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Democratic National Convention

Aired September 6, 2012 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Tonight, President Obama bets his likability against the struggling economy.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360": The pressure is on for specifics about where he'll take the country and his top priorities for a second term.


ANNOUNCER: He rose from childhood struggles to the highest office in the land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, Mr. President.

BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My name is Barack Obama and I'm in the Oval Office so I've got to be lucky.

ANNOUNCER: He made history.

OBAMA: Change has come to America.

ANNOUNCER: And then faced the hard realities of governing.

OBAMA: That's one thing you learn as president of the United States. You get called in to account.

ANNOUNCER: Now, he's in an urgent fight to finish what he started.

OBAMA: We will remind the world why this is the greatest nation on earth.

ANNOUNCER: In Charlotte tonight, Barack Obama officially accepts the challenge of winning his second term and defends his administration against Republican attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not his words that people have to listen to, it is his action and his record.

OBAMA: I've got one piece of advice for you about the Romney/Ryan game plan. Punt it away.

ANNOUNCER: Joe Biden also accepts his nomination tonight.

JOSEPH BIDEN, (D-DE) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must continue to move forward.

ANNOUNCER: A week after Mitt Romney's convention in Tampa, Democrats are trying to get the last word.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden, their heart was bleeding for the middle class, whoa.

ANNOUNCER: Now, CNN turns the spotlight on one of the biggest platforms in American politics. This is the Democratic National Convention. This is Barack Obama and Joe Biden's night.

OBAMA: I believe in you. I bet on you. I'll make that bet any day of the week. That bet is paying off for America.

ANNOUNCER: This is America's choice.


BLITZER: We'd like to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world to this the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. President Obama is telling supporters he's looking forward to giving his acceptance speech tonight, laying out his vision for the future. A senior campaign official tells CNN tonight's speech will be, quote, "bigger than just drawing contrasts between the president and Mitt Romney".

COOPER: Before the president steps on to the podium, Vice President Joe Biden accepts his nomination and describes what working with the president is like. And in what is likely to be a very moving moment, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will lead the Pledge of Allegiance tonight joining her fellow Democrats as she recovers from a bullet to the head from a shooting of course last year. Now remember tonight's session was moved indoors from the open-air Bank of America Stadium. Convention planners were worried, they said, about the weather. Doesn't appear to be a problem right now. It was raining on and off throughout the day today. As we gear up for tonight's big speech by President Obama, however, let's bring in our chief national correspondent John King -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, four years ago the president used that big convention speech as a springboard to this, a big victory in the election and a changed map of U.S. presidential politics. As he speaks tonight, here's the challenge. It's a different climate, a much tougher map. Still, advantage Obama, but all nine of our tossup states, states he carried four years ago, Anderson.

COOPER: The Democrats have saved some of their most show- stopping performances for tonight. Of course Wolf Blitzer is closer to the action on the floor. Wolf, take it away.

BLITZER: These delegates, Anderson, are certainly getting ready to see some big-name political stars like Caroline Kennedy. Also some Hollywood stars like Scarlett Johansson (ph) and our own CNN correspondents as well are joining us, Brianna Keilar, John Berman, Kate Bolduan. They are all down on this arena floor. Also our Candy Crowley is stationed above the podium where the president and the vice president will give their big speeches tonight. Candy, what are you hearing about what they'll say?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well we've heard what's previously been reported. The president wanting to lay out some specific goals. Some promises, if you will. But as someone once said, you know it's high expectations are a heavy burden, so you'll also hear the president according to some excerpts that we've got sort of try to tamp down those expectations that really were seen for him over the past four years.

He'll say, "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 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, shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than that one. And by the way, the president will add, 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."

So at once saying this is going to take a while, which previous speakers have said, in particular, Bill Clinton. But also addressing what's been one of the Republican's big criticisms of this gathering. And that is that it is very focused on government solutions and the government as the government as the one entity that can help what ails America -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Candy, thanks. Bill Clinton last night described President Obama as someone in his words who's cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside. During an exclusive interview for her documentary, "Obama Revealed," our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin spoke with the president, asked him about that coolness that we all know, at least on the outside. How did that go?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's a consistent description of the president. Sometimes it's cool as a positive, as in cool under fire. But sometimes it can be a negative, as in cool or aloof.


YELLIN: A lot of people describe you as cool. That cuts both ways. Fair description?

OBAMA: You know, it's interesting. People who know me well and people on the campaign trail, I mean, you've campaigned with me, I don't think they've described me that way. I am in a lot of ways an extrovert when it comes to folks outside the Beltway, and love campaigning and really get energized from it. I think what is true is that when I'm making decisions, I try to pull back a little bit and take the long view it and not get caught up in the emotions of the moment. I think that's been helpful on tough decisions that we've had to make. YELLIN: That's how it's helped. How has it hurt?

OBAMA: I'm not sure it's hurt except maybe for some of my relations I think inside of the Beltway here in Washington. I think that you know sometimes Michelle and I not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool. It actually really has more to do with us being parents and one of the pledges we made was you know what we need to make sure that we're good parents and we're there for our kids.


YELLIN: Now, that's a conversation we can have another time, whether you can pull back on doing outreach to members of Congress as a president because you're a parent. But the larger challenge for him tonight is to not be that cool no drama Obama but to reconnect to all those supporters who felt that passion for him and it's diminished over time. He can't relight that fire. He's not going to electrify in the same way. But he has to find a balance.

BLITZER: He's going to certainly try because that's very important. Jessica, thanks very much -- Anderson back to you.

COOPER: Let's check in with our panel, David Gergen, Ari Fleischer, Paul Begala, John King, and Gloria Borger. Gloria, you were saying?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very interesting to listen to President Obama talk about his aloofness because I also think with Mitt Romney you have kind of the same issue. People say about Mitt Romney when you meet him one on one and when you're with him one on one, he can be warmer than people say President Obama is. But when Mitt Romney is in front of a crowd, he gets sometimes like a deer in the headlights and he's not comfortable in front of a crowd and self-edits. Whereas President Obama, and he basically said that to Jessica, he gets the energy from the crowd and seems to love it, so you have two presidential candidates who are aloof, I would say, but in very different ways.

KING: It's a different challenge tonight though for this president. He's a known entity for four years. If people find him aloof, he's unlikely to change their mind in this speech. If people find him something different, he's unlikely to change their mind in this speech. It's a very interesting challenge for an incumbent president. A different role for him as the challenger from four years ago. I was talking to the veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart (ph) today. He says there are a lot of goals the president has to reach (INAUDIBLE) you could sum it up in one question. He has to give people a good answer to the question, why and how will your life be better in a second term?

COOPER: We are only moments away from the renomination of Vice President Joe Biden. We're going to bring that to you and some big stars are here. We'll hear from actress Ashley Judd and the "Foo Fighters" perform live. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Vice President, Mrs. Biden, listening to their son nominate -- place his nomination for vice presidential nominee in place.

BEAU BIDEN, DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have miles to go before we sleep but Barack Obama and Joe Biden are leading the way forward. Four years ago, because I was going to Iraq, I asked you to be there for my dad and you were. And for last four years I can say with certainty he has been there for us.


B. BIDEN: In moments -- in moments -- in moments both public and private, he's the father I've always known, the grandfather my children love and adore, and the vice president our nation needs. So 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 rules and nominate by acclamation Joe Biden as the Democratic vice presidential candidate.


COOPER: The son of Joe Biden saying that he wants to suspend the formal rules, the formal roll call, and nominate Joe Biden. Let's listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 rules and nominate Joe Biden by acclamation as the Democratic Party's vice presidential candidate. Is there a second?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All in favor of the motion say aye.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All opposed. The ayes have it. The motion is adopted.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pursuant to the convention rules, Joe Biden has been invited to make an acceptance speech.


COOPER: Clearly very moved Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very emotional guy. Nobody ever called him too cool or too aloof. Lost Beau's mom and other children in a tragic accident just at age 29 was when he was elected to the Senate many years ago. He took the train home to Wilmington every single night to be with Beau and his brother Hunter. Just as good a dad as I've ever known in public life and it's just such an emotional time to see him there with his son, the attorney general, and a major in the Reserves to nominate him, very emotional --

COOPER: He gets a lot of flak for ad-libbing on the stump occasionally making some blunders on the stump, but as a campaigner, Ari Fleischer, what is he like? Is he effective?

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well you look at this as a race for the undecided voters are going to be the keys. I don't think he's determinative. I really don't think the vice presidential candidates are going to be what counts in this race. Races ultimately come down to the two presidential candidates, so on the margin, is he, I don't really think so. I just don't think it makes a big difference.

COOPER: David?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I have to tell you, I think the Ryan selection changed Mitt Romney's fortune. He was drifting. He was about to lose this race. He turned his position around (ph). Now, in the end in November it may not matter that much, but in the middle of this election campaign --

FLEISCHER: Ryan does help him in Wisconsin. I think Pennsylvania has been in reach all along.

COOPER: Candy Crowley is at the podium with the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson. I am here with the House Democratic leader, the leader of the Democrats in the House. You were one speaker, so I want to take us off the presidential message of the night and just ask you whether you think there is any chance at all that Democrats could take over the House again and perhaps make you speaker.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Well, it's not about making me speaker. It's about winning the House for the American people. And with Barack Obama at the head of the ticket and Joe Biden on the ticket, we believe that we have an excellent chance. In fact, we're fighting very hard to win in the drive for 25, to win 25 seats, to take back the House.

CROWLEY: But you know one of the things is that we know that there are some House members, some senators and some governors, obviously, who didn't come here, and in part some of them are worried that having President Obama on the top of the ticket isn't great in their particular areas.

PELOSI: That isn't so for our House members. I can't speak beyond that, but the House members are home, campaigning. In a year when your district is new and redistricting, many members who are in races want to get to know their districts and what a better way than watch President Obama deliver his acceptance speech from home with their constituents.

CROWLEY: And let me ask you this finally. This is your 17th convention --


CROWLEY: -- 13th, sorry -- 13th. When you were a little girl --


CROWLEY: Let me just ask you, what is the one thing you want to hear President Obama say tonight?

PELOSI: What he has been saying that this is a very clear choice. We can choose a path to go forward that he is suggesting or a path to take us back. It's the clearest choice we've had in a very long time in elections. And that -- how he spells that out I think is important not just for the election but for the future of our country. I know he'll do a fabulous job tonight.

CROWLEY: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, head of the House Democrats, looking, hoping maybe to have it be a majority party again come November -- back to you, Anderson.

COOPER: Candy, thanks very much. A new generation of the Kennedy family obviously is now getting involved in politics. We're going to be joined tonight by Caroline Kennedy and in a CNN exclusive, her son Jack will be joining us as well. Also former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who survived an assassination attempt is here to lead tonight's Pledge of Allegiance. A lot ahead -- stay tuned.


BLITZER: As we await the "Foo Fighters", let's go to Brianna Keilar on the floor -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. I'm standing here with an actress I'm sure you recognize, America Ferrera and you're involved with Voter Latinos, specifically a program there called America for America, trying to mobilize youth and Latino voters. How do you think President Obama can harness the Latino vote?

AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: Well I think that Latinos care about the issues that all Americans care about. We care about health care. We care about education. We care about jobs. We care about the economy and I think that it's very obvious at the moment that the Latino community is being noticed and heard. And there are 22 million Latino Americans eligible to vote in this election. And with the president's deferred action policy that he passed earlier this year, it's obvious that we are gaining in our wins.

KEILAR: Talk about that, how big of a deal was that too -- well actually, we're going to listen, if you don't mind America, to the "Foo Fighters". They're getting started here on the stage at the Democratic Convention.

FOO FIGHTERS: It's an honor to be here. I think this song makes perfect sense here tonight.







UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, you guys!

BLITZER: Wow. Foo Fighters here at the Democratic National Convention. It doesn't get any better than that.

Piers Morgan is listening. He's got a special guest, Ashley Judd. That was amazing, Piers. Go ahead.

MORGAN: Thanks, Wolf. I'm here with Ashley Judd. You were just showing us some grooves there, Ashley.

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS/TENNESSEE DELEGATE: I love to dance. It's a great day to be a Democrat.

MORGAN: I saw it the first time. But you were also caught on camera with Mary J. Blige earlier. You were caught on (INAUDIBLE) move there.

JUDD: Well, that's kind of one of the things that haunts my dreams. I'm just getting down and there's actually a secret camera. At least it was with Ambassador Hunt and Archuletas (ph). You have three of us together. You know what it looks like in our hotel room in our night gowns.

MORGAN: You're not just celebrity star dust, you're actually a Tennessee delegate. On your hand you have the word "opportunity." What's that all about?

JUDD: Well, one of the things -- I love the speeches. I think all of them have been very powerful and effective in their own way, from Tammy Duckworth, multi-generations of people in service. Mayor Castro's really struck out to me. Because he kept repeating this refrain. Opportunity breathes prosperity. Opportunity breathes prosperity.

I do believe with the president's vision that we build our economy from the middle class out and we don't slam the door on poor people coming up behind us. We give them the opportunity to work their way into our economy. And so I talk a lot about health and Obama care, which I use in a positive way. Not derisively. The numbers in Tennessee are already good for children who can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

But a lot of it boils down to opportunity. So, I pledge allegiance to my flag in the spirit of opportunity and my country. MORGAN: And how excited were you last night when Bill Clinton turned on his stuff?

JUDD: You know what? President Clinton gave us a master class in civics, in history, and the most important part was point by point he elucidated what President Obama's platform is and contrasted it with the Romney/Ryan platform. And he presented the inconvertible facts with gravity and humor. It was vintage Clinton.

MORGAN: The only problem is, if you're Barack Obama and you're listening to Bill Clinton last night, you must be thinking, how the hell do I follow that?

Now, you're a performer, what do you do?

JUDD: All he has to do is be himself. He is a good man and he is a great president. I loved Mrs. Obama's talk as well. Again, just be herself. She shared three generations of personal narrative in the story. And here's the American dream.

And every point was so salient and relevant to this election. They're all special in their own way. He's going to kill it. I mean, he's going to knock it out. His videos get standing ovations in this room. It's going to be great.

MORGAN: That is true. Finally and quickly, apparently you're a friend of Clint Eastwood's, is that right?

JUDD: Mr. Eastwood and I know one another from hanging around Hollywood.

MORGAN: Be honest, come on, the empty chair, which couch were you hiding behind?

JUDD: I was in an RV in Iowa campaigning for my candidate. So I was with women who were saying things like, I am living proof that a woman conceives in rape. And I'm terrified of Medicare becoming voucherized because of what will happen to my elderly parents. So that's what I was doing.

MORGAN: Very diplomatic. Ashley, lovely to meet you.

JUDD: So nice to meet you, too, Piers. And if the Foo Fighters aren't your thing, maybe you should have listened to the James Taylor piece earlier.

MORGAN: I like that. I don't mind the Foo Fighters. I'm more of a Mary J. Blige man myself.

JUDD: She was wonderful.

MORGAN: Lovely to see you.

JUDD: That song is, you know, we're in it together.

MORGAN: We certainly are. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: I like the Foo Fighters. All right. Piers, thanks very much.

We're standing by. The Pledge of Allegiance, the former Congresswoman Giffords is going to do that. This will be an emotional moment here at the Democratic National Convention.

Also, Hollywood's come here to Charlotte as well. The delegates, they are now getting ready to hear from the actress Scarlett Johansson.

And a turncoat Republican is here to explain why he's now supporting President Obama.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're back at the Democratic National Convention.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be giving the Pledge of Allegiance shortly. We'll of course bring that to you live.

But right now, South Carolina Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn is speaking. Let's listen in.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Twenty million jobs. And we did it with, that's right, every Republican in the Congress cursing the darkness. When President Obama was sworn into office, our economy was losing over 700,000 jobs per month. Affordable quality care for all Americans was an unfulfilled century old pursuit. Bin Laden was plotting attacks while our troops were bogged down in Iraq.

So President Obama went to work lighting candles. He promised to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Done.


He promised to end the war in Iraq. Done.


He promised to make membership in al Qaeda a high-risk occupation and begin winding down the war in Afghanistan. Done.

And he championed a Veterans Job Corps to put our returning veterans back to work.

President Obama's actions saved jobs throughout the automobile industry, 1 million jobs overall.

Now Ford and Chrysler are making record profits again. And General Motors has regained its position as number one.

(APPLAUSE) And President Obama's courage made affordable accessible quality health care a right, not a privilege.

We should not run from the term Obamacare. I am glad Obama cares. Because Obama cares, children born with diabetes can no longer be denied coverage on their parent's insurance policies. Because Obama cares, people with catastrophic illnesses can no longer be dropped from coverage when they get sick. Families will no longer have their benefits capped.

This preacher's kid is told by Romans 13:12, "The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let us cast of the works of darkness and put on the armor of light."

Let us go from this place, lighting candles all across this great country, and re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden so they can continue lighting candles and moving this country forward.


COOPER: You see a number of well-known names. Not from the political world. Celebrities who are in the hall tonight. Two will be addressing this convention in just a moment, Scarlett Johansson and actress Kerry Washington.


KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: I am so grateful to be here with you tonight. I'm here not just as an actress, but as a woman, an African- American, a granddaughter of immigrants who came through Ellis Island, a person who could not have afforded college without the help of student loans, and as one of millions of volunteers working to re- elect President Obama.


So many people have struggled so that you and I, all of us, could have a voice in this great democracy and live up to those first three words of our Constitution, "We the people." I love that phrase. I really do, so much because throughout our country's history we've expanded the meaning of that phrase to include more and more of us.

And that's what it means to move forward. And that is what this election is about. And it's why we cannot sit on the sidelines.

Look, I get it, right? Whether it's school, work, family. We've all got a lot on our minds. People say -- we've all heard people say, I'm just too busy to think about politics.

But here's the thing. You may not be thinking about politic, but politics is thinking about you.


Today, there are -- COOPER: Kerry Washington addressing the convention. Coming up, Scarlett Johansson and the Pledge of Allegiance from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

We're going to take a short break and bring all that to you live. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Coming up, Congresswoman Giffords will be giving the Pledge of Allegiance and Caroline Kennedy will also be addressing the convention. Right now on the stage, Scarlett Johansson has begun to speak. Let's listen in.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: Particularly young women who depend on public and nonprofit programs to help them survive.


I grew up in New York City.


I grew up with four siblings. My father barely made enough to get by. We moved every year and we finally settled in a housing development for lower middle income families. We went to public schools and depended on programs for school transport and lunches, as did most of my friends.

My girlfriends from high school to this day still depend on Planned Parenthood and often Medicaid for important health care services. In 2008, less than half of all eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted, less than half.

Young America, why are we only speaking with half our voice when so many issues at stake here directly affect us?


You know who I am voting for. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for. I'm here to ask you to commit to vote. It's never been easier than now.

You can go to to register, find your polling location, any other information that you need. It's that easy.

You know, earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton reminded us that we are the generation who feel our voices haven't been heard. So vote so that your voice is heard.


Over the last two days, we've been reminded of something that perhaps we forgot. What has been accomplished and what is at stake. Whether we can get health care, afford college, be guaranteed equal pay. All of these things are at great, great risk.

And that's why I'm here today, to use whatever attention I'm fortunate enough to receive to shed the spotlight on what's at stake for all of us.


You know, when I was a little girl, my mother -- she's a registered Democrat --


She would take me into the polling booth and tell me which buttons to press and when to pull the lever. Is that even legal? I don't know. I don't think so.

Anyway, I remember that excitement I felt in that secret box. And I felt like my mom's vote wasn't just about the candidate, it was about our family and all the families in our community. Just like ours. This last election, I finally got to punch those buttons for real, for me!

Man, I was so excited. I wore my "I voted" pin the whole day. It was my finest accessory.

And this year, on November 6th, I am filled with that same pride, that same enthusiasm to press the button, to re-elect President Barack Obama!


So get out there, exercise your right to vote! Thank you!


COOPER: Waiting for Gabrielle Giffords to give the Pledge of Allegiance. We're, of course, bring that to you live.

Right now, John King has a special guest, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick -- John.


Governor Patrick, welcome to our sky box.


KING: Welcome to the magic wall.

You gave a very tough speech ripping Governor Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts, the job you now hold. I want to focus on your friend, the president's challenge tonight. I want to pull out this graphic.

I want you to take a look at this. It's a wrong a place to go. Here we go. Let me find it for you here.

Let me just start. What is the president's biggest challenge tonight? He's an incumbent now. You've been a first term. You've run for president again.

What is the biggest challenge? He can't be hope and change. He has to tell the American people don't change tonight.

PATRICK: Well, frankly, it's always about hope and almost always about change in this country. That's the nature of our character. And I think this president will and ought to talk about his record and the progress he's made toward the change he was talking about four years ago and the agenda for the next four years, because again, we're a forward-looking country. We're a forward-looking people. I think we tend to an optimistic agenda. This president has one. Mitt Romney does not.

KING: When he closed his convention four years ago, these word clouds, funny things we do with technology, look at the word that comes out the biggest.

PATRICK: You love this.


KING: The biggest word was "promise."


KING: He's going to tonight saying I'll create 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016 if you give me this job again. I'll create new natural gas jobs. I'll cut the growth in college cost in half over 10 years. That's what the president will promise tonight.


KING: The Republicans are saying you promised to cut the deficit in half. You promised to change Washington.

How much harder is it, battle scarred as an incumbent to say, trust me?

PATRICK: I think what the president is saying is more than trust me. He's saying, look, this is the horizon to which I want to steer this country. I need you, all of you, to be engaged in that. Not just election time but every day. This is the president, remember, who has added 4.5 million jobs in the last 29 months. More in that time than George W. Bush did in '08.

If you consider, in particular, the kind of economic and political headwinds he's faced, it's extraordinary.

So I think what we'll see tonight is a new resolve from this president, a clarity of mission, and a call to common cause. That's exactly what I feel this country needs.

KING: And yet are you better off is a big question. President Clinton took on last night, a challenge for the president --

PATRICK: He did a great job too.

KING: It's a 50-state country, but as you know this race wit be settled in six battleground states.

If you look at this out in Colorado, unemployment's up. In Iowa, it's down a little bit. In Florida, it's pretty static.

What is your sense of the electoral map for the president? A very different map this time. He expanded it last time. It's tougher this time. It's not a big Democratic year this time. How does he convince people things are worse, when it comes to the unemployment rate, to look beyond that?

PATRICK: You know, John, when I ran for e re-election again, it's very different scale, at home in Massachusetts, it was over the course of the year 2009-2010 and we were in very, very difficult economic straits.

And you couldn't say we had recovered. But we could certainly say we had -- we were recovering. And that we were on a course to a better day. And that was because off choices that we had made.

And I think that's where this president is and that's where this country is nationally. We are making progress. No doubt about that. We have to stop acting like we're not better off than we were when the president took office.

But there's no point in seeking the second term if you don't feel you have work yet to do.

KING: The most striking part of your speech the other night was when you told Democrats who aren't here, maybe not supporting the president, to get a backbone. Interesting message from Governor Deval Patrick.

Governor, we'll see you on the trail.

Anderson, back to you.

PATRICK: Thank you.

COOPER: And we are again waiting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Let's go down to John Berman, who is down with the Arizona delegation, who are obviously very eager to see their congresswoman -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, these are her friends. These are her supporters. I've been talking to people here who know her quite well.

And they've been saying that Giffords has been itching to come to this convention. She wants to be here so badly, but she's also been nervous. She is heavy into her rehabilitation, both physical and also for her speech. She wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do here. The Pledge of Allegiance she believes is the perfect opportunity. So Gabrielle Giffords so excited for this chance and the people here in the Arizona delegation, who are dancing quite well, I might add, they are bursting with pride -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, no doubt, about that. Gloria, it will clearly be an emotional moment for many of the people in this hall.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, sure, Gabby Giffords is sort of become a symbol in many ways not only to the Democratic Party, I must say, but to the country for somebody who was -- and still is, bipartisan in nature. A great fortitude. A great survivor. Somebody just -- that people respect and admire, continue to do so.

And when she was a member of Congress, this is a woman that was respected on both sides of the aisle. I mean, close to John Boehner, worked with John Boehner and worked with Republicans always.

COOPER: I was turning around to try to see whether they were cheering and they were cheering a video of a man dancing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a dance hall out there.

COOPER: It's a dance hall right now, yes.

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Anderson, watching the difference between the Republican convention and this convention, this convention is juiced on energy. That's going to give a bigger boost when the president speaks. He's so emotional in way he connects with people.

Republican convention, it seems to me, was a bigger convention about ideas. You had the governors talking policy talk. More wonkish.

This is more about people, more about Barack Obama and belief in Barack Obama.


COOPER: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has just been introduced with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Let's watch.




COOPER: An emotional moment for many in this hall, watching Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Her determination not just to walk on her own accord out to the center of the stage and stand in front of the American flag. Her determination to speak the words, the Pledge of Allegiance. John Berman is down with the Arizona delegation.

John, I'm sure I know what the reaction in the delegation is -- John.

BERMAN: It was explosive, Anderson. There were people here shouting, "Gabby, we love you." I saw cheers. I saw high fives. Here they go. Fired up and ready to go now, they're saying.