Jansing and Co | September 06, 2012
>>> good morning i'm chris jansing . the president got a tough act to follow tonight, but the democratic national convention is an obama party. former president bill clinton dazzled the crowd last night with a full embrace of the president, his policies, his ideas and strategy in a 48 minute speech that went off contour but not off message pep made the case for four more years.
>> the republican argument against the president re-election was actually pretty simple. pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess. he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in.
>> clinton praised past republican presidents but launched pointed attacks against extremists. he used his style to boil things down. his message was pretty simple.
>> we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own.
>> i want to bring in national political reporter for the atlantic, molly and david. dana, it looked like he was having the time of his life. you wrote it was clinton 's house but he's not running. so what's the impact to what end?
>> i thought by the end of it he thought he would ask for a repeal of the 22nd amendment . oil take the nomination. that crowd would have said okay. my favorite part was at the end. you didn't see it on camera the president comes out, gives him a big bear hug and leads him off the stage and clinton comes back to hug more people and shake more hands. couldn't do enough. doing the bite of the lip and thumbs up and waving. great night for him. it didn't hurt president obama . it helped him. it was worth handing over the stage to this guy for the night.
>> handed it over for a lot longer than they expected. they gave 28 minutes, went 48 minutes. apparently they took out for time. let me play more. he made a passionate argument, i think, that no one else could have turned this economy completely around. listen.
>> president obama started with a much weaker economy than i did. listen to me now. no president, no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years.
>> molly, kind of harkens back to that question that the republicans had been pounding going into this, are you better off now than you were four years ago. did he answer that?
>> he did and it was a complicated answer. it was a nuance answer. this is something only bill clinton can pull off is to defy that political maxim that when you're explaining you're lotion. this was explaining. he was going into really complicated arguments, throwing out facts and figures and with a real face that through the power of his personality and his willingness to grab you by the lapels and force you to listen to all of this information he could convince you. he was speaking into that camera, talking to those swing voters in their living rooms saying listen i'm not going to shut up until i have convinced you of the case i'm trying to make.
>> it's like he watched the republican national convention , took notes, was determined to answer each point. let me play a series of clips.
>> you need to know here's what happened. the auto industry restructuring worked. that brings me to health care . let's talk about the debt. on health care debt reduction and new jobs, the claim that president obama weakened welfare reforms work requirement is just not true.
>> i heard some republicans say that if you ended things right now, i mean with that speech, barack obama wins. mark halperin argued if clinton takes the show on the road democrats win. david axelrod says clinton will campaign in some swing states .
>> this guy has a favorable rating of 69% compared to 47% for the president. his luster can wear off. clinton is seen as a marvel on the economy and obama is not. if he can lend some of that, that's what he did last night. the speech itself became a clintonian laundry list. just the idea of having this guy out there vouching for obama is going to give him some more bona fide on the economy.
>> the overwhelming sense, congressman, congratulations even among republicans is that it has been amazing, but there was this moment yesterday, let me play it.
>> all those delegates in say aye. all those delegates opposed say no. and in the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted and the platform has been amended as shown on the screen.
>> and for those who didn't see it he had to ask the question three times before many people might argue coming to the conclusion that was not in keeping with the shouts of the people in that crowd. what happened with the platform? why take jerusalem as the capital out, any mention of god, forcing the president to say put it back in?
>> well, i don't know all the events leading up to this. at the end of the day it reflected the views of president obama . after all he's the candidate up against mitt romney and unlike the republican platform where you had mitt romney taking issue with some of the pieces of it, president obama wanted to make sure he could embrace it. so as you said, look the big story last night is that president clinton set the table for president obama today. he talked about the fact that president obama 's plan for the future is a 21st century version of what clinton did for the economy, invest in the middle class , reduce our deficit, create millions of jobs and balancing the budget. that's what we need going forward and clinton made it clear that all the republicans are proposing is a u-turn back to policies that crashed the economy.
>> thought one of the great lines last night was when he was talking about all the reasons why you should elect barack obama and he said, after that speech last night he was smart enough to marry michelle obama which of course got a big roar from the crowd. quite a few speeches were great. but money and the ads it buys speaks to a wider audience and you guys are losing the money race. how worried are you
>> this is a big issue because, again, one of the reasons president clinton 's speech went so long he did have to rebut all the misinformation that came out of the republican convention from romney and ryan and they are putting out that same information across the country with all the money they've got. so, first of all, it's important that we fight back and it's good president clinton will go to some of these battleground states . it's important that everybody who is focusing on this selection is millions of americans that are doing now understand it's important for them to get organized and activated so we can get the message out.
>> a lot of people have suggested is that beyond these speeches are the debates. smack in the middle of preps. how important are they?
>> the debates will be very important. that's when you get to see the candidates, one on one, hashing out these issues and that's when all the misinformation that the republicans are putting out is going to come home to roost, especially when it comes to medicare, they trying to throw up all this dust to hide from the american people exactly what the consequences of their plan is for seniors on medicare not just ten years from now but immediately. but in terms of laying out the important choices between obama 's vision of trying to make sure every american can live the american dream and the romney /ryan approach of saying well if you already got a head start in life we're for you but for the rest of you we're not going to invest in the middle class we'll give folks like romney another tax break and trickle down.
>> president clinton said a lot of those kinds of things last night. he delivered, it seems to me, a very centrist message to a progressive crowd and they loved it. when you're looking out to those undecided voters is there a lesson to the democrats and romney kpaun?
>> one of the important points that president clinton made is that barack obama is willing to make the tough decisions and compromise for the good of the country. but he's come up against a tea party congress that's determined to say no at every turn. they haven't even voted on the jobs plan that the president submitted one year ago today and president clinton reminded the american people of the comment by the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell more than two years ago his priority was not the economy, not jobs but to defeat the president.
>> thank you very much, congressman chris van hollen . speaking of moving to the middle i want to play something else from bill clinton last night.
>> though i often disagree with republicans , i actually never learned to hate them the way the far right now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other democrats. unfortunately, the faction now dominants the republican party and they don't see it that way.
>> dana, he practically put on the master class on being a centrist deal maker. how important was that to the tv audience, to those key voters out there who are undecided in the middle?
>> you know, what's important, paul ryan and mitt romney have been out there saying remember the good old days of bill clinton and the centrism. then in contrast to this current president. that invited clinton to come here and defeat that argument. the welfare one was particularly important because so after all the guy who signed the bill. now some of his explanations were a bit self-serving about the glory days of the 1990s but still served to refute that message that the republicans had invited.
>> most of the people in the tv audience tuned in to see bill clinton if they tuned in, but there was a whole lot of speeches leading up to it that were hardly centrist. they went after mitt romney , they went after the republican party . is this a party divided too? it's what they say about the republicans , but is this a party that's in many ways split?
>> i don't think you see exactly the same kinds of divisions. it was certainly -- sort of a tepid night leading up to bill clinton 's speech. there wasn't a lot of excitement on the floor. you didn't have a lot of other speeches that really riled people up and you did as you mention have that division over the platform which was a very unattractive spectacle for the democrats. you see different divisions. in general democrats appear to be more united around obama . the enthusiasm is much more specifically about the candidate. the republicans are very enthusiastic and if you look at the polls the republicans are much more excitement about the election but what excitement is to defeat obama . the excitement really wasn't for mitt romney .
>> great talking to both of you. social media was on fire thanks to remarks like this from president clinton .
>> you ought to get one thing, takes some brass for attacking a guy for doing what you did.
>> that was an ad lib . trending big time on twitter mentions bill clinton topped 22,000 tweets a minute by the end of the speech. not as much as michelle obama , but well above mitt romney . tweets about the dnc have reached 5.5 million and there's still of course one more day to go. the rnc so you 4 million total. reaction has been strong on our facebook page as well. make sure you log in. for behind the scene photos at the convention. [ male