tv Democratic National Convention MSNBC September 6, 2012 7:00pm-1:00am EDT
thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. msnbc's special coverage of the democratic national convention starts now. there is not a black america and a white america and latino america and asian america. there's a united states of america. >> eight years after the keynote that launched his national career, four years after becoming the nation's first african-american nominee, tonight president barack obama accepts the nomination a second time. tonight the president makes his case for four more years. >> four more years. >> america needs four more years. >> tonight more from the first lady, vice president biden, caroline kennedy, the foo
fighters? yes, the foo fighters. weather moved tonight indoors. but after a first night owned by michelle obama, after a second night owned by president clinton, expectations for the finale are sky high. msnbc's primetime coverage of the democratic national convention's final night begins right now. thank you for joining us. i'm rachel maddow here at msnbc headquarters in new york. i'm joined by ed shultz, melissa harris-perry, chris hayes, and the senior strategist steve schmidt. lawrence o'donnell and al sharpton will be joining us in a moment. leading us from the site of the
convention is our colleague and friend chris matthews. you said on opening night this week that democrats were having more fun than republicans. but that didn't necessarily mean that they were winning. the democrats have been ecstatic at previous conventions where they had gone on to lose. so how do you rate the democrats' happiness and their prospects? >> wow. you're hitting me with the toughest questions. there's two months left with a lot of economic news to come. we've got the unemployment rate coming out tomorrow morning. two more after that. for september and october. they will tell us a lot. we have three presidential debates, a vice presidential debate. they will tell us a lot. we know this. we have a gifted president. who has all the ability in the world to deal with the problems we face. the question is tonight can he begin this fall campaign by speaking not so much from high in the air. you say sky high expectations, but he must be grounded. he must be grounded when he
speaks tonight. and the economic reality of ampb in that world of ours knows and feels every day. grounded in reality. he also has to be grond grount grounded in a new way. when he spoke in 2008 he spoke from a high altitude about a presidency he may some day hold. today he speaks as the man who holds it. he must speak over the entire executive branch, democratic party, as head of state of the american people. he must speak from that and say what he is doing with that power. he has to speak of a man who is in charge. that's the most important thing tonight. >> chris, we've had some exempts released in advance. they're not embargoed so the campaign is okay with people letting these out into the public. the excerpts that they're releasing indicate that this may be sort of a gritty speech, less a high flying speech or the one you're cautioning against there. but more one that is a hard
truths. he says at one point you didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. you elected me to tell you the truth. the truth is it will take more than a few years to solve challenges that have built up over decades. do you hear echoes of other presidents of other political messages there in that it's time for sober recommitment, that kind of message there? >> certainly the great 1930s speech that franklin roosevelt gave. that one in the midst of the great depression when it was so dark. he had to give that speech. certainly roosevelt later having to give speeches. there's no president who had a tougher time ever than abraham lincoln in 1840 -- 1864 when he gave perhaps the greatest speech until martin luther king gave his speech in '63. that was the second inaugural when he talked about the war on which all else depends. and today it's on the economy on which all else depends. he knows that. no matter what words he speaks
tonight, it's on the economy of which all else depends. he's going to have to hope people see hope before november. >> i want to go to chuck todd now thinking about what the president is going to have in mind and what the president is going to try to achieve with this speech. what do we know? >> a couple things. one thing that may be on his mind is a number that the rest of us will find out tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning. that is the all important jobs number. the way it works for those wondering is his chief economic adviser allen krueger, he gets the jobs number and some time after 4:00 p.m., he calls and tells the president what the number is. so the president -- and that's all it is. it doesn't get shared with anybody else. no speech writer. but it will be inside his head when he's delivering that speech tonight. obviously what that number is -- and we should talk about the fact the dow hit a record high during his presidency.
all of this coming together tonight on the night he accepts his nomination from a big economic, a big economic election. all of these market indicators as good as it's ever been in the obama term, the jobs number tomorrow assuming it is what some experts think it will be could give him a bit of momentum out of here. if he does get that momentum, then we look at romney having one more chance of sort of catching up. that will be the first debate. there will be a lot of pressure on that first debate. >> thank you. seeing the dow shoot up today was a good reminder of how much the president ends up answering for the economy. and in some ways how little the president's actions have to do with the economy. the reason the dow shot up to that record height of the president's term today was because of economic news in europe of which he had no influence. but it has grave political
implications for his career here. there's one thing we want to share with you that happened just before we got on the air tonight. john lewis addressed the democratic convention earlier tonight. and his speech -- he's always a powerful speaker, but this is a powerful and personal speech about the struggle for voting rights in this country past and present. it brought a lot of the assembled people at charlotte in that hall to tears. it was a really moving moment. we want to make sure you've seen it. watch. >> i first came to this city in 1961. the year barack obama was born. i was one of the 13 original freedom riders. we were on a bus ride from washington to new orleans. trying to test a recent supreme
court ruling that banned racial discrimination on buses across the state line. we tested the waiting room, restroom facility. but here in charlotte, north carolina, a young african-american tried to get a shoe shine at the greyhound bus station. he was arrested and taken to jail. on the same day we traveled to rock hill, south carolina, about 25 miles from here. when my seat mate albert and i tried to enter a white waiting room, we were met by an angry mob that beat us and left us lying in a pool of blood. some police officers came up and
asked us whether we wanted to press charges. we said no. we come in peace, love, and nonviolence. we said our struggle was not against individuals, but against unjust laws and customs. i go with the true freedom for everyone american. since then, america made a lot of progress. we are a different society than we were in 1961. and in 2008 we showed the world the true promise of america when we elected president barack obama. a few years ago a man from rock hill inspired by president obama's election decided to come forward. he came to my office in
washington and said i am one of the people who beat you. i want to apologize. will you forgive me? i said i accept your apology. he started crying. he gave me a hug. i hugged him back. and we both started crying. this man and i don't want to go back. we don't want to go back. >> brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? or do you want to keep america moving forward?
my dear friends, your vote is precious. almost sacred. it is the most powerful non-violent tool we have to create a more perfect union. not too long ago people stood in unmovable lines, they had to pass a so-called literacy test, pay a poll tax. on one occasion a man was asked to count the number in a bar of soap. on another occasion, one was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar all to keep them from casting their ballot. today it is unbelievable that republican officials are trying to stop some people from voting. they're changing the rules.
cutting polling hours and imposing requirement intended to suppress the vote. the republican leader in the pennsylvania house even bragged that his state's new voter i.d. law is going to allow governor romney to win the state. that's not right. that's not fair. and that is not just. and similar efforts have been made in texas, ohio,florida, wisconsin, arizona, georgia, and south carolina. i've seen this before. i lived this before. too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible for every american to exercise their right to vote.
>> and we have come too far together to ever turn back. so democrats, we must not be silent. we must stand up, speak up, and speak out. we must march to the polls like never, ever before. we must come together and exercise our sacred right and together on november 6, we will re-elect the man who will lead america forward, president barack obama. >> congressman john lewis, the civil rights leader addressing
the democratic national convention just a few moments ago. andrea mitch el is live inside the hall with us now with congressman lewis. andrea? >> thanks so much. that was such a powerful appeal. and you are the one person who has so much authenticity in congress because you lived through selma. you almost died in selma. and you see a parallel with these voter suppression laws. >> it is unreal to see what the republicans are trying to do all across america. it's not just in the south. but even in pennsylvania, in ohio, in indiana, and so many other places. they're trying to take us back to another period. and too many people have suffered, bled, and died for the right to vote. i tried to suggest tonight that the vote is precious, almost sacred. they want to take us back to another period. and we don't want to go back.
>> you are such an important symbol, a living symbol, of what happened. do you think that people have forgotten the struggles for the vote? >> i think we have to remind people over and over again. especially young people. young voters, of what it was like for people, for minorities. people stood in those unmovable lines. some people were beaten. some people were murdered. i will never forget the three young men in mississippi. they died by trying to encourage other people to become registered. and it would be an affront to what they died for and all those people that struggled to allow to keep people today from registering and from voting. >> do you think that there is
any connection with the fact that we have our first african-american president that these efforts have now been undertaken? they say those who support them say that they are aimed at stopping voter fraud. yet the attorney general says that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. >> well, it is a systemic delivery effort on the partisan forces in our country to win this election or to steal this election before it even takes place. i'm convinced of that. there's no such thing as widespread voter fraud in any part of our country. >> john lewis, a real american hero. thank you so much. rachel? >> thank you, andrea with congressman john lewis after that remarkable speech tonight at the democratic national convention. the ovation you saw behind them while they were speaking there was for the official technical nomination of joe biden to be the vice president of the united states. the introductory remarks that
were from his son, the delaware attorney general beau biden. and now joe biden has been officially nominated. we saw this happen late last night in terms of president obama being nominated after president bill clinton's speech. it is technically the business of the convention. and it -- i mean, as a civics dork i like to see it every time. just to see that happen. but obviously what john lewis is talking about, they're pointed political allegation there he makes that he said it was an effort to steal the election before it happens. >> yeah. earlier today while i was in charlotte i led a voter panel. who he said was born a slave and died a state senator. and the idea that there was a moment in american history where someone would have got from enslavement to hold office. then we talked about what happened in the period of that. the period of redemption. the notion of literally the
south taking back its ability to control through so-called local means who actually gets to choose who runs for office and who in fact holds office. and i think for many african-americans, this moment feels uncomfortably like the period of redemption. this idea that somehow the growing political power because of the demographic shifts in the southwest of latinos and the representation of black political power in the body of president obama combined with these new voter suppression efforts feels like that moment which is the moment of the 1880s and 18 0e90s. >> there's something that needs to be said. we think well they were racist and they were doing these laws and clearly they were racist. even back then the rules were technically race neutral. the poll tax, the grandfather test, the literacy test. white or black. they can't cop to the intent
then. and the genius of the voting rights act is it does not look for intent. it looks for impact. >> regardless of intention. >> so what we have now is two jurisdictions of law. the cases that have been in texas has struck down because the racial impact is so clear. the law outside the voting rights act from indiana to pennsylvania have been upheld because the voting rights act applies a test that has to do with disparate impact. >> rev, did you want to get in on this? >> yeah. i think we must be real clear about this. this is not a social analysis. this is targeted at voting rights. earlier today congressman lewis and reverend joe lowry, myself, we had a generational thing on voting rights. we've been marching on this all year. this will not only impact this election.
this will impact every election going forward if these laws stay in place. and every study shows the disproportionate impact it has on african-americans, latinos, and students. this is a race-based kind of situation. there's no ifs, ands, or buts. we're talking about they brought on new i.d. laws. a lot of people misunderstood as we've been out here fighting this that we're not saying people shouldn't have i.d. we're saying use the same i.d. we've used for reagan or bush or clinton. why all of a sudden new i.d. now? and if those laws stay in place, we will in fact disenfranchise voters. so we've gone from jim crowe in the days of congressman lewis and dr. king to james crowe jr. esquire now. we've got to fight this and we've got to fight it until we defeat it.
this is unacceptable. >> in terms of predicting whether or not these new laws about making it harder to register to vote are going to have an impact on the election outcome this november, one thing to consider is this is still in some cases undecided. it was today or yesterday that a federal judge in ohio ordered the republican secretary of state in ohio to appear personally in federal court to explain why it is he's not planning on enforcing that judge's order that ohio needs to have its early voting days restored. ohio voters have had early voting right up through the last weekend before election day all through the last most recent elections including the primaries for this year. but the republican secretary of state wants to take it away for november. you can have it when you're deciding which republican is going to run against president obama, but not when president obama himself is on the ballot. and that is still undecided nap is still in the courts. it's going to a conservative circuit court. this stuff is still very much being fought out. this is still underway. >> and this point about
disparate impact is also the issue of if this goes before the court. voting rights is at the core of it. but the entire civil rights apparatus is on this disparate impact. whether or not the section is able to be upheld as it moves through these levels of the federal judiciary. this is not just about this election. this is an enormous issue. >> vice president's son beau biden who is delaware's attorney general. he has worked closely with new york's attorney general working on big banks abusing foreclosures. they've been very aggressive on wall street. beau biden is also a major in the delaware national guard. he served in iraq. today he placed his father's name into nomination for vice president. >> tonight, mr. chairman, it's my great honor to place into nomination for the office of vice president of the united states my father, my hero, joe biden.
i move to suspend the rolls and nominate in acclamation joe biden as the vice presidential candidate. >> i know joe must be emotional right now when your son calls you a hero, you got to feel it in the heart. we have a motion to suspend the rolls and nominate joe biden as the party's vice presidential candidate. is there a second? all in favor of the motion say aye.
all opposed. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted pursuant to the convention rules joe biden has been invited to make an acceptance speech. ♪ welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ to meet the needs of my growing business. but how am i going to fund it? and i have to find a way to manage my cash flow better.
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the republicans particularly the right edge of the republican media stepped up an effort this summer to caricature joe biden as a character. somebody that may be a liability to the ticket. earlier this year the republicans tried to float the idea that mr. biden was going to be replaced on the ticket. that came totally from republicans and not from democratic sources. it was just mischief making. it shows you sort of their strategy against them. but has joe biden's speech particularly because his son is speaking tonight and his wife is speaking tonight and there is a video telling his story a bit, we wanted to pull this clip for you from the archive to make clear how effective joe biden can be in a speech. particularly when he is being personal. which we expect him to be tonight. this was joe biden three or four months ago talking to an audience of military families who had had a loved one killed in iraq or afghanistan.
watch. >> when i was a 29-year-old kid i got elected to the united states senate out of nowhere on november the 7th. and i got a phone call like you guys got. the call said my wife is dead, my daughter was dead, and i wasn't sure how my sons were going to make it. christmas shopping and a tractor-trailer broadsided them. in one instant killed two of them and -- well. i have to tell you. i used to resent. i knew people meant well. they'd come up and say joe, i know how you feel. right? [ applause ] >> i knew they meant well. you knew they were genuine. but you knew they didn't have
any damn idea. right? isn't that true? i mean, that -- no parent should be predeceased by their son or daughter. i unfortunately had that experience too. there will come a day, i promise you, and you parents as well. when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. it will happen. my prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later. but the only thing i have more experience than you in is this. i'm telling you. it will come. >> again, that was vice president biden speaking in may to military families who had lost somebody in iraq or afghanistan. president obama's speech tonight is obviously by definition the big deal tonight. but joe biden's speech may be a big freaking deal as well. and i think that he is
underestimated at his critics' peril. lawrence o'donnell is in charlotte for us. for expectations of president and vice president tonight, can you tell us what it's like in the hall and what you think they're going to be trying to do? >> well, the excitement in the hall tonight is unlike any of these conventions we've seen so far. this hall was packed virtually every seat taken by 5:00 p.m. on every other night it didn't get close to that until some time after 7:00. the anticipation here is huge. joe biden enjoys low expectations for his speech, rachel. but we know that the people who have managed this convention and presented such a flawless presentation so far know what they're doing. that they need joe biden on this stage tonight. and they extended his time slot today. they actually added minutes to
his time slot. they want more from him tonight. and joe biden as you just showed is someone who can deliver in a way that many other politicians cannot. he will also surely have some real specifics. he's going to be taking on paul ryan with some specifics. he's going to be going out there leading the charge for his ticket mate. and the managers of this convention believe they need that from joe biden. >> lawrence o'donnell is working over the foo fighters there. watching that clip of joe biden speaking that emotional context, he does pure politics well. but when he mixes politics and personal, i think joe biden can be very powerful. but the republicans think that he's a weak link. the republicans think that he's a detriment to the ticket. what's your view on that? >> well, you know, everybody i think who grew up americans at
one point or another saw the movie about mr. smith goes to washingtono be a u.s. senator. and when you go to town meetings or college tours like we've done with him. there's that kind of affection for him in that state. it's real and local. it's not big shot stuff. it's local. it's family. and you know why? because every night he's been a senator he's gone home to delaware. he didn't try to be -- you talk about family values? newt gingrich in the old days told all the republican members of congress leave your wives and spouses at home. come to washington alone. that's not so good for family life. joe biden went home every night to delaware. gave up any chance to mix around in washington to be a big shot, make all the connections in georgetown. he gave all that up so he can be with his sons and have a family life at home in delaware. at's family values. i hope we respect it tonight when we look at joe biden. >> chris, and ed i wanted to bring you in on this, in terms
of what joe biden offers and the way he speaks about issues that are important to democrats, what do people look to him for that they don't look for from president obama? >> he has been the face of the lunch bucket democrats throughout this entire administration. he's been their connection. he understands their upbringing. he is the middle class. he grew up in the middle class. joe biden when i was in new hampshire had a visit with him. i asked him, how is this middle class theme in the campaign going to play? he says ed, if we're just ourselves, we'll be okay. i said what do you mean by that? he told me a story about his dad on the car lot when he was ready to go to college. and his dad took him here and said i'm sorry i failed you. i don't have the money to send you to college. he said dad, you didn't fail me. you've done everything you can for me. the guy is a walking, talking testimonial who stumbles every now and then. it makes him real. he's an honest guy.
he has 30 years of foreign policy experience. i guarantee you he has been in the ear of the president on foreign policy on every issue. he's been a trusted confidant when it comes to foreign policy. he has helped this president, guided him on a lot of decisions. disagreed with him on some. and he understands the senate. isn't it interesting when the republicans made the decision not to help out barack obama they went to joe biden because they felt comfortable with biden because biden has reached across the aisle so many times in his career. he's the guy who wrote the clinton crime bill and put a hundred thousand cops on the street. he's accomplished and approachable. they went to joe saying we're not going to work with this president. this is going to be a long haul for you. so joe, in so many facets he offers so much. >> steve let me ask you in terms of the strategic addition they decided to put the vice president and president on the same night.
your convention with mccain and palin in '08, she gave up that bangup speech. >> considering the flow of the other nights, if you wanted to get the first lady in and castro in and have bill clinton, can't remember another convention they've given. i'm a university of delaware guy. i have a soft spot for joe biden. and chris is dead on with how he's connected to that state. and he represents -- he's an old school, irish catholic politician. connects in the east coast and pennsylvania and ohio. and it's really dumb for republicans to lower expectations against a really formidable politician like joe biden heading into these debates. because debate points are scored by expectations management. it's not like a football game. and when you lower the expectations against the guy who is as formidable as joe biden you're going to rue the day. >> are the blue hens still division three or have they moved up?
>> twang. >> one double a. >> oh, my gosh i had no idea we were going there. we've got all through this. the big stage crowded with big names tonight. president obama, first lady, vice president biden, dr. jill biden all ahead tonight. we're watching msnbc live coverage of a busy democratic convention. stay with us. where's dave? it's almost 10:00.
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there's something i want to point out about this convention being in charlotte, north carolina. the most famous living politician from charlotte is the city's first-ever black mayor who spoke at this convention. his name is harvey gantt. he ran against the unreconstructed old south republican jesse helms. this is the ad he deployed against harvey gantt in that race. >> you needed that job. and you were the best qualified. but they had to give it to a minority. because of a racial quota. is that really fair? harvey gantt says it is. your vote on this issue next tuesday, for racial quotas, harvey gantt. against racial quotas, jesse helms. >> not subtle.
hey white people vote for the white candidate. he'll protect you from the black people stealing your jobs. not subtle. that ad against harvey gantt was created by alex casellanes who now works for cnn. stoking white people's economic resentment against black people and black candidates. right? that playbook did not die with jesse helms in north carolina. here was mitt romney on fox news yesterday. >> president obama's decision to say we're going to allow waivers or excuses from work requirements in welfare was designed to shore up part of his base. a measure that would take work out of welfare and waiving the work requirement in welfare is an extraordinary political move on his part. we should not encourage o permanent lifestyle of welfare. >> the charge is perfectly false. but it also seems perfectly
tuned to stoke white voters' economic resentment about lazy welfare people. the republicans got shy about repeating this inflammatory welfare charge last week. they let some undercard people talk about it, but they didn't put it at the top of the picket. now they are running the welfare ads again. and having the candidate say it again on fox news. in 2012 they are running a jesse helms versus harvey gantt campaign. it is not subtle. even if this weren't in north carolina. the reverend al sharpton is in charlotte. i have to ask you whether you feel like this the is the same playbook or if this evolves over time. >> say that again, rachel. i didn't hear you with the crowd. >> whether you think this is the same playbook year after year or whether it evolves over time. >> well, i think it is absolutely the playbook. they just refined some of the
notes in the music. because they're trying to be more subtle when they're not even being subtle. let's be clear. last night president bill clinton who signed the '96 welfare reform bill said what president obama is doing is absolutely not taking jobs out of the welfare reform act. in fact, he is responding to the request that governors make who wanted to innovate programs. since we have a weak economy and they cannot find the jobs required by the law to be able to innovate and be able to find ways to do that. that is exactly the opposite of weakening the bill and strengthening it. therefore what are they doing? they're suggesting to voters in a not so subtle way that oh, welfare, black president. in the same way they suggested with harvey gantt with the black and the white hand.
and it is ironic that this president is being renominated in the town of harvey gantt. because once and for all, we need to take this kind of poison out of the american -- >> i mentioned that the person who created this ad is alex castell castellanos we have a good relationship. but i'm repulsed by that ad and that tactic. and steve schmidt as a republican strategist, is there a republican way to look at that tactic and not be as repulsed at it as i am? do you look at that and think differently about it than i do? >> no. i think if you have any sense of the history of race relations in the country, it is something that you want to tread very carefully on. we live in a time of great division in the country politically. and at a personal level, i like to see leaders who are repairers of the breach, not exacerbaters
of it. now, i will say this. this game is played on both sides. there was an ad that was as repugnant and despicable as that run by the naacp in 2000 with the chains dragging behind a truck implicating george w. bush and lynching death, i believe the man's name was james burg. they were comparisons of john mccain in 2008 to george wallace which was outrageous and despicable. and both sides when they use these tactics and both sides have used these tactics, my view it's wrong. it doesn't have a place in american politics. >> i'm sorry, but that both side of it, i think is not only ahistorical. it indicates as though african-american political power and the white political power with white supremacy.
but they have a similar history and ugliness. the language about george w. bush in those chains had to do with him resisting a hate crimes law that would have made -- >> right. we can look on the ad. i think we could look at the ad. it speaks for itself. my point is when we were facing the mccain campaign with issues like the reverend wright. if we were going to use it the senior staff of that came, we said absolutely not. it's inflammatory. if you try to use these things politically, if you light that match, you can't control the fire. >> yeah. >> it's dangerous stuff. and i don't like it. and i don't think it has a place in politics. but -- and i understand your point. but both sides in today's day and age have used tactics calling out the other on these issues that i don't think do credit to either side. >> john mccain, look what he
went through with karl rove in 2000 down in south carolina. >> exactly. >> it's a political tactic that is used when you have to win. and if it works, they're going to use it. i'm not condoning it, but within the party it took place in the republican party. you know, they did it without shame. they wanted to win. the bushes wanted to win. >> go ahead, rev. >> i think there's a difference here, though, in all due respect to steve. though i agree with his point that we must have the same rules by all sides. but let's be clear. you cannot compare an outside civil rights group whether it's mine or the naacp to the candidate. romney is running these ads on mr. obama. not an outside group. not a welfare group. this is done by the candidate against the candidate. so let's deal with the fact jesse helms was running against gantt. romney's running against president obama. this is not a support group. this is not me.
this is not anyone else. let's not compare apples and oranges. this is romney's ad. this is romney's lie. and it's wrong. >> and i should say, another important part of steve's argument and the reason it's valuable to people on this is because john mccain had options to do similar things like that. we know that mitt romney was pitched options from fred davis and others some of which he rejected. but the welfare stuff thing going full hog on it. let's bring in chris matthews on this. >> let's not be too tactical about this. okay? this is strategy. make sure as few blacks as possible vote this election. run by the republican party in almost every state. 32 states have done this. treat the president like he's driving on the jersey turnpike. make him show his papers. that's how they treated the president. do that to every african-american. then use the welfare stuff.
and the food stamp stuff. this is coheent, it's comprehensive, it's partisan. it's not a few people doing this. and i'll tell you. when the candidate for president makes slurs about the president of the united states having to show his birth certificate then says having to show his birth certificate, and then says afterward, that was a joke, that's why i had my little conversation with reince priebus, the republican party chairman. because it's a republican party action, it's a strategy, it's not a serious of accidental tactics. >> rachel, you asked about the change, if there's any change from the gantt ad to now. i would note that the one change is, there are no -- there are no white hands -- i mean, the racial coating of the harvey gantt was a hammer to the head. whatever racial implication there is in the welfare ad is very expertly, definitely -- >> no, it's not. they've got a white guy wiping the sweat off his brow, right? and a black guy, later in the ad, his back to the camera, but it's showing white workers being victimized by this thing. it's not. it's not subtle. i have to tell you, former
representative gabby giffords is expected to leave the convention in the pledge of allegiance in just a few minutes, which is an important thing. we'll be back for that. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. please stay with us. you may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you. today, there are people out there trying to take away rights that our mothers, our grandmothers, and our great-grandmothers fought for. rights that we fought for. our right to vote. 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.
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welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. one emotional decision that the democrats made last night at their convention is that they've decided to have former congresswoman gabby giffords lead the pledge of allegiance. it was a year and a half ago when gabby giffords was shot at a campaign event. she was one of 13 people wounded, 6 people were killed. her wounds very serious. she was shot in the head. it was not at all clear at first that she would survive the wound, let alone the degree -- it was not clear the degree to which she would recover or be able to rejoin congress. president obama, you see him here, visiting the congresswoman in the hospital days after the shooting. he spoke at the memorial service for the victims of that shooting
later that day when he had been at the hospital with her earlier and he announced at the memorial service that gabby giffords had opened her eyes for the first time. which at the time seemed like a miracle. gabby giffords ended up making a surprise appearance in the house last august to vote on the debt ceiling to avert a government shutdown. she also ultimately announced plans to step down from congress, to focus on her recovery. she came to the state of the union, her last night in congress, and her fellow members of congress gave her a standing ovation and cheered her name. this summer, the special election to fill her seat in congress was won by ron barber, a democrat. he was a giffords staffer who himself was injured in the shooting that nearly killed her. 17 months after the assassination attempt that nearly killed her, tonight she will be, in just a moment, leading the pledge of allegiance. chris, what do you make tonight, of the democrats' decision to have gabby giffords back tonight? it's such an emotional touchstone for the party and for the country. >> well, it was really an attack on democracy, really.
it was a town meeting that she was old iholding. you never know about the mental state of the people involved in these attacks, these assassination attempts. but she really was a symbol of a town meeting. opening an opportunity for people to engage with her in her district, talking to lots of people out in the open. certainly what our democracy is. the chance for people like the crowd behind us to actually engage with elected politicians and to have somebody systemically go after somebody who represents that, i think that's why it's such an important thing for us in either parties or both parties. >> let's go to the podium now. i'm looking at the cam now. i think they're bringing out gabby giffords now to do the pledge. let's join. >> accompanied by congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. [ cheers and applause ]
>> gabby giffords appearing there with debbie wasserman schultz, who is the chair of the democratic party, also one of gabby giffords' best friends. she was part of the way that the family, the giffords family, sort of kept in touch with the country in terms of that whole tragedy. i don't want you to put me on camera, because obviously i'm crying like the rest of the country right now. now go back and show the picture of the hall. thank you. appreciate it. i have to say, if you didn't think this room was an emotional room tonight, it's emotional on a lot of different levels, in part because of that reception you just saw for gabby giffords. all right. this is caroline kennedy, the daughter, obviously, of president john f. kennedy. let's listen in. >> it's an honor to join us tonight for the most important
reason i can imagine, to make sure that barack obama is re-elected president of the united states. four years ago, i was inspired by the way senator obama had lived his life, fighting for jobs, giving hope to the hopeless, and working day in and day out for the america he believes in. i was inspired by barack obama's vision for america, an america where we look out for one another, where we take responsibility for our sisters and brothers, and most of all, for our children. back then, i was inspired by the promise of barack obama's presidency. today, i'm inspired by his record. over the past four years, we have had a president who has committed himself and his administration to the values
that made america great. economic fairness, equal opportunity, and the belief that if each of us gives back to this country we love, and all of us work together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. those are the ideals that my father and uncles fought for. those are the ideals that i believe in. and this election is about whether we will advance those ideals or let them be swept away. like my father's election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake. and women and children have the most on the line. the president has been a champion for women's rights. the first bill he signed was to make sure women can fight for equal pay for equal work.
his commitment to women is about even more economic rights, it's about health care, reproductive rights, and our ability to make our own decisions about ourselves, our families, and our future. when it comes to what's best for women, there is only one candidate in this race who is on our side. barack obama. as a catholic woman, i take reproductive health seriously. and today it is under attack. this year alone, more than a dozen states have passed more than 40 restrictions on women's access to reproductive health care. that's not the kind of future i want for my daughters or your daughters. now isn't the time to roll back the rights we were winning when my father was president. now is the time to move this country forward.
president obama has shown the same commitment when it comes to our children. he has put our ideals into action for the next generation. he has inspired them to get involved. he has listened to their ideas. and he has committed us all to building a better future for them. he's challenged states to raise standards for teaching and learning, and almost all of them have. he has fought for early childhood education, putting outstanding teachers in every classroom, and making college accessible to all young dreamers. i know barack obama will fight for women and children and all americans, because he has proven it. he has the quality my father most admired in public life -- courage. despite critics who said it wasn't good politics, president
obama listened to my uncle teddy, and staked his presidency on making health care accessible to all americans. despite an opponent who wanted to let detroit go bankrupt, this president saved the auto industry and now it's coming back strong. he not only demonstrated the courage to oppose the war in iraq, as president, he showed the determination to bring our troops back home. barack obama is the kind of leader my father wrote about in "profiles in courage." he didn't just do what's easy, he does what's hard. he does what's right. my father couldn't run for a
second term. it was left to his brothers, our family, and the generation they inspired to fight for the america he believed in. now it's up to a new generation, our children's generation, to carry america forward. so let me say to the young, and the young at heart, barack obama is only president because you worked for him, because you believed in him, because you convinced your parents to vote for him. young people have always led america towards a brighter future. it happened in 1960, it happened in 2008, and if you show the same spirit in this election as you did in the last, i know that we'll make history again on november 6th. thank you. >> that's caroline kennedy, endorsing barack obama for re-election. i think it's important to put
her in historic perspective. all of us grew up with caroline kennedy, from the time, especially, when her father was killed. and the afternoon of his death, she waited in the white house with her younger brother, john kennedy. and when they heard the helicopter coming back to the south lawn, they thought it was him. and so when she picks a guy and says, he inherits her father's dream, it means something. when she says, this guy is the coming back to the spirit of john f. kennedy, her father, it means something. and i think it had so much to do with the success of the obama campaign that she passed the torch for her family. that young woman there will always be about 5 years old to most of us. and it's something else, to see her again. anyway, back to you, rachel. >> thank you, chris. i want to also bring in lawrence o'donnell, who's in charlotte. do we have lawrence from the floor of the convention hall? lawrence, i'm not always sure we can get to you. i'm glad we've got you on to, to
ask about the reception for c caroline kennedy there, but also that moment with gabby giffords. that is the longest sustained ovation i have seen at any convention for somebody who was not the headline speaker of the night. what was it like there. >> and rachel, for someone who could not have really given a speech, there was no -- there's no moment to compare it to, i believe, in convention history. i mean, here is someone who survived an assassination attempt while in office, taking the stage at the next convention of her party. this building experienced something unlike anything i've experienced in a convention hall during that moment. it was something that they mostly knew was coming. there was a lot of talk that she would be on the stage tonight. no one knew quite how or exactly what she'd be able to do. and so, rachel, this room was absolutely transfixed during every second of her presence on that stage. >> thank you, lawrence.
you know, it is -- those two things that we just saw, particularly chris's reaction to seeing caroline kennedy there, but also to the gabby giffords appearance, there is something, you know, that president clinton referenced in his speech last night when he talked about how important it was that president obama brought in his political enemies when he formed his cabinet, when he picked his secretary of state, the way that he reached out. and the phrase that he used, he said that politics isn't a blood sport. it is something, it is a means -- an honorable means of enterprise. and that idea of a blood sport is a -- he means that as a metaphor, but there's also a very sobering reality of what politics can be. >> john lewis had this line. he said, talking about the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more-perfect union. and i think it is worthwhile, when we are in the midst of these campaigns, to marvel a bit at the miraculousness that is the project of self-governance. that we have -- human beings have been on the planet for a
long time, and for the vast majority of that time, the way that we have resolved political conflicts between different demographic groups and people of different affiliations and different conceptions of what the good life is, is through bloodshed. is through violence. and self-governance, in the way that we have it, for all its flaws, is this brilliant, beautiful miracle that means that we do not kill each other over our political differences. >> and when you see the sacrifices of public servants, it turns them again into public servants. there's this feeling at the conventions and the campaigns, they're politicians. and it feels like it's just about their individual, gaining office. but there is something about lewis and the reminder of kennedy and there of giffords that it is a public service. this is true risk involved. sometimes financial risk, and in this case, sort of the most intense, which is that of their lives. >> and it is those moments that make party less important in any other form of political discussion. when you think about people
making a sacrifice and then being pushed to make a sacrifice they should never be asked to make, for something that they think is right for the country. for the right to serve. so sobering stuff. the democrats are aiming kind of high tonight, i think, in terms of the emotional level thus far has anything to do it. all right. it has been a long time, also, since democrats played very aggressive political offense, specifically on the issue of the military and wars. and while republicans have mostly tried to avoid this issue, the democrats this year are going right at it. it's part of why this year's politics are getting more and more interesting all the time. the democrats are going hard on that issue ahead tonight. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. still ahead, vice president biden, president obama, and both of their wives. stay with us. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad
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one of tonight's headline speakers is former florida governor and former republican, charlie chris. back when he was still a republican governor, charlie chris accepted money from the stimulus. he said it was the right thing to do and that it saved 87,000 jobs in his state. now, to republicans, that, of course, is political heresy. mr. crist got clobbered by marco rubio again in the general election. therefore, what charlie crist did was wrong for a republican. but empirically, the thing that charlie crist took a stand on, was he wrong or was he right? for that, we turn to ezra klein. >> the answer to that begins with this terrible mistake that the administration made when they began selling the stimulus.
they said it would create 3 million jobs and it would hold unemployment under 8%. and they said that very early. they said it when everyone thought the economy was shrinking by a bit more than 3%. the real number, which we didn't know until two years later, was 9%. it was almost three times as bad. that's great depression territory. things were much worse than anybody news. and so they were just flatly wrong about where unemployment would be. but they were right about the other half of that prediction, what the stimulus would do, that it would create millions of jobs. if you go outside politics on this, if you go to the private sector firms at actual companies and foreversinvestors pay to te what's really happening in the economy, you see it. moody's analytics credits the stimulus with millions of jobs. macro economic advisers, millions of jobs. the number you normally hear from these firms is about 2.5 million. it's not quite 3 million, but it's pretty good. beyond jobs, both goldman sachs and jpmorgan chase, which are
neither of them right now huge backers of president obama, say this stimulus saved us from about two more years of recession. at "the washington post," we reviewed 15 of the most incredible academic studies on the stimulus. only 2 of the 15 said it didn't work. and one said it may be didn't work, because it wasn't big enough. the university of chicago surveyed more than 40 leading economists, asking them, is unemployment lower because of stimulus? only 4 of the 40-some said no. so, remember, the stimulus' real name was the recovery and reinvestment act. so we spend all of our time talking about that recovery side, the create jobs side. but a lot of it was this long-term reinvestment stuff. this creating an economy for the future side. and that put money into clean energy, about $90 billion, electronic medical records, $27 billion. grants for schools that are reforming education. the stimulus gave america the world's largest wind and solar plants and it's building a high-speed train across california. these are investments that are fundamentally changing the
economy. the stimulus, in the end, there's no doubt, should have been bigger, given the size of the recession, and it could have been better. that's politics. but if you're asking whether it worked, whether it generally did what the obama administration said it would do, the answer is, yeah, it pretty much did. >> so how do we end up -- chris hayes, how did we end up where the stimulus is something that only the republicans will talk about. >> i want to say that the left did a bad job here as well. and i think the left had this big debate, oh, it should have been bigger, as opposed to defending the actual policy itself. it became the subject, that paul krugman famously, who i have tremendous respect for, and he's right on the numbers. it probably should have been bigger and there were people inside the white house economic advisory who said it should have been bigger. but what it was, and mike grumwald's new book on the stimulus, which is about 800 pages, called "the new new deal," which everyone should read, lays out exactly what it
did accomplish. and if you want a microcosm of what went wrong with the way the stimulus was sold, the making work pay tax cut. okay, the making work pay tax cut was put into everyone's payroll the day it was passed. as opposed to the george w. bush tax cut that they waited and a cut a check saying, because george w. bush is such a swell dude, you are getting this amount of money, thank him for it. >> but they sent a check with his picture on it -- >> it almost was that. there was a check that said, thanks to the george w. bush act. and the reason they didn't do that is it was a better policy to get the money into people's hands right away. and the way i think about it, if you hired somebody to water a lawn, okay, they could water a lawn well so when they came back six hours later, you didn't know it was watered, or water it terribly and put the hose in one place so there's a massive puddle. but it tells everybody that you were there and had the hose on. when you were faced with the decision between the right politics or the right policy, they chose the right policy to get the people in money's
pockets, but paid for it politically. so to their great credit, they really did do it right on the merits and the politics of selling it never happened. not just from them, but sort of across the board. >> but ezra, when republicans did stimulus, did they -- i mean, obviously, there was a george w. bush stimulus, there was a reagan stimulus, a george h.w. bush stimulus, did they do it substantially different than this democratic stimulus? >> well, there's never been a stimulus of this size at all. mike grumwald, and i agree, everybody should read that book, it's bigger than anything that singular happened in the new deal. bush did push to pass the economic stimulus act of 2008. that was right before obama came into office. he got a lot of cooperation from house and senate democrats on that, which obviously president obama did not get when he went for his stimulus. and then a year later, republicans did put forward a bunch of stimulus proposals. they had a 700 and something billion infrastructure proposal, similar to his tax proposal. in the senate, jim demint put
forward a $3 trillion tax cut proposal. so there has always been in the republican party, up to and through the obama presidency, a fundamental belief that the basic idea of stimulus, deficit, financed policies in order to increase demand when the economy goes down works. what is fascinating, what happened in the last year or two, is not just that they said that this was not a good way of doing stimulus, we don't agree with these particular provisions, many of which were bipartisan before obama went to put them in there, but they said, we've stopped believing in keynesian economics whatsoever. we don't believe if you hire people to build a bridge, if you put forward a tax cut that's deficit financed in the short-term in order to get people to spend, that that will help create jobs. that's just flatly false. i don't know if the politics could have been that different, given that things were always going to get worse after president obama took office, given where we were in the recession. but it doesn't seem inevitable that the republican party was going to take this very, very counter-the evidence turn against this kind of policy. >> the politics of it, the way it unfolded in the halls of the congress, was that it really
gave the republicans an opportunity to start blaming the democrats for what they did not do in the war, and that's pay for it. as basic as it is. the fact is, is that the stimulus was put up, the republicans said no, let's put it on them, and then we'll blame obama for all of these deficits that are going to be running, and we'll get the american people to think about the war. we're going to get a little bit of independence in iraq and we can claim victory and get out of there. and we can hang this on president obama. in fact, we're even going to hang up a debt clock at our convention in 2012. so i think the american people have got it figured out and they've got it figured out, because we've had 29 months of private sector job growth, which arguably would never taken place without the stimulus, no matter where you put the hose on the lawn. you know? >> just a couple of minutes ago, former michigan governor, jennifer granholm, was at the podium with a rather vigorous attack against mitt romney. watch this. >> in 2009, the cavalry arrived!
and our new president barack obama came in! he organized a rescue, he made the tough calls, and he saved the american auto industry! now, you know, you know mitt romney, he saw the same crisis, and you know what he said? let detroit go bankrupt. now, sure, sure, mitt romney loves our lakes and our trees. he loves our cars so much they even have their own elevator. but the people who design and build and sell those cars, well, in romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft!
you know what i'm saying! you know what i'm saying! mitt romney, he says -- he says that his business experience qualifies him to be president. sure, he's made a lot of money. good for him! good for him! or maybe i should say, good for "him," but how did he make that fortune? and at whose expense? you know too often he made it at the expense of middle class americans, year after year, it was profit before people. but president obama, with the auto rescue, you know, he saved more than 1 million american jobs, but it wasn't just michigan. hey, hey, hey! it wasn't just michigan, my friends. in colorado, the auto rescue saved more than 9,000 jobs.
in virginia, virginia, more than 19,000 jobs. in north carolina, 25,000 jobs! in wisconsin, wisconsin, 28,000 jobs! in pennsylvania, 34,000 jobs! in florida, 35,000 jobs! in ohio, 150,000 jobs! and in the great state of michigan, 211,000 good-paying, american jobs! >> former michigan governor, jennifer granholm, bringing down the house just moments ago at the dnc. we're going live now to the podium, where montana governor brian schweitzer has just stepped up to the mic. >> -- iraq and afghanistan. spend a week in a war zone with a guy, and you really get to know him.
we traded stories about our early years. he i his as a missionary and france and mine as a soil scientist in saudi arabia. we talked about family, business, religion, energy, war, and peace, and the future of america. and i'll tell you this. mitt's a good man. a good family man, and a loyal american. but -- and you knew there was a "but," -- he brought the wrong agenda to massachusetts and he is the wrong guy to be president of the united states. now, governor mitt romney saddled massachusetts taxpayers with an additional $2.6 billion
in debt and left them with the most debt per capita of any state in america. in montana, that dog don't hunt. now, remember those words. i might ask you to say them. governor mitt romney cut higher education by 14% in his first year, which meant that college education skyrocketed for students in massachusetts. now, i guess that's okay if you can afford it. but for the rest of us, that dog don't hunt. now, governor mitt romney raised taxes and fees by $750 million a year. now, i'm going to let you in on a little secret. when a politician doesn't want to be honest about a tax hike, he calls it a fee.
now, mitt raised taxes -- i mean, fees -- on driver's licenses, on school bus rides, on mental health services, and even on milk. but here's the one that got the burr under my saddle. he quadrupled the fee for gun licens license. >> no! >> well, now, maybe, just maybe that's okay for a guy who hunts varmints. but for the rest of us, that dog don't hunt. now, mitt, you can't just etch a sketch away your record. taxes up, cost of college up,
debt up. now, help me out here. new business starts, down. manufacturing, down. medium household income, down. economic growth, down. you know, if private equity moirp moimitt romney met governor mitt romney, he'd do what he says he likes to do. he'd fire him and outsource his job! now, let me tell you how we get 'er done in montana. clinton arithmetic. clinton arithmetic. yeah, clinton arithmetic. we've had record budget surpluses every year i've been
governor, averaging more than $400 million in surplus, even during the great recession. we invested more new money in education than ever before, frozen tuition at our colleges for the longest period ever. and get this, we increased the percentage of adults with college degrees faster than any other state. well, we cut more taxes for more people than any governor in montana history. and we vetoed republican tax increases, and our bond rating was upgraded. now, montana is moving in the right direction, and so is america. when president obama took office, the economy was in free fa fall, losing more than 800,000 jobs a month opinion since then,
he's helped create 4.5 million private sector jobs and 29 straight months of job growth. stock market has doubled. energy production is up. imports from foreign country are down. and the number of rigs drilling for oil in the united states has more than quadrupled. manufacturing jobs are coming back. and not just because we're producing a record amount of natural gas that's lowering electricity prices, but because we have the best-trained, hardest-working labor force in the history of the world. we are demanding more from our schools, but we're backing up that demand by investing more neein teachers, increasing financial aid, and doubling funding for
pell grants. now, while he was doing all of that, president obama cut our taxes. he cut taxes 18 times for small businesses. he cut taxes by $3,600 for the typical middle class family. now, that dog does hunt. now, governor romney, he said that finding osama bin laden was, and i'll quote him, not worth moving heaven and earth. well, tonight bin laden isn't on earth, sure isn't in heaven. and thanks to the courage of american special forces and the bold leadership of our president, osama bin laden's at the bottom of the ocean.
all four -- all four of my grandparents were immigrants. they homesteaded the montana prairie with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and faith in god and the hope in their hearts that their kids and grandkids would have a better future. they delivered on that hope. and so has president obama. now, now it's our turn to deliver. not just for the president, but for our kids, for our grandkids. this election is about their education, their health care, their freedom, their dignity, their hope, and their future. are we going to deliver? >> yes! >> are we going to keep america moving forward? >> yes! >> are we going to hire the right job to finish the job for four more years?
>> yes! >> how many years? >> four more years! >> how many years? >> four more years! >> you got it! let's get to work, america! god bless you and god bless the united states of america. >> montana governor brian schweitzer, personifying the democratic side of the whole happy warrior idea. you want to see how happy he is as a governor? look at this. this is his veto brand, a block of wood branded by the governor when both houses of montana's legislature went republican in 2010, he responded to this whole raft of legislation that they passed by branding it with a cattle iron, lining up the bills he wanted to veto in front of the state capital and doing this to them. the man loves his job. florida governor, former republican charlie crist is now at the podium. >> optimism is in the air. and what an honor to be with you, to stand with president
barack obama. half a century ago, ronald reagan, the man whose optimism was inspiring to me to enter politics, he famously said at one time that he did not leave the democratic party, but the party left him. well, listen, i can relate. i didn't leave the republican party. it left me. then again, my friend jeb bush recently noted that reagan himself would have been too moderate, too reasonable for today's gop. we face serious challenges in our country. we must create good, middle class jobs so we can have an economy that is built to last. we must rebuild our roads and bridges and improve our public schools. and particularly important to me and my state of florida is the challenge of saving medicare and
social security, so we can keep our promise to our seniors. but there are common sense solutions within our reach. if we only have leaders who are willing and enthusiastic to find common ground. no political party has a monopoly on that kind of leadership. but as a former lifelong republican, it pains me to tell you that today's republicans and their standard-bearers, mitt romney and paul ryan, just aren't up to the task. they're beholden to the "my way or the highway" bullies, indebted to billionaires who bankroll their ads, and allergic to the very idea of compromise. ronald reagan would not have stood for that. barack obama does not stand for
that. you and i will not stand for that. i'll be honest with you. i don't agree with president obama about everything, but i've gotten to know him. and i've worked with him. and the choice is crystal clear. when he took office, the economic crisis had already put my state of florida on the edge of disaster. the foreclosure crisis was consuming homeowners, the tourists we depend upon couldn't visit, and our vital construction industry had come to a standstill. president obama saw what i saw, a catastrophe in the making. and he took action. one of his first trips in office brought him to ft. myers, florida, where i was proud to embrace him and his plan to keep our teachers, police, and firefighters on the job.
well, that hug caused me more grief from my party than you can ever imagine. but even as the republican party fought tooth and nail to stop him, this president showed his courage, invested in america, and saved our florida. two years later, florida and the gulf coast faced the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. this time when a ruptured well spilled nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf of mexico. president obama came to our rescue again, leading a massive cleanup effort, and demanding accountability from those responsible. my friends, he didn't see a red state, he didn't see a blue
state. he simply saw american who is ne needed help. and once again, once again i saw the leader our country needs. you know, i used to play quarterback just down the road from here at wake forest university. and my dad always -- go, deacons. and my dad always told me, he said, charlie, it takes a cool head to win a hot game. my friends, our country is in the middle of a hot game. and we face serious challenges both at home and abroad. meanwhile, our politics are defined by discord and discontent. never has it been harder for a president to keep a cool head and never has it been more important. i look around florida, i see a state bursting with diversity and opportunity. a state that looks like america's future. when i look at the republican ticket today, i see two candidates who would break the fundamental promise of medicare and social security.
and cut investments on our middle class that are so important to our recovery. and then i look at barack obama. i see a leader with a cool head, a caring heart, and an open mind. a president who has demonstrated through his demeanor, his grace, and his deeds that he is uniquely qualified to heal our divisions, rebuild our nation, and lead us to a brighter future. that's the leader florida needs. that's the leader america needs. that's the reason i'm here tonight. not as a republican, not as a democrat, simply as an american who understands that we must come together, behind the one man who can lead the way forward, in these challenging times. my president, your president, barack obama. god bless you and god bless america! thank you so much! >> that's charlie crist, who until very conveniently, was the
extremely popular governor of florida. he's a political moderate. i think they're rare today. but what he represents is the victimhood of the people like him in the republican party, people like dick lugar and arlen specter, people who are basically left behind by a party that's almost been replaced by another political party, a right-wing party. you know, we often talk in america about the possibility of three parties. historically, that's not what happens. historically in this country and other countries like ours, one party replaces one of the two parties in history and becomes the second party. we saw when the wigs were replaced by the republicans. we saw it in britain when the labor party -- or the liberal party was replaced by the labor party. you can truly see it now. it may not be completed yet, but we can see right now the process of the republican party of the northeast and the midwest and across the country, especially in california, which was always moderate, being pretty much replaced almost completely now by a right-wing party. it is hard to imagine nelson
rockefeller in the party of today or jack javits, or mark hatfield, or any of the people i grew up with as moderate republicans, hard to imagine them finding a home in today's republican party. and charlie crist is in that tradition of moderate republican. he's now going to find his home, i believe, as a moderate gubernatorial candidate on the democratic ticket in florida. rachel? >> well, is there a place for moderates in the republican party? or is anybody who comes out as a moderate essentially in exile until the republican party changes a lot? >> quickly, they have to fear someone in their right in the next primary, no matter where they are, whatever state, there's always the fear they face, perhaps younger, perhaps not, but someone to their right. they never have to fear a moderate beating them. it's hard to lose to a moderate in a primary today. >> steve? >> that's exactly right. you look at a state like delaware, for example, where christine o'donnell beat mike
castle, there was 12% turnout in the primary, which enables her to learn. so when you have low turnout primaries, moderates in the party who would do well in a general election have great difficulty. >> john kerry's at the podium now, the former presidential nominee of this party from 2004. let's listen. >> will we protect our country, our allies, advance our deals, do battle where we must, and make peace where we can, or will we entrust our place in the world to someone who just hasn't learned the lessons of the last decade? we've all learned mitt romney doesn't know much about foreign policy. but he has all these neocon advisers who know all the wrong things about foreign policy. he would rely on them. after all, he's thece outsourcer.
but i say to you, this is not the time to outsource the job of commander in chief. our opponents -- our opponents like to talk about american exceptionalism. but all they do is talk. they forget that we're exceptional, not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things. we break out of the great depression, win two world wars, save lives fighting aids, pull people out of poverty, defend freedom, go to the moon, and produce exceptional people who even give their lives for civil rights and for human rights. despite -- and despite -- and despite what you heard in tampa, an exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the planet. that is a responsibility, that
is a responsibility from the scriptures. and that, too, is a responsibility of the leader of the free world. the only thing exceptional about today's republicans is that almost without exception, they oppose everything that has made america exceptional in the first place. an exceptional nation demands exceptional leadership. it demands the leadership of an exceptional president. and my fellow americans, that president is barack obama. just measure the disaster and disarray that he inherited. a war of choice in iraq had become a war without end, and a war of necessity in afghanistan had become a war of neglect. our alliance were shredded, our moral authority was in tatters. america was isolated in the
world. our military was stretched to the breaking point. iran, marching toward a nuclear weapon, unchecked and osama bin laden was still plotting. it took president obama to make america lead like america again. it took president obama to restore our moral authority. it took president obama to ban torture. the president understands that our values don't limit our power. they magnify it. he showed that global leadership is a strategic imperative for america, not a favor that we do to other countries. and president obama kept his promises. he promised to end the war in iraq, and he has. and our heroes have come home. he promised to end the war in
afghanistan, responsibly, and he is, and our heroes are coming home. he promised to focus like a laser on al qaeda, and he has, and our forces have eliminated more of its leadership thin the last three years than all of the eight years that came before. and after more than -- after more than ten years without justice for thousands of americans murdered on 9/11, after mitt romney said it would be naive to go into pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took president obama against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of osama bin laden. ask osama bin laden if he is
better off now than he was four years ago. [ cheers and applause ] barack obama -- barack obama promised always to stand with israel, to tighten sanctions on iran, and take nothing off the table. again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done, but prime minister netanyahu set the record straight. he said, our two countries have exactly the same policy, our security cooperation is unprecedented, and when it comes to israel, my friends, i'll take the word of israel's prime minister over mitt romney any day.
president obama promised to work with russia, to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and sign an historic treaty that does just that. he promised to lock down nuclear materials around the world, and he has done just that. he refused to accept the false choice between force without diploma and i diplomacy without force. when a brutal dictator promised to hunt down and kill his own people like rats, president obama enlisted our allies, built the coalition, shared the burden, so that today, without a single american casualty, moammar gadhafi is gone and the people of libya are free! so on one side of this campaign, we have a president who has made america lead like america again. and what is there on the other
side? an extreme and expedient candidate who lacks the judgment and the vision so vital for the oval office? the most inexperienced foreign policy to run for president and vice president in decades. you know, it isn't fair. it isn't fair to say that mitt romney doesn't have a position on afghanistan. he has every position. he was against setting a date for withdrawal. then he said it was right. and then he left the impression that maybe it was wrong to leave this soon. he said it was tragic to leave iraq, and then he said it was fine. he said we should have intervened in libya sooner. and then he ran down a hallway to run away from the reporters who were asking questions. then he said the intervention was too aggressive. then he said the world was a better place because the
intervention succeeded. talk about being for it before you were against it. mr. romney, mr. romney, mr. romney, here's a little advice, before you debate barack obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself. [ cheers and applause ] president mitt romney, president mitt romney, three very hypothetical words that mystified and alienated our allies this summer. for mitt romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas.
you know, it wasn't a goodwill mission, it was a blooper reel. but a romney/ryan foreign policy would be anything but funny. every president of both parties for 60 years has worked for nuclear arms control, but not mitt romney. republican secretaries of state, from kissinger to baker, powell to rice, president bush, 71 united states senators all supported president obama's new start treaty, but not mitt romney. he's even blurted out the preposterous notion that russia is our number one political/geopolitical foe. folks, sarah palin said she could see russia from alaska. mitt romney talks like he's only seen russia by watching "rocky 4."
so here's the choice, here's the choice in 2012. mitt romney, out of touch at home, out of his depth abroad, and out of the mainstream, or barack obama, a president who is giving new life and truth to america's indispensable role in the world, a commander in chief who gives our troops the tools and training they need in war, the honor and help they have earned when they come home. a man, a man, a man who will never ask other men and women to fight a war without a plan to win the peace. and let me say something else. let me say something else.
no nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. mitt romney, mitt romney was talking about america. they are on the front lines every day, defending america, and they deserve our thanks! [ cheers and applause ] some of us, some of us, some of us from a prior war remember coming home was not always easy. president obama has made it his mission that we welcome our troops home with care and concern and the respect they deserve. that is how an exceptional
nation says thank you to its most exceptional men and women. mitt romney says he believes in america and that he will restore america to exceptionalism. i have news for him. we already have an exceptional american as president, and we believe in barack obama! thank you and god bless america! >> senator john kerry, blowing the roof off in charlotte. the noise in the studio of everybody here reacting to him was -- we're not even there. >> the best speech john kerry has ever given, exclamation point. >> including his own acceptance speech. >> exactly. >> the best disk track of the entire convention, by far. >> this was a major "i told you so." i told you these things in 2004. but, seriously, this, to date, i think is the best speech on barack obama's foreign policy, his stability, and his
accomplishments. >> that was remarkable. this is a video they're airing on veterans issues that we want to dip into here for a second. watch. >> we tell our veterans how grateful we are for their service and their sacrifice, and then we go back to our lives. and these men and women, who served with a courage we can barely imagine, in places we can barely conceive, go back to theirs. four years ago, a pact was renewed that honoring their service shouldn't be about a single day, but a single purpose. not about a national holiday, but a national commitment to honor that sacred trust we forge with every man and woman who chooses to put their lives on the line to defend this country. >> the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directionally proportional how the veterans of earlier wars
were appreciated and treated by their nation. that was said by our first commander in chief, george washington. >> this is what they carried on patrol in iraq. dog tags. a five-pound kevlar helmet. an carbine. and these are the things they carry too. >> you think about home all the time. it's certainly better than thinking about the mud wall hut that you're living in. >> when they said that they were going to get us home from iraq, it was like, it's a campaign promise. it's never going to happen. >> as your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, i'm proud to finally say these two words, and i know your families agree, welcome home. >> i remember i just ran up to
him and jumped into his arms. >> i'll be grateful for the president for getting us out of iraq with honor and dig any for rest of my life. >> we made that promise to go take care of the enemy and defeat the enemy. we did. president obama made a promise to bring us home honorably and he did. >> we had these matchbooks that when we were on patrol in afghanistan, we handed out and on the front of the matchbook was a picture of osama bin laden. >> it was unbelievable. my goodness, we may actually have found him. >> he said, well, i have overwhelming faith in our special forces. i'm confident if the enemy's not there, they'll be able to get in and out. so i trust them. i trust their judgment. i trust their capacity. >> this was a very difficult mission. it was something that the military unit involved rehearsed repeatedly. >> it was a go. go.
>> tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. >> i remember hearing something and it finally registered that it was actually singing. and when i stopped and i listened, it was americans who had spontaneously gathered across the street from the white house and they were singing the national anthem. >> i kind of basked in it all by myself, thinking about the guys i served with, the guys we'd lost, the guy who had made it happen. >> previous employment, american. job description, devastating america. taking out osama bin laden. skills, leading, serving, sacrificing. promotions, many. references, the president of the united states. >> i believe that no one who fights for this country should ever have to fight for a job
when they come home. >> the administration has implemented several tax incentives for companies to hire veterans. >> their dedication is second to none. they're focused on teamwork. they understand the mission. and they'll see through -- see things through to the end. >> i always feel like they're telling me i can't do something when i used to lead 50 guys. now they're telling me, i'm giving you two people, can you handle that? >> anything you're going to throw at them as an employer is nothing like what they faced before. >> the unemployment rate among younger veterans has fallen quite significantly. >> we met the enemy, we can meet a deadline. >> the sound of a helicopter will trigger it, a certain sound of an explosion will bring me up short for a second. so, yeah, i think about it. >> one of the definitions of a veteran is somebody who at some point in their life wrote a blank check to the united states
of america, up to and including their own lives. and in afghanistan and iraq, we all saw people having to honor those checks. >> standing up for our veterans, this is not a democratic responsibility, it's not a republican responsibility. it's an american responsibility. >> it's so much easier to get whatever you need help, and to be seen sooner, because there have been more people that have been hired to help those of us in need. >> i think a lot of wounded warriors are reluctant to reach out. but the current administration has really been reaching out to us. >> a lot of the programs that they've instituted within the last four years have really been aimed at strengthening military families. >> the real sacrifice is made by the people who didn't come back, who won't ever come back. >> remember how i cheered like crazy at your first little league game, even when you struck out four times. i thought you'd tell me not to come anymore, but you didn't. remember when i made you take your sister to her first dance?
i thought you'd hate me forever for that. but you didn't. remember when you were too old to kiss good night anymore, but i walked into your room one night and tried anyway. i thought you'd push me away, but you didn't. there were so many things i wanted to thank you for when you came home, but you didn't. >> came home and sometimes were denigrated when you should have been celebrated. it was a national shame. it should have never happened. that's why i'm here today. we resolve that it will not happen again. >> when president obama spoke at the vietnam memorial, we were finally welcomed home. >> they come from every corner
of the country. they leave their husbands and wives, their homes and their lives, and they say, if you want to hurt the united states, you have to get through us. they stand up for freedom when they barely have the strength, and they don't stand down until the job is done. four years ago, a pact was made to keep faith with those who keep watch. that our nation's commitment wouldn't end with a tour of duty. they deserve nothing less. they've earned far more. >> the dnc launching that tribute. and you see, there's a lot of people on stage right now. they've brought forward retired four-star admiral, john nathman, this retired navy admiral, but also more than 50 veterans, not just of iraq and afghanistan, you see the former congressman from pennsylvania, veterans to
make this case, essentially. after the speech from john kerry, in which john kerry said, and let me say something else, no nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. mitt romney was talking about america, they're on the front lines every day defending america and they deserve our thanks. let's listen. >> for those who served and sacrificed in korea, vietnam, the gulf war, the balkans, anywhere they've been needed, today's servicemen and women have been called the next great generation, and they live up to that calling in everything they do. they've gone beyond the call of duty, in every way one can imagine. i served in the united states navy for 37 years. as a fighter pilot, as commander of naval air forces, and as vice chief of the navy. i've heard plenty of folks thank
us for our service. we appreciate that gratitude. and since the day he took office, the president has demonstrated that he respects and understands the challenges for those who wear a uniform. for every branch of the service, for those in civilian clothes or the uniform, president obama gives us a foreign policy worthy of the men and women on this stage. to ensure, to ensure that wherever they serve, their uniform and dedication is respected. and that their service makes a difference for america. for every veteran who comes home wounded, the president invested in the v.a. and expanded care to more than 500,000 returning troops who deserve that care. for every family waiting at
home, anxious every time the phone rings, the president, the first lady, and dr. jill biden are engaging whole communities to support those families. for every man and woman coming back to an uncertain future, the president strives to help veterans apply their talents, expand their skills, and get good jobs. last year he challenged american businesses to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses. he and the first lady got businesses across the private sector to sign on, supported by tax credits, for hiring our veterans and wounded warriors. last month, the same participating businesses reported that exceeded that goal by 25%, ahead of schedule by almost a year, and they're committing to bring on a quarter
million more new veteran jobs. >> this is retired admiral john nathman speaking of the u.s. navy. you see the reaction there from the first lady, michelle obama, who is in the hall. we're getting close to the culminating speeches of the evening here. we're about to have introduced dr. jill biden and joe biden, the vice president, and then of course we'll be hearing from michelle obama and from president obama. steve and melissa, i just wanted to briefly get responses from you from what we just saw in terms of that john kerry roast of mitt romney, specifically on foreign policy issues. mostly. but also this intensive focus they're doing now on the military and on veterans. >> we have to remember that president obama's foreign policy is, first of all, the reason that he won the primary against hillary clinton in 2008. it was his discussion about stupid wars, about saying that he opposed the war in iraq initially. that was, this notion that he has good judgment about foreign policy, and it's a fascinating moment, because he is not, of
course, someone who himself has, you know, service duty. he doesn't have -- >> no -- none of these four men who are running. >> that's right. so these are not people with a record, but this is a man who's been commander in chief for four years, and so part of what they're doing is saying, in 2008, you believed that he had good judgment about foreign policy. here's what that foreign policy looks like. we're going to tell you as soldiers, as veterans, that it was, indeed, good policy. >> it struck me that the john kerry speech, as aggressive as it was, was not a big anti-george w. bush speech. it was really an anti-romney speech. he was talking about the george w. bush area in an oblique way, but he was not going after that. he was going after mitt romney. >> yeah. i think one of the most under-talked about stories of this election season is the loss of the historic republican advantage on national security issues. which is seen in all of the polling. obviously, during the romney acceptance speech, the failure
to mention afghanistan, the bill came due on that tonight politically. john kerry took advantage of it. and i was also struck in the john kerry speech by a failed presidential candidate who lost and lost on the talk about being before it before you were against it. being able to laugh about it, to be at peace of it, i thought was pretty remarkable. >> the self-deprecating remark on that. dr. jill biden and joe biden are coming up in just a moment. this is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. the finale stuff starts right after this. stay with us. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert.
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i'm not a statistic. >> looking at a live shot at the floor of the democratic convention right now. this is angie flores, a student government leader at miami-dade college. she's introducing dr. jill biden, the wife of vice president biden. has been a real champion of community college and other issues related to that as well as military families. this is the introduction to mrs. biden. let's listen. >> and they work alongside us to make sure that those dreams come true. we all aspire to live that ideal middle class lifestyle, with a picket fence and the lemonade on the porch. and president obama and vice president biden are helping kids like me build that dream.
we all celebrate success. president obama and vice president biden help us achieve it. we all know that education leads to opportunity, and that education begins with a great teacher in every classroom. tonight, i have the honor of introducing an extraordinary educator. a lot of people know dr. jill biden as our nation's second lady. but she has an even more important title. she's a teacher. even when her husband -- even when her husband got a pretty big promotion, she continued to educate. that's how strong her commitment is to her students. this amazing woman grades papers in the white house.
last year, i had the distinct pleasure to meet dr. biden. i am fortunate to have teachers like her at miami-dade college. she is full of warmth, compassion, and dedication. and that's how she makes a difference for students like me. a teacher like dr. biden can make the difference between being a statistic and being a success. between getting by and getting ahead. and that is why -- and that is why i am studying to work with children. when i look at dr. jill biden, i see someone making the kinds of impact that i want to make. so please, join me in welcoming my role model, dr. jill biden. [ cheers and applause ]
>> hello! what a night! what a crowd! thank you, angie. i'm so proud of how far you've come. i'm so proud to stand before you tonight, not only as the wife of our vice president, but as a full-time teacher and a military mom. i'm here for our son, bo, and for all of our troops, veterans, and military families. four years ago, bo stood on this stage to introduce his father and soon afterward, he deployed to iraq for a year with the delaware army national guard.
tonight, thanks to the leadership of president obama and my husband, joe, the war in iraq is over! i'm also here tonight for my students. students like angie, who work so hard to create a better life for themselves and their families. i've been a teacher for more than 30 years. and to this day, i continue to teach full-time at a community college in northern virginia. not long after joe was elected vice president, people started questioning whether i could keep
teaching. not joe. he was there, standing by my side, saying, of course you should. it's who you are, jill. for me, being a teacher isn't just what i do, it's who i am. these issues are personal to me, and for the more than 37 years that i've known joe, i've seen firsthand just how personal they are to him too. joe often tells people that i didn't agree to marry him until the fifth time he asked me. the truth is, i loved him from the start. i saw in him then the same character that i see in him today. i see joe's character in his
optimism. for families who have lost a loved one, kids struggling to find their way, workers out of a job, joe always works to give people a sense of hope. i've also seen joe's character in his determination. two decades ago, when joe started working on the violence against women act, domestic violence was often treated as a private family matter rather than the crime it is. but joe knew that he had to bring this issue out into the open. and in the years since that bill has passed, i've had women tell me that their sisters or their friends wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for joe.
finally, i've seen joe's character in his heart. when i first met him, joe had already seen just how fragile life could be. when he was 29 years old, joe lost his first wife and baby daughter in a tragic car accident while they were out getting their christmas tree, and their boys were critically injured. joe's life was shattered. but through his strong catholic faith and his fierce love for our boys, joe found the strength to get back up. that's joe. that optimism, that determination, that big, strong heart that drives him forward
every day, it's what he learned as a young boy growing up with two hard-working parents in scranton, pennsylvania. it's what makes him such a loving and supportive father of our three children, bo, hunter, and ashley. and it's what drives him today as he and president obama fight to strengthen the middle class they grew up in. for as long as i've known him, joe has never given up, never failed to see the possibilities, and never had any doubt about who he's fighting for. and as long as he has the privilege of serving this nation, i know from the bottom of my heart, that he will continue to fight for you every day. thank you! god bless our troops and god bless our military families! thank you!
>> the wife of vice president joe biden, dr. jill biden, introducing herself as a teacher and as a military mom. this is the lead up to joe biden's speech itself. we'll see a video about joe biden's life. there will also be an introduction tonight before the president's speech about dick durbin. ♪ >> what i like best about this country are the people. there ain't anything we can't do. there still is that feeling in america. that's the part i love about it. my mother thought the most important virtue is courage. she thought everything else flowed from that. and she said, bravery resides in every heart. and some day it's likely to be summoned.
>> over the last four years, americans have summoned the bravery that lives in our hearts, one by one, family by family, community by community, fighting through the worst economic crisis since the great depression, proving once again there is just no quit in america. joe biden understands this. it's what you learn growing up in scranton, pennsylvania, and claymont, delaware. >> it was a neat place to grow up. i mean, we thought it was, and still do, think it's completely normal. four kids, three bedrooms, mom and dad, and of the probably 16 years i lived in that house, there was a relative at least 14 of those years living with us full time. my parents never doubted for a second i could be president or vice president. there was this notion that nobody is better than you, you're no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than you. and in this country, you can be anything you want to be. >> and i think that sense of
optimism is what he feels for america. >> his parents taught him the fundamental truths that make this country special. basic beliefs that have defined what it has meant to be middle class for generations. >> middle class wasn't a number, it wasn't your net worth. it was more a value set. it's the idea that everyone in this country who works at it can do well, who can own a home, not rent it. be able to live in a safe neighborhood. send their kid to school. help take care of their parents, maybe save enough that they can take care of themselves and not have to rely on their children. that's what this is all about. >> but for too many middle class families, this dream is falling out of reach. the pain of the great recession has cut deep. >> the longest walk a parent can make is up a short flight of stairs, up to their child's bedroom, to sit on the edge of the bed and say, honey, i'm sorry, but you can't play on the little league team this summer,
or you can't sing in st. ann's choir, or you can't, you know, go to roosevelt high school. i've lost my job. we've got to move. my dad made that walk. think how many people have made some version of that walk, all across america. and they're not looking for a handout. they're just looking for a shot. just a shot to get back in the game. and i think we owe them that shot. >> giving the middle class a shot has been the cause of this white house. from the moment they took the oath of office, the challenges have been enormous. for this president and vice president, it has been a partnership forged in fire. >> it's turned out to be a singular opportunity to be able to work with a guy like barack obama, because we trust each other. it's a completely candid relationship.
i asked him why he wanted me, and he said, to help minimum govern. so it's been very rewarding. but it's been most rewarding watching him. this guy has an incredible amount of character. he has a backbone like a ramrod. he makes his judgments based upon what he thinks is good for the country. the last questions he asks is the political consequences of it. >> joe has been a great partner and a great vice president. he cares about the middle class. he knows what it's like to struggle. and he's carried that passion to the white house. >> every step of the way, they have met the challenge, preventing an economic collapse, rescuing the auto industry, passing historic health care reform, eliminating bin laden, ending the war in iraq, and through it all, they have put the interests of the nation first. >> really and truly, barack and i are about growing this economy from the middle out. because when you do it that way, everybody does well. poor folks have a ladder up.
there's a way into the middle class. those who are striving to get in the middle class. and the wealthy do very well, because the middle class have money in their pockets. they can go out and purchase things that make the economy grow. it not only is sort of the american way, it's also economically the best way to grow a country. give them a tax system that's basically fair. give their kids an opportunity for an education. provide an environment where they can flourish. >> maybe it's because he's never forgotten where he came from, that he's never lost sight of where we need to go. >> he has such a sense of justice and fairness to him. and i think that makes him fight even harder for people. >> maybe it's because he's known loss and pain in his own life that he's never been blind to the suffering of others. >> i think that's one of the things that joe has that a lot of people don't have. this sense of intuition.
he intuitively feels someone's pain. he did know what it feels like to lose a wife, and then the unspeakable, to lose a child. and i think that's why people connect with him. >> he's always shown that he's been a man that supports the working class. >> he really cares for me. >> he's absolutely here for us. he's listening. >> yes, he is. i'm going to get a chocolate cone. here, roger? >> hey, roger, this is joe biden. >> biden! biden! biden! >> maybe it's because he's never doubted the american people that he's never doubted america's future. >> it's never been a safe bet to bet against america. i know i get criticized for saying that to foreign leaders, but i will not stop saying it. it's never been a good bet to bet against america. >> we're in a fight for the middle class. and there's nobody i would rather have in that fight with me than joe biden. >> he's the husband of a teacher, who knows teachers should be lifted up, not torn down. he's the son of an auto man, who
never doubted the american auto industry would once again roar. he's the author of the violence against women act, who's had the courage to stand against the abuse of power his whole career. he's the father of an iraq war veteran, who believes our one sacred obligation is to take care of those who have served this nation. >> i can say with absolute certitude, i am more optimistic about america's chances today than i have been my entire life. >> grit, determination, resilience, optimism. that's been the story of america, the story of ordinary people with extraordinary courage, overcoming extraordinary obstacles. and always, always moving towards a better day. joe biden knows that story. he's lived it. our vice president, joe biden.
>> hello, my fellow democrats! and my favorite democrat, jilly, i want you to know that bo and hunt and ashton and i, we're so incredibly proud of you. you know, we admire the way you -- the way when every single solitary young person, and they're not all young, walk into your clapper, you not only teach them, you give them confidence. you give me confidence. and the passion, the passion she brings to trying to ease the burden on the families of our warriors. jilly, they know you understand them, and that makes a gigantic difference. and folks, i tell you what, it
was worth the trip. to hear my wife say what i've never heard her say before. she's always loved me. if that's the case, why in the heck did it take five times of asking you -- and that's true -- five times. i don't know what i would have done, kiddo, had you, on that fifth time, said no. i love you. you're the love of my life and the life of my love. we've got three incredible kids. and bo, i want to thank you for putting my name and nomination to be vice president of the united states. i accept!
i accept. with great honor and pleasure, i accept. thank you. thank you, my fellow democrats. when i say to my fellow americans, my fellow americans, four years ago, a battered nation turned away from the failed policies of the past, and turned to a leader who they knew would lift our nation out of the crisis. a journey, a journey we haven't finished yet. we know we still have more to do. but today, i say to my fellow citizens, in the face of the deepest economic crisis in our lifetime, this generation of americans has proven itself as worthy as any generation before
us. for we possess that same grit, that same determination, that same courage that is always defined what it means to be an american. has always defined all of you. together, we're on a mission, we're on a mission to move this nation forward, from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity. a mission i guarantee you we will complete! a mission we will complete. folks, tonight what i really want to do is tell you about my friend, barack obama. no one could tell of him as well
as eloquently as michelle, as you did last night, michelle, on monday night. but i know him, to state the obvious, from a different perspective. i know him. and i want to show you, i want to show you the character of a leader who had what it took when the american people literally stood on the brink of a new depression. a leader who has what it takes to lead us over the next four years to a futur as great as our people. i want to take you inside the white house, to see the president as i see him, every day, because i don't see him in sound bites. i walk 30 paces down the hall into the oval office and i see him, i watch him in action.
four years ago, the middle class was already losing ground, and then the bottom fell out. the financial crisis hit like a sledgehammer on all the people i grew up with. you remember the headlines. you saw some of them in the previews. highlights. highest job losses in 60 years. headlines, economy on the brink, markets plummet worldwide. from the very moment president obama sat behind the desk resolute in the oval office, he kn knew, he knew he had not only to restore the confidence of a nation, but he had to restore the confidence of the whole world. and he also knew, he also knew that one, one false move could
bring a run on the banks, or a credit collapse, to bring another several million people out of work. america and the world needed a strong president with a steady hand and with the judgment and vision to see us through. day after day, night after night, i sat beside him as he made one gutsy decision after the other to stop the slide and reverse it. i watched him, i watched him stand up, i watched him stand up to intense pressure, and stare down enormous, enormous challenges, the consequences of which were awesome. but most of all, i got to see firsthand what drove this man. his profound concern for the average american.
he knew, he knew that no matter how tough the decisions he had to make were in that oval office, he knew that families all over america, sitting at their kitchen tables, were literally making decisions for their family that were equally as consequential. you know, barack and i, we've been through a lot together in these four years. and we learned about one another, a lot about one another. and one of the things i learned about barack is the enormity of his heart, and i think he learned about me, the depth of my loyalty to him. [ cheers and applause ] and there's another thing. another thing that has bound us together these past four years. we had a pretty good idea what
all those families, all you americans in trouble were going through. in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles. barack as a young man had to sit at the end of his mother's hospital bed and watch her fight with her insurance company, at the very same time he was fighting for her life. when i was a young kid in third grade, i remember my dad coming up the stairs at my grand pop's house where we were living, sitting at the end of my bed, and saying, joey, i'm going to have to leave for a while. go down to wilmington, delaware, with uncle frank. there are good jobs down there, honey. in a little while, a little while, i'll be able to send for you and mom and jimmy and val, and everything's going to be fine. for the rest of our life, my
sister and my brothers, for the rest of our life, my dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. it's about -- it's about your dignity. it's about respect. it's about your place in the community. it's about being able to look your child in the eye and say, honey, it's going to be okay! and mean it! and know it's true! [ cheers and applause ] when barack and i -- when barack and i were growing up, there was an implicit understanding in america that if you took responsibility, you'd get a fair shot at a better life. and the values, the values behind that bargain were the values that shaped both of us. and many, many of you.
and today those same values are barack's guiding star. folks, i've watched him. he has never wavered. he never, never backs down. he always steps up. and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings, the same fundamental question, how is this going to affect the average american? how is this going to affect people's lives? that's what's inside this man. that's what makes him tick. that's who he is! and folks, because of the decisions he has made and the incredible strength of the american people, america has turned the corner.
the worst job loss since the great depression. we've since created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months. look, folks, president obama and governor romney, they're both, they're both loving husbands. they're both devoted fathers. but let's be straight. they bring a vastly different vision and a vastly different value set to the job. and tonight, tonight although you've heard people talk about it, i want to talk about two things from a slightly different perspective, from my perspective. i would like to focus on two crisis and show you, show you the character of the leadership that each man will bring to this job.
because as i've said, i had a ringside seat. the first of these has been talked about. and god love jennifer granholm. wasn't she great? wasn't she great? i love jennifer. but the first story i want to talk to you about is the rescue of the automobile industry. and let me tell you, let me tell you from this man's ringside seat, let me tell you about how barack obama saved more than a million american jobs. in the first days, literally the first days that we took office, general motors and chrysler were literally on the verge of liquidation. if the president didn't act, if he didn't act immediately, there wouldn't be any industry left to save. so we sat, hour after hour, in the oval office.
michelle remembers what he must have thought when he came back upstairs. we sat, we sat hour after hour. we listened to senators, congressmen, outside advisers, even some of our own advisers. we listened to them to say some of the following things. they said, well, we shouldn't step up. the risks were too high. the outcome was too uncertain. and the president, he patiently sat there and he listened. but he didn't see it the way they did. he understand something they didn't get and one of the reasons i love him. he understood that this wasn't just about cars. it was about the people who built and made those cars. and about the america those people built, in those meetings. in those meetings, in those meetings, i often thought about
my dad. my dad was an automobile man. he would have been one of those guys all the way down the line, not on the factory floor, not along the supply chain, but one of those guys who was selling american cars to american people. i thought about, i thought about what this crisis would have meant for the mechanics and the secretaries and the salespeople who my dad managed for over 35 years. and i know for certain, i know for certain that my dad, were he here today, he'd be fighting like heck for the president, because the president fought to save the jobs of those people my dad cared so much about. ladies and gentlemen, my dad, my dad respected barack obama, would have respected barack obama, had he been around, for having had the guts to stand up for the automobile industry when so many others just were
prepared to walk away. you know, when i look back, when i look back now, when i look back on the president's decision, i think of another son of another automobile man, mitt romney. mitt -- no, no. mitt romney, mitt romney grew up in detroit. my dad managed his dad -- well, his dad ran an entire automobile company, american motors. yes, what i don't understand is in spite of that, he was willing to let detroit go bankrupt. no, don't. i don't think he's a bad guy. no, no, i don't think he's a bad guy. i'm sure he grew up loving cars as much as i did. what i don't understand, what i don't think he understood, i don't think he understood that saving the automobile worker,
saving the industry, what it meant to all of america. not just auto workers. i think he saw it the bain way. i mean this sincerely. i think he saw it in terms of balance sheets and write-offs. folks, the bain way may bring your firm the highest profits, but it's not the way to lead our country from the highest office. [ cheers and applause ] when things hung in the balance, when things hung in the balance, i mean, literally hung in the balance, the president understood, this was about a lot more than the automobile industry. this was about restoring america's pride. he understood, he understood in his gut what it would mean to
leave a million people without hope or work if he didn't act. and he also knew, he also knew and intuitively understood the message it would have sent around the world if the united states gave up on an industry that helped put america on the map in the first place. conviction, resolve, barack obama! that's what saved the automobile industry! conviction, resolve, barack obama! look, you heard my friend john kerry. this president, this president has shown the same resolve, the same steady hand in his role as commander in chief.
look, which brings me to the next illustration i want to tell you about. the next crisis he had to face. in 2008, 2008, before he was president, barack obama made a promise to the american people. he said, if i have been -- if we have bin laden in our sights, we will, we will take him out. he went on to say, he went on to say, that has to be our biggest national security priority. look, barack understood that the search for bin laden was about a lot more than taking a monstrous leader off the battlefield. it was about so much more than that. it was about righting an unspeakable wrong. it was about -- literally, it was about -- it was about
healing an unbearable wound, a nearly unbearable wound in america's heart. and he also knew, he also knew the message we had to send around the world. if you attack innocent americans, we will follow you to the end of the earth. [ cheers and applause ] >> usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! >> most of all, most of all, most of all president obama had an unyielding faith in the capacity and the capability of our special forces. literally, the finest warriors in the history of the world.
the finest warriors in the history of the world. so we sat, we sat originally, only five of us. we sat in the the situation room beginning the fall of the year before. we listened, we talk, we heard, and he listened to the risks and the reservations about the raid. he asked again the tough questions. he listened to the doubts that were expressed. but when the admiral looked him in the eye and said sir, we can get this job done, i sit next to him and looked at your husband, and i knew at that moment he had made his decision. and his response was decisive. he said, do it.
and justice was done. folks, dr folks, governor romney didn't see things that way. when he was asked about bin laden in 2007, heere's what he said. he said it's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars to catch just one person. but he was wrong. he was wrong. because if you understood that america's heart had to be healed, you would have done exactly what the president did, and you would move heaven and earth to hunt him down and to bring him to justice.
four years ago -- the only thing missing this convention is any mom. four years ago, she was sitting with us in the stadium in denver. i quoted her, one of her favorite expressions. she used to say all her children, she would say joey, bravery resides in every heart, and the time will come when it must be summoned. ladies and gentlemen, i'm here to tell you what i think you already know, but i watched it up close. bravery resides in the heart of barack obama and time and time again, i witnessed him summon it. this man has courage in his soul, passion in his heart and a spine of steel!
and because of all the actions he took, because of the cause he made, because of the determination of american workers and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can proudly say what you heard me say the last six months. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive! that's right. folks, we know we have more work to do. we know we're not there. but not a day goes by in the last four years that i haven't been grateful as an american that barack obama is the president because he always has the courage to make the tough decision.
speaking of tough decisions, speaking of tough calls, last week we heard at the republican convention, we heard our opponents, we heard them pledge that they, too, they, too, had the courage to make the tough calls. that's what they said. but folks, in case you didn't notice, i say to my fellow americans, in case you didn't notice, they didn't have the courage to tell you what calls they would make. they never mentioned any of that. mrs. robinson, you watched from home, i guess, from the white house. you heard them talk so much about how they cared so much
about medicare. how much they wanted to preserve it. that's what they told you. but what they didn't tell you, the plan that they already put down on paper would immediately cut benefits for more than 30 million seniors already on medicare. what they dependent tell you, what they didn't tell you is the plan they are proposing would cause medicare to go bankrupt by 2016, and what they really didn't tell you is they, if you want to know, if you want to know, they're not for preserving medicare at all! they're for a new plan called voucher care. look, folks, that's not courage. that's not even truthful. that's not even truthful.
in tampa, they talk with great urgency about the nation's debt and the need to act, to act now. but not once, not one single time did they tell you that they rejected every plan put forward by us, by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission they referenced, or by any other respected group. reduce the national debt. they were not for any of them. why? because they're not prepared to do anything about the debt if it contained even $1 -- i'm not exaggeratin exaggerating, even $1 or 1 cent in new taxes for millionaires. folk, that's not courage, and that's not fair. look, look. in a sense, this can be reduced
to a single notion. the two men seeking to lead this country over the next four years, as i said in the outset, have fundamentally different visions and completely different values too. governor romney believes in the global dmi. it doesn't matter much where companies invest or put their money or if they create jobs. as a matter of fact, in his budget proposal, in his tax proposal, he calls for a new tax. it's called a territorial tax, which the experts have looked at and they acknowledge, it will create 800,000 new jobs, all of them overseas, all of them. now, what i found fascinating, the most fascinating thing last week, what governor romney said, that as president, he would take a jobs tour. well, with this outsourcing,
it's going to have to be a foreign trip. it will. look, president obama knows that creating jobs in america, keeping jobs in america, bringing jobs back to america is what the president's job was all about. that's what presidents do. or at least supposed to do. folks, governor romney believes it's okay to have raise the tax of middle class by $2,000 for a tax cut for the wealthy. ploem knows there's nothing decent or fair about asking people with more to do more and people less to do more. kids like our dreamers, those immigrant children that are brought to the imglant shores through no fault of their own. he thinks they're a drag on the
american economy. president obama believes even though those dreamers, those kids didn't choose to come here, they've chosen to do right by america an it's right for us to do right by them! governor romney -- govrner romney looks at the notion of equal pay in terms of a company's bottom line. president obama, hoe knows that making sure our daughters gets the same pay as for our sons is every father's bottom line! i kind of expected all of that from them, but one thing truly perplexed me at their convention. the thing that perplexed me most
was this idea they kept talking about about the culture of dependency. they seem to think, you create a culture of dependency when you provide a bright, young qualified kid from a working class family a loan to get to college. or when you provide a job training program in a new industry for dad who lost his job because it was outsourced. folks, folks that's not how we look at it. that's not how america has ever looked at it. what he doesn't understand is what all these men and women are looking for is just a chance. a chance to acquire the skills to be able fro vied for their families so they can once again hold their heads high and lead independent lives with dignity. that's all they're looking for. it literally amazes me they don't understand that.
you know, i told you at the outset, the choice is stark. two different visions, two different value sets. but at its core, the difference is reduced to a fundamental difference. you see, you, we, most americans have incredible faith in the decency and hard work of the american people and we know what has made this koun tr i. it it's the american people. four years ago, we were hit hard. you saw your retirement accounts drained, equity in your homes vanished. jobs lost. but what did you do as americans? what you've always done. you didn't lose faith. you fought back, you got up. you're the ones. the american people, you're the ones. you're the reason why we are still better positioned than any country in the world to lead the
21st century. you never quit on america. and you deserve a president who will never quit on you. [ applause ] folks, there's one more thing. one more thing. our republican opponents are just dead wrong about. america is not in decline. america is not in decline. i've got news for governor romney and congressman ryan. gentlemen, never, ever, it never makes sense, it's never been a good bet to bet against the american people. never! my fellow americans, america is
coming back and we're not going back. and we have no intention of downsizing the american dream! never. never a good bet. ladies and gentlemen, in a moment, we're going to hear from a man whose woel life is a testament to the power of that dream. and whose presidency is the best hope to secure that dream for our children. for you see, you see, we see a futu future. we really honest to god, do we see a future where everyone, rich and pour, does their part
and has a part. we depend more energy on clean energy at home than abroad. a future where we promote the private sector, not the privileged sector. and a future where women once again control their own choices, their destiny and their own health care! and ladies and gentlemen, barack and i see a future pit's in our dna where no one, no one is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance.
folks, we see a future where america leads not only by the power of our example by but i power of our example. where we bring our troops home from afghanistan, just as we proudly did from iraq. a future where we fulfill the only truly sacred obligation we have as a nation. the only trulicy sacred oobligan we have is to prepare those we send to war and care for them when they come home from war. and tonight, tonight, tonight, i want to acknowledge -- i want to acknowledge, as we should every
night, the incredible debt we owe to the families of those 6,473 fallen angels. those 49,746 wounded. thousands critically thousands who will need help for the rest of their lives. folks, we never, we must never, ever forget their sacrifice. and always keep them in our care and in our prayers. my fellow americans, we now find ourselves at the hinge of history. the direction we turn is
literally in our hands. it has been abtruly great honor to serve you and to serve with barack who's always stood up for you the past four years. i've seen him tested. i know his strength, his command, his faith. and i also know the incredible confidence he has in all of you. i know this man. yes, the worker recovery is not yet complete, but we are on our way. the journey of hope is not yet finished but we are on our way. and the cause of change is in the fully accomplished but we are on our way. so i say to you tonight is with absolute confidence, america's best days are ahead and yes, we're on our way.
for the values that define us, for the ideals that inspire us, there is only one choice. that choice is to move forward and finish the job and re-elect president barack obama! god bless you all and may god protect our troops. god bless you! thank you. >> visceral, vintage joe biden. getting emotional at the end. talking in personal terms the president he called throughout the speech by his first name. joined by his wife on stage. what's your reaction to this speech? >> i think joe biden was joe biden tonight. she's the schmaltzy brother, who sings in the wedding. the guy in the family who always goes a bit over the top, but the love is manifest.
i think his loyalty to the president couldn't have been more on display tonight. i think he gave barack obama, who can be a cool customer a much more human face tonight. i think that's always what joe biden has brought to this partnership. >> what was important about joe biden using the president -- using his first name, talking about how close he is to him, how he sees him daily. all of that personal stuff about how close they are. as friends, as men. what's important about that? >> it's not exactly a bromance, but the modern vice presidency is two doors away from the presidency. it used to be the vice president who had his offices up in the senate. in fact, lyndon's first vice president went back to maine after his election. now the vice president is a junior partner. joe biden actually works right around the corner from the oval office, and every time you're in to see him, i haven't been in that often, h eeel say sorry,
i've got to go in to see him. him is the president of the united states. he's very much a junior partner. that's the new vice presidency. it began under mondale. >> we're leading up to the president's speech. coming out of joe biden, what are your impressions? >> he was trying hard tonight. he was trying to get as emoti emotionally connected as he possibly could. it wasn't his smoothest plmpl mans, but it was effective. the crowd knows this man. it was not an introduct ray speech tonight. he's a genuine guy. high on sincerity, believable. i thought it was a good testimony to the president. >> it was a very decider-esque
speech. i don't think we've seen that pitch for the president so far. the idea that it's about his judgment and what's in his gut and this kind of undescribable, inefable part of his being that can make the right call. the case for the president doesn't usually lay on that core character. >> trust me, i know him up close. >> michelle obama sort of did that, but this was very much about him as decider. >> ewe also had the sense, i had it since the moment he was announced as vice presidential pick, he's excited to be the president. there are some folks you can tell they're vice president because they're really looking forward. i'm not saying biden isn't looking forward, but you have this sense that aspect of loyalty is a part -- he's excited to be part of this historic moment. he really believes that this president is someone who shares
his inherent world view around sort of who the american people are. >> it wasn't a great oratory. it had rough patches but he's a great politician. when he's in the v.a. halls, h he's going to be in pennsylvania and ohio. tried really hard. gave testimony, but there's only one speech that matters tonight. >> you're in charlotte there in front of an enthusiastic audience. what were you looking for? what do you think he added if anything tonight? '. >> well, i've dealt with the president and vice president since they've been in before. i think the real thing that joe biden brings besides his appeal to the lunch bucket kind of democrat is here's a guy that ran against barack obama in the
democratic primaries. they both came and i remember when they were opponents. it's not just his vice president, they really are partners. they make decisions together. the hard stuff they do together. if you go to the white house with something serious, the president has him there. so for him to give an inside view at the white house when they were dealing with bin laden, when they were doling with other thing, he was not just talking there. this is something that actually happened. they have that kind of relationship. fi figure it was heart felt. they got to peek into the door of the oval office. michelle obama knows him as a man. this man, the vice president, knows him as a president like nobody else know himself. i think he communicated that tonight.
>> i totally agree. i think that bridges something ed said. nobody needs joe biden to be introduced to them. joe biden has a particularity as a politician who first ran for president in, what, 1987? he's been around for a long time. he's been in washington forever. he's a familiar and familial figure, almost. i actually think part of this reassurance role he was playing was at the best in one of rocky. at one point he said folks, i. kwa watched him, he never waivers. he steps up. he asks over and over again, how is this going to help ordinary families? he says that's what's inside this man. that's what makes him tick. trust me. you know me, i'm joe biden and
i'm telling you, this guy is the real deal. that's applying the full joe biden. the question whether there are still people uncomfortable with the coolness of barack obama. >> this is the great irony and paradox of barack obama. the ratio of minutes he's lived to words written an't those minutes is as vast as any figure in american history. there's his own biography, 98-00 page biography that just came out about him known as part one. there's a whole lot of ways that's layered on. >> the sense of the veil. somehow this president exists behind a veil. >> they're going to is that right -- start the video in charlotte.
then after that, the speech from barack obama accepting the nomination of the party. once again, the president of the united states. >> we've been through a lot together. but we' known tough times before. ♪ what carries us through? that helps us endure. what are the qualities so essential to us and the leaders who have occupied this office. >> he did some things knowing
they wouldn't be popular in the short run knowing they would lay the foundation for recovery. no other country in the world would give up the capacity cars. he did what the government is supposed to do in a case like that. >> do not rescue the automobile industry. it was overwhelming. look at the polling number. >> a country in the midst of a financial crisis that no one really knew the depths of the challenges that were coming. >> my parents came out of the depression. they knew what it was like for people not to have work. we all understand work is something more than just a paycheck. what gives you dignity, what gives you a sense of purpose. >> he said everyone has to come up, you have to have some skin in the go ahead im. you have to modernize the automobile industry. >> they said it's never going to
work. guess what? >> 80,000 more people working in the car industry than when the restructuring passed. >> they're middle class jobs. people request raise a family. >> we' gone from an economy shedding jobs to one that's consistently creating jobs at all sectors. he reads the letters he gets from people all over america. they are, as he put it, some of the most informative pieces of material that he gets that keeps him grounded. and anyone who has kids knows that no matter what you do, your kids still think they are the most important people in the room. so we sit around the dinner table and he's the last person to be asked, oh, yeah, how's your day, dad? really, h he's an afterthought.
he never starts a conversation by saying what's the best political decision here? what will help us the most? never? so ohe wasn't going to back out just because it got hard, just because it didn't poll well. that's just never been who he is and it certainly is not how he will ever govern this country. >> when my mom got cancer, she wasn't a wealthy woman and it pretty much drained all her resources. >> watching your mother die from something that could have been prevented, that's a tough thing to deal with. >> the reason he pushed ahead, knowing there could be horrible political consequences for him, just as there were for me, is health care costs have gone up three times the rate of inflation. this is a huge economic issue. we spent 17.5% of our income on health care. >> anybody who gets medical care, hundreds of thousands of
dollars, imagine working class mom opening up that kind of bill. you know? with a -- you know, somebody sending that to her with a straight face. that understanding of that kind of reality for millions of american americans drove him to make sure that legislation got passed. ittic thats a conscious effort to stay connected with what's going on in people's lives. >> this was a matter of principle for him. he ran on it, he said he was going to do it and he did it. >> you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. he had to decide. that's one thing that george bush said that was right, the president is the decider in chief. >> we were only about 50% sure
bin laden was in that compound. but i had 100% kwfd in our navy s.e.a.l.s. >> i sat in the that room with him when we were getting feeds on what was going on at the time. he sat there resolute, concerned, just watching. we got him. confirm it. just boom, boom, boom. then came to explain to everybody the next day in the cabinet room what happened. i mean, this is a guy who has a backbone like a ramrod. >> good evening. tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world -- >> he took the harder and the more honorable path and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result.
when i saw what happened, i said to myself, i hope that's the call i would have made. it was the right thing to do. >> we have a long way to go. but with every new beginning, every homecoming, every step forward, we remember who we are. >> what's really allowing this economy to heal and move forward is the resilience and the strength of the american people. they don't quit. they don't give up. partly because of family, partly because of a sense of community, patriotism and pride in this country, they keep going.
black applause ] >> four more years! four more years! four more years! >> now, the first time i addressed this convention in 2004, i was a younger man. a senate canada from illinois who spoke about hope. not blind optimism, not wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty. that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great. even when the road is long. eight years later that hope has been tested by the cost of war,
one of the worst economic crises in history and political gridlock that makes us question whether it's still possible to tackle challenges of our time. i know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes. trivial things become big distractions, the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money. and advertising. if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i. but when you would is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, big decisions will be made in washington on jobs, economy,
taxes, deficits, energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come. on every issue. it won't be a choice between two candidates or two parties. it will be a choice between two paths for america. a choice for fundamentally different visions for the future. ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in patent's army. the values that cause mid grandmother to work on an assembly line while he was gone.
they knew they were part of something larger, a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world east best products. and everyone shared in that pride and success. they fulfilled the basic bargain at the heart of america's story. the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone 34r5i plays by the same rules from main street to wall street to washington, d.c. and i ran for president because i saw that basic bargain slipping away.
i began my career helping people in the shadow of a shut down steel mill. folks racking up more and more debt to make the mortgage or pay tuition. put gas in the car or food on the table. and when the house of cards collapsed in the great recession, millions of innocent americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. a tragedy from which we're still fighting to recover. our friends down in tampa were more than happy to talk about everything that they think is wrong with america. but they didn't have much to say about how they would make it right. they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan.
and that's because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. have a surplus? try a tax cut. deficit too high. try another one. feel a cold coming on, take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. now, i've cut taxes for those who need it. middle class families, small businesses. but i don't believe another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores or pay down our deficit. i don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy or help us compete with the scientists and engineers
coming out of china. after all we've been through, i don't believe rolling back regulations on wall street will help the small businesswoman expand or the laid off construction worker keep his home. we have been there. we've tried that and we're not going back. we are moving forward, america. now, i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy. i never have. you didn't elect me to tell you what you want to hear. you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. they'll require common effort and shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent
experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worst than this one. and by the way, those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from washington. but know this america -- our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and i'm asking you to choose that future. i'm asking you to rally. a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states.
[ applause ] we can choose a future where we export more products and outsource less jobs. after a decade, we're getting back to basics and doing what america always does best. we are making things again. i've met workers in detroit or toledo who feared they would never build an american car and today they can't build them fast enough because we rebuilt a dying auto industry that's back on top of the world. i worked with business leaders
who are bringing jobs back to america, not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products. because we work harder and smarter than anyone else. i signed trade agreements that are helping our companies build more goods for their customers stamped with these three words -- made in america. >> usa! usa! and after a decade of decline, this country created over 500,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 2 1/2 years. and now you have a choice. we can give more tax breaks to jobs who send jobs overseas or
we can create incentives for companies that open here and hire workers in the united states of america. we can help big factories and small businesses double their exports. if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. you can make that happen. you can choose that future. you can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. we have doubled our use of renewable energy. and thousands of americans had jobs today building wind turbines and long lasting batteries. in the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels a day. more than any administration in recent mystery.
and today, the united states of america is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. so now you have a choice teen a strategy that reverses this progress or one that builds on it. we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration the last three years and we'll open more. but unlike my opponent, i will not let oil companies write this company's energy plan or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. we're offering a better path. we're offering a better path, a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal.
where farmers and signists harness new biofuels to power or our cars and our trucks. where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy. where we develop a 100-year sun ply of natural gas that's right beneath our feet. if you choose this path, we can support more than $600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. and yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon fuels that are heating our planet. global warming is not a hoax. it's not a joke, they're a threat to our children's future and in this election, you can do something about it.
>> you can choose a future american where children have the skills to compete. no matter where they are or how much money they had. education was the gate way to opportunity for me. it was the gate way for michelle. it was the gateway for most of you. and now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle lass life. for the fist time in nearly a generation nearly every state have answered our call to raise their standards. many states have made real gains in math and reading. millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasteds of taxpayers dollars on banks and lenders. and now you have a choice. we can gut education or we can decide in the united states of
america, no child should have their dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or crumbling school. no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money. no company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn't find any with the right skills at home. that's not our future. that is not our future. a government has a role in this, but teachers must inspire, principals must lead, parents must instill a thirst for learning and students, you've got to do the work. and together, i promise you, we can outeducate and outcompete any nation on earth. so help me, help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers within ten years and improve early childhood
education. help give 2 million workers a chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. we can meet that goal together. you can choose that future for america. [ applause ] that's our future. you know, in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership than tested and proven. four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have. we have blunted the taliban's
momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline. al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> tonight, we pay tribute to the americans who still serve in harm's way. we are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made that country safer and more respected. we will never forget you, and so long as i'm commander-in-chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.
when you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you've served us because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads or the care that they need when they come home. around the world, we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of neeuclear weapons. we stood up to china on behalf of our workers. from burma to libya to south e sud sudan, we have advand the human rights of all men and women, christians and muslims and jews. but for all the progress that we've made, challenges remain. terrorist plots must be disrupted. europe's crisis must be contained.
our commitment to israel's security must not waiver and neither must our pursuit of peace. the iranian government must face a world that's united against its am petitions. the historic change sweeping across the middle east, the hope and aspirations of people who are reaching for the same rights we celebrate here today. so now we have a choice. many i opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and
blundering. you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you're stuck in a cold war mind warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent said that it was tragic to end the war in iraq, and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. well, i have and i will. and while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware than our joint chiefs don't even want, i will use we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work. rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways, because
after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over $1 trillion, it's time to do some nation wild l building right here at home. [ applause ] you can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion. and last summer i worked with republicans to cut $1 billion in spending because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it so that it's leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the american people. i want to reform the tax codes so that it's simple, fair and has the wealthiest households to
pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000, the same rate we had when bill clinton was president, the same rate we had when our economy created 23 million new job, the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot. now, i'm still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of the bipartisan commission. no party has all the wisdom. no democracy works without compromise. i want to get this done and we can get it done. but when governor romney and his friends in congress say we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, what did bill clinton call it? you do the arithmetic. you do the math. i refuse to go along with that.
and as long as i'm president, i never will. i refuse to ask middle class families to reduce their deductions for owning their homes or paying for college for their kids just to millionaires can get another tax cut. i refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of head start programs to eliminate health insurance for millions of americans who are poor and elderly or disabled, also so those with the most can pay less. i'm not going along with that. and i will never, i will never turn medicare into a voucher. no american should have to spend
their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. they should retire with the care and dignity that they have earned. yes, we will reform and strengthen medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. and we will keep the promise of social security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to wall street. this is the choice we now face. this is what the election now comes down to. over and over, we've been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way. since the government can't do everything, it should dole almost nothing. if you can't afford health
insurance, hope that you don't get sick. if the company releases pollutions into the air your children breathe, that's the price of progress. if you can't afford college, take my advice, boar rrow money from your parents. you know what, that's not who we are. that's not what this country is about. as americans, we believe we are endow by our creator with certain inalienable rights. we insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate initiative. we're not entitled to success. we have to earn it. we honor the striver, the dreamer, the risk takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system.
the greatest engine of growth an prosperity that the world has ever known. but we also believe in something called citizenship. citizenship. a word at the very heart of our founding. a word at the very essence of our democracy. the idea that this country only accepts certain obligations to one another and to future generations. we believe when a ceo pays his auto workers enough to buy the cars that he builds, the whole company does better. we believe when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can't afford, that family is protected but so is the value of other people's homes. and so the entire economy.
we believe the little girl who's offered an escape by poverty by her teacher oer a grant for college can become the next steve jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the united states and it's in our power to give her that chance. >> we know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. we don't want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly don't want bailouts for banks who break the rules. we don't think that government can solve all of our problems. but we don't think the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare
recipients or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles. because america, we understand that this democracy is ours. we, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights, that our destiny bound together, a freedom without a commitment to others, freedom without love or charity or duty is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense.
as citizen, we understand america is not about what can be done for us, it's about what can be done by us, together. through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. that's what we believe. so you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens, you were the change. you're the reason there's a little girl with a heart diz order in phoenix who get the surgery show needs because an insurance company can't limit her coverage. you did that. you're the reason a young man in colorado who never thought he
would be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. you made that possible. you're the reason a young immigrant will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home. why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of military because of who they are or who they loved. why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, welcome home. welcome home. you did that. you did that. you did that. if you turn away now, if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we
fought for isn't possible, well, change will not happen. if you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void. the lobbyists and special interests, the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote. washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. only you can make sure that doesn't happen. only you have the power to move us forward. you know, i recognized that times have changed since i first spoke to this convention.
times have changed and so have i. i'm not longer just a candidate. i'm the president. >>. [ applause ] >> four more years! four more years! >> and that means i understand what it's like to send american soldiers into battle. i've held in my arms fathers and mothers of those who didn't return. i share the pain of families who lost their homes and the frustration of workers who have lost their jobs. in the critics are right, that
i've made all my decisions on polls, then i must not be very good at reading. and while i'm very proud of what we've achieved together, i'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said, i have been driven to many my knees many time by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. but as i stand here tonight, i have never been more hopeful about america. not because i think i have all the answers, not because i'm naive about the magnitude of our challenges. i'm hopeful because of you. the young woman i met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter, she gives me hope.
the autoowe worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed but kept coming to work every day and bought flags for his whole town, and one of the cars he built to surprise his wife, he gives me hope. the family business in minnesota that didn't lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owner gave up some perks and some pay because they understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers who had helped build that business. they give me hope. i think about the young sailor i
met at walter reed hospital still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. six months ago we would watch him walk into a white house dinner honoring those who served into iraq. tall and 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform with a big grin on his face, sturdy on his new leg. a few month after that how i would watch him on a bicycle on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled. he gives me hope. he gives me hope. i don't know what party these men and women belong to. i don't know if they'll vote for me.
but i know that their spirit defines us. they remind me in the words of scripture that ours is a future filled with hope and if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. if you reject the notion that this nation's promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. if you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. if you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape and new energy can power our future and new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers, if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone
plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. america, i never said this journey would be easy and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. we don't turn back, we leave no one behind, we hold each other up and we draw strength from our victories and we learn from our mistakes but we keep our eyes fixed on that destined horizon knowi knowing and we're surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth. thank you. god bless you and god bless these united states.
♪ >> this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. president barack obama accepting the nomination for the second time of the democratic party's, the democratic party's nomination for president of the united states in a, lack of a better term, a big, big speech. eyes on the horizon speech. a value speech harnessing his power of oratory not to just policy and a little bit about his opponent but a statement to citizenship to a very literary digration to humility and lacing of humility throughout the speech and talking about hard times and from this president, something we're not used to hearing, an overt request for a vote. i'm asking for your vote. chris matthews in charlotte.
>> well, i think tonight he did it, again, didn't he? but more than that, the profound thing he accomplished the president was to turn the whole table on those who thought the incumbency would be a problem and the challenger would have it easy. the most powerful statement he made tonight is i am the president. i am the president and you're not. i had to do the tough things of leading this country and you haven't and you don't have a clue about foreign policy. it's all new to you and you think all we have to take two tax cuts to solve our common cold because you don't have a clue to solve this country's challenges. it was a profound statement of, i have the best position in this country and in this race because i am doing the job and you're just twiddling your fingers thinking about what it might be like to be president. that is huge because we all
thought the problem was defending the way things are and he's made the opponent's defend the fact that they don't know what's going on. that's the big development in that speech. what a home run that was. >> i mean, for me, some of my favorite lines. one of my favorite lines came early on and the discussion of bold, persistent experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued and it was, i think as chris said, you know, this is part of turning that incumbency around as an advantage and i'm not here to say i got it all right, but i pursued this bold, experimentation. the other key was, i didn't do it, you did it. you are responsible for every success. you are responsible for every success. >> i thought the president tonight had one of his strongest finishes. very passionate. but, tonight, the president went after where he had been attacked and mocked by the right wing about hope and change. he specifically pointed out what
is different in this country under his leadership. the health care, the immigration, the don't ask, don't tell and he was referring back to the people who had spoken previously in this convention. very well coordinated convention, very well coordinated message and about the hope. he put it on the american people. he made me feel good tonight. he made the american people feel good tonight and he gave us confidence. he pointed out what we've been through, what we can get through and where we're going. it was a very visionary speech and it was vintage barack obama. >> you're the reason, you're the reason, you did that, you did that, you did that. let's bring in reverend al sharpton from charlotte. rev? >> well, i think, i think, among other things, the president, as he always has since i've known him, defied expectation. we heard people say his wife spoke, what is he going to be able to do behind this. after bill clinton, i think that
he, as he always does, didn't listen to the chatter. he made an epic speech tonight and he did it because he was substantive and he laid out policy, he laid out exactly what he's going to do, but he also brought a bigger vision and, at the same time, he's been criticized a lot on this hope and change. he elevated hope and change. he didn't give it up. he says we're still going to deal with hope, we're still going to deal with change. we had a hard way to go, that's what hope and change is. so, he handed back what people ridiculed to them. he handed it back on a silver platter and laid out policies and reduced his opponents to just some people who are chattering somewhere in never never land. i think barack obama won the election tonight. >> he thinks the president won re-electi re-election. >> i was struck by the humility in the speech and the celebration of entrepreneurship,
the acknowledgment that government isn't always the answer that it's charities and multiple times. i don't think the democrats could have possibly done a better job this week in building a case for the president's re-election. i think their convention was a home run. now, we have to wait for the verdict. did this convention move the numbers? did it change the dynamic in the race? did it close the economic numbers where he's been lagging behind mitt romney? did it give a booster shot, as chris has talked about, of optimism to a pessimistic who think the country is on the wrong track. the president attacked from positions which before have been weaknesses and he went right after the republican ticket. it was an effective speech, as almost all of his speeches are. but we'll see over the next couple of days how the country reacts to it. does he have a bounce out of this convention? is he able to open up a lead? >> i thought it was interesting the division of labor between
what bill clinton did and what the president did. bill clinton, i don't know if they coordinated this, but bill clinton a defense of the record, it was backward looking, almost entirely. this speech, and it's very interesting to think about the terms upon which they want this election to be fought. a choice not a referendum and the future rather than the presence. if it's a referendum on the present and people feeling out of sorts and anxious, that's where they're weakest. and the entirety of this, there was not that much about the record. there were mentions about health care, but they were largely oblique. it was about focusing the electorate forward. >> values. >> values and it was also interestingly, in certain places, very workman-like. it was not soaring, it was not soaring, except for a few parts, particularly the ending, for the reason that they're very cognizant of this tight rope they have to walk about people feeling anxious and out of sorts. people feeling very cognizant of how broken and dysfunctional our
politics still feel four years after their election and not bringing to the forward the j juxtaposition of that hope of four years ago and how difficult it has been and how it will continue to be. >> one thing that has happened and not just from the right but our ironic and cynical culture is that since barack obama was elected president, it has become something you're supposed to be embarrassed about that you might be moved by politics. hope and change are a punchline, right? the idea that you would think that you would be able to expect anything, but also able to feel anything about politics is some sort of weakness. and i was moved by the speech. i find it moving and i'm happy to be moved. and i think it's a sort of cynicism eraser. when he says, he ad libs, you did that, you did that, you did that. if you turn away now and buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for wasn't
possible, well, change will not happen. your voice can make the difference and then other voices will fill the void at that point i thought, right. that's the other side of it. if you think you can't do it, plenty of very cynical forces that will do it. lobbyists and special interest and people with the 10 million checks that will make this election and those making it harder for you to vote and washington politicians who you decide to marry and control health choices. bringing it to policy and to specific enemies and in a way that is about believing in politics. >> also, the notion that other specific enemies are the enemy. he stopped and said, okay, these are not the things that are the enemy. people on welfare are not the enemy. people who are gay and lesbian are not the enemy. he very specifically said, let me be clear about, you know, what the other side is telling you is the problem. that's not the problem. i recognize we have problems. here are the problems, here's how we'll address them. >> it's our democracy. >> to go back to the biden
speech, if we can. we didn't have a chance to touch on that. joe biden talked about the paycheck and dignity and humility. in a sense, explaining what americans go through, almost a clinton line. we feel your pain, we're not there yet. we have empathy for you and we're going to get there. we're working towards a better america. we're not going to leave behind the people who struggled in this economy. on one hand, they have a lot to brag about. the number of months of job creation, the automobile industry, we heard a lot about that. there was a tremendous tribute to the military tonight, a tremendous tribute to the veterans and those who sacrifice and that coordinates in with what the president has been talking about all along. shared sacrifice. he hit that tonight in a speech. between former president clinton and between joe biden and the president's speeches tonight, they were all different elements, all packaged together and all on the testimonial, i thought it was fantastic. >> lawrence o'donnell was able to hear the speech in person. i have to get your reaction and also your observations of what
it was like to see the president speak there tonight. >> in this crowd, rachel, obviously a love fest. this was his third convention speech. most people in this crowd fell in love with him at his first convention speech at john kerry's convention. the challenge for barack obama was not so much to top bill clinton or top previous speakers, one of the challenges for barack obama is how does he top barack obama? in the previous two convention speeches that have led up to this and have built up the highest expectation that any presidential nominee's ever had for his speech and, of course, an incumbent speech always includes challenges that are not there for the first time nominee. those chal a nges include a record and a record that will always have been, to some extent, circcosircome scribed. he said it will take more than a few years to solve challenges that have built up over decades.
that is the essential case that he has to win in terms of his record. he doesn't need to fight the details. chris' point about division of labor in the speeches here is very important. yes, every single word of every speech delivered in this convention hall and every convention hall is coordinated with the nominee's speech. there are people working to make sure that that division of labor is spread out in the right places. you saw joe biden dealing with issues that the president didn't have to deal with quite as thoroughly in his speech and, rachel, he did have to take on hope and change. he did have to defend what has become of hope and change. he said that hope is you speaking to the voters. he said that you did that. when he started to list the accomplishments of his administrati administration. that there are children in america today who can get their third surgeries by the time they're 6 years old because they have not worn out the lifetime limit on their health insurance
policies and he correctly said that you did that. and what he means is the people who voted for the obama presidency are the people who actually delivered that change to this country and what is hope, if not a vote. what is a vote if it isn't an expression of hope. so, of course, what he is asking for is hope in this administration and in this team going forward and he is saying that the next time you cast your vote, of course, it will be an expression of hope. he made the case tonight as to why a voter can reasonably hope for the change that you would want to see in the next four years by voting for this presidency to continue. >> the addressing of the issue of hope transferring it away from himself as a political celebrity and putting it on people to believe in the possibility of change. that is what i find moving as a person who is a civics dork.
i find it as a person who really does believe in the project of collective governance. >> citizenship. one thing that just came out, you were just talking about joe biden's speech. this undercurrent in the republican convention of decline. sometimes it felt like they were painting this vision of this monstrous tyranny under which we labor and i felt sometimes it got out ahead of them. people are anxious and upset about the economy, but most swing voters don't feel we're living in some horrible situation and i think they turned that around nicely tonight. when joe biden said, america is not in decline. it highlighted to me the declinest story republicans were telling and the danger of that story because people are bummed about where the country is in many ways, but do not want to be told the country is in decline. and i thought they did a very clever job tonight of turning that around. kind of playing on that and it it made me think for the first time the danger of the republicans on message.
the dangers of talking on the economy and being too cheerful about it. republicans have a real danger of running the country down. >> any challenger to an incumbent have that. the obama and biden side of saying america's not in decline is that they didn't talk all that much about the job's crisis in this speech because they couldn't talk about that because they had to say, listen, things are getting better. >> one thing i was fascinated in the speech, which could have been a major liability politically for the president if they didn't do it well. i think they did it well, they had to reconcile. the speech that he gave at the 2004 convention, the young barack obama that he referenced to the 2008 convention and now, as commander in chief after four years, he had to tie all three together. he had to reconcile expectations with a sense of disappointment, with the fact that the country remains in tough shape and i think he did it as just the structure of the speech. it was just very artfully done over the course of the speech. >> he did it --
>> we're talking about humility. >> he did it by saying i am no longer a candidate. i am the president. and, so -- not only is that just a great line and one that is factually true -- >> fact check, true. >> it is literally true. but he also talks, talked on point about just before he made the turn to, it's not about me, it's about you. he talks about the hard and frustrating and necessary work of self-government. interestingly enough, sort of reflecting back what you had said earlier in the night, chris, when we saw for gabby giffords this idea that self government isn't in and of itself a kind of extraordinary and relatively recent project in human history and, so, when he says that it is hard and frustrating, he acknowledges not only the humility for himself as a political figure, but for all of us. we don't have all the answers here, but what we do have is a commitment to the process. >> howard fineman was inside the hall and was able to hear the speech live both observe and have his own reactions there.
howard? >> couple things. first, a great sense of family in the hall. for barack obama, truly affection for him on a personal level, which is important and a bit of a contrast to tampa. that's number one. number two, i agree with most of what has been said about them trying to make it a choice and not referendum on unemployment and so forth. that is what is always done in this kind of situation. the thing that struck me was the reference to abraham lincoln. what barack obama was saying is, i was elected on the idea of hope. i was elected as a symbol, just like that big statue of abraham lincoln on the mall. but for abraham lincoln to become abraham lincoln he had to face terrible struggles and trials to make the changes he wanted to make. joe biden began the redefinition in his speech by saying, and i think the words were, there is a journey to hope and the cause of change. in other words, we're not there yet. but barack obama was saying tonight, if i can take inspiration of lincoln, i take
it as much from his travail as from his symbolism of hope. i think thought it was the most brilliant offense, defensive speech i've seen. they took it to the republicans in a way and they also made it sound and i think it was chris who alluded to this, almost as though it was patriotic to talk down, to talk down america the way the republicans were doing and, also, it's our responsibility. rather than the idea that barack obama himself was the change. that it was easy. when we re-elected him four years ago, it was easy to accomplish the things we wanted to accomplish. what he's saying now, no, no, it was never that easy and i was, it was never going to be flipping a switch. and, you know, that's a very strong argument. i'm not sure everybody will buy it, but it was inspiring here in the hall and i think to thoughtful viewers out there who made a strong a case as he
possibly could. >> i want to put this to the reverend al sharpton, the lincoln reference. while i'm proud of what we achieved together, i'm far more mindful of my own failings knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. i want to get your reaction to that as a minister and political figure. >> i think that that was a striking statement and quote he did of lincoln. what he did there, he admitted the burdens of leadership. he admitted the weight that was on him, but he also connected with people of faith and said, yes, i get on my knees. i've had to pray about this. i've literally had to bear the weight of this and i think it made a connection with people that believe in faith and with those that have the image that he's so cool and unflappable that he doesn't feel the weight. i must also say, i don't think he artfully connected the young
barack obama to the more mature barack obama. i think he is the young barack obama that became the more mature obama. i think sometimes we're so used to politicians just flip-flopping and artfully re-creating themselves that when we get someone that is who he is, then we try to look into things that are not there. the most effective thing i think he did tonight was he reminded the people that believed in the change and believed in the hope he was promoting and he was professing. he reminded them what it was. it was about health care. it was about jobs. we've allowed the people that didn't believe in change to tell us we didn't get the change they didn't believe in and that they didn't vote for. so, how are they interpreting a change that they never believed in? >> all right. i thought tonight the president also made a real connection with the country. he's been maligned and accused of not being american.
he's been accused by the tea partiers and the extremists out there of not even loving the country. i mean, the president tonight, i mean t w mean, it was from the heart and a level of sincerity and he orc stralted it so well tonight. michelle obama saying he is the same guy you elected four years ago and he's been through a lot and he hasn't changed. the other thing i want to point out the most retweeted line of the night was, made in america. something that the republicans did not have in any of their speeches. this president is amazing. he consums the room. he doesn't miss anything. and i think that he made a real point tonight talking about manufacturing, talking about american jobs and made in america, that got retweeted more. it was 52,000 tweets per minute, according to the gov.org people that were out there paying attention to that. that is a record, by the way.
>> why we are on new miracle analysis. halfway through the speech we got the response from the romney/ryan campaign which proves it was written before they got the speech, which you can definitely tell because the first line of it is tonight president obama laid out the choice in this election, making the case for more of the same policies that have worked in the past four years. the statement is on your screen there. the whole point of the first half of the speech was to make this a choice and not a referendum on president obama. that was the point of president obama's speech. it's a choice, it's a choice, it's a choice. that's what the democrats have been trying to convince the country of. president obama prepared remarks and i don't know if he ad libbed more said the word choice 11 times and makes 22 mentions of that which makes it the point of the speech which means the republicans should not have echoed it in their response. >> you have to love them. i want to point out one thing, ed said the notion of citizenship. i thought this was such a brilliant moment because he also said we have this thing called
citizenship. and, of course, that has been, as you point out, this nasty, ugly birthrism that has shown up both in the main stream republicans, as well as on the far right. and, so, when he said we have this thing called citizenship and then he redefines it as mutual obligation, and obligation that exists in the sort of public policies, as well as in our community organizations and as well as a in how businesses conduct profit sharing between the top and the bottom, it was really lovely because it was sort of saying, of course, i'm an american, obviously, i am. citizenship is not about a birth certificate. citizenship is an actual set of duties and responsibilities. it was a really lovely kind of counterpunch to that birthrism. >> we talk about maybe the hardest jab that the president took against the other side. i mean, there was one, there was a joke right off the top, right. it was, they want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan because all they have to officer the same prescription
for the last 30 years. deficit too high, try another. it was also the russia stuff. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering. after all you don't call russia our number one enemy and not al qaeda, unless you're still stuck in a cold war mind warp. >> or rocky 4. >> but the part where, it also tonight the cheers at, i am the president, was a really amazing moment. for a number of reasons. >> the speech was not written to account for that. >> there is a subtext there about everything that is barack obama in the history of the long ark of the struggle of race in america. everything he symbolized, everything he is, but also just a mundane reminder to the advantages of incumbency.
i remember in 2004, george w. bush's acceptance speech at the republican convention in new york, the moment where he talked about talking to the families of the fallen and he was tearing up and it was profoundly emotionally powerful. that is the person who has been there and, you know, whatever decisions, i think the decisions george w. bush made on that front are horrible, but a certain gravity and authority and a weight that comes from being able to speak to the american people from that position that the president really channeled. >> chris matthews in charlotte, do you want to get in on that? >> i think a big part of the president's challenge over the last three to four years is oftentimes he's come off as a brilliant solo act. a person out there doing the job of president. we've all watched him and sort of an observer status. it hasn't been a joint effort by the american people to accomplish something the way we had in the '60s with kennedy. a sense of ask not what the country can do for you, but what
you can do for the country. a sense of being in this actively together. tonight he really worked to fix that. giving credit to the american people for having done the things this administration has done by getting behind it politically and as voters. then to reassert that transaction by saying i ask you again tonight for your vote. asking the most powerful thing in politics. 500 years ago, people are much more bound by what they have done to have done for someone else by what someone has done for them. you have to have a sense of giving. it's not about getting things from a president, having a president lead you to give things to yourself and to invest in. anyone who ever served in the military has a tremendous loyalty to the country. every secretary that served a boss is invested in that. the key, loyalty is giving, not taking. therefore, he had to thank the
american people, credit them with what they have done the last three or four years so that they would be invested in his re-election. and then to put the cap on that by saying, i need your vote. i'm asking for it. classic tip o'neill politics. asking. people like to be asked. it was so fundament tonight in establishing his leadership to admit, he needs the people before, he needs them now and it's their government. i thought it was phenomenal the way he addressed what i always thought was his biggest problem. >> chris, that is such a powerful point. i think we can turn around that piece of the speech that you were just talking about there, just to remind us. let's just hear this for a second. >> ours is a future filled with hope. if you share that faith with me. if you share that hope with me, i ask you tonight for your vote. if you reject the notion that this nation's promise is
reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. if you reject the notion that our government is forever beholdened to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. >> president obama in his acceptance speech. i want to go to chuck todd, who is at charlotte, who is in the hall and able to hear the speech from there. chuck? >> well, rachel, i think one thing that we sort of should look at it this way, is how the president chose to respond to mitt romney's speech. and i thought, frankly, this whole evening felt like a giant response to what mitt romney didn't do in his speech. they spent a lot of time on foreign policy tonight, a lot of time on afghanistan, a lot of time on talking about military families and what's always been fascinating to me when you
follow presidential re-elections and the challengers and you know the challenger's convention is always first, so you get time to respond. there is always a miss somewhere if you're the challenger. that was a big mess for romney. you know, you had a lot of conservatives who criticized him for his lack of mention in the war and, no, didn't you see that speech we gave in indiana and it provided the president an opportunity to play a commander in chief card. who knows how heavily he would have played that tonight. yes, we were going to hear a lot about bin laden. would he have done it as much as he had done tonight? as much as biden did and as much as john kerry did if mitt romney doesn't leave that opening. you know, that's one thing that i think helped for the president. i heard various, what the table has been saying. i'm in the workman-like camp, as far as what i thought this speech did. they had a lot they needed to accomplish. it seemed like at times they were methodically playing the notes rather than lyrically playing the notes, although i thought at the end, you could
feel the crescendo and that last part of the speech was all about talk aing and trying to get the enthusiasm back. right, we know that is an a issue, particularly with two key groups, hispanics and young voters. that's whereio saw that even he got into a speech. there were times where you felt like, he didn't like the fact that he had to deliver some of the "tough love" that he was delivering. the don't change horses in midstream, even though this is a hard slog part of the speech. he sort of enjoyed, you could tell, closer to the end. >> chuck, i want to go to my friend ed schultz here. >> it is a reflection of who the candidates are. it was a great reflection on president obama and not so good on the republican candidate. i think if you compare the two conventions, this one hit it out of the park as opposed to who mitt romney is. as chris was saying, people liked to be asked to do things. say the feel like they're connected. the hardest thing for a politician to do is to tell the american people that this is what i got to get out of you.
and, tonight, the treasury has to be addressed, if we're going to fix this country's finances. he said, i want to reform the tax code and that's so it's simple and fair. okay, that feels good. everybody is onboard with that, especially the republicans. and we're going to ask the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes, $250,000. now, look, we can't get there unless there's the shared sacrifice. d that was the tough talk that i was looking for tonight, but it didn't feel like tough talk. you know, he set it up in such a good manner and then he followed it up by saying, you know, we'll go back to the clinton rates if i'm president, iffium re-elected and we created 23 million jobs when from when we had that rate. he surrounded it with the positives and the tough talk saying we have to get there and get more money from the wealthiest americans if we turn this thing around and then talked about what he was going to do with simpson bowles and make the tough calls. >> we're going to have to take a
break here in just a second. as we go to break, we were just talking about the front paging of foreign policy military and the wars and chuck raising the interesting prospect that maybe the democrats may not have done that as heavily as they did had the republicans not sort of flubbed so badly by never mentioning the war in either of their acceptance speeches. let's hear a little bit of that and then we'll be right back. >> after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy a, not al qaeda, russia. unless you're still stuck in a cold war mine warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing, if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. my opponent said it was tragic to end the war in iraq. and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in afghanistan. well, i have, and i will.
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it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race.
in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have. we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the
path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> president barack obama accepting the democratic party's nomination for president again tonight. the reference there to our longest war will be over in 2014. it is already our nation's longest war. right now it's 2012. that means our nation's longest war will not be over next year or the year after that and still talking about being residual forces there. that, however, is a lot more than the republican opponents to this president were able to say about afghanistan, even obliquely in their own convention about that. something that was really seized on by the democrats in this week at their convention and, tonight, by the president, by the vice president and all night long in the democrats final night of their convention. now to andrea mitchell who is in charlotte on the floor who has seen all these speeches and many before these.
i am wondering on that issue of afghanistan, how you feel the democrats handled it and what you feel about their decision to front page it? >> i think that decision would have been made pretty much because of that commitment. but after tampa, it was absolutely a certainty. the fact that the republican speeches, particularly mitt romney's speech made no mention of afghanistan. made it certain that they were going to focus on this in a very big way here. and you heard, not only the president who spoke so memorably about it, but joe biden talking about 6,473 fallen ain en ainge than 49,000 wounded and those who have to come home and need the help of the veterans assistance and their medical care. that they will need care for the rest of their lives. they talked about the government, not as an obstacle to getting things done, but the government as a necessary component to getting things done. so, when they talk about
contrast, it's clearly a contrast that they laid out and mitt romney, i guess, in that three or four-line response today indeed said that it is a choice. the choices are very clear. this was a value speech. it was red meat, certainly, for the base, but the values that were expressed by both joe biden and barack obama tonight could not be clearer. and especially as you were pointing out, all of the references. more than 20 references in the president's speech to the word choice. you know when he spoke about choice for women, that was one of the loudest cheers. >> andrea let me ask you specifically on this afghanistan point. you followed both campaigns closely and know something about not who they think about these issues and we see the romn romney/ryan folks scrambling to having to make up for having ignore the war and mitt romney is essentially off the campaign trail, but did do an event and did find time to do an off-camera event today around military issues. you can see them planning to do
something. i honestly, when i say this without hint of criticism a minute, i have no idea what mitt romney will say he's going to do in afghanistan when somebody finally tells him he has to say something about afghanistan. do we know anything about what his views are on the war? he has said, he really has taken just about every position you could take on how to get out. >> it's been in recent months and in the debates and in the primaries. so, i'm frankly confused about it. i think they have to be a lot clearer about the war. during the convention the best information that i have is that they felt that the economy was the note that they had to hit because they do have an advantage in all of the polls in terms of mitt romney's ability and people think that mitt romney has much better ability to fix the problems of the economy. and, certainly, it is something that president obama is vulnerable on. we'll see what those job numbers are if any indicators are to be
believed. and people who make predictions based on that are usually wrong. but, the fact is the president does know he was briefed about 5:30 today after the close of the markets, as we've been reporting, as has always been the custom in all administrations by his chief economic adviser. they know what those numbers are and this is the next to last big job's report, of course, before the closing report, which will indicate what is going to happen on election day most likely. but, clearly, the romney campaign has got to come to grips with this foreign policy issue of the wars and the president took it head on. >> yeah, absolutely. >> andrea, thank you very much for that. steve, let me put this to you. that has been the explanation, the political explanation of what happened last week on the issue of afghanistan. it is, it is, i think it is incredibly frustrating to hear. we think we only need to market
mitt romney on the economy because, obviously, that's his strength. that's what we want to run on and we didn't feel like we needed to address those other things. no commander in chief, the president makes economic decisions but the president can order just about nothing to happen on the u.s. economy. the president can nominate supreme court nominees and can order the u.s. military to do what he thinks it is in the best judgment, his best judgment is the right thing for this country. that is what he can directly control and, do we know if he's got advisors on issues like afghanistan and foreign policy who are bringing in any post-bush cheney ideas? republicans who are thinking about things differently than the last administration? >> i don't know the answer. he has not talked about it a great deal during the course of the campaign. we disagree on many things, we agree 100% with each other on this. the omission of afghanistan in the speech was a huge mistake by the campaign. the obama campaign took full
political advantage of it tonight and there is a point beyond politics. that point is, there is no higher responsibility for a president, for the commander in chief than to the men and women that he commands. we have 85,000 men and women in harm's way at this exact moment in afghanistan. and the country deserves to hear these candidates talk about our longest war and how we're going to leave afghanistan with honor and with this, with this country's head held high. >> in your answer to your question, we got a little reference tonight about who is advising mitt romney. john kerry told us that he had bush neo-cons around him. i'm sure john bolton is somewhere in there. they did mention afghanistan and they just turned it over to clint eastwood and made him answer the empty chair and made a reference to russia. >> when john kerry mocked the
multiple positions that mitt romney has taken on afghanistan, what he was highlighting, they're in somewhat of a political box. i actually think the one space they have politically is to get to the president's left on afghanistan, as you just said, and say why are we going to stay in the longest war in the country's history and keep people there until 2014, if everyone and all the reporting coming out of afghanistan says essentially it's a foregone conclusion that the government we are supporting is going to fall apart when we leave and clint eastwood very succinctly put it, if you are going to say you're leaving at a certain point, why not leave now? it's impossible for mitt romney to make that case because of who controls foreign policy in the apparatus. he's caught between those two things. >> so -- >> he's just following it blindly. not even understanding what it means in this case. john huntsman on this issue sketched out very clear, hard nosed republican sounding traditional line on this that didn't make him into an isolationist that made him a
realist and he was laughed off the stage. president obama tonight sketched a dream of america that at least economically is back on its feet and moving forward after a lot of years of recession and war. his messageas a throwback to almost a certain kind of normal. >> i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country. goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> real, achievable plan. a real politic. i want to turn here to ezra klein. >> i was really struck by the actual policy agenda in the speech. if you got past the rhetoric t was a modest policy agenda. that is what was different about it from in 2008. he talked about goals like
doubling exports. like creating a million manufacturing jobs. he talked about goals like getting 2 million workers trained through community colleges for jobs of the future and bringing college tuition down by about half. this wasn't like his not only in the 2000 campaign, but his presidency where he was dealing with the collapse of the financial sector and the potential collapse of the economy and the collapse of the euro zone and the complete restructuring of the health care system and cap and trade and order to slow the rising of the oceans and on and on and on. in a sense, this was a promise that the second term will be in a way much more normal than the first term. it will be obama in this particular way, so it will be against mitt romney. what you get with his second presidency is basically politics as it was in the period before the long emergency that we had that began with 9/11 in the bush years which iraq, afghanistan
and then the financial crisis at the end of the bush years which defined much of obama's presidency. this was a sense of those problems were not present in the vision obama sketched out of what his second term would look like. >> the long emergency is the right way to think about that. one of the things that everybody is looking for is this president, some day, or some president some day to declare an end to the war on terror. right? you think of the expansion of executive power and all of these sort of state and extreme policies that were first proposed during the bush administration and many continued by the bush administration that are all justified even by us being in a state of war by defining that long emergency like you just did, that raises the question of when that emergency ends. when we can start talking about a need for normal policymaking and also when we declare the time of war to be over, if only for the purpose of saying that those extreme powers of the state that we claim for war time should also be wrapped up. >> authorization of use of
military force still legal document that binds and is cited as the authority for all sorts of actions. >> something else he mentioned the single most surprising thing to me in the speech, climate change is not a hose. more droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. they're a a threat to our children's future and in this election, you can do something about it. i would bet you, i don't know, what are you supposed bet $10,000 if you're mitt romney, that that would not be in the speech. >> i'm a gulf coast resident and i live in post-katrina new orleans and now post-isaac new orleans. just to indicate, it's not funny to talk about the oceans. we also heard it in biden's speech when he said there is actually responsibility. you know, it's interesting because part of how they framed it by president biden and president obama a is part of this notion of reframing of values, which is part of what we heard also from andrea there. i just want to say that i know
this was a big of a workhorse speech and i certainly know as ezra pointed out a bit of a modest workhorse and maybe a donkey, for example. but it was, it did an interesting thing at the end and the thing at the end that it did, it was -- you know, i'm not a preacher in the way that reverend sharpton is and i'm a seminarian and that was romans' 8. if you know romans 8, that was like the civil rights movement chapter. it is a chapter about hope and hoping in things that you cannot see because if you look just for the evidence of those things that it's not really hope. it's also about the belief that even when everything is against you, there is still something to go forward to. so he did this really a amazing secular version of, that had all of the inspiration of all the black church but also very specifically romans 8. i have to tell you, that says to me that this is not just a workhorse campaign. this is going to be a campaign where he is going to try to recapture some of that, some of
that soaring rhetoric. >> i think we heard that. i think we heard that both in the talk liberally about citizenship and also in his addressing what his candidacy meant to people trying to reclaim that. i want to go to reverend sharpton and chris in charlotte, as well. >> i think the quote in the scriptures is faith is the substance of things and hope for the evidence of things unseen. when you look at where we were and he outlined where we are and where we need to go, he really laid out a vision. you know, it is interesting since the scriptures is brought up, there is a quote in the scriptures that without a vision that people perish. i think that people will leave charlotte with a vision of what mr. obama as president has in mind. i still have no idea what the vision that romney and ryan is offering america. i know what they're against. i know what they are bitter
about, i know their cynicism and their doubt, but what is the vision? people can't hold on to something, if you don't give them something to hold on to. he gave us that tonight. >> chris matthews, last word. >> what i said at the end of this speech, i think the most important political development tonight was that the president of the united states made clear to his opponents and those watching the campaign, you're better off being president of the united states than running against him. incumbency became his great strength tonight. he found a way to show that all the advantages of incumbency were his and the other guy is just somebody on the outside tapping on the window. >> i need to thank steve schmidt and lawrence o'donnell and we'll all be back together for the first presidential debate october 3rd 9:00 eastern at the university of denver. chris matthews picking up our coverage from charlotte in just a moment. boy, what a week this has been. thank you so much for spending it here with us.
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i'm chris matthews in the beautiful city of charlotte, north carolina, for a special live "hardball." eight years ago a speech at the democratic convention up in boston, at that speech barack obama became a political superstar. four years ago, his speech helped push him into the white house. well, tonight, after four years in office, the president delivered a home run of a speech. the president stated clearly and emphatically, he is the president. >> i recognize that times have changed since i first spoke to this convention. times have changed and so have i. i am no longer just a candidate, i am the president. i know what it means to send young americans into battle. for i've held in my arm as the mothers and fathers of those who didn't return. i've shared the pain of family as who've lost their homes and the frustration of workers
who've lost their jobs. if the critics are right that i've made all my decisions based on polls, then i must not be very good at reading them. >> i loved it. i'm joined right now by howard fineman and david and both are msnbc -- look, i need to tell you something guys. you weren't here. when he said i am the president, this place went nuts. why? why? >> we were in the hall and it went nuts there, too. >> why did he have to say -- because of the stink bombs out there being thrown by people who won't accept his legitimacy right now. >> i think there are so much in those few words. i think your point is there and i think he was also saying, i'm the commander in chief. i know what it is like to make hard decisions. you don't know, mitt romney, you messed it up last week. i think he also said, look, when i was a kid i could talk about hope and change and these lofty
val valus and now i'm doing the work and that is different than being a candidate. it's time that we grow up. >> i thought he was saying something else, too, chris. in the hall it read this way to me. he was saying, i am your president, i am the president. don't lose this opportunity that we have here. in other words, he was also reminding people in the hall to work for him, to care about his success and to get him re-elected. there was a big push four years ago in a historic achievement that i am the president, don't give up what we've got here. i thought that was another message. >> i love it. >> tough words for mitt romney. he took on the republican fetish for tax cuts for the rich. this was funny. let's watch. >> our friends down in tampa at the republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. they want your vote, but they
don't want you to know their plan. and that's because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years. have a surplus, try a tax cut. deficit too high. try another. feel a cold coming on, take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning. >> chris, i have to say -- >> howard. >> that was not only true, but hilarious. it got a great line in the hall. >> it's so true. >> what he's doing here and what i thought they did so successfully tonight is a piece of political engineering. rather than have this be a referendum on what is, after all, still a really tough economy with a lot of unemployed people and a lot of poor people, et cetera, was turn this into the classic choice election for the future versus the past. and i think that the republican convention gave them an opening, not only because of lack of specificity, but because they
didn't amplify on paul ryan's opening as the younger gen-x guy to do the generational argument. so, because they didxelrod were this into the best defense oriented speech i've seen. >> he used the word choice at least ten times in this speech. he has been thinking about this speech since election day 2010 and he wanted to make it about choice, but not just about the choice between him and romney, a choice in visions and a choice in values. i mean, i was talking to people in the white house in early december, 2010. they saw the tea party give them a tremendous opening. this is about what kind of country we're going to be. >> especially the republican convention and campaign has only been about the existing economic condition and the other brilliant thing he did tonight, the president, was to say that people who doubt the ability of the american people to come back, i.e., the republicans, are
unpatriotic. he tried to make it unpatriotic and hear about economic conditions. >> you know what i hear tonight, basically his idea of citizenship and its people. corporations are not people. >> that's the whole thing. >> romney's talking about business and wealthy getting tax cuts and corporations and all this mechanical business and this guy is talking about individual -- it was like citizens united against citizens united. >> he is talking about basic valus and he's pushing a progressive, communial approach to the nation's problems and he said quite bluntly that they believe in doing it on your own. and this is what -- >> a very good line he said. just because government shouldn't do everything, doesn't mean that government should do nothing. and i thought that was a zinger to express the values that david talked about. >> they use tax cuts for the common cold.
here's the other zinger against foreign policy. on what romney had to do with foreign policy. this opening line from him, take a look. >> my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that costs america so dearly. after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you're still stuck in a cold war mind warp. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing, if you can't visit the olympics without insulting our closest ally. >> that was a riot. >> what i thought was really
interesting is he did not spend much time talking about mitt romney. he said nothing really about paul ryan specifically, but when he did, they were zingers that went out of the park and, you know, he's very sarcastic in his way, but he uses it in a very strategic fashion and i think it has more impact. the speech was not about him. it was not about the other guys, it was about the path ahead, the future. >> but that foreign policy part of it was a lot of fun for democrats because it's the first time in a generation or more that the democrats have been able to strut the commander in chief thing. >> how about blooper reel. he said it was foreign trip over to england was a blooper reel. >> i'm not sure how many votes that's going to get the president. >> moved churchill statue wherever he moved it and brought it back, he's now saying it is our closest ally. let's take a look at the rest of it. let's look at another clip. >> now, i won't pretend the path i'm offering is quick or easy.
i never have. you didn't elect me to tell me what you wanted to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth. and the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. it will require common effort and shared responsibility. and the kind of bold persistent explanation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. but know this, america, our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path we off aer may be harder, but it leads to a better place and i'm asking you to choose that future. >> i love it. he's asking people to choose to get him to double down on him. the great american transaction and democratic politics. you ask people to give you authority. >> right. now, this to me was the shrewdest, but in the way the trickiest part of the speech because the fact is four years
ago people did think, perhaps wrongly, but they did think that barack obama was the easy answer. he wasn't the easy answer. in fact, there were no easy answers. and he's relying on the good faith and judgment of the american people to understand that. he used the lincoln analogy, which i thought was fabulous. but you can't be lincoln. no instant lincoln. if you want to be lincoln, you have to go through war or go through the economic equivalent of the kind of transition from lincoln time to an industrial society in this time to an information and education-based society and that's what he's saying. he's saying if you thought it was lincoln, it's not that easy. if you want me to be lincoln, you have to stick with me. >> can he get re-elected if the economy doesn't get better between now and november? >> good question. this was a very serious speech. it was taking the american voter as a mature entity and saying, you know, there was no soaring
rhetoric. >> answer my question. >> well, the answer is we won't know until november, chris. >> but does he believe it? >> i'll tell you what axle relr believes. he said, look, this will test the proposition whether the american people can look at their problems and not go for instant gratification. if they don't do that, he's sunked. but he said i'm betting on you to look at these paths and make an informed judgment and not be distracted by the silliness. >> we'll see. >> it's a tough sell. >> it's a tough sell. >> but this was the best possible case he could have made for more time. and i thought he did it very well. were there too many, was there too much enthusiasm before two years ago? was that all his fault? no. are people going to hold his responsible for the thoughts of four years ago? i don't know. i doubt it, but that's the question raised by this speech. >> always bet on brains. this guy's got them. thank you, howard fineman.
coming up, we finally saw president obama's surrogates, i call them his confederates out there and bill clinton is leading the biggest of them all. are they going to stick with him and it's the key question. this is our live coverage of the democratic national convention. >> lobbyists and special interests and people with the 10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote. washington politicians who want to decide who you can marariy or control control health care choices that women should be making for themselves.
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>> i'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country. goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. that's what we can do in the next four years and that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states. welcome back to "hardball" with me now joy reid and bloomberg view columnist
jonathan alter. let's keep going and looking at the president's speech. here's president obama, he took, i thoug a humble tone even invoking president lincoln at the end of his remarks. let's listen to this. well, i think -- we don't have it right now. remember that quote, he talked about how lincoln understood how you can't hide from the office once you're in it and basically sometimes the problems are so intractable and that you have to face them down. >> yeah, absolutely. the thing i liked about the speech is that he didn't run away from the record. he said, we did this together, we moved ourselves forward and he was trying to invest his audience in what he was doing and you also saw the solitary nature of the office. >> lincoln once said in his greatest address, the second inaugural, he referred to the war, the civil war on which all else depends. does he success in getting
re-elected in november depend on the economy getting an upturn between now and then? it sounds like he's not counting on that? >> it doesn't depend on that at all. getting in the groove with where the american public is. thehing that is curage as about the lincoln reference, it allowed him to say that he had failed in certain respects. just as lincoln had failed and lincoln had to get down on his knees to show that he could understand how you move through the trial by fire to a new place. >> we now have his remarks. the president addressing, as most presidents do in difficult times the circumstances of abe ruh ruham lincoln during the civil war. >> i'm proud of what we achieved together i'm mindful of my own failings knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i was driven to my knees many time by
the overwhelming conviction that i had no place else to go. >> what did you think of this speech? >> you know what, i thought it was a smart speech. i thought in the first half it was sort of walking people through the explanatory portion and i thought the second portion was quite beautiful. that was actually one of my favorite parts. what he was doing, he was creating sort of a sense of community. this was a vision speech. i think what we saw from bill clinton was, you know, the meat and potatoes and i think this provided some vision. i actually thought it was great. i also thought think it a speech of a guy who thinks he's winning. this is a guy who feels like, you know, i can do this, we can win this. he understands what he needs is to get those people in that audience to work for him and do the work of getting it done. >> john, i want you to respond to this. asking for their support. i think this is so mornt import politics. stick your neck out and be humble and say, i need your vote.
please give it to me. let's watch him. >> if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their shafair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then i need you to vote this november. america, i never said this journey would be easy and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. >> and i ask you tonight for your vote, the most fundamental transaction you can imagine. john? >> you have to ask in politics. this is the thing that all the good ones understand. there's a great old war story about a voter who came up, old friend of the candidate and it says, did you vote for me? and the guy says, no, why? because you didn't ask. there is, people are placing their faith in these politicians and there has to be a sincerity
that's at the core of it. and this is at the beginning of the speech when he talked about how phony these ads were and he didn't want to say, i aprieve th this message and that was president obama going to the greatest strength as a precision, authenticity. >> it was so much about spiritual content to this speech tonight. it wasn't about corporations and money and it was about, i'm just a person. i may be bigger than you in power, but i need you personally. here he is, the president arguing that government isn't always the cure. in fact, it was quite honest about being something of a moderate, not a lefty here. certainly not a socialist. listen to this. >> we know the churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. we don't want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves and we certainly
don't want bailouts for banks that break the rules. we don't think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think that the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles. >> so much of this week has been, guys, a clear expression that we are not the left wing party. that we are center left, the democrats. that we are people who believe in government action, but we believe in limited government, as much as anybody in america does. >> but also to use patriotism in a new way. i think when we look back at these two conventions, chris, the mistake that mitt romney made. the big mistake if he loses is that he didn't mention veterans or salute our troops in his speech and obama did. i just got a call from my
90-year-old father who's a world war ii combat veteran and he was genuinely upset that the republican party did nothing. this is the republican party that has wrapped itself in hawkishness for the last half century. tonight, the democrats went right through that hole in the line of scrimmage and they had thank you, signs, thank you to the troops. they had an admiral up there making the case very strongly. they have an opportunity here to become the party of patriotism, not the party of global capitalism that knows no aliegeance to the united states. >> the president also touted his foreign policy accomplishments and he took time, as you say, to honor the troops. i think you're so right here. i want you to follow up on this, joy. let's lissen . >> four years ago i promised to end the war in iraq. we did. i promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and we have.
we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. a new tower rises above the new york skyline, al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. tonight, we pay tribute to the americans who still serve in harm's way. we are forever in debt to generation who sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. we will never forget you. and so long as i'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. >> joy, it's, it was a joy. and i, i think that hawks, neo-cons whatever you want to call them these days, talk of a new war whether it's iran, syria, they never talk about the real human cost.
jill biden who said something, the president, a lot of people that come back for more are never really healed. they'll spend the rest of their lives in and out of military hospitals, veteran hospitals. >> i think what's incredible. bill clinton must be smiling on this speech. this is the ultimate triangialation. republicans couldn't stand the idea of barack obam they even gave up patriotism. they gave up that card. they couldn't delight in the killing of osama bin laden, they couldn't delight in the idea of the united states getting the olympics. they can't delight even in the basic patriotism of being an american and saluting the commander in chief leaving the democrats oepen to just run right through it and they are the ones waving the flag. they were the ones screaming usa, usa and now they own that and the republicans handed it to them. >> they're on their way to owning it. they don't quite own it yet. the debates offer real opportunity. look, he has a bad hand that he's playing well, but he needs to continue to do it in those debates and he's going to do it by pummeling mitt romney on foreign policy and national security and staying on the
offensive in those issues. >> you were a hardballer, joy, i think you're great. anyway, thank you. we'll be back from charlotte right after this. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention. >> i know a campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes. trivial things become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. the truth gets buried underneath an avalanche of money and advertising. and if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i. you know why i sell? tools are uncomplicated. nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
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been articulated. he covered everything that i needed him to cover and i just think that america should be ready to vote for our president, again. >> having been unemployed since january, he is our dream come true. >> thank you. >> as a small business owner, i pay my own health insurance and i think the president has nailed it with health care. >> i think he should promote health care a little bit more because i was a care griver and it would have helped me tremendously had obama care been around when my mother was here. >> i'm voting for obama because i believe in his vision for this country. >> i loved his speech. and it especially inspired me because i'm a student and we need that money. >> okay, you want to talk, too? >> obama speech was great. i loved it. it inspired me so much. i can't wait to go to school on monday. >> we have somebody special here. go ahead. >> i loved obama's speech because of all that he does for the -- >> i think we have somebody in the wrong place here.
>> hi, chris. you can go to mittlight.com. i am the transition candidate for them. >> what are you doing here anyway? mitt romney lookalike. we don't know about you yet. what are you doing here? >> influencing people to make the right decision. >> what do you think of your competitor's speech tonight? >> what did i think about it? let's look at the facts as they surface tomorrow. >> that's really skipping over the facts. your thoughts about the speech tonight, sir? >> i thought he was very great, passionate and level headed. he's great. >> madam -- >> i think that the president proposes legislation and the congress disposes of it and the president has dealt with an insufferable obstructionist -- >> they have done nothing but -- >> yes, yes, we're going to win this war. >> we're going to win it.
yes. the president did his job. >> what do you think? >> you're chewing gum, come on. >> i thought he did a great job, i was impressed. i like his line, i'm not a candidate any more. he's now the president. >> my favorite line is, i am the president. you got me right. thank you. we'll be right back with more of "hardball." >> folks, i've watched him. he has never wavered. he never, never backs down. he always steps up and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings the same fundamental question, how is this going to affect the average american? how is this going to affect people's lives? bob...
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which it stands, one nation, under god, indevisible with liberty and justice for all. welcome back to "hardball." that moment when former u.s. congresswoman gabrielle giffords led the hall in pledge of allegiance. the person with me right now is thperson helping her get there. debbie wasserman schultz. congressman crowley of queens, new york, joins me right now. you know, first of all, first of all, this is the best convention i have heard of, ever. but the one it competes with is the one where bill clinton got nominated and he picked up like 35 points. this is going to have such a bounce, don't you think? >> i think, if i do say so
myself, number one, it was such a team effort. we had, you know, thousands of volunteers and charlotte was an incredible host committee and our staff was amazing. but this, on top of the fact this was a great convention and did all the things the convention should do, fire up your supporters and make the clear choice and uncontrast with what was such a negative anti-obama convention this one was positive and forward thinking and laid out the two paths and the two visions we have in front of us. >> let's take a look at the, let's take a look at the -- here's john kerry rebuking mitt romney. this was a very good speech. if he gave the only speech, it would have been the best. this is him going after mitt romney for forgetting the fact that we're at war in his acceptance speech last week. here's john kerry. let's listen. >> no nominee for president
should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. mitt romney, mitt romney was talking about america. they are on the front lines every day defending america and they deserve our thanks. >> you know, the difference between conventions is unbelievable, congressman. i don't know. it was like a business meeting people were forced to go to. this is about spirit, this is about people and almost like john henry going against the machine. >> you know what i said yesterday, chris, i was one of the local media outlets grabbed me and they said, how would you describe the feeling here? i said, it might sound sophomoric but it is happy, people have very happy here. people are enjoying themselves. i don't know what it is, but
it's been great. >> that moment when john kerry talked about the fact that mitt romney didn't even mention our troops that are fighting in afghanistan now in his entire speech, you want to talk about the sin of omission. >> he just doesn't want to deal with the results of the current ones. here's president obama poking holes at romney's economic plans and gave a nod to bill clinton, which he should. let's listen. >> now, i'm still eager to reach an a agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. but when governor romney and his friends in congress tell us we can lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy. well, what bill clinton call it, you do the arithmetic. you do the math. i refuse to go along with that. >> you know, this is going to cause a problem for the republicans because when you
keep treating it like elementary school, you'll cut the corporate tax and get rid of the estate tax and get rid of the cap gains tax and you're going to spend, $2 trillion more in the military. >> and cut spending. >> it adds up to a much bigger debt. >> who pays for it? people can read through all of this. you don't have to say it, they get it. i also thought tonight, chris, for me, the president talking about the essence of democracy. citizenship. i thought it was a great answer and i think he followed through on it. didn't directly talk about it. the whole entrepreneurism and how those words were taken and really worked against the president, how about our men and women overseas? the men and women over decades who have sacrificed their lives for a free market system for capitalism to survive so that small businessmen and women can have a country where they can grow a business. those people died and i think the omission by romney in his
speech to the sacrifices made, not only now, but forever. >> what would he know about the military? he's had no experience in that whole world. i think the legitimacy question hit me tonight. the president has to say, i'm the president. the president of the united states has to show his documents because the right wingers demanded him. yet, george romney ran for president and panama and barry gold was born in the arizona territory and nobody ever said, where are your papers to prove you were born in the united states. >> debbie was born in queens, new york. >> i will tell you, the fact that he is black is the reason they're asking for his papers. it's so obvious, doesn't anybody else get it? >> after a night like this and a week like this, what's important to focus on is that president obama laid out the case that he's made decisions that were hard, but right. that he inherited the largest set of problems any president
since fdr and he took on the tough problems we have and that we have a long way to go. after bill clinton made the case that the problems that he inherited from failed policies of the past, we weren't going to be able to climb out of in just few short years. >> great convention, you did it. debbie a wasserman schultz. anyway, up next, hollywood came to charlotte for the big night tonight. we'll talk with america farrara a about the latino and luteatin vote. haters best get to bloggin' ♪ in it ♪ so hot right now d esigthneatr ♪ our ♪ sunglasses be foggin' ♪ this crowd is classic ♪ so we play 'em like rachmaninoff ♪ ♪ just hooked 'em up with score alerts ♪ ♪now we're about to set it off ♪set it off like a score alert ♪ beep beep what? ♪if you set your phone to vibrate ♪ ♪ then it might alert your button flies all the ♪ ♪ girls and the guys wanna keep that credit score ♪
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>> governor romney believes. he believes that kids, kids like our dreamers, those immigrant children, those immigrant children who are brought to american shores through no fault of their own, he thinks they're a drag on the american economy. president obama bieves that even though those dreamers, those kids didn't choose to come here, they have chosen to do right by america and it's time for us to do right by them. >> that was vice president joe biden. of course, earlier tonight in the rousing defense of the policy on immigration here in charlotte a lot of firsts this week, including the first latino keynote speaker mayor julian castro and president obama won
the latino vote in 2008 and hoping to do it, again. this november by about 2-1. with me are the women chairwoman and actress rosario dawson. 2012 co-chair and actress america ferrera who appeared in "the good wife." anyway, ceo and president and msnb maria theresa kumar. i will get out of your way to some extent. i want you to watch the president here. here is the president talking about this issue of immigration tonight. >> we don't think that government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think that the government is the source of all of our problems. any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles.
so you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. it was about you. my fellow citizens. you were the change. you are the reason the young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home. >> you know, you know, i really thought this whole thing got off to a really good start in terms of immigration when the mayor of san antonio who was great came on and basically told the spirit of the immigrant coming north from latin america in the same way most of us are experience with the immigration period earlier in the last century from europe. >> that's right. >> and made it seem so much alike that it was really, really smart. your thoughts. >> it's the american story. i think what we saw first with julian castro and then what we saw with biden and dick durbin,
the author of the dream act to introduce the president. what we saw is the themes of making a cle-- we stand with american communities and we stand with the american community. >> julian castro, i never knew about this guy until this week, he is good. here he is speaking about the american dream itself in its broadest terms in the keynote earlier this week. let's listen to him. >> 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 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. >> what did you think? what was your feeling in hearing that? >> i mean, it's, it's beautiful. and it's true. and it's my story and the story of so many millions to be precise, 22 million american latinos who can vote in this election. >> when governor romney talks, and i don't know if he means it or not, because you never know. with all politicians, you never know for sure. with him you're less likely to believe, but he says he's going to throw everybody out of this country who doesn't have papers. what do you think when you hear that, rosario. >> i think that would be incredibly devastating for this country. >> do you think he means it? >> regardless if he means it, bringing up that kind of a solution to a very real problem and to very real issue and we're trying to talk about immigration reform and saying that would be the solution that he would use
is critically devastating to this country if we would get rid of people who are working here and behind the scenes and the taxpayer money that goes in because they're using false social security numbers and they never get to take that money back out. that doesn't just represent mexicans people from around the world, people who overstayed their visas. a lot of people who came here illegally came here by plane. it would be shocking to realize the neighbors next to them that would be deported. >> benita spoke last night and she came to the states as a child and been living here as an undocumented immigrant. she is the first ever in that kind of status to speak before any national convention, yet alone a national political convention. let's listen to some of what she had to say. >> i know i have something to contribute to my economy and my country. i feel just as american as any of my friends or neighbors. but i've had to live almost my entire life knowing i could be
deported, just because of the way i came here. president obama fought for the dream act to help people like me. and when congress refused to pass it, he didn't give up. instead, he took action so that people like me can apply to stay in our country and contribute. we will keep fighting for reform, but while we do, we're able to work, study and pursue the american dream. >> maria, why should people, i'm going to ask you. i'm giving you the floor. latino, latina, make the case. why should people vote in your community? in this election for president in two muchkts? >> nothing else is going to determine where we're going to go next unless we have individuals that are paying attention to our issues. we care about the economy, and education. the latino community has to come out in force because we're talking about the margin. in north carolina, north
carolina won the vote by 14,000 votes. that's five votes per precinct, chris. that's a close election. we have 22 million latinos that have to get registereded and represent their community and their country. >> is everybody in the latina community as beautiful as you three are? just kidding. let's go to you, rosario. you are involved politically as well as being in show business. what do you say to people why they should vote? >> i say actually a lot of what the president said today which is very exciting. which is talking about this election and hope and change and everything that happened before he became president and everything that will happen long in the future is that this, every election is about the people and the citizens is what makes this congreuntry great. if we do not participate and show up, the void will be filled by lobbyists and corporations and citizens united are corporations of people. those are the people who will be voting and i don't think that's where this country --
>> what generation are you american? >> i was born as a naturalized citizen. >> what generation are you? >> well, my mom is a second generation, i'm second generation from my grandfather's side and first generation from my mom's. >> you're the first one born here? >> first generation. >> first born here. you're political, now, why are you involved? >> well, i'll tell you, chris, i remember growing up in california when prop 187 was around. >> i remember. >> and i remember having to be pulled over before i went to school. i must have been in second or third grade and my mom having to have a conversation with me about the fact that i'm an american and regardless of what anybody might say to me, what a teacher or an administrator or maybe even another kid might say about what was going on to remember that i am an american and i had the rights that every american and every other student in that school had. >> she felt she had to do that even though you were born here?
>> there was the potential of facing harassment. >> rosario dawson and thank you, america, thank you, america. i want to thank our own maria theresa kumar. that is it for our coverage, i think one of the finest ever this week in charlotte. thanks for watching and good night from all of us at msnbc. the capital one cash rewards card
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