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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  September 4, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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she actually became a grandmother. it's amazing this point she dies. she dies in the same way she attacked many of her enemies. >> loved the godfather movies so much she had a son named michael coroleon. that's it for me. i'm brooke baldwin. let's take you to charlotte now. day one of the dnc. wolf blitzer and "the situation room" beginning right now. thanks very much. happening now, brand new cnn/orc polls just in on the heated battle for the white house. did the republican national convention give mitt romney the bounce he needs to get out in front of president obama? you're going to find out in a matter of a few seconds. plus, one hour from now the democratic national convention formally kicks off. tonight, the president's most powerful political weapon takes center stage. and with the enthusiasm building here in the convention hall, republicans are already pouncing. they're seizing on the grade the
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president gives himself for improving the economy. i'm wolf blitzer in charlotte, north carolina. and you're in "the situation room." this just coming into "the situation room." we want to get straight to our brand new cnn/orc polls on the state of the race for the white house on this the heels of the republican national convention in tampa. take a look at this. an actual tie. mitt romney and president obama both at 48% among likely voters. romney gets post-convention
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boost of just one percentage point while president obama has dipped one percentage point. our chief national correspondent, john king, is over the magic wall along with democratic poster peter hart with a very first look at the numbers. john, a statistical margin of error. this is about as close as it gets. >> it is as close as it can get. we have one of the best in the business. peter is going to help us understand why romney didn't get a bigger bounce and what does the president have to do with his convention. peter, let's look at the number. i would suspect one reason the horse race moved a little bit is because governor romney did not move this one too much, who would best handle the economy. you see he was slightly ahead in the last poll. he got a tiny bit. statistically insignificant. i want your take on this one. if you're the romney campaign, you have to be happy with this. who's in touch with the middle class? a 14-point deficit for governor romney going into his convention, a six-point deficit now. how important is it that governor romney made that gain and how does president obama get it back? >> okay. two quick questions.
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number one, what you have is what we call a concrete bounce. that is no spring in this. if you move up one point, you didn't move up at all. number two, when you look at this and where people are on handling the economy, they've already made their pitch. if that was their pitch and that was the best they got out of it, that's not a good situation for them. because essentially they've had the ball, now it goes to the democrats. democrats have their chance. and my guess is you'll look at these numbers and everything that we've seen in our focus groups and everything else suggests that obama's lead is much better and much stronger in terms of talking to the middle class. >> we'll see if he can get those numbers back. you suggest he does get the ball second. let's look at more underlying numbers. this one here is largely because of progress governor romney made at his convention in the suburbs. essentially a flip among voters making $50,000 or more. president obama led in our last poll by seven points. governor romney has that. again, it could be temporary, but this is largely in the
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suburbs. how important is that? >> sure, it's extremely important. you have to remember your margin of error is 5% plus or minus. so we don't know how much change there is. but overall this is probably the best piece of news for romney out of his convention. >> here's one more they would like to say is good news. going into the convention tied among independents. governor romney now, are there true independents out there? we talk about the polarized electorate, who are the real independents in this race? >> there's almost nobody. we're down to 10%, 12% as independents. so you start to look at this movement. and there's slight movement and very slight movement. overall i'd have to say if you're looking from the romney camp, you wish that there would be more. if you're looking at it from the obama side, you have to say this is our chance, we can make a difference in terms of the convention. that's what they're hoping for. >> so you understand the mood of the country better than anybody. this is not your first rodeo. so when you look at this, this is where we have it right now. 237 for the president.
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191 for governor romney. 270 to win the presidency. it's not easy, but the president has an easier path to 270. what's the most important thing he has to do and his team has to do as the charlotte convention gets underway to effect the map in a positive way? >> well, i think the most important thing is to be able to say where we're going to go from here. the voters have looked -- >> is this the are you better off second term question? >> no. it's really where we go as a nation. i think that's a little different, are you better off. i think this is the idea of is your second term going to be different and better? he has that chance to make a difference. secondly, i think he has to go beyond just talking to constituents and to the women or to the minorities. i think he has to be able to reach out and bring a sense of joy and a sense of togetherness. if he does those two things, i think he'll be in pretty good shape. and where i would be looking for, john, is what happens in what i call the hispanic coalition out in the southwest? >> so you have nevada. he needs to keep that blue. >> he needs to keep that blue.
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>> colorado it matters. >> absolutely. and obviously new mexico. >> new mexico less likely the republicans play there, but they're going to play hard in nevada and colorado. >> absolutely. then secondly, the states surrounding illinois, he needs to split there. he needs something outof wisconsin and he needs something out of iowa. somehow he needs to get a split there. if he does that, then he's put a tremendous amount of pressure on the romney campaign because that means they have to take florida and ohio. so look to the southwest to the hispanic coalition and then look towards the illinois. >> we'll look in the middle. i think we're going to spend a lot of time out here. maybe i'll take you with us when we battleground wisconsin, battleground iowa, little bit of a pattern there. >> i'll bring you. >> all right. as you see from peter's perspective very close coming in. even the republicans can see when it comes to this map slight advantage for the president. the question is can he build on it over the next few days here in charlotte.
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>> i know, john, you and peter have been looking at all the numbers in the national poll of likely voters. as important as national numbers are, we know the difference will be in the battleground states. new york state got a lot of people, california, a lot of people. they're going to go democratic. texas, a lot of people going to go republican. are there any hints either of you have seen, john or peter, in this national poll that would indicate what's happening in ohio or florida or virginia, some of these battleground states? >> that's why i looked at the numbers, how do you feel among the middle class? how do you feel voters above 50,000, it's mostly in the suburbs, that's what i looked at. wolf makes a great point. in the last two months national polls are helpful but you're better off studying state polls. you conduct the nbc "the wall street journal" poll, what in the national poll is helpful when they think maybe live in wisconsin, ohio, what's happening where i live? >> looking for the dynamics. that is who represents me, who do i care about, et cetera. who can do the job that i want to have done? related to the economy in terms of moving the country forward.
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that's the first thing you look at. second thing you look at is constituencie constituencies. i think you have to be able to look at white suburban women. that's where it's going to come back around to. and you look at that, that's pretty darn close right now. >> white suburban women critical in north carolina, critical in suburbs just about everywhere. look at that map, florida as well. make an excellent point. thanks for stopping by. wolf, you get the sense of how close we are. as we raise the curtain on the democratic convention, high stakes. >> 48-48, doesn't get closer than that. john, thank you. don't go too far away, peter hart, thanks to you as well. as president obama makes his way here to charlotte, republicans are hot on his trail. and there's one word they don't want him to forget. that one word being, incomplete. cnn's white house correspondent dan lothian is traveling with the president and has the latest. dan. >> reporter: wolf, this was the final campaign stop for the president before heading to charlotte, north carolina, to attend the democratic national
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convention. he drew a large crowd here at the historically black norfolk state university where he pitched his middle class message in a state that he's fighting to keep blue. but republicans working just as hard to paint the president as ineffective. and they're seizing on a grade the president gave himself for fixing the economy. president obama admits the economy is still struggling. but he takes credit for pulling it back from the brink of collapse. >> we've created a lot of jobs, but we've got more jobs to create. >> reporter: but when it comes to giving himself a grade for improving the economy, the president told colorado television station kktv. >> you know, i would say incomplete. >> reporter: the president explained that steps like bailing out the auto industry, making college more affordable or investing in clean energy will help grow the economy over the long-term. but his critics zeroed in on the word incomplete. from the republican national committee to the romney campaign, a flurry of e-mails
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stuffed inboxes. more evidence they argued that it's time for new leadership in the white house. as governor romney prepared for upcoming debates, the vermont state former massachusetts lieutenant governor kerry heely, his running mate took a swipe at the president's personal assessment on the cbs morning show. >> the president is asking people just to be patient with him. look, charlie, the kind of recession we had, we should be bouncing out of it creating jobs. we're not creating jobs at near the pace we could. i think the incomplete speaks for itself. >> reporter: this comes on the heels of another dust-up over mixed messages from the obama campaign and surrogates on whether americans are better off now than they were when mr. obama took office. but giving himself an incomplete grade is not new. he said it several times before, most recently on "the view" in may. >> i won't give it a letter grade. i think it's still incomplete. we've still got work to do. >> reporter: there's greater scrutiny in the final works to election day. even as steph fee cutter tried to put it all in context.
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>> when he's saying incomplete, it means a number of different things. one, we're on a path forward. we're on our way up. and there's a lot more he wants to get done. >> reporter: traveling campaign spokeswoman jen psaki points to failing grades. republicans point to one big grade, unemployment still above 8%. wolf. >> dan lothian in norfolk traveling with the president. thanks. and while the president was in norfolk today, he also handed out a case of white house beer to some of the firefighters lined up to greet him. the white house just recently released the recipe for the special homemade brew, but only, only after some pressure from serious beer o fish na tos. big night in charlotte still a couple days away. there's one speech tonight he's absolutely not going to miss.
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>> i'm going to be at home watching it with our girls. and i am going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. because when michelle starts talking, i start getting all misty. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco. for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you.
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we're here in charlotte, north carolina, where the democratic national convention kicks off less than an hour right now right at the top of the hour. but the biggest moment of the night will come later in the evening and while the president won't be here, he will be watching on television. >> whatever i say here today, it's going to be at best a distant second to the speech you will hear tonight from the star of the obama family, michelle obama. you know, this is just like a
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relay and you start off with the fastest person. so i'm going to be at home and i'm going to be watching it with our girls. and i am going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. because when michelle starts talking, i start getting all misty. >> let's go to our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's downstairs here in the convention at the time warner cable. what else do we expect the first lady to say tonight? >> wolf, we're really expecting her to stay somewhat on message when it comes to what president obama's campaign is all about. that he's making decisions putting the middle class first. but she's going to be doing it. a source close to her tells me from a very personal place. she'll obviously talk about herself is the person who knows him best, around him at very pivotal moments and she'll talk about how she's seen him make difficult decisions, whether it be health care reform or over the auto bailout. and that she has seen him make
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these decisions putting the middle class first. that will be here message. we're expecting her comments to last about 25 minutes, wolf. >> how is she prepared? do we have any inside information on that, brianna? >> we know a little bit. i wanted to know where she was when she's getting ready. she's been working with a team, especially with her primary speech writer, sara herowitz. she's been doing a lot of the practice in her office in the east wing. what's interesting to me, wolf, is that she has not practiced this speech in front of president obama, nor has he practiced his speech in front of her. she has said, according to this source, that she really wants to see his speech on thursday night with sort of fresh ears. >> that's a good point. interesting as well. she's going to be introduced by a mother of five. what do we know about this woman? >> this woman is named elaine
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brie. she's from northeastern ohio. she has five children. and they're in four different -- pardon me, they're in four different branches of the armed services. so obviously this is something to do with the fact that michelle obama has had a lot of involvement with military families. this is someone who wrote her, i'm told, a christmas letter -- who wrote her a christmas letter thanking her for her work. and actually elaine brye was invited to the white house in march to a state dinner where prime minister david cameron visited and she sat along the table with her husband and president obama. something interested i wanted to tell you, wolf, the first daughters -- this is kind of late at night for them, but we understand that they're going to be staying up late and watching their mom. and not only is this an
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important day for michelle obama, this is an important day for them. it's the first day of school for the first daughters. in fact, mili ya obama started high school. michelle obama if she hasn't already going to be calling the girls after school seeing how their first day of school went, and they're going to be hanging out late sitting there with dad, president obama, as well as their grandma, michelle obama's mom, in the residence watching their mom give her speech, wolf. >> the president, we just heard him say he hopes he doesn't get misty. although i'm not sure what's so bad about that. why can't he get misty about his wife delivering a beautiful speech about him to the whole country. i think it's fine. >> i agree. >> it would be an appropriate night for that to happen. brian na will be with us also. four years ago it was state
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senator barack obama at the democratic national convention. now it's this man's turn. we're going to take a closer look at the party's young rising star, there you see him. julian castro, the mayor of san antonio. standby. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self-contained well systems. and, using state-of-the-art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment. we're america's natural gas.
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we're live here in charlotte, north carolina, as we count down to the start of the democratic national convention.
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cnn's dana bash is down there on the floor of the convention here in charlotte. dana, there are some big speakers tonight to kick things off including michelle obama, ra rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago. set the scene for us. what else are you hearing? >> well, what we're going to see according to democratic officials who are running the show here are a few things. first of all, this may seem obvious to some people, but to the people who want to get the president elected, it's not. that is they want to send a mezage over and over again. it's not about whether or not to fire barack obama, it's to decide between him and the man running against him. there's a real choice when it comes to character and policies and all of the above. we heard brianna talking about michelle obama being a character witness. in addition you mentioned rahm emanuel. he's going to talk about his time as the president's chief of staff. and the two of them together will talk about the kind of
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decisions he made from the perspective of the obama campaign, the hard decisions he made. they're also going to go back and look at the parts of his record that they believe are the best to highlight. the auto bailout, which was a success story. you're going to see the former governor of ohio talking about that. he's going to give -- i talked to this morning a pretty hard-hitting speech when it comes to the president when it comes to the jobs it's created in his state. and we're also going to hear them talk more about what the republicans did about going forward with specifics, what he will do if he's elected for a second term, wolf. >> dana, the democrats released their policy platform today, the republicans released their platform last week. and people who read those platforms, and there are plenty of people wlo do, they noticed some sensitive word changes in this year's democratic platform. tell our viewers what's going on. >> really interesting, a few really interesting things. i should just say that when this convention officially opens in about 35 minutes, they're going to formally present that
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platform. first of all, a change that we just saw. the word god has been taken out of the democratic platform. and this was in just a specific line talking about hard work. the importance of hard work. it said that people should make the most of their god-given potential. that's gone. now it simply says the hard work should pay off and people should be rewarded for that hard work. so that's very interesting that in today's day and age that that word is taken out. another change, which i know you are incredibly familiar with is the whole question of what is the capital of israel? is it jerusalem or not? four years ago in 2008 democrats inserted the word jerusalem saying jerusalem is the capital of israel, this time they took it back out. it's not something gone unnoticed on the republican side. and their platform jerusalem being the capital is in there. mitt romney already put out a statement saying it was shameful they took that out. of course the whole question is whether or not you make
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jerusalem the capital that enrages palestinians and others there. that is why they decided to take that out. the jewish vote may be small but critically important in states like florida. one thing we had reported before but it's important to underscore and that is that for the first time the democratic platform recognizes same sex marriage. wolf. >> tell us a little bit about the mayor of san antonio, the young mayor of san antonio, julian castro, he'll deliver the keynote address. he's only 37 years old. >> 37. he'll be 38 i believe in a month. he is going to be the first latino to give the keynote speech at a democratic convention. and the democrats are really hoping that he continues to appeal to that ever, ever important hispanic community. you look at the polls and they overwhelmingly support president obama over mitt romney. the question is are they going to get out and get to the polls? they hope his address here will
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get that done. i bumped to him outside the convention center and he said he's going to talk about his personal story much like we heard from then even before he was senator just plain barack obama in 2004 as his life of a son of a single mom, a son of an immigrant in his case from mexico. he's going to try to link that to he told me the american dream and it's generational, the links that allow people to build what he calls the american dream here in this country. he's also of course going to hit mitt romney on the issues that we've heard all along in this campaign. so he'll be one to watch for sure. >> for sure. all right. thanks very much, dana. we're only about half an hour away from the official start of this, the 2012 democratic national convention. the chair debbie wasserman
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tonight, it's the first lady, michelle obama's moment in the spotlight. >> when michelle starts talking, i start getting all misty. >> my piece of the american dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me, all of them. driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day -- >> michelle obama by her own upbringing and by her ability to talk about the american experience is going to talk about the importance of the middle class. >> she is incredibly popular. she's more popular than the president. four years ago not so much. >> for the first time in my adult life i am proud of my
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country. >> all right. let's get straight to cnn contributor, the sirius xm radio host pete dominick. he's getting unsolicited advice from our excellent panel about this very question. pete, join us. >> thank you very much, wolf blitzer. here with my brilliant panel. yes, the subject of conversation today will be the headliner tonight, michelle obama. how important is the first lady? how much does she matter? what can she say tonight? let's start with our first lady, carly fiorina, carly. >> first off, i think michelle obama's been a really good first lady. she's an inspiring person in her own right. her focus on veterans families is very important. i think her focus on childhood obesity has been very important. she's a popular and inspiring figure. she'll give a great speech. i think her difficulty is that the american people know already that president obama is a great
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husband and a great father. >> right. >> so she's not going to shed a lot of light on that. i think they also know that he's a rather solitary figure. he tends to spend his spare time with a small group of friends. he doesn't engage in politicking and working to build relationships with either democrats or republicans. so for her, i think the issue is try and illuminate how is it he makes decisions? how does he think through problems? what causes him to decide one thing versus another thing? that's i think her challenge tonight. >> i think that's a good point. i think it's useful to look at it this way, first ladies tend to be more popular the less political they are perceived to be. michelle obama after some missteps and false starts maybe on the campaign trail in 2008 has done a very good job of being a political in the best possible way. >> aren't they always? hillary not so much, nancy reagan, laura bush. >> right. but i think the hillary
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comparison is illuminating. hillary was a less successful first lady but more -- >> good point. >> tonight she has to figure out to give a political speech in some sense. having been apolitical for four years, it will be interesting to see how she makes that transition back to politics. >> i don't even know the governor. we met your first lady last night, and quite a mismatch might i say. >> because she's smart and beautiful. >> well, you said it. how important is it? >> let me tell you, america's going to see that gal's got the guns. she's got the best guns in america. >> are you saying she's going sleeveless tonight? i bet she does. you got the guns, you show them. the first lady is a verifier. when we're sizing up the person we're going to be looking at for the next four years, you want to know about their family. are their values like your values? so you oftentimes -- well, you shouldn't, but you do. you look at their spouse, their
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children, their upbringing. you say, do they have the same kinds of values that i have? when they make these decisions that i'm not going to get involved in, will they use the same kinds of information that i would have used if i wanted to get involved. >> i'm a sycophant. i love this woman. she's inspired me. she's inspired my wife. more importantly i feel she's inspired young black girls in america. and she's also given america a different image of a black woman that might have been played out in media or even on television. how important is that? sorry to go for you for the race question, i want your take on it. >> i was going to speak to it. i'm sitting here getting emotional. the president saying about he's going to get misty. a lot of people are going to get misty. >> i do. >> she looks like my sister. i have a twin sister who is the same height, same complexion, same spirit. it's almost impossible to describe what it feels like to have somebody like her standing up there and speaking for
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america. >> why? >> because there's this image of what beauty is supposed to be. of who's supposed to be up there. and she comes out there with such dignity and with such poise and such class. >> and with such beauty. >> and with such beauty. i think about my sister and think about her being teased for being too darked skinned. that was not considered beautiful. you had to be light skinned. and here she is the whole world acknowledges, not only she's brilliant, not only she's courageous, but she's a beautiful woman. this is emotional for so many people out there. politically, it's in fact true she's going to need to explain who this guy is, who this president is, but who she is is so important to so many people. >> well, i think that's the big difference between her remarks tonight and ann romney's remarks last week. ann romney's job was to tell people something they didn't know about mitt romney. michelle obama's job tonight is to remind people of what they already like about her and about
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her husband and about the obama family. so they're doing the same thing, but they're coming from a different direction. >> i think the argument she can do to help him. there's been this sort of idea that he's a lazy guy. he's a golf player. he's not showing up for work. i know for sure -- i know for a fact he does show up and works very, very hard. i think she can humanize that. she can tell you, let me tell you what it looks like when he comes to the east wing. get people inside of that. this is her last convention speech as the first lady -- well, she'll come back hopefully in two years, but the first lady in the middle of an election campaign for her husband. i think it's a beautiful, beautiful moment for her. >> has anybody on our panel met michelle obama? >> i have. once or twice. >> what was your reaction like? van, i want your impression too. >> the governor lost. >> my wife just waved to her and made connection with her at the white house correspondence dinner. my wife put her hand on her
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chest and said you inspire me so much. and michelle obama looks back and she seems to be able to connect to everybody. it seems to go right down through her staff. she does seem to have a personality that really radiates. what was your interaction like? >> four years ago i gave her a cruel indian bolo tie. so i'm expecting maybe she'll be wearing that tonight. >> oh, dear. >> here's what americans see in a first family. they see upward mobility. every family in america dreams that their children will be able to climb mountains that their generation couldn't have. and when they look at this family, this family says to every family in america no matter where they started that they can climb the tallest mountain. and i don't think you could have a better symbol than that. >> van, you got to know the first lady a bit. >> oh, sure. she is who she is. it doesn't matter if she's talking to a head of state, if she's talking to an intern, a security guard, she is the same person across the board. i think it's the highest praise you can make of somebody is she
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treats everybody the same. >> if i could just complicate the love fest a tiny bit. >> no problem. >> i think bringing back down to the reality of politics, the challenge for the president and the challenge for this convention is that, you know, he's always had high personal approval ratings, right? people have always liked him. they still like him. the challenge is selling him on policy, on his achievements. and there i think it will be interesting to see how far she goes, what she tries to do. it may be a preview of what's to come successfully or perhaps unsuccessfully. >> we'll see. i predict jokes. i predict many jokes tonight from the first lady. when we come back, we'll maybe have some jokes of our own. everybody on our panel will choose a target of his or her own choosing. and we will give that target our unsolicited advice. you do not want to miss this. we'll be right back. the pace of change is accelerating. the way we... perform, compete and grow. and people are driving this change. that's the power of human resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know...
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we're back here at the cnn grill downtown charlotte, north carolina. i'm pete dominick. time for our unsolicited advice. governor, before you begin, a little bird di/your assistant franklin, told me today is your birthday. the big 4-0. 3-9, i apologize. >> thank you very much. >> go ahead, sir. who is your unsolicited advice for? >> my unsolicited advice is for congress. >> oh. >> now, we understand from the supreme court that they consider corporations to be people. we further understand from the supreme court that those corporations can use their money like speech and they can give really in these elections.
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does anybody in america think foreign corporations ought to be able to buy elections? do you think hugo chavez should be able to buy with his corporation citgo. and saudis can step in and put billions of dollars in the next election. congress, here is my recommendation to you. i know you can't even agree on apple pie and mother hood, but you should be able to agree that foreign corporations should not be able to invest in american elections, so pass legislation today that says if you're a corporation, you must prove to the federal election commission that more than 95% of your shareholders and your money is american. >> i mean, he's preaching to the choir here, ross. >> i generally agree with the governor. i will say the one thing congress usually can agree on is they don't typically like foreigners. that might be an easy lift. >> i want to go back to your birthday. i'm a cancer survivor.
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as a cancer survivor, i have come to know that growing old is the goal. so however old you are, separate -- celebrate every single year of it. >> yeah. it's a state of mind. appreciate it. i'll give anything for that many years however they are. go ahead, ross. >> my unsolicited advice is for both democrats and republicans who want to really insult the opposition. so here we are at the democratic convention, we've already had a major california democrat compare paul ryan to joseph goebls. we've had another democratic delegate compare paul ryan to adoff hitler. i'm not asking you to cut out the insults. i'm fine, it's part of politics. i want more original generaliti generalities. this is the first right winger since -- i want republicans to say barack obama is the second coming of nick lie from romania. that's all i'm asking for. >> i don't think i can get there, but i can call somebody a skunk. >> fair enough. >> there are certain names ross
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wants to go trending on google. look those up. my unsolicitedadvice is for anybody who believes a political ad. this is the worst time of campaign season. listen, if you believe or buy or vote based on anything you heard in 30 seconds, i'm going to say right now on cnn, you're an idiot. yep, you are. look it up. think for yourself. if you don't like the political ads, you can change the channel. here's how you know something's untrue. if there's scary music behind it. van jones is -- well, we saw what they did to you. now, the bottom line is everybody does it. they're 30-second adds, to a minute, and they're untrue. and people need to think deeper. they need to look harder. and they need to search the information and think for themselves. because these 30-second ads, they've got psychologists, focus group, they know exactly what they're doing. it doesn't matter if it's true. it doesn't matter the music.
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it influences people. they know it. they don't care. stop paying attention to them. turn the channel. they're probably lying. >> pete, pete. >> okay, wow. >> based on how steady the polling numbers have been, i would say voters have been taking your advice for the last few months. seriously. >> well, mitt romney says his welfare lie ad has been very effective. they're very effective ad, we don't care the fact checker. >> pete, it's nice knowing you. we're watching headquarters saying how are we going to run this network without the ads? >> because there are plenty other people that will advertise on cnn or anywhere else. they just can't get. your right rkts they won't pay as much. you're right, i'm out. carly. >> my unsolicited advice is not surprisingly to president obama. when you say the grade you would get is incomplete, what incomplete means is that you have failed to achieve the required work in the required timeframe. and that is exactly what people are worried about.
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my advice to president obama sincerely, bridging off of what you said yesterday, van, we all have problems, we're all americans. let's be honest, poverty is at a 50-year high, small business failure rates are at a 40-year high, chronic unemployment is at a historic high, middle income families have lost $4,000 in wage increases in the last four years. our debt just hit a historic high. we're in a bad place. the question is, what is it that you think you're going to do as the leader of this country to improve the situation? be straight. be straight. >> that's a fair question. i'm looking forward to hearing from him. i think when he says incomplete what he means is bush had eight years to maybe mess it up, he wants eight years to fix it back up. i think he's looking at eight years rather than four. >> van, that's not -- both
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democrats and republicans contributed to fannie mae and freddie mac running amuck. both contributed to inadequate regulatory -- this was a bipartisan set of problems. >> van jones, your advice. >> my advice is to the democratic people watching this convention tonight. watch out for the next super star. >> here we go. talking about her all week. >> everybody's talking about the mayor castro, love him. he's great. but in 2000 there was a guy walking around here, nobody knew who he was, his name was barack obama. he had to sit in the nosebleed section. eight years later he's president. >> tul si. >> hawaii iraq war veteran. she's 31 years old -- >> oh, she's not american. [ laughter ] >> look for her. thanks very much. happy birthday, mr. governor.
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that's all of the unsolicited advice. back to wolf blitzer. >> excellent unsolicited advice guys again. thanks very much. they're joining us from the cnn grill here in charlotte. they'll be back tomorrow. we're only minutes away from the official kickoff of this, the democratic national convention. the chair, debbie wasserman schultz will gavel this convention to order in a few moments. standby, live coverage happening. also, mitt romney has one word for an edit that democrats made to their policy platform. and i'm quoting him now, that word he's saying is "shameful," the change the party made and a lot more coming up as our live coverage continues. music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make meone happy.♪.♪it's so e ♪make just one heart to heart you - you sing to♪ ♪one smile that cheers you ♪one face that lights when it nears you.♪
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opposition forces in syria say women and children were among the 135 people killed once again today. lisa sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's the latest, lisa? >> wolf, more than half of those deaths came in the area around the capital of damascus. the head of the international committee of the red cross met with president bashar al assad today.
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the group says the humanitarian situation is deteriorating fast. and the united nations says more than 100,000 syrians fled last month alone. now more than 1% of syria's population has officially registered or is waiting to register with the u.n. as a refugee. afghanistan's president, ha mid karzai accused. he's accused of drug trafficking and torture, even having a dungeon in his own home. he denies the accusations. and he must still pass a legislative vote of confidence. and this is a routine traffic stop, but it looks like a scene from an action movie. take a look. an officer in south korea pulled over a man who then took off. now take a look at this as the car finally stops. the car leaps off the windshield and chases the driver into a subway. he tried to shake the officer off for 25 minutes zigzagging through back streets and crashing into other cars for more than nine miles.
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turns out this man was wanted for drug-related crimes. pretty astonishing video there, wolf. >> amazing video. thanks very much for that, lisa. the democratic convention is about to get underway in a few minutes. right at the top of the hour just ahead you're going to see the official opening right here in charlotte. standby. also, a dramatic change in the party platform when it comes to the critical relationship between the united states and israel. what's going on? we'll have details. eeeee! yeah. i get all my friends' pics as soon as they take them. really? you just missed an awesome dance off between the dads. oh... wow! (laughing) you just missed the cake fight. seriously? everyone's taking pictures like they're paparazzi. are we missing that? we're not, check it out. aww, yeah, haha. excuse me. vo: get all your friends' photos automatically with share shot on the galaxy s3. hey! first dance! are you kidding me???
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a thing that helps you wbuy other things.hing. but plenty of companies do that. so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, the gavel is about to drop here in charlotte as the democrats begin their national convention. can they convince a weary middle
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class that their economic to-do list will turn things around this time? standby. a rising star, the san antonio mayor, julian castro, will give the keynote address tonight saying the american dream is still a reality. then the first lady, michelle obama, takes the spotlight to tell us what her husband is really like outside the spotlight. plus, the democrats drop a reference to jerusalem as israel's capital and the platform and a reference to israel as america's "strongest ally in the region." we take a closer look at what's going on and the possible fallout. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in charlotte. you're in "the situation room." and this convention is now beginning here in charlotte. the formal start of this convention. let's listen to the chair, debbie wasserman schultz. >> the 46th quad ren yal
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national convention of the democratic party will now come to order. [ cheers and applause ] welcome. welcome, delegates, alternates, standing committee members, guests, friends, members of the news media, guests from around the world and fellow americans to our deliberations. over the next three days we will hold the most open and accessible political convention in history. thank you. viewers from across the country and around the world can watch the entire convention gavel-to-gavel live streamed on the democratic convention's website and through our mobile app. in addition, the entire program is also being streamed simultaneously in spanish. [ cheers and applause ] during our national convention we will clearly demonstrate why
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we need to keep barack obama and joe biden in the white house. [ cheers and applause ] but this convention is about more than re-nominating president obama. it's about americans coming together to build one economy, not from the top down, but from the middle class out. and the bottom up. this convention's success will be based on engaging the american spirit and involving people who want to put their shoulders to the wheel and change our country for the better. we have -- we're so proud that we have the largest number of delegates ever assembled at a democratic national convention. [ cheers and applause ] and as i look out from this podium, i see a diverse assembly of democrats who represent the strength and unity of our party.
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the democratic party is the oldest continuing party in the world. and your participation in this convention is a testament to the fact that we are also the most vibrant, inclusive and energized political party, aren't we? [ cheers and applause ] so now, now for some housekeeping. at this time let me remind delegates that presidential nominating petitions must be submitted to the office of the secretary no later than 6:00 p.m. today. vice presidential nominating petitions must be submitted to the office of the secretary no later than 9:00 a.m. wednesday. petitions should be delivered to the secretary's office, which is located on the floor level concourse. delegates, alternates and guests, please give a round of applause -- >> while they go through some housekeeping, some procedural matters, let's bring in candy crowley and gloria borger to
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assess what's going on. they are pumped, gloria, they're pretty excited. >> don't forget, they were watching the republican convention last week. there are a lot of things said there that they want to set the record straight if you talk to them about it. they believe that they've got to talk to those same voters that mitt romney was talking to last week. that 6% to 8% of the electorate that remains undecided, women in particular, hispanics in particular. that's their target this week. >> they got a big challenge ahead of them, candy. this is not an easy matter. >> it isn't. they know full well that in fact the economy is not where anyone would like it to be. so it's hard to go hurrah, we've really done well, except you have to have some of that progress that the president claims as well as, you know, sort of look forward and say here's what we're going to do. >> it's a whole matter of, i guess, the tone that they're going to set in the next three days, today, tomorrow and thursday. >> you know, those word clouds we sometimes do like how many times a word is said?
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i think the really biggest cloud is going to be middle class. at the end of these three days, remember when the president's on the campaign trail, all mitt romney and his crowd did is talk about me and mitt romney, but we're going to talk about you. that's been sort of their m. their aim is to have a contrast here. they think their keynote speech will be able to contrast with chris christie. so they're going for sort of that comparison. >> because they keep saying, james carville, our contributor, it's the middle class, stupid. they used to say it's the economy, stupid. candy's absolutely right. for these democrats, it's the middle class, stupid. >> it not only will be about the middle class, but also about this question of leadership. what kind of a leader has president obama been? you see after the republican convention mitt romney's numbers moved up on that very important leadership issue. and when people vote for president of the united states, they want to follow this person. so they've got to understand
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that he can really take them to a place that they want to go. >> let me tell you, the other thing about the beauty of the middle class and appealing to the middle class, pretty much everybody thinks they are middle class unless you're really poor or really rich, it encompasses so many voters. even those some of us would not consider to be middle class, they kind of still do, if you would look at their income and say that's probably higher. but this is still a huge group. and so it is to that what they want to say we want sustainable jobs, we want -- they'll talk about nrnl and education all those things that the president talks about to kind of have those sustainable jobs, investments, he calls them. republicans of course call it more spending. that's their aim. i think it's interesting that there's not per se a theme every night. we saw one with the republicans there was a theme. but if there's a theme here, it's flat out the middle class. >> were you surprised, gloria, that romney didn't get much of a bounce out of his convention? i mean, it was 49% to 47%
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according to the cnn poll. statistically there hasn't been much movement. >> i think there are a few things at play. one is of course you had a month to six weeks barrage of completely negative advertising. tens of millions of dollars spent against mitt romney going into his own convention. what they wanted to do was sort of stop the bleeding there. and what they -- and this may be spin on their part, what they were saying to me is it wasn't so much the head-to-head, it's the underlying numbers that they were looking at. and they did make gains with independent voters. that's important to them. >> all right. they're getting ready for the presentation of the colors, the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem. let's watch and let's listen. >> the presentation of colors.
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>> announcer: ladies and gentlemen, welcome the wro dell class to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. [ applause ] >> i pledge allegiance to the
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flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indi indi visible with libe and justice for all. [ applause ] >> announcer: ladies and gentlemen, please welcome from the hit musical comedy drama "glee" amber riley, to sing our national anthem. [ applause ] ♪ oh say can you see by the
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dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ who's broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ or the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave ♪
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♪ or the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ [ applause ] >> beautiful rendition of the national anthem performed by amber riley. let's go down to the floor. dana bash is standing by. dana, give us a little flavor. i'm looking out there a lot of empty seats so far. i'm sure it will be packed before the night is done, but so far not all the delegates, not all the invited guests are inside. >> no, not everybody is here. it has gotten a lot more crowded literally in the past ten
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minutes or so. but one thing i think is interesting to point out having -- all of us really having just come from the republican convention in tampa is that the democrats just simply have more people here because they have twice as many delegates as the republicans. so that is why you see -- each delegation for example right over here this is north carolina, they get a front row seat because we're in their home state. if this was the republican convention, they would have had three rows, but now they have from here all the way to the front because they have so many more delegates per state. that's sort of interesting. but you can feel the vibe is getting more excited. people are starting to trickle in and get ready for the speeches that we're going to see tonight. but the first order of business is really going to be to accept the party platform that we were talking about in the last hour which we really have just gotten our eyes first on. >> dana, that whole notion of
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removing the clause from the convention four years ago, eight years ago, that recognizes jerusalem as israel's capital, is there an explanation why the democrats decided to remove that clause from the platform? it was obviously in the republican platform last week. >> we don't have an explanation quite yet. you know this, wolf, historically the democratic side before 2008 it wasn't in there because it's been so controversial with regards to u.s. policy towards israel because the u.s. has been unclear or unsure whether they wanted to rock the boat by saying jerusalem not tel aviv is the capital. but the platform didn't just do that, it also took out another line from 2008 which said that israel is the most important -- this isn't verbatim, but paraphrase israel is the most important ally of the u.s. in the middle east. that's also not in there. it is very interesting, obviously.
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we're just learning about this new language or the omitted language, i should say. and we're getting to the bottom of it. >> dana, thanks very much. i'm going to be curious to see if the president of the united states has any mention of israel, any mention of jerusalem, mention of israel as an ally in his speech. thursday night there was a brief mention of israel in romney's speech last week in tampa. we're going to go in depth on what's going on over here. standby. i want everyone to standby with the republicans linking the obama record to the jimmy carter years. should democrats try to distance themselves from the former president of the united states? and outside or inside the democrats plan to fill a huge stadium for president obama's big speech thursday night. what happens if it rains and if it pours?
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us our two cnn
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contributors, donna brazile and former bush white house press secretary. donna, you wanted to sit with me. >> absolutely. i'm an officer, i can sit on the podium, i can sit with my colleagues, i'll sit next to you. >> love it. let's hear about the theme. we're going to hear from the first lady, tonight. she's going to speak about t story of barack obama coming from the roots he came from. quite different than what we heard about the story coming from mitt romney, coming from a wealthy family. he didn't come from a wealthy family. how does that resonate? >> look at how many presidents were millionaires. the thing about first ladies speeches and i saw this in laura bush, it brings out a side of these husbands that they cannot talk about themselves, certainly the story of president obama growing up is a very moving
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story. it's an american success story. she'll share that. i like these speeches. i find them poignant. >> what does it say to you, donna, that the first lady of the united states is michelle obama when you hear her speak tonight, what will you think? >> she's an incredible woman, incredible mother. a friend. cares deeply about people from all backgrounds. she spent the last three and a half years focused on military families. that's been her most passionate focus as first lady. i think tonight she's going to give us a glimpse into their personal, private life. talk about barack obama as a husband, as a father, as a leader in our country. but laura bush once said and i loved this, she said, you know f you're in a grocery store and someone walks up to you and says why should we rehire your husband. she said she felt she could answer that question. tonight, michelle obama will be doing the same thing. >> both of these women are powerful wonderful women. and both of these men are lucky
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to be married to them. let me play a clip, ari. anxious to get your response. we're going to have a contribute tonight, we're going to see it to the former president jimmy carter. obviously bill clinton will be giving a powerful keynote address tomorrow night. a major address welcoming the president putting his name and nomination, if you will. but listen to what paul ryan, the republican vice presidential nominee, said. >> when it comes to jobs, president obama makes the jimmy carter years look like good old days. if we fired jimmy carter then, why would we rehire barack obama now? >> pretty bad, if you remember those days. but what do you think about this decision that the democrats made to honor -- he is a former sitting president of the united states. what would you have done? >> i have a special fondness for jimmy carter because this is a
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well-known secret but i was a liberal democrat growing up. because of jimmy carter i became a conservative democrat. and because of ronald reagan i changed parties after college and became a republican. the fascinating thing about history, you remember when you win that second term or not. jimmy carter didn't and he's been pretty much vilified to most american people. if president obama loses, that analogy will absolutely come true. he needs to avoid that attack. >> ari was very diplomatic, but a lot of republicans are saying they're thrilled that the democrats are here tonight promoting jimmy carter because it reminds people of another incumbent president who lost to ronald reagan and what the country was going through in those days. >> you know, the two choices we have this year is going forward and looking back. once again, the republicans want to look back. look back to 1980. see if this is, you know, a race similar to that exercise. i like jimmy carter. i got involved in politics
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because of jimmy carter. the 39th president of the united states who signed -- treated with the soviet union helping relations with china, there's so much he accomplished. he lost to ronald reagan. that was a very difficult election. had a tough primary, a tough economy. but i still like jimmy carter. he won the nobel prize ten years ago. god bless jimmy carter. >> we'll see that tribute later tonight. thanks, guys, very, very much. three and a half years after taking office, almost four years, president obama gives himself an incomplete grade on fixing the economy. is that good enough to win re-election? we'll ask two democratic leaders in a live interview. senator mark warner and former virginia governor tim kaine. they're both standing by. and it can cost twice as much as regular food, but is buying organic better for your health? a new study has just come out. standby. that's coming up as well. great shot.
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i'm lisa sylvester. here are some of the top stories in "the situation room" right now. organic foods apparently don't contain any more viet mans or nutrients than regular foods despite costing up to twice as much money. that is according to researchers from stanford university who looked at more than 200 studies compare i comparing the two categories. they did find that organic produce and meat contained fuer pesticides, but they couldn't say whether the difference was enough to have an effect on people's health. and first on cnn, the commander
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of u.s. navy seals has sent all 2,500 of them a harsh message saying "he's disappointed, embarrassed and concerned that some of them are speaking publicly about their secret missions and training." cnn exclusively obtained a copy of the message from rear admiral sean pybus. the recently released book comes out today. and gq is reporting that vice presidential nominee, paul ryan, he has chosen his new secret service name. he'll go by bowhunter. the ryans received secret service protection last month after paul ryan was named mitt romney's running mate. and democrats drop a reference to jerusalem as israel's capital in reference to israel as america's strongest ally in the region. could that hurt them in november? and our latest poll shows
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independent voters moving towards mitt romney. wolf blitzer is back to ask a pair of top democrats what that's all about. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. you want to make sure it goes up and stays up. [ chirp ] with android apps, you get better quality control. so our test flights are less stressful. i've got a lot of paperwork, and time is everything here. that's why i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. [ chirp ] and the fastest push-to-talk nationwide. [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." [ chirp ] with access to the fastest push to talk, three times the coverage, and android productivity apps. now when you buy one motorola admiral rugged smartphone, for ninety nine ninety nine, you'll get one free.
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tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. want to go right to the convention floor. i'm down here on the convention floor right now. dana bash is standing by. dana, we've been talking earlier about a lot of buzz out there that the democratic party platform rejected the language that was in the platform four years ago, eight years ago, recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital. also deleting a reference to israel as being america's staunchest ally in the middle east. i understand the democratic national committee is now responding. what's going on? >> that's right, wolf. you asked me just a few moments ago why they did it. well, i asked the dnc. and their answer was that they are simply following what the obama administration's policy is. that the white house said
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several months ago that the status of jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in the final status negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. and that is why that is not in the platform as it was in 2008. it still is a little bit perplexing frankly because that had been the policy up until 2008, at least had been in the platform in 2008, but they decided to change it four years ago. and there was no difference with regard to final status negotiations as it is right now. so it is a bit of a question mark particularly given frankly as you know, wolf, the political question marks that some american jews have special in key swing states like florida about president obama's commment to the state of israel. so this is probably going to raise a lot more questions in their minds. the other thing that this statement goes onto say is that they want to underscore that
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president obama has undeniable and unshakable commitment, has an undeniable and unshakable commitment to israel's security. that clearly is trying to explain or, you know, help understand that they still have even though they don't say in the platform that the u.s. is -- excuse me, that israel is the most important ally in the middle east, wolf. >> yeah. the 2012 platform does not include the language of the 2008 platform describing israel as america's strongest ally in the region. dana, thanks very much. let's talk about what's going on with two special guests, senator mark warner is here from virginia. the former governor of virginia, tim kaine, senate candidate is here as well. you know something about politics. i'll start with you, governor. >> yeah. >> you are chairman of the democratic party. >> absoluly. >> this is a sensitive issue especially in a state like florida where there are a lot of jewish voters. republicans are already making
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hay of this as this president and the democratic party removes a reference and deletes language that israel is america's strongest ally. how do you explain this? >> wolf, i know the republicans want to make this a wedge issue, but one of the great things about u.s. support for israel is that it's been bipartisan since harry truman, a democrat -- been a fundamental value of our party and our nation. and it is the case that the israelis say let us with the palestinians negotiate what the ultimate path toward a two-state solution is. they're very, very adamant that the u.n. or others not dictate terms. we shouldn't dictate terms but we need to support the relationship. and that's been our party's policy. >> this is sensitive stuff we're talking about. you appreciate this more than most. >> i do. but look, what i appreciate is that there's an effort by some to make israel a wedge issue in this country.
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it's not a wedge issue. the relationship is strong. it's bipartisan. and it needs to be. and when people try to make it a wedge issue, they actually hurt the united states and hurt israel. >> what do you think? you're a senator, you're familiar with all these issues? >> very sensitive. >> why did they decide to do this. >> i think the obama administration and this president is the strongest friend of israel that israel has. and i think america views israel as a very, very strong ally. i know i do. i think as tim has said, there will be those who try to make this a wedge issue. i think the record of this administration stands for itself. >> is israel the strongest ally in the region? >> i believe it is. >> why wouldn't that be included? why would they delete it at this time? >> i think israel has been, will be and will always continue to be in a bipartisan fashion our strongest ally in the middle east. >> why do you think they took that language out? >> i don't know what the wording is, but the mere fact that this
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particular part of the platform is so unique, you don't have those kinds of platform planks with respect to every other nation. there's a reason there's a u.s./israel relationship on the platform and it attests to the fact that this relationship is a special one and very close one. >> this is a sensitive issue. you're running for the senate. you have a tough race over there. how sensitive is this issue in virginia? i know in florida, new york, where there's large jewish population -- >> support for israel is bipartisan, i went with 50 mayors to jerusalem. i was prime minister netanyahu's guest in april of 2009. virgin yans don't question my commitment to the u.s./israel relationship. >> it's still a little awkward on this day when we should be talking about a lot of other stuff and people don't even pay that much attention to the platform we're talking about. so let's move on. >> all right. >> talk a little bit about these latest polls. you saw in our overall poll romney didn't get much of a
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bounce. >> right. >> one point in this 48%-48% right now. but take a look at this among independent voters out there. before the convention obama had 45%, romney 48%. now obama's down to 42%, romney 52%. that's a ten-point gap among likely independent voters. >> as your polling indicates, any kind of analysis of a post-convention bump, this has been the smallest i believe since bob dole's 1996 convention. and we know where that campaign ended up. i think you'll see those numbers return. particularly not just one outlier after the democratic convention. we've been campaigning around virginia -- the governor and i, and we're seeing extraordinary strong support for the president. and we actually think in virginia we have a chance to pick up our military families and veterans that were really tough to break into four years ago. >> both campaigning for the
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president. i want to play you a clip because this is causing a lot of buzz from an affiliate kktv in colorado. i'll play the exchange, the reporter and the president. his answer is generating some reaction. listen to this. >> you know, i would say incomplete, but what i would say is the steps that we've taken in saving the auto industry, in making sure that college is more affordable and investing in clean energy and science and technology and research, those are all the things that we're going to need to grow over the long-term. >> he was asked what grade he would give himself on the economy over the past three and a half years. and he said, you know, i would say incomplete. now, all of us went to college. we know what an incomplete means. you've taken the course work but didn't meet the deadline, you got an incomplete. i was pretty surprised he says that. were you? >> wolf, it was a remark that showed some humility. the president's right. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. and we're gaining them 29 months
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in a row. stock market was in the 7s or 6s, gdp was shrinking, it's now growing. no one would go back to where we were four years ago economically or in our international relations. we're moving forward. but the president is humbly acknowledging that, look, we've got to put our foot on the gas. one of the ways we do it is we put a congress in place that decides that they're not just going to gridlock everything but they're actually going to work together. >> senator, what grade would you give the president when it comes to the economy? >> i give the president a good grade. a b plus, a minus, more to be done. i think what we have to look at is where we go from here. and where we go from here is looking at the plan president obama offers and the romney/ryan plan. i was a business guy longer than a politician. in business you invest in your people, your plant equipment and you look at what your competition's doing. the romney/ryan budget cuts education, infrastructure -- >> b plus, a minus. >> you know, i was more fixated, wolf, on that question that's been kicking around the days
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before and now is are we better off than we were four years ago. i really can't believe people would believe we're not. we didn't know where bin laden was, we found him and wiped him out. the banking industry and the auto industry was going down the drain. they've both been rescued. where we were four years ago not a single american would want to return back to that. we're going forward and need to put our foot on the gas. >> gentlemen, thanks very much. virginia, you're confident? >> i'm confident. >> yeah. if it were today -- i just got 63 hard days. [ overlapping speakers ] >> all right. we'll see you. we'll watch it all together. as the dnc continues its business on the stage, we're waiting for the popular mayor of newark, new jersey, cory booker, to take the stage. he's dubbed the hero mayor. we'll bring that to you live coming up. i was talking to my best friend. i told her i wasn't feeling like myself...
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the democrats are holding their convention in this huge indoor arena. it may not be big enough for president obama's big speech. that's supposed to take place in a packed outdoor stadium. so here's the question, what happens if it rains? kate bolduan is here. she's been looking at the skies for us. our meteorologist and severe weather expert, kate, what's going on? >> for the moment at least. so i guess the conclusion is mother nature is either nonpartisan or bipartisan, however you put it. either way you want to slice it, weather is now taking a pretty major role in both conventions including right here in charlotte. it's already caused a soggy
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kickoff to the week's events. now, one of the biggest wild cards of the democratic convention, the weather. and whether it will force president obama's much-anticipated acceptance speech from the open air bank of america stadium indoors. the official word from the obama campaign, outside is still a go. >> we plan to proceed with the event, rain or shine, just like it was a panthers game. in the event of severe weather, of course we'll make contingency arrangements. >> reporter: the forecast calls for more rain than shine. and that shouldn't come as a surprise. >> showers pop up everyday in the south in the summer. but will there be thunder and lightning? that's the key to the charlotte forecast. will there be lightning around the stadium with people sitting outside? if there's lightning, they'll just put them inside in the mezzanine like a football game. thursday has the best forecast of the whole week. >> still, democrats acknowledge it's a gamble. >> it's a very high risk. if the president you know, gets wet, that's one thing.
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75,000 people, god forbid there's lightning, that could really be awful. here's the other side. there's a certain sort of heroic imagery when he stands there getting soaked. and he's done this before. and what you would hope and pray as a democrat is that the audience then feeds off of that. that's sort of my optimistic hopeful spin as a democrat. still, lord, hold the rain off, please. >> the contingency plan includes moving the speech back to the time warner cable arena. by that also means a fraction of the seating capacity and a very different scene from denver four years ago. >> thank you. >> a scene the delegates wan to relive no matter what mother nature brings. >> i've sat in the rain for a lot less things than that. so i definitely would sit in the rain to listen to my president speak. >> are you kidding me? i mean getting this president elected, i would stand out in freezing cold snow, yes, i'll be fine, rain or shine. the makeup will run a little bit, i'll be a little frustrated, but no, this will be
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wonderful. >> campaign officials are not tipping their hand on when they think they need to make that final call of stay outside or move indoors. really, wolf, they're only saying that will have enough time to alert everyone that's attending that they're making alternate arrangements. >> they've given away all of the tickets, 65,000, 75,000. it's standing room only there. a lot of very excited people will be very disappointed if they have to move it indoors. >> absolutely. it's a fraction of the seating in here compared to bank of america stadium. the one thing they'll be able to alert everyone is you have to activate your credentials. so they'll have contact information for every person that wants to be attending at the bank of america stadium. >> and people lucky enough to get tickets, they've made commitments that they'll go out there and get people to register, they'll take people to vote. >> exactly. >> in north carolina a very important battleground. >> toss up key state. >> good work. thank you. it's the democrats' big week here in charlotte, but republicans -- yes, republicans, certainly would like to share the spotlight.
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we're going to introduce you to their so-called rapid response team as the gop war room heats up. standby. coming up in our next hour, the democratic rising star, the mayor of newark, new jersey, cory booker. he will address this convention. we'll take it live. questions. when you're caring for a loved one with alzheimer's, not a day goes by that you don't have them. questions about treatment where to go for extra help, how to live better with the disease. so many questions, where do you start? the answers start here.
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charlotte to themselves right now. the republicans set up a war room near the convention site with a quick reaction team ready to pounce. let's go to brianna keilar. >> reporter: wolf, we are a few blocks from the time warner arena. just like you saw in tampa, this may be the week for democrats in charlotte, but republicans don't want to concede all attention. this is the war room. this is a spokesperson for the rnc. what's going on here? >> this is our gop response center. we are here to make sure the president's record and our side of the story, mitt romney's story is told. more importantly, trying to remind americans they're not better off four years from now when he gives that speed. we have everything from rapid response fact checking what they
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put out to media, fact checking speeches, putting out our side of the story, making sure we keep them honest. have some of our top surrogates here, people you heard from at the republican national committee. >> you're putting them on tv. there's a studio right downstairs. >> state of the art. live stream our press conference, bring in press to hear our side of the story, make them available for network interviews and local interviews throughout the country and battleground states. >> let's be honest, it is about stealing the heim light? >> two things, having fun and ensuring our message gets out there and voters don't just hear one sided speech there and understand whether you look at the economy, debt and deficit, those are still important and we highlight them. >> reporter: two months out from election day, neither side conceding an inch. wolf? >> they shouldn't. they should be working hard. brianna, thank you. we are minutes away from a
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rising star in the democratic party cory booker ready to address the crowd at the convention in charlotte. we will bring it to you live. stand by. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
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we are awaiting cory booker. another democratic huge rising star will take the stage later, talking about the mayor of san antonio, texas. he becomes the first latino to give the democrats' keynote address. here is ed lavandera. >> reporter: first thing you need to know, it is pronounced hoo-lee-ahn. the j is silent. he has never mastered it either.
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>> i understand it better than i speak it. i grew up in my household with my grand mother and mother mostly speaking english, so i understand it. speaking it back is the challenge. >> reporter: his grandmother immigrated to san antonio from mexico and worked as a community activist in the chicano movement. from those humble beginnings, he and his twin brother went onto stanford and he is now a rising star, tapped to give the keynote speech at the democratic convention, the same speech an unknown barack obama gave at the convention in 2004. >> you get talked about as someone that could be the first hispanic governor of texas, some say the first hispanic president of the united states. do you like that kind of talk, can you handle that kind of pressure? >> i would be lying if i said it wasn't flattering. but the biggest mistake i or anybody could make is to believe
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the press. >> reporter: he was elected mayor in 2009, then reelected with 82% of the vote. now he's 37. the youngest mayor of a top 50 city in the united states. he's also used to the baby face jokes. >> reporter: one of the fun yer things that happened to you when you first met president obama, he jokingly asked if you were the intern. >> that's right. >> reporter: you being asked to do the speech, is that making up for that jab? >> no, i don't know, i don't know. but i always got the age jokes at different points in my career. >> reporter: is it still happening? >> every now and then. i am starting to get the gray hair i need from my three-year-old daughter and from politics. >> reporter: it is the biggest speech of his career. latinos enjoyed prominent roles at the convention. castro must convince them to stick with barack obama and turn out in numbers. >> reporter: a lot of latino leaders say president obama has not been a friend to the latino
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community. >> under any score, immigration, education, health care, any number of issues, he has been a very effective advocate for the latino community. >> reporter: he is in the midst of pushing for a sales tax hike to fund kindergarten. he has a squeaky clean political image except for the river walk parade scandal, he was a city councilman and couldn't make it in time. his twin brother jumped on the city council float instead. his political opponents said the brothers were trying to fool the massive crowd. castro blasted off now. >> how can we be sure you're the castro giving the speech. >> he says he is better looking than i am. there you go. and the wedding ring, another good way. >> reporter: his brother will introduce his twin at the convention. you'll see the castro brothers standing sid by side. he did lavandera, cnn, san
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antonio, texas. >> from the mayor of san antonio to the mayor of newark, new jersey. cory booker about to speak. >> our platform is crafted by democrats. but it is not about partisanship, it is about pragmatism. it's not about left or right but about moving america and our economy forward. [ applause ] our platform and our president stand firm in the conviction that america must continue to outbuild, outinnovate, outeducate. you see, this platform is a clear choice between economic pathways, forward or back, inclusion or exclusion, grow
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together as a nation or be a country of savage disparities that favor the fortunate few over the greatest driving force of any economy, a large and robust middle class. [ applause ] we must choose forward. we must choose inclusion. we must choose growing together. we choose american might and american muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the american ideal. a strong and empowered and ever expanding and ever growing middle class. [ applause ] our platform emphasizes that a vibrant, free and fair market is
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essential to economic growth. we also must pull from our highest ideals of justice and fairness to protect against those ills that destabilize our economy recent years, like predatory lending, overleveraged financial institutions, and the unchecked after ris of the past that trumped fairness and common sense. our platform calls for significant cuts in federal spending. our platform for a balanced deficit reduction plan where everyone, everyone from elected officials to the wealthy and super wealthy pay their fair share. [ applause ] please listen to this because when your country is in a costly
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war with our soldiers sacrificing abroad, and our nation is facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare, it's patriotism. [ applause ] we all know -- [ cheers and applause ] we all know, we all know that it's common sense that for economy built to last, we must
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invest in what will fuel our economy for generations to come. this is our history. from the transcontinental railroad to the hoover dam, to the building of the most historic bridges, our american ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation's infrastructure, and today, and today our businesses, industries, entrepreneurs and economy realize a return on those investments. let us not fall prey to the rhetoric that seeks to gut investment and starve our nation of critical common sense building for our future, and investment must include the real engine of job growth in america, the american small business.
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[ applause ] that's why this platform committee is proud that our president has made a profound difference for people and businesses in newark, in new jersey, and in our nation as a whole by cutting taxes for all working families and giving small businesses 18 different tax cuts. [ applause ] for our president, home of the brave are not just the last words of our national anthem but also a call to action. this is why the president's policies and our platform include incentives to train and hire our troops returning home. not only, not only because it is
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our moral responsibility but because it makes for a stronger, more secure american economy. [ applause ] wh investing in people does not stop there. the most critical investment we can make in a 21st century knowledge based economy is education. [ cheers and applause ] and so our president has already doubled pell grants, raised education standards, invested in research and development at our universities and early childhood education in our neighborhoods.
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[ applause ] this is because our platform and our president stated clearly our nation cannot continue to be the world's number one economy if we aren't committed to being the world's number one educator. [ applause ] it is plain that our platform and our president are not interested in petty political arguments. instead, this platform of big and practical ideas s for the an embolden pathway towards the historic hope which has driven generation after generation of americans forward. it is our fundamental national aspiration that no matter who you are, no matter what color or
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creed, how you choose to pray, or who you choose to love, that if -- [ applause ] -- if you are a citizen of the united states of america, if you are an american, first generation or 15th, one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your god given talents that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills. you should be able to afford health care for your family. u should be able to retire with dignity and respec [ applause ] you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even
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bigger, too long even farther, and accomplish more than you could ever imagine. this is our platform! this is our platform! [ cheers and applause ] this is our platform. this is our american mission. these are the dreams of our fathers and mothers. this is the demand from the next generation who call to our conscience and conviction of class rules from sea to shining sea, from north to south, when our children proudly proclaim those sacred words from our profound pledge, that we are a nation with liberty and justice for all!
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[ cheers and applause ] and so -- and so god bless america. god bless america. [ crowd chanting "u-s-a" ] >> and so this november with the re-election of president barack obama this generation of americans will expand upon the hope, the dream, the truth and the promise of america. [ applause ] and so, mr. chairman, on behalf of every single member from
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every single state in these united states, we are pleased to move for the adoption of the 2012 democratic national platform. [ applause ] thank you. thank you. a ro by a rising star in the democratic party, cory booker of newark, new jersey. the crowd here is standing, many of them are crying. he really did a powerful, powerful job. certainly resuscitated himself when he caused earlier when he said all the attacks against bain capital was nauseating, got himself into some trouble there,
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more than made up for that at this convention. very strong words and delivered beautifully by cory booker, the mayor of newark, new jersey. they're ratifying the democratic platform now. dana bash is on the floor. dana, the platform, people are reading it word for word as they read the republican platform last week. >> reporter: that's right. you just heard cory booker give some highlights democrats want to put forward about work, not spending more overseas when they should be spending money on infrastructure and investment in education and so forth here. there were some noteworthy if not controversial parts of this platform, and i think noteworthy for what was not in it than in it. one thing, the word god is not in the platform. booker talked about our god
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given rights, that had been in there with the concept of work, it was taken out this time. the other thing causing a lot of buzz and frankly raising a lot of eyebrows, what was omitted about israel, specifically this particular platform does not lastime did.usalem is the capit that'seady getting reaction from the romney campaign. romney mself, i read stent, sd it is unfortunate that the entire democratic party has prest obama's shameful refusa tcknowledge that jerusalem is is capital. we are trying figure out why, in fact, the dnc did at. simply sai they were following e policy of the white house to let this whole mideast process play out until it gets to final talks. also hitting back at republicans yi attet by the romney campaign to turn our support forsrael which has
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alwaysn bipartisan into a partisan wedge issue by playing politics. this is both5á cynical and counter-productive to israel's security. it is that the state of the israel is the u.s.'s most important ally in the mideast, that's also not in the democratic platform. >> i tell you, cory booker delivered a powerful speech. later tonight, keynote address, another mayor, mayor of san antonio castro will be delivering a powerful speech. what did he say to you? >> reporter: he was there with his twin brother who is introducing him at the podium behind me tonight. what he said is he wants to talk about his personal story. he is very young, 37, but he is the grandson of a woman who came from mexico as an immigrant.
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he will talk about the -- i want to read you about what he is going to talk about with regard to political issues. he will say texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps, and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize there are some things we can't do alone. you know, wolf, republicans seize on president obama saying weidn't build it. and this is i am told an oblique reference to that. the other thing he will talk about, freedom isn't free, and the ryan and romney understand neither is opportunity we have to invest in. those are some of the things he will talk about. >> stephanie cutter, deputy campaign manager for the obama campaign is standing by. we're going to talk to her. dana, thanks very much. don't go too far away.
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all of this unfolding as we got new poll numbers. >> this is very interesting. got new poll numbers a short time ago. it is a new snapshot of the race for the white house. if we need to tell you any more, it is a tight one. bring in cnn chief national correspondent john king who has been crunching the numbers. what do you have? >> a quick overview of what the numbers say. this is the 2008 map. obama 53, mccain, 46. they say don't expect a big win at this moment. let's look at the numbers. straight up national numbers. did mitt romney get bounce from the republican convention? as democrats begin, doesn't get closer than that. 48 for the president, 48 for romney. that's an exact tie, of course. the president was up two points among likely voters before the republican convention, romney now in a dead heat with the president. where does it put the bounce? governor romney got a one point bounce from his republican convention. some say that must be a big disappointment.
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president obama back in 2008, only two points. george w. bush in 2004, only two points. it has been typical of modern conventions in cable and internet era to be a small bounce. romney gets a bit of a bounce, but a dead heat coming into the convention. let's look at some of the other underlying dynamics. another key battleground state of ohio, here is the defining question in this election. who would better handle the economy? romney with a six point edge. not much difference, within margin of error of the poll. essentially unchanged into the convention. important governor romney is ahead on this. he would like a bigger lead. watch for the democrats to try to take it to that one. one other key point. here is something governor romney will be happy with coming out of the convention and democrats will try to counter in the three days ahead. who best in touch with the middle class, romney was down 14 points on this critical question, now down just 6. wolf and kate, governor romney would like a bigger bounce in the horse race, will be happy
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with this number here. the president's challenge is to turn that economic argument. romney leads on who would best run the economy, who is best in touch with the middle class. watch for the democrats, the theme the next few days will be to change these economic numbers. >> john king and the magic wall. one of my favorite positions to see him in. he always does so well. wolf, i find it interesting. these new polls show as we have been tracking where they see there are traditional strengths, it has been close back and forth. shows how tight the race is. >> 48-48 among likely voters. doesn't get much closer. coming up, more poll numbers and controversial changes to the democratic platform. the obama deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter standing by to join us live. new clues about the most anticipated speech. we're learning a little of what the first lady of the united states, michelle obama, will say
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as this, "the situation room," continuing live from charlotte. ♪
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there are some changes in the democratic platform this year and they're causing a little bit of a concern. >> they're actually some of them quite controversial, among them, addressing the issue of israel's capital. >> let's talk about this with stephanie cutter, deputy campaign manager. we did some checking. the 2008 democratic party platform had the words jerusalem is and will remain the capital of israel, the parties have agreed that jerusalem is a matter for final status
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negotiations, it should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. this convention says the president's consistent support for israel's right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition and any attempt to delegitimize this are further evidence of encuring commitment to israel's security. the specific reference to israel's capital was delated. maybe you can help us, why was that deleted? >> the president's position on jerusalem is the position of bipartisan administrations going back many years. this is a decision needs to be made through negotiation between the two parties. but you know, no one should mistake anything in this platform but the president's undeniable commitment to the security of israel. >> people pay attention to this are sensitive to delete it from
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the 2008 to this, america's strongest ally in the region? >> you read what that platform said. additional language was added to make it clear that the president and the country's commitment to israel's security. >> the president believes israel is america's strongest ally in the region. >> absolutely. >> want to make sure. >> want to play a clip in colorado where they did an interview with president obama. take a look at this. >> your party says you inherited a bad situation. you've had three-and-a-half years to fix it. what grade would you give yourself so far for doing that? >> i would say incomplete. but what i would say is the steps we have taken in ving the auto industry, making sure college is more affordable, investing in clean energy and science and technology and research, those are all the things we need to grow over the long term. >> when we talked about
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incomplete, in school, you get incomplete, that's the equivalent to failing. how does that grade help his re-election campaign? >> i don't think it is the equivalent of failing. i am not that far from my college days, i am sure it is not the equivalent of failing. i think what he is saying is we made a lot of progress since he took the oath of office. remember what life was like that day. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. six months before he was elected, we lost 3.5 million jobs. look where we are today. 4.5 million private sector jobs are created. we rescued the auto industry. gm is number one in the world. we passed health care reform. never again will taxpayers have to bailout wall street. what the president is saying we made progress, but i'm not done, you know. as he has said before, returning to where we were before the recession is not good enough because we have had decades of erosion of the middle class and we need to do better than that.
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that's what you'll hear thursday night, that we have a path forward. so you have a road map how to build an econo to last and help the middle class retain the security they lost over a series of years. we made some significant progress. we're going to be hearing some of that progress tonight. the auto industry. what would have happened if we listened to mitt romney and let the auto industry go bankrupt? what would have happened when you buckle to republican pressure and insurance industry lobbies. and health care reform. these are tangible things the president has done. >> bailing out, rescuing of auto industry will be a major theme. is he also going to talk jobs and the economy in that address? >> wolf, these things are jobs and the economy. if we didn't bailout the auto industry, we would have lost a million jobs. today we are creating hundreds of thousands because of that action. >> jobs, jobs, and the economy. >> jobs and the economy. how you rebuild an economy meant to last, not based on
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outsourcing but on things that help the middle class grow. >> you read it i am sure maybe heard it, what's in the first lady's speech? >> she's a character witness to this president. you know, she is who we come home to every night. she has been witness to some of the tough decisions he's made in the past four years. she's going to speak to the values that drive him, that he puts the middle class first because that's where he comes from. he understands the challenges of the middle class. understands when you don't have health care security, he understands when women don't get paid the same as men for the same work or when you struggle to be able to pay for college tuition. he understands these things which is why he has taken action on them. these are building blocks, these are things we need to do to build an economy that's meant to last. if we want long term growth, strong middle class. make no mistake, this is all about jobs and the economy and about the things we need to do to put the middle class back at
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the core of this country again. >> stephanie, thanks very much. stephanie cutter, deputy campaign manager. he said he hopes he doesn't get misty eyed watching with his two daughters. let him. we all may be. he is lucky to have a wife like that, ann romney is a lovely woman as well. >> yes. >> certainly a hard act to follow and big shoes to fill. the mayor of san antonio, texas giving the keynote address. anderson cooper is joining us with our panel. more live coverage from the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina when we continue. in communities across the country. whether it's supporting a delaware nonprofit that's providing training and employment opportunities, investing in the revitalization of a neighborhood in the bronx, or providing the financing to help a beloved san diego bakery expand,
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>> we have to work before more fun. some other headlines to get you caught up on. the flow of refugees fleeing the syrian civil war is turning into a flood. united nations says 103,000 people sought safety in neighboring countries in august and the total number of registered syrian refugees is approaching a quarter million. a red cross spokeswoman warns the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating. and crews are reporting progress in the fight against a wildfire burning in the mountains east of los angeles. it is now 15% contained. more than 3600 acres burned and more than 800 people are on the ground fighting the flames. not many people live in the area fortunately. there were a thousand campers there for the holiday weekend that had to evacuate. and controversy about space shuttle endeavor in los angeles. 400 trees are being cut down to help it get to its new home at
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the california science center. officials will plant twice as many replacement trees. some residents come plain that will take years to grow to full growth. finally, republicans had clint eastwood. some democrats are pushing for betty white to deliver star power to their convention. petitions are up on facebook and to give her a speaking role in charlotte. but a spokesman for her show "hot in cleveland" says there are no plans for her to attend the convention. she has in the past thrown her support behind president obama, but doesn't look like the petition is getting her here. >> got to love betty white. >> nothing wrong with her. >> would be a crowd pleaser if she showed up. thanks very much. the first lady, michelle obama, will take stage in charlotte in a few hours, giving her speech before a prime time audience that will include her husband.
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>> whatever i say here today, it's going to be at best a distant second to the speech you will hear tonight from the star of the obama family, michelle obama. [ cheers and applause ] you know, this is just like a relay and you start off with the fastest person. so i'm going to be at home and watching it with our girls and i'm going to try not to let them see their daddy cry, because when michelle starts talking, i start getting all misty. >> might get misty as i have been saying. let him get misty. >> don't hear that often. >> brianna keilar has new information on what we may be hearing from the first lady. we will do that after this. [ mr favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with tums smoothies. so fast and smooth,
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let's go to the floor. brianna keilar is standing by. you're getting insight into what the first lady may be saying in her speech. what are you hearing? >> reporter: i am told by one source, simply that she's a character witness and a very unique kind. some of the president's top aides, vice president joe biden may be with obama when he makes decisions in the oval office, but when he goes home at the end of the day, it is michelle obama he talks to and that's the perspective she's going to give. make no mistake, she will be on message, talking about his values, how he put the middle class first when he was working through health care reform and the auto bailout, but it is really going to have much more of a personal tinge. we expect her remarks to go about 25 minutes, wolf. >> brianna, we know the president says he is going to be
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watching with his daughters from the white house. it was the first day of school for the girls today. this is an emotional moment for the entire family. >> reporter: that's right, and he will be watching along with his daughters, malia and sasha. malia entered high school today, and we know mrs. obama called home to talk to her daughters and see how day one went, but they'll be staying up tonight. we understand they'll be staying up not just with their dad but also with their grandma, michelle obama's mom, marion robinson, and they'll be watching that speech from within the residence of the white house. >> and tell us about the military mom who's going to be introducing the first lady? >> reporter: the name of the woman who will be introducing michelle obama is elaine brye. she's from ohio, a state president obama spent a considerable amount of time campaigning in. back in the holidays she sent a christmas card to michelle obama
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i am told by a source thanking her for what she has done with military families, it has been a big priority not just for the first lady but for joe biden's wife, jill biden. she felt like she owed elaine brye a thank you. she's a mother of five, four of her kids in the military, different branches. she and her husband were invited to the white house, got to come for a state dinner in honor of the british prime minister david cameron, sit at the head table with the obamas and camerons. we know that mrs. obama spent some time practicing her speech in the office in the east wing. i am told she had a heavy handwriting it, worked with the team and chief speech writer, and has the president seen her rehearse the speech? i am told no. in fact, she also has not seen him or heard his speech. a source telling me she wanted to see what he has on thursday with fresh ears, wolf.
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>> brianna is on the floor. we're anticipating the first lady's speech later tonight. and we'll, of course, hear that and see that live. brianna is not going far away as well. anderson cooper and our political team all standing by to talk about tonight's big speakers, the first lady and the keynote address, san antonio mayor julian castro. is he the democrat's next big star? stay with us here in "the situation room." in communities across the country. whether it's supporting a delaware nonprofit that's providing training and employment opportunities, investing in the revitalization of a neighborhood in the bronx, or providing the financing to help a beloved san diego bakery expand, what's important to communities across the country
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go upstairs to the cnn sky box. anderson cooper is standing by, sitting down. anderson, you have the whole team there. >> joined by cnn political correspondent john king, analyst gloria borger and david gergen. we have the evolution of michelle obama, many people,
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more of a divisive figure four years ago in terms of poll numbers, she was below president obama. she's now surpassing him in terms of popularity. >> she had a passion. i think it has been a graceful evolution. gets a lot of credit for people now. in many ways, she now has become more of a traditional first lady. she's a mom. has these beautiful children. people are engaged with her. but she pulled back. she doesn't have the thorns coming at you, she's is not spiky any more. but she's one of the most popular people in the country. >> yet do we know what role she plays with president obama, not just obviously as a wife but in terms of the campaign? is it similar to ann romney's role? >> very smart in terms of a first lady, very smart. clinton days, hillary clinton had an office in the east wing, a policy oriented staff in the
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east wing. with michelle obama, it is his partner. have you ever seen a story says this policy was changed because michelle obama says this? they're careful about that. she takes the edge off. you travel the country, meet people that just dislike the president, think he is too liberal, sometimes it is the race question. they will say but i like her and love how the family, they made me proud of the family in the white house. >> do we know what her role is tonight? there was talk about ann romney trying to personalize her husband to voters. >> i think in a way michelle obama is going to do some of the same stuff, lift the veil if you will. one area where she can be very helpful to her husband is in talking about how he makes the tough decisions, how he's calm under pressure, how he's intellectual about it, mature about it.
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and let people into this motion of barack obama as a real leader. you look at president obama compared to mitt romney, mitt romney is ahead in the latest polls on leadership. so i think she can tell the american people a little about how he makes those important decisions. >> but she is not going to be throwing punches tonight or really getting into policy, do you think? ann romney gave an interview this weekend in which she said, you know, it is time for a grown up, which you know is a pretty pointed barb against the president of the united states. you don't think michelle obama will be -- >> she will be more subtle, talk about her roots growing up, talk about the health struggles of her father, now being a mother, try to make that connection. one place romney made progress, voters were asked who is more in touch with the middle class. that's one of the things she will talk about.
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i know you're out there struggling, we struggled as a young couple, talk about student loans and when they were young didn't have much money to try to make the point that you may be disappointed in this economy, trust me, i have seen him every night, watched the hair go gray, look at pictures from four years ago and it pains him every day. it is human but in a different way. >> it isproteive, also interesting because what ann romney did in attacking the obama campaign, she said do you think they would be attacking my husband if they had four successful years? of course not. so what she was doing is saying i know thi n. e won't fail. attacking him? >> one of the things that worke for franklin roosevelt during the depression, people thought he wasn theiride andeople had pictures of him on their walls. tonight i think in part whatbou are g through a hard time, he is really o yo side. you're middle class, he is with
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you. dedicating every waking hour to maour lif better. >> also going to be hearing from what many consider to be a rising star, julian castro from san antonio. t. i had dinner with him a month so think he is the latino baracka. he has this opportunity like obama hadn 2004 to give that keynote addrat tapulted him onto the national stage and made him a national star. do tonight.stro would le whether he can get there ornot, i am not sure. he is a reform minded mayor. he has a twin brother. >> his brother w i think is running for congress is introducing him >> wolf, this is -- hard to go ayor to president. if republicans don'tolir crisis with the latino community, his state, texas, we could be talking about t in one or two conventio as a potential blue state because of the growth of that population.
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40% of the electorate are latino. republicans say probably can't do it. see the growth in nevada and elsewhere. this is a huge crisis for the republicans and giant opportunity for the democrats. they bring in this young empha regardless of ethnicity and wants to try to generate the president's big question with latinos, not really with the latino vote, will some of them stay home because they're disi will losed. the mayor's challenge, you have to come out. >> he's a very interesting guy, proposed a controversial city sales tax to pay for early education for kids because of budget cuts in san antonio. that's going to be on the ballot. that's sort of taking a stand there, saying we need to do this, so we can get these kids in early education. it will be interesting to see what happens with that ballot. >> it was interesting to watch cory booker's speech, mayor of newark, i don't think any other cable networks broadcast it
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live. his hall was on their feet for him, he's a dynamic speaker whether you liked what he was saying or not. did it surprise you he didn't have a more prominent role? >> interesting point. the chairman of is convention is the latino mayor of los angeles, julian castro gave the keynote. mayor cory booker. when you look around the country, a lot of rising stars for the democrats are mayors. why? they had 29 governorships when barack obama won presidency. only 20 now. so he's their leader. if you look at the numbers, his party has actually suffered. i'm not blaming him. but his party has suffered dramatically. house seats, senate seats, governorships, lost nearly 1,000 state seats while barack obama has been president. so the younger people of the future, all mayors. >> could it be he criticized the attacks on national television and then had to go and walk it back? >> i do think that's right.
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corey is seen as a rising national star in the democratic party. has a wide network of people -- >> aot of people in the business media. >> he's a real f a lot of money comingnhrough education. but what i think is- for him, a questionf wog his way back into favor. with the obama folks. he wasexiled for little bit there. >> all because of that -- >> got off a tal poi, boom. >> the reason they have talking points >> dust up over the israel plank could come up. chairman of the committee. why when governor romney is trying to make an issue with the relationship with israel, why would you change the language? the last platform said israel is a strongest ally in the middle ea east, it's gone. a lot of democrats are saying why? why would you touch that at a time when you know governor romney is an opening? >> if he stayed on talking point, he would have had a 9:00 slot. >> is that right maybe8:30.
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>> certainly a lot to w for ght. lian ctro, mayor of san antonio. and, of course, michelle obama from briannang sh speak for 25 miutes. interesting speech. >> i think it will be longer 25 minutes maybeithout too muchpp go longer. we'll see how she does. she is a very good speaker. and talk about an unforced error. a lot of democrats a telling me the removal of that language from the jerusalem and the unforced error, trying to figure out what happ ao are we. stand by. 'll get back to you guys. we have a lot more, complete coverage of this. the democratic national convention here in charlotte, north carolina continues in a moment. i don't spend money on gasoline.
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wee here at the democratic convention at charlotte, north carolina. the excitement is brewing. there were empty there are still some empty seats but this place willeul very, very soon. clint eastwood really started sothing th his at the publican national convention last week. empty chairs now seem to be herecnn'seanne moos.e. >> reporte even at the democratic convention, a chair is no longer just a chair. ineastwood is lurking there. >> what do youean, shut up? >> reporter: no one is shutting up about the chair. >> please welcome clint eastwood's chair! [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: when clint finished talking, someone came to take the chair away, but it seems to be haunting the democrats now. when newark mayor cory booker fell at the democratic convention and hurt his ankle,
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someone tweeted, who, that must hurt, use clint eastwood's chair. first it leaves eastwooding when people took pictures of themselves pointing or their pets staring at a chair. and then there was the invisible obama twitter account, followed by the comedians. bill maher called clint east wootds routine a metaphor for the party. >> it's something that doesn't exist. >> reporter: jon stewart wondered why the president the republicans described bears so little resem wlens blens to the one he knows. >> there is a president obama that only republicans can see. >> reporter: it's celebrated in song. ♪ chair you made me look worse than my hair ♪ >> reporter: at first, the jokes were mostly about clint eastwood. but then the table were turned, the chair swivelled. romney supporters declared national empty chair day, prompting an outpouring of
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committee chairs with teleprompters, an empty chair occupied by an empty suit. an empty chair bowing to the saudis. swivel to the right wing. even sarah palin tweeted an empty chair with a booster seat on it. swivel to the left wing. >> after watching clint eastwood, be honest. sarah palin is not looking too bad now -- >> reporter: but instead of the love say pee-wee herman shows his special chair. ♪ hey chairy, i love to sit on you ♪ ♪ hey pee-wee, i love it when you do ♪ >> reporter: one took a scene from "grantor reno" and kicked the butt of an invisible obama chair. in the words of luther vandross -- ♪ a chair is still a chair >> reporter: this chair's not going anywhere fast. ♪ even when there's no one >> reporter: this chair has legs.


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