tv Democratic National Convention MSNBC September 4, 2012 4:00pm-9:59pm PDT
political season. speak important a high and principled reason. and people will learn who you are. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. msnbc's special coverage of the democratic national committee starts now. four years ago a major party nominated an african-american presidential candidate for the first time in american history. now nearly four years into his first term, with the war in iraq over and the war in afghanistan still on, with osama bin laden dead, auto industry rescued, economy out of the freefall it was in but nowhere near where it needs to be, tonight the democratic party makes its case for four more years for president barack obama. an address tonight from the first lady. keynote tonight from a young
fast-rising star who even republicans say could be the first latino president. the democrats make their case for young voters, latinos, for women, middle class. it starts tonight. msnbc's prime time coverage of the democratic national committee begins right now. ♪ >> thank you for joining us. i'm rachel maddow. here with me are ed schultz,al sharpton, steve shmitt. lawrence o'donnell will be joining us as well. leading our coverage from charlotte, north carolina, the site of the democratic
convention this year, it is, of course, my friend and colleague chris matthews. chris, the data is mixed on whether republicans got any sort of bump in the polls out of their convention last week. but beyond just the raw numbers, what do you think that the democrats most want and need to get done this week? >> well, the numbers may tell you something. there was no bounce at all hardly at all from the republicans. but for the difference in the sound and feel of the crowds, last week was like a business convention. people had to go to. this is a joyous crowd. we have never gotten a warmer reception from msnbc than i felt here. excitement of happy faces, diversity. it is a different version of the dream, democratic party. also, democrats just have more fun than republicans. so when you are down here they just enjoy life more. it is a wide open feeling. i think it is fair based on the number last night, overnights and results we had, just people watching the evening before, labor day night last night on this network, tells you there is a lot of excitement. you know what i think?
i think they need a booster shot like when you are a kid. you get that first shot that inoculation, we got -- the country got tonight 2008. i think the democratic party this week needs a booster shot. little pain last few years but promise of better help to come. that's phrase i would you don't to describe this week. there is a much better put. that's what the democrats have to get across to the millions of people still stuck in the mid. >> narrative over the last, i guess, couple of years on the republican side has been division. republicans dealing with primary challengers to their own incumbent candidates and rise of the tea party movement. democratic narrative has been about depression. has been about democrats not being enthusiastic about the loss of the magic. right? you are saying that at least in charlotte right now, it doesn't feeling like that alt. >> i feel a lot -- the democrats are wild and willie crowd. er in not always logical. i have been at conventions they didn't have a prayer and happiest, almost delirious in
san francisco in 1984 and were not going to beat ronald reagan with mondale. there is a lot of happiness here. if the president -- let's start with the first lady tonight. i would expect -- she will come out on that stage tonight, looking like a million bucks. she will look like the all-american first lady. it is going to drive people up here through the roof. i think when bill clinton hits here tomorrow, elvis is coming tomorrow night. elvis. bubba, big guy. the big guy. there's not enough names for that guy when he shows up here. you expect by the time biden and obama hit that floor or hit that stadium thursday night, this place will be through the roof. democrats are ready to strike. by the way, you didn't say it. what they are afraid of may be as bigs what they hoped for. because the democrats see them coming. never have a presidency without a war ever. they always have a war ready inform go like a little pezz machine. another war coming. iran next time. they see that coming. they see the religious right ready to come in and take away
their rights and supreme court ready to be pruned down to a completely right-wing operation. they see a lot of things coming then don't like the looks of. women especiallily and mine ports and hispanics, never accepted in this country by the republican party that takes over and says our number one goal is to deport all of you. it is not going to be very popular. lot of this right now is going to be about fear of the enemy at the gate. i think that's part of what will propel this party through thursday might. >> i think that you are right. i think the democrats have a two-part goal for this week. one of it is one part of it is defining their opposition. right? defining opposition the way you are talking about. the other thing, of course, is consolidate the facts that exist there. and consolidating the dined of enthusiasm chris says he seeing on the ground. there is one thing that's going on for the democrats this year that appears to be totally unique in modern history. and that is that looks like the incumbent president this year will be outspent. potentially by a lot. last night on the eve of the democrats opening their
convention, romney side leaked to reporters that the republicans for the third straight month raised $100 mmm or more. for the fourth straight month, the republicans outraised president obama and the democrats. the first month they outraised the president was may. and they did it again in june and did it again in july. and we do not yet know what the democrats raised in august but the republicans continue to blow the roof off with a $100 million plus month. no, those numbers don't count the outside expenditures by the super pacs. that effectively functions as extensions of the campaigns and in any language other than legalese. karl rove's groups plan to add another $300 million on the republican side. alone conservative billionaire brothers charles and david koch plan to spend $400 million against president obama and democrats this year. they claim to spend -- put that in perspective, these two guy, plan to spend more than the entire john mccain campaign spent in 2008.
money is always a huge factor. even a defining factor in national elections. but no president seeking re-election has ever been at a financial disadvantage to his opponent. this is a brand-new thing. bringing into the discussion lawrence o'donnell who is in charlotte for us. lawrence, let me ask you about what chris was say being enthusiasm on the ground. what it feels like there. also, about this issue, democrats, big financial challenge. >> well, the proof of the enthusiasm is that harry reid just took the stage to a standing ovation. i think that's the first one, i believe that's the first one in recorded history for harry reid outside of nevada. but that's what this crowd about. this is a really enthusiastic crowd. as chris can tell you, this is normally the time, the hour, in a convention where no one is listening. there is a speaker up there who has a microphone. no one on the floor hears a word and don't care who it is because they are waiting for the big event. they are actu having they have quieted down because this crowd is now very
well educated on what it takes to get things done in washington. what kind of majority you need in the senate and struggle this president and harry reid has with the problem of needing 60 votes to get things through. on the financial, what challengers to incumbent presidents will always tell you is it would only be fair if the challenger has more money because the president has air force one and rose garden. the president has incumbency and president has all sorts of tremendous advantages and that's always true of any incumbent president running but what we are seeing here in this fund-raising is unprecedented and very troubling terms and in terms of the uncontrolability of it and the lack of connective tissue to the candidate himself. romney will have so much money being spent on his behalf and that he will not have to defend and no matter what they say in those super pac ads, that's the new dynamic of this. and when we have seen the -- polls be so stubborn on mitt
romney, there's reason to not fear -- democratic circles, there's reasons not to fear that gigantic money bubble they have now, that it is going to be targeted, we have to remember, all of it, all of it will be targeted to only eight states. >> lawrence, thank you. i-want to bring in chris on that question, too. in terms of what we know about how the democrats are going to try to deal with their financial disadvantage. do they need to campaign -- different way than they usually would in order to account for being the poor kid at the table here? i mean, they -- the democrats greatly you spent john mccain in 2008. they have that luxury. they are the opposite position now. >> they have to be doing what they haven't done the last few days. whether it is on welfare or i built this may self or it is the latest stuff from ryan. and they have to -- atune the voters to the fact the other side is quite willing to deal dishonest in its advertising campaign because supposed the koch brothers and rest have a lot of money at the last minute and can say almost anything now.
they are ruthless about saying things well outside of the strike zone. if they do that, the democrats have to prepare the -- undecided voters as well as their own base, not to believe that stuff. this is the dangerous thing. if you apply huge amounts of money, last minute spending, with developments and honestly take place, maybe a good showing by romney or -- ryan in the debates, maybe what they make look like a good sale, or a bad unemployment number coming in last weekend of the campaign. and they can blow that up to the biggest thing in the world. they have honest truth to deal with and dishonesty to deal with. monday kwlind it all, they don't necessarily have the truth. they can sell untruths and right on the eve of the election, we have never had a situation like this with so much firepower and money power that can be used dishonestly and the voters and the democrats have no chance to respond in time. >> i want to go now to andrea mitch whole is on the convention floor for us. andrea, we are hearing from lawrence and chris that this feels like a different level of excitement and engagement from
the people on the floor. i want to get your perspective on that because you are on the floor. also look ahead to what people are expecting from the first lady michelle obama's speech tonight. >> look, that is part of the reason for the excitement because first of all, have you these people and the configuration as you can see behind me, i'm above the podium which is a really great vantage point. as you can see, people are -- very, few people, very few delegations are actually on the floor. it is a bowl. they are up and around on the sides. that is, i think, making it sound a lot larger, louder, than it actually might be. it is very loud. they are very excited and they are not all here yet. there are a lot of empty seats. typically people are at dinner now but will be here in time for the keynote address. people are excited to hear castro the keynote speaker, but principally this is michelle obama's night. she is already throughout the campaign. they sent sought an e-mail a half hour ago asking people to text and send in $3 donations in advance of her speech.
she told ryan seacrest today on his radio show she had not watched ann romney's speech and came here briefly to look at the stage and look at the teleprompters but this is a woman who no longer needs to practice. she is pthe political pro, far more than her husband. second most popular anything in the country right now. the most popular political figure in the country is bill clinton who, of course, gives the big speech tomorrow night. but her speech tonight is going to be all about you need to know more about barack, you need to know more about my husband. it is a big pitch to women, to the struggling middle class, talking about empathy and how much he cares. and that's the personal side. she's really selling him and his policies. >> thank you very much. we are told to expect that sort of personal address from the first lady tonight. the hulian castro keynote address cess enly to put your spotlight on this young up and comer in the democratic party, see what the future leadership
ranks of the democratic party may look like. we are told a lot of the undercard speeches tonight are going to be what they call sharp contrast numbers. meaning you are going to hear a lot about mitt romney and paul ryan. looks like it is going to be a big, aggressive speech night. democrats planning on doing a big tribute kennedy legacy tonight. that's coming up this hour. please stay with us. this gets going and fast. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ]
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about mitt romney's position on immigration. none. there were lots and lots of latino speakers at the convention who were not speaking about that issue either. there was almost no talk last week of mitt romney's position on choice and access to contraception. there were a lot of female speakers at the convention who were not speaking about that issue. targeting specific demographic groups of voters can be as much of a game of personnel as politics and policy. for a look at which dprugroups vote terse democrats are focusing on their convention this week, let's bring in alex wagner. >> thanks. unlike the republican convention where women were certainly seen but policy was not exactly heard in addition to those 30 congressmen who were on stage now kicking off the night, the dnc is going to feature a video on reproductive rights followed by a speech by nancy keenan. the schedule also includes a video on pay equality and followed by a speech from fair pay activists and champion lilly
ledbetter. likewise, democrats going beyond the rnc hispanic outreach strategy by showcasing the accomplishments of president obama's first term. particularly the nomination of justice sotomayor. julian castro, mayor of san antonio will become the first latino to deliver the keynote address at a democratic convention. but while the president holdsing a 34-point lead among hispanic voters, only 49% of latino voters said they have a high level of interest in this election. democrats are also focused on young voters who vote for the president by a 34-point margin in 2008. but recent polling found just 61% of americans age 18 to 29 plan to be vote compared with 86% of older voters who are breaking for mitt romney by double digits. hat tip to the kids. tonight cal penn, herald and kumar fame, prime time speaking slot shortly after 9:00 p.m.
some part of tonight's appeal to the youth vote includes a focus on veterans, many of the troops returning home from iraq and afghanistan are, of course, younger americans. the first lady will speak about her experience working with military families and president obama signed the vow to hire heroes act this past move which already seems to be producing results. this past july overall veterans unemployment reached a three-year low at 6.9% and jobless rate for iraq and afghanistan veterans was at 8.9%, down from 12.9% rate a year ago. need lost to say, given the tightness of this race, democrats need the base to turn out and to turn out big. tonight we will see some serious muscle exercised on just that. >> thank you. appreciate that. you know, on that specific issue of women voters being targeted, i should note what you are looking at here, see all those people on the stage. more than 30 female members of the house of representatives, along with several women voting for the house. several women on stage now. yes. several will be speaking
tonight. hearing from house nancy pelosi. one of the candidates who is in this big group of women speaking right now is women, gabbard, iraq war veteran and army national guard captain. she was the youngest person ever elected to the state legislature in her state. she's running for congress, r. as a former candidate and somebody who has been a civil rights activist involved with democratic politics at all these years, when you look at the democrats' efforts to sort of target themselves to and try to enthuse specific groups of voters hoshgs you do you judge whether they are likely to be successful? >> i think that you have got to deal with people's sense of urgency. enthusiasm is one thing. as i travel a lot around this time, around voter i.d. and
other nonpartisan issues, i'm sensing that when people feel they are under attack, civil rights being taken, women's rights, voter rights, and you have the citizens united decision where they are just going to dump money. people respond personally to that. so there is going to be a large segment of americans that will vote for the president because they like the president. they like his wife, love his wife. his family. but there is a segment now that i think the republicans have offended, have insulted. the key think is if you pulled them out, then it is -- this election will turn because people say wait a minute, i may not acree with everything the president says, i may think more could have been done, but you are going to change the rules on my i.d. to vote? are you going to change the rules on how we define rape? i mean, they have kind of jumped the line of where a lot of people would say had is beyond the politics of the moment. and if they con to pursue this, they will help to drive the
turnout. >> i'm struck also thinking about this battle for latino votechers has become so central partly because so much is baked in demographically among white voters and african-american voters and seen as a key constituency. i mean, when you look at the policy of the president, it has been a remarkable change from deporting more immigrants than -- under the bush administration and causing a very serious outcry. horrible polling numbers and a real backlash to the newest policy of essentially using his executive power to implement something that looks like the dream act which is when you talk about what is going on in someone's life, there is almost nothing, no matter of policy greater. aside from perhaps being sent to war. than the feeling of being able to stay in the country without the arm of the law about to come and knock on your door at any moment. that is as close as it gets. when you think about voters that know people who are now in the situation where they can go file paperwork and go to college with a clear mind and heart, that --
that is as -- as concrete a deliverable as you get as opposed to whatever receipt vick coming out -- >> let me say this quickly. >> yes, please. >> when you have every candidate in the republican primaries standing with the sheriff who is the personification of that, then it drives people that may have -- president obama's initial immigration policy, to say wait a minute, this is a guy that walked people in pink underwear through the streets of phoenix and you guys embrace him? he is facing a federal lawsuit on civil rights among the latinos and immigration. you guys embrace him. i have got to maintain president obama. and they have done that. i think it will come back to haunt him. >> something instinctively tells me the democrats aren't going to have a hard time winning these issues. when it comes to social justice. they have always been able to trump the republicans on that. i think the democrats in this convention have to capitalize where the republicans were
innately weak for some odd reason. last week they did not seal the deal they could run business in this country. not one person came to the plate for the republicans last week and -- really map out a strategy on how to get the economy better. and i think in -- if -- if the democrats can come out and make the case that they are business friendly and that they can put things on the table and be more visionary in a business sense, and -- they have -- really been walked right into a great mayortive here by the question about the four years ago stuff. and we will get to that a little later. i think this is a ream opportunity for the democrats to be business friendly. look, i know we all like government to do good things. but if a private business doesn't work there is no tax money. if business doesn't pay taxes, the government is not going to be able to run. so a business has to thrive and that's how people get employed and this is the real opening that has been given to the democrats in this convention. >> in terms of the republicans'
efforts last week, they are in the position of trying to define their opposition but because their opposition is the incumbent presidency everybody has an opinion on president obama one way or the other. the democrats have the advantage of being able to define the other side which -- other side which is much more of a blank slate. people don't necessarily have an opinion about mitt romney and paul ryan. but how do you think the republicans did with what was handed to them? >> one of the things you saw last week is the great sensitivity with which the republicans went after the president when they were criticizing him. acutely aware the president is personally popular. so you heard the message. he's not a bad person. he's a bad president. no such thing with mitt romney. the likability numbers much lower. levels of attacks will be much more harsh, lot more fire and brimstone directed at mitt romney. i do think as democrats come into this week it is very reminiscent of where president bush was eight years ago. he went into that convention under 50%. he went into that convention with the chief issue of that
campaign being iraq. the war had become unpopular. people viewed the war as a muss take. we are giving advantages to his opponent in terms of handling it. that all turned around at the convention. by the time the convention ended people believed iraq was, in fact, not a mistake and it was the right policy thing to do, the president came out with the lead and never looked back for the rest of the campaign. i think fundamentally, the president who has a disadvantage now in polls on the handling of the economy, will he be able to reset that this week? will people leave here -- people watching at home have a different appreciation for what he inherited and will they have a did you have set of views and in terms of the job he is doing? if they can get right size order that question, it is going to be a big bounce for him coming out of it. >> i think these are all the same discussion, too. when you look at them going after women voters and young voters and veterans and middle class people, latinos, different groups we are talking about, what we keep hearing from the people who are real experts about the specific demographic
groups they want to hear about the policies that are specific to those groups. but what -- what everybody wants is a job. what everybody wants to hear about is how this specifically relates to the economy and then they need to be spoken to in ways specific to them and in their own communities. it is all about the economy. let me bring in chris matthews on this. >> i want to agree with steve in terms of the convention. the obvious exception of clint eastwood. the empty chair. i have never seen a president treated like a person so small they are invisible and treated with that kind of disdain but that's obviously an aberration. i want to talk about the general strategy here. there is an old rule of pennsylvania politics. spend the first half of the campaign kicking the guy below the belt as hard as you can. while he is holding himself in protection below the belt you talk about the future of pennsylvania. yeah. during the convention when everyone was watching, it was clean. no hits below the belt. going into that convention, relentless commercials about welfare, slurs about birth certificates, hanging around
with -- whole thing, message was already sent before you got to tampa. so could you put on your sunday best down there. everybody who knew that -- the scars were still there. they hit hard below the belt. and they will do it again. you are right technically no clean punching -- no unclean punching except for eastwood. the message had been sent. all over the country. there's a joke here about the president's legality in this country as our president. that's a joke supposedly. and this whole thing about welfare which is the most loudest, trumpet call of the campaign call to date. those noises were still being heard as we went to tampa. >> people should go back and look at the numbers from the bush convention. the bounce was enormous. what that convention did, i mean, single-handedly changed that election around. he was polling behind john kerry and they got an unbelievable bounce out of that convention. and what we are seeing now, the numbers coming out of the rnc so far look nothing like that. there is a real opportunity here just purely politically in
polling to have your message for three straight days and -- if they can do something like what bush in 2004 -- >> substantively see the democrats putting their -- sticking their chins out on the national security issue the way the republicans did in that 2004 campaign. complete reversal of the two parties' positions in terms of what they see on their strength of that issue. republicans have pivoted since their convention to try to make barack obama seem like he's the second coming of jimmy carter. in a signing president obama that role they would like you to see mitt romney as the second coming of ronald reagan. republicans have been trying to do it for some -- to some degree all four years of mr. obama's presidency. saying that barack obama is jimmy carter and mitt romney is ronald reagan is not just a rhetorical charge. it is sort of an empirical charge.
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looking at here live from the democratic national committee. jimmy carter. >> president obama's first day in office, i watched him. as i know have you. face these tough decisions. always put the emphasis on middle class americans above those who often with the larger wallets have an ever louder voice. i admire him for that. because president obama sits behind that desk every day people from plains, georgia, to pittsburgh have someone that's on their side. thinking about them, working to give them an equal chance in life. in four shore years he worked to avert economic calamity. brought a zig anyfied toned the ill-conceived war in iraq. and signed into law historic health care reform. a dream already decades overdue when i called for it at this convention 36 years ago.
he has done it all in the face of bitter, unyielding and, in fact, unprecedented partisan opposition. overseas president obama restored the reputation of the united states within the community. dialling a and collaboration are once again possible with the return of spirit and trust and good will to our foreign policy. of course, there remains much to do. communities across america and countries around the world, life is too hard for too many people. we see their struggle and also our hearts go out to them. in the coming years our hands must continue to reach out to them. after all that remains to be done and at home and abroad, the evidence is overwhelming. president obama is a leader for america and we faison slaught of some of the most complicated and international challenges to confront any u.s. president in modern times. it is up to all of us to make
sure that the american people understand exactly what is at stake. and at risk in this election. with president obama in oval office we can make good progress towards becoming a fairer, stronger, more prosperous america. and a nation adjusted to changing and challenging times, hold it true to unchanging principles. a leader among the community of nations. next month, god willing, i will enter the 88th year of my life. and one month later, we will enter a voting booth in our hometown of plains and cast another vote for barack obama and joe biden who will do so with a confidence and conviction that they understand challenges and difficult choices that face our nation and our people and all people of the world in the years ahead. one thing i have learned over my lifetime is as a submarine officer, president, and as leader of the center is that the
biggest challenges and problems that that we face don't live -- lends themselves to quick fixes, rhetoric of a television commercial. solutions are complex and difficult requiring the judgment and skull and pauschens to pursue the right policies to the right reasons. there is a clear choice facing voters this november. and i am confident that the policies have been examined and the record performances have been reviewed, barack obama and joe biden who l once again to lead our beloved country to a better future. thank you. [ applause ] >> former president jimmy carter addressing the delegates in charlotte by video. four shore years, president obama's worked to avert economic calamity, brought a dignified end to the war in iraq, sign flood law health care reform. done it in unprecedented
partisan opposition. president carter himself of course served one term. defeated for re-election by ronald reagan who famously asked voters in that campaign are you better off now than you were four years ago. and hey, look, that same question is trending today on twitter because the republican party paid for it to trend. the republican national committee is paying to sponsor the #areyoubetteroff. for help with answering those questions is ezra. >> you know, this question of are you better off now than you were four years ago, i have actually been working on it all day. it is kind of surprisingly a weird, hard question to answer and to get out in a good way. for starters four years ago, george w. bush was president. not barack obama. and he still would be president for a couple of months yet. perhaps a better question would be are you better off now than you were three years and eight months or so ago which is when
barack obama was inaugurated. now, since then, the economy's experienced a net loss of about 316,000 jobs. private sector combined real weekly wages are up by 0.6%. stock market, s&p 500, has risen by 70%. if you have got a lot of money in the market, you are definitely better off now than you were three years and eight months ago. if you lost your job, not so much. but president obama started in the middle of a convulsive economic downturn. blaming him for, say, the epic job losses in february 2009. almost 800,000 that month alone would be like -- blaming a fire fighter inform for dooj done by a blaze what when he is still getting out after truck. mitt romney agrees with that. he said whoever is elected should get, quote, a least six months or a year to get the policies in place. so if you give obama's policies that year, if you go by mitt romney's clock, now you begin in february of 2010. since that time, the economy has
add order net 4 million jobs. the stock has risen by 30%. so things have definitely improved since then. but voters tend to worry not about last four years or last three. they toned focus on the last year or so. you can ask george h.w. bush or jimmy carter. both of whom had positive economic records over the full course of their presidencies but were plagued by economic trouble during their re-election campaign year. so if you look at only the last year or so, the economy has added about 1.9 million jobs, weekly raises risen by 0.6% and the stock market is up by by 8%. now what makes the question are you better off so perfect sis steply weird and hard to answer in a -- you don't have all those numbers, is the president in this country not a dictator, the -- path of the economy is only partially about policy and -- made in washington and the policies in place today only
partially reflect barack obama's preferences. he wanted to pass the american jobs act, republicans in congress said no. if that bill had passed most economists would have added many more jobs in 2012 alone. and the numbers about what happened don't tell us another important question which is what would have happened under another president. if mitt romney was president in 2008. own beyond that they don't answer the single most important question important this election or any other. which is which candidate do you think would do more to make you better off four years from now. >> thank you. seeing it laid out in that grid according to the calendar or mitt romney's calendar or the calendar probably matters is very, very sobering. when you look at those numbers, most people make their decision on what happened the last year before the election, are you a determinist about that? do you feel like the election goes whatever way the economy says lit go? >> you know, there's so much hatred out there for president obama, you know, there's so much money being thrown against him
as the person the leader of the country, there are a lot of green arrows there. democrats can't shy away from telling that story. being a radio talker, i believe that words mean something. what i did, went back and dug up a soundbite from george w. bush back object september 24 of 2008. four years ago this month. this is what the president said at the time about the economy. >> this is an extraordinary time for america's economy. over the past few weeks, many americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. i understand their worry and frustration. we have seen triple digit swings in the stock market. major financial constitutions teeter order the edge of collapse and some have failed. as uncertainty has grown many banks restricted lending. credit mark vets frozen and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money. we are in the midst of a serious
financial crisis. >> serious financial crisis. did barack obama say that or was that george w. bush? now, what i took out of that sound bite was credit mark receipts frozen. the democrats have tried to explain to the american people in recent months when it was time to step up and do something for the american automobile industry, there were no takers. and, of course, republicans say well, that's really not true. the government dollars had to step in to make this a reality. one in eight jobs in ohio affected by the automobile industry. barack obama had the guts. i think this is election about guts, too. when it was time to make the call on bin laden, he was there. when it was time to make the call on how to handle egypt or handle libya, he was there in foreign policy. when it was time to step up and tell labor you are not going to get everything you want, you know, we got to go health care first, he could make the tough call not only to his adversaries but also to the people he needed to move forward with the country. i think credit markets frozen,
the president boldly stood up and put his presidency on the line, and said we are going to do something here for american workers. we are going to save this industry and not a popular decision at the time and -- this is something that they just cannot talk enough about because of the trickle down effect it has in the economy. plastics. rubber. glass. all kinds of manufacturing. the ag dollar turns over 11 times on main street. automobile dollar turns over ten times on main street. this is a big deal. >> chris matthews, in terms of what ed is say being what was going on four years ago, crazy was say being that, how come the democrats bobble this question when it first came up for them this weekend? were they not paying attention? >> i think you nailed and it your question was the answer. then weren't paying attention. maybe they were focused on romney's problems. another way to do it is in the middle what ezra did. did a great job. say would you rather be back in 2009 or 2012? would you like to live in a country which is facing on
spiking unemployment rate which is going past 10% and like to live in a country a bottom has fallen out of the financial community, dow jones dropping to the lowest level in ten years and continuing to drop. would you rather live today with the stock market doubled to 13,000 and held up there and unemployment is clearly coming down. which country do you want to live in? that would be my answer. give a political answer to a political question. this is not a spelling bee. you don't have to answer the question the way it is being put. give your answer the way you want to givility politically. only a nitwit, as ezra pointed out, would blame this president what happened between move of 2008 and when he took office and it wouldn't take a much smarter person to be mistaken again and blame him for what he couldn't control until the policy took effect. fairer way to begin judging the economic program is when it could have possibly taken effect which is well late into 2009. therefore, i think his numbers are excellent. by the way, this president has had guts and for the first lady of all -- i should say the spouse of the republican candidate, that person to say
that the grownup should take over, as if to call the president a boy is an insult. >> the nitwits have money this time. >> joe kennedy iii is running for the u.s. house this year to fill the seat of barney frank. introducing a video tribute to his uncle, late ted kennedy. >> we meet without senator kennedy. but make no mistake, he's here with us this evening. i see him in the passion of our delegates, the character of our candidates and the causes that unite us. from my uncle teddy, politics was always about people. he was from a big family. he understood that lives are measured not by line items in a budget but by first days of school, last days of summer, by promotions won and jobs lost.
new homes, broken hearts, baptisms, funerals, and every precious moment in between. i remember campaigning with him once in texas for then senator barack obama. we showed up at a hall, small border town with only a handful of voters to greet us. he didn't care. they were working folks that came out to support our candidate. uncle teddy got up and raised his hands and belted out -- [ speaking foreign language ] in a strong boston accent. the massachusetts song. uncle teddy at his best. whether a sick child, an injured soldier, unemployed worker. that idea guided him through the bigger battles. to guarantee the rye toing on, end apartheid.
bring peace to northern ireland and health care to all. it guides us and it guides us in the tough campaign ahead. as we fight for our middle class and an economy built to lass, deep fend a woman's right to choose, keep a college education affordable, protect our seniors retirement security, and ask every american to do their part to save the promise of this country. four years ago, uncle teddy marvelled at the grit and grace of a young senator who embodied the change our country sorely needed. as we pause today to remember senator kennedy, we recommit ourselves to the leader he entrusted to carry on our cause. thank you very much.
♪ >> no matter who writes the history books, when people look back on this century, they will say that edward kennedy was one of the most productive and most compassionate and most effective man who served in the united states senate in the entire history of the country. >> to boston as we show live coverage of the debate between edward kennedy and republican challenger mitt romney. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. i believe that since roev. wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it
and i sustain and support that law and the right after woman to make had a choice. >> on the question of the choice issue, i have supported the roe v. wade and i'm pro-choice. my opponent is multiple choice. when are you going to tell the people of massachusetts which health care program you favor? >> i have a plan, i have a position paper on health care. i'm happy to show it to you, senator. any time you would like. >> mr. romney, it isn't a question of showing me your paper. it is a question of showing all of the people in here that are watching this program the paper. they ought to have an opportunity to know. >> i think it is a wonderful idea to take it through piece by >> now, he looks like he's for minimum wage. now, he's for reform.
two more weeks, he may vote for me. >> mitt romney called me to congratulate me on being re-elected to the united states senate. >> the best way to find out about what a party will do is what it has done. we were the the ones that brought higher education, a medicare programs, the medicaid programs. knocked down the walls of discrimination. we brought a sound economy. sensible foreign policy. those will be the essential values of the democratic party, aren't they. >> i love this country. i believe in the bright light of hope and possibility. i always have even in the darkest hours. i know what america can achieve. i've seen it. i've lived ait and with barack obama, we can do it again. >> thank you very much.
thank you. thank you. this is the cause of my life. new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every american, north, south, east, west, young, old, will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege. >> today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be squur because of this law and the supreme court's decision to uphold it. >> if teddy were here, now he'd tell us it's time to roll up our
sleeves. get to work, fully implement the law and get on with the business of our country. >> this one was a long time coming and it's one that i knew my husband would have loved to have seen. everything he did was about the future. it was about going forward. it was about passing the torch to a new generation. >> those of us who knew teddy and worked with him here, people in both parties, know that what drove him was something more. ted kennedy's passion was born not of some are rigid ideology,
but of his own experience. that large heartedness, that concern for the plight of others is not a partisan feeling. it's not a republican or democratic feeling. it, too, is part of the american character. >> i never shied away from being called a liberal. but what i had done is stand up for my beliefs. >> the work begins anew. the hope rises again and the dream lives on.
>> in the early 1950s, young start john f. kennedy was asked to pick the five greatest senators in u.s. history. of course, he could only look backward. he would have chosen his youngest brother. that's the legacy of ted kennedy. lawrence o'donnell, your memories of working with him. >> a flight from boston this morning, it was filled with people coming to this convention. ted kennedy was one of the the big suggests on the plane, that this would be a first time most of them would have been at a convention without, all of them would have been at a convention without ted kennedy. looking at that video, i was just filled with different memories from his very first campaign in massachusetts, which was a tough one. and then that 1994 campaign, where we just showed the video of him debating mitt romney. in the senate at that time, a lot of us knew that teddy had not had a difficult campaign in many, many years and a lot of us were wondering did teddy still
have it in him? did he now how to fight it out in a campaign? i love seeing that video of that debate with mitt romney because it showed you what he had. not many people realized that the one job, there was only one job ted kennedy had before he became a united states senator. that was as an district attorney in suffolk county in boston. what you saw in that video is that ted kennedy would have been one of the greatest prosecutors massachusetts ever saw. >> thank you. i will say my note coming out of the ted kennedy was going to be, incidentally, he's also the other guy besides john mccain who's beaten mitt romney in an election. i can't believe they we want there so overtly. hard hitting stuff while being emotional stuff. still got lots ahead including the first lady's speech, the big keynote. stay with us. [ male announcer ] at scottrade, you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person,
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reid in his speech tonight going right after the issue of mitt romney not releasing more years of his tax returns. we go now to chris matthews in charlotte who is with the senator. chris? >> leader, i want to ask you about you still believe that he went all those ten years or so without paying taxes. >> the issue is mitt romney. why doesn't he show the american people his tax returns? why? it's obvious why. we have a partial one he gave us. cayman islands, bermuda, bahamas, he did not invest in american institutions, so he get out of paying taxes. why doesn't he show us his tax returns? he can't. >> i agree, but the with question is, do we have a probable cause he did something wrong? you still believe he didn't pay in taxes and that would look really bad. >> the issue is not me, it's him. if accusations were made against me and i was running for
president of the united states, i would follow what my dad did. my dad said let's look at 12. takes care of all the problems. he won't show us more than one and he gave us a promise, i'll show you another one later. >> let me ask you, if he hadn't been an bain capital, the question you'd have to ask is what was his preparation for presidency. what do you think of a person who makes money the way he did? and how that prepares him for president? the fact that he would end companies, fire d people, may have sold a xhaen in bad shape or whatever. do you think that's a good preparation or not for president? >> i think there's a better preparation for that, but the fact is, as i said in my speech, who is mitt romney? why has he tried so hard to hide himself from the american people? why won't he show us his tax returns, talk about himself? he won't because he can't because he did, the american people would understand who was
running for president. and they wouldn't want him. >> let's talk about the big accounting. have you any idea what he will do to taxes? will he cut corporate, gains taxes? keep the bush tax cuts? will he cut even further among the rich? >> he already told us he follows the ryan budget. ryan wants to cut more taxes. it would wind up, the experts say, that mr. romney would be paying 1% taxes. he boasts he's paying 13% even though he won't show us his tax returns. all he wants to do is cut taxes for the american, cut taxes for no one except the rich. now, remember, it's pretty interesting. republicans in america today, they think the richest of the rich should contribute to making our system, paying a little more. the only republicans in america who disagree are those that serve in congress. >> you think he's an honest man?
>> i don't -- i -- >> when he talks to the american people, paid at least 13%, do you believe him? >> i'm not going there. i'm not going to question his honesty. one thing i do question is wi won't he show us his tax returns like all presidential candidates have done since his dad? >> well, his dad -- let me ask you about spends cuts. a lot of people are wor are ied about what he will do in cutting programs. how hard is it to go out the and start cutting the way he wants to? do you think he can cut all those proappripriations? all the nonentitlement? >> i've been there this. seen what they've tried to do. we have cut a lot. we have a problem with the deficit. we know that. that's why we ha had the legislature by judd gregg, those republicans who cosponsored the
legislation walked away from it, so we couldn't get that out. that's when we went to bowles simpson and we had the vice president, he supported that. well, he voted against it. just like he said he ran a marathon in less than three hours. >> well, is he an honest man? paul ryan? >> you know, i'm not here to boast about my marathon time, but i bet i could outrun him. >> why would he say 250 if he hadn't gotten under four hours? >> i've run a few marathons, okay? i'm not a great marathon runner. i know how hard it is to run a three-hour marathon. as soon as i saw him saw that, i knew he was being dishonest. we runners don't lie about our time. >> can you trust him about his tax policy? let me ask you about one thing i've liked about this campaign from your side. you're a member of the lds church. the republican candidate for
president. you're very church going mormon guys. are you happy this has stayed out of the race? >> this election has nothing to do with religion. >> and that's the way it's been run. >> that's the way it should be. >> thank you very much. back to you, rachel. >> chris matthews gets unleashed harry reid in that interview. fascinating. in the last election since the midterms, the democrats got shell aked. just a republican year. republicans got six new governors that year. democrats lost six governors and to go along with the big majority of governors, republicans won their biggest majority since 1928. in the last midterms. so even as republicans only control the house in washington, they had complete criminal in a lot of states and what they did with that control is one way to see a party's priorities. if you want to know why the democrats have a ton of people scheduled at this convention talking about women's rights and abortion rights, this is why.
this is republican in the states. the number of new anti abortion laws enacted from 1985 onward. after the republican elections, that's where you get that spike. boing. a record number new law. totally unprecedented since roe versus wade. the republican party's presidential ticket is very hard lined abortion, saying they would overturn roe versus wade, defund planned parenthood, all federal support. paul ryan sponsored legislature that would have women forced to have ultrasounds against their will. mr. ryan sponsored a measure to redefine rape with todd akin and a grant for personhood rights and that bans in vitro
fertilization. if you did not hear much about that this last week at the republican convention, it wasn't by accident. did want want to bring them up, but boy, do the democrats want to bring up these issues at their convention. tonight's speakers include this colorado woman who says on wo n women's rights, the republican party is no longer in line with the values of her conservative republican family. also speaking, the president of pro-choice america. the issue will return tomorrow with planned parenthood president and georgetown law student, who got famoused for advocating to access to birth control because this is the year that something like that can make your famous because this is the year that something like that became controversial in our politics. joining us now, alison schwartz. thanks for being with us. i know you're among the force of women with us tonight.
what are democrats trying to say to women tonight? >> first of all, you can see how it's real it was to have so many women members of the house, democratic women, about issues we work on every day. feel strongly about. as you know, you talk about a good bit, the platform of the democratic party. positions we've taken. support. most women in this country believe, most men as well and we're going to talk about it. one of the reasons is because the republicans in congress, it's almost weekly as you know, and you just pointed out, they bring up some way of limiting our access to women's health services, limiting our reproductive rights. they do it over and over get. many of us thought it was settled policy and it's not. >> democrats have long had the position you described. there isn't the same test, but democrats have largely been a pro-choice party, but have
largely been quiet about it. democrats haven't overtly campaigned on this in a very, very long time. do you feel like the country's sort of ready to hear an overt argument for choice? republicans have largely had the stage to themselves on this issue. >> well, this has been a position of the democratic party, but you're right. certainly i'm from pennsylvania. some of these issues are not easy. we try and be respectful of individuals of different opinions about this and the question always is what do you want your government to do? whether you can make the decision in the context of your own family and belief system. and so, it's been a part of who we are as democrats, certainly have thought these issues. there's no question in these last two years with the republicans in congress over and over again finding ways to try and diminish our access to important women's health services. we knew we had to talk about it and were willing to and we should. and of course, it is one of the many contrasts between the
republicans and the democrats, both in their platform and who we are in congress and of course through the president and vice president are in comparison to romney and ryan. and the american people ought to know it. >> let me ask you about one other question about representing pennsylvania. obviously a crucial swing state. this year, you had one of the legislative leaders from the republican party saying that voter restrictions, new laws on voter i.d. making it harder to vote in pennsylvania would deliver the state of pennsylvania for mitt romney. do you think that the changes in voting laws to make it harder to vote in pennsylvania actually may affect the outcome in that state? are democrats fighting that effectively? >> we're working very hard across the state, not to fight the law, which we'd like to see overturned because we think it is moving in the wrong direction, which is making it harder for people who have every right to vote to vote and certainly actively discouraging people, but we have seen a real reaction, a positive reaction,
from voters. democrats for sure, but even some republicans, who have said this really is an unacceptable law and we'll do everything we can to make sure every voter comes out and votes. has the kind of credentials they need. my campaign office, we have volunteers that come in every week and make phone calls to people who say are you sure your license matches your registration? i've been voting for years, i don't think it's a problem. say no, you have to really go and look at your i.d. and see if it really matches. so, it is creating a real sense of passion about it from the democrats and i think as i say, voters as well. we're working hard to make sure it didn't. >> thank you very much. i can tell you're having a good time. thank you. where governor mitt romney very
obviously failed to go in the biggest speech of his life for which he has received criticism. if contrast is what you want, contrast is what you're going to see and hear in this next hour at the convention. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention in charlotte. stay with us. [ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway...
now, chris. but he's just -- i think -- >> say a few words, that's right. >> the tribute to your father, this is the first convention he was not at. he came out of the hospital bed to be in denver. but it also showed the combative spirit, that 1994 debate against mitt romney. your thoughts. >> well, it was an emotional time. just watching the tribute to dad. it's a bittersweet moment, being here because this is the first convention in which he's not playing a significant role, but you know, just, i feel so proud of my dad tonight. all the things he accomplished. reminding the democratic party every four years why we're democrats and it's just lovely. people have been wonderful. the delegates, many of whom were there at that speech in 1980. so, it's a really, a wonderful time. and remembering this great man who we adored. >> you know, i was there in 1980
as well covering that convention and those words, the dream will never die, written by bob shrum. that was a moment, terribly emotional. a crushing blow because you knew he would never be president. >> what dad did is he recognized, you know, i gave this my best shot and i'm going to go back to washington and be the best united states senator that i can be and you know what? that's exactly what he did and although he was partisan and stood by his principles, he was never afraid to cross that aisle and build coalitions and collaboratives with his friends on the other side to get things done, so it's amazing how much he accomplished. we saw the list in the video tribute and that's really what i think my father's legacy is.
a man of principle, but somebody who is pragmatic and willing to work with friends on the opposite side of the political spectrum. >> and of course, teddy kennedy's newest grandchild, patrick, you've been through so much and you're here, strong and healthy and recovering. >> thank you. >> congratulations on the baby. >> thank you. >> and also, we all remember of course losing your father and what you expressed at the funeral service. >> well, you know, the words, the the dream lives on, hope still lives and the cause shall never die, the dream shall never die, is so emblematic that my dad's legacy is in this hall. it's with president obama and that's why we're here tonight to campaign for president obama for another term. president obama delivered on my father's cause of health care for all. and everybody is now joined in
that effort and i just am honored to be here, proud of my dad, proud that there are people that are going to keep his memory alive so that his grandson who he never met is going to have a chance to know who his grandfather was and i think everybody has been so supportive. >> patrick, our thoughts are with you, our congratulations, another kennedy, joe iii running in the race for barney frank's seat, so there's a lot of politics, a lot going on with the kennedy family. >> he's a very impressive young man as you saw this evening. he's going to make a great addition to congress and we in the kennedy family are committed to making sure that this president is re-elected. >> thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. teddy, patrick, oh, and thank you, too. back to you. >> thank you very much. that was nice. and you were just saying that reince priebus was tweeting disapprovingly of the tribute. >> reince priebus has become the
chi whiner in chief for the republicans. he tweeted out tonight he thought it was classless that the democrats have put former senator ted kennedy in a video to attack mr. romney. look, all's fair in love, war and politics. i mean, this is for the country and i can guarantee you knowing ted kennedy, a little bit of what i did, he would have loved that presentation tonight and you can see that the family does and the family is committed to barack obama getting re-elected and may i say that babies always work on tv. >> i don't think it was classless. i think what was classless is to attack the fact that they played a tape of what mr. romney said. you didn't attack him. you showed the video, so it wasn't classless. it showed that romney was clueless on where he stood on women's rights and other issues. i knew ted kennedy is last few years. i was in the generation behind
the civil rights. he's very kind to us, but he would have wanted to put out there the issues. >> right now, we're going to go to the podium. this is a former republican talking about her conversion to democratic politics. >> i grew up in a conservative, republican family in aurora, colorado. many of my relatives can't believe i'm doing this. i guess i can't either. i still believe in small government, but i no longer believe in the republican party. mitt romney and paul ryan want the government to have a say in my family planning. they want employers to decide what kind of birth control coverage i have. or if i can have it at all. they want to put insurance companies in charge of my health care. they want to deny me the power to make the most personal decisions about my life.
that's not small government. that's not the america i love. the america i love respects the dignity of women. the america i love is a place where when we say freedom, we mean my freedom. to make decisions about my life. not someone else's freedom to make them for me. and that's the america president obama is fighting for. when women's rights are threatened, president obama doesn't hide. he stands up. not just for women, but with women. amplifying our voices and defending our rights.
give him four more years and our right to make our own most personal decisions will be safe for another generation. give him four more years and he will protect the freedoms and the america we all love. thank you. >> former republican from, said she grew up in a conservative family in colorado, saying choice is the issue that caused her to start voting democratic. nancy kennan is going to give the next address. a long time front line combatant on the issue, on the choice wars in washington. it's sort of a bold choice for the democrats to put her in prime time. let's listen. >> on behalf of pro-choice america and our one million member activists, i am honored
to be here to talk to you about what is at stake for women in 2012. i am proud to say that the democratic party believes that women have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion with dignity and with privacy. we believe in family planning because it helps to prevent unintended pregnancy. we believe that a woman considering an abortion should not be forced to have an ult ultrasound against her will. we believe, we believe that rape
is rape. we believe, we believe that a woman should make health care decisions with her family, her doctor and her god. and we believe that there is no room for politicians, especially those politicians who don't know how women's bodies work. we are proud, we are so proud to have a president who stands with women and who trusts women. a president who signed into law
one of the greatest advancements for women's health in a generation. a president who believes in a woman's right to make her own decisions. i know this president. and i can tell you that he cares deeply about the next generation of young women in this country. his daughters, all of our daughters. president obama. had the courage to stand with sandra flouk. without hesitation, he defended her right to tell her story. mitt romney did not.
that moment, that moment illustrates what is at stake this this election. put simply, women in america cannot trust mitt romney. we cannot trust mitt romney to protect our health. he would repeal obama care. taking away our access to better maternity and prenatal care and the laws near universal coverage of birth control. we cannot trust mitt romney to respect our rights. he would overturn roe versus wade and sign into law a wave of outrageous restrictions on a woman's ability to make decisions about her pregnancy.
mitt romney would take away our power to make decisions about our lives and our future. but there is one decision that he cannot take away. and that's the one women will make on november 6th. >> that's nancy kennan, the president of naral pro-choice america, going very, very sharply on mitt romney on the issue of reproductive choice. chuck todd is inside the hall. the democrats are really pressing this week, it is women. do we know numerically how well the president thinks he needs to do with women voters? >> as you know, i can take any issue and apply it to the battleground map and we've done it here. 2008 and the gender gap. as you see, the president had a 13-point advantage. in our last nbc "wall street journal" poll, it was only ten points. that's not enough. the president wants to have it
closer to 13 and frankly, they think they can get it higher than that. now, let me show you and apply it to the battleground states. in 2008, here are the four states where the president did better among women. but here are the five states in our battleground where he did worse than the nationshtional a. iowa, ohio, virginia, north carolina and florida. so, apply all that to the battleground map and i'm going to point something out for you. if you give the president the places where he's overperforms with women, he's only one state short and let me focus op the one state. it's right behind me and it's the state where you're going to see a lot of push on the issue. in 1989, the issue of abortion got democrats the the governor's mansion. it has happened before, virginia, probably more than any
other state. republicans have found themselves on the wrong side of this issue and it's cost them races in virginia and that's something they think in northern virginia, with suburban women who may be not sure about the economy, but they think they can drive a wedge there and as you see in the numbers, virginia would be enough to put them over the mark with exploiting this gender gap. >> thank you, chuck. chris? >> i think we should point out here, the polling on this issue, abortion in general, remains muttled. republicans are victims of their own success. they have push eed the envelopeo far that they've claimed all the territory they can claim and still be within the mainstream of everything resembling public opinion. everything they're doing now is is past that boundary. it's not that the polling has changed. >> very specific element of that today we saw today with mitt romney, it was off the campaign trial, but today, in the last
week, mitt romney said that one of the exceptions he believes in to criminalizing abortion is for the health of the mother. he said that last week. today, he took that back and said, actually, i don't believe in that because republican party orthodox won't let him do it. it's fascinating. the speakers list is stacked all leading to mayor julian castro and the first lady of the united states, michelle obama. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. we'll be right back. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now.
neither mitt romney nor paul ryan mentioned at the republican convention the fact we are waging a war in afghanistan. more than 80,000 americans are there now in year 11 of that war. mr. ryan on cbs this morning said he and mr. romney did not need to address the war in their nomination speeches because mr. romney talked about the war earlier that week in a speech to
the american legion. he did speak to the legion, said two sentences about the war in afghanistan. he said this. we are still at war in afghanistan. we still have uniformed men and women in conflict risk their lives. period. that's it. the campaign says because he got that off his chest elsewhere, there was no need to bring up the the issue of the war at the convention. the democrats have very loudly criticized the romney campaign for their lack of attention to the war and democrats are moving at their convention to seize what they think is high political ground on the issue of the war and ending the iraq war and veterans and national security although the democrats are building thursday as essentially their national security night this week, tonight, there is more. there are three speeches by iraq war veterans tonight including tam duckworth, who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down. also, the first lady herself, the last speech of the night,
will be introduced tonight by somebody who does not have a national profile. a woman who is an ohio mother, who has four active duty kids in four different branches of the military with multiple combat tours between them. apparently, the white house became aware of her when she wrote to the white house to express her opinion and thanks on national security matters. national security, the veterans, counterterrorism, all things the democrats feel are fully in their wheel house while the republicans are just not touching it. it's a different world from the bush years. tammy duckworth as i mentioned, iraq war veteran, critically wounded in the war. president obama appointed her to be an assistant secretary of veterans affairs. she's now running for congress as a democrat against joe walsh. >> hi, everyone. my name is tammy duckworth.
i'm running to serve illinois's eighth congressional district. my father, my father served in the army and the marine corps. ooh ra. a vietnam vet, his family has worn our nation's uniform since the revolution. my husband is an army officer and my brother saved lives in the coast guard. my mom is thai and chinese and she proudly became a citizen in her 50s. dad's work took us all over the world until he lost his job. it was a tough time. we used up our savings. moved into a studio apartment. but our family did the responsible thing and we rolled
up our sleeves. mom took in sewing. my 55-year-old dad kept looking for work, but at 15 years old, i was the only one with a job. after school, for minimum wage. thank god for the food stamps, public education and grants that helped me finish high school. and college. in time, we pulled through. with this start, i was able to earn my own commission as an army officer and i became an assault helicopter pilot working my way up to command a black hawk helicopter company. in 2003, my national guard unit was mobilized and i became one of the first army women to fly combat missions in iraq.
and almost -- almost a year into my tour, i was wounded and recovered with other wound eed some of us has obvious injuries. others had scars on the inside there were less visible. at the hospital, i realized my new responsibility, to honor the buddies who saved me by serving our military men and women and i became the director of the illinois department of veterans affairs. we led the nation in screening for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress and we created a tax credit for illinois businesses that hire veterans. then president obama asked me to help keep our sacred trust for veterans of all eras at the u.s.
department of veterans affairs. we worked to end the outrage of veterans having to sleep on the same streets they once defended. we improved services for female veterans and i reached out to young vets by creating the office of online communications. barack obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander in chief. ending the war in iraq, refocusing on afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin laden. president obama push eed fairne in the military, listening to commanders as we ended don't ask don't tell and on how to allow women to officially serve in more combat jobs. don't you think, don't you think it's time that we stopped being
surprised that america's daughters are just as capable of doing their jobs and defending liberty as her sons? for our men and women in harm's way, we have a clear choice on november 6th. last week, mitt romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he's seeking to command. but he chose to criticize president obama instead of even uttering the word, afghanistan. barack obama will never ignore our troops. he will fight for them. that's why he is my choice on november 6th. my choice -- my choice is to do what my family did when times were hard. roll up our sleeves and get to work. my choice is to do what my crew did for me in a dusty field in
iraq. on november 12th, 2004, i was co-piloting north of baghdad when we started taking enemy fire. a rocket propelled grenade hit our helicopter, exploding in my lau lap, ripping off one leg, crushing the other and tearing my right arm apart, but i kept trying to fly until i passed out. and that moment, my survival and the survival of my entire crew depended on all of us pulling together and even though they were wounded themselves and insurgents were nearby, they simply refused to leave a fallen comrade behind. their heroism is why i'm alive today and ultimately -- ultimately, that is what this election is about.
yes, it's about the issues that matter to me. building -- building an economy that will create jobs here at home. that will outcome pete countries around the world. but it's also about something else. it's about whether we do for our fellow americans what my crew did for me. whether we'll look out for the hardest hit and disabled, whether we'll pull together in a time of need. whether we'll refuse to give up until the job done. so let's finish what we started. let's keep moving forward with barack obama. let's do what this country has always done. look adversity in the eye and work together to overcome it. god bless our military men and women who are in harm's way
today. god bless their families and always, god bless the united states of america. >> tammy duckworth telling her story of how she was wounded in iraq. democrat running against joe walsh there. you were the first person i think anywhere who's noted after mitt romney's speech that he did not mention the word afghanistan. they've since been on the defensive about that issue and democrats are pressing them on it. is there anything that the the republicans can sort of do to be more responsible on that retroactively? >> i think it's a matter of principle that when you have 80,000 american fighting men and women in harm's way, that the candidates for president need to talk about it. to debate the country needs to have, needs to hear. tammy duckworth, very impressive
person. bob dole, his biography is dedicated in part to her. he's one of her inspirations and i suspect whether she's successful or not in this election, that she has a career of great service. >> republicans had nothing to match that. she just gave a phenomenal speech. multidimensional. she talked about women being capable of doing the job. the sacrifice of women. but she also spoke to an issue where the republicans have attacked a lot. the food stamps, which republicans want to cut. they want to cut what helped her be successful and give her an opportunity in life and she's going up against joe walsh, who has been a real verbal bomb thrower and joe walsh, a tea partier who will say just about anything. i want to commend tammy duckworth. she takes the high road. she's about country. not only in the way she's handled herself and the service
she's given, you can tell she would be a lawmaker that would keep the people first. >> she also mentioned iraq and it is shocking and remarkable to me when that was the defining political issue of the world, the united states. it is the reason barack obama was a plausible nominee for president of the united states because he got up at a rally and said i don't believe in this war. that was the thing he had against hillary clinton. and one thing i want to say when people talk about are you better off in four years, there was 146,000 serving in iraq four years ago. a lot of them, i'm sure they would say yes. >> there's a lot more americans serving in afghanistan now. >> i think the one thing we've already seen in this convention is, i talked about last week, the defining values helping people, dealing with the disabled, women's rights. they're defining what americans should stand for and what they stand for as opposed to the
republicans that everything was let's shoot for getting wealthy. i think that is going to be something that is different. how you define success. >> i think republicans tried to talk about their own, i think they tried to talk about their own values, but the political practice challenge is to integrate some of the politics, like i'm not the person you would imagine to be part of this party with the economic stuff. >> everything is material to them. their values are what is valuable to them. valuables. not things like reaching out. like miss duckworth just talked about. they didn't have speakers like that that really spoke to our hearts and our minds. >> i got to break. let me give you a chance to respond. >> i'm not a characterization i agree with, but the most compassionate policy that government could have is a
pro growth economic policy and that's where republicans need to communicate effectively if they're to win this election. the issues affecting the middle class, the wage stagnation in the middle class, all of these are real issues. and the party has not done an effective job communicating on these issues on many, many levels. eight years ago, when george bush was re-elected with over 40% of the hispanic vote in the country, we were having discussions about how to grow that vote chair to 50%. now, republicans are sitting looking at the number saying we hope to stay at 30%, which is basically the number you can be at and get elected, so you heard some new generation republicans last week. i think marco rubio, for example, who was an eloquent spokesperson and i think that the party has some work to do. >> we're going to hear from julian castro tonight as the democrat's keynoter, who is said
to be a phenomenal speaker. mark mckinnon has been talking about him as the potential first latino president of the united states. coming up, we're going to be hearing from mr. robert gibbs. this campaign of course, the re-election campaign for president's going to be outspent badly. we'll be finding out how they intend to compensate for that. there's lots ahead. stay with us. those surprising little things she does
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the republicans had arch r davis, alabama congressman at their convention last week. this hour, democrats in charlotte, north carolina are hearing from the governor of rhode island, a former republican, now an independent. joining us now from the obama campaign, former white house press secretary, robert gibbs. thanks for joining us. >> rachel, how are you? >> good, thanks. when you beat john mccain in 2008, you had most of the money on your side. this year, president obama has said that as an incumbent president, he expects for the first time in history, he going to be outspent by mr. romney. what do you have to do to compensate for that? >> we have to make good use of this convention and i think this night shows we're well down that road. i think by the time the president speaks on thursday, there will be a lot of
enthusiasm here. look, we've invested a lot of money in building a ground game and a field infrastructure to really talk to voters, to have those conversations with folks this their living rooms and kitchens. so, i think we'll take our ground game to their big money air game in the last two months of this race. >> in terms of that ground game, there is an issue about unions, right? and the decision made by the democratic party to be in a nonunion state with no union hotels, despite the democrats support for union rights and their desire, is there conflict there? >> i don't think there's conflict. i think every member of the democratic party understands what's at stake in this election. we understand the choices that will be made in the next four years if barack obama's in the oval office or if mitt romney's in the oval office. that's a great thing for us.
people want to move the country forward and give the middle class a sense of security and not think the best way to create jobs by giving tax cuts to the very rich. we tried that once. it didn't work. i don't know why we think it would work any better the second times. >> chris hayes here. the president has been talking about what the second term would look like and one of the things, he says -- his phrase, break the fever. even if the house republicans remain if charge of that body. i think that sounds somewhat inplausible to people. what can you say to convince people that we won't just have a horrendous, endless replay of say the debt ceiling debacle? >> it's a great question. i think it's interesting, the election for months and months from the romney perspective was
set up to be a referendum on the president. the choice of paul ryan made this election a choice election. paul ryan's the intellectual leader of the republican party. his budget was a document of the republican party and has been for several years. we've basically now entered into an election where 50% of the people are going to land or more than 50% of the people are going to land on one of these visions or the the other. that doesn't mean that person's going to get everything they want to do, but i don't think you can come out of this election after barack obama wins and think we shouldn't have a rational discussion about raising taxes on the wealthiest to pay their fair share. >> thank you, robert gibbs. nice to have you with us. appreciate your time, sir. first piece of legislation signed into law was the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. expect to hear some bragging on that shortly if you have not heard of the bill, you're going to hear ant that. if you have not heard from her, you will hear from her. she's the kind of speech you should probably listen to if you listen to only one.
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from the crowd. a woman named stacy lind with a daughter who was born with a heart defect. watch. >> my name is stacy lihn. the affordable care act is saving my daughter's life. i was still pregnant with zoe when she was diagnosed. the doctor told us there was a set of three open heart surgeries required for her to survive, so her first surgery took place at 15 hours old. second at four months old and she's awaiting her third and final surgery so her half a heart works for her entire body. before the affordable care act, health insurance companies were allowed to set lifetime caps on how much coverage each individual was provided. by six months of age, zoe was halfway to her lifetime cap.
>> that's an orange. >> here's insurance that you've been paying for for the past 20 years, but don't have a child born with a heart defect because once you reach a certain limit, we're not going to insure them anymore. thankfully, in march of 2010, the affordable care act was passed and i remember getting a letter from our insurance company telling us that there are no more lifetime caps. it was a huge relief for us to know that we didn't have to worry about that. zoe's made us live a little bigger and brighter every day, so we don't take anything for granted. my family needs president obama to be elected because we need the affordable care act to stay intact.
>> governor romney says people like me were the most excited about president obama. the day we voted for him. but that's not true. not even close. for me, there was the day the affordable care act passed and i no longer had to worry about getting zoe the care she needed. there was a day the letter arrived from the insurance company saying our daughter's lifetime cap had been lifted. there was the day the supreme court upheld obama care. and so many moms -- i shed tears. and i could breathe easier. knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if god forbid, zoe needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family
security and relief. but we're also scared. governor romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every single day. zoe's third open heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. if mitt romney becomes president and obama care is repealed, there's a good chance she'll hit her lifetime cap. there's no way we could afford to pay for all of the care she needs to survive. when you have a sick child, it's always in the back of your mind and sometimes, in the front of your mind. on top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics? one in one 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect.
president obama is fighting for them. he's fighting for families like mine and we need to fight for him. thank you. >> it happened just moments aelg and there you can see the baby who you just heard crying, talking about the impact of health reform on their family. that's a powerful moment. >> it is very powerful and when you hear about government takeover and the doctor getting between you and your health care, those bullet points swrus don't work. this is what works. this is what americans understand. 30 million more people are going to get covered. over the long haul, we're going to be saving money, but the bottom line is it's about people. the democrats are showing tonight with tammy duckworth and stacy lihn, there's more to
america than just a profit. >> they're using this to stay don't vote for mitt romney, but if mitt romney is elected, it also points out something important about policy. if mitt romney is elected, he says he will repeal obama care. he's never said what with, but taking away the lifetime caps, which is the story of the lihn family, imagine trying to sell specifically that. right now, there are no lifetime caps. it's part of insurance regulation, but we're going to let them start capping it. >> that's what i was saying about the values issue and i think putting a face on some of the policy, yes, we need to join the economy, obviously, but a face on what is going to happen to a child like this. a face on someone like duckworth is something we never saw in the republican convention. i'm not saying y'all don't have a good idea. you don't know how to present it well, but you may have some good ideas, but the fact is, we never saw a face on what they were
talk i talking about. it was all policy driven by the economy in terms of code language. we're already seeing the first night here, how these policies the democrats are talking about, affect real people and i think that's going to be a significant bounce for the democrats. >> i thought her calling op the romney line about the best night was the night that, the best day of the president was the day he was elected, saying no, no, the best day was the day i got the letter from the insurance company. we were talking about this speech here, i was it was a good line, i got a lot of e-mails, no, no, let me tell you about the best day. >> something concrete that happened because of policy. >> that has opened up a good rhetorical anthem. >> the democrats have done a poor job of putting a face on some of their accomplishments, things like health reform may be the least understood legislation passed and signed.
we're going to get a little help from ezra klein. >> that was incredibly powerful. one of the amazing things that's begun happening is the obama mrks and republicans have come to an agreement on health care reform. there's still on all of that, but they've come to agree on what to call it. now, both sides are calling it obama care and are talking about it again. polls show that most americans aren't sure what's in it and the fact is, some folks in washington like it that way. there is been a concerted effort to convince folks that health e reform is too complicated for them to understand. it's a 2,000-page dense bill that no one has read. first, yes, people have read it. i travel in a circus of health care, they read it. but the second, most legislature goes unread. instead, members of congress and
their staffs read clear english summaries the congressional research service produces for them. and obama care or health reform or whatever you want to call it, it isn't that hard to summarize. we're going to do it here in less than 200 words. the bill has three main parts. there are exchanges, which are basically websites where you can buy insurance if you don't have it and where the insurers have to tell you in very clear language what is in their plans and how much everything cost. if they're not transparent, they get kicked out. there are subsidies, you get those on a sliding scale based upon your income and if you don't make much at all, you get full medicaid benefits. there are regulations to keep n insurers to keep from des criminating, the individual mandate and that's really the bulk of the bill. beyond that, the bill is paid for mainly with cuts and with various new taxes. it's got a bunch of efforts to
try to figure out how to move medicare away from paying for volume and towards paying for quality. it's expected to cut the deficit by 109 billion and insure 30 million people. that will leave about 30 million other people uninsured. about half of those folks are illegal immigrants, the other half those who have decided not to buy insurance. the bill mainly takes effect in 2014. that's when the expanded medicaid, the individual mandate and subsidies for people who need help. so, this election is really going to decide the fate of health reform. mr. romney takes office, he says he'll begin repealing it on day one despite it's based on the health reforms he passed in massachusetts. if president obama wins, the law is pretty much here to stay. giving benefits like the the li
hrk nrk family, it's not going anywhere. >> thank you for that. i want to go to lawrence o'donnell who's in the hall in terms of having just responding, hearing the speech in the hall and how this is resognating. >> i was alerted to the speech by one of the speech writers who works here in the hall. there's a team of democratic speech writers working under the podium. they have a room under the podium. it's where they've always located this team and they work on polishing and detailing some of the speeching, making sure the facts align, timelines are right. when that team heard stacy lihn today recite her speech for the first time before they tweaked it to make sure the timing was right, this is a team of real veterans who have been through every one of these conventions. i'm told by john gles that there wasn't a dry eye among the team who had been working on this
kind of thing really for most of their professional lives. they knew that this was a very special speech and she did get a standing ovation at the end of that speech, which was very real. the the team was worried, specifically, if she could get through the speech and retain her composure, which as you saw, she certainly did. but i know that the speech writing team didn't. >> thank you for that. i want to take this moment, actually, to dip into the end here. i think it's the end of kathleen sebelius' speech. let's listen in. >> the president insured women's free access to preventive services like breast cancer screenings so the the good news is being a mother is no longer a liability. and being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition. now that's what change looks like.
today, nearly 13 million americans including some of you in this hall are experiencing something remarkable. instead of sending your checks to your insurance companies, your insurance companies are sending a check to you over a billion dollars out this year alone. because if insurers don't spend at least 50% of your premium dollars on your health care, you get a e refund. that's what change looks like. now, i've spent my career fighting the worst practices of insurance companies. i know how tough it is to stand up to powerful forces that prey on consumers. governor romney and paul ryan know how tough it is, too, that's why they won't do it. they'll let insurance companies continue to cherry pick who gets left out of the market. president obama is making sure that everyone from cancer survivors to children with asthma, get the care they need.
what's missing from the romney ryan plan for medicare is medicare. so, instead of the medicare guaranteed, republicans would give seniors a voucher that limits what's covered. costing seniors as much as $6400 a year. president obama extended the program's life by eight years. well, improving senior's benefits and strengthening the the medicare guarantee. the president agrees there should be no vouchers. romney and ryan will take away women's basic health services and turn a blind eye to insurance discrimination. president obama stands up for women, giving us control over our own health care. romney and ryan would put insurance companies back in control. now, barack obama was raised by
kansas women. i know kansas women. they taught him the values of hard work and responsibility and fairness. that's why president obama believes that if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve the security of health care. governor romney, congressman ryan and the republican colleagues say it's everyone for themselves. and that fund len mentally is the choice in this election. between republicans who fight for the favored few and a president who fights for the middle class. between a nation whose politics play on the worst of our fears and a nation's law who reflects the best of our values. 47 years ago, my dad proudly watched president johnson sign medicare into law. that day, president johnson said few people have the courage to stake reputation and position and the effort of a lifetime on
such a cause when there are so few that share it. president obama is one of those people. a leader with uncommon compassion and uncommon courage. he's earned more than our gratitude. he has earned four more years. >> kathleen sebelius. i want to ask chris matthews here. your reaction in terms of the democrats trying to sell obama care here. a personal story from the young woman and her family, we're on the verge of hearing from rahm emanuel, who famsly told president obama not to pursue obama care. how are they doing here? >> it's the first time they've really done it. the good news is they're doing it near the election time. the bad news is from the time the president began to sell his plan, he never put this wonderful new face on it. there was of course general
conversations about preexisting conditions and about keeping your young adult children on your plan. but nothing of the heartfelt aspect and therefore, because they didn't do it, they left it open to the fear mongerers. this sounds kind of scary, so they were able to let fear conquer hope. they had to make this case again and again for now until election day because as someone pointed out, they won't have to make this case if they win this fight because once people have health care, they're going to keep it. nobody's talking about getting rid of medicare or medicaid or the national health system in england. once you get it, you really, really like it. so the big fight is the next two months. if the democrats win, the good news is they will have won it for his are. if they lose it, the same way in the other direction, this is high stakes, no matter who you
like for president. >> let's go to rahm emanuel, currently the mayor of chicago. long time democratic congressman before that. >> sent here to tackle all of them, not choose between them. there was no blueprint or how to manual for fixing a global, financial meltdown, an auto tris crisis, two wars and a great recession at the same time. believe me, if it existed, i would have found it. each crisis was o so deep and dangerous. any one of them would have defined another presidency. we faced a once in a generation moment in american history. and fortunately for all of us, we have a once in a generation president. and in those unchartered waters, i saw where the president finds
his north star. every night, president obama reads ten letters from every day americans. when i met with the president at the end of each day, he made sure he had their letters to read at his residenzsidenreside. letters from people just hoping for someone in power to understand their struggles. i can't tell you how many times whether we were discussing the the economy, health care, or energy crisis, the president would walk to his desk, take out one of the letters and read them to us and say, this is who we are fighting for. parents working hard to save for their child's education. middle class americans fighting tooth and nail to hold on to their their jobs, homes or life savings. it is their voices that president obama brings to the oval office cht it is the.
it is their values i saw him fight for every day. in the first month in office, he fought for the american recovery act to cut taxes for the middle class. to put people to work to build america's roads, rails and runways and today, our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding four and a half million private sector jobs in the last 29 months. banks are slowly but surely lending again and never again will taxpayers foot the bill for wall street's excesses. and in case we forget, that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fought for. that was the change president obama delivered. president obama took office knowing full well that for the last century, presidents had tried to reform our health care system. today, because of president obama's courage, kids can stay on their parent's plan until
their 26. insurers can't kick you off your policy because you have a preexisting limit, because you've hit the preexisting limit. they won't be able to deny you because you have a preexisting condition. because of president obama's leadership, every american will have access to affordable, quality health care. that was a change we believed in. that was a change we fought for. that was a change president obama delivered. >> rahm emanuel, former white house chief of staff, currently the mayor of chicago, he was in charge of getting democrats elected to the house in 2006 when democrats got quite a lot of democrats elected to the house. talking now about health reform among other things, of course, famously, he was the one who advised president obama to not per sue health reform when he did. we have to take a break because things are ramping up towards the speech of michelle obama. this is msnbc's live coverage of
the democratic convention. it's happening kind of fast now. please stay with us. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪
former white house chief of staff rahm emanuel wrapping up his remarks. we're sort of zooming toward the keynote and the speech from the first lady tonight. chris matthews in charlotte. in terms of rahm emanuel and his role in this campaign, he was one of the most visible figures of the administration, now running chicago. what do you think about his continued role? >> i should say your coverage tonight has been fabulous. people are learning so much tonight from everyone on the show. it is such great work by our network. i'm so proud. >> thank you. >> rahm emanuel is a ramrod.
clear thinker. i will quote saul. whatever you think of his ideology, whether you like it or not was so smart. he said everything is complicated. there's always a little bit to be said for either side, but when you get into advocacy, sell your story. the great thing about rahm emanuel, he tells it so strong and clearly, you don't get confused. that's what's been missing in the advocacy. i've gone through cory booker and martin o'malley, they don't quite get it right, but this guy is the one you want in your corner. tells your side of the story without any doubt who's side he's on. i love the way rahm emanuel makes the case for barack obama. it's going to be tough for the president or first lady to match it. >> i want to dip in to a speech by cal penn. he's had a role with a obama
administration. >> i guess i should have a message, a special message for you at home who recently turned 18. good news. i can now legally register you to vote. now, i've worked on a lot of fun movies. but my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin laden and who's cool with all of us getting gary married, so thank you, invisible man in the chair for that. and for giving my friends access to affordable health insurance and doubling funding for the pell grants. now, i started volunteering for barack obama back in 2007, but nothing really compares to what i saw behind the scenes at the white house when i had the honor
to serve for two years as president obama's liaison to young americans. i saw how hard he fight for us. one of the most special days was a saturday in 2012. the senate had repealed don't ask don't tell so that anyone can serve the country they love regardless of whom they love. but the same day, the dream act was blocked. that bill would give immigrant children who have never pledged allegiance to any flag but our, citizenship. simple. important. i was in a small office on the second floor of the west wing with about eight other staffers and we had worked our hearts out. cared very deeply about what this would mean for other young people. tears of joy for the history being made, but also tears of sadness because some american dreams would still be deferred. about five minutes later, president obama walked in, sleeves rolled up and he said to
us, this is not over. we're going to keep fighting. i'm going to keep fighting. i need young people to keep fighting. that's why we're here. a few months later, president obama fought to keep taxes from going up on middle class families. our republican friends said sure, you can do that, but one of the things they were really to trade is a little item called the college tax credit. which today, is saving students up to $10,000 over the course of four year of school. president obama paid off his own student loans not too long ago. he remembers what that's like. he said that making it easier to go to college and get technical training is how we grow our economy and create jobs and o out compete the entire world. he stood firm and that tuition tax credit is still there. but here's the thing.
if we don't register, if we don't vote, it won't be. i volunteered in iowa in 2007 because like you, i had friends serving in iraq. i had friends looking for jobs. others who couldn't go to the doctor because they couldn't afford it, so i knocked on some doors, registered some voters. i'm volunteering again because my friend matt and lauren can get the prescriptions he needs. because joseiah is back from iraq, and three weeks ago, my buddy kevin's boyfriend was able to watch him graduate from marine corps training. that's change. and we can't turn back now. so, before i close, and as i wonder which twitter hash tags
you'll start using, sexy face, i ask all of you young people to join me. you don't even have to put pants on. go to commit.barackobama.com and register right there. the old ies out there, you guys can do it, too. go online. find your local campaign office. call your friends, some strangers. volunteer. that's how we're going to win this thing. now, i really, really enjoyed listening to rahm's speech, but he's a mayor now, so he can't use four-letter words. but i'm no mayor. so i've got one for you. vote. thank you very much. >> actor kal penn, former associate director in the white house office of public engagement, i would say you don't even have to put your pants on no matter what he
suggests, we're getting very close to the keynote speaker tonight. the '04 convention in boston, the keynote speaker was an illinois state senator named barack obama, then just 42 years old. mr. obama deliver his red states, blue states, united states classic an the rest is history. alex? >> thanks, rachel. tonight, julian castro will become the first latino to deliver the prime time keynote address. at just 37 years old, it is an understatement to say he's a rising star in the party. he's been called a democratic answer to marco rubio, while some have likened his personal story to that of president obama. >> we believe the real emergency is getting more students across the graduation stage. we believe that veterans who risk their lives for us shouldn't have to come home and
fight for their own livelihoods here. we believe that a woman's right to privacy is an individual liberty, not a political wedge issue. >> despite his youth, castro already has more than a decade of political experience under his belt. he was first elected to the san antonio city counsel sill at age 26. he will be introduced by his twin, joaquin, who is running for a congressional seat. the twins were raised by their mother and grandmother, who is a mexican american civil rights organizer in texas in the 1970s. both brothers went on to graduate from stanford and harvard law, an accomplishment youed in part to affirmative action. by choosing castro to deliver the keynote, democrats are trying to gin up the latino vote. in 2008, president obama won the vote by 36 point. a new poll finds the president could win by a similar margin this year and despite gop attempts to win latino support
during their convention in large part by speaking spanish, but remaining silent on policy, 49% of registered voters believe republicans do not care about hispani hispanics. only 17% said republicans were doing a good job. that's compared to 55% of the same voting electorate who gave the thumb's up for democrats. while the issue of hispanic turnout remains a question, 39% have expressed high level interest. as the latino population continues to grow, so does it's political clout, especially as more latinos settle in colorado, nevada, north carolina and virginia and simply in terms of the pure metrics, some democrats believe that red states could shift into the swing state category as the hispanic
population continues to grow. >> swing state texas. almost impossible to imagine. i'm already an old person. but i feel old after kal penn's speech, but now the prospect of that changes makes me feel like i don't understand time at all. coming up next is lilly ledbetter, name sake for president obama's first success. and still ahead, first lady michelle obama and julian castro. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. stay with us. [ male announcer ] your mouth is cleanest after a dentist visit.
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and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. president obama's first legislative accomplishment was signing the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. this was a bill that changed the requirements about the statute of limitations on when you could sue for sex discrimination fif being paid less for your job because of gender. she has become a spokesperson for president obama's campaign. has been a very effective surrogate for him over time. she's now just taking the stage now. just taking the stage now in charlotte, north carolina. let's watch.
thank you. good evening. my name is lilly ledbetter and i'm here tonight to say what a difference four years make. some of you may know my story. how for 19 years, i worked as a manager at a tire plant in alabama and some of you may have lived a similar story. after nearly two decades of hard, proud work, i found out that i was making significantly less money than the men who were doing the same work. as me. i went home, talked to my husband and we decided to fight. we decided to fight for our family and for your family, too. we sought justice because equal
pay for equal work is an american value. that fight took me ten years. it took me all the way to the supreme court. and in a 5-4 decision, they stood on the the side of those who shortchanged my pay, my overtime and my retirement. just because i'm a woman. the supreme court told me that i should have filed a complaint within six months of the company's first decision to pay me less. even though i didn't know about it for nearly two decades. and if we hadn't elected president barack obama, the supreme courts would have been a law of the land. and that would have been the end of my story. but with president obama on our side, even though i lost before
the supreme court, we won. the first bill that president obama signed into law was a l y lilly ledbetter fair pay act. i think it says something -- it says something about his priority, that the first bill he would put his name on has my name on it, too. as he said that day with me by his side, making our economy work means making sure it works for everybody. the president signed the bill for his grandmother whose dreams hit the glass ceiling and for his daughters, whose never will. because of his leadership, women who faced pay discrimination
like i did now can get their day in court. that was the first step. but it can't be the last because women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. those pennies add up to real money. it's real money for the little things like being able to take your kids to the movies and for the big things like sending them to college. it's paying your rent this month. and the mortgage in the future. it's having savings for the bill you didn't expect. and savings for the dignified retirement you have earned. maybe 23 cents doesn't sound like a lot to someone with a swiss bank account, a cayman island investment -- an ira
worth tens of millions of dollars, but governor romney, when we lose 23 cents, every hour, every day, every paycheck, every job, over the entire lives, we lose just cannot be measured in dollars. three years ago, the house passpas passed the paycheck fairness act to level the playing field for women in america. the the senate republicans blocked it. mitt romney won't even say if he supports it. president obama does. in the end, i didn't get a dime of money. i was shortchanged, but this fight became bigger than lilly ledbetter. today, it's about my daughter. it's about my granddaughter. it's about women and men. it's about families.
it's about -- it's about equality. and justice. this cause which bears my name is bigger than me. it's as big as all of you, which began as my own, is now our fight. a fight for the fundamental american values that make our coun country great and with president barack obama, we're going to win. thank you very much and god bless america! >> you could hear every inch of possum trot, alabama, which is where she is from. a powerful voice in the face of the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, which is the first law signed by president obama. she has been a very powerful surrogate for him.
the next speech is deval patrick, the current governor of massachusetts. after mitt romney left after one term. >> are you fired up? are are you ready to go? well, i hope so. this is the election of a lifetime. because more in any one candidate or policy, what's at stake is the american dream. that dream, the ability to imagine a better way for ourselves and our family and then to reach for it, that dream is central for who we are and what we stand for as a nation. whether that dream endures for another nation depends on you and me, but it also depends on who leads us. in massachusetts, we know mitt romney. by the time he left office,
massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation during better economic times and household income in our state was declining. he cut education deeper than anywhere else in america. roads and bridges were crumbling. business tacks were up and business confidence was down. our clean energy potential was stalled and we had a structural budget deficit. mitt romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed, i can tell you, massachusetts was not one of them. he's a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor, he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job. so when i came to office, we set
out on a different course. investing in ourselves and our future and today, massachusetts leads the nation in economic competitiveness, student achievement, health care coverage, life sciences and biotech, energy efficiency and veterans services. today, today with the help of the obama mrwe are rebuilding o roads and bridges and expanding broad band access. today, we're out of the deficit hole mr. romney left and we've achieved the highest bond rating in our history. today, today with labor at the table, we made the reforms in our pension and benefit systems, our schools, our transportation system and more than mr. romney only talked about and today in massachusetts, you can marry whomever you love.
we still have much more to do. much, much more to do. but we are on a better track because we place our faith not in trickle down fantasies and devicive rhetoric, but in our values. and our common sense. the same choice faces the nation today. all that republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with. never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in tampa last week has the results to show for it. but we democrats, we owe america more than a strong argument for what we are against. we need to be just as strong
about what it is we are for. the question is, the question is what do we believe? what we believe in an economy that grows opportunity out to the middle class and the disenfranchised, not just up to the well connected. we believe that freedom means keeping government out of our most private affairs, including out of a woman's decision, whether to keep an unwanted pregnancy, and everybody's decision about whom to marry. we believe that we owe the next generation a better country than we found, and that every american has a stake in that. we believe that in times like these, we should turn to each other, not on each other. and we believe that government has a role to play.
not in solving every problem in everybody's life, but in helping people help themselves to the american dream. that's what democrats believe. that's what americans believe. and if we want to win elections in november and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, my message is this -- it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe! [ cheers and applause ] >> quit waiting -- quit waiting -- quit waiting for pundits or polls or super pacs to tell us who the next senator or congressman is going to be. we're americans. we shape our own future.
and let's all start by standing up for president barack obama. this is the president. this is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single american in every corner of this country after 90 years of trying. this is the president who brought osama bin laden to justice, who ended the war in iraq, and sending the war in afghanistan. this is the president who ended don't ask, don't tell so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for service. who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. this is the president who saved the american auto industry from extinction, the american financial industry from
self-destruction, the american economy from full-blown depression. who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last 2 1/2 years, more than in george bush's eight years in office. my friends, the list of accomplishments is long, impressive, and barely told. and even more impressive when you consider that congressional republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy. with a record like that, and a vision that hopeful and powerful, i, for one, will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office, and neither should you! [ cheers and applause ]
i want you to be clear. what's at stake is real. it's real. the orchard gardens elementary school in boston was in trouble. its record was poor, its spirit was broken, and its repgatiutat was a wreck. no matter how bad things were in other urban schools in the city, people would say, well, at least we're not orchard gardens. today, thanks to a host of new tools, many enacted with the help of the obama administration, orchard gardens is turning itself around. teaching standards and accountability is higher, the school day is longer and filled with experiential learning, art, exercise, and music. the head of pediatric psychology from a local hospital comes to consult with faculty and parents on the toughest personal issues in students' home lives. attendance is up, thanks to a mentoring initiative.
in less than a year, orchard gardens went from one of the worst schools in the district to one of the best in the state. the whole school community is engaged and proud. so am i. at the end of my visit, about a year and a half ago, the first grade led by a veteran teacher gathered to recite dr. king's "i have a dream" speech. and when i started to applaud, the teacher said, not yet, governor. then she began to ask those 6 and 7-year-olds questions. what, she asked, does creed mean? what does nullification mean? where is stone mountain? and as the hands of those 6-year-olds and 7-year-olds shot up, i realized that she had taught the children not just the memorize that speech, but to understand it. see, today's republicans, today's republicans and their nominee for president tell us that those first graders are on
their own. on their own to deal with their poverty, with ill-prepared young parents, maybe who speak english as a second language, with an underfunded school, with neighborhood crime and blight, with no access to nutritious food, and no place for their mom to cash a paycheck. with a job market that needs skills that they don't have, with no way to pay for college. but those orchard garden kids should not be left on their own. those children are america's children too, yours and mine. and among them, among them are the future scientists and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, engineers, laborer ered civic leaders that we desperately need. for this country to rise, they must rise. and they and their cause must have a champion in the white house. that champion is barack obama! that cause is the american
dream! let's fight for that! let's canvass and phone bank and get out the vote for that! let's go tell everyone we meet that when the american dream is on the line, we want barack obama in charge! thank you so much. god bless you! and god bless the united states. thank you. >> that is what i call a great political speech. that was everything you want in a speech. it laid out all the bottom lines, from pay equality to marriage equality, to open service, to saving the auto industry. all the elements of the president's successful platform and what he's been able to accomplish. and also put in the wow factor. i didn't know he had it. deval patrick, who has come from the protest movement of jesse jackson we saw there, and al sharpton, to the leadership generation of government. he personifies so well. i think that was the barn burner of tonight, so far. rachel? >> i have always heard that deval patrick is a great speaker, that can really bring it. i have never seen it, before
seeing it tonight. but i am totally with you, chris. we had a slow burn there, but boy did it burn bright. martin o'malley is speaking right now. martin o'malley, a very ambitious, former mayor of baltimore, governor of maryland. has been a strong surrogate for the president. this weekend ended up getting in trouble on the question of, were you better off four years ago? let's hear him try to make up for that and more. martin o'malley, right now. >> two months since our declaration of independence, outnumbered and surrounded, washington's army is about to be crushed forever at brooklyn heights. the british are closing in. with america's future hanging in the balance, word is passed up and down the maryland line, fixed pfix ed bayonettes, we're moving forward, and they do. they hold off the breach just enough for washington's army to escape and fight another day. today there is a plaque by the mass graves of those citizen
soldiers and it reads, "in honor of the maryland 400, who on this battlefield saved the american army." in times of adversity, you see, for our country, for the country we love, maryland always chooses to move forward. we understand that progress is a choice. job creation is a choice. whether we move forward or back, this, too, is a choice, and that is what this election is all about. democratic governors, with the support of our president, are leading their states forward. putting job creation first. balancing budgets, protecting priorities, and making the tough decisions right now, to create jobs and expand opportunity. together, with president obama, we are moving america forward, not back. with 29 months in a row of
private sector job growth, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by making college more affordable, for millions of middle class families, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by securing the guarantee of medicare for our seniors, president obama is moving america forward, not back. by putting forward a concrete plan to cut waste, ask those of us at the top to pay a little more and reduce our deficit, president obama is moving america forward, not back. and by adding american manufacturing jobs for the first time since the 1990s, president obama is moving america forward, not back. facts are facts. no president since franklin
delano roosevelt in the great depression inherited a worse economy, bigger jobs losses, or deeper problems from his predecessor. but president obama is moving america forward, not back. and yet, moiitt romney and paul ryan now say they want to take america back. and we have to ask, back to what? back to the failed policies that drove us into this deep recession? back to the days of record job losses? back to the days when insurance companies called being a woman a pre-existing condition? no! no, thank you. i don't want to go back, do you? instead of the balanced achievable plan to create jobs and reduce the deficit, mitt
romney says, puts forward a plan that would cut taxes for millionaires while raising them on the middle class. instead of improving public safety and public education like president obama, mitt romney says we need less firefighters, teachers, and police. instead of safeguarding our seniors, romney and ryan would end the guarantee of medicare and replace it with a voucher in order to give bigger tax breaks to billionaires. instead of investing in america, they hide their money in swiss bank accounts and ship our jobs to china. swiss bank accounts never built an american bridge. swiss bank accounts never put cops on the streets or teachers in our classrooms. swiss bank accounts never created american jobs. governor romney, just because
you bank against the united states of america doesn't mean the rest of us are willing to sell her out. we are americans. we must act like americans. we must move forward, not back. my parents, tom and barbara o'malley, like so many of yours, were part of that great generation that won the second world war. dad flew 33 missions over japan in a b-24 liberator. he was able to go to college, only because of the gi bill. our parents taught us to love god, love our family, and love our country. their own grandparents were immigrants. their first language may not have been english, but the hopes and dreams they had for their
children were purely american. you see, there is a powerful truth at the heart of the american dream. the stronger we make our country, the more she gives back to us, to our children, and our grandchildren. our parents and grandparents understood this truth deeply. they believed, as we do, that to create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments, educating, innovating, and rebuilding for our children's future. building an economy to last, from the middle class up, not from the billionaires down. yes, we live in changing times. the question is, what type of change will we make of it? as we search for common ground and the way forward together, let's ask one another, let's ask the leaders in the republican party, without any anger,
meanness, or fear, how much less do you really think would be good for our country? how much less education would be good for our children? how many hungry american kids can we no longer afford to feed? governor romney, how many fewer college degrees would make us more competitive as a nation? the future we seek is not a future of less opportunity, it is a future of more opportunity, more opportunity for all americans. close your eyes, see the faces of your parents and your great-grandparents. they did not cross an ocean, settle a continent, do hard, back-breaking work so their children and grandchildren could live in a country of less. they came here because the united states of america is the greatest job-generating, opportunity-expanding country ever created by a free people in
the history of civilization. and she still is! let us not be the first generation of americans to give our children a country of less. let us return to the urgent work of creating more jobs, more security, and more opportunity for our people, and together, let us move forward, not back, by re-electing barack obama, president of the united states! god bless you all. >> governor martin o'malley, democrat of maryland. unfortunately having to follow deval patrick tonight, who gave the speech of his life. martin o'malley, an ambitious guy, the speech had been built up to be a big thing. tonight, the reaction here was that he was not -- his speech tonight was not -- >> i think i see a future, hhs secretary out there, looking back. >> you don't think it's presidential. >> no. >> he's the guy that followed deval patrick, before michelle obama. that's who he is. >> that's right. >> two mistakes this week, the
four years, are you better off question, that he flubbed, and then speaking after deval patrick. >> speaking in the golden hour with all the network coverage tonight too. >> in 2008, president obama said, we're the ones you've been waiting for. president obama got that from deval patrick. i mean, he has been a benchmark kind of presenter for democrats for a long time. he also used two words that i know are going to really rile the liberal base in the talk radio world. and that is, talk about backbone. and also not being bullied. i mean, those two things -- >> those in the patrick speech. >> absolutely. and liberals have been talking for a long time, you know, we need backbone, we need backbone. they all go back to universal health care, not being allowed to be at table when we started the health care debate. they were thrown out of the senate hearing by a couple of senators that just didn't want universal health care sitting at the table. and that word "backbone" has been with the liberals for a long time. >> he said, "if we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time
for democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe." big cheers, "quit waiting for pundits or polls or super pacs to tell us what the next senator or congressman or president is going to be. we're americans, we shape our own future, let's start by standing up for president obama." >> i join him in my strong anti-pundit -- >> i join him with backbone. you have to be backbone to be anti-pundit. >> chris matthews, are we being unfair to martin o'malley. was he not favored by the speech gods tonight? >> i think god was unfair to him tonight. let me just make the point, what we saw tonight, perhaps for those who are progressives, who really want to have an election this year, for them, is the fact that for the first time, you see surrogates standing up for this president in this entire process. we have -- until tonight, haven't seen people standing up and giving strong speeches. >> this is the most anticipated moment of the night, before the first lady's speech. tonight's keynoter, julio
castro. he is the mayor of san antonio. >> thank you! thank you. my fellow democrats, my fellow americans, my fellow texans, i stand before you tonight as a young american, a proud american of a generation born as the cold war receded, shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution, and determined to re-elect the man who will make the 21st century another american century, president barack obama! the unlikely journey that brought me here tonight began many miles from this podium. my brother, joaquin, and i grew up with my mother, rosie, and my
grandmother, victoria. my grandmother was an orphan. as a young girl, she had to leave her home in mexico and move to san antonio, where some relatives had agreed to take her in. she never made it past the fourth grade. she had to drop out and start working to help her family. my grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook, and a babysitter, barely scraping by, but still, working hard to give my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. as my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren, she prayed to god for just one grandbaby before she died. you can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered over. she was so excited that the day before joaquin and i were born, she entered them in a cookoff
and she won $300. that's how she paid ourtal bill. by the time joaquin and i came along, this incredible woman had taught herself to read and write in both spanish and english. i can still see her in the room that joaquin and i shared with her, reading her agatha christie novels late into the night. and i can still remember her every morning, as joaquin and i walked out the front door to school, making the sign of the cross behind us, saying -- [ speaking in foreign language ] -- may god bless you. my grandmother didn't live to see us begin our lives in public service, but she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in san antonio, one can grandson would be the mayor and the other would be on his way, the good people of san antonio willing, to the united states congress!
my family's story isn't special. what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation, no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. america didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. my grandmother's generation and generations before always saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. they believed that opportunity created today would lead to prosperity tomorrow. that's the country they envisioned and that's the country they helped build. the roads and bridges they built, the schools and universities they created, the
rights they fought for and won. these open the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did, and that's the middle class, the engine of our economic growth. with hard work, everybody ought to be able to get there. and with hard work, everybody ought to be able to stay there. and go beyond. the dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to americans. it's a human dream, one that calls across oceans and borders. the dream is universal, but america makes it possible, and our investment in opportunity makes it a reality.
now, in texas, we believe in the rugged individual. texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps. and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize that there are some things we can't do alone. we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow. and it starts with education. 20 years ago, joaquin and i left home for college and then for law school. in those classrooms, we met some of the brightest folks in the world. but at the end of our days there, i couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at
thomas jefferson high school in san antonio. they had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at stanford and harvard. i realized the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. the difference was opportunity. in my city of san antonio, we get that. so we're working to ensure that more 4-year-olds have access to pre-k. we opened cafe college, where students get help with everything from college test prep to financial aid paperwork. we know that you can't be pro-business unless you're pro-education. we know that pre-k and student loans aren't charity. they're a smart investment a workforce that can fil america. we're investing in young minds
today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow. and it's paying off. last year, the milken institute ranked san antonio as the nation's top-performing local economy. and we're only getting started! opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow. now, like many of you, i watched last week's republican convention. and they told a few stories of individual success. we all celebrate individual success. but the question is, how do we multiply that success? the answer is president barack obama.
mitt romney, quite simply, doesn't get it. a few months ago, he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money, if you have to, from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america, not here, not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm. i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good he's had it.
we know that in our free market economy, some will prosper more than others. what we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance and the thing is, mitt romney and the republican party are perfectly comfortable with that america. in fact, that's exactly what they're promising us. the romney/ryan budget doesn't just cut public education, cut medicare, cut transportation, and cut job training. it doesn't just pummel the middle class. it dismantles it. it dismantles what generations before have built to ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. when it comes to getting the middle class back to work, mitt romney says no. when it comes to respecting women's rights, mitt romney says no. when it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who they want to marry, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care, mitt
romney -- >> says no. >> actually. actually -- actually -- actually, mitt romney said yes, and now he says -- >> no! >> governor romney has undergone an extreme makeover. and it ain't pretty. so here's what we're going to say to mitt romney in november. we're going to say no! of all the fictions we heard last week in tampa, the one i find most troubling is this. if we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who
are already ahead. we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. we have to invest in it. republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. folks, we've heard that before. first they called it trickle-down, then they called it supply-side, now it's romney/ryan, or is it ryan/romney? either way, their theory's been tested, it failed, our economy failed, the middle class paid the price, your family paid the price, mitt romney just doesn't get it!
but barack obama gets it. he understands that when we invest in people, we're investing in our shared prosperity. and when we neglect that responsibility, we risk our promise as a nation. just a few years ago, families that had never asked for anything found themselves at risk of losing everything. and the dream my grandmother held, that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there, if not for her, then for her children. that dream was being crushed. but then president obama took office, and he took action. when detroit was in trouble, president obama saved the auto industry and saved a million jobs. seven presidents before him, republicans and democrats, tried to expand health care to all americans. president obama got it done.
he made an historic investment to lift our nation's public schools and expanded pell grants so that more young people could afford college. and because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called dreamers. [ cheers and applause ] now it's time for congress to enshrine in law their right to pursue their dreams in the only place they've ever called home, america. four years ago, america stood on the brink of a depression. despite incredible odds and united republican opposition, our president took action, and now we've seen 4.5 million new
jobs. he knows better than anyone that there's more hard work to do, but we're making progress and now we need to make a choice. it's a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less or a country where everybody pays their fair share, so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. it's a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts pell grants or a nation that invests more in education. and it's a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship american jobs overseas, or a leader who brings jobs back home. this is the choice before us. and to me, to my generation, and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear.
our choice is a man who's always chosen us. a man who already is our president, barack obama. [ cheers and applause ] >> four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! >> in the end, the american dream -- the american dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford the to rent her own.
but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for civil rights, so that instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone. and while she may -- while she may be proud of me tonight, i got to tell you, mom, i'm even more proud of you. thank you. today -- today my beautiful wife, erica, and i are the proud parents of a
3-year-old little girl, corrina victoria, named after my grandmother. a couple of mondays ago -- a couple of mondays ago was her first day of pre-k, and as we dropped her off, we walked out of the classroom and i found myself whispering to her, as was once whispered to me -- [ speaking in spanish ] -- may god bless you. she's still young and her dreams are far off yet, but i hope she'll reach them. as a dad, i'm going to do my part, and, i know she'll do hers. but our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part, as one community, one united states of america, to ensure opportunity for all of
our children. the days we live in are not easy ones, but we have seen days like this before, and america prevailed. with the wisdom of our founders and the values of our families, america prevailed. with each generation going further than the last, america prevailed. and with the opportunity we build today, for a shared prosperity tomorrow, america will prevail! it begins with re-electing barack obama! it begins with you! it begins now! [ speaking spanish ] may god bless you and may god bless the united states of america. thank you! [ cheers and applause ] >> that was julian castro, of course, the mayor of san antonio.
one of the great speeches i've ever heard. he reminded everybody, i think, watching tonight, why the democratic party was once the huge majority party in this country. it was about the immigration experience, about parents and grandparents, working so their kids could make it. it was about opportunity. it wasn't about entitlement. it wasn't about welfare. here's the video for michelle obama. >> -- i have the privilege of meeting folks from different backgrounds and hearing what's going on in their lives. know that when our men and women in uniform are called to serve, their families serve right alongside them. we are trying to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation. >> when the world is swirling around you and you're faced with tough challenges, if your family is good, you're good. if any family in this country struggles, then we cannot be fully content with our own
family's good fortune. because that is not what we do in this country. that is not who we are. that is not who we are. >> our house, growing up, was extremely modest. i remember our bedroom being formally the living that my parents had divided using paneling. >> it basically carved the room out into two small rooms that were small enough for a twin bedroom and a desk. a special treat was that we could sleep out on the back porch when things got hot >> as far as where we lived, that just wasn't an issue. i was raised to have fun, where we were, with what we had. and it seemed like it was okay. >> neither one of our parents went to college.
but with a lot of love and a lot of caring, we were afforded an opportunity to go to college. >> we didn't say, you should be a lawyer or you should be a schoolteacher, it was, you should get an education. >> we had to take out student loans in order to pay for those. >> i know now how much my father had to work and struggle, because he had to take out loans to cover his portion of our tuition. >> he understood his responsibilities, that despite this hardship and despite challenges, he was going to be there for his kids, always. no matter what. >> my husband would bounce out of bed and almost sing his way out of the door to work, on crutches. and that would sort of wake me up. >> we did a lot of laughing in
our household, and all of that happened in those few little rooms. >> michelle obama, now stepping into america's most traditional role. the full-time, non-paying job of first lady. >> part of what makes her extraordinary is that she has continued to be down to earth, even as the first lady. i mean, she's just michelle. our friendship developed, i think, because we both have an interest in military families. when i met michelle, she said, what do you think would be the issue that you're most interested in? and i said, uh, military families. >> and i said to jill, i said, that's what i'd like to do. and that's where it all began. >> we've done three tours. it's meant a lot to our family during some difficult times, just to know that there are folks in the white house, rowing in the same direction with us.
>> whether it be helping homeless vets, helping with unemployment, helping spouses find jobs, it's all come together. >> she genuinely seems to care and want to know what military families are going through, so that she can make changes on a national level. >> y'all don't even ask for much, you know? it's like, so, we should be able to step up in whatever way we can. 1% of the country is serving to protect the freedoms of the other 99% of us. so my view is that there's a lot more that we can be doing for them to make that service and sacrifice a little -- a little easier. >> she's so good with young people. and she sees herself in them. she treats the young children just the way she treats her own kids. and so they look at her as their mom, because she is a mom. >> it's a natural for me to see her getting the nation's kids out there exercising and moving around. >> the best way to take care of yourself is to own your health. to eat better, exercise more.
>> it's about the whole child. it's about understanding how a child develops and how we can best put a child in a position to be successful. >> and she wanted it to be fun, to come up with let's move, it has such a great move. you know, let's move is something we do together. >> she is a strong woman, physically, obviously, we all saw poor jimmy fallon. ♪ >> i was just wondering if you could do more push-ups than i can do? >> and i thought it wouldn't be good to show off the first lady, so i stopped. >> i've seen a lead by example, a get right into it, a pull up your sleeves, hula hooping, jump romie i roping first lady. and i thought, that's what we need. >> hello, mrs. obama. >> hey, dave. >> and the number one fun fact about gardening. >> with enough care and effort,
you can grow your own barack-oli. >> wow! look at this. >> we worked in the garden and we harvested some healthy food. >> a lot of carrots. >> peas. >> fruit. >> she encouraged us to exercise more and to eat healthier. >> you really are a wonderful woman. >> i think you're the perfect wife for obama. >> i am barack obama and this is my wife, michelle. >> hey. i'm his date. >> family's everything. i think there's nothing more important to her than her children and her marriage and her mom and making sure that that all works well together. >> she was very clear. mom in chief. i heard it. you heard it. she came in with a very clear, we're going to make sure our kids are okay. >> i think every parent thinks their kids are fabulous and
remarkable and special and my kids are fabulous and remarkable and special. and the reason they are is because of michelle. i always say that in our household, she's the conductor. and i'm second fiddle. >> you know, barack always gives me so much credit for who our girls have become, but let me tell you, our girls wouldn't be who they are without a man in their life who loved them deeply. >> what i love about my wife more than anything is she knows what's important. and she knows that the best and most important legacy of anybody's life is making sure that your kids turn out all right. they have good values. they're kind. they're caring. and what's very gratifying to me is that i know the girls at this point are going to be fine, because they've got the best mom in the world. [ cheers and applause ]
>> please welcome elaine bride -- >> elaine bride is the mother of four active duty mothers of the u.s. military, and she's about to give a short introduction to first lady michelle obama. >> wow, what's a mom like me doing in a place like this? i'm not even a political person, but what i am is a military mom. my husband and i are so proud of our five kids, one each in the army, the navy, the air force, and the marines. our youngest is still in high school and, yes, we are hoping he will join the coast guard.
they are mom's most precious treasures. and i don't know when i'm going to get them together again, because one of them is always deploying. but because of dr. biden and the first lady, our lives are a little bit easier. along with president obama, they have made helping military families a top priority. they've brought together the american people, including thousands of businesses to become part of a nationwide support network. it is honor and respect in action, and it warms this mother's heart. last december, i wrote michelle obama a christmas card, just a
mom-to-mom note to say, thank you for caring. the first lady not only read my letter, she invited my husband and i to the white house. it was an amazing experience, but what's even more amazing is knowing that our commander in chief and first lady are thinking about families like mine every single day. so like i said, i'm not a political person, but i'm a mom. and if someone is there for my family and families like mine, then i'll be there for them. that's why i am so proud to introduce my fellow mom and our first lady, michelle obama. [ cheers and applause ]
thank you. [ cheers and applause ] thank you so much. with your help, with your help -- let me start. i want to start by thanking elaine. elaine, thank you so much. we are so grateful for your family's service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back. over the past few years as first lady, i have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country, and everywhere i've gone, and the people i've met and the stories i've heard, i have seen the very best of the
american spirit. i have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls. i've seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district, who vowed to keep teaching without pay. i've seen it in people who become heroes at a moment's notice, diving into harm's way to save others, flying across the country to put out a fire, driving for hours to bail out a flooded town. and i've seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families. in wounded warriors, who tell me they're not just going to walk again, they're going to run and they're going to run marathons. in the young man blinded by a bomb in afghanistan, who said, simply, i'd give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance
to do what i have done and what i can still do. every day, the people i meet inspire me. every day, they make me proud. every day, they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege, but back when we first came together four years ago, i still had some concerns about this journey we'd begun. while i believed deeply in my husband's vision for this country, and i was certain he would make an extraordinary president, like any mother, i was worried about what it would mean for our girls, if he got that chance. you know, how will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight? how would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they'd ever known?
see, our life before moving to washington was filled with simple joys. saturdays at soccer games, sundays at grandma's house, and a date night for barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, i couldn't stay awake for both. and the truth is, i loved the life we had built for our girls, and i deeply loved the man i had built that life with. and i didn't want that to change if he became president. i loved barack just the way he was. you see, even back then, when barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, i could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door.
he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he'd found in a dumpster. and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small. but, see, when barack started telling me about his family, see, now that's when i knew i had found a kindred spirit. someone whose values and upbringing were so much like mine. you see, barack and i were both raised by families who didn't have much in the way of money or material possessions, but who had given us something far more valuable -- their unconditional love. their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves. my father was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when my brother and i were young. and even as a kid, i knew there
were plenty of days when he was in pain. and i knew there was plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply get out of bed. but every morning, i watched my father wake up with a smile, you know, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform. and when he returned home after a long day's work, my brother and i would stand at the top of the stairs of our little apartment, patiently waiting to greet him, watching as he reached down to lift one leg and then the other, to slowly climb his way into our arms. but despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work. he and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of. and when my brother and i finally made it to college,
nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants. but my dad still had to pay a tiny portion of that tuition himself, and every semester, he was determined to pay that bill right on time, even taking out loans when he fell short. he was so proud to be sending his kids to college. and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline, because his check was late. you see, for my dad, that's what it meant to be a man. like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life. being able to earn a decent living that loallowed him to support his family. and as i got to know barack, i realized that even though he had grown up all the way across the country, he'd been brought up just like me. barack was raised by a single
mom who struggled to pay the bills and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help. barack's grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank and she moved quickly up the ranks. but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. and for years, men no more qualified than she was, men she had actually trained, were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while barack's family continued to scrape by. but day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus, arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret. and she would often tell barack, as long as you kids do well, bare, that's all that really matters. like so many american families, our families weren't asking for much. they didn't begrudge anyone
else's success or care that others had much more than they did. in fact, they admired it. they simply believed in that fundamental american promise, that even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids. that's how they raised us. that's what we learned from their example. we learned about dignity and decency. that how hard you work matters more than how much you make. that helping others means more than just getting ahead of yourself. we learned about honesty and integrity. that the truth matters. that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules.
and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square. we learned about gratitude and humility, that so people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean. and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect. those are the values that barack and i and so many of you are trying to pass on to our own children. that's who we are. and standing before you four years ago, i knew that i didn't want any of that to change if barack became president. well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen
firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. [ cheers and applause ] you see, i've gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like. and i've seen how the issues that come across a president's desk are always the hard ones. you know, the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. the judgment calls where the stakes are so high and there is no margin for error. and as president, you're going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people, but at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are.
so when it comes to rebuilding our economy, barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother. he's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. that's why he signed the lily ledbetter fair pay act, to help women get equal pay for equal work. that's why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet. that's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again. jobs you can raise a family on. good jobs, right here in the united states of america. when it comes to the health of our families, barack refused to listen to all those folks who
told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. he didn't care whether it was the easy thing to do politically. no, that's not how he was raised. he cared that it was the right thing to do. he did it because in america, o grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick. and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. and he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. that's what my husband stands for. [ cheers and applause ]
when it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve, barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could have attended college without financial aid. and believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage. yeah, we were so young, so in love, and so in debt. and that's why barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down, because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt. so in the end, for barack, these issues aren't political. they're personal. because barack knows what it means when a family struggles.
he knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. barack knows the american dream, because he's lived it. and he wants everyone in this country, everyone, to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like, or who we love. and he believes that when you've worked hard and done well and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. [ cheers and applause ]
so, when people ask me whether being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. yeah, he's the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods, where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work. because for barack, success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives. [ cheers and applause ]
he's the same man -- he's the same man when our girls were first born would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure that they were still breathing, proudly showing them off to everyone we knew. you see, that's the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, strategizing about middle school friendships. that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him, the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills, from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care, from the
young people with so much promise, but so few opportunities -- >> i love you, michelle! >> -- and i see the concern in his eyes. and i hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, you won't believe what these folks are going through, michelle. it's not right. we've got to keep working to fix this. we've got so much more to do. i see -- i see how those stories -- >> four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! four more years! >> i see how those stories, our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams, i see how
that's what drives barack obama every single day. and i didn't think that it was possible, but let me tell you, today i love my husband even more than i did four years ago. even more than i did 23 years ago when we first met. let me tell you why. see, i love that he has never forgotten how he started. i love that we can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. you know, i love that for barack, there is no such thing as "us" and "them." he doesn't care whether you're a democrat or republican or none of the above. he knows that we all love our country. and he is always ready to listen to good ideas. he's always looking for the very best in everyone he meets. and i love that even if the toughest moments, when we're all sweating it, when we're worried
that the bill won't pass and it seems like all is lost, see, barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise. no, just like his grandmother, he just keeps getting up and moving forward, with patience and wisdom and courage and grace. [ cheers and applause ] and he reminds me -- he reminds me that we are playing a long game here. and that change is hard, and change is slow and it never happens all at once. but, eventually, we get there. we always do. we get there, because of folks like my dad, folks like barack's grandmother. men and women who said to themselves, i may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will. maybe my grandchildren will.
see, so many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice and longing and and steadfast love. because time and again, they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard. so today, when the hard. so today when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming or even impossible, let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. it is who we are as americans. it is how this country was built. [cheers and applause ] and if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us, you know, if they could raise beams of steel
to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with a touch of the button, than surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids, right? and if so many brave men and women could wear our country's uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. surely we could get to the polls on election day and make our voices heard. [cheers and applause ] if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for better
life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking a vote, if a generation could define greatness for all time, in a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream and proud americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the alter with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. [cheers and applause ] because in the end -- in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country, the story of unwavering
hope grounded in unyielding struggle. that is what has made my story and barack's story and so many other american stories possible. and let me tell you something, i say all of this tonight not just as first lady. no. not just as a wife. you see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom in chief. our daughters are still the center of my world. and let me tell you today, i have none of those worries from four years ago, no. not whether barack and i were doing what is best for our girls, because today i know from experience that if i truly want to leave a better world for my
daughters and for all of our son and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a foundation for their dreams, opportunities worthy of their promise, if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, that belief that here in america there is always something better out there if you're willing to work for it, then we must work like never before. and we must, once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward, my husband, our president, barack obama! thank you! god bless you. god bless america.
[cheers and applause ] ♪ >> this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. ak political spouse, being the spouse of a politician is not an easy thing but it is a whole other job entirely to be the first lady of the united states, a job that brings with it a lot of speaking responsibilities and, oh my god, could you see that tonight. first lady tonight a long, personal, emotional, frankly, excellent speech from michelle obama. chris matthews? >> so much of tonight was interactive, it was between her and that audience in the room. i thought the camera work was so important to watching this on television because you saw on the faces of men and women of
black and white, of all different background the connection she was making with people, the emotional connection, telling the story of her love affair with her husband, their life of getting ahead. but there was one big difference than four years ago. it just came through in the earlier speeches tonight. it was hope and change. yes, hope and change. but not hope and change magically overnight but hope through work and patience and time and effort and then change. i think it was a much more mature look at american life and a more realistic look at their own lives as they got there. i tell you, i assume most americans watching tonight have been lucky this this country, have gotten close to the american dream, have done it the way they did it, with sfud ent loans, with good parents who made them study, being parents who make their kids study, of spending hours with kids answering questions. that is the normal route. and i think that was what was so wonderful about her speech. it was so accessible to everyone
watching. >> let me bring in lawrence o'donnell who was in the room, in the hall listening to the speech there. lawrence, we could tell by the magic of satellite how thunderous the ovation was and as chris was saying, you could tell by good camera work the kind of emotion that she was making with the audience. what was it like to be there? what were you seeing? >> reporter: the camera doesn't lie, rachel. it was really a striking speech in so many ways. there is no question who the best speech maker in the history of the first ladyship is and that is michelle obama. we have to remember that most first ladies up until the television age never gave a speech. but, still, among those who have, there has never been a speaker who could deliver what we just saw t was not a terribly partisan speech. it did not get into a lot of nitty gritty politic details and details of politics. she did make some very simple statements about what her husband has delivered in office. but what you had here in the
room, rachel, was a real, powerful connection. it is tangible, it is real. it's very hard to judge this from where i'm standing but it felt like she was delivering it on screen, also. a very difficult speech to watch at this stage, to in effect be introducing barack obama but it did have that element of introduction, framed in terms of reminder. one of the most striking passages of the speech was when she went into a refrain about why she loves barack obama. that is a difficult piece offing for a wife to say publicly, this is why i love this man. it's difficult to make it convincing in a context, in an arena like this. it was, i think, the most beautiful section of the speech and probably for people whop want to get a feel for what it's like to be married to the president, it was probably the most effective part of that speech. >> i think that's right. and i think it wassi interestin
to see the personal parts there, lawrence, with what ann romney tried to accomplish in her speech, talking about the reasons that she loves her husband and the ways that she sees her husband that are personal and private and that are a window into his character. it's an assurance from a very close vantage point and both of the speeches by the wives of the candidates tried to go there in the same way. this will be in comparison to the ann romney speech, will it not? >> it will. and there was very little anecdote in either one of the romney speeches. and that's the part where it becomes really interesting, where she's talking about their experience with student loans, there's experience with debt. not their great grandfathers or father's but their owns and there's no strain in it, rachel. when michelle obama tells these stories, there is absolutely no sense of reaching like, oh, you know, she wants to use this
little factoid for a political score. it's all part of the natural flow of the real story about how she came to be standing on that stage speaking on behalf of her husband tonight. >> let me bring in the reverend al sharpton for this. al, you have spoken at political conventions. you spoke as a presidential candidate in 2004 and you are a lifelong order. in listening to this speech, obviously everybody watching this speech is going to have positive feelings about michelle obama. her likeability is not on the ballot. what did she accomplish with this speech? >> i think she really connected with the american people in a way that you know she was not reading lines that someone wrote for her. you get the real feeling that she's telling her real human story. and i think what was most effective is how she talked about how they relate to their
daughters because people don't put their kids up for a political auction. and when she started talking about the dream for their kids and how they relate and how he's at the dinner table to answer their questions, i think that's the questions that brings you beyond politics. you know, i've known president obama and mrs. obama since he was in the senate, spent time with them and brought my daughters around. she has this unusual way to connect both one on one and publicly and she really connected tonight. i give my due respect to miss romney. but there's a connection that is unusual in michelle obama. >> and the speech was remarkably well-crafted from a political perspective. the president has incredibly high favorability ratings personally. handling the economy is the thing he's lacking on. the argument michelle obama made is their is no distance between the two. she was saying, if you like the man barack obama but feel a
little eh about how the country is, you can't separate who that person is once they get into oval office. the entirety of the speech made an implicit argument that the biggest strengths of the president should be the controlling determining factor in casting your vote. >> from a republican perspective, was that what she was trying to do? >> look, i think it was a brilliantly delivered speech and brilliantly delivered. it's unbelievable that four years ago the convention wisdom was that she was a liability and four years later she delivers an incredible speech, one of the most popular people in the country and i think that the two big speeches tonight have given the democrats a really good opening night. and the argument is just crystal clear and to see how it will build over the course of the week what was delivered tonight was the notion that we get it. we understand the pessimism in the country. we understand the pain you're in because of the economy. we get it. we understand it. we know it. we feel it. and they don't.
and i think tomorrow you're going to see that argument begin to advance, of course, with former president clinton, with the vice president, and then building to the president's speech on thursday night. but i think the democrats on the back of the brilliant keynote speech and then the first lady speech, we've had a very good opening night. >> in the end, for barack these issues are not political. they are personal. barack knows the dream because he wants everyone to have that opportunity no matter what we look like or where we live. >> it's been one speech after another, personal experiences, very emotional. she had the crowd right in the palm of her hand. and i think that we may have forgotten how good michelle obama is. and tonight we were reintroduced to a star, someone that has a real impact and the impact that she has had is on her family. and she is still the same first
lady that -- she talked about how barack is the same guy -- she has it all in perspective. a lot of soul searching tonight for the democrats, explaining to the country who we are, what we're about, what we believe in, and we're not going to stop. that's what i've taken from that. i mean, when she said that being president doesn't change who you are t. reveals who you are, i don't know if there was a better line in the speech. >> and she demonstrated -- don't forget, this is the couple that brought her mother to live in the white house. i mean, they are telling a narrative that they live, the mother you saw in the video, lives with them in the white house, takes care of the children. so it's not something that's just made for video. that's how they live. >> there are elements of the right, particularly of the far right media that have been increasingly comfortable with attacking michelle obama and increasingly personal terms over the course of this presidency. i think there's going to be
backlash against that, or at least they will feel innately that they will have to pull back, if it was as much of a blockbuster as we all think it was going to be. for reality on that, i want to go to chuck todd. chuck can be hard bitten on these things, comparing this reaction with anything that you saw, for example, last week in tampa. >> let's compare, first, the 10:00 hours. night one of the republicans, night one of the democrats. you know, at the time not one of the republicans, you think that was a pretty good night. ann romney was good. then you walk away going, why did she not end the night? why did chris christie end the night? compare how well they corey ohio graphed? you start with introducing the 10:00 hour. you start with an introduction to someone that you may not know, julian castro and then you end the way they ended tonight. michelle obama owned this convention, the delegates. i've been on the floor in the way that no speaker that has
owned the floor of the convention in tampa. you could just -- you heard the -- you could watch emotional connections from the delegates to the first lady. it was very powerful to watch and it's got to be something that democrats have to feel good about just the -- how much passion there is for the president. here, the passion on the floor when you saw it was never for mitt romney. it was always against the president. and it's just -- it is just one of those striking differences, at least on this first night that i've taken away being here, seeing how everybody here is listening to all of the speeches, even the ones at 8:00 and 7:00 and at 8:30 versus sam pa where they really only tuned in at 10:00. >> chuck, let me ask you something about chris hayes said about the structure, be that this is an effort to take inarguably the president's strong suit and the first lady
shares in it, which is likeability, personal attractiveness, for lack of a better term, and to apply that asset to the liability of how he is seen to be handling the economy, the first lady trying to bridge that asset into that liability by saying, if you like him as a person you should know the things that you like about him as a person are what he is applying to the economy. do you think that's what she was trying to do and is that smart? ze >> well, i do. in this case, if the president wins in this tough economy, it's going to be because he won the economic values argument and it seems -- there's one polling way to measure this, rachel. we show it. yes, mitt romney beats the president on who has better economic ideas but then you ask that question, who will be more likely to look out for the middle class? well, that's what michelle obama was testifying to. hey, look at -- let me tell you how he was brought up, let me tell you how i was brought up. we were the middle class.
we had debt. she was testifying to that. and he's already winning on that score and they want to exploit that cap and expand it more. it plays into the weakness they think of mitt romney personally and let's be crass about this and look at the battleground states. it plays in ohio. it plays in wisconsin. it plays in florida. a lot of struggling middle class families in those three states in particular. >> chuck, thank you. i want to go back to chris matthews. chris, we had a moment, a brief pause in the program between the keynote speech julian castro and the first lady's speech, and in that brief moment you described the julian castro speech as one of the greatest speeches you've ever heard. i've got to ask you why you said that, what it was about that speech that you liked so much and what do you think it did tonight? >> i think it's very important for families that came from europe ultimately to begin to understand families that came
from latin america have a very similar immigrant experience. latinos and lat tinas are brought up to being self-reliant to, make it in this new country, to get anything but a public education but they don't expect to be somehow victims of the society or somehow needy people. they help very much to share fully in the opportunities of this country, to become ultimately perhaps a bit upper middle class, to get to the top of their ambitions and i think that's really important. i've never heard it put so well, the immigrant experience of someone that came from the south as well as from the west or asia even. i think that was really important and to say that the latino, the guys like him, the women like him, their dreams are not just parallel with other people, they are fresh. they are hopeful right now to get a lot of what our families got generations ago. it has nothing to do with wanting to have dependency on government, welfare as a long term proposition.
i think it really challenged the middle. i think it was hopeful towards the middle. the bow was aiming at the base. he was aiming at the other third of the latinos holding out for the republican side. >> i want to point out that the white house sent out a photo of president obama watching the first lady's speech in the white house. i guess they are in the white house treaty room, apparently. i wouldn't recognize the couch. i don't know. obviously the president there watching the first lady's speech along with their daughters malia and sasha. in terms of the julian castro speech, it would be wrong to not note the parallel in structure describing the immigrant experience and so many that we heard at the democratic convention. so many people talking about having come from hard circumstances, even in their own lives, their parents' lives or grandparents' lives was a story we've heard over and over again. we've heard about the theme of the social mobility and wanting
the american dream to still speak to us today. the difference, we got those same parallel personal stories in both conventions. the difference is tonight we got policy discussion about how america should treat current immigrants, which we got none of last week. talking about immigration last week as if immigration is something that used to be awesome for immigrants that came here a long time ago but for now implicitly, you've got to go. >> i think all speeches have touched, intertwined personal experience with policies and what the democrats support wlrks it be food stamps, speaking about responsibility, it's not all about you, it's about the country. it's kind of a country first presentation to america. but they did a good job of you, you know, intertwining where they stand on policy with life experiences. and i think that's so relatable. this has been such a night of relate ability.
even if you're not a democrat, if you're an independent and there's not a whole lot of people whop haven't made up their mind yet, the window of opportunity to grab those people that are undecided. this has been an impressive night. >> the other thing -- to return to the theme of the michelle obama speech was remarkable, she didn't mention mitt romney once but she crushed him with everything that was in the speech because everything was the unsaid contrast to mitt romney. >> i've walked in your shoes. >> exactly. i understand you. we've been there. and i like this, because we built this and the fact that it was the recurring theme, the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean, we were taught to value everyone's contribution, treat everyone with respect, which is
a basic commonsense value that people share and was a very subtle and appropriate reply to this hyperindividualism. >> you're exactly right. it responds to, you know, you didn't build this by yourself. it was a very subtle but powerful way to deal with them, we built this on our own. she's talking about the ordinary average people that did. very effective. she did as her husband has did, this appeal is not about party but what we are as american people. i even saw steve schmidt clapping under the table. >> the julian castro speech was a great speech. it reminded me a lot of schwarzenegger's speech in the 2004 republican convention. what a skill it is to have a smile on your face and could be able to lacerate your opponent very, very effectively tonight. but to chris' point, it reminds me of george bush and the 2000 campaign where he talked about people who had indeed come to
the country illegally but he framed it as not an act of criminality but an act of love, crossing this desert through formidable conditions to get a better life for your family and you see in the republican party that the face that's put forward to latino community in this country is so often harsh, anti-immigrant, it's not the face of the marco rubio who actually do very well getting elected in western states. you saw tonight the face of the future. they have going to have great difficulty appeali difficult competing if they can't appeal to the latino because one day you may see a race between a castro and a rubio. >> that's exactly right. >> it's coming. >> in the republican party right now, you're right, the george bush wing on immigration issues
lost and the people who won are the january brewers and joe arpaios and mitt romneys. they are in politics right now which jeb bush keeps speaking eloquently about but those folks are losing. i want to go to howard fineman who has been on the convention floor tonight. he's talking to people not just about their reaction but what democrats think the kind of work is they need to get done out of this convention to help them out for november. howard? >> reporter: yeah, rachel. michelle obama came out tonight to the music of "signed, sealed, and delivered." and my interpretation of her speech and julian castro's speech is in many ways they are speaking to the obama supporters and trying to reignite the enthusiasm of what they said four years ago.
but to the volunteers and to the people who made it happen four years ago. i was talking to mark warner, the senator from virginia who had been governor. he was traveling around the state on labor day when they have traditional rallies in the state. four years ago, he said to me on the floor tonight, four years ago there were barack obama signs everywhere and the people who put up the signs, the roadside signs, the lawn signs paid for the signs themselves. this time around there were no signs to be seen in any of those rural, middle, and southern virginia places. so the purpose of tonight from castro and from the first lady was to speak to those people and plead with those people. i thought towards the end of the speech michelle obama was saying, look, you know what the vision is. i'm reminding you of what the vision of barack obama and the democratic party is but we need you to get out there and work. we need you to be enthusiastic. and that's the important thing for the latino vote, the women's vote, and interestingly enough in virginia, the veterans' vote because they think they have a got chance there. if barack obama cannot ignite
those people in northern virginia, he's going to lose virginia. if he loses virginia, he could well lose the election. that's the sort of on the ground reality. mark warner was concerned and hopes that things will develop over the next few weeks and i've got to say that speech by michelle tonight, i thought especially to remind people of what they liked about barack obama to begin with is important in ending what really still is an enthusiasm gap. you hear an undertone here despite the cheers of concern about the ground game. >> it's an important reminder of why we're hearing so many of these speeches, even the lighthearted ones turn to, this is why we have to work, this is why we have to volunteer and turn it into something. >> exactly. >> howard, thank you. one thing that we have not aired tob tonight which we have not talked about is the speech that brought the house down, the reaction to
this was a little bit over the top even. ohio governor ted strickland minutes no words about mitt romney. we'll have some clips coming up. it was the opposite speech to michelle obama but brought the house down in a partisan way. we've got that ahead. and we have ezra cline. this is the democratic national convention. stay with us. i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are. i have seen how the issues are always the hard ones. no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify.
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america will prevail. it begins with re-electing barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. >> welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. andrea mitchell has paul schumer with her. >> indeed i do. hello, rachel. >> what did you think? >> she knocked it out of the park. it was just incredible. i was choked up. it was a great speech.
>> what was different about this? because we've heard speeches that are biographical and she certainly communicated the value system of her husband but there was a connection to policy. >> exactly. the whole job of this convention is to show the average middle class person that we're going to do more for them than the other side. she did that. because it wasn't just, i love my husband and he's a great guy and great father. mrs. romney did that, too. but she tied it to what average people go through. she talked about the student loans that they had when they got out of school. the romneys won't know what a student loan was if it stared them in the face. she tied about their experience that she and barack climbed. the romney speech was sort of way up there and it was nice but it wasn't close to this. so if this is a metaphor, the rest of the convention, i'm excited because i think it will mean that we are connecting to average folks and feel their pain and their anguish and, most
of all, their worry about the future and can answer those worries much better than the other side. >> reporter: there's no question that she connected in the hall. i mean, it was an amazing experience because people were so fired up, passionately fired up. people had tears in their eyes. do you think that it's communicated out to the are rest of america? >> you know, some speeches are good in the hall and not good elsewhere but this was so powerful. my experience tells me it just pure strike through. she had those digs when she talked about when you make it you don't slam the door on people trying to make it. that had direct implications but people got what it did and i'll tell you something else, some people say, well, maybe she's angry. maybe she's upset. she was a powerful person and a strong person but a nice, caring person. there were tears in her eyes. >> reporter: she said that her best role, most important role is mom in chief. >> let me tell you, it's like
one, two, three, like in new york we would say, ruth gar rig demaciao. it's going to be a very good convention for us. >> reporter: as they would say in new york, murder is row. >> let's hope so. >> reporter: thanks so much. rachel, back to you. >> andrea, thank you very much. chris matthews is there as well. he's with my friend michael steele. chris? >> we're back. that's all for you, michael. as an outside observer, i want you to rate the three big speeches that i thought were the big speeches, julian castro from the mayor of san antonio and, of course, the first lady. do you want to do an ascending order of how you liked them? >> i do. i liked castro's speech.
i got this sense, rubio and castro between the two parties. but i think what he had to do was work it very well. deval patrick is a diamond in the rough. a lot of folks haven't paid attention to him. i think he's someone to look at down the road even though his plans are to step out when he's done as governor, he can always come back in. but i thought the first lady gave a hell of a speech. i thought she laid down and i know -- i know, you know rng i'm supposed to be all partisan but i'm an american and tonight that was a very good speech by the first lady setting down the marker for her husband's administration and i disagree all day long with her husband's policies and administration but you've got to give props where props are due. the first lady did a great job laying out the argument for -- in personal terms. there were a lot of similarities between her and ann romney in
terms of how they talked about their family life, how they wrapped around what they are doing with their husbands. i thought it was very well done. >> four more years! four more years! >> michael, my friend, how would you rate the dress? >> stunning. stunning. >> she came out and the first thing i thought was the wow word. the way she presented herself, the way she talked about her love for her husband. i don't think we've heard that from her before. >> no. and if you go back, chris, and you look at the speech in 2008 and you compare it to now, you can see how this first lady has grown in the office of first lady, how her experience with the american people and in the white house sort of culminated in that speech and i thought the speech was very powerful. it's like, we have not changed. you know, in the sense that we're still barack and michelle. i think that's a very powerful message and i thought howard fineman was dead on point, too.
the theme in all of the speeches was to the base of the democratic party, don't forget you've got to work. we've got to work this. because they do suffer enthusiasm gap. republicans are fired up and ready to go this fall and this speech is to kickstart that. >> michael steele, back to you, rachel. >> in thinking about the power of the first lady's speech, journalistic observers tonight, a couple things i want to point out, in terms of the nonpartisan nature of the speech. talking about her family and the president's family, they didn't begrudge anyone's success or care that anyone had much more than they did. in fact, admired it, which is a rebut tell to the republican saying that you're just resentful of mitt romney's success. and also she said, for barack obama there is no such thing as us or them. he doesn't care if you're a republican or democrat or none of them. the tone from the first lady has given it the nonpartisan appeal in contrast, be a speech that
brought down the house tonight in charlotte in front of the democratic audience but had a totally different tone in terms of being harshly, harshly critical of mitt romney and of the republicans. the speech was given by former ohio governor, ted strickland, boosting what president obama has done for his home state of ohio, strickland's home state of ohio but also really, really attacking mitt romney. here's some of what he had to say and how the crowd responded. >> the auto industry supports one out of every eight jobs in ohio and it's alive and growing in america again. late last year, chrysler announced they were hiring 1100 new auto workers in toledo. all over america, all over ohio, men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped "made in
america." that's what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people. barack obama has stood up for us and now by god we will stand up for him. now, mitt romney, he lives by a different code. to him, american workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. if he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from michigan to ohio and across the nation. if mitt was santa claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves. mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport.
it's summers on the beaches of the cayman islands and winter on the slopes of the swiss alps. barack obama is betting on the american worker. mitt romney is betting on a bermuda shell corporation. barack obama is saving the american auto industry. mitt romney saved on his taxes. >> i loved the part where he got to the elves. he said the word elf and crapped myself up. chuck todd spoke with ted strickland right after the speech. >> i'm here with former ohio governor ted strickland. tough speech on romney. any hes stantans about getting tough? >> no. i think mitt romney and his campaign are being terribly
dishonest. he knows it's not true and yet he continues to spend a lot of money spreading that lie, quite frankly, it is a lie. >> you think the welfare ad is specifically targeting those working white class workers that we all know about in ohio? >> i think it's not so subtle racism. they don't want to come out and say certain things. in my judgment -- i'm speaking for myself, not for the obama administration, but i've seen this playbook before where they try to drive wedges between people. the problem with this effort, though, chuck, is it's a lie and the media has looked at this carefully and they've said it's a lie and the romney campaign continues to do it. and i -- >> why do you think they are? >> i think they are trying to divide people and i think they are trying to create divisions. and that's just reprehensible, in my judgment.
so i think when something like that happens, it ought to be called for what it is. so i don't think i was nearly as tough on the romney campaign tonight as perhaps i could have been. >> ohio seems to be a state that is moving the president's direction. you talked to the romney campaign. what is on the ground that has happened where a year ago i'm sure you heard from barack obama folks who said we ought to do this without ohio. what has it done? >> mitt romney has known he's wanted to be president for a long time and yet he put his money in the cayman islands. he opened up a swiss bank account. >> you think those issues have pushed ohio -- >> those kinds of issues because they say something about judgment and i think they say something about character, quite frankly. >> ted strickland speaking with chuck todd just after his speech tonight, chuck essentially asking him, are you sure you wanted to punch mitt romney that hard and ted strict land saying, no, hold on, i forgot my brass
knuckles. here, let me do it again. wow. tonight was also the night that the democrats took back the messaging on health reform. that could have political implications because the republicans are planning on running on it. i mean, running against it. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're back right after this. >> all of the republicans are saying if with shrink government, cut taxes, all will be well. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ]
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i shed tears and i can breathe easier knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if, god forbid, zoe needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. >> being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition. >> our kids should be able to see a doctor when they are sick and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. >> the democrats did not give
their convention night's overt themes the way the republicans did but if there was an unofficial at least policy theme for what we heard tonight, it could be, we democrats passed health reform and we're proud of it. earlier this evening, ezra klein pointed out the democrats themselves have started calling obama care and republicans call it a dig but democrats are happily calling it that, too. ezra? >> yeah. i thought that was actually the big news going forward. michelle obama's speech and if you're looking for what is going to change the way the campaign is run from here on out, i think tonight will be seen as the night that the democrats took back obama care or at least developed a strategy to run on it. in 2010 it did not poll that well for them and they have been fairly quiet about it but since over and over again tonight they
developed a pretty clear way of talking about it and in particular the speech by stacy lihn was dramatic and i would say going forward in november you're going to see a fair number of ads going up in swing states where you have space see pre-existing condition, my child could be blowing through a lifetime cap. if mitt romney is elected, i don't know what i will do. >> ezra, i want to make this point and pretend you're not stealing it. it's hard to get bills past. all they have to do is use budget reconciliation if they get the senate to kill the subsidies. it's really important people understand this. killing obama care is much easier than getting over the
filibuster threshold in the senate. if you kill the subsidies that are what creates the expanded coverage, you kill the bill. all they need are 50 plus one. a divided senate with paul ryan casting the deciding vote. believe you me, it's a way of doing it. they've now promised everyone they'll do it, that is really in the most clear way, what is at stake from a policy perspective. the signature legislative achievement of the president and the democratic party and the senator left coalition is on the table if mitt romney is elected. it's hard to imagine him being elected without a senate. >> that's why it's so important you have senators running in difficult states like heidi, for example, who's running, she's in a difficult to win spot, and running on health reform. she's saying, you know what, part of the reason i'm running is not because i'm afraid of this, or going along with the republican line, i'm going to protect it. >> i bet there's some folks out there watching tonight saying,
gosh, after that story how could the republicans think about taking away something that is changes the lives of a family, and many families is saving them from bankruptcy. and heartache and maybe death? >> but see, i think that's the point. as long as the republicans can cast it as president obama's signature issue, a signature legislation, it's all political. the thing i think was very smart tonight about the democrats is putting the face on it, putting people out there -- because now it's republicans against them. against the little girl who needs the care. once you do that, it's difficult for them to put a face on their policy. what is the face you're going to put on the policy as to why i'm going to kill this? who's the antithesis to this little girl. even steve schmidt couldn't come up with how you characterize that. you have them with policy and
this other side with real living people. >> if you are not careful, you and steve schmidt are going to end up on one of those weird road trips. >> if i can ride with newt gingrich, i can -- >> i would pay, i'm just saying, speaker's bureau, people out there, i would pay. on the democrat's decision ezra was highlighting there, embracing the term obama care, president obama on the stump has been saying, i like the name, i do care. connecting it to the idea of my values is why i did this. is that smart? >> from a democratic perspective, it is the president's biggest legislative accomplishment, it's been his biggest political liability. the democrats have done a terrible job over the last couple of years, trying to explain this, trying to sell this to the american people. and they've paid a high political price for it. i think it's important that just from a body language perspective, democrats at a convention like this signal to their troops and supporters
we're going to fight, we're not backing down. it's much more about that than a concerted strategy, that now with two months to go in the election, they're going to go and try to do what they were unsuccessful at doing, selling this to the american people. i think they will do the minimal amount of stuff, i don't think you're going to see massive television buys. the president's not going to drive a stake on the ground on this issue, and make the presidential election a referendum on health care, but democrats understand, once all of the benefits begin to kick in, once people start receiving health care, there has never ever been an incident where an entitlement has been repealed in this country once people start to get it, i think that's the calculation that the democrats make on this legislation over the long term. >> and i would call it an earned benefit, not an entitlement. people have paid into this, and the american people expect it, and there's no majority anywhere in any survey that says we need
to change all of the things that the republicans are trying to redo. >> let me bring lawrence o'donnell and chris matthews into this from charlotte. in terms of talking about this, this policy shift, is this an important part of the message tonight? is this the policy stuff they're going to move on from? or is this going to be a continuing campaign thing? >> they're going to stay on health care, because they have to, that's the way the republicans are coming at them. they have found a way tonight, that is to find individual components of the bill, like lifetime limits on insurance payouts on insurance policies. who does that affect most grotesquely, a child born with the kind of heart disease that we heard about tonight? that child's lifetime limit of health insurance is obviously going to come into play before the child's five or six years old. and so that story was delivered in a way that we've never heard it delivered before, stacy lindh
came out and made that point clearly. now that point will be echoed throughout the week. we saw michelle obama echoing that in her speech. tonight is about michelle obama, it is now about her place in history. if you think back at where hillary clinton was at this point in the -- in her time in the white house, she was the woman at this point in time who you really couldn't talk about in american politics at the end of the clinton first term, she had led the debacle of health kash reform for the clinton administration, and look at how much she has achieved since then. michelle obama is carrying no political liabilities tonight. her political future, if she were to choose one is virtually unlimited. >> chris matthews, that's a provocative last point there from lawrence, the prospect of michelle obama for something. michelle obama running, is that the lesson for tonight? is obama care the lesson for tonight? what's the big underleaning
poi underlining point? >> i think michelle obama did what julian castro did, to draw the line. let people know that's where you are, you're not somebody on some slippery slope over the control of the economy, you're not some secret socialist that some crazy woman was yelling at me tonight. you're somewhere to the left of the center, you believe there's certain areas where capitalism has to be mellowed out, there has to be a safety net. you have to look out for people who suffer tragic illnesses. you need to have that, so the whole system works together. it's basically a relatively conservative position. you have to lay it out. until tonight, i think the democrats let the republicans define them further left than they are. that was a big mistake. >> i have to jump in here, to thank steve schmidt. we'll be back tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern for day two. ♪ [ honk! ]
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shut the front door. right? woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. now in two new flavors. you can trust barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard. especially when it's hard. >> the republicans set the convention tone. it was more of a party than a business meeting. tonight the democrats were loud, as you hear, boisterous,
energized and excited about their candidate. speaker after speaker gave passionate testimonies to this president. and the difference between what we saw tonight and what came out of tampa last week, couldn't be starker. the start tonight was michelle obama. she owned the convention floor. i think she owned everyone here and at home. let's watch part of her speech tonight. >> barack knows the american dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. and he believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.
no, you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that help you succeed. >> the first lady was not alone, the democrats gave a young rising star a major platform tonight. julian castro, the 37-year-old mayor of san antonio, he was the first hispanic american chosen for that honor and boy did he deliver. his speech was emotional and personal, touching on his family's immigrant experience. >> my family's story isn't special. what's special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other. a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation, no matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward. >> well, the democratic convention is clearly off to a rousing start, with some incredible speeches tonight. we have a lot to cover, and joining me now, debbie
wasserman-schultz of florida, chair of the democratic national committee. michael steele is the former chair of the republican national committee. i was thinking tonight watching duvall patrick giving the speak of his life, watching julian castro -- the first lady may be the crowning achievement of the evening. it's your great work that made this possible. you designed this evening. you built this house, didn't you? >> no, our house was built tonight by the most open, inclusive community oriented political convention that was ever put on. we're so proud that we were able to highlight our first lady's message, mayor castro's message, that we have come through a really rough patch. we inherited under president obama's leadership, failed policies from the past that nearly crashed our economy. and while 2080 was an historic
election, julian castro and michelle obama laid out the case that this election is personal. and that we're not going back. >> you know what i was noticing tonight, that this -- okay. a moment of greatness here for the chair woman. i want to ask you, michael about this convention as an observer. >> no, i think the democrats have come in and have kind of found their mojo. it's been a long time -- honestly, it's been a long time coming. there still exists, to be very honest about it, a legitimate gap of enthusiasm. >> here's michelle obama tonight talking about what it's like for
her husband to hear from americans in those ten letters he reads every night. >> that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night hunched over his desk, pouring over the letters people have sent him, the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills, from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise but so few opportunities, and i see the concern in his eyes and i hear the determination in his voice when he tells me, you won't believe what these folks are going through, it's not right. we have to keep working to fix this, we have so much more to do. >> that was very amazing. the idea of the president of the united states living in like an area where you live in as president, upstairs. and coming out of his little
study, what is it called? he comes out and says, you have to read this letter, michelle, that's pretty real. >> president obama is in public service for the right reasons. he wants to make sure that in america if you work hard and play by the rules, that you can live the american dream and everyone can have an opportunity to be successful. we have to have policies like he's put in place, like 18 different tax breaks for small business owners and focusing our tax policy on making sure it's not just millionaires and bill airs that can be successful, you learn from the stories that you hear from people that write to you, the struggles they've been through, and that informs your decision making as an elected official, and it's informed president obama's decision making. that's why he goes to bat every day. >> michael, all the republicans in your party last week, we talked about how tough their granddaddy had it or great grandfather had it, and the democrats tell how much trouble they've been having, with their
college loans, how tough it was for their parents to raise them. maybe this is just the advantage of having gotten a more recent difficult generation, where republicans are more landed, further developed, further along in the american experience these guys like romney. the last time he could point to a real difficulty, is back when his grandfather came back from mexico. >> you know, i -- >> and this is -- >> well, i don't want to put myself in the position of presuming how anybody's walk in their life is, having to deal with ms, my sister suffers from that, i know that's a very serious issue, and everybody handles it different. you don't want to presume what people do with their wealth, how they walk their lives. i think both parties are trying to key into the american people, specifically the middle class, we're prepared to fight for them. if that's what this debate is about this november, then i think america will be the ultimate winner here. we can go back and forth about
the policy differences that exist and they're legitimate differences. i think we have to overcome the initial hurdle that the campaigns have fallen through the muck and meyer. let's clear all that out, if both of these conventions are serious about coming out, having a conversation, then the two parties can have that conversation, the people will judge in november, and i think that kind of debate is what the american people are looking for. when i talked about the mojo before, what i wanted to say -- to finish the thought, the democrats realize they have a gap that they have to fill. and this is part of that effort. >> the democrats, this week, have a real challenge. i mean, if you're -- this campaign came in a box, a box of anti-democratic rhetoric for months now. the republicans led by their candidate, over and over, the party of europe. the party of foreignness, you're the guy down on the ideas. we're going to be the next greece, you're a socialist, it
seems to me, what you did tonight, was show you're clearly american born, clearly american experienced, your ideas come from the needs of real americans, they're not imported from some foreign strange place romney kept talking about. that's what i think was happening tonight. reminding everyone this is different than they say it is. >> if you look at the convention last week, which basically they put their convention on a fact free diet. >> yeah. >> because you heard speech after speech that basically mischaracterized and lied about president obama's record. it was an anti-obama convention, instead of a pro romney convention. what michael talks about, you at least hope that from being fortunate, that experience allows you to empathize with those who reason the, and it would help you make sure you went to bat for people who you needed to reach behind you and help lift up with you. >> i think he's done that, you saw those stories that were shared -- >> by -- >> you saw the stories that were shared by real people. >> but words are quite different than actions.
>> who have tough times. look, you can talk about what the republican convention was, fact free. let's get through this one first. you just -- >> let's take a look at -- >> it's two hours old, let's get through this one first. >> let's take a look at julian castro, the mayor of san antonio. his grandmother immigrated from mexico as a young orphan. >> the american dream is not a sprint or a marathon, but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for civil rights instead of a mop, i could hold this microphone.
>> mayor castro also got some major attack lines on romney. listen to this one, about how romney just doesn't get it. >> mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money, if you have to, from your parents, he told them. gee, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents. but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america. not here. not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm, i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good he's had it. >> pretty good line.
>> more than just a line. it really shows the two paths and the two visions. and the clear choice between re-electing president obama so that we have someone in the white house, who understands that we've got to rebuild this economy from the middle class out, and the bottom up, and we can't have economic policy that only focuses on millionaires and billionaires ands ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that hopefully the trickle down economics will drop some crumbs on the rest of us. >> are you saying we should re-elect president obama? >> i am absolutely saying we should re-elect president obama. >> thank you, debbie wasserman-schultz and michael steele. up next, he's the mojo man. up next, more about women voters on this program. live coverage of the democratic convention. >> i have seen firsthand that
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grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick. he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. that's what my husband stands for. >> welcome back, michelle obama delivered an electrifying and heartfelt speech tonight. she gave a strong opening performance for her husband who watched the speech from home with their daughters. the power of women in the democratic party was on fult display tonight not just in the first lady's speech, but a series of speeches by women. joining me right now are salon's joan walsh, who's very sheepish about these things. and howard fineman, my pal, who always knows the truth. he's an msnbc political analyst, and the great christine quinn,
new york city council speaker who i believe is running for mayor of the great city of new york. you're the new kid on the block, and you're irish, you get to speak first christine. let me ask you, i have not seen a night so strongly spoken for, spoken to, spoken about women. >> whether it was the first lady or mayor castro speaking so powerfully about his mom and his grandmother, it was a message tonight about the role the families -- particularly ones led by women have played in the history of america, and how we need to focus on them to move us even further forward. i think it was just a moving and uplifting night for everyone. >> it was family values, the phrase the republicans seem to own like a captive. >> it was every family value. i have to tell you, to hear the first lady say, that every proud american should get to go to the alter to marry who they love, it sent a chill up my spine.
>> you're married? >> just in may. he supported marriage equality on the week of my wedding. >> i found it fascinating, we grew up similarly, and i think what's a stunning thing is the democrats took it back. they said, we have families and our families struggle, and we had to have student loans and it's our american experience. we're not from norway or somewhere in this awful part of europe they keep worrying about. we're from here, we grew up here, whether we have latino names or not. we grew up here. >> we belong here. >> and we're from here. and they've been denying that, and the democrats have been letting them get away with it for all these months. >> no, they grabbed it back. i mean, i thought the contrast in the first lady's speech, and all the speeches was they have lived these hardships. when she talks about barack with his shoes too small and rusted out car. she's not describing something
that happened to someone else. with the romney's, it sounds like a story that was told to them. she created a vivid picture. you're right, julian castro likewise, created a vivid picture of his grandmother and mother, that you're like, yeah, we're really proud of who we are. >> it's funny, without getting into anybody's life, you never know what's hard or tough, ann romney saying, the toughest thing they ever went through was a rainy saturday with all the kids at home. it's not the same thing as having student loans when you're 38. >> there was some tuna fish involved at one point. >> but no spam. >> the whole burden of the republican convention was to try to prove that they, especially the romneys understood the lives of middle class people, it was a proposition that they had to prove whereas a thought, what
was effortless about tonight, these are unarguably middle class people. >> right. >> they don't need to prove that they understand working america, they are working america. that was the message. >> okay, chris. >> the other problem the republican convention had was, beyond that they don't have the policies to show that they understand. there's no substance there. >> the substance connected. >> the first lady talked about the president prioritizing tax cuts for small businesses. not prioritizing tax cuts just for upper income people. that puts me on the bone of the emotion. and the republicans can't do that. >> lily ledbetter, equal pay, in terms of health care for kids up to 26. >> there are things like that they can talk about. mitt romney has a more generalized vision about the power of the market. that it doesn't have the specificity that these programs do. there's a reason why the
democrats have advocated successfully programs -- >> the two women here, for years women, ever since reagan have been voting more democrat, i always said it's not just about choice. >> no. >> it's all these other issues that women traditionally have taken the lead on, taking care of the aging parents. >> right. >> knowing the teacher's names, knowing what shots the kids have had. knowing what's going on, and what your insurance does and doesn't cover. and the guys usually -- you know, may as well be mr. magoo for most of this stuff -- yeah, that's right, me too. you first, joan. i think that was the appeal tonight, across the board. >> men are changing. i want to give a shout out to the men that are changing, but you're right. the gender gap has always been about economic issues and women being more vulnerable quite frankly, and having to use government. to some extent more than men, i mean, i thought lily ledbetter was amazing, and when she said the difference between the 23
cents, the pay gap that mitt romney is not going to miss that 23 cents. >> that's for women who work outside the home. lily ledbetter means nothing to a woman who doesn't work outside the home. it's an outside the home issue, right? >> i don't know if that's true. >> you have a sister, or you have a daughter or a mother. >> or you may work outside the home some day, it also sends a message that government has said you have the same worth as a man, that matters to every person. >> let's take a look at -- >> go ahead. >> here's the first lady speaking beautifully about the american dream. let's watch. >> if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could
defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his righteous dream. and if proud americans can be who they are, and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. >> well, that wasn't a spouse's speech, that was a speech, by any standard. >> first of all, she's got better and better as a speaker. that's the best speech i've seen her give. best speech i've ever seen a first lady give at a convention. that was a campaign speech. to me, what this was about tonight, is trying to remind president 3w5uobama's original supporters, why they liked him,
why they trusted him, why they were excited about him, in some states like in virginia, you're not seeing the yard signs you saw four years ago. and i think the -- >> would you put her on the road in virginia every week, every day? >> and also, they're doubling down on women as supporters. the republicans tried to go after the female vote in tampa. >> when you have to say, i love women it's not a big deal. >> i think kathleen sebelius gave a good speech tonight. i'm glad to see the surrogates are coming out. they are acting like they're under the hat shack. you have to get out and get this guy re-elected. >> where's vilsack, all these people should be campaigning. >> the message i heard just now from the first lady is that america is about everybody. you don't hear that in tampa. >> please come back when we're in new york, you work there, right? >> i do. >> christine quinn, the speaker of the council of new york.
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>> the first lady. >> michelle obama, without a doubt, it was the most heartwarming speech i've heard all night. >> best speech? >> michelle obama, washington, d.c.. >> why? >> awesome, because she's woman power. >> woman power. sir? >> governor strickland. hardline. >> mayor castro, he's definitely going to go far. >> did you say rahm emmanuel? >> are you looking for patronage? >> mayor castro, inspiring, truly about the american dream. >> michelle obama is great, she loves women for real, she didn't have to do a script. >> michelle obama all the way. >> castro, deval patrick, the future of the democratic party. >> i think you're right, i think those guys are going to duke it out some day. >> i became a u.s. citizen three years ago, here i am voting for
obama, sir. >> michelle obama, she spoke straight from the heart. >> the mayor of san antonio, it's an american laugh. >> michelle obama. >> michelle awesome first lady. >> i think we have a winner here. >> here it is, i'll give you -- the story is, michelle obama beats out the mayor of san antonio in a close race, we'll be right back. >> we all understand that freedom isn't free, what romney and ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. que?
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this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. let's go tell everyone we meet that when the american dream is on the line, we want barack obama in charge. >> welcome back. we have a big program tonight. what i saw tonight were barack obama's surrogates. for the first time stepping up. with me now are david korn of mother jones. let me begin with the man we just saw, deval patrick, who in the past has seemed like a mild mannered speaker.
he came out tonight like a barn burner. >> it's time for democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe. this is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single american in every corner of this country after 90 years of trying. this is the president who brought been reason beenosama b ladin been to justice, who is ending the war in afghanistan. this is the president who ended don't ask, don't tell so that love of country determines fitness for service, who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. this is the president who saved the american auto industry from extinction, the american financial industry from self-destruction, the american
economy from full blown depression, who added 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two and a half years, more than in george bush's eight years in office. >> what is so hard about doing that, and why is it taking until september 4th, two months before the election for someone to come out and say what was there to be said. >> i wanted to know who this guy was, he should run for office, maybe challenge the incumbent in massachusetts, he sounded like an insurgent democrat. if you read his prepared remarks, said democrats need to stiffen their spine. he said grow a spine, he got in the moment and went further than his own speech did. he made a compelling case, he expanded on david axelrod's favorite line, barack obama, he saved gm and killed bin ladin. i think you'll see a lot of this this week, and it will kick into gear more and more. >> this is about salesmanship.
this administration has driven me crazy. the cabinet acts like theyen cat be political. none of them speak out for the president. finally tonight, they came out and acted like they knew how to do it all along. deval patrick was great tonight. rahm emmanuel was great tonight. the mayor of san antonio was great. are they finally, are they going to hit the road now? stop putting axelrod and these paid staffers on television, start putting principles. they're the people you want to see on "meet the press" not the staff. why do they put the staffers on, instead of putting the princi e principles on who know how to give a speech. >> you're right. it seems like you're covering talking points month after month, stephanie cutter, david axelr axelrod. >> the people who make the talking points. >> right. you see the obama campaign
became a campaign that's full of democrats that are enthusiastic. >> the grown-ups showed up. >> they didn't back away from all the accomplishments. they have been dancing around them for a long time. >> why did it take until now for michelle to give a speech. >> i listened to you go out to this crowd. they love michelle obama, i know that's the base, but -- >> they should put her out there, i would give her air force one, i would send her around the country starting now. >> there were three things that were donen to the. y don tonight. people went out and made a force force case about mitt romney. again and again. >> it wasn't to slash and burn. i disagree. >> the third thing was the choice, the choice, the choice, this is an election, not just a referendum. >> a mother of a child, a toddler aged daughter with a
heart condition described how obama care they now call it obama care has helped her family, and a romney presidency would impair her child's chances down the road. this is heartfelt. >> so many moms with sick children, i shed tears. and i can breathe easier. knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall or if god forbid, zoe needs a heart transplant. obama care provides my family security and relief. but we're also scared. govny romney repealing health care reform is something we lit single day. zoe's third open heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. if mitt romney becomes president and obama care is repealed, there's a good chance she'll hit
her lifetime cap. there's no way we could afford to pay for all the care she needs to survive. when you have a sick child it's always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the front of your mind. on top of that, worrying that people would let insurance company take away her health care, just because of politics -- >> what do you make of that. >> it's a compelling human interest story, i think when the democrats run hard on obama care, that reminds voters about why they dislike obama care, there are compelling human interest stories about people who got covered under this law. i think a lot of republicans were cheering that they were talking about this so much. >> obama care is essential to the first term of this president. he can't run away from it, he can't duck and hide, because republicans will attack no matter what he does. so putting up people like that, making ads like that, you could
say the same thing about romney care, i know people have the same stories to tell because of romney care, have you to play this strong, they started tonight. they'll do it again and again and again with mothers talking about these things in a heartfelt way. that's the way to do it, michelle talking about it, and testimonials like that. it may not win, but you can fight back to a draw and not make obama care this demon the republicans have turned it into. >> we already have medicaid for people who are below the poverty line, there's a person who's hit with a catastrophic health condition, it's an insurance program against this kind of cost. don't you think it's better for the democrats to talk about it in human terms like this wonderful woman just did than to let the republicans keep calling it european socialism and all that stuff? >> anecdotal politics can only
take you so far. universal health care coverage is something that happens in euro europe. >> it happened in massachusetts, come on. >> universal health care -- >> beautifully noted tonight it's 90 years promised because it was teddy roosevelt who started promising. was he european? the heritage foundation some communist front. >> he's making the argument based on policy expansion. >> obama no matter what he does good for this community he's some kind of foreigner, from europe or -- you always do it, you always do it. it's always some other -- he's some other -- anyway you guys never -- want me to read back the speeches to you? the genius you have running for president, all he talks about is this guy's european. thank you, david corn and robert costa for trying. up next, we'll be back with a
few hollywood stars to make their way to charlotte. thank you. >> i've worked on a lot of fun movies, my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out bin ladin and who's call with all of us getting gay married. so thank you invisible man in the chair for that. [ cheers and applause ] >> and for giving my friends access to affordable health insurance and doubling funding for the pell grant. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
three weeks ago my buddy kevin's boyfriend was able to watch him graduate from marine corps training. that's change. and we can't turn back now. >> he led some starpower to the democratic national convention here in charlotte. i'm here with three people advocating for the arts. with me are patricia arquette,
john leguizamo along with robin brock who's chief executive officer. i love that power. first of all, as artists, what did you make of tonight's rollout by the democrats. the choreography, the beauty. >> it felt very exciting, i've never been to a convention before. our coalition went to the republican convention and some of us got to come to this. >> this was one of the best nights and i've been to about 50 of them. i've been going since 1960. and this is -- the best opening night i've seen. >> i loved tonight, i was so moved, everything they said. moved the plot forward, answered questions that were pending in the air. i was moved to tears many, many times. >> i thought that the mayor of san antonio was fabulous. >> incredible. he's our future -- >> i think he and deval patrick -- >> deval patrick was amazing.
and libby ledbetter. >> everybody liked that too. >> i laughed, i cried, it was the best. >> i laughed, i cried, it's a movie. i thought what was surprising is the surprising, that michelle could give a barn burner of a political speech. this wasn't a my husband's great, it was a call to arms. >> it was great. i watched her and i thought about four years ago too. it's so wonderful to see how michelle has evolved. she was great four years ago, today she moved everyone in that speech. >> fortune magazine, that's about rich republicans asked mitt romney last month where he would start making budget cuts. these are his words. what he said. first there are programs i would eliminate. obama care being one of them, also various subsidy programs, the amtrak subsidy, the pbs
subsidy, the subsidy for the national endowment for the arts, the humanhumanities. i think they need toen sad on their own rather than borrow money from other countries. what a know nothing. he wants to cut funding on pbs. forget anything like the humanities or the arts. >> this is one of the stupidest things i heard of. you don't cut programs that bring your nation money. if you look at just the ipad, it was only created to download music, music that was being stolen on the internet. has generated over a billion dollars of taxable income. the number two export in the united states is arts and entertainme entertainment. you don't go that. we only spent $146 million on our arts spending. >> what's under that. >> agriculture.
and under arts and entertainment is military. >> with all the movies in the world -- >> you know what they sub sid dies those with? billions of dollars. it's in everything you look at, you go to buy a t-shirt, you don't go let me buy that ugly t-shirt. everything you purchase as a consumer nation you purchase because an artist married that. an artist decided what it was going to look like. if i'm a small business and i'm going to have somebody make a website for me, i don't say, let me just pick the cheapest ugliest one. >> you made your case, why would a candidate for office make a point of sticking it in the eye of the national endowment for arts and humanities? why would he throw that on a list of cuts? except for amtrak, he's only focusing on the arts. i want you to explain why a politician would do that? >> the republicans are always trying to say that hollywood is
backing the democrats. >> or they're pornographic or whatever. >> and then you have clint eastwood -- he says, a lot of republicans who are -- >> look at the rnc, they rolled out the artist, right? what's clint eastwood, he's an actor, an artist. they rolled him out. >> i want to get to the real toxicity of this. why would a guy running for president of the united states, when asked what he cut, why would he just focus on culture? >> i think that is a great lesson on why our country is failing in mathematics. for every dollar spent you bring seven dollars back. >> opposing education and arts, not believing there's climate change and not being anything clear about almost anything we learned in science. could it be that he doesn't believe in science? at least not -- >> when did arts become a political issue? that's what's crazy. >> when we salute our flag, we
sing a song. when winston churchill was told during the war that they were going to need to cut the funding for the arts, he said then what are we fighting for? this is our cultural identity. this is what makes our lives worth living. >> it's a great economic development resource tool. >> thank you for coming out here late at night. it's 1:00 in the morning almost east coast time. thank you, patricia arquette, john leg we zam mow. it's it for our coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte tonight. i'll be back tomorrow for hardball at 5:00 eastern. full coverage of a second night of the convention. a speech by bill clinton tomorrow night. it can't be done. tomorrow night from charlotte.
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