (AP)
Republican presidential candidates businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (AP)

With the latest national polls showing former Godfather's pizza owner Herman Cain in front, the debate continues among establishment Republicans over which GOP presidential candidate to get behind.

Matt Bai, chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine writes about how the GOP establishment is hoping to co-opt Tea Party firebrands, while they cast about for a "channeler," a presidential candidate who has the charisma and conservative credentials "to persuade these new activists that the party has to be-- and sound-- pragmatic."

Bai writes that at a time of great friction between Republican insiders and outsiders, some insiders see Rick Perry as a fly-by-night tent revivalist and Mitt Romney as a political android... but perhaps either will do because "maybe all the moment requires is someone who can pass a broadly acceptable alternative" to Tea Party extremism.

Guest:

  • Matt Bai, chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine

This segment aired on October 17, 2011.

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