MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell delivered a grim assessment of Mitt Romney as the first results of Tuesday's critical primaries came in.
MSNBC commentators were reacting to the earliest projections of Super Tuesday. NBC News had called Georgia for Newt Gingrich as soon as the polls closed at 7 p.m. The network reported that Virginia and Vermont remained too close to call, but that Romney was leading.
Rachel Maddow asked her colleagues for their opinions on the candidates' prospects. Chris Matthews said that Newt Gingrich was not going anywhere, while Ed Schultz declared his campaign basically "over." O'Donnell, however, zoomed in on Romney.
"I think the problem is for Romney tonight than anyone," he said. He argued that it would not be enough for Romney to merely get a plurality of delegates, and that he needed to win Tennessee to show that he had real support from Republican voters.
"If Mitt Romney thinks he can comfortably go into the Republican convention simply saying 'I got more delegates than anyone else' and think that's going to inspire confidence in the Republican establishment... that cannot be true," he said. "We will be watching the weakest march toward a nomination that we have ever seen."
After Maddow pointed out that Democrats had rallied behind Obama after Clinton lost the nomination, O'Donnell argued that Obama had actually won voters over.
He reiterated his dark assessment of Romney. "If we have a Republican nominee who couldn't get his nomination from voters, you're looking at the weakest nominee they've ever delivered," O'Donnell said.
BEFORE YOU GO
Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign