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tv   Starting Point  CNN  September 3, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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"starting point," we're coming to you live from the cnn grill in charlotte, north carolina, our starting point this morning, we start with breaking news, a brazen attack against americans, a suicide bomber rams into a u.s. government vehicle in northwestern pakistan. plus, the big question today, are you better off now than four years ago? some democrats not quite so sure and republicans are pouncing on that this morning. flooding and blackouts still linger a week after hurricane isaac slammed into the gulf coast. we've got a packed show this morning of the we'll talk to maryland governor martin o'malley. and congressman ee leej gentleman cummings and rea ins priebus and jim rogers, the co-chairman of the host committee for the democratic national convention. and design guru ty pennington is joining us as well. it's monday, september 3rd and "starting point" begins right now.
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welcome, everybody, our "starting point," breaking news overnight, a car that was packed with explosives slammed into a u.s. consulate vehicle in peshawar in pakistan. two u.s. consulate employees were injured. we're being told two pakistanis have been killed as well. jill dougherty joins us with the latest. what are you hear, jill? >> hey, soledad. there's a bit of confusion about who might have been killed and how many killed and injured but the latest figures we're getting from the state department are two americans were injured and two pakistani employees of the consulate in peshawar were injured. but none from the consulate were killed. now the local police are saying there were two pakistanis killed. it could be that they were people who were around the site of this blast and that 25 were injured. it is not uncommon as we both
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know, that after something like this, there is confusion. in fact, there was apparently a passport found that one of the local officials information minister said belonged to an american and he surmised that that american had died. but again, the u.s. is saying no americans dead. it is a serious incident, however and it comes in an area that has had a lot of problems. other attacks over this period and it also, soledad, comes at a time that pakistani forces are really taking the fight to the militants in this area. it is an area that has a lot of islamic militants and as i said, there have been previous attacks. but they will try to get to the bottom of it and it is not out of the realm of the possibility that people who are around that area might have been killed or injured. soledad? >> jill dougherty, thank you. appreciate it. let's introduce our team, dana bash is with us, our senior congressional correspondent and
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jason chaffetz, a republican, surrounded by democrats this week. >> as long as i'm next to dana, i'm okay. >> from utah, a romney supporter as well and we're talking to jack markel an obama supporter. joe klein is with us. and we have john berman the anchor of "early start" doing triple duty this morning. the big question that was teed up about the i republicans and now the democrats have so deal with it this week, are you better off now than you were four years ago? $64,000 question and it's been a struggle for some dems to answer that? >> it has been. the two davids that head up the obama campaign, david plouffe and david axelrod couldn't answer it. one did give an answer but not an answer a lot of people in obama campaign were thrilled
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about. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago in. >> no, but that's not the question of this election. the question without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the bush job losses and bush recession and bush deficits and series of dessert wars charged for first time to the national credit card. >> that's a problem. >> it is a problem. and brad woodhouse, the dnc spokesman came on -- >> spinning, spinning. >> he had an answer, yes, it wasn't no. it was yes, he couched it and explained it. the reality is when you look at the hard data, that there's no question that things are better because when the president took over we were in a horrible situation. politically though, the big problem for democrats is that there are a lot of people out there, particularly middle class voters who don't feel better and that's what republicans are seizing on. >> isn't the issue it's a mixed bag. if you're a voter and you're home and going to go by how i
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feel, do i own my home or is it in foreclosure? are their employment opportunities, you're not necessarily saying is the stock market back? and how has the gdp opinion over the past six months? >> there's no question. if you look at the specifics, yes, people are getting jobs but some of the jobs and at least many of the jobs that people are getting are lower wages than maybe they had before and people having to work more than one job to make ends meet. knows a those are thei issues, when you talk about the politics of this and talk about wanting to reelect a president, that's really what matters not whether gdp was down or up. >> governor, how come it took the democrats 24 hours to come up -- you know from the democratic perspective, the right answer is yes, right. to say no was certainly from the democratic perspective a bad idea. that's why we're talking about
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talking about governor o'malley and going to be talking to governor o'malley in a little bit. why is it such a struggle? >> he'll be on shortly and he can clarify. but let me give you the perspective of somebody who took office. within a month all of the governors met in february of 2009, all of the governors met not only with the president but with his team. we met with ben bernanke -- they were the three most sobering meetings i have ever had. all of them essentially said, we think we can get the economy going again but they were especially concerned about the financial markets because they were shut down -- >> i've got to stop you there. we're having audio problems with your microphone. bruce, fix that for me. jason chaffetz is here to do the rapid response team, very scary title you've got going on. you're going to be pushing that message today, that is at least today the republican agenda, right? >> every american is going to
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have to answer this for themselves, are they better off than four years ago? as i think governor romney said, if the best feeling you had about barack obama was when he gave that campaign speech and then elected but the next four years have been a series of disappointments, i think most people will look back at that and say, you know, it was nice to put him in there but it isn't working. we're going to have to try something else. we'll have to elect different people because the price of gas has doubled, 23 million americans either unemployed or underemployed along the way. there's so much to look at and think we can and must do better. that's the republican message. when the democrats themselves struggle to answer this question, you know that the middle of america is really struggling to say, yeah, we need to keep doing that same thing that isn't working. >> the republican message conveniently doesn't mention george bush at all. >> it's time to move on. i ran against the republicans had the house and senate and presidency, i ran against that. i beat a 12-year incumbent
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republican to get here. that was my message too. i think they did some things wrong. >> are you better off than you were three and a half years ago, after this thing bottomed out, what would the answer be? >> no, we're not. we're not doing nearly what we can possibly do in this country. energy production, we have not prioritized -- >> that's a different question. he asked are you better from three and a half years ago? >> no, we are stagnant, not moving forward. >> wait, wait. >> now my mike is working, can i jump in? we had 29 straight months of job growth, 4.5 million jobs. what i was saying before, february of 2009, the financial markets were frozen. in addition to losing hundreds and thousands of jobs every month, the financial markets really it was not clear, we were look the at an abyss and it was not clear that we were going to step back. we have stepped back from that abyss -- >> i want to get to governor o'malley on the other side of the news break.
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this is the theme of our conversation today. i want to get to christine romans first with a quick update on the other top stories. >> good morning. authorities in washington state are searching for a shooter who fired at cars and police officers in a town about 90 miles north of seattle. they are warning arlington residents to stay inside. one man was shot in the leg. they heard shots coming from the woods and called in the s.w.a.t. team. and they were fired fon also. the line judge accused of stabbing her husband is out on bail. she killed her husband in their california home back in april. she was arrested in new york last month. she has pleaded not guilty to murder charges. news international chief rebecca brooks to answer to phone hacking charges. she's accused of being part of a conspiracy to illegally access
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voicemails along with six other members of the news of the world tabloid. brooks has another appearance to face charges of conspireing to thwart justice. >> special operations forces have time to double check the afghan police. there's been a rising number of attacks with more than 40 killed by members of the afghan security forces or insurgents dressed as afghan police. the book on the osama bin laden raid hitting stores tomorrow. written by formal navy s.e.a.l., wrote it under the pen name owen. he was willing to break the code of silence because of bad blood with his former unit. thanks, christine. i want to introduce ryan lizza,
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show starts at 7:00, remember. i'm just teasing. it's nice to have you joining our team this morning. we're talking this morning with an obama surrogate, a maryland governor, martin o'malley came out this morning and said i'm sorry to be making news for you this morning. nice to see you, sir. i cannot tell you the number of democrats said ask him what was he thinking to say no. >> here's the reality of our situation as a country. we are clearly better offer as a country because we're creating jobs rather than losing them. >> but you said no. >> we have not recovered all that we lost in the bush recession. that's why we need to continue to move forward. is there anybody on this panel that thinks we've recovered all we lost in the bush recession? i don't think anybody can say that. but clearly we're moving forward and creating jobs. unemployment is down and job creation is up. and those positive movements
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would not happen without the president's leadership. the rapid response team will come in -- >> you're sitting next to a member. >> good to see you and you'll tell us how many of the president's jobs bills you actually voted for when you were in congress. >> we have 30 bills we passed out as house republicans sitting over -- these were not jobs bills. we can go one at a time. >> anyway, the point is -- >> a lot of bills were filled with the kind of programs that republicans have supported in the past, like tax credits for small businesses and so on. that's -- there's been a lot of politics going on here. and this very question of are you better off than you were four years ago is a political question. it doesn't deal with the reality of life as people live it in the country. everybody knows we've been through a very difficult four years. the real question is, how do we move forward and how do we make the country better for our kids? >> i think it was surprising to people though, sir and also for the two davids as we heard dana
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talk about, that the answer wasn't even a political why, yes, we are, later brad woodhouse came out and boom. it took a solid 24 hours before the messaging got out. that's an indication that at the very least, everybody doesn't have their strategy together. >> it's all heightened right now. we're going to have three days where we're able to layout as a party the things president obama has done to turn around the american auto industry, largest in the manufacturing sector since the 1980s, home foreclosures are lower now than when president obama took office. it's not just about recovering all of the jobs we lost because of the bush recession. it's about moving beyond that so we give our kids better opportunities. >> for a voter though, is it about those jobs numbers? is it about when you put up the unemployment figures. it was back in 2009, january, 7.8%, now up to 8.3%, if you're a voter, do you say that is a figure? i don't need to know that the
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stock market is rallying and home foreclosures are down and other things? >> we're all in this together, the stronger the economy, the better opportunities we have. if we want to be more secure in our homes and johbs, we have to understand we're in this together. there's a bit of a tension here in our whole country. there are many of us that would like to pull the covers over our heads and say we're individuals and not part of the plarnlger nation, but in fact we are and we move forward together. that's what we need to continue to do. >> soledad, you're asking how ask does a voter think about it? a voter thinks who has the best plan for making it better still. >> when you look at the polling, it says governor romney does better in polling on the economy. >> we have an opportunity this week to make sure that the country really understands the president's plan and his plan is to really build the economy from the middle class out. i think as you look at his investments in education, in job skills training, his plans for
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infrastructure -- >> it's the rhetoric versus the reality. this is an important week to get the message out. >> plans are laid out in budgets and the reality is in four years president obama's laid out a budget, there's not a single person in the house or senate, democrat or republican, who has ever voted for the president's budget. when the president presented his budget, it was defeated 99-0. when it went to the house, defeated 414-0. >> it was the president's plan. >> everybody has consistently said mitt romney's plan was low on details, right? one across -- >> the president cannot -- how bad is your budget -- >> romney the other night was not light on specifics? >>. >> 59-point plan, you get get through -- >> i heard that 59-point plan. it is long, 59 points takes up a lot of space but it's low on
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details. >> it's a 59 platte tud plan as i read it. the thing what the congressman just said -- >> we can walk through it later in the show. >> when was the last time a budget passed the congress exactly as the president wrote it? the answer is never. what happened here is that republicans did gimmicks, they introduced the budget and nobody is going to vote for a president's budget as it is. democrats want to spend more money and republicans want to spend less money. this is a political game you're talking about. >> 99 senators vote against the president's plan as it was presented. >> this is our theme this morning. we'll keep talking about this. we have to hit a commercial break because that is what pays the bills to keep the show on the air. still ahead, we're talking barack and bill, the first look -- ryan lizza has a new article about former president clinton and his relationship with current president barack obama. what will the clinton factor be
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this year? also, we'll talk more about are you better off now than you were four years ago? you're watching "starting point." stay with us. >> announcer: with nothing but his computer, an identity thief is able to use your information to open a bank account in order to make your money his money. [whoosh, clang] you need lifelock, the only identity theft protection company that now monitors bank accounts for takeover fraud. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or go to today. capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression.
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so that wherever your duty takes you, usaa bank goes with you. visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. we're coming to you live from charlotte, north carolina, president clinton will give a major speech here and the two have kind of a strained history. ryan lizza has a new article, that's called let's be friends. you go into the history of where it first went wrong. where did it get off on the wrong foot. >> if you go way back, you can trace little bit from obama and clinton tangling from afar.
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right? when obama gets to chicago, one of his first jobs is running a voter turnout campaign. that helped the clinton campaign win illinois for first time since 1964. later on when obama is coming up in politics in the 90s, the quotes that exist for him at that time, he was a critic from the left of clinton in the mid-90s and critic of clinton's signing welfare reform in 1996. and then later when he ran for congress in 2000, who's the guy that comes to south side of chicago the week before the election and endorses barack obama's opponent? bill clinton. there was a long shot campaign, obama probably wasn't going to win. >> they both need each other now? >> fast forward, obama becomes a senator running for president. i picked some scabs off the ugly history of the 2008 campaign. the heart of that campaign was this very ugly fight between the clintons and the obamas.
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and that's the -- >> and president obama had -- before he was president had to run as the anti-clinton, right? >> exactly, the messaging of 2008, people don't remember this, the messaging of 2008 was, basically bush -- you hate the bush years because of the toxic partisanship in washington and you'll get the same thing with hillary clinton. the obama campaign ran a character attack on hillary clinton. there were real, real hard feelings that the two camps had to get over. >> there was a quote you talk about where president clinton said, a couple of years ago he would be carrying our bags and some people say that's a comment about the age of president obama and lack of experience and others said that's a racial comment. >> i don't think bill clinton has a racist bone in his body. but in that campaign, the obama campaign put out things that the clintons believed was trying to make him seem racist. >> what's changed now?
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>> barack obama became president. >> and look, bill clinton -- hillary clinton did -- this has been well documented. hillary clinton was very skeptical of the secretary of state job. it was bill clinton that advised her to do it and pushed as hard as he could. he had to release all of that information about his clinton global initiative and went to bat to make sure she could take that job. >> a lot of republicans have been in trying to bash president obama have said, president clinton did this and that the. i wonder if it's going to be problematic for republicans if president clinton gets on stage and says the person with the greatest vision is barack obama. which is a good guess that's what he's going to do. >> safe bet. i'm sure that's what he's going to say. at the end of the day people will still look at their own pocketbook and family and look at their mortgage and job and think, i'm not better off than i was four years ago. >> look at the president that the last time they felt good and stable economically and say if
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he loves barack obama, he would know a good economy, this is how the direction i should go. >> that's the gamble. >> i don't think the endorsements mean much. >> i think it means a lot because you have in president clinton a president who governed and made choices that led to the greatest expansion of opportunity and jobs and then you contrast that with the policies that mitt romney wants to take us back to and george bush that drove our economy into the ground, largest job losses and greatest recession since the great depression. i think it's a pretty clear contrast between government that works, good decisions that create opportunity and grow jobs versus governor romney who ranked 47th out of 50 governors. >> he has you know, he can get up there and we know he has said, clips of things to cnbc, praising governor romney, which i'm sure he believed but democrats would say -- praising his business record but democrats would say from a pr
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standpoint, don't say nice things about my opponent. >> first of all, presidents have more in common with each other even when they are of different parties, there is a presidents clubs, colleagues of mine wrote a book by that nature. they have had similar experiences with the republicans. clinton couldn't get a republican vote for his 1993 budget plan that raised taxes and caused the great depression of the 1990s as we remember it -- actually it was a very successful economy in the 1990s and barack obama has had the same thing. the republicans tried to impeach bill clinton over practically nothing. clinton and obama have had similar experiences with a republican party that doesn't give an inch. >> i think that's the turning point in the relationship. after 2010 when obama lose the house and seats in the senate, bill clinton, they do the famous press conference, obama has cut a deal with republicans to
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extend the bush tax cuts and liberals in congress are outraged and who goes to bat for obama, bill clinton, says this is a good deal and we have to support it. >> he's going to speak on wednesday night? >> yes, wednesday night. >> we look forward to watching that as well. a quick programming note, jessica yellin has a documentary "obama revealed." it will premiere at 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. eastern time here on cnn. "starting point" is back in just a moment. i was talking to my best friend. i told her i wasn't feeling like myself... i had pain in my pelvic area...
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still ahead "starting poi "
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point," buy he said the problem comes from the greatest strength. a week after hurricane isaac slammed in the gulf coast, new threats this morning that are posed by swollen rivers and lakes. we'll take you right to the damage zone in new orleans. coming to you live from the cnn grill in charlotte, north carolina. we're back right after this short break.
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welcome back to "starting point." we'll talk to joe klein, with a new article in "time" magazine giving warning to democrats about their futd you're. plus rea ins priebus will be here to tell us what the strategy is for the gop in charlotte. first we want to talk about the remnants from hurricane isaac. this morning still a threat, storms expected to soak parts of the midwest today. meantime, later today president obama will tour the flood-damaged parts of louisiana where flooding and power outages are still causing very big
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problems. let's get right to george howell live in new orleans. what's the latest there? >> reporter: soledad, good morning. you see the gno bridge and things are slowly returning to normal in new orleans, but 129,000 people are still without power and you see the sue utili utility trucks going neighborhood to neighborhood slowly. in lake uppontchartrain and sai tammy, there's still a threat with the floodwater rushing down the river. there was also concern about two locks very near that river but officials are quite sure at this point that those locks are stabilized. we also know, soledad, that president barack obama will be visiting the area to tour the areas affected. >> george, we'll get a sense of
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what the president has to say with his remarks after that. george howell, we appreciate the update. in charlotte, north carolina, the democratic national convention official will kick off tomorrow giving the democrats an important chance to share their message with voters on a national stage, joe klein has a new article, a columnist for "time" and lays out how the democratic party's greatest strength is becoming one of their biggest problems. let's talk about that. to me it seemed like when you think the democratic party and the party officials would say diversity is our strength and you say it is a problem, why? >> the strength has been the strength but when inclusion becomes xlusive, you run into problems. when democrats are identified as members of the black caucus or
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human rights caucus, people on the outside deciding between the two parties predominantly white say what's in it for me? where's my caucus? the point is at this point given the fact that the democrats have become the party of the center in this era, in foreign policy and in domestic policy, it's time for them to lay that aside. >> there are 14 caucuses. let me read through some of them. african-american -- asian american and pacific islanders, faith cause can you say, labor, lgbt seniors, women, americans with disabilities caucus, first americans latino rural it goes on and on. >> the thing is most of these shall many of these caucuses have won their agenda, the lgbt has gotten the democratic party to support a full roster of equal rights, including gay
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marriage. women -- >> is the issue get rid of the caucuses or create a white male caucus -- >> this is america. pretty soon in a couple of generations everybody is going to look like you. >> i support that fully i think. >> we're going to be gorgeous, but we're going -- >> joe, you come sit next to me. >> i knew we had him on the panel for an important reason. >> it's time for the democratic party after the civil rights era as we move forward into a multiracial country, it's time for the democratic party to be the party of all of us -- >> staggering statistics, 70% of voters are white. >> we always talk about how the demographics are changing, especially around latino, you're saying that at this moment -- >> democrats don't have to change a single policy. and i'm sure still both parties will be targeting people on the basis of gender and ethnicity.
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i never saw so many women and latinos on a stage last week. but the fact is that ultimately this country is about one principle, that is that the things we have in common are more important than the things that divide us. the democratic party has become the opposite. >> if you look at the polling, particularly now but this way for the past decade or so, maybe more. it really speaks to what joe wrote about, working class white males are more and more moving towards the republican party. it didn't used to be like that. historically this was flipped. remember the democrats and solid south was really not that great when it came to civil rights and women's rights, now the parties have kind of flipped when it comes to those issues. and i think that your point is really dead on, that democrats have taken it to an extreme and if you look at the polling, working class white males have said, i don't belong there. >> i thought joe's piece was interesting, with that being
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said, if you look at the kinds of things you focus on at this convention, it's about education and about putting people back to work and infrastructure. the point i agree with, we're always better off talking about the american dream and not just talking about the american dream but what kinds of things are we doing to make it real and make it real for everybody. i do believe this convention will be a great opportunity for our party to highlight not only the progress that we've made over the last four years but the significant differences in terms of making that american dream real over the next four years between the two candidates. >> look, i think there's an irony, because the democratic party is more diverse than it's ever been. we saw the 14 caucuses. at the same time it doesn't seem as divided the way it was in the '80s and '90s over racial issues. >> that's right. >> what's the harm that they have the 14 caucuses? >> the harm for democrats is from the other side, from people and independents looking into democratic party and only seeing
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a conglomeration of caucuses rather than a united message. in some ways i think this actually harms the democratic message because what republicans do often is talk about you know, entitlements and special pleading and they make the argument that half of the people in the country get checks from the government. and i think that the message that the subliminal message there, the dog whistle, these are all of these caucuses getting their little bit? >> i agree, i don't think -- that's a problem with the republican attack, i don't think that's a problem with the democrats can change by getting rid of caucuses. >> we'll keep this going, obviously, i agree with you ryan, what the strategy is, get rid of the caucuses or do you -- it sounds like you're saying create another one that would be more inclusive in a way.
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join the cnn election roundtable with wolf blitzer and the cnn political team. you can submit questions and get answers in real time, it's live virtual chat at 12 noon eastern. go to >> cnn has done the polls and the issue is clear it's all about jobs. which candidate would make the best ceo in chief? we'll examine those questions and much more. you're watching "starting point" live from the cnn grill in charlotte, north carolina.
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you're watching "starting point," coming to you live from charlotte, north carolina. we want to talk to jack markell who has been sitting on our panel this morning. head of the national governors association. you why did it take so long for the democrats to answer with any kind of articulate message, anybody should tell you the answer should be yes, to are you better off than four years ago, from a pr standpoint, the answer is say yes and something else after that. they really struggled over the past 24 hours.
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why is that? >> i'm here not in my capacity as chair of the national governors association but here as a democratic governor. i didn't follow all that closely the last 24 hours, but to me it is clear that we are better off. especially going back to what i said a little while ago, we were in unbelievably desire straits, the financial markets were frozen and economy was in free fall, hundreds and thousands of jobs being lost every month now 29 straight months of job growth. is it enough? do we want more? absolutely and i think president obama is the first one to say we need to keep doing better. of course the most important thing in terms of the election and great opportunity for the convention is for us to make sure people understand, a, all of the progress that we've made and b, the very different plans both candidates have going. >> why was it such a problem? clearly the gofrer -- >> i don't know the answer. it was a problem. it actually is baffling that's what i'm thinking about.
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it's not just martin o'malley saying no. that was one word and afterwards he was kind of on message. to me the most fascinating and per plexing thing was that the two heads of the president's re-election campaign, who are very, very savvy strategists, david axelrod and david plouffe didn't know how to answer the question. if you're running a president's campaign when you know that no president has won re-election with this unemployment rate since fdr and don't have an answer -- >> what's the impact of that? you have covered a million campaigns. >> i've covered a zil onmillion campaigns. the problem with this question with dmz democrats, the politics answer is question but the reality is most people understand we've come through a very rough patch -- >> some people are feel we are in a rough patch and haven't come through it.
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>> that's right. the real question people are asking themselves, are my kids going to be better off than i've been. or are they going to be worse off and when you travel around the country, most people believe their kids won't have it as good as we have. so you have to accept if you're a politician and if you're barack obama, you have to accept that reality is out there and you have to tilt forward and say, here's what i'm going to do about it. same with mitt romney. >> the challenge is the whole messaging is, you've got to give me more time. four years wasn't enough. that's why their simple slogan is forward and that's why they started to compare the bush years with not the obama years but with the clinton years. do you want to go back to the bush years or do you want me to continue the policy of the 90s of the clinton years. that's what obama is saying. >> that's what the response team is going to be doing today. >> the problem is the answer is no. the reality is democrats have the house and senate and presidency.
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they don't have any excuses, they had all of the controls and levers of government at their hands and focused on health care, didn't focus on jobs, economy, getting people back to work. what you hear president obama saying today is the same thing four years ago and it's not working. >> if you look at jobs numbers, when the president took over, 800 something thousand jobs were lost. now -- it's not great but it's plus not minus. >> the president said go out and spend this 800 plus billion dollars on the stimulus and we'll drive unemployment to less than 8%. >> and that was not the metric, it was it will get unemployment below 8%. >> he did not say that as you know. that has been a big talking point. the president never said that. >> it was a gaffe, not a metric. >> we were losing hundreds of thousands a month and now gaining. the real question is who has a better plan going forward. >> you can continue to fight this out during the commercial
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break. >> we have to take a short break and republicans are returning the favor this week of crashing the democrats party. up next we'll talk to reince priebus to join us live talking about what the gop has in store. you're watching "starting point" from charlotte, north carolina. abigail higgins had... ...a tree that bore the most rare and magical fruit. which provided for their every financial need. and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. i i had pain in my abdomen...g. it just wouldn't go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing...
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welcome back, everybody. you are watching "starting point" live from north carolina for the democratic national convention. it's not just democrats descending on charlotte this week, republicans are setting up an aggressive response
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operation. they're focusing on the key question, are you better off now than you were four years ago? our next guest reince priebus, we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> it's a rapid response team. it sounds official and effective and efficient. what's the plan? >> our plan is obviously in today's news cycle we have about three news cycles a day, as you know, and one of the things that's really important for our side of the aisle is to be ready with the facts, responses during the democratic national convention so here is what we did. we were able to secure a great space down the street at the nascar hall of fame. we set up with about 50 to 75 press folks down there and we're going to be ready to respond to everything that the democrats say and i think that the real issue this week and what you're seeing happening yesterday on the sunday morning talk shows is the fundamental question back on the table for americans which is are you better off today than you were three or four years ago? issues come and go and they
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will, but at the end of the day this is going to be about facts. >> there are plenty of people who would say, and we heard them on this panel in the last hour, yes. the economy was in a free fall four years ago. yes, the banks were frozen and there was no access to capital so, yes, we are better off than we were. it may not feel great. obviously there should be more jobs created, et cetera, et cetera, but the answer is yes. >> the problem with that answer is the facts don't bear it out and that's why people like david axelrod and robert against couldn't answer the questions yesterday on the sunday morning shows because the facts are fewer people are employed today. the debt is more out of control than it ever was in the history of this country. the president didn't cut the deficit in half like he promised. here is the other fundamental issue -- >> we were shedding 800,000 plus jobs and now we're adding 160,000 -- >> we're worse off. there's half a million more people unemployed today than three or four years ago not to mention the under employed, people who aren't making what
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they should make. here is the other issue, though, that i didn't get a chance to get to. the president ran knowing where the economy was. he ran against the bush economy. he ran against where the economy was. he won in large part because of the economy and because, he said, that he would fix the economy and people would be better off four years from now because of him. so it's not good enough, what you're going to see this week and say, well, we don't want to go back to bush. >> and bush was conspicuously absent at the rnc. the goal was to not have him have a big presence clearly. >> i don't think that was the case, soledad. the fact is i know bush senior is not feeling up to par. they did a great video tribute to the bush family. the fact is, though, this is going to come down to the economy. and all of the distraction also go away and people will look at this president, did he fulfill
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the mission of his presidency. >> so when president clinton gets up and speaks on wednesday and he says i handed off to president bush a surplus, a massive surplus, and the person who lost that surplus was president bush. the person who took us through wars was president bush. the person who -- i didn't realize president bush had an mba. all those things. he was a businessman. so it's the bush economy that we're reeling from. president clinton who has a really high approval rating could do a lot of damage to your message. >> a different time, a different situation. the problem that obama has with bill clinton is that obama is not your daddy's democrat. he's not a mainstream democrat like bill clinton. bill clinton worked with both sides of the aisle. he was able to get things done. bush worked with both sides of the aisle. >> as you well know, some of the people would say that's because the republicans have been obstructionists. >> but wait a second. obama had for two of the four years he was president, obama had a super majority in the house, a 60 vote majority in the
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u.s. senate. he passed a billion dollars -- >> my question is, is clinton going to be a big problem for you? the minute he points and says, president bush, everybody, the gop is a picture of president bush who started with a surplus and spent it down? >> no, not at all. i think the opposite. bill clinton is actually going to help us because he's going to illustrate to the american people that barack obama is not bill clinton. barack obama made everything worse. he wasn't able to work with anybody on the other side of the aisle. he didn't show leadership and didn't fulfill the promises he made in '08. you have to be able to say i fulfilled these five things. here is what i promise d. here is what i did. what can ep espouse that he did? >> can i ask you a question about the empty chair at the rnc, the clint eastwood thing? did you think that went well or badly? >> i think it went great. at the end of the day it was clint eastwood telling the american people barack obama didn't fulfill his promises, and barack obama has to go. and i think -- >> do you think people took that
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from that? the conversations have been like, he was talking to an empty chair with some sort of expletives. >> there's a washington spin and a media spin. >> i don't live in washington. >> there is -- >> i was in a hurricane. >> my cousins in which is with which is and ohio, i mean, there's two different views of this and it's still clint eastwood saying barack obama was not a man of his word and he's got to go. >> reince priebus, good to see you. we have to take a short break. ♪
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on that. plus, the big question today is are you better off now than you were four years ago? some democrats over the weekend weren't so sure. republicans are pouncing on that had this morning. we'll talk about that. flooding and blackouts linger. we have a packed show ahead for you. going to talk to elijah cummings, jim rogers is the ceo of duke energy ran co-chairman of the host committee for the democratic national convention. we'll chat with him. and design guru ty pennington is building the other half of the house that they started last week at the rnc. we're going to talk to him about the logistics of putting two halves together. it is monday, cement 3, and "starting point" begins right now. "starting point" this morning, new details about a suicide car bombing taking place in peshawar pakistan.
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a car that exploded -- rather loaded with explosives targeted a convoy from the u.s. consulate. we're told now that two pakistanis have been killed, two americans injured. foreign affairs krz jill dougherty has the latest for is. what are you hearing from your sources, jill? >> reporter: it's been back and forth all morning about whether there were any americans killed in that attack and the latest news secretary of state hillary clinton is traveling internationally. she just touched down not long ago, a couple of hours ago in indonesia. and on the plane her spokeswoman came back and reiterated what they have been saying all morning, which is that there were two americans who were injured and there were two pakistanis who worked for the consulate who also were injured but no americans were killed. now 0 there also are, however, local police reports that two pakistanis perhaps on the ground not connected with the consulate were killed. that may still be the case.
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the news from the state department they were continuing to look into anyone else who might have been affected but this is what we know at this point. no americans killed. and you mentioned the attack. it was pretty major. it was a car, a suicide car, filled with explosives. 242 pounds of explosives that cut off into this convoy coming from three cars in it including a pakistani police vehicle. a pretty major attack in the sense of destroying really ruining that first vehicle and now the question is who did it? >> jill dougherty for us this morning, jill, thank you very much for joining thus morning. here at the table with me, poor ryan doesn't even get a table. senior congressional correspondent, ron brounstein is with us, nice to see you. i missed you at the rnc when i had to leave. with us is jason chaffetz, a
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republican from utah. a romney supporter. de delaware governor is with us as well and down at the end ryan has a new article out in the new yorker where he is the washington correspondent. it's called let's be friends. everybody should take a look at that. the democratic national convention gavels to it order tomorrow so we have a day where there's not a lot going on. there was a protest from occupy wall street. democrats have been struggling to answer a critical question, the reagan question about president obama's first term, are americans better off today than four years ago. dana, do you think this is a question that will stick or is this the talking point of the day that will change? >> i think it's did he haefinit talking point of the day and it could stick. in large part that depends on how the democrats handle this convention. first of all, we should probably play a sound bite that is getting the most attention that is from governor martin o'malley -- >> and here is what he said.
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>> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago? >> no, but that's not the question of this election. the question without a doubt we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the job losses, the bush deficits, the series of desert wars charged for the first time to credit card, the national credit card. >> now he just showed up here sitting in the seat, he brought his broom with him to clean up the mess. and, look, other democrats were out fanning the shows this morning. stephanie cutter with the obama campaign. the answer is we're absolutely better off. it's a difficult question because they don't want to sound they're too optimistic with people still struggling out there. to say no feeds right into the republica republicans. >> i spent voters in the suburbs and myonclusion from those conversations was that tthat th
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reagan question, are you better off than you were four years ago is less relevant today precisely because fewer people expect to be. i heard so many variations of if i haven't fallen through the floor, i have nothing to complain about which i think is important about this. they don't see the past four years as some break, as some sharp break and deterioration. they feel they have been running in place for at least a decade since the late 1990s. and in our polling, clearly the majority of americans do not feel they are better off. if you ask would you be better off if mccain had won? would you be better off four years from now with romney rather than obama? there's no clear verdict for the republicans. what you have is a big part of the public, those without college degrees, a sense they have been running in place for a very long time, enormous skepticism that either party has an answer that would significantly improve their lives. this question is not nearly as powerful as it was a generation ago when it came after an unbroken string of gains of incomes.
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>> the data has been mixed. let's throw up some numbers. if you look at job growth shedding 18,000 jobs. that's gone up to 163,000 gained in june. so that's good news there. unemployment rate down. 7.8%. now it's 8.3%. that's worse. the gdp up a bit in june and home prices $175,000 was your average home price. it's gained less than $10,000 in q2 of 2012 so it's up but anemcally up and that is the big problem. >> the biggest thing, the median income is lower today than it was in 2000. it was lower in the bush years. it's continued to decline and that is what people feel. >> jason, if ron is saying, listen, that's a less relevant question today, that people
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aren't going to be moved like they were, that question seemed just so -- years ago that question under reagan. is that a problem for not just from the kind of spinning that's going on today but the bigger strategy of leveraging this moment? >> when europe the president of the united states, you've been there for four years, they can't get through one sentence without mentioning george w. bush, that's not what president obama got elected to do. most people are disenfranchised. they look at the hope, the change, the bringing the kcounty together. we're not the red states, the blue states, we're the united states. where did that go? all of that has gone out the door. >> it went out the door with some republicans in congress. >> no, but that's not the way that it operated and i think the country recognizes it's off track. i think they do want to turn around. that's the whole premise of the romney/ryan presidency, the candidacy. and that's where i think mitt romney will be the next president of the united states. we do need a turnaround, somebody who knows about jobs and the economy, somebody who
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knows about business. that's why mitt romney will be the next president. >> the democrats are happy to have this comparison between do you want to go back to the clinton years or the bush years? what do republicans point to? what decade of governance can you point to? >> we need a total new direction, try to achieve energy independence. we need to get our fiscal house in order not take the deficits. >> would you use the bush years as a model going forward? >> no, no. you have to create a new pathway to move forward. >> but governor romney doesn't and that's the point. >> absolutely he does. >> the most important question is who has the best plan going forward and governor romney's plan is essentially very much taking us back to what bush did. >> the 59-point plan. >> on one page? >> it's tiny print. it is incredibly, incredibly vague. amend the clean air act. >> absolutely i totally disagree. president obama -- >> they're so tiny. >> he's gone further than that.
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a 29% reduction in marginal tax rates and a significant roll back of federal regulations. and some trade. those are the core elements of the agenda and the big question, i think, that is out there is whether marginal tax rates are the best lever to accelerate job growth. we cut it in the '80s under reagan. big job growth. we raised it under clinton, we had bigger job growth and under bush cut marginal tax rates again and only million more people working at the end of the presidency. certainly since world war ii. so why is there -- why should the public have can haonfidence tax rates by themselves are really the lever that's going to get the economy moving again? >> tax reform is something that governor romney wants to do on day one but he wants to repeal obama care, allow the states to have their individual waivers, start to achieve energy independence, focus on the middle class. if you have an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or less, he wants to take capital gains,
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dividends income down to zero. these have a very immediate effect for middle america. >> can we stop right there so i can get to some of the other stories making news. i realize here in charlotte we believe this is the only story happening but there's other stuff as well. at this hour in charlotte, all that's happening is politics. christine has an update on the other stories making news. good morning. good morning, soledad. authorities in washington state are searching for a shooter who fired at cars and fired at police officers in a town about 90 miles north of seattle. they are warning arlington residents to stay inside. one man was shot in the leg yesterday afternoon. officers say they heard shots coming from the woods and they called in the s.w.a.t. team. when the s.w.a.t. team arrived, it also came under fire. the u.s. 0 open line judge accu accused of murdering her husband by hitting him with a coffee mug and stabbing him with breaken shards is out on bail. 70-year-old lois goodman allegedly killed her husband
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back in april. she was arrested last month in new york as she prepared to work at the grand slam tennis tournament. she has pled not guilty to murder charges. former news international chief rebecca brooks in a london courtroom this morning to answer to phone hacking charges. she's accused of being part of a conspiracy to illegally access voice mail along with six other members of the now defunct world of the news tabloid. and the book on the osama bin laden raid hitting stores "no easy day" is a firsthand account of the raid written by former navy s.e.a.l. written under the pen name mark owen. an ebook claims bisonette was willing to break the code of silence because of bad blood with his former unit. soledad? >> we're going to learn so much more about him and the relationship because clearly there's a reason why he would write a book. it can't be a surprise that's going to have some kind of backlash.
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christine, thank you. up next on "starting point" live from the cnn grill here in charlotte, north carolina. could the democrats' biggest strength become one of their biggest problems? we'll talk with elijah cummings straight ahead. [ male announcer ] now you can swipe... scroll... tap... pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue. ♪ don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push. [ engine revs ] the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze
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♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point" live at the cnn grill in charlotte, north carolina, this morning at the democratic national convention this week democrats have a big challenge convincing voters they're better off now than four years ago. one of the biggest could become a problem for the party. joining thus morning is congressman elijah cummings, a democrat from maryland.
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i feel now you'll be able to answer this in a way that the democratic establishment overall would be happy with, are we better off now? >> that's not the question. the question is whether the country is better off now and will the country be better off? and i think the answer to both of those questions is yes. we're looking towards the future. i just watched the republican convention where they talked about the good old days, so to speak. this is a future situation. the kcountry knows this presidet has accomplished a lot. he's come in. he talked about health care. he accomplished health care. he talked about eliminating bin laden. he did that. he talked about reform to our economic system. he did that. and i can go over all the things he's done but the thing is, and he's done it, soledad, with maximum opposition. a lot of people sit here and they talk about this wonderful stuff. >> congressman chaffetz in the middle of our panel. >> i sit in congress every day
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and i am pained to see what they send this president through. and when i see what he's accomplished with the opposition he's gotten, it is astounding. and when i go out there and, by the way, i live in baltimore. i go home every evening and i talk to my constituents and they are appalled at what they are seeing. so, again, the country is better off and the country will be better off. i think what the president has got to do and i know he will do is he needs to make sure he tells the journey. not blame it. we don't have to get into the blame game. that's not necessary. tell us what the journey has been, what we've been through. tell what he has done and accomplished. then he must make it clear that we must protect our progress. you see, that's what i'm concerned about. my constituents are about protecting the progress. they like the affordable care act. they like the fact that kids can be on an insurance policy. they like the fact that they're not going to be discriminated against because it's a woman and
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her poll 0 sis wiicies are high man. >> this is the message. >> they need that. >> let me ask you, obviously the president needs as much turnout in minority communities as he can get given the gap. but the paradox is they have suffered the most, unemployment in double digits for african-americans and hispanics, the vaporization of wealth and the housing collapse in those communities, can you go to your constituents and say that they have seen the gains, they have seen the improvement in their lives that the president was hoping for. >> i'm so glad you asked that question. i've talked to my constituents and i'm very much in touch. what i think is probably going to be a greater turnout of minorities than even in 2008, let the me tell you why. >> really? >> yes. i really believe that. and the reason why, and this is what they tell me, my constituents, they have seen the way he has been treated and they
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have been proud of him. they were proud to vote for him and they're still proud of him. and they know that he goes and gets up every day, he's thinking about them, working for them, and they see the republicans as being major opposition to everything he's done and i guarantee -- and here is another thing that is happening and this is criminal. the fact that the republicans in the various states are trying to stop people from voting, and that's how i see it. it does not take a rocket scientist. >> all the ideology. we have talked about that -- >> my great-great-grandfather came out of slavery. he registered to vote in 1868. and here i am -- let me finish. and here i am in 2012 fighting to make sure that people can vote. that's ridiculous. >> joe klein, we had him on earlier, talked about how all these different, sort of affinity groups or kcaucuses tht
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you have in the democratic party are actually working against the bigger message, that it's alienating and correct me if i'm assessing his article wrong, but it's alienating to your average white male voter. 70% of people who will vote are white. to know that you have the women's kau can cuss and the african-american caucus and the asian and pacific islander caucus, that this is his argument. >> i think that this is one of the good things about the convention and about the debates. i think the president will bring all of that together and show what he's done and what he is planning to do. he has nothing to be defensive about and he needs to talk about that future and talk about the fact that we are on the path to progress and then define for them what republicans plan to do because i still don't know. i'm confused. >> what about the other side? what are the two or three things president obama will do in a second it term that will give them a better economic
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performance? >> i tell them hopefully we'll send a congress back who will work with him to get a jobs bill through and will send a congress back that will not be about the business of trying to destroy every single thing that he's accomplished. by the way most presidents accomplish in eight years he's done in three and a half. >> i want to ask congressman chaffetz why haven't you voted for the jobs bill. right? you haven't vote d for that? correct? >> i voted for what i think are dozens of jobs bills that the senate has not dealt with and that the democrats have been opposed. it's not fair to say that i voted against the president's jobs bill and that i'm not -- of course i'm in favor of jobs. democrats have the house, the senate, and the presidency. don't say, hey, they have all the levers of control. >> you have the house. the president put out a jobs bill. why hasn't it been voted on?
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>> we have put forward a series of different bills, taken over -- there's 30 of them sitting over there. >> why not 31? >> it starts with the budget. we did for two years in a row passed a budget of the house. the senate has been more than 1,200 days. you have to look to harry reid and the democrats -- >> the average american has trouble understand iing if it can't even come up for a vote in the house of representatives. >> politics. they do not want this president to accomplish anything that makes him look good, period. >> that is not true. >> and we go to commercial break. ahead, we're going to talk about -- hello. stop. hello. i've lost control of my panel. we're going to break for the moment. we're going to tell you the story of thieves who have stolen a u-haul truck filled with equipment from the secret service to be used during the p vice president's trip to detroit. secret service robbed? that sounds odd. go ahead, make my labor day. clint eastwood's convention skit inspires a new right wing movement. we'll see lots of empty chairs sitting on lawns today.
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welcome back to "starting point." a quick look at your top stories. someone stole vice president joe biden's u haul. someone made off with the truck outside a hotel ahead of his plans to speak at a labor day rally. it was filled with equipment for today's events. the vp spokesman won't specify exactly what was taken. last october someone stole president obama's truck carrying a podium and other equipment in virginia. mitt romney now has more than 1 million twitter foll followers. he tweeted his response to 1
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million active followers. thanks, everyone, for your support to help us keep the momentum going. and he adibi link to a website for donations. president obama by comparison has more than 19 million followers now on twitter. a new political trend born from clint eastwood's improv skills. there's an official logo for it. asking people to leave an empty chair with an obama sign taped to it to send a message the president isn't getting the job done. "starting point" back live after this break. ieves "enough." we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free from the fear of identity theft. our pledge to you? as long as there are identity thieves, we'll be there. we're lifelock. and we offer the most comprehensive identity theft protection ever created. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or go to today. this country was built by working people.
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for real. ...that make a real difference. 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... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people. shrm. leading people, leading organizations. welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point" coming to you live from charlotte, north carolina, where we are covering the democratic national convention which will get under way in a day. first, though, remnants from hurricane isaac mgts we were there last week, still a threat this morning. storms are expected to soak up
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parts of the midwest. later today president obama will tour flood damaged parts of louisiana where flooding and power outages are still causing massive problems. george howell has the latest on what's happening there. george, what are some of the biggest trouble spots? >> reporter: soledad, good morning. you'll remember when you were here, canal street had power but everywhere east and west of it really didn't have power so what we're seeing today, you know, that process is slow but it is continuing. we know that at least 129,000 people are still without power according to the utility and you see these yutility trucks going neighborhood to neighborhood trying to get that job done. also on the other side of lake pontchartrain in st. tammany parish there is a threat for flooding today as the swollen rivers continue to move to the south. the floodwaters continue moving south. we know the river, the west wae pearl river, will crest.
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they are keeping a close eye on it. it could affect several neighborhoods, soledad. >> oh, my goodness, what a mess. we can see the water is going down. keep it down, guys, on the set. thanks for the update. here in charlotte delegates are rolling in. the democrats trying to convince voters they are better off now than four years ago. familiar criticism is popping up. the president's resume. critics pointing out he has no experience running a company and saying mitt romney has lots of experience running a company. jim rogers has a little experience, co-chairman of the dnc host committee, the ceo of duke energy. it's nice to have you with us this morning. >> welcome to charlotte. we're delighted you're here. >> we're happy to be here. we've heard a lot from mitt romney through the primary and mao obviously as he goes head-to-head with president obama that the experience of a ceo is critical in it being able to be the ceo, if you will, of a nation. you're a ceo.
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is that true or not true? >> first of all as a ceo you have to balance interest of your shareholders as well as your customers but being a president of the united states you have to balance many stakeholders' interest and come up with the right solution and get the balance right between the role of business and the role of government. and that's really the key to leading our country. >> so when people ask the question, are we getter off now than four years ago, some have said the question isn't even as relevant as it was when reagan asked the question years ago. what's the answer to that? it cannot be an unqualified yes, can it? people don't feel better. >> well, from an energy sector, we're better off today than we were four years ago. think about it. president obama pursued all of the above strategy. are we better off in terms of efficiency? we see per home usage of electricity declining. that's a good thing. the second thing is we built two
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license for nuclear plants issued. we have abundant supply of natural gas at low prices. and so as you look at the various ways to generate electricity in this country, we're better off today than we were four years ago. >> people at home may not say, well, let me think how i feel about electricity and energy. they're probably saying, how do i feel about my job? my kids having a better chance than i've had? how do i feel about the value in my home. >> i think the way -- and i've watched this morning, christine's charts, and one of the things i would simply say is the president started in a deep hole. and he's worked his way out. the more relevant question is are we on the right trend? are we moving in the right directi direction? and maybe more importantly is where will we be in 2016? that, to me, are the relevant questions americans should be asking. >> charlotte is one of the smallest to host a convention, maybe new orleans was the last one. that was a pretty small city as
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well. had a chance to run into occupy wall street folks or occupy charlotte i guess now folks blocking the entrance into hotels and things like that. can the city handle that? >> absolutely. charlotte has a history of punching above its weight. charlotte has a history of re-inventing itself. charlotte is a can-do city and we're the second largest banking center in the united states which would probably amaze most people, but the second thing is we're creating this energy hub here with over 200 companies, 25,000 employees, really focused on generating electricity and other sources of energy. >> you were part of a fairly significant contingent of utility executives who surprisingly supported action on climate change, supported the cap and trade bill that passed out of the house to live in c carbon emissions, not a discussion anymore from the president. if he is re-elected what, if anything, would you expect from him in a second term dealing with the issue of climate change beyond what we've seen and fuel
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economy standards for cars? >> my view is we built power plants for 40 years and we need clarity in terms of the road forward. i believe eventually there will be regulation of carbon in this country. i think as critical in the long term to have the smallest emissions footprint possible when you generate electricity and so, to me, addressing the issue soon eaer is going to minimize the cost impact on consumers and that's really the most important thing to do. >> and do you see coal as being endangered if obama is re-elected which is certainly the argument republicans in the house. do you think in a second term they would go further on carbon emissions to make it difficult to generate electricity from coal? >> what's endangered coal in this country is the availability of the price of natural gas. gas on coal competition, coal has been shoved out but the coal companies started exporting more and more to india and to china
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so as an industry they're still vibrant although they're not selling it in the united states. >> question on the 2009-2010 obama's effort to pass that bill. you were in the middle of that. did you -- a lot of people who supported that bill and i think you supported a version of it criticized the president for not showing leadership to get it past the finish line in the senate. what was your up close take on the president's role in that important piece of legislation? >> one of the key responsibilities to the president is to have priorities in congress. this was not his top priority during the period where democrats controlled both the house and the senate, health care of his priority at the time. we got it as far as we could in the house but, quite frankly, it bogged down in the senate. the important point here is all major legislation, look at the clean air act amendment under president bush. it took several sessions of congress before they were actually passed.
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and so i believe it will take more time, more effort to get to the right place so we can balance both our energy needs in this country as well as our environmental concerns. >> this decline in price of natural gas that jim is talking about is a huge benefit of the country people are waking up to, the rebirth of manufacturing. >> and it's cyclical. everyone expects it's going to come back up again. >> a little bit. there's so much more supply because some of the defines we've had out there. the president has some terrific plans in terms of making more of the fleets of trucks and buses and the like. he has a plan for competitive grant process for local communities who may have barriers to deploy infrastructure. >> do much more than he's doing, that's the argument we've heard. >> energy as a whole, as a sector, has been terrible under this president. when president obama took office, the price of gas was about $1.84. now $3.60. when you have the doubling of a price of gasoline, it affects every single american.
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when you have these boo boonedoggles -- >> the government has picked winners and losers and also state governments do the same ching. you make an investment and you pick winners. >> sitting here and offering a nuanced view of the agenda that doesn't track with what you are saying here. >> but the president has been aggressive in being anti-coal. if you are in the coal industry and we're a coal producing state, west virginia, ohio, lots of others, it has not been a coal friendly administration. >> i have got to take a break. thank you for talking with us this morning. >> significant investments being made. >> you may be the governor of your state, but i am the governor of my table, sir. sir. we're going to take a break. he's just like, are i'm going to talk anyway. to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air -
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welcome back to "starting point." democrats have been struggling to answer a critical question about president obama's first term. one was martin o'malley. over the weekend he said that americans are not -- he answered no when asked are americans
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better off than four years ago. he addressed that comment earlier. >> here is the reality. we are clearly better off as a country because we're now creating jobs rather than losing them. but soledad, we have not recovered all that we lost in the bush recession. that's why we need to continue to move forward. is there anybody on this panel that thinks we recovered all we lost in the bush recession? i don't think anybody can say that. clearly we're moving forward. we're creating jobs. unemployment is down. job creation is up. and those positive movements would not have happened without the president's leadership. >> so he was walking back, as i like to say, walking back the comments that he made and he wasn't the only one. over the weekend there was a struggle. >> he was the only one to say no which was the big boo-boo but he wasn't the only one struggling and it is still to me shocking the people who run the
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president's campaign didn't know how to answer that. that was different this morning. here as you played governor o'malley had an answer. earlier brad woodhouse, the dnc spokesman had an answer, stephanie cutter was out. she had an answer. and their answer was absolutely. now they were careful afterwards to couch it undering the data is one thing and the feeling of the voters is another. >> it doesn't have the same impact. >> i think it's less relevant than it was. the public's view is knnuanced. many people feel we're not recovering as fast as we should be. when you look forward, though, it's a different question and i think this election is between romney usually leads when you ask who is best for the economy overall. obama leads by more when you ask who is good for people like me? >> why is he not killing it on the economy polling? it's very close and usually a point or two so the governor who is known for, and they've been
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touting his business experience, when they ask him about the economy is not a ten-point lead or a 15-point lead. >> the president's problem is that he taps 0 out at 46%, 47%. truly undecided. the ones who will decide the question break in president r romney's favor because once they become comfortable with them, he does have a plan, he does focus on jobs and the economy. clearly that's their direction. >> you are hoping for that. >> totally unbiased. >> totally unbiased gop perspective on that. if you want to know what it's like to experience the convention from the inside if you're not on the inside you can join the cnn election roundtable with wolf blitzer. submit your questions, get answers in real time in this live virtual chat fwchlt to at noon eastern. he's getting republicans and
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democrats to put politics aside. who could this this man be? is he a politician? no, it's ty pennington. he built half a house at the rnc. welcome, welcome. we'll talk about that strategy straight ahead. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere. because that wonderful, bouncy, roll-around thing... had made you play. and that... had made you smile. [ announcer ] beneful. play. it's good for you.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point" live. ty pennington is bringing both political parties together. together, see. >> i'm a uniter. >> are you running for presid t president? >> he has a goal for building a house for a deserving member of the veteran. you did hatlf in tampa and you'e going to do half here. so tell me about the first half. how did it go? how long did it take? we've done some amazing things,
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but we've never done anything quite like this where we built half a house in one town -- >> talk about the logistics of that. yeah, last week we were down in tampa at the republican national convention. we had delegates come out. we built half of that house and now we're here in charlotte and can't wait to see the delegates come out, pick up a hammer and a saw. >> how will this come together? i've been involved in a little house building. >> the craftsman brand works with viewers at home and they've teamed up with nexgen and they had a great idea about doing something positive, no matter what side of the fence you are on, the belief is when you come together you can do something positive. i've really seep that, communities come together. >> how do you stick a house together? >> vertical, horizontal? >> there are ways to build a home that it's built in sections and then you piece it together. we've done it several times like
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that and especially in the time when you build a house in seven days, well, sometimes even four, you can build it in pieces, it becomes easier. >> where will the house eventually go? >> we're finishing up the second hatch of the house today down in carolina fest and then tomorrow we'll be uniting it, bringing it together in the belmont neighborhood of charlotte. >> of course, uniting the house. and put it on 0 the launch the mall as a metaphor. >> next year. >> what about democrats and republicans in terms of their tastes building a house and how they work? >> who is better? >> what have i learned? what i've learned is that you -- >> walk very carefully through this question. >> it's amazing what can happen when you work together. that's what i've learned. >> so who will get the house? it's a veteran. >> we're going to leave that surprise -- we're going to deliver that to a military
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veteran who has served this country and i think -- i've been blessed to build homes for several and to be able to give back it to somebody who has given so much to this country is a wonderful thing. to see a community come together and rally and how that react happens when someone is honored. >> what a great surprise. a house. >> it is. >> so what about the weather? it was not great weather in tampa. >> true. >> and then here they're predicting rain as well. >> well, we love to work. >> really? my contractor doesn't really work during the rainy season at all ever. i'm not bitter. >> we hope to get a roof on today. that's why we need the delegates to hammer it home. >> do you train them? >> we do. i have a delegate training camp that i run. a lot of gymnastics, a lot of flexibility. >> and i was so believing you there for a moment. good luck. we can't wait. >> team building. >> until you reveal who is getting the house. we can't wait. we have to take a short break. are you okay, babe?
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i love that graphic. time for end point. ryan, why don't you start us off. you can't just plug your new article in the new yorker. >> all day we'll be talking about this question, are you better off now than you were four years ago? i think the challenge from a messaging point of view from obama has been the same for the last three years. no one ever got re-elected on a counter factual. obama's main line has been things would be a lot worse unless i put in place the stimulus, had done x, y and z. that's a tough message because you can't necessarily prove it. >> it may be less relevant but will you be better off in four years is as powerful as ever. i don't think it will be a success for the president unless he convinces americans he has a plan to make the next four years better. >> congressman? >> unfortunately, president
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obama is not working. he doesn't have a plan. plans are exemplified in budgets. it was defeated 99-0. how bad is your budget when nancy pelosi doesn't even vote for it? that's the reality. the president doesn't have a plan. if you want jobs and the economy to move forward, mitt romney and paul ryan. >> governor? you get the final word. >> i disagree and i think to the point that he was making this is going to be a great convention because the president doesn't have the opportunity to highlight not only the progress we've made but the significant differences between the candidates. he wants to build the economy from the middle class out. >> i thank you guys for joining us this morning. all men today in their navy suits. my goodness. lucky, lucky me. a quick programming note. tonight you can check out our chief white house correspondent's new documentary going on called "obama revealed: the man, the president" at 8:00 p.m. eastern time here on cnn. still ahead


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