tv Inside Washington PBS September 9, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org. >> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> america, and never said the journey would be easily. >> this week on "inside washington," president obama makes his case for a second act. >> yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is long work, but
we travel it to other. we don't turn back, we leave no one behind. >> for barack, as is not about how much money you make. it is about the difference you make in people's lives. >> this man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and a spine of steel. >> on day one, they came after women's health and they have not let up since. >> and the big dog is back. >> we simply cannot afford to give up the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle-down. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> i don't want to bore you with numbers, but i will stop there.
as of friday morning, the real clear politics averages were president obama, 46.7%, mitt romney, 46.7%. they are statistically tied in many of the battle ground states as well. 2/3 of the american people think the country is headed in the wrong direction. we learned that the jobless rate is down from 8.3 but still not good. the stirring oratory at the democratic national convention in charlotte aside, president obama has all mountain to climb in this election. roger, how far up the mountain has the president traveled? >> a good way up the mountainside. in fact, he builds if the mountains for the republicans. what the democrats did in three days was an almost flawless convention except for a bauble
on the platform, was to bring their party together and energize it and get out the vote and making the important recasting of the parties. they cast the republican party as the party of complaint and defeat that was selling american short, while the democrats were willing to take the hard path to lead us to the white patright p. >> charles, was that the convention you watch? >> no, i saw a completely different one. i saw a party that give a slow- growth, anemic recovery, not talk about the consequences of its policies. it couldn't. it talked about empathy. this is all about empathy. only reason obama is not 20 points behind, which she should be on the basis of his record, is that there is a huge empathy gap, 20 points ahead
of romney, who cares about americans. this is all about empathy and log cabin origins but they put on a hell of a show. a lot of tears in that audience. >> colby, tell me about the convention you watched. >> i was not in the same universe as charles -- >>, it you do live in a completely different world. [laughter] and you drink -- what is it, the kool-aid, your favorite drink? >> well, you are getting off to quite a star, charles. i thought the democratic convention when fairly well. i don't think it was just a matter of empathy. they one over the things that i consider to be achievements. clearly, the gender gap that is their was widened by the
greatest play put on by some of the speakers, from michelle obama to ledbetter. they were all substantive -- obviously, i don't see the way charles sees it. >> i caught up with mark shields on the hot, crowded streets of charlotte, and his take on the challenges facing the president. to make a choice. if ideas are referendum on whether barack obama has done a good job, -- if it is is a referendum on whether problem has been a good job, they are in trouble. >> if we rehire you, do we get an answer to that? >> i was stunned. that was one of the emptiest speeches i've ever heard on a national stage. he not only did not talk about the past. if he is so proud of his record,
his three great legislative attempts -- obamacare, stimulus, cap-and-trade -- no mention whatsoever in his speech. he cannot speak about the past, he cannot speak about his own agenda, which liberals like but the country doesn't, and any part about the future, he pulled the numbers out of at. 600,000 new people working on natural gas, 2 million people on a retraining. these are numbers invented. he did not explain once. he is the party of government. he did not say once what programs, what policies, what he would do to actually achieve these numbers. i found it astonishingly lazy and incomplete. >> did he tell us how the next four years are going to be different? >> o december -- in some
important respects, he did. he said th talked about men -- care and said that republicans would turn -- he talked about medicare and said that republicans would turn it into a vouchercare. charles accurately pinpoints the empathygap. the problem for romney is that there is no huge romney movement in this country. there is a sizable anti-obama movement in the country, and when obama cut into that feeling, it boosts him and since romney -- sinks romney. >> one of clinton's lines really hit home. the amount of hate that republicans have for barack obama is just astounding. it is not just political differences. it is really rock, visceral h ate. and you hear it week after week,
day after day, moment after moment through the fox crowd. >> that is complete rubbish. i've not heard one republican use the language that the leader of the california delegation used in describing paul ryan as the goebbels of our time, as a nazi. he had to excuse himself and return home because of a previously scheduled root canal. >> if you are attempting to say that you have not heard a visceral hatred spread for barack obama, then we just -- maybe i will stop the show. >> let's not, just to be nice to me. the first lady wins rave reviews, but not for everyone. >> when you work hard and have done well and go through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. >> i thought michelle obama did
an enormously effective job without ever mentioning mitt romney's name, without mentioning the fact that there was a republican party or republican nominee for president. and dramatically and graphically drawing the differences between these two individuals, particularly their life story and how the values have been formed. >> charles, your turn. >> how much did you have to pay for that studio space? it was impressive. >> it cost a fortune. [laughter] >> yes, michelle obama -- it was a brilliantly cynical speech, don marvelously. the theme was that he loves his children, his wife, his family, and therefore he loves everybody could i buy the first three -- i think he is a terrific guy in that way. but it is a non sequitur. her whole argument, if there was an argument -- it was really
anecdotes' -- because there is all this empathy, it drives his agenda. it drained him from any ideological or personally ambitious motive for his drive for power and reelection. this is a guy who is extremely ideological, enormously ambitious. he sees himself as world- historical. to pretend, as she did it successfully, there's nothing of that in him was simply a marvel. >> "brilliantly cynical." i guess that his praise. >> i cannot believe you are going at the man's wife. but he did. >> because she is a woman? >> did you offer similar comments about ann romney's speech? >> it was a different speech. >> did and she talked about her husband, feeling?
no, let's not do that -- >> are you saying -- >> when it comes to the obamas, for goodness' sake, they do nothing right. i will accept that from you, charles street they do nothing right. maybe they should just die. >> break it up, roger. >> sasha and malia are marvelous human beings. seriously, i thought was a fine speech, but ann romney did a good job, too. these are speeches by spouses talking about white they love their husbands and one that matters, but i think michelle obama brought it to any level by saying that the presidency does not change who you are, it reveals who you are. that was her point. look at how the president has acted the last four years. look at how mitt romney behavior as a candidate -- behave as a
candidate is telling us about his past, his tax returns? >> if she did not say that. >> but the implication might be there. >> don't accept the sexist assumption that i am required to have the same reaction to any woman, any spouse, giving a speech. second, i think the ann romney speech was less effective than the michelle obama speech. she had a riff about how much she loves women. i thought that was unnecessary and it sounded force. the part in which she spoke about her husband was effective. but warning him of is harder than warming up obama. >> but cynical? >> oh, yes. of course it was cynical. >> abortion, contraception, the women's vote. >> the democratic party establishes of relentlessly
through the johnny one note mantra that they are the pro- abortion rights a party. that has been the essential message of this convention up to now. people are worried a lot more about the economy and growth and their kids' future. this is a message to try to engage, i guess, emotionally, passionately, and actively purchase women in voting for barack obama. they must be concerned about not participating. >> johnny one-note. do you agree with that? >> i don't know if it is one-no, but they had accurately portray themselves as the party that cares about women and not waging war on women. they vote in greater proportions to the population and then to enter it mitt romney has a 20% gap with women.
that means he is getting 20% fewer women than barack obama is. that is a huge gap for perhaps the most important voting bloc of america. >> charles? >> i am still struck -- you must spend a fortune on all those extras in the shot with mark. and looks so spontaneous. >> walking down the street. >> look, this women stuff -- there were excellent speeches, sebelius, and rahm emanuel. they were not in prime time, but they were exactly what you want at the convention did her thing was on obamacare and she did extremely well. rahm spoke about "i was on the scene when the guy came in office, and he saved the west," essentially. a little bit of what tall tale. the worst speech was -- sandra
fluke is her name? -- that the civil-rights issue of her time is that she ought to have others pay for contraceptives. a remarkably entitled an appealing argument -- and u nappealing argument. >> colby? >> i thought one of the effective moments of the convention was the teddy kennedy tribute, where they showed the excerpt of the debate between ted kennedy and mitt romney, in which mitt romney declared his unswerving commitment to a woman's right to choose, and he did not want to interfere with that. look at where he is now. what more can you say about this? >> wonderful line -- "i am pro- choice, governor romney is multiple choice." >> has anything changed?
>> what has changed is the way the country looks at a portion 20 years later. it is the one social issue where the country has moved right. 50% of americans are self- described pro-choice, 10% more than the -- i'm sorry, i got that wrong. half are pro-life, and that is more than the number who are pro-choice, which is a real change from 20 years ago that we saw in that clip. >> in a lot of talk about the economy and women's issues. what did it they not talk about at the convention? >> what they did not talk about what they should a park what is the economy and the deficit. -- what they should have talked about is the economy and the deficit. >> the president mentioned the deficit. >> not to the extent that he should have. he has got to talk about that, when are we going to get out of it. what kind of obstacles he's
encountering to do it. you don't take on something like that necessarily in an acceptance speech, but at the convention, they did not even address it. that is something that is really a glaring omission. >> and a mission of the four years. obama did not touch it in the four years, and he is supposed to be making a speech about the vision of the future. everybody understands that the threat we are facing as to do with rising entitlements because of an aging population and medical care. roger mentioned medicare and how obama is going to hang onto it. obama said in july of last year no matter how much you raise taxes, medicare is unsustainable. he has done nothing on that,
nothing on social security, nothing on tax reform, and that is why he had nothing to say. >> it felt like "thelma and louise"-- >> what was not said, the most emotional moment of the three days, the parents of gabby giffords -- the appearance of debbie giffords giving the pledge of allegiance. how many of the democrats who spoke at night mentioned gun control? the democrats don't want to talk about it. they want to cheer for gabby and have driven one of lucretias, and she is both of those things. -- how brave and wonderful she is, and she is both of those things. but coming out for gun safety laws is a way to prevent future gabby giffords. >> what about god and wrestle?
> -- to jerusalem? >> all swell that ends well. how they were taken out, i don't understand. they still don't have an answer as to why the omission. at the end of the day, they put it back, but it was called to attention by their opponents. it was just klutzy. >> i thought was revealing. i watched it at live. everybody was stunned, because everybody expected that the restoration would go easily. it was obvious that the nos or at least as strong as the yeas, and the chairman, the mayor of l.a., was totally stunned. he had to call the vote three times. it was obvious that it cannot pass, and yet he declared it passed, and the reaction from the the crowd, who watched the
vociferousness of the opposition to an inclusion of jerusalem, i think it will lead to an impression of the democrats having changed from the party that was sso strongly supportive of israel. >> was a bad moment for the democrats. it will be less remembered and then to clint eastwood moments -- and the clint eastwood moments. the republicans had strong abortion language. who cares, let's get it done but democrats -- forget about god, forget about jerusalem, let's get it done president. obama himself said we have to change that language. >> a lot of talk about the military at this convention, but not as much -- >> i think, and somebody like
bill kristol also made this observation about romney's acceptance speech, to not even acknowledge the troops was a glaring omission. it says nothing about, as far as i'm concerned, romney's commitment or patriotism, but how they could have left it out -- >> tactical mistake? >> we saw a stunning shift with the democratic party became the party of military patriotism, walking the republicans for what colby just said, not thinking the troops, but also romney saying it was not worth going after bin laden. >> the man of few words, william jefferson clinton. >> i want to nominate a man who is cool on the outside but who burns for america on the inside. [applause]
and by the way, after last night, i want a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama. [applause] >> bill clinton in rare form, nominating a man who defeated hillary clinton in april primary fight four years ago. >> with bill clinton, there is no limit. i have been watching him since he was governor of arkansas my wife worked closely with him when he was governor. i like watching him in public, watching him in private. this guy is unbelievable. he connects with people, he connect with the crowd. that's not go into what kind of speech it was. it was very effective for what he had to do. >> you saw the speech and you
thought, boy, that old dog can still do it. when i saw him hugging barack obama on stage, i thought to myself, this may be the hug that reelect the president. charles has been exactly on point twice today. he talked about the empathy gap between obama and romney, and he talked about how ann romney had a more difficult time warming her husband up and then meshaal did. you don't vote for a guy you don't like. >> you are a psychiatrist. here are two tankers in a cage. how do they come together and hug like this? >> i am a psychiatrist in remission. [laughter] clinton is a wonder of the world. we have this incredible performer -- >> who was impeached.
>> and here he is great but i thought the speech was ineffective in promoting obama. it was all about clinton, and he spoke 50 minutes. he went on to these rates paid by the end, i expected him to say, you know, i have second thoughts -- [laughter] i withdraw the nomination of barack obama para i will place myself in nomination. and for those of you who are constitutional sticklers, how about my wife? i would love to the roll call on that. it would have been close. >> after that speech, bill clinton went to another gathering and held forth for another 20 minutes. >> remember when he and gore or on the bus, you could never get them back on the bus because they wanted to talk to everybody in every town in america.
>> he worked the rope line after the speech, and the longer he spoke, it drove his staff crazy. he said, look, there are people with small children who say, when you grow up, you met the president on that day. bill clinton, whenever you want to say about how he conducted himself, had a very important and elevated view of the office of the presidency. >> i am not sure exactly that is how he conducted himself with that perception of the office of the presidency, which in the end of the disgraced. >finally, a word from mark shields. how many of these have been covered? >> this is my 21st national convention. >> you still enjoying it? >> i enjoyed it too much. i am a person in the late stages early senility, and i still enjoy it. that's ted strickland! did you hear the speech he gave
last night? >> two of the most popular people at the democratic national convention, michelle, and mark shields. the most popular people of the republican convention, paul ryan and charles krauthammer. last word. thanks. see you next week. >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org.