tv PBS News Hour PBS August 28, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: good evening from the tampa bay times forum, where bay forum where mitt romney has just received enough delegate votes to become the republican nominee for president. i'm judy wood rough. fill fill and i'm gwen >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight: we'll have live coverage of the moment. rough rough as romney arrived in tampa today, officials kept an eye on isaac, the tropical storm now upgraded to a hurricane.
fill fill down on the floor of the convention, excitement has been building. let's go there next. rough rough our jeffrey brown is down there among these delegates where he'll be everyday all week. jeff, mitt romney just went over the top. i think you're in the ohio delegation? brown brown hi, judy. right behind me is ohio. i'm near virginia and wisconsin, near a bunch of real important battleground states. i've got to tell you down here it's very loud. there's a sense of release, you know? there's been a lot of waiting for this to get going. now it's happening. a little while, we're still in the middle of the roll call here. a little while ago mitt romney went over the top. rough rough they told everyone it would happen after 6:00 p.m. it happened about 20 minutes before that. if i guess about 5:40.
and, jeff, the other piece of what's interesting that we've heard, a number of states have called out votes for ron paul but those votes are not being announced at the podium. brown brown yeah, judy, that's the other interesting part of what's happening down here. i've had a lot of people come up to me, recognizing us and saying "have you heard what's going on? we feel like we're getting shut out with the rules." so what happens here is that when the roll is called out, a given state will say "state x casts certain number of votes for ron paul and a certain number of votes for mitt romney." and then the secretary will say only the number that's been announced for mitt romney and there's now developed a cheer in the background where they yell out "free ron paul!" so this is the interesting little drama, theater, going on down here right now. rough rough it's something we can talk about tonight. i know, jeff, you'll be down there all evening talking to delegates. big speakers coming up tonight.
brown brown yeah, judy. go ahead?" rough rough main speakers coming up tonight. >> brown. >> we do have big speakers here. they'll be doing a theme all night long of "we built it." playing off those words from president obama and then we'll hear later on of course ann romney and governor chris christie giving the keynote speak. >> woodruff: jeff brown, we'll come back to you a lot tonight. thanks. >> brown: talk to you later, judy. >> ifill: we're coming back with more convention coverage after the news of the day beginning with the latest on hurricane isaac. >> reporter: the storm gained hurricane status around midday, closing in on the louisiana bayous. it had sustained winds of 80 miles an hour and promised to dump up to 20 inches of rain in some places. by late this afternoon, isaac was about 30 miles offshore, heading toward landfall within
hours, and a strike at new orleans seven years after hurricane katrina. isaac is less powerful than katrina, but, in washington, president obama urged gulf residents not to underestimate the danger. >> we're dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area. now is not the time to tempt fate. now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. you need to take this seriously. >> reporter: many in exposed areas did move to shelters, and officials got their emergency plans up and running. we get more on preparations in louisiana from shauna sanford of louisiana public broadcasting. >> reporter: people from louisiana started preparing early for hurricane isaac. >> you're always going to get thater in rouse feeling. >> reporter: with memories of hurricane katrina still lingering, there's great concern among many about whether the
newly updated hurricane levees and flood walls will hold back the storm surges that caused so much damage back in 2005. the new hurricane protection system build and strengthened by the army corps of engineers is some 350 miles long at a cost of $14.5 billion. the corps says it will be able to take whatever isaac brings on. >> we're very confident it can hold up isaac and the closure plans to date have gone on flawlessly. everything is being executed with the state and local levee authorities and the corps of engineers. >> reporter: officials say what they've done is essentially reinforced the levee system to stop any storm surge from lake bourne and to prevent a surge from lake pontchartrain from flooding new orleans. but as was pointed out, the challenge from this storm may not be the tidal surge. >> our problem with this storm might be water coming from rain which may come into the city
faster than the pump cans take it out. >> reporter: while flooding isn't expected to be as bad as it was during hurricane katrina, it will be a major factor during the storm causing problems not only in new orleans and the surrounding areas but here in baton rouge, the capital city, as well. the worst-case scenario would be high sustained winds and up to a foot of water across south louisiana if isaac stalls in the gulf. >> any time you've got 90 miles an hour winds and a foot of waterfalling wan 12-hour period, that's a problem. a disaster. >> reporter: more than 70,000 people along the louisiana coast have been told to evacuate. but so far there have been no mandatory evacuations for new orleans. >> reporter: the vast storm also threatens flooding in mississippi, alabama and the far western florida panhandle. for more on what's in store for the gulf coast, we spoke a short time ago with ed rappaport, deputy director of the national hurricane center. mr. rappaport, thank you. this is an enormous storm. how strong will it be overnight
and is new orleans your primary concern? i >> the hurricane has winds of 80 miles per hour with higher gusts. it will be making landfall in the next few hours in the southeastern tip of louisiana and then following a path towards the northwest just to the west of new orleans, our greatest concern beyond the winds will be for storm surge. we're expecting as can be seen on this map in the colored theme here a storm surge as high as 12 feet along the mississippi coast eight feet lake pontchartrain, eight feet mobile bay then three to six feet everywhere else. the other risk from s from rainfall. the storm will be moving slowly so there could be a lot of rain, seven to 14 inches, locally 20 inches. >> holeman: and do you expect new orleans and some other areas perhaps outside of the new orleans levee protection area might not be able to handle this?
>> >> most concern is for the areas outside the levee system that don't have any particular protective system. for example, along the mississippi gulf coast where the surge is likely to be highest at 12 feet. >> holeman: and where does it go from there? >> after the center passes to the west of new orleans it will continue northwestwardward at a relatively slow pace then turn northward so it will take a large swath of wayne and slowly decreasing winds inland of louisiana northward. one other point i want to make here is while winds are category one right now, 80 miles per hour higher gust it is winds at upper floors and high-rises will be significantly stronger. so be aware of that have if you are in one of those buildings. >> holeman: very good. ed rappaport of the national hurricane center, thank you very much. >> thank you. the hurricane shut down nearly all u.s. oil production in the gulf and two-thirds of the natural gas output. as a result, the price of oil was up again today. it closed above $96 a barrel in
new york trading. in other economic news, home prices rose for the fifth straight month in june, but a key index of consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest level since november. that left wall street looking for direction. the dow jones industrial average lost 21 points to close just under 13,103. the nasdaq rose about four points to close at 3077. in syria, a car bomb exploded in a damascus suburb, killing 12 people. more than 40 others were wounded. meanwhile, the u.n. refugee agency warned the number of syrians seeking safety in turkey could grow to 200,000. jordan is facing a similar influx as the civil war inside syria escalates. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy and gwen at the tampa convention. >> ifill: the republican delegates have just finished their role call of the states and they're dancing that little dance of celebration. mitt romney got 2,061 delegate
votes and was just announced by house speaker john boehner. he only needed 1,144 in order to secure the party nomination. they're going to party for a little bit and then go back and nominate by acclimation, we're told, paul ryan as vice presidential nominee. a lot of big applause, by the way, while we were watching wyoming and wisconsin especially cast those final votes. for scott walker, the governor of wisconsin, who everybody is a hero in republican circles and is also the home state of paul ryan. >> woodruff: a hero because he beet back an effort to recall him to recall him. gwen, i have to say as somebody who's covered more than one convention, they have done this all very quickly. the. >> ifill: more than one convention, judy! >> woodruff: i've never seen it happen this quickly. here we are the opening night of the convention. it's not even so-called prime time in television land and republicans already have their
nominees. >> woodruff: they're also getting a long-needed injection of energy tonight. because we know, for instance, that this convention was supposed to start yesterday, it's starting tonight, mitt romney is in town and rumors to be in the hall tonight so they're setting the whole party atmosphere for him. >> ifill: and this is a very happy group of delegates. they don't know what will happen in this election, but there's a lot of enthusiasm out there, i would say a lot of enthusiasm to defeat president obama and growing enthusiasm from mitt romney and especially since he named wisconsin congressman paul ryan as his running mate. >> ifill: that's what we'll talk about with our guests tonight, including shields and brooks. one of them is how much of this is about beating barack obama and how much is boosting enthusiasm for mitt romney? >> ifill: it's a very good question. look at this. the other thing i want to say, gwen, is because of the conventions i've covered i'm
used to hearing country music. i'm used to hearing classical music at these con conventions. but they are into the rock sound at this... and i think it fits... you know it fits the mood. >> ifill: and makes us very happy. >> woodruff: gwen, a little while ago, the man at the podium speaker john boehner, a little while ago i sat down with the speaker to talk to him about what's happening at this convention. speaker of the house of representatives john boehner thank you for talking to us. >> it's good to be with you. >> woodruff: the convention is already shortend from four days to three. you've been saying the last few days that the future convention... four day conventions may not make a lot of sense. do you think conventions are necessary at all? >> well, under the law you have to have a nomination process to choose a candidate and the current law requires us to have some type of convention. but it doesn't require us to
have a four-day convention and the massive amounts of money that get spent putting these on, today with all the technology that's available i think there's a way to shorten the process and still meet the goals. >> woodruff: do you think there may be a time that it's one day? >> never know. >> woodruff: you were also quoted, mr. speaker, saying the platform should be on one sheet of paper >> i've always believed this. back in the mid-'90s i was on a crusade to get the platform on one sheet of paper. you put it on one sheet of paper it requires you to make decisions, make it clear what the party stands for rather than long documents nobody reads. >> woodruff: do you mean that? nobody reads them >> sure have you ever read them? >> woodruff: sure, i read them every time. (laughs) >> i'm not sure anybody's ever read one, i've never read one. maybe the chairman of the
platform committee has. >> woodruff: mitt romney becomes the nominee of your party for president. this is a very close race. what does he need to say and do in his acceptance speech to make the sale to the american them? those people who haven't decided yet? >> i think thursday night is mitt romney's opportunity to reintroduce himself to the american people. he was introduced during the primary process both in '08 and again this time. and as a result you've got opponents while you're introducing yourself, others are tearing your apart. so he's been through this now for the last year and a half and i think thursday night is his opportunity to really go out and you can to the american people. now, other than you and i and the pundit class most americans aren't paying that much attention to all this. >> woodruff: what is it that he needs to talk about? what does he need to say about himself? >> well, he's a humble guy and he's a reserved guy.
i've known him for 15 years. he's a rock solid good person businessman with a real successful track record but it's hard for him to talk about himself but this is the moment where he has to talk about himself. >> woodruff: how much does me need to reveal? how much does he have to show? >> well, i don't know. the viewers will... the voters will figure that part of it out. but if i were him i'd be proud of my success. i'd be proud of my career creating jobs. and take that message and then say the problem we have today is the president's policies have failed. they've actually made things worse. if we're going to fix our economy here are the five things to do to allow americans to get back to work again and save the future for our kids and our grand kids. >> woodruff: mr. speaker, yesterday there was a column in the "washington post" by former... current senator from the state of maine, republican olympia snowe. she and her fellow senator from
maine, susan collins, both quoted as saying they believe mitt romney must separate himself from some of the more extreme position it is republican party has if he's going to win in november. how do you see that? >> well, i don't know what these extreme positions might be that the party takes because i frankly don't think we take extreme positions. you know, i've been a republican now for, oh, about 30 years. i grew up in a household full of democrats. and i don't see extreme views. now, do we have some members who are a little bit further right than others? yes. but as a party as a whole i don't think that's an issue there. >> ifill: one of the things both of them pointed to was the language in the platform that talks about abortion and doesn't mention any exceptions in the case of... >> mitt romney, myself, others who are very pro life, the american people today, a
majority of them identify as pro life. but we all have exceptions for rape, insist, life of the mother and frankly almost all of my colleagues in the house have the same exception. >> ifill: there's not just a race for president in november, americans are going to be voting to pick every single... fill the seat of every single member of the house of representatives. you said back in april there was a one in three chance republicans might lose their majority. you're sounding more confident now. >> we're doing better. >> woodruff: how confident are you? >> i feel confident. but my goal is to win every seat we can win. i just spent 22 days in august all over the country, 38 districts. and i can tell you half of them were challengers and open-seat candidates, the others were incumbents. we're playing offense more on that so than anybody would have guessed because i've always believed that the best defense is a good offense. >> ifill: you were quoted
yesterday as saying before the pennsylvania delegation the only way former speaker nancy pelosi is going to get this job back is to take that gavel and pry it out of my cold stone hands. pretty strong language. >> nobody's going to outwork me and outwork our team in terms of holding on to our majority and taking our message to the american people. this entire election is about the economy. the president's policies have failed. and i want all of my members and candidates and mitt romney and paul ryan to be out there on offense about this election. we have better ideas and we can do better for the american people. >> ifill:. >> woodruff: at the same time, as you know very, very well the favorability ratings for members of congress are lower than they've ever... >> congress isn't on the ballot. congress isn't on the ballot. >> woodruff: you don't think that's a drag... >> no, when you look at the members' numbers, the members' numbers are pretty good. i understand the frustration
people t american people have with congress. 435 members of the house, 100 members of the senate. divided government. and it's difficult to get people to work together and get things done. >> woodruff: not just difficult, mr. speaker, people look and say "work isn't getting done." >> we've got 40 jobs bills sitting in the united states senate. we have a bill to replace the sequester that's due to go into effect january 2 sitting in the senate. we have a bill to... all these passed the house and are sitting in the united states senate. time to get to work. >> woodruff: so it's all the senate's fault? >> we're doing our fault. >> woodruff: speaker of the house of representatives john boehner, good to see you. >> ifill: as the convention prepares to nominate vice presidential nominee paul ryan, mitt romney came to camp as well today. he's expected to be on hand in some manner tonight. here his wife ann's convention
speech which is the highlight later this evening. joining us for insight is eric fehrnstrom, top spokesman for the romney campaign and a close romney advisor for more than a decade. welcome, this is a big night for you folks. >> thank you, gwen, it feels like a big night. >> ifill: are we expecting to hear from the presidential nominee at any point tonight? we know he may be in the hall. >> here's here in tampa. you won't hear his speech until thursday evening but tonight you'll an opportunity from his wife ann and ann is going to speak from the heart. this is a speech that is about her love of country, her love of family, and her love that she has for her husband. i think she's going to open the door to a side of mitt romney that most people don't hear about. >> ifill: what is your chief challenge here this week? is it to explain to voters why they should defeat an incumbent president or it to boost supporters in their support of the new nominee. >> i think this is an opportunity for governor romney to lay out his vision for a
better future and in the process of doing that, to contrast what he wants to do with the failures of the last three years. i mean americans are desperate for leadership? the white house. we have declining incomes, we have high unemployment and we have the weakest economic recovery since the great depression. so we have a lot of things to do and tonight really marks the beginning of what we slope a transformation that will take place in this country and we can finally get this stuff back on track. >> ifill: we saw excerpts a few moments ago from ann romney's speech later tonight. she's talking about love. chris christie is the keynote speaker. he doesn't talk about soft and fuzzy things. >> i don't think governor christie will talk about love. >> ifill: so we have good cop/bad cop going on? >> i think he will give a bold speech. governor chrissie is known as a champion of reform, reducing spending, he'll talk about the
failure of the president over the last four years to reign in spending. >> you know, one of the things that you said earlier this week talking to reporters is that one of the things that he will be talking about more extensively than he has before is his faith and religion. is that something that will be part of the convention speech he delivers? >> yes there will be parts of that in there. mitt's faith is part of who he is so we'll hear him address that. but you'll also hear him address other aspects, working to turn around social security. for t four years he spent as the governor of the state when he was elected that state was in a recession. four years later when he left they were creating jobs and he had lowered the unemployment rate to 4.7%. of course, he'll talk about his career as a rescuer of the 2002 winter olympic games.
again, an enterprise that was in trouble with an unbalanced budget and lack of public confidence and, of course, mitt completely turned that situation down, staged one of the most successful games ever held on u.s. soil. >> ifill: going into this convention every poll seems to show it's very tight, very close but if the president has been the failure you argue he has been, why isn't mitt romney further asaid? >> that's a good question. why isn't the president further ahead? he is the incumbent. it's something he doesn't want to talk about his record. is we're seeing one character attack after another on mitt romney we think now's the time to talk about the failed policies of the last three and a half years after all, it was
barack obama himself who said if he didn't get this economy turned around in three years he would be a one-term president. >> ifill: you used the term character and that's a big goal. what do you think is the character of mitt romney that people need to see that they vice president gotten so far? he had said he doesn't like marketing himself. he said i am what i am. how can you run a guy who doesn't want to be marketed? >> well, he can create jobs, balance the budget, those skills and qualities of leadership he will bring to the white house but aside from the man's professional accomplishments he's a good, decent and honorable person and you'll hear those biographical details come out more and more starting tonight with his his wife's
ann's speech but over the next three days until election day. >> ifill: i have to talk about the theater we saw on the floor. we saw ron paul delegates not happy with the way the rules were written that didn't allow their votes to count the way they thought it should and some of their votes weren't even announced from the floor tonight during the roll call. can you honestly say off unified party at this point? >> not only do we have ha unified party, we have a very excited and enthused party. there's always going to be debates about procedures at conventions and that's part of the democratic process. mitt romney i can tell you has a great deal of respect for ron paul, for his place in the party and his followers who share a concern with governor romney about deficits, debt and spending and putting this country back on a path toward a balanced budget. >> ifill: but not enough to give him a speaking role at this convention. >> he was offered a speaking role but he declined. >> ifill: because he thought you
would vet what he had to say, right? >> we'll get a chance to hear from his son rand paul. >> ifill: what do you expect to hear from rick santorum, he was one of the last standing in the primary season and this year and said tough things about mitt romney. >> well, primaries are tough, they're meant to be that way. once the primary is over the party comes together like a family does when they may have an argument. they come together and that's what we're doing here in tampa. senator santorum is a leader in the party. there are issues he cares deeply about and we'll hear about those tonight in his speech. >> ifill: we saw big excitement about when wisconsin governor scott walker got up there and cast his delegations votes. how important is paul ryan to this ticket? >> he's incredibly important. and i'll tell you why. because politically he changes the game. and in dramatic ways. a republican has not won a presidential contest there since 1984. now it's in play. the obama campaign wasn't
planning on defending wisconsin he bryns other things to the ticket as well. not only an intricate knowledge of the federal budget. but he's a catholic. catholics are important swing voters not only in wisconsin but pennsylvania and ohio. he's a young person. the first person born in the 1970s to be on a national ticket. young people are going to love his energy and the freshness of his ideas and then, of course, everything about paul ryan speaks to his middle-class values. he had to take a leadership role when his dad died at a young age and he attended a public university so we're very excited about paul ryan and are looking forward to a fall election. >> ifill: right now you have the hard part. off nominee now you have to do the hard work. ed fehrnstrom, senior advisor to governor romney, thank you for coming by. >> thank you, gwen.
>> woodruff: very interesting listening to him talking about what kind of a game changer is and what kind of things we may hear from paul ryan and governor romney when they speak. so on the floor they're in a recess, they're taking a break. there has been by acclimation the delegates have decide to accept mitt romney and paul ryan as their nominees for president and vice president of the united states. our own jeff brown is down there on the floor. jeff, tell where you say you are and what's going on. >> brown: hi, judy, we're in recess now so things have calmed down so it ease easier to talk to you right now. i'm here in the florida delegation with carol jean jordan of vie roe beach. she's the past head of the florida republican party. welcome to you. >> that's correct, jeff, thank you, thanks for having me. >> brown: this, of course, is your party in a sense, florida party. but it was almost derailed by the storm
>> well, silt florida's party and we're excited this is the first night for everybody to come on the convention floor and enjoy the festivities. florida has worked a long time to attract a national convention here and we're happy to have everybody here. >> brown: now the convention is here and the race is on and this is a very, very important state for both sides. what's the key challenge here in florida for republicans? >> well, republicans are organized, they're ready to go. this is the... in the nominating process, we're excited to see things going on and it's going to be hard work. that's why you have to celebration. you have the nominee out there and his running mate and off we go and back to our counties to get out the vote for the romney/ryan team. >> brown: what's going to get out that vote? a r the issues that will be most concerned and where mitt romney has to play to? >> that's what mitt romney. is he's a capitalist, a businessman. this country needs jobs back.
we need our economy turned around into the right direction again and that's what mitt romney brings to it as well as an incredible family. the romney/ryan ticket is absolutely maizing. everybody will leave excited and wound up through november 6. >> brown: one of the big questions, of course, has been whether and how mitt romney connects with people. the polls suggest that he's still having some trouble. why do you think that is and what does he have to do? >> i think he's the new nominee. i think it's time for america to learn who mitt romney is. and we're starting tonight with ann romney coming out on stage telling the personal story about who she is, how they met, how... what a really caring person he is. i've heard that story. i've heard her talk about when she was diagnosed with m.s. and how devastating that was and he
said to her-- and i'm not going to tell it because i hope she tells it later, if not you come back to me and i will because it's such a touching story that he would be there for her regardless of what happened and how much he cares about her job. her job being the mother of those five incredible boys. >> brown: i can't help before i let you go notice this pin. it's a jeb pin. what does that mean? >> it is a jeb pin. i've been with the bush family since the 1970s, i'm very supportive of them. as chairman i served under governor bush and i'm always happy to wear my jeb pin and i saw him at lunch. >> brown: any regrets he's not the guy this time? >> governor bush needs to make his own decisions and when he does we're there for him. >> brown: carole jean jordan, thanks so much. >> thanks for having us. >> brown: back up to you. >> ifill: that was a fascinating conversation, a little intriguing at the end when she talked about jeb bush. with us tonight with gwen and me all week are shields and brooks.
of course that's syndicated columnist in mark shields and "new york times" columnist in david brooks. mark and david, we've been listening to the role call and vote by acclimation and david it's just wrapped up all of a sudden. we're barely into the evening and they're already selected by the party. >> we can all go home. it's over. and i'm disappointed. i love the role call. i remember as a kid watching the role call, each state, why they're a great state. nobody's ever an average state. they're all great states. >> woodruff: me, too! >> and there's a little personality. so kids won't see that, it's sad. >> ifill: energy finally, mark. the music, yes, but energy on the floor, excitement, really. >> excitement and special excitement at scott walker of wisconsin. the place just exploded in what i think can only be called spontaneous enthusiasm to him. but you're right there is enthusiasm for mitt romney and
paul ryan as well. david, where is new mexico, the land of enchantment. remember we used to all... (laughter) and "the silver state, nevada." >> pennsylvania, home of the pennsylvania turnpike. (laughter) >> woodruff: i miss, that, too. that is a part of the legendary american political system, the role call at these conventions. why did they do away with it? >> i think because television didn't cover it, quite honestly. >> it's not that they did away with it. but they did it quickly and early. they got it over with. >> i think one of their concerns judy, they did want it-to-get it out of the way and if it wasn't going to be covered why make it endless. but i agree with you. the think it shows above anything else was the diversity of america. you see texans really were different from the people of the state of maine. >> ifill: well, diversity of a
sort, anyway, right? >> well, regional diversity, yeah. >> here on the floor the republicans have done a nice job of maximizing their potential visual diversity by putting the delegations from puerto rico and guam up front. so they've selected good cutaway shots. >> ifill: the marianas islands. i want to ask you about this because this gaveled in at 2:00 this afternoon and earlier today we saw successional congressional candidates, members of congress and we didn't see any of them after things got serious at around 7:00. is that on purpose? >> you hope that the hometown folks cover you, that's what you hope for that the feed goes back and they seiji, did you see david brooks our candidate for the lieutenant governor was there. john boehner said he spoke... he was so excited to speak at his first convention he spoke at 2:00 in the afternoon, there was nobody in the hall and nobody was listening so it was hubbling. >> i listen to these speeches
because aim who i am. there were good once. >> much like popeye. (laughter) >> so the mayor of oklahoma city gave a good speech. that that feeds into what's happening. a lot of it is about reframing the party as the party of practical governance and there's a lot of ideology in this party but we have mayors and govern yourself, we have people on the ground doing it right now and we want to replicate what's happening in wisconsin, ohio. >> woodruff: it's something i raised with speaker boehner and that's the unpopularity of congress and you have to believe that's one of the reasons you don't see senators and members of the house of representatives speaking in prime time. they were in the afternoon. >> that was one of the good arguments against picking paul ryan. house republicans are not exactly popular. >> and their governors have had terrible numbers. governor scott in florida has had bad numbers.
john kasich has struck... >> so it's not just the house... >> well, the point is nobody knows they have bad numbers outside of their home state. as far as everybody in congress is a member of congress and you carry that with you and that's a problem. you do expect mayors and governors to pick up the trash and clear the highways and that's a practical thing. members of congress we don't have the same sense of pragmatism. >> ifill: if i had to guess i would say the only governor we'll see tonight who will have a bigger reception than scott walker will be governor christie, the keynote speaker. am i right, david? >> david: you're guaranteed. are there aren't a lot of rock stars. the conventions in years past, giuliani was a rock star, sweg was a rock star. the party has mitch daniels, doesn't have a lot of charismatic rock stars, chris christie fits the mold. >> ifill: is mitch daniels that the convention? >> it's kind of weird how he's very low profile.
>> there was excitement about the possibility of him being a running mate until he took himself out. >> and he's going to become president of perdue university so he's gone on the a very serious... the thing about chris christie is you expect from him there will be lines as memorable as ann richards, george bush, don't feel sorry for george, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. lines that you remember from past keynote speeches and chris christie is capable of that but most of the people in audience will be disappointed if there aren't memorable one liners. >> some of the republicans were talking about putting a heckler down front. just to get him going. >> woodruff: you expect to hear the red meat. he's going to give the hard contrast, i guess, the hard introduction. >> i think he's more of a... is that fair? >> there's a jersey edge to him but i don't think the hard edge as much as he does have an ability to formulate issues and
make a case about the vernacular as anybody in shoe letter in politics today and he hadn't head tated to be confrontational. if there is a heckler, which there is, he will not be... go easy on the obama/biden administration on their record >> the obama or the o'biden administration? >> the own/biden administration. >> woodruff: he'll follow mrs. romney who will give us a soft per picture. >> i think for her the key has to be frailty. she has to show there have been set backs in the romney family. that a family who looks so affluent and perfect that they've learned something from failure and understand failure. >> ifill: she is a breast cancer survivor and still struggles with multiple sclerosis so if she told her own story it would be... we also expect that of first ladies war would be first ladys that they soften their husbands we look at thaw howe they look and how much he loves her. >> we expect... it's funny, we americans don't have a royal
family so our first family becomes the royal family and we want them to be an act happy family. we cover them that way so we expect the ideal wife who gazes adoringly at her husband and the children are all well behaved and we know that's never the case in anybody's life and the ideal husband who's steadfast. >> >> he was a freshman at stanford he drove home from stanford to michigan and they claim they've never had a fight. >> well, maybe tonight. (laughter) >> maybe between the lines where eric fehrnstrom says that chris christie is going for only punches. sounds like he's been brought in to bring it >> listen, he is not... he's not cob confused with a softball pitcher. he's a tough guy.
i think the question is can he make america welcome and job responsibility is to welcome people to the party. he's the gatekeeper and that has to be the message. >> ifill: you are the gatekeepers as well. thank you both, we'll be talking to you later. as we have said earlier, tonight's speakers planned to take president obama to task for his handling of the nation's struggling economy so what do voters in key battleground states have to say about that? harvey sreenivasan has that. >> sreenivasan: we're looking at bish shoes through data in our vote 2012 map center. i'm joined by anna sale of wnyc to look at a handful of swing states she viz set for a reporting trip. thanks for being here. regardless of where you went around the country you heard jobs, unemployment. that was the number one issue for everyone. >> first question was the most
important thing, jobs. i'm worried about getting a job, worried about my kids getting a job when i traveled across the country there's a wide diversity in battleground states. take, for example, colorado. >> on this map what you are looking at, the lighter the color the better the unemployment rate. tor more people employed and the darker color the higher unemployment rate. so let's look at colorado here. 8.4%. >> then look at iowa, just over 5%. and look at florida. >> okay, >> florida 9%, exceeding the national average. as you talk to these coveted swing voters jobs and the economy come up for all of them but they have different realities. if hari sreenivasan we try to take the voters into conversation in "listen to me." here are people who think jobs and the economy are priority number one. >> i would like to get a job when i graduate so the state of the economy is important to me.
as far as the market when i get out of college. >> jobs. jobs for kids coming out of school. jobs for the generation that's behind me. i think there's a struggle there for well-paying jobs. >> sreenivasan:. >> sreenivasan: you can see the state has a very different pattern depending on where you are. there are much higher proportion of unemployment in the south/southeast. >> this part of ohio is appalachian, ohio, it's where there's been higher unemployment in the this state. it's also a part of the state that went for john mccain four years ago. it's not where president obama was strong. >> sreenivasan: so let's look at the political results from 2008. there's a patch of blue on the right-hand side where obama did well. there's a stronghold for john mccain right here. >> then the southeast corner it was about half and half. up here is where it's interesting to look at in terms of the unemployment rate.
this is where obama was strong. this is cleveland here, this is manufacturing counties. look back at this unemployment rate map. you see this is not a county that's doing so hot. so then the question is who are they blaming far? are they blaming larger forces? >> sreenivasan: let's take a deeper dive into iowa. why are jobs so important here when you look at this map look how light the coloring is. most of the state is employed or has a low unemployment rate. >> 5% unemployment in iowa. many states would trade for that. still, voters are concerned about the economy and jobs, the future of the country. political scientists think when voters are aware that the national economy is not doing great that becomes one of their major concerns. even if their countees to are doing very well. >> sreenivasan: anna sale with thank you for joining us. you can do this at home at newshour dot pbs.org.
>> woodruff: how would a romney administration change the jobs out look. we asked >> woodruff: so, how would a romney administration change the jobs outlook? we ask two of his advisers: glenn hubbard, who chaired the council of economic advisers under president george w. bush-- he is now the dean of columbia university's school of business; and john taylor, economics professor at stanford university and a senior fellow at the hoover institution-- he was a treasury official in the george w. bush administration. joining them is andy kohut of the pew research center. welcome to you all three. andy, i want to start with you because the new consumer confidence numbers out today show a low, a new low in consumer confidence. >> consumer confidence hit a ten-month low according to the conference board survey and this has not been the first up and down over the course of the great recession. we saw consumer confidence go up in early 2009, slowly remain modest throughout '10 and really
take a nosedive then come back in early 2012. the bottom line is economic attitudes and public perception of the economy is very unstable. and it is increasingly difficult with all these ups and downs with the american public to get any conviction about how things are going and where they're going. >> just very quickly you were telling me earlier today that despite that mitt romney's lead when it comes from people having confidence in his ability to turn the economy around is not much that much higher than it is for the president. is that right? >> he only leads the president by the few points on the economy even though obama gets a 35% to 42% approval rating which is not very good. part of the reason is the image of the republican party when we ask people who does the republican party favor, 62% say the rich. the democrats are seeing he's favoring the middle-class and
poor people. so you have... you have kind of a standoff where the public has... don't has great confident in obama's ability to perform. doesn't trust the republicans when it comes to economic issues >> so you have economic numbers, if you look at the data you would think mitt romney would be doing better than he is. how do you address that perception out there? >> i think the key to what andy was saying is that uncertainty about public policy and the economy is almost at an all-time high. it has consumers very worried. what we hear from governor romney at the convention, hear from him on the campaign trail is how he plans to translate his economic agenda into growth. we believe he can create 12 million new jobs in the first term. that's a very big number. >> woodruff: 12 million. and john taylor, how can he be so confident? how can you be so confident that that number is real? >> well, history tells us that and the fact that we know why
this economy is so sluggish. the policies have been erratic, is they've created uncertainty. we've tried stimulus package. and the romney plan is to put in a whole new strategy of long term focus to get this uncertainty out of the system to deal with that debt which is holding back investors worried about tax increases so it this addresses the problem that we've had and we've seen problems when we address these t problems we get much faster growth and more jobs. >> ifill: you don't have a lot of time left to prove between now and election day that the romney solutions are better than the obama solutions even if you don't think the obama solutions work. so what are they and how do you explain in the a cogent and smart way that voters are trying to make up their minds quickly? >> a lot of people understand that the debt is the economy holding the economy back. they that's what drove the election in november, 2010, so his planned a dresses that by reducing that. there's a spending binge, you get that down, that creates the
deal with the debt. and then people worried about tax increases, we have this fiscal cliff, who knows what's going to happen? he puts in place lower tax rates. then these regulations that people keep talking about all the time and it's out there. you can see hit in the data addressing that. so there's substantive thing over this plan and they will increase growth. we know that from history. >> the important thing on that is john the right on the pieces that governor romney is suggesting but there's a philosophical theme, too, we need to focus on the long-term problems facing our country. if we fix those the short-term economy will also move. that's exactly opposite of president obama's philosophy. >> woodruff: one of the comments i've seen from a number of analysts who've looked at what governor romney has put out there, he's talked about pretty significant tax cuts for the corporate sector, individuals and i guess there's some... it's not clear yet what exactly would be the rate change but that if you add all that up it's not clear how we pay for that. if the debt is a real concern at
some point before the election doesn't governor romney have to spell out how you're going to cover the cost of those tax increases? >> he's already said the rates will gown down to 20% for individuals and the corporate rate would go for by 25% to 35%. part of that is from faster growth from base broadening, tax expenditures >> the plan is revenue neutral. >> woodruff: which people... >> everything's on the table. he wants to make sure it's a progressive type of base broadening. also we've had a big spending binge and part of the program is to get that spending down to what it was before the crisis. it's something that's quite do doable and that's part of it and why you can do this and have pro-growth tax cut. >> ifill: andy kohut, the fiscal
cliff, are voters paying attention to that? is this something they'll make their decisions based on? that >> that hasn't registered yet. but the news has a way of spreading. it took a long time to the last time we had that deficit plan in... reduction plan in 2011 and in a matter of months that would become priority number one. and the public is concerned about the debt and record levels. but the same that comes through in survey after survey is jobs, jobs, jobs. we see no change in public confidence about the job situation improving. >> woodruff: to the extent there's any lack of clarity about governor romney's proposals for the economy and paul ryan's proposals which there's been a lot of conversation about that, how do you clarify that about people looking that the? >> there's only governor romney's proposals. he's running for president. and he congressman ryan are
about the same page about the need to reform the tax code. but it's a romney economic plan. >> ifill: does that mean the ryan plan goes away for the purposes of the election? >> there's a lot of situations. one thing we're trying to do is control the rapid growth of entitlements. and they've laid out a plan that will slow that growth in a very responsible way to make the programs more effective for people. when people look at that and they examine it they say that's what we should be doing, both sides of the aisle we have things like in this in the past. >> ifill: congressman ryan's proposals would slow that growth a lot faster. there's more aggressive steps that he would take. >> and governor romney said yes we need to slow the growth of entitlement spending but principally for upper income families. so he wants a progressive entitlement reform. the country can afford a very successful social security and medicare system.
it can't afford one on the kind of autopilot for everyone we presently have. >> woodruff: andy kohut, to get back to gwen's question are voters going to get this? >> they're very wary of entitlement cuts for the sake of deficit or anything very much. because they don't trust the politicians not to do more than they promise. it's about this trust in government which the republican one party is aware of. >> ifill: so it's just starting, thank you all very much. now we go back to the convention floor to jeff brown for a preview of what else is ahead tonight. >> brown: hi, gwen, we've got hours to come, of course, and as i was saying the theme of the night is "we built it." that plays off against very much those words of president obama
that he used in a speech. so we're going to be hearing from various business people and elected officials talking about that theme. some of these speakers will be airing tonight, rick santorum, south carolina governor nickie haily, ted cruz of texas. one of the most anticipating speakers is arthur davis, the former democratic congressman from alabama, a big supporter of president obama in 2008 and now opposes him and he'll be speaking in favor of mitt romney. and, of course, the most anticipated speeches of the night first ann romney, this is her chance to speak to the nation, speak to these people here and then we'll have governor chris christie with the keynote speech. so we'll be here all night. >> woodruff: i think there's really a reason to stick around even though we know who the nominees are for president and vice president. so our convention coverage
continues online where we reach beyond in this sky box. you can find this all access pass on our home page, that's six live-stream channels including all of the official proceedings. an inside look at the newshour team and conversations with delegates here in tampa. >> ifill: earlier today harry sreenivasan asked the papelbon about their role in the g.o.p. and the newshour team goes behind the scenes to the parties here in tampa where a political conversation continues after hours. >> woodruff: the republican national convention officially nominated mitt romney >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the republican national convention officially nominated mitt romney for president and paul ryan as his running mate; hurricane isaac closed on the southern louisiana coast with winds of 80 miles an hour, heading toward new orleans; and oil prices rose again as the hurricane forced nearly all production in the gulf to shut down. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. stay with us. we'll be back in a few minutes on most pbs stations with full coverage of tonight's session of the 2012 republican national