Entries in DNC 2012 (28)


Obama Gains a Convention Boost -- But Not Among Likely Voters, Poll Finds

JEWEL SAMAD/FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Barack Obama has emerged from the nominating conventions in his best position against Mitt Romney since the spring, a 50-44 percent race among registered voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. But Romney recovers to a virtual dead heat among those most likely to vote, keeping the contest between them wide open.

Obama is the greater beneficiary of the back-to-back nominating conventions. For the first time he’s numerically ahead of Romney in trust to handle the economy, the key issue of the 2012 contest, albeit by a scant 47-45 percent. Obama’s seized a 15-point lead in trust to advance the interests of the middle class. And strong enthusiasm among his supporters is up by eight points from its pre-convention level; Obama now leads Romney by 10 points in “very” enthusiastic support.

[See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

The 50-44 percent race among registered voters compares with a 46-47 percent Obama-Romney contest immediately before the conventions; while those shifts are within the survey’s margin of sampling error, Obama is at his best vs. Romney since an ABC/Post poll in early April. That’s the case even though fewer than half, 48 percent, approve of Obama’s job performance in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

The main change has been a shift among Democrats, coalescing around their party’s nominee. Obama’s support from Democrats who are registered to vote has advanced by eight percentage points since before the conventions, to a near-unanimous 91 percent, matching his best; the number defecting to Romney has dropped by six points, to a mere five percent. Among other groups, Obama’s support has reached a new high among men, while Romney is at new lows among moderates, whites and higher-income voters, all in ABC/Post polls since April 2011.

Additionally, there’s been a shift in preferences in the eight tossup states identified by the ABC News Political Unit: Registered voters in these states now favor Obama over Romney by 54-40 percent, vs. 42-48 percent in these same states before the party conventions. And in the states with mid-levels of unemployment, it’s 51-43 percent, vs. 40-53 percent pre-convention, further suggesting some progress for Obama in his economic arguments.

As noted, though, among likely voters -- people who say they’re both registered and certain to vote -- the race squeezes shut at 49-48 percent, Obama-Romney, essentially unchanged since before the conventions (+2 Romney then, +1 Obama now, well within sampling error.) That means that Romney’s supporters express greater intention to vote -- a challenge for Obama’s ground game, and a suggestion that the race could come down to turnout.

Obama faces another reality: No incumbent with an approval rating below 50 percent in September of an election year has been re-elected in ABC/Post polls dating to the Reagan presidency. However, one came close: Not in September, but in early August 2004, George W. Bush had just 48 percent approval among registered voters. That went to 52 percent the next month, en route to his re-election. (Among other presidents, it seems that only Harry Truman won re-election with less than majority approval as the election approached, but the only pre-election data point available is a Gallup poll from late June 1948, showing 40 percent approval.)

Romney has his own challenges; beyond his lack of traction on the economy, he’s broadly seen as having failed to provide specifics of his governing plan -- in effect a negative assessment of his convention presentation. Registered voters by 63-31 percent say Romney has not provided enough details on the policies he’d pursue as president. They divide much more evenly, 46-49 percent, on whether Obama has or hasn’t given enough details on what he’d do in a second term.

Other results suggest opportunities for Romney. The “build that” theme may have legs; Romney is far more apt than Obama to be seen as understanding what it takes to build a successful small business, and registered voters by 53-35 percent think government programs make it harder, not easier, for small businesses to succeed -- a position the opposite of what Obama has expressed. At the same time, Obama and Romney run evenly in trust to support small businesses, suggesting that Romney has yet to capitalize on this issue.

More broadly, registered voters by a 13-point margin, 53-40 percent, say government programs do more to interfere with people’s lives than to improve them, a position again more in tune with Romney’s image as an advocate of smaller government than with Obama’s.

Obama’s advantages, in turn, include a persistent lead over Romney in empathy; registered voters by 50-40 percent think Obama better understands the economic problems people are having, and continue to rate him as more personally likable, by a broad and steady 61-27 percent. (When the two views are tested against each other, empathy independently predicts vote preferences to a far greater degree than does likability.)

Obama is at his best against Romney in another attribute, being seen as the stronger leader, 50-42 percent; and runs numerically ahead, albeit not significantly, in being better able to work with both sides in Congress, 46-41 percent.

On a personal level, building on his advantage in likability, registered voters by wide margins would prefer to have Obama to dinner at their home, think he is more likely than Romney to be “a loyal friend,” and would rather have Obama care for them if they were sick.

On an attribute related more to crisis management than to personality, however, voters divide much more closely on who they’d rather have as the captain of a ship in a storm -- Obama, 46 percent, or Romney, 43 percent. And this measure more strongly predicts vote preference.

In a more general question on political values, registered voters by 65-23 percent say it’s more important that they trust what a candidate says than that they agree with that candidate. And trust in what both candidates are saying is weak, but better for Obama: Registered voters by 49-42 percent say his campaign is saying things it believes to be true, rather than intentionally trying to mislead people. On Romney these numbers go negative, albeit not significantly, 43-48 percent.

Among issues, the economy reigns, and with 53 percent of registered voters disapproving of how Obama’s handled it, Romney should have chances. Barely a third say the country is better off than it was when Obama took office, and 38 percent think it would be better if Romney had been in charge.

Still, that’s not a solid breakthrough. While 43 percent say the economy’s gotten worse under Obama’s presidency, most, 57 percent, don’t think it would have done any better under Romney.

And while 20 percent say they personally have gotten better off under Obama, essentially no more, 24 percent, think they’d have done better under a Romney presidency.

Obama, moreover, has newfound competitiveness on related issues -- for the first time running about evenly with Romney in trust to handle the deficit, and scoring 50-43 percent against him in trust to handle taxes -- not a statistically significant margin given the sample size, but still a slight improvement, and Obama’s best numerically this year. In general, it’s a problem for Republicans when a Democrat is competitive on taxes and the deficit.

Beyond the economy, Obama has regained a significant, 11-point advantage over Romney in trust to handle terrorism, up from a scant four-point gap in the spring. Obama has a 13-point lead in trust to handle international issues, an 11-point lead on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage and his widest advantage, 21 points, in trust to address women’s issues. (Obama’s lead on women’s issues is similar among women and men alike). The candidates are rated more closely on health care generally and Medicare specifically, but the latter is an issue on which Obama’s moved into a numerical edge, if not a significant one.

Vote preferences among liberals remain similar to pre-convention levels (84 percent for Obama); but he’s doing better with moderates, 56-33 percent, Obama’s best in this group since May and a new low for Romney. Romney, additionally, has slipped to 73 percent support among conservatives, numerically his lowest since February; Obama’s 25 percent support among conservatives is his best since February, and up 9 points from just before the conventions.

As mentioned, Obama has improved to a near-unanimous 91 percent support among Democrats, up from 83 percent before the conventions and matching his best; that occurred chiefly among Democratic men, who also moved in their preference for Obama vs. Romney on the economy.

Romney, for his part, has a similar 89 percent support among Republicans, essentially unchanged from two weeks ago. The two run evenly among independents, 46-48 percent, Obama-Romney, similar to the ABC/Post pre-convention poll.

Thirty-two percent of registered voters in this poll identify themselves as Democrats, 26 percent as Republicans and 37 percent as independents, continuing a record four-year preponderance of independents in partisan preferences. The split is almost identical among likely voters, 33-27-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents. Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 7 points in the 2008 election.

Among reasons for the closer race between likely voters vs. all registered voters is that Obama does better among people with lower household incomes, $50,000 or less, and they’re less likely to say they’re certain they’ll vote. Certainty to vote also is lower in related groups, including unmarried and younger adults, and racial minorities. And Romney does a bit better among independents who are likely to vote, with 54 percent support, vs. 48 percent among all registered voters.

Finally, just 13 percent of registered voters say they might change their minds, down from 19 percent in July. But an indirect measure of movability -- based on the anxiousness voters feel about their candidates and their interest in additional information -- finds that more, 22 percent, remain persuadable, including about equal numbers of Obama and Romney supporters alike.

That result suggests that opportunity remains for both candidates to change the current dynamic. But the door may not stay open for long: at 32 percent, the number who are interested in more information about the candidates has dropped by 9 points from its pre-convention level.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Calls Obama Speech ‘Disappointing’

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(ORANGE CITY, Iowa) -- In his first public campaign event in five days, Mitt Romney gave a scathing review of President Obama’s convention speech, referring to it as “extraordinarily, surprisingly disappointing.”

“I was surprised by his address because I expected him to confront the major challenges of the last four years, which is an economy which has not produced the jobs that the American people need,” said Romney, who said that he had read, but didn’t watch, Obama’s speech last night.

“I expected him to talk about 23 million people, or at least to talk about the unemployed in America. I expected him to talk about the number of families having a hard time making ends meet. The number of middle income families who have seen the cost of health care insurance go up, the cost of food go up, the cost of gasoline go up, even as their incomes have gone down, I expected him to talk about these things,” said Romney.

“No. Instead it was a whole series of new promises that he ultimately won’t be able to keep because the policies he believes in and the direction he’s pulling will not make America stronger. If President Obama were reelected we would have four more years of the last four years and the American people are going to say no to that.”

“Now you might have expected the president of the United States to lay out a plan of what he would do to get the economy going again, and get people working again and he didn’t do that last night,” Romney continued. “Again, that was surprising to me. I laid out the things that I’m going to do to get this economy going.”

Romney, speaking in a state with one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, said that while he’s "trying to look beyond” the bad news from Friday morning’s jobs report, it was still “simply unimaginable.”

“The president said that by this time we’d be at 5.4 percent unemployment … instead, we’re at about eight percent. And you know the difference that that makes in how many people would be working in America? Nine million people. Had he been able to keep his promise, had his, had his policies worked as he thought they would, there’d be nine million more Americans working,” said Romney.

Romney heads next to the swing state of New Hampshire, where Obama just wrapped up a campaign even of his own.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Accepts Nomination, Says His Plan Leads to a 'Better Place'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- President Obama, greeted by tumultuous cheers of Democratic Party stalwarts, promised to lead America to a "better place" Thursday night if voters agree to follow the "harder" and "longer" path he has mapped to restore the country's economy and the sense of hope and opportunity.

"America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now," he told his party's convention. "Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together."

The president took the podium after being affectionately introduced by his wife Michelle Obama, who starred on the first night of the Democrats' convention in Charlotte, N.C.

[Read a transcript of President Obama's speech here.]

Obama was careful to strike a delicate balance, infusing voters with hope while remaining realistic about the challenges ahead, and sensitive to those Americans still batted by a lengthy recession and slow recovery.

His tone was hopeful and forward looking, a reflection of the reality of his record: unemployment remains stubbornly above eight percent and 67 percent of Americans think the country is "on the wrong track."

WATCH President Obama's full speech:

Obama's speech comes four years after he promised the nation an administration of hope and change, and he suggested that his promise has been battered but not beaten.

"That hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock," he said.

At another point he said, "I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. The times have changed, and so have I."

The president looked forward to what his second administration will look like, laying out a series of goals for the manufacturing, energy, education, national security sectors, and for the deficit.

He promised to create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years and 600,000 new jobs in the natural gas sector by the end of the decade.

He also promised to cut in half the growth of college tuition costs over the next 10 years and invest in the economy money no longer being spent to execute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties," he said. "It will be a choice between two different paths for America."

Obama positioned himself as the experienced candidate, tested by war and proven in foreign policy.

"In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven," he said. "Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have... al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead," he said to cheers.

Obama said Americans had a choice on the economy. "We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America," he said.

Vice President Biden spoke before the president, praising Obama's "judgment and vision" and attacking Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Biden stuck with a theme of the convention that Obama rescued the auto industry and was on path to fix the economy.

Taking a swipe at Romney for saying Obama should have let the car companies go bankrupt, Biden said, "I just don't think he understood what saving the automobile industry meant to all of America. I think he saw it the Bain way. Balance sheets."

He also retold the story of how the president considered the risks and gave the "Go" order to get al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, one of the clear triumphs of the Obama administration.

[Read the transcript from Vice President Biden's speech here.]

The president's enthusiasm Thursday night may have been bolstered by a Wall Street rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed to four-year highs Thursday after the European Central Bank announced a plan that may provide some long-term assistance to struggling European markets.

Despite that ray of political sunshine, Obama's message was starkly different and less lofty in scope compared to the heady promises he made in 2008. Then, before he was left to contend with the realities of the White House, Obama promised to usher in a new era of bipartisanship, get unemployment below eight percent, open negotiations with Iran, and bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama advisers on Thursday tempered expectations, saying a single acceptance speech could not necessarily widen the president's lead in a tightly contested election.

"Listen, this is a very tight race," David Plouffe, architect of Obama's 2008 campaign and a White House adviser, told Good Morning America Thursday.

"We've always believed that there's very little elasticity in this election. I don't think you should expect a big bounce. I think this is a race where we've got a small but important lead into battleground states," he said.

"It's going to be very, very close all the way out, but I think the Republicans had an opportunity last week to lay out for the American people what they would do for the middle class. Our sense is that they missed the mark, so we think we're making a lot of progress this week. But again, you're not going to see big bounces in this election. I think for the next 61 days it's going to remain tight as a tick," he said.

A number of party loyalists and activists, from actress Scarlett Johansson to Caroline Kennedy, took addressing the arena. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, however, fired up the crowd by saying that Obama's bailout saved the U.S. auto industry along with one million American jobs.

She counted off in a rising voice how many jobs were saved in many of the battleground states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In contrast, she reminded the crowd that Mitt Romney said the auto companies should have been allowed to go bankrupt, and she portrayed him as an out-of-touch millionaire.

"He loves his cars so much they even have their own elevator," she said referring to building plans at a Romney home that include an elevator for his car collection.

"In Romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft," she roared.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden Emphasizes Loyalty to Obama, Reaches Out to Middle Class

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Vice President Joe Biden passionately pushed out his now-famous, bumper-sticker catchphrase at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!"

In a speech that had Democrats on the edge of their seats, wondering if the gaffe-prone vice president would make another embarrassing blunder, Biden stayed relatively close to his prepared remarks.

[Read the transcript of Vice President Joe Biden's speech.]

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you what I think you already know, that, I watch it up close, bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama and, time and time again, I witnessed him summon it," Biden said. "This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel, and because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you've heard me say the past six months."

WATCH Biden's full speech:

 He then delivered the now-familiar line: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive!"

In more frank terms than first lady Michelle Obama or former President Bill Clinton, Biden contrasted Mitt Romney's upbringing with Obama's and his own. Both his and Romney's fathers worked in the automobile industry.

"I'm sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did," Biden said. "But what I don't understand, what I don't think he understood, I don't think he understood that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry, what it meant to all of America."

Biden said Romney saw the auto bailout "the Bain way ... in terms of balance sheets and write-offs."

He cast Romney as out of touch with the American worker.

The video shown before Biden's speech depicted those Americans Biden sought to distance from the Republican presidential nominee -- construction workers, electricians and health care workers -- all part of Biden's connection to the middle class. The starting sequence appeared to be through the window of a train -- a throwback to Biden's love of the locomotive industry. He has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he has taken Amtrak between Delaware and Washington, D.C., more than 7,000 times.

Throughout his speech, Biden cast himself as Obama's sidekick.

"One of the things I learned about Barack is the enormity of his heart. And I think he learned about me the depth of my loyalty to him," Biden said, pausing for applause. "And there's another thing, another thing that has bound us together these past four years. We had a pretty good idea what all those families, all you Americans in trouble were going through, in part because our own families had gone through similar struggles."

Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who spoke at the convention earlier in the day, is an Iraq war veteran. At the end of his speech, Biden reiterated the Obama campaign's commitment to supporting the troops.

"The only truly sacred obligation we have is to prepare those who we send to war and care for them when they come home from war," Biden said. "I want to acknowledge, as we should every night, the incredible debt we owe to the families of those 6,473 fallen angels and those 49,746 wounded, thousands critically, thousands who will need our help for the rest of their lives. Folks...we must never, ever forget their sacrifice and always keep them in our care and in our prayers."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Julian Castro Says Country ‘Better Off Now’ After Four Years of Obama

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- DNC keynote speaker and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says the country is “better off now” than when President Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009.

“Folks ought to remember that when he took office -- and we’re talking about being on the brink of a great depression, losing between 750,000 and 800,000 jobs that month of January 2009 -- the economy was in a freefall,” Castro said. “Nobody is saying that we’re where we need to be, but it is a world away -- a lot of progress from where we were.”

ABC News’ senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl interviewed Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, a candidate for the House of Representatives, on ABC News/Yahoo News’ Democratic National Convention show in Charlotte on Thursday evening.

Castro urged Obama to “not back away from the idea that the nation is in a better place.”

“Folks should remember that there were very strong headwinds because he inherited an economy that was in a freefall,” he said. “The nation is lifting up. It’s rising, it’s progressing, but that’s slow progress, but it is progress.”

“Folks traditionally start paying attention more to the election after Labor Day,” Castro continued. “I’m confident that you’re going to have folks out there who are enthusiastic, who have seen the progress that we have made, believe in the president and that he’s going to win on November 6th.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dems Look Ahead to 2016 at DNC in Charlotte, NC

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- It’s never too early to talk 2016.

Democrats may be launching President Obama’s re-election push in Charlotte, N.C., but behind the scenes Charlotte also signals the unofficial kickoff of the 2016 presidential primary, with delegates from key primary states getting wined and dined by potential candidates testing the very early waters.

This week’s festivities offered potential Democratic presidential candidates a chance for some coveted face time and schmoozing with activists from important early primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, who are attending the Democratic convention as delegates and alternates.

Relationships are everything in these early primary states.

The Iowa delegation was perhaps the belle of the ball by 2016 standards, getting plenty of attention by Democratic up-and-comers eyeing a run.

Iowa’s delegation heard from such high-profile Democrats as Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, who’s also chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, who all spoke at delegation gatherings. All three could conceivably vie for the party’s presidential nomination in four years.

“These are the activists who are here as delegates, and it’s a way to sort of test the water,” said Peggy Whitworth, a delegate from Cedar Rapids. “I don’t think these people are necessarily running, just getting a feel for the thing.”

“Cory Booker was very passionate. He connected with them, because he shared personal stories,” said LaNore Guillory, a delegate from Clinton. “The mayor of Los Angeles was more cautious. He was very well-spoken.”

Charlotte also offers states like Iowa the chance to remind presidential aspirants of their importance as early states. With limited time to offer, Iowa invited a roster of big names to address its delegation.  Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, who spoke at the Time Warner Cable Arena Tuesday night, was invited but did not attend. Patrick spoke to party activists at their Hall of Fame Dinner and state convention June 15 and 16. Villaraigosa, for his part, will address the state party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner Oct. 20.

New Hampshire also heard from Booker, who spoke to the delegation over breakfast Thursday morning.  Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana spoke at the same event. The delegation also heard from Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“New Hampshire has been doing phenomenal job of vetting potential presidential candidates for the last half-century,” Torie Norelli, the Democratic leader of the New Hampshire House, said. “We ask the tough questions and will for 2016.”

Norelli said she found many of the potential 2016 candidates who came to speak with the delegation on the sidelines were inspirational.

“Some may decide to run, and some may not,” she said.

"Clearly, it’s a chance to meet people and make contacts and give speeches,” Gary Richardson, a delegate from Concord, N.H., said. “Great speakers, great inspiration."

Asked if any of the speakers he heard from this week stood out as an early leaders of the potential 2016 pack, Richardson mentioned Booker and Schweitzer but would not pick one.

“There’s so many choices,” he said, smiling. “I wouldn’t pick one.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Gives President 'Fresh and Honest Feedback' on Speeches

ABC News (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- First lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night energized delegates and drew praise from pundits, but it was the approval of a certain 11-year-old that surprised her the most.

"I called home, talked to Sasha, the youngest, who never compliments me on anything and she said, 'You know, mom, you gave a really good speech last night. All my friends told me to tell you what a good job you did,'" Obama told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. "I was like, 'That's so sweet, honey.' So, you know, hey, I got ... a compliment from an 11-year-old."

Obama said her husband also told her how proud he was of her speech and she revealed that he knew what was coming because he read it prior to the convention.

However, Thursday night, when President Obama takes the stage, there is a possibility Michelle Obama will not have read the text in advance because she wants to be able to give a genuine answer when he walks up to her after the speech and asks, "How did I do?"

"One of the things I don't like to do is read or hear his speech beforehand, because I like to hear it fresh," Obama said. "I always like to give him a fresh critique like, 'That really moved me,' or, 'This part, I wasn't clear on it.' So I try to give him really fresh and honest feedback."

In terms of the job her husband has done, she told Sawyer she can honestly say the country is better off than it was four years ago.

"We're growing to understand just how much we've accomplished -- ended two wars, our economy was on the brink of collapse, we're now consistently creating jobs," she said. "Our grandparents can afford their medicine. Our kids can stay on our health care until they're 26 years old. I could go on and on and on. This is what I'm doing nearly every day when I go out on the campaign trail."

"As President Clinton said, 'Is Barack Obama satisfied?' Absolutely not. Is anyone in this arena satisfied, absolutely not. We have more to do, but we're on the right path. And we need some patience and persistence to get the rest of the job done."

As the first lady spoke on Tuesday, her daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, were watching at the White House with President Obama. The White House released a photo of them watching the speech together and many were struck by how quickly the girls are growing up.

"They've gotten so big. I think that's what Barack and I look at," Obama said. "We don't look at the moment. We really measure things by how much the girls have grown."

Despite her professed fears about raising the kids in the White House, she is "pleasantly surprised at how normal they are."

"I did worry what this life would be like for them," she said. "Could I keep them normal? Could I ... instill in them the values that we learned growing up -- humility and decency and treating people with respect? And they are wonderful young women. And we are so proud of them."

"They are level-headed, they work hard, they care about people and, you know, they don't take their position for granted," she said. "But they definitely don't in any way exploit it or, you know, or show any signs of entitlement. They're just good, solid kids."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Should Address Poverty at DNC, Says the Rev. Jesse Jackson

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he believes President Obama can regain some of his wayward 2008 voters if he takes on a big issue -- poverty in America.

“I’m convinced he must address poverty and violence in a different way,” said Jackson.

The civil rights leader, Baptist minister and former presidential candidate said there are 50 million Americans living in poverty today who cannot make ends meet and face malnutrition.

Jackson wants the president to focus more on poverty on the campaign trail.

“Why not revisit Lyndon Johnson’s steps when he kicked off the war on poverty in Appalachia?” asked Jackson, adding that doing so would put “a white face on poverty and de-racialize the debate.”

He could speak about a middle class that’s now poor, coal miners that have lung disease and miners dying from lack of workplace safety, Jackson said.

Speaking to the president’s past four years in office, Jackson said Obama brought the country back from the edge of a depression. And though “forward” is a fine slogan for the president’s re-election campaign, he offered an update, one that borrows from the reverend’s 1988 Democratic Convention speech, and plays off the “hope” and “change” catchwords of Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“Keep hope alive,” Jackson said with a smile.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. John Lewis Evokes Tears at DNC with Story of Forgiveness

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Just as the night’s speeches were beginning Thursday evening, one of the speakers brought DNC delegates to tears with a memory of reconciliation.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the civil rights activist, told the story of what happened almost 50 years after he was beaten by an angry mob in Rock Hill, S.C.:

“A few years ago, a man from Rock Hill, inspired by President Obama’s election, decided to come forward,” Lewis said. “He came to my office in Washington and said, ‘I am one of the people who beat you. I want to apologize. Will you forgive me?’ I said, ‘I accept your apology.’ He started crying. He gave me a hug. I hugged him back, and we both started crying. This man and I don’t want to go back; we want to move forward.”

Lewis and that man, Elwin Wilson, appeared on Good Morning America in September 2009.


“I never thought this would happen,” Lewis said on GMA. “It says something about the power of love, the power of grace and the power of people to be able to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Charles Schumer Says Focus on Middle Class Will Propel Dems to November Victory

Win McNamee/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer says that the Democratic Party’s focus on the middle class will result in victory up and down the ticket in the November election, but that it was up to President Obama to “seal that deal” Thursday night during his speech at the Democratic National Convention.

ABC News’ senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl interviewed Schumer on ABC News/Yahoo News’ DNC show in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday evening.

“Middle-class people, I think they realize that [Mitt] Romney is not for them because of his narrowness, but they want to make sure that Barack Obama is focused on them with things that will make a difference,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “They know he tried, but they also know that it didn’t do as well as [Obama or his supporters] would have liked. Some of that is because of obstructionism among Republicans, but they want to make sure that it isn’t simply because he doesn’t have good ideas for the future.”

Schumer predicted that Obama will defeat Mitt Romney “by more than people think” this fall.

“I’d say at least two percent [on the popular vote]. More than people think,” Schumer predicted. “Electorally, he’ll do better than the popular vote because where he’ll go down in the popular vote is the anger at him in the red states.”

Asked whether he sees Democrats losing any seats in the Senate, the New York Democrat was bullish, predicting that there will not be a shift in the balance of the upper chamber, where Democrats currently hold a 53-47 seat advantage over Republicans.

“We’re going to keep about 53 seats,” Schumer said. “We’re doing so much better in places that people never imagined. Nevada, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, Missouri. It’s going much better than we ever imagined.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio