Online Staff Report
President Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., during the 9 p.m. hour, Thursday, Sept. 6.
Obama takes the stage one night after former President Bill Clinton delivered a nearly 50-minute speech that affirmed many of Obama’s efforts as president, particularly his domestic policies.
With the theme of “we’re all in this together,” Clinton focused on the middle class and took aim at the Republican Party.
“We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly share prosperity,” Clinton said. “You see, we believe that ‘we’re all in this together’ is a far better philosophy than ‘you’re on your own.’ It is.”
In his speech, Clinton also said Obama has attempted to work with Republicans while Republicans have refused to cooperate.
“[The President] also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and jobs,” Clinton said, “but that didn’t work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader [Mitch McConnell], in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their No. 1 priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job!”
Clinton also responded to the theme of the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the country is not better off today than it was four years ago.
Romney said during his Aug. 30 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention: “That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: ‘you are better off today than you were four years ago.’ Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.
“This president can ask us to be patient,” Romney said. “This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault. This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right. But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.”
In response to Romney’s claim, Clinton said: “[Obama] inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long, hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.
“Are we where we want to be?” Clinton said. “No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month. The answer is YES.”
Clinton, whose speech served as the official nomination of Obama as the Democratic candidate for president, also shared his version of the last 50 years of economic history, drawing a distinction between jobs created by Republicans and jobs created by Democrats.
“Who’s right?” Clinton questioned. “Well, since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million.”
A speech by Elizabeth Warren, a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., served as the warm-up to Clinton’s speech.
“Americans are fighters,” Warren said in her speech. “We are tough, resourceful and creative. If we have the chance to fight on a level playing field — where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot — then no one can stop us. President Obama gets it because he’s spent his life fighting for the middle class. And now he’s fighting to level that playing field — because we know that the economy doesn’t grow from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up. That’s how we create jobs and reduce the debt.
“And Mitt Romney?” Warren continued. “He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails? His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to 2,000 dollars. Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations — but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare and vaporize Obamacare.”
According to a Sept. 6 Gallup poll, Obama is edging Romney 47-46 percent, while a Sept. 6 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Romney at 47 percent and Obama at 44 percent. A Sept. 6 Gallup poll showed the president’s approval rating at 49 percent, with 45 percent disapproving.
Obama’s campaign has said the president’s acceptance speech is unlikely to have a major impact on the polls. All eyes appear to be on a critical jobs report that will be released Sept. 7 by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Following is the lineup for the final evening of the Democratic National Convention. All times are Central.
Events kick off at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The Democratic National Committee is being secretive about the exact schedule of events, so some of this schedule is reliant upon other credible news reports.
Roll call reports
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to CNN, actors Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Kerry Washington are the surprise guests. The rock band Foo Fighters is also reportedly in the roster. Actor Eva Longoria is also reportedly going to speak, according to an Associated Press report.
Actor Kal Penn hosts a Web-only convention special featuring famous Hollywood Democrats, including Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zack Braff, Marc Anthony and Alexis Bledel.
Vice President Joe Biden will deliver a 25-minute speech prior to President Obama’s acceptance speech.
Posted Sept. 6, 2012