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tv   Americas Newsroom  FOX News  September 3, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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this is our home for the coming week. also national empty chair day where people are going to take pictures of empty chairs. >> brian: i'm the only one mature enough to go to a camera. "fox & friends" after the show show, see you in the after the show show. bye, everybody. see you tomorrow. >> nicely done. good morning everyone, 64 days until america makes its choice and today congressman paul ryan crashing the democrats party in north carolina. he descends on the tarheel state later today as democrats get ready to kick off their own convention, their national convention here at charlotte. good morning, everybody. that is where we are. yesterday was a sunday. we move from tampa to charlotte live for the democratic national convention. great town. martha: it is a wonderful town. bill: good week so far. how are you doing. martha: we love charlotte. great to be here.
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good morning at home, everybody. i'm martha maccallum. as bill was saying congressman ryan will attend a rally in greenville, north carolina. that is a sign the democrats will not get all the headlines this week. the obama campaign aides were all over the sunday shows yesterday. they were asked one way or another are folks better off now than they were four years ago. they all danced around the key question. all accept maryland's governor who is a key speaker at the convention who said this. >> 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 bush job losses, the bush recession, the bush deficits, the series of desert wars, charged for the first time to credit card, the national credit card. >> but --. bill: it is a question being asked in charlotte. wendell goler leads our coverage.
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good morning, wendell. is the blaming bush line still working for democrats? >> reporter: they're still using it bill. the way they put it we're still climbing out of the holocausted by the recession began before mr. bush left office. the economic downturn was the worst since the great depression but it is fair to say that the $800 billion stimulus package didn't buy the recovery the president and his aids promised. the republicans spent their convention blaming him. >> if you didn't dvr, the basic recap goes something like this. the economy is not doing what it should be. it is all obama's fault. that was a key theme. [laughter] and, governor romney knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. >> reporter: the president said the issue who really has a plan to grow the
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economy something he says mr. romney's economic policies will not do. bill: wendell, where are you at the moment? i know you're downtown charlotte but what is happening behind you and give us a sense how this whole security thing is going to work this week? >> reporter: you have spent enough time here, bill, you know this is called uptown charlotte. we're here for a labor day celebration called carolina fest. that is the democratic national committee's gift to big labor for not boycotting the convention. north carolina is the least union-friendly state in the nation. 3% are members of union. richard trumka was not happy that north carolina was the convention site. he said in a memo we won't by big skyboxes or contribute to the convention. other big labor groups did not contribute to the convention after doing so in 2008. this is one of many parties held around the city.
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the lots of food include be the state's unique barbecue. lots of music as well. carolina's favorite musical son, james taylor takes the stage at 5:00 this afternoon. bill. bill: wendell goler is uptown, aka, downtown but it is uptown here in charlotte. see you later today, martha. here is martha. martha: a milestone democrats may not want to see as they kick off the convention is the debt clock. it is expected to cross that $16 trillion mark. we expect that will happen tomorrow as the pace it is going as democrats pound the gavel to start their convention. republicans making the federal debt a huge theme at their convention. they had a big debt clock that ticked away during course of the convention. later on stephen moore will join us what the debt milestone means for the u.s. economy and perhaps for the election as well. bill: there is this, martha. the monthly jobs report is due out friday morning, 8:30
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a.m. that to put a damper on any momentum gained by the president this week watch this number, the jobs number for august comes only hours after the president accepts his party's nomination for president. this will put the president's economic record front and center as he start as post-campaign convention swing in new hampshire, iowa and florida, three key swing states that will be at that point, 60 days to go. we'll examine that this morning. martha: meanwhile the decision to hold the democratic convention here in charlotte is no accident. north carolina is one of nine states that president george w. bush took in 2004 that shifted over to president obama in '08. now he edged out senator john mccain by less than half a percentage point. i think about 14,000 votes in north carolina, to give a win to the president. he chose charlotte to host the dnc, perhaps in hopes of using it as a massive organizing tool to hold onto the state this year. that is a strategy that
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worked to his advantage in colorado back in '08. he has a robust activist network in north carolina. they have opened more than 40 state offices here in this state. bill: that unemployment number here locally is a sticky number. we'll talk about that. it will not just be politicians at the democratic national convention. some of the a-list celebrities that made their way to north carolina. shell -- shell see clinton. eva longoria, and jessica alba is holding a benefit for the president here in charlotte. it is important reminder how important the woman vote will be here in november. keep it on fox news or foxnews.com for all the democratic convention coverage. we'll be near 9:00 a.m., to 11:00 a.m. every day. prime time down on the floor once the speeches get underway. what are you reading today? martha: here is the
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charlotte on searcher. take a look at the cover. party on as they get revved up to go here. it is a beautiful city. they have tons of security on streets. police on dirt bikes in charlotte, north carolina and clearly the city is revved up and ready to go excited to go tomorrow. bill: we did not see protests in tampa, florida. they may have had 250 and maximum of 500. it was different story. they call it festival more than protests. this is part of the occupy wall street movement, they danced sand chanted uptown. we'll see them throughout the week here. they seem to have more of a welcome mat here in charlotte because the pa route yesterday literally went down right through charlotte which sup town downtown. we'll get this right eventually, which is bank of america, right? martha: yeah. bill: which is wells fargo.
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that ha raid route went outside the building. martha: the losses in the banking industry as a result of what happened in 2008 are felt very strongly in this town because it was a huge boomtown t grew 65% from 2000 to 2010. you can feel that all around you. feels like a brand new city and a lovely one. we'll see how they are doing over the course of this week. moving right along. let's talk about isaac's impact being felt along the gulf coast days after the powerful storm swept through. still many without power or water. thousands of evacuees await word to return to their houses. it breaking your heart looking what folks have to come home to. casey stiegel is live in new orleans. president will be there later today. mitt romney was there a few days ago. what will see when he is there? >> reporter: martha, air force one scheduled to touch down at the new orleans airport at 4:30 local time
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that is 5:30 earn. he is scheduled to go over to st. john the baptist parish. a community that we heard about a lot of the past several days. it had a lot of damage. a lot of flooding. we saw high water rescues. a number of evacuations. it is 30 miles west of here. as we've been saying the city of new orleans fared hurricane isaac quite well but it was the lower lying parishes to the north, south, east, west, all around is that were hard-hit. at this hour, martha, 155,000 people are still without power that is about 7% of the state of louisiana, martha. martha: boy, incredible pictures. so are some people finally being allowed to go back to their homes today, casey? >> reporter: they are and a lot of them have to go in by boat especially over in the area of plaquemines parish which is just about enit miles up the mighty mississippi river back behind me. another low-lying area that was very hard hit.
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we saw water up to people's roof lines. and emergency crews are going to be taking folks in. it is not clear whether they're going to get to stay or whether they're just going to try to salvage what they can. a lot of this will be police escort and a lot of these people can still only get to their homes by boat, martha. difficult really to wrap your mind around. martha: a terrible labor day for those folks. no celebrating in that area. casey, thank you very much. bill: casey been doing great work on the weekend and rest of our crew on the gulf coast. we're just getting started. could the president's big speech on thursday be upstaged only hours later. what could steal the president's bi later this week. martha: what will the president accomplish on this big speech thursday night. why his biggest enemy some say could be himself. the enthusiasm gap and how it could play out at the polls. bill: here is a record americans do not want to see. how much the price of
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gasoline is setting folks back the labor day holiday weekend and the reasons why.
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martha: all right. welcome back to charlotte, everybody. drivers are seeing the highest gas prices on record for a labor day weekend today. national average for a gallon of regular is $3.80. hurricane isaac partly to blame for the recent pop we've seen in prices. that also slowed down some production, shut down some facilities over the course of that storm. still drivers in florida say the price hikes seem endless. >> seems like it keeps climbing. it is always going up. >> i'm putting gas in every other day i think. >> very frustrating because my murano only gets 20 miles per gallon. >> i think you try to watch what you do. i think, you know, you space
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out, going one store, do all of it at the same time. >> gas prices are expected to come back down once the gas refineries are back online and that summer demand cools off a little bit and kids head back to school. bill: that has got to hurt, don't you think? martha: ouch. bill: pulling up there. 90 bucks, wow! in 2008 he was mr. hope and change. voters were fired up for a new era but as we start this 2012 convention polls are showing that republicans are more motivated to vote, even the president's most senior advisors are aware of the hurdles ahead here. >> nobody is sitting up here saying this is 2008. i mean what's happened since an election in 2008 and right now, again is this huge economic calamity caused by a series of bad decisions that were made before the president ever got there. look, this election was always going to be close because we live in a closely divided country. i remind people all the time just four years ago, everyone was talking about the president's landslide
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and i got 53% of the vote. so let's understand that, we live in a very closely divided electorate. we have for quite some time and the selection was quite frankly always going to be close but it is an important fundamental choice about where we go from here. bill: this is going to be good stuff now. rich lowery, editor of "the national review", kirsten powers, "daily beast" columnist. both are fox news contributors and welcome to both of you. >> good morning, bill. bill: rich, i'm sure you're jealous you're not here, right? >> i'm covering labor day up here in connecticut. bill: you labor up there. we'll labor down there. i don't think there is voter disappointment is what robert gibbs says. nobody is sitting up here saying this is 2008. go for it. >> i agree with almost everything robert gibbs said which is very rare. president obama got 53% in optimal conditions for him. in 2008. he won't debt any additional voter who didn't vote last
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time around. some of his key constituencies will not be as excited especially young people. bill, the most memorable line from last week in tampa was that paul ryan line about you're a young person, you thought you were going to get a job. instead you're back at home with your parents staring up ad a faded obama poster on the wall. i think that captures a lot of the mood music of this election. bill: kirsten, before you weigh in i want to read you something from "national journal". charles kooshg writes this on the screen of the president obama's challenge this week at the democratic national convention is reignite the flame rich referred to. the passion among young latino voters burned four years ago but now just a smoldering ember. oh. >> look, the idea that he could even begin to do that again i think is a stretch. i don't think he will be able to, you know, encourage people to be as excited as they were the last time around. it is just not going to
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happen. rich is right, he has a real problem with young people because they were the people who were most excited last time and they're the people who are really suffering in terms of trying to find jobs. and so it's hard to tell somebody to get excited when they can't find a good job. so i think that, what he is going to have to convince them of basically, we're moving in the right direction. i know we didn't, we're not quite where i said we would be but it will be worse if you go with the other guy. bill: rich, do you think that is his best argument? is that his best-selling point? >> that and demolishing mitt romney which has been part of the strategy all along. anonymous aides have been up front with reporters. they have to destroy this guy, bill. it is not just the weak economy. look at obama's speech in 2004 convention, astonishingly good. a inspiring post-partisan
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unit. that is a lie basically. he is highly idealogical guy. all he cared about above anything else was getting his highly idealogical agenda through by any means necessary. so the whole notion he was unifying post-partisan figure is false. bill: you say that was all words people were living off of? >> it was completely words. he did what any ideologue would do you use it to the maximum extent. they haven't worked and haven't taken care of the problems. there are two problems here. one the image was totally false. two the program hasn't worked. bill: kirsten? more words from charlotte? >> i totally disagree. bill: he will make this speech. go ahead. >> i just disagree with the idea he is this highly idealogical president. the reason a lot of people are unhappy with him, especially on the left is precisely because he didn't follow through with a lot of the promises that would be
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consider idealogically pure, such as closing gitmo. a lot of liberals feel health care didn't go far enough. there are a lot, a lot of people who don't want to have troops in afghanistan for example. bill: but they're still going to vote for him, right? >> i think when robert gibbs says there is no disappointment, either they're completely out of touch with reality or just saying that because there is lot of disappointment from the left. >> let's be clear. on health care he got the left-most program he could through congress. the reason why he didn't do single-payer or public option there weren't any votes for it. he got the biggest stimulus he could for it. the reason it wasn't trillion 1/2 dollars because that would have never passed congress. moderate democrats wouldn't vote for it. he got the left most program he could and it hasn't worked. bill: thanks to both of you. really appreciate it especially on labor day. kirsten see you later. rich we'll see you soon. thanks to both. here is martha.
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martha: the debt clock is set to pass the $16 million mark just as the democratic national convention goats underway. that is the clock from the rnc last week. the red ink the country faces and what it means for democrats. bill: can president obama's campaign expect to see a bounce in the poll numbers from this week's convention you wonder? many of my patients still clean their dentures with toothpaste.
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bill: with the labor day holiday being today we are one day away to the democratic national convention starts here in charlotte, north carolina. we find a new poll shows
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voters are more interested in platforms than the big name speeches of this convention season. pew research center study measured interest in speakers. the platform that each states a the each convention republican and democrat learning about both the dnc and rnc platforms came out on top number one, 55-52% respectively with the big-name speakers. martha: well, the u.s. national debt is now on the verge of a shocking milestone. it is currently just under $16 trillion. look at that. expected to pass that mark tomorrow. the day the dnc kicks off their big convention here in charlotte. last week republicans made a huge focus of that debt clock. there it is looming over the convention center in tampa. one. clocks they had there, showed more than $8.5 billion added to the debt just in the days the delegates were meeting in tampa. that is the other one
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shashowed a total amount there. joining us steve moore, from "the wall street journal". >> happy labor day, martha. can you think of worst timing for the president right before he is to give the big speech the debt clock tops 16 million. the republicans could not have scripted that much better. martha: it is an unbelievable number and you point out really shocking realities about this in terms of less than eight years the interest, interest on the debt will reach 1 trillion dollars in interest alone. it is a number that is tough to get your arms around. >> it is. by the way one of the problems with talking about the national debt and one of the reasons a lot of viewers their eyes glaze over when we talk about trillion of dollars, they're saying in washington a trillion is a new billion. it really is true. the numbers are so big, martha, most people become anesthetized to them. to put that into perspective
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a trillion dollars a,dollars. i did calculation this is morning. four or five minute segment, just in this four or five minutes the u.s. government will borrow another 5 to $10 million. we're on a debt collision course. the key point is the one you just made, martha is the real cost of this is the interest payments and somewhere around 2019, 2020 which is? so far off, a trillion dollars a year of our budget will go just to pay the interest. which means we're not getting anything for it, right? that is more than we'll spend on medicare, medicaid, social security and even national defense will go to pay for the interest rates or interest payments. by the way that is assuming the interest rates stay as low as they are right now which may not happen. martha: yeah. just to go back over that point one more time because i think it is stunning. >> right. martha: the interest that we'll be paying on the national debt will be bigger than our budget to defend our country?
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>> that's right. that's incredible. by the way the interest payments very soon will be consuming almost every dollar that we pay in income taxes. which means there will be no money left over to pay for national defense or medicare or all these other programs that are so important. i call it, i call the debt like termites in the basement. they're just slowly eroding the foundation of our fiscal health in this country and it is a very troubling thing. by the way, when i came to washington, martha, in the early 1980s under ronald reagan the debt was about 2 to 3 trillion. now we're at 16 trillion in 25, 26 years? amazing. both parties are responsible for this. let me get that out there. martha: absolutely. >> the republicans and democrats created this mess. the problem is nobody sees any relief in sight. martha: i wonder how much we'll hear about it over the course of the next few days here in charlotte? >> i don't think the democrats will talk a lot about it. i was there in tampa last week. the big showcase item in
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that republican convention was of course the debt clock. i don't think the democrats will talk about it. democrats say look bush was the one who got us in this crisis in the first place. we'll see. martha: steve, thank you so much. >> great to be with you. martha: enjoy the rest of the labor day weekend. see you when we get back. bill: 9 trillion sounds like a bargain these dice. republicans have their own plans to crash the party. we'll tell you about that in a matter of moments. martha: the race for the white house is now in a dead-heat with 60 days to go but each candidate usually gets a bump from their respective conventions. why president obama may not see a bump according to some. we're going to talk about that when we come back. [ female announcer ] with swiffer dusters,
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bill: so 9:1 here in sar lot on a labor day morning. democrats week to shine as you know. paul ryan and other republicans are heading to north carolina. some will be in charlotte. congressman ryan will be 200 miles from charlotte. engaging in a campaign tactic called bracketing. john roberts live in
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charlotte with details on that. what is bracketing? >> reporter: call it bracketing, counter programing a counter convention. republicans are here making sure their message particularly the one they drove out in tampa, does not get lost in the huge megaphone of the democratic national convention in addition to paul ryan being here. they have nikki haley from south carolina. oklahoma governor mary fall lynn and virginia governor bob mcdonnell, all pushing the theme, are you betting off than you were four years ago. here is what sean spicer, communications director for the rnc told me about their messaging. >> we saw a lot of comments sunday morning where the top surrogates couldn't answer the fundamental question is america better off than four years ago. those kind of gaps give us a opportunity to drive our message on a daily basis. >> reporter: they have a nascar painted up romney-ryan 2012. that is something as well. something ronald reagan ran
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on in 1980. they hope it works well this fall. bill: how are they getting the message out, john? what is the strategy? >> reporter: they're doing number of things. they're taken over nascar headquarters. they have space in nascar headquarters that is popular tourist destination. they're holding a press conference there in an hour. they're going by radio row. they have props they gave out at a little press party last night a little lego kit. says on the back, you didn't build that. package of kleenex, says breaking up is hard to do, trying to get voters to break up with president obama. look at new ad part of they're messaging. a system pell ad. contrast ad. like joe trippi ran in the jerry brown race against mig whitman. contrast what p.m. obama is saying in 2008 as opposed to what he says now. the language is almost identical. the other party would stay dark out of respect, a good way to save money.
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twitter, facebook, 24 hour news channels there is no way you just can't be there. here is what congressman jason chaffetz of utah told me yesterday. >> usually most responsible media will give some balance. you want to be there in this age of rapid response. you don't have time to digest. you have to be on the scene providing feedback in realtime as it is happening or the story gone by you 30 minutes later. >> reporter: democrats had big plans for tam past joe biden would be in the state of florida. debbie wasserman schultz, the chairman of the democratic national committee. mess of those were washed away by tropical storm isaac during the first part of the convention but they managed to get messaging out, messaging the romney campaign called reckless. we'll see what the democrats say about this. bill: thank you, john. mitt romney we understand for the most part is down this week for debate prep. we'll track his movements throughout the week. here is martha. martha: let's see what democrats say about that, what john was reporting on. ben labbolt press
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secretariry for the obama for america presidential campaign. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. martha: you watched report when we were in tampa last week. the thrust for the romney-ryan campaign was we deserve better. we can do better than with we're getting right now. what do you think?. >> the question is what they are offering? we certainly didn't hear much about that last week. we didn't hear about their budget plan which would turn medicare into a voucher program. if you're a student would be harder to get a loan. didn't hear about their $5 trillion tax cuts for the wealthiest americans on the backs of middle class and on the backs of seniors. that will be difference in charlotte this week. you will hear a road map from the president how we restore economic security for the middle class. we've made progress but there is more work to be done. martha: there is the big question whether or not you get a bounce out of it. no doubt you hope to get a bounce out of the convention. it is a huge evident and big moment to launch the president. let's see "real clear politics" numbers.
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it really could not be tighter. 46.4% for president obama in average of all the polls right now. 46.3% for governor romney. and you know a recent piece on abc talked about, how the president may in some ways be his own worst enemy. what he talked about the last time around in terms of hope and change set up many of the people who were supportive of him for some disillusion mane and disappointment. how do you talk to those people in a frank, honest say way and say we're not where we ought to be right now and you ought to give us another chance? >> in terms of your first question in terms of bounce, chairman priebus said they would get a visible bounce out of tampa and they didn't. "gallup poll" ranked romney's speech as the worst speech in 1996. martha: there are polls 3, 4, 6, see how it shakes out both sides. >> we'll have honest
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conversation between 2008 and where we are today and the fact more work needs to be done. we were losing 800,000 jobs when the president came into office. manufacturing was in decline. the auto industry was on the brink. american retirement savings were being wiped out in the market. we made a lot of progress. businesses created more than 4.5 million jobs. gm was reborn into the number one automaker into the world defend. manufacturing is coming back. more than 500,000 jobs. the question where will we go from here? the president will lay out how we invest in education and research and development and build the economy from middle class out. martha: look at some of the numbers because the big question is and you heard it talked about over the over the course of the weekend. are you better off now than you were four years ago? when you look at unemployment and gas prices if we pull those up. you see this comparison. unemployment was at 7.89%. it is now 8.3. median income has dropped by
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about $4,000 over the course of the four years of the obama presidency. gas prices, 1.84 to 3.82. national debt which we're expecting to see cross 16 trillion over the coming days, probably tomorrow. it is a setup for a very tough argument. how do you deal with those realities? >> that reflects we've been through the worst economic crisis since the great depression. we made a lot of progress the president has plans on the table today that republicans have obstructed. he has a $4 trillion balanced deficit reduction plan. he has a jobs bill that would create a million jobs right now that republicans in congress have obstructed and governor romney has opposed. so americans in november will have the opportunity to break the stalemate between two economic visions. if you agree with governor romney we should continue to reward the wealthyest with $5 trillion in tax cuts and raise taxes on the middle class to pay for them. that hasn't raised economy
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in past. should we pay down the debt in a balanced way. martha: you but do have, i want to go back to a prior point, you do have to deal with that sort of issue of disillusionment, that huge moment for the entire country when president obama gave that speech and during his inauguration and you look at paul ryan's statement at the rnc about, you know, a 23 something-year-old young person who still living at home with mom and dad and looking at the faded obama poster on the wall. that is, that is a real sentiment and it does hit people who were in your total sweet spot four years ago. the people who were the most enthusiastic about the president. >> let's take a look at promise that is the president made on the campaign trail in 2008. he promised to begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. he has done that. to end the war in iraq in responsible way. he has done that to refocus on al qaeda in afghanistan. he has done that. to provide affordable,
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accessible health care to all americans. to provide middle class families with a tax cut. he has done those things but we can't stop there. we need to continue our progress. businesses have created more than 4.5 million jobs but how do we insure that america wins the race to the top where we restore economic security for the middle class. that is what the president is he can focused on. that is what this convention is focused on and ultimately that is what voters will be focused on in november. martha: all right. in terms of, you know this message that we heard over the weekend just from this "wall street journal" piece. i want to ask you one more point whether or not you folks are more worried than you had been about this election? when you look at that razor tight number. is that true? do you think that that piece made a good point? are you more concerned about selling your message this time around? is the president more concerned about it? >> well i think this is going to be a close and competitive race. it has been for the past year-and-a-half. we always anticipated that. the nation faced historic challenges when the president came into office. the question americans are asking is how do we restore
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economic security for the middle class. governor romney ultimately failed to answer that question last week. if you were an undecided voter watching you heard a parade of lies throughout the week. attacks ripped out of context. setting up congressman ryan to tax $716 billion of medicare savings that he maintained in his budget. and i think that this will lay out the road map that middle class families are looking for to restore economic security. martha: all right. ben, thank you for coming by. we look forward to seeing you this week. have a good week in charlotte. we'll be talking to you. >> thanks for having me. looking forward to it. bill: we'll hear hear from the romney team in 30 minutes as well. scandal on ice. head of the immigration customs and enforcement agency forced out because of lewd conduct and behavior. there is more on that. martha: a obama campaign advisor calling republicans divided. we'll talk about that coming
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up. we'll have a fair and balanced debate after this. >> we'll have a very good week in charlotte. we don't have problems the other party has. we're not divided. it says here s helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios >> announcer: meet jill. she thought she'd feel better after seeing her doctor. and she might have, if not for kari, the identity thief who stole jill's social security number to open credit cards, destroying jill's credit and her dream of retirement. now meet amanda. with a swipe of her debit card,
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clinton will be a world away. she is on a tour of asia. this will be the first democratic convention she has missed since 1968. however her husband, former president bill clinton will give a speech and there is a history of secretaries of state not attending the conventions of their parties. so hillary clinton will be quite aways away. bill: although i imagine the cook islands is a pretty good place to be this time of year. south pacific. president obama senior campaign advisor slamming pubs what he calls a lack of unity within the party. david axelrod with chris wallace on "fox news sunday". >> we don't have the problems that the other party has. we're not divided. we have don't have to worry about, you know, what people are saying on the side or about their affection for the president or, we don't have those problems. we don't have the reinvention convention. we're a unified party. bill: so is this even an issue? bring in our panel. todd harris, former mccain
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spokesman, advisor to senator marco rubio. joe trippi, democratic strategist, fox news contributor. gentlemen, good morning to both of you. >> good morning bill. >> good morning. bill: todd, is one side more united than the other? do you see division here? is david axelrod onto something? >> no, not at all. first of all in poll after poll in swing states, and i look, he bill, at a lot of polling republicans are overwhelmingly united behind mitt romney both to put mitt romney in office and turn president obama out of office. bill: what is he talking about then. >> i'm not really sure what he is talking about when you think about it, this is really bad spin. what the obama team is saying is that the president is so weak, that even with a supposedly divided republican party behind him, mitt romney is still tied with barack obama. they ought to think that one through. bill: hey, joe, what is he talking about? >> well, bill, i think it's,
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it's an overreaction to what he was saying. my own view, we're in a convention context here. whenever you have these tough primaries that mitt romney was through, went through, you got to pull the party together. newt gingrich said bad things about you in the campaign. you attacked each other. you have to worry about things like putting newt gingrich. when will he speak at the convention? for two reasons, one, to pull his supporters in. and two, to show the unity that the party has become unified, much like, one of the big critical moments in the 2008 democratic convention was hillary clinton and barack obama. how was that split going to come together. republicans had to worry about those kind of things at their convention. no the in a big way but they had to do that. bill: joe, you were with us in tampa. >> yeah. bill: did you see division there? >> no, i don't, what i mean, bill, you had to go through the choreography of bringing the party together in tampa.
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i think they did a pretty good job of it but they had to be worried about that going in. at this convention you don't have to do that. the party's unified behind barack obama. just, as by the way in 2004 when i worked for howard dean and we had the tough bruising thing with john kerry and edwards and gephardt, our convention was about pulling the party together. by the way the great unifier at that convention was george bush. the great unifier at the republican convention was barack obama. i mean that is just the way it is. bill: todd, if you go back to pampa, i saw gingrich on stage, i saw santorum on stage. i saw michele bachmann and herman cain. >> yeah. this was, if anything, tampa was a celebration of republican unity but joe is right that for every convention when you have a challenger who has gone through a primary you do have to go through this process. let's not forget in 2008 at
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the democratic convention 40% of democrats still wanted hillary clinton to be their nominee. >> that's right. >> that was significant division. and obviously it didn't really hurt barack obama all that much. bill: to both of you in the 30 seconds left, todd, does this make a difference and how much of a difference united versus divided or division or unity however you want to define it, how does that play out in '64 days? >> it would make a significant difference if it were true but it is not true. the fact is republicans are overwhelmingly united behind mitt romney. democrats are overwhelmingly united behind barack obama. bill: joe, give you the last word. >> whatever divisions there are they will be unified by the republican urge to defeat barack obama. you don't need, may be ideological divisions in the party and they will come together and have a lot of energy in november to stop obama. that's what they want to do. bill: thank you, joe. thank you, todd.
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see you later. >> thank you. bill: martha? martha: democrats gearing up for a big week here in north carolina but republican vice-presidentialal nominee paul ryan also spent a little time in north carolina today. we'll tell you what he is up to straight ahead. bill: vice president joe biden slamming the romney-ryan approach to foreign policy. what he had to say. >> this country face as starkest choice in my memory and now that governor romney and congressman ryan have been nominated at their conventions those differences are even more stark. [ mother ] you can't leave the table
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martha: fox extreme weather alert for you. dry and slightly windy conditions hampering efforts to control a large wildfire that is burning in california. so far the flames have burned about five 1/2 miles of forest near los angeles. adam housley is live in our west coast newsroom. adam, any success in fighting this thing overnight? these pictures are incredible. >> reporter: pictures are quite dramatic above glendora, california, in the angeles national forest. if you fly to los angeles from the east the mountains to the right-hand side as you come into l.a. the pictures are dramatic as the fire races up the hillside. this is very remote and steep area. the angeles national forest in this area has about 12,000 visitors. this is live video coming into from oust from affiliate kttv you can see the glow on the mountains as the sun comes up in southern
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california. the good news it is not threatening any homes or major campgrounds. the bad news for people up in the mountains, normally, 12,000 this time of year. they were all evacuated because they need roads and access roads for all the fire trucks. they didn't want anybody in the area so they have to worry about it the as the camera zooms in, very steep conditions. nine aircraft are helping to fight the fire. the clouds are absolutely dramatic. you see it from all over los angeles as the fire continues to burn. the other good news point, martha, that no homes are threatened there are no santa ana winds this time of year. while is being stoked by some winds it is not the santa ana wind that come first part of october late november. martha? martha: incredible scale of clouds and pictures we're seeing. >> reporter: huge. martha: this has been some wildfire season, adam, and eight's not over. >> reporter: we covered so far in arizona, two major fires in colorado, fires in montana, ore gone, idaho.
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every state has one major fire. the numbers coming out so far, martha are just unbelievable. right now utah is saying they spent $16 million on fire. another 50 million is allocated for the rest of the year. there is over a thousand wildfires in utah alone. washington state expects to spend 20 million on emergency fire suppression. we haven't really gotten into california's fire season. we had major fires in northern california. now this one in southern california. the real california fires season is september, october, november. the western states are tinder dry. it is becoming a very difficult fire season. firefighters are stretched thin, martha. we don't get rains out here usually until october. >> boy, you look at the flames in those pictures, compared to the trees next to them and you get a sense just how big those flames are. >> reporter: massive. martha: thank you very much, adam housley. we'll check in with you a little bit later.
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>> in the meantime here in charlotte, key question in just about every presidential election, are americans bet better off than they were four years ago? we heard from the obama team moments ago. a response out of governor romney's team in boston. stay tuned for that. my parents had kraft mac & cheese without me. so this time, i took precautionary measures. looking for these? [ rattling ] [ male announcer ] kraft macaroni & cheese. you know you love it.
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martha: we are awaiting new reaction to what appears to be a theme dominating the news cycle right now, the big question, are
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you better off now than you were four years ago? it's a question that is always asked of an incumbent president, and democrats in some interviews have been dodging that question. we did speak to ben labolt about it moments ago and he gave us his answer to us. governor romney's senior adviser will be with us as well. we'll get his take on that. we'll tell you what the governor romney and ryan team plan to do to put the country on the right economic track. these what he will be discussing with us in a little while. as they warm up the mikes down here in the convention hall in charlotte, that question is a dominating one. president obama tries to make his case for another four years in the white house, and we welcome you this morning to a brand-new hour of "america's newsroom." i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer, good morning on a monday. peaceful weekend down here in charlotte. the weather is beautiful. the town is great. martha: beautiful. bill: and you are looking live at the time warner cable arena here in charlotte, north carolina, while the planners put
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the final touches on the convention stage down on the floor. i like the sky box by the way. martha: it's great. bill: it's very comfortable. tomorrow we'll be down on the floor where it's a little tighter. for now president obama talking to voters in the key swing state of ohio today, the buckeye state. martha: vice presidental candidate paul ryan about 200 miles from here making himself known in the tar heel state as well. ed henry is with the president in toledo today. we start with carl cameron in greenville, north carolina with congressman paul ryan. hey, carl. >> reporter: a couple of hundred miles away on the outskirts of the big party in charlotte paul ryan is basically trying to crash it from a distance today. he is campaigning in north carolina opposites the dnc convention where you guys are. mitt romney will take a few days after. he'll resume his campaigning behind closed doors where he'll do debate prep tuesday,
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wednesday and thursday. he's leaving the convention to democrats and paul ryan this week. the question, are you better o now than you were four years ago is what the republicans are going to do as a bracketing exercise along the state over the democratic convention hearing. over and over and over again the question was asked, and the obama campaign's top aides were accused of not answering the question yes or no. >> david, can you honestly say that the average american is better off today than they were four years ago? >> here is what i can say, chris. i can say that we are in a better position than we were four years ago in our economy, in the sense that when this president took office we were losing 800 jobs a month. >> reporter: well there was no yes or no there. there was no yes or no on several other sunday shows yesterday and this morning the deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter said absolutely
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things are better than four years ago and we've moved forward from four years ago in the obama campaign review. that prompted a response from the romney republicans that the democrats are out of touch. the president made promises four years ago the same promises he made this time around. and you'll have that said by paul rya ryan paul ryan in greenville, that if you look things are not better than than they used to be. bill: the president will attend an event in ohio before head off to louisiana a bit later today to take a lock at some of the damage left behind by hurricane isaac, later tropical storm isaac and the homes are just drowning in matter. chief correspondented henry is with the president in toledo,
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ohio. the t-t testing som president testing some of the themes ahead of his big speech. >> reporter: they say he's tinkering with his speech. he's happy with the current draft he has. he has a little bit more work to do. he's been doing it on air force one, in his hotel room, et cetera, as he goes through all this. he is testing the themes. the president on the positive side is trying to say he's the one standing up for the middle class. on the negative side he's trying to rip mitt romney saying this those ideas we heard in tampa last week are old and he's not hearing any sort of bold vision for the future. >> despite all the challenge that we face in this new ken sur tree. century, what they offered over those three days is an agenda that was better suited for the lassen tour raoefplt it was last last century. it could have been on nick and
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night. we've seen it before. you might as well have watched it on tv with rabbit ears. >> reporter: look at this video of the romney campaign bus is here in tow lead owe as well with the president. they've been circling this high school and beeping the horn and they have a megaphone and they've been saying take a look at mitt romney's visio future, his plan for the future. a lot of obama fans waiting outside the high school have been shouting back at it saying go home. here we are labor day, both sides fighting it out in the battleground state of ohio. doesn't get any better than this. bill. bill: that is a classic shot in ohio, wow. how does the obama team and specifically the president similar telephone reacting to the whole question we were talking about with carl a moment ago about whether or not you're better off now than you were four years ago. >> reporter: i think carl hit it on the head, this is delicate and dangerous for the obama camp. this was the question that ronald reagan was able to turn
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against another democratic incumbent who had a rough economy. david axelrod and other obama advisers didn't -pbt want t want to answer it. and david o'malley when he answered it he didn't answer it the way people wanted him to. >> can you say people are better off than we were four years ago. >> no, but that is not the question. we are not better off than when george bush brought us the bush receive date, the series of wars charged the first time in the national credit card. >> reporter: the obama case is trying to shift the argument saying look at where we started four years ago. based on that measurement they think things are a lot better. the fact that martin o'malley said no we are not better off as a bottom line for the american people, that's difficult. the bus hin behind me casted
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again and they are slugging it out in ohio. bill: it's very difficult to get a yes or no to a yes or no question. keep slugging. martha: let's go to bret baier, the anchor the special report. welcome. >> reporter: good to be here. martha: the president has his work cut out for him, it's a razor-thin race. what do they need to accomplish here to make difference for themselves. >> reporter: he needs to portray what the next four years would be like and to convinces specially people who voted for him, who are disaffected now, who are small business owners, who have taken it on the chin in this economy, that he's on the right track. as you just talked about withed the right track wrong track number is really upside down in ever poll you look at. the fact they had such a challenge over the weekend dealing with, are you better off
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than you were four years ago suggests that that is the vulnerability and that is what the president has to address come thursday. bill: you look at the speaker list and you wonder who makes the best argument for that, whether it's his wife, probably not. is it bill clinton, perhaps on night two. maybe it's thursday night the main event over the big stadium across town where that argument is made the most forcibly. >> reporter: bill, i think the clinton teach will be fascinating to watch because it's a double-edged sword. barack obama is not bill clinton. at the early part of his term he tried to do things that differentiated himself from the clinton legacy, and now bill clinton will try to say that this is the guy that we should take for the next four years despite the fact that everybody in their mind looks back to that primary when he was saying the exact opposite things. martha: when you look what bill clinton did at the beginning of the second term, welfare reform, a real turn toward the middle to
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get reelected and hug that middle group, when you look at obama's path he had an opportunity to strike a barring on with john boehner and opted not to. >> reporter: i think it will come down to two bowls, simpson-bowles. that was the deficit commission that obviously president commissioned and essentially gave th the stiff arm to. in 2009. it really was a moment. paul ryan voted against that, but still there was no solution really put forward by the white house on dealing with the big entitlement reform, tax reform to push it through congress. bill: i also think too locally here the reason why they are in charlotte is because they thought they could keep the state blue, and maybe they can, but it was so razor tight four years ago. now you have state-wide unemployment at 9.6%. unemployment where we are in
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mechani meckenlinberg county is 10%. people are having a difficult time. if you want to close the deal you're going to have to sell them hard in charlotte this week in order to win that argument. >> reporter: north carolina according to the local polls, charlotte observer, number of different polls is neck-and-neck. for a longtime republicans thought this was returning red after the gay marriage decision by the president, after the dustup about this being nonunion this state, but now it is still close. and if mitt romney loses here that does not bode well for him around the country. martha: you look back, though, jimmy carter is the only incumbent democratic president since world war ii to not be reelected. the odds are always in the incumbent's favor. did the republicans get a big
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enough pop out of their convention to get the momentum to move their way. >> reporter: that is the greatest question. according to the gallop poll it doesn't look like a big bounce as of yet. but the uphill battle for the president is that historically there has not been anything like this economy for an incumbent to get reelected. martha: brett, thank you. we'll look forward to seeing you tonight on special report and throughout the week in our proeupl time coverage. we look forward to it. bill: i under we have a little bit of a barbecue later. we shall labor together. martha: we'll get a little bit of labor day in there. bill: we'll get a about it o o*eubit of reaction. arrest i can fernstrm will react to eric labolt a few minutes ago. martha: the affect the republican convention had on voters in the key swing state, did it give governor romney the bounce we were hoping for?
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new numbers give us a good idea of how they fared. we'll be right back.
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martha: governor romney and president obama have found at least one thing to agree on, both candidates have declined public funds to finance their campaigns. this marks the first time that both major candidates have refused taxpayers' money and likely marks the end of that kind of financing. it allows you to take a lot more money into the campaign coffers. and they both made that choice. bill: in the battle for the critical undecided voter democrats get their best shot this week, three days in charlotte. but there is one question you likely will not hear in charlotte. from abc's this week white house senior adviser david plouff had
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this to say. >> can the president argue that people are better off today than they were four years ago. >> listen, george i think the american people understand that we gotten to terrible economic situations, a recession only that the great depression is the only thing the country has ever seen like it. they know we had a deep hole. >> a year ago the president told me i don't think americans are better off than four years ago. i don't think you can still say yes. >> we've clearly improved from the depths much the recession. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. we are gaining them. the unemployment rate was around 10, it's come down. bill: more on that, we heard from the obama team 30 minutes ago. crime to hear from the romney team. every i can fehrnstrom is a senior adviser for romney. welcome back to our program. >> thank you, bill. bill: what did you make of the
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answer? >> far more interesting they had done a complete turn around and said absolutely things were better. the democratic con investigation could represent the beginning of a whole new genre in television. saying that things are better off is an insult for the 23 million americans out of work or unemployed. the unemployment rate is higher from 7.8% when obama took office to 8.3% today. gas prices have doubled. incomes have declined on average by about $4,000 per household. they have some explaining to do. i think the biggest challenge for president obama at this convention is to explain why it is that he didn't do what he said he was going to do. he said shortly after taking office that if he didn't have this economy turned around he was going to be a one-term president. and that's true. he will be a one-term president. bill: now, the critical question for democrats, as they return serve on this. was handed out by david axelrod
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on sunday when he said governor romney said for three days they did not offer applausable alternative reflecting on the convention in tampa. ben labolt told martha, 45 minutes ago, what are they offering? referring to you and your taoefplt how dyour team. how do you answer that? >> we had a great convention, a diverse group of speakers, all of them have a deep faith in the american free enterprise system. many of them are children of immigrant parents who built businesses on their own with their own hands. as far as mitt romney goes we were very pleased with his speech. he did the three things he had to do, which was to layout his vision for a better future for america, to describe the failures of the last four years of the obama presidency and to talk a little bit about himself and what motivates him. and we feel that we got a big push coming out of that convention, and we'll see what happens with the democrats, but i suspect you're going to hear a lot of excuses, alibis, and scape tkpwo*ets to cove goats
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to cover up the failures of the obama presidency. bill: what you'll likely hear are the comments of david plouff and david axelrod saying we've clearly improved from the depths of the recession. they will paint a picture that things are getting better. it might not be perfect yet but things are headed in the right direction. how do you counter that. >> we ask middle class america to look around. look around at your own experience and your neighbors. do you feel things are better off? i think the only folks in america who believe we are doing better today than we were four years ago live at the obama white house. people can fairly question their objectivity. there is no amount of gloss or slick convention staging that can cover up the fact that this is the weakest recovery since the great depression. you know there used to be a country in western singer called
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johnny paycheck. if he was still around they'd have to change his name to johnny food stamp. bill: because that's what he's using these days. that is a clever turn of phrase. what ben labolt will say is the democrats want to offer $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy. which i think is the highest number yet i've heard in their argument. the whole idea about medicare that the romney-ryan team supports vouchers. what is the counter argument when you hear that coming out of charlotte? >> well, the governor in his convention speech last thursday described the five steps that he would take to create 12 million new jobs by the end of his first term in office. and that involves more energy development, it involves making our education system stronger, it involves cutting the deficit, it involves encouraging our small businesses, if we can do
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those things then we'll unleash the power of the free enterprise system. look, i think obama high school a problem, i think his team has a problem. they made a political calculation that they have to say that things are better today than they were four years ago. in doing that they are siding with the 30% of americans who believe we are on the right track. but by doing -- by siding with them they risk alienating the majority of people in this country that know from their own experience that things are not better. bill: you think that's their biggest risk? >> yeah, well, that's what this economy comes down to, bill -- i'm sorry, this election. are you better off than you were four years ago? of course they have to make a political statement and say that we are better off. again, middle class america knows that they are hurting. food prices are higher. utility costs are higher. energy is higher. these thins cannot be just swept
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under the rug. bill: paul ryan is here in north carolina, will we see mitt romney at all this week publicly? >> well the governor is going to be doing some debate preparation. we have three debates in october with the president. he may pop out for an appearance, but he's going to be down focusing on the debates in october. bill: we will follow it by the way. by the hour oftentimes. eric fehrnstrom out of boston today with the romney team. thank you for your time. >> thank you, bill. martha: democrats adopting a controversial platform to some extent at this week's convention. what impact will support for issues like same-sex marriage and abortion have on swing voters? bill: monthly jobs report will be out friday morning at 8:30, that will be only hours after barack obama is on the stage here in charlotte. will the new numbers put a damper on the president's post convention party we wonder?
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charlotte. there are some controversial issues taking center stage at the dnc this week. including same-sex marriage, the d.r.e.a.m. act, abortion rights. what impact will all these policies have on more moderate and swing voters is a question we want to take a look at with our chief washington correspondent james rosen who is outside the arena with an in-depth look at this. so much of this was made at the rnc about the differences that came in between governor romney and the g.o.p. platform. what about the democratic platform and president obama? is there also some daylight between some of those issues? >> reporter: in a word, yes, martha. good morning from charlotte,
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where president obama will not agree with everything that is going to be appearing in the dnc platform this year, case in point gay rights. after a long period of years in which the chief executive said his views on this issue, were, quote, evolving the president finally this past june endorsed same-sex marriage but he added an important caveat, namely that the state should decide the issue for themselves. the 2012 platform will flatly endorse same-sex marriage. it calls for repeal of the federal law on the books that enables states to reject the validity of a same-sex marriage license issued in another state. it's worth noting that the voters here in north carolina recently approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. once again an interesting choice for the convention, martha. martha: very interesting, james. so what are some of the other phra*pbgs that we'll b planks that we'll be looking at. >> reporter: we'll hear a lot about the issues, the
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economy. it will feature a call for a hike in the federal minimum wage. such a plank appeared in the 08 platform as well. the last hike was three years to $7.25 an hour. president obama sought to increase that by $9.50 last december. fox news contributor susaness streupblg served as platform debate manager back in 1980 when senator edward kennedy delivered his famous the dream will never die speech. th-pand she says the lack of news conference of this platform means a more cohesive party. >> everybody would know a lot about the democratic platform coming into conventions. there would be ideological battles, sort of like what the republicans had before their convention. the truth of this platform is it will be obama's platform, obama's policies and you'll hear almost nothing about it.
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>> reporter: now the democratic platform will contain, as you suggested, martha, a very strong pro-choice plank. how many votes that will actually cost the party, however is open to question. for those voters for whom abortion seems to be the decisive issue, those voters by and large already have made up their minds about which candidate they will be supporting. martha: thank you very much. james rosen outside the convention center in charlotte. stpho: a major shakeup in the department of homeland security. one of the heads at immigration customs and enforcement known as ohio steps down after allegations of lewd conduct and behavior. a former state lawmaker on how this affects the department of homeland security and our security in a moment on that. "america's newsroom" live out of charlotte, scene of the 2012 national convention rolls on on a monday morning. it is labor day across america. thanks for being with us. back in a moment.
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bill: welcome back on a monday morning, liker day, 10:31 here in charlotte, north carolina. the democrats getting ready to
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kickoff the big convention in town. a big article. ten hours after barack obama accepts the democratic nomination for reelection the bureau of labor statistics will toss a stink bomb into his post convention party. the august jobs numbers are due out friday morning just as obama will be speak seeking to capitalize on his post democratic convention momentum. states will battle nor headlines with the barometer of economic recovery. let's bring in a great panel with us. steve hayes, writer for "the weekly standard," fox news contributor. amy stood ard, columnist for the hill. react to that ab, that's a nil on the head especially if the number comes out and it's worse than what it is right now, 8.3% nationally. >> it just isn't news. they knew it was coming. they are just happy it's not coming tomorrow or swepbd morning.
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wednesday morning. they expect the jobs reports to continue to be dis"pointing. they have two more before the election. it's a rough time every time it comes out. they hope that the romney campaign steps on the jobs report with a gaffe or too, that's happened before. there's been some ways that they've diverted attention from the jobs report. i won't be surprised if they pull out some kind of surprise to distract the media from the jobs report and distract the debate and discussion over it one more time, maybe put out a controversial ad or something to change the subject. they are battling this. they have all spring and s-pler nothing it was too late for the me to turn around before november 6th. they will continue to make the case that instead of losing hundreds of thousands of jobs as was the case when barack obama took office they are gaining private sector jobs these months. it's not good enough but that's what they will continue to tout. martha: i wonder how much people have sort of adjusted to a new normal, and whether or not they are still blaming the president in this case. you know, he's going to come out
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and try to convince them that you just have to believe me, things are getting better. and what we see in the polls is that the blame is not necessarily aimed at the president, no matter how the other side tries to convince them it should be. >> at least it's shared. we short of had an experiment in how voters are taking this in. if you look at the time from the effective end of the republican primary season and the choosing of paul ryan mitt romney basically made one argument, the economy stinks and it's the president's fault. he didn't move much in the polls. i think there are many in the romney campaign that thought given the deterioration we were seeing in these hard economic numbers we would see more of a movement towards mitt romney. there seems to be a sense that voters have kind of priced this in. they think that this is the new normal that it's not likely to improve or at least improve dramatically. i don't expect that these jobs reports unless there is a really good one between now and election day are likely to have much of a significant impact. >> you're both arguing that this is a push and it's almost
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already baked into the election threat at ththeee the electorate at the moment. >> it's very, very tight. he only has to win over a few more people to win the election. one of them is going to win. it is a very close, neck-and-neck election. no one is going to open up a big lead. there is definitely the case to be made that he can break out at the end, that independents break late often for the challenger at the end. that is the romney campaign premise, it has been all along. bill: the undecideds break for the challenger too when they are not happy with what is happening. >> the most important jobs report is the one that comes out several days before the election. as people are really making up their mind on who they are going to choose. we've seen over the course of recent history that that number can be 25%. people who are deciding the last few days. martha: i can't help wondering if bill clinton might become sort of the chris christie of
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this convention. you know, this he can resist the temptation to get up there and talk about how much better a job he did when it came to the economy, and whether or not that might -- if he focuses mostly on himself and not so much on reelecting president obama i wonder if that has the affect of pointing out -- of making an unappealing comparison. >> i think he likely in his actual formal speech will spend quite a bit of time just touting barack obama for exactly the reasons you suggest. the risk will be if you get bill clinton unscripted if he starts giving interviews and talking to people where he's not given sort of his talking points or where he's given talking points and as he often does ops to stray from them that's when bill clinton becomes a little bit dangerous for the obama team. bill: ben hr-rb la bolt was here and i said have you seen president obama'seen bill
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clinton's speech yet. he smiled and said, not yet. we'll probably see it wednesday. bill: i don't know what the tv audience will be for this week, and we'll know friday morning when we have a better view of that, but what is to explain that you could have such a significant drop off in over four years. they are not all on the internet. the viewing audience was 17 million down. >> they don't like the record of president obama and they don't care so much for mitt romney. they are not feeling really good about their choices. that's why you don't see a lot of people tuning into the conventions. bill: are they becoming insignificant before our eyes? >> they are becoming less significant than they were. there are a lot of environmental reasons that this people not watching as much. it's not available to people as
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long. you won't catch people flipping by. it's almost becoming appointment viewing particularly on the networks where it's just that one hour. i do think there is the sense that this is a campaign where voters don't love either of the candidates. they don't like the direction of the country. they are waiting to see a big leadership argument, and that remains mitt romney's biggest opening against barack obama to make this a big leadership election about changing the course of the country rather than focusing on the small things. >> martha: in the 80s the average viewer watched the convention for 10 to 13 hours a person. the idea that obviously committed political viewers will watch more of this. but not the average americans, not spending 10, to 13 hours of summer watching speeches in the afternoon. >> the voter who is undecided that is still up for grabs is so disinterested, so disaffected, so disappointed they are not going to watch these
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conventions. i suspect they are going to watch the debates. you do find that in polling that a lot of people are sick of the ads, they think the convention are shows and they are looking forward to that real test when they are side-by-side, they can do their comparison shopping april watch botand watch both of them take the tough questions. martha: it comes down to a very subtle question that happens that very last moment when they walk into the booth and say, do i want to stick with this guy or give this guy a chance. it's a big huge question for some of them. it will be a last minute kind of, all right, perhaps. >> it's important to remember too that campaigns are reaching voters in different ways too. voters can afford to be more passive in the way that they receive information because the information is coming to them from books and social media and other things. bill: thanks to both of you. see you throughout the week. thanks. martha: thanks, guys. so we're going to have more from the convention as it starts to get rolling in a moment. we are also watching a big story that is happening right now out of washington. a top immigration official stepping down over accusations of lewd comments and behavior,
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bill: prime-time speakers, the list is out and one person you will see democrats tapping a rising star for its keynote speech on tuesday night here in charlotte. san antonio texas mayor, julian castro. he is the youngest mayor of a major u.s. city. he and miss brother harvard trained lawyers. 37 years old. the first hispanic to snag the slot at a democratic convention. some are comparing his speech to a little known state senator who was a u.s. senator out of illinois back in 2004, the keynote speech launched boom bam to the national spotlight that year. martha: the white house still reeling from a bombshell resignation this morning. immigration and customs enforcement chief of staff, susanne barr stepped down amid claims this she sexually harassed employees. she denies the accusations saying, quote in recent weeks i've been the focus of unfounded
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allegations designed to detroy my republican ration. the greatest threat is what this represents to the agency. here with more on this is arizona congressman david schweikert. he won his election on tuesday. good to have you here with us today. >> good to be here. martha: what is your reaction today to the resignation of susanne bar are. >> i'm looking at it more in the layering of what seems to be going on at ohio. in the southwest we believe ice has become a branch of the obama campaign with what they've done as the deferral on the so-called d.r.e.a.m. act population and many of the other things that seem to be going on in the immigration enforcement area. martha: so, in terms of all of that, i mean, you look at the fact that some of those officers have said that they are not allowed to do their jobs, in
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terms of ohio and als ice and the border patrol down there. i guess you're suggesting that all of that folds into this. how does that have anything to do with what she is accused of doing which is lewd sexual behavior towards employees. >> i see what the accusations against miss barr, eventually a court and litigation out there will settle and determine how true it is. i see it as a dysfunctional agency lacking discipline when you have top management being accused of lewd acts, when you have obviously the policy-makers at ice hand in glove with the white house rewriting policies for amazing timing for the election, and now we're starting to hear many of the ice officers, the border patrol officers saying, we don't know how to do our job. you're creating these rules where we pull someone over, they tell us, well i'm under 30, or i'm a student, or i did this. and they are supposed to let
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them go? it's becoming just alay erring and lay erring, whether it be lewd acts over here, our policies that make immigration enforcement almost impossible to do. martha: what happens now, i guess is the big question? peter king has said that he thinks that this resignation raises the most serious questions about management practice and personnel policies of the department of homeland security. he says his committee will continue to review that kiss and personnel practices at dhf. what is congress' next move on all of this? >> i actually think peter king will do a terrific job here of helping us pull back some of these layers to this onion. think about what darrell issa had discovered in pursuing fast and furious. once the investigation begins we learn more and more, layer after layer of bad acts happening in some of these agencies, and if some of the other mechanics that we were perceiving coming out of ice whether it be the policies that seem to be adopted to help this president get reelected and
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now we are finding out some of the dysfunction, resignation of miss barr in senior management, those of us in congress i think we are very curious about what is actually going on in that agency. martha: judge andrew napolitan janet napolitano said she will not resign amid these criticisms. do you expect anything to change based upon this relentless pursuit of this issue by peter king and others on the hill? >> my expectation is maybe the public will actually get some sunshine of what is really going on, how some of the policy decisions are really happening, and ultimately for many of us is that discussion of, you know, the law of unintended consequences, with we'll call it the d.r.e.a.m. act deferrals, which is just for two years, was this orchestrated as a campaign stunt to help this president, and with complicity with senior staff at immigration and enforcement, why did this happen? how did it happen?
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what is really going on in this agency? martha: well, obviously it has made the job of some of those agents at least more difficult because they feel like the lines are not clearly drawn on who they are supposed to bring in, and who they are supposed to allow to stay without any further investigation. congressman schweikert, thank you very much. good to have you here today. >> thank you very much. martha: we'll speak with you toon. bill: we are tracking the vice president joe biden hitting a bit of a bump in the road in michigan, what his secret service detail is looking for. and detroit later today, we'll tell you what that is all about. live in charlotte moments away. whoa.
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jon: i'm jon scott. jenna lee will be along in nine minutes with what's happening now. big democratic guns coming around to rally behind barack obama. what is going on in charlotte. how will the democrats top the g.o.p. convention last week. are you better off than you were four years ago? that is the question republicans are asking these days, do democrats have a good answer? a fair & balanced look at that. plus closing arguments set to begin in the drew petersen trial. how each side will try to make its case to jurors with no physical evidence tying the former cop to the death of his third wife. it's all coming up, "happening now" at the top of the hour.
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martha: you know not every campaign event can go quite according to plan. a u-haul truck holding equipment for vice president joe biden was stolen in downtown detroit saturday night. the secret service rented the truck to move equipment but when they returned to the site of the truck it was not there any more. >> i'm not surprised of it. they would steal from nare momma. >> it ain't going to make no black eye for the city of detroit. dodetroit ace good city. it just don't happen here it happen everywhere. martha: the secret service says the theft will not affect the vice president's visit to detroit. bill: oops. martha: wrist the truck. bill: what is inside of it? martha: equipment. bill: a bunch of yard signs. martha: the vice president's suitcase and his clothes for the week. bill: that would be a bad thing. all right that's from detroit. now we take you overseas. new this morning, there is
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widespread violence raging in syria as we're getting new reports of government forces bulldozing homes in damascus and other cities. meanwhile air strikes killing at least 18 people in the northern part of syria. leland vittert live in our middle east bureau. there is a change intact particulars being reported. what is that? >> reporter: it seems like right now, bill, they are trying to deny the rebels any type of civilian support. the rebels call this collective punishment, by destroying the neighborhoods which either support the rebels or the rebels used to be in and send a very clear message to the rebels and the entire syrian population if you help this insurgency civil war we will destroy everything you own. the syrian government is able to do that from above, they are able to bomb with impunity. on the ground they come in with bull doze erz into the damascus suburbs. the real point is that the rebels are too weak to be able to stop it.
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it makes every syrian pay a very high price if you support the rebels, which is the support the rebels need in order to launch an insurgency civil war the government will come and bull doze your house. to do that you have to believe the rebels will protect your house. so far they are unable to do that. president bashar al-assad may be onto something, crushing the rebels on the battlefield and denying them a police to retreat, rearm and treat their wounded. bill: will this meet anything for international involvement, leland? >> reporter: unlikely right now. we've already watched the syrian government shell entire towns, they destroyed homes, literally block by block with artillery, you have to think that right now simply bulldozing a few houses isn't going to make the united states and its allies change its tune. on the other hand president bashar al-assad is going to have to think at some point the world will get tired of his brutality and come in and decide whether there is a u.n. mandate or not they are going to indeed step in
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against president arizona. the latest u.n. enjoy who came out of syria trying to negotiate a peace says he has quote a nearly impossible job trying to do that. the syrians say they are more than happy to talk about a peace deal. they are blaming the united states, allies and some of the gulf countries, saying until the money is withdrawn from the rebels. there can be no peace. bill: leland advice earth is live in our middle east bureau in jerusalem. thank you. martha: the democratic convention kickoff soon behind us here in charlotte. they are continuing to put the finishing touches on it down there. "happening now" talks with former new mexico ambassador bill richardson, brit hume and brian swaoeut stker, and talking about president obama's hypercompetitive nature, that story getting to insight today. we'll be right back from dnc in charlotte.
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martha: here we go. the start of the dnc national convention, just about a day away. seems like we're waiting for couple days to get it started down here. see it here on america's election headquarters. complete coverage booed casting live from --

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