David Gregory tells Leno: Romney is the 'nominee at this point'

David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," said that presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is "the nominee at this point," during an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on Wednesday night. 

"Unless something unforeseen happens, he's the nominee at this point. Nobody can really get to the magic number," Gregory said.

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"Everyone looks at it from Romney's point of view that he's kind of weak. If you look at it from [Rick] Santorum's point of view, you know, he's got almost nothing in terms of a real coalition."

Leno pushed back, arguing that Santorum says it's only "halftime."

"So why does he stay in it?" he asked of the former senator. "Well, he doesn't have a job, right?" asked Leno.

"Right, exactly … seriously, I think his point of view is, he sees a weak front-runner in Mitt Romney. He sees the conservative base, particularly evangelical voters are unsatisfied and don't particularly care for Romney, so I do think that he sees a lane that he represents," Gregory said.

When pressed on whether he agrees that Romney is a "weak front-runner," Gregory said "I do."

"I think Romney is fundamentally a weak front-runner from the point of view of the fact that the party is dissatisfied. A lot voters still say they'd like additional choices," he added.

The NBC political host pointed out that even some endorsements for Romney have come with a caveat.

"Sen. Marco Rubio, senator from Florida, said even when he endorsed Romney, he'd like to see some other people get into the race," Gregory said.

Gregory, who just returned from vacation in Jamaica, gave his behind-the-scenes take on the Republican presidential field and numerous GOP debates.

"There's only been like three or four hundred of the Republican debates so it was really special to be able to do one," joked Gregory.

There have been at least two dozen Republican debates throughout the primary season.

Delivering his best Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry impersonations, Gregory attempted to give "The Tonight Show" viewers a glimpse of former and current GOP contenders. Gregory said he would get different requests from each of the candidates during commercial breaks at the debate.

"Rick Santorum — you know he looks a little stressed — and he says, you know, 'David, you didn't come back to me on the Medicare on the exception on the Medicare, I want to be able to respond on the Ryan plan and get in to the prescription drug," Gregory said, imitating Santorum's voice. 

The "Meet the Press" host said that Gingrich came over "after he attacks the press" and said 'I only got one question, I should get two questions every segment."

Lastly, Gregory told the audience that former presidential hopeful Rick Perry came by with a thumbs-up and said 'Gregory, this is great, having a great time.'"

"He was just having a ball … he was something. He was a guy that I don't think was totally ready to jump into the race," added Gregory in a Texan accent.

Later in the interview, Gregory looked ahead to 2016 and said that Secretary of Stae Hillary Clinton would be "well-positioned in terms of her experience" to run for the presidency.

"There will be that momentum, there will be that enthusiasm for her, you know that kind of Team Hillary is in place. Hillary World, they'd like her to do it and ironically she's been in a job that's perfectly suited," he said.

Clinton, the former senator and first lady who ran against President Obama in 2008, hasn't completely ruled out the possibility, but has said repeatedly that it's an unlikely scenario.