TODAY   |  November 02, 2012

Brokaw: US ‘ready to have this election over’

NBC’s Tom Brokaw sat down with TODAY’s Matt Lauer to break down politics in the aftermath of Sandy and where the state of the race lies, saying “the country has pretty much made up their minds.”

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> special correspondent.

>> good morning, matt.

>> you always hear people talk about a possible october surprise . do you think this storm sandy could be an october surprise ?

>> well, we've had a series of them. the president not showing up for the first debate, benghazi and then this surprise. the storm was much larger than anybody thought that it might be two weeks ago, three weeks ago.

>> how will it impact the race though?

>> i don't know. it's hard to say. i think that the endorsement by mayor bloomberg may not move the needle, for example, in colorado, but in ohio and in places where they are trying to get white men, they can say, look, this guy has got the endorsement of the mayor of new york .

>> even though it wasn't a very warm hug.

>> it wasn't a warm haug, but it was tough on romney about not being the guy that he was when he was governor of massachusetts .

>> want to go back to sandy for a moment. its greatest impact has been in states like new jersey and new york. these aren't swing states .

>> no, they are already in the column for the president.

>> exactly. so do you think it won't have an impact on the overall election in.

>> it's very hard to know. i was talking to one of the romney people the other day. they said we think this will go away by thursday, but on thursday, of course, you had all the pictures of governor christie and the president of the united states and the endorsement by mike bloomberg . how name packets out there it's hard to say. at this point from now number tuesday it's get out the vote, matt. it's the ground game. that's what really counts.

>> let's talk about the images we're looking at right there. this was wednesday, president obama and chris christie touring some of the devastated areas. yes, they came together for all the right reasons. chris christie was the keynote speaker at the republican convention . he's a key ally of mitt romney . did that image hurt the romney campaign?

>> well, i'm sure that it cautioned a lot of angst backstage, and i'm sure that in the obama campaign the operatives were saying, yes, we've got chris christie at our side with these extraordinary images, but, again, both sides say we now know where the votes are. we know there are very few undecided. need to get them to polls and on time on tuesday.

>> as they are working to get people to the polls, mitt romney is saying i'm the agent of change and president obama is saying you know me. you know what i'm standing for. how effective are the arguments?

>> at this point i think everybody knows the arguments. i think that the country is ready to have this election over, matt, and they have pretty much made up their minds. we'll see. governor romney today is going to have everybody but his third cousin in ohio with him. they will have an enormous push designed to get people motivated to get out at that time. the ground game everybody acknowledges president barack obama , which is being run out of chicago, is very sophisticated. they have identified their groups. they know how to get in touch with them so that's what we have to wait and see, and as chuck said earlier, when we get that jobs report today, if it spikes up sharply, that's what worries the obama people more than anything else at this point.

>> if the unemployment number goes up.

>> if it goes up sharply, then that's a big problem for them. if it stays about where it is, i think the country has become accustomed. this is a long slog, but if it goes up sharply, who knows. that's what makes presidential politics and tuesday night next week for all of us not only exciting but important for everyone to pay attention , and i do think that they are paying attention now.

>> and it could be a long night. tom brokaw .

>> not could be. let me just say one more thing. steve tyler for years has been trying to get me to open for aerosmith and i finally have.

>> when i went outside, who was standing by the stage, tom brokaw .

>> there you go.