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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Democratic National Convention
Aired September 5, 2012 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: -- as he has before. But is there a risk he'll upstage the president?
Now CNN turns the spotlight on one of the biggest platforms in American politics. This is the Democratic National Convention. This is the night delegates have their say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join with me. We will elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America.
ANNOUNCER: This is America's choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We'd like to welcome viewers in the United States and around the world to this, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tonight, Bill Clinton will take on what he calls the Republicans' winner-take-all society. He'll defend President Obama's record and nominate him for a second term.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Also in this hour, we're going to hear from someone who's uniquely qualified to compare Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, secretary of state and former first lady, Hillary Clinton, who spoke exclusively with our Jessica Yellin. We're going to hear from her ahead in this hour.
BLITZER: Our CNN correspondents Brianna Keilar, John Berman, Kate Bolduan, they are all down on the arena floor where things are getting a little messy. A little while ago when the delegates took a voice vote to put references to God and Jerusalem back in the party platform.
Our Candy Crowley is stationed above the speaker's podium where Bill Clinton will give tonight's speech nominating the president.
All of this unfolding. First, probably no one knows Bill Clinton and Barack Obama better than Hillary Clinton. Jessica Yellin interviewed the secretary of state for a CNN documentary, "OBAMA REVEALED." And Jessica is here.
Jessica, that was a pretty good interview. JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Wolf.
You know, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are two very different kinds of politicians. They're pretty known for being so transactional and intimate with other people. Barack Obama more aloof. But nobody knows him better, as you say, than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I asked her about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I mean I have had this unique experience of having been married to a president, worked with this president, and I know that the easy decisions never get to the president's desk. If they are easy, somebody else is going to decide them before they arrive.
YELLIN: You meet with the president regularly, and you watch how he makes his decisions. He -- how do you describe his decision-making process?
CLINTON: He does it by really reading extensively other people's opinions. He burrows in to situations he's interested in, he seeks out information. Something that, you know, a prior president wouldn't have been able to do. He has the -- the tool of being able to cast a wide net through the Internet, which is a great -- a great opportunity for him, because he's discriminating.
YELLIN: Former President Clinton, your husband, was this great transactional politician, who talked to everybody.
YELLIN: And you mentioned President Obama is an Internet guy.
YELLIN: What does that -- what does that say, that he's more at a distance in a way?
CLINTON: No, I don't think so. They're different personalities. I don't think there's any really benefit in comparing them. They are both really, really smart.
You know that is something that kind of goes without saying, having watched both my husband and President Obama in action. And they are both very committed to doing the best job that they can for the country. It's -- it's a great blessing that I've had to see them up close in the way that I have experienced. Because I wish that I could bring the entire country in to our meetings. You know, put them all in some virtual way into the Oval Office and just watch the president.
You know, asking those thoughtful questions, pressing him, what about this? And was that raised? And what do you think?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: So what was fascinating is when I spoke to historians and political observers, everybody wanted -- they all wanted to make the point how different President Obama is in his style from President Clinton, because he is a leader as opposed to somebody who needs to reach out to people more for advice. But when I pressed Secretary Clinton on it, you could see she really didn't want -- did not want to go there too much.
BLITZER: Did not want to go there at all.
Let's go to Kate Bolduan right now. She's on the floor.
Kate, you got some information on the secretary of state. What she's up to on this important night.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's very interesting, Wolf. While her husband will be taking the podium, she is headlining -- the headlining speech this evening. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be about a half a world away. My colleague Jill Dougherty has some great reporting here, saying that Hillary Clinton at the time of -- at the time of former President Clinton's speech will actually be in East Timor doing her job as chief diplomat for the United States.
And an interesting point, Wolf. There has been a lot of kind of speculation or at least talk of why is Hillary Clinton not at this political -- why is Hillary Clinton not at this political convention? Well, Jill Dougherty is reporting that legally she can't be here as chief diplomat of the United States. As a secretary of state, she is in a nonpolitical position. So she is not -- not legally supposed to be at a political convention, such as this.
So she's half a world away and Jill Dougherty, of course, asked the question, will the secretary of state be tuning in, able to tune in to her husband's speech? And her staff is not tipping their hand if she will be able to tune in. But I'm sure she probably is pretty well versed on exactly what her husband is going to be saying this evening -- Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you very much. Here with our panel, David Gergen, Ari Fletcher, Donna Brazile, Gloria Borger, John King.
A lot to discuss. It really is interesting, David, and you worked in the Clinton White House. I mean Hillary Clinton is in a unique position. Probably unlike anybody else. I mean to have been first lady, secretary of state, there's no one who has filled that role. Those multiple roles.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, no, no. And she's a woman to boot. It's very like Ginger Rogers. You have to dance backwards with heels on.
COOPER: Right. GERGEN: The -- and that's why I think she has credibility, when she said I've been there. I -- you know, I was married to one and I worked closely with the other.
COOPER: Their relationship too is also interesting. I mean obviously she ran against him, she lost against him.
COOPER: And yet is working in his White House. What is their relationship really like? Do you know?
GERGEN: I think it is -- listen, I think they have a lot of trust, but they're not close. It is much more professional relationship than a relationship of friendship. I think that's fair to say. And there is some feeling on the part of her, not unlike what we saw with Colin Powell in the George W. Bush years, that the White House is a little wary of her that she -- her popularity exceeds out of the president's.
You know, president -- White Houses are never happy with that situation. And that to some degree, there's a feeling that they've -- you know, if anything big comes along, he gets the credit, she always has to sort of play second fiddle. I think that's fair to say.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But there's another layer to her relationship, which is, that she ran against President Obama and they were fierce competitors and I think, to your point, David, the staff, her staff, his staff, still have tension.
BORGER: I think between the two of them, it's fine, it's professional.
GERGEN: That's right.
BORGER: I think he does listen to Hillary Clinton. Doesn't always take her advice, but does listen to her, but I think there's still a great relationship --
GERGEN: Yes. But on the bin Laden, they really -- for example.
GERGEN: They really erased her from that picture. She -- her role in that was really minimized by the insider.
COOPER: Do you think in 2016, do you think she wants to run for president in 2016?
GERGEN: I think she doesn't know. You know, clearly people around her would like her to do that. I did talk to one person that had been working with Hillary today, who said, you know, she -- she doesn't want -- you know, people who ran sort of said do you really want to do that again? You were so popular, then you got in the trenches and ran. And your popularity went down like that. Now you've built it up, do you really want to go down the toboggan ride through politics again? But there an awful lot of people around her who would like her to run again. And I think there's a widespread feeling that if she run on the ticket today against Romney this would not be close.
COOPER: A lot of people, once they've been on that toboggan, they don't want to get off.
GERGEN: That's true, too.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Once you get the bug, it's very difficult.
COOPER: Do you think?
BRAZILE: Look, I think they have a remarkable relationship. And I think it's based on the fact that President Obama really looks to her for advice on foreign policy and, you know, perhaps other issues. They spend time, they gather, have lunches and there are some private times when they have an opportunity to just -- I often call it chew the fat. Their staffs work very closely on many of these major issues.
As you well know, foreign policy has been one of the areas where President Obama has excelled and demonstrated leadership, and let me just say this, on the 2016 note, if she decides to run, I think she really wants some breathing space, some time to figure out what it is she wants to do, she would make an exceptional president. And I for one believe that -- the 2008 contest was so close, it could have been decided by maybe 30, 40, superdelegates and she'd won. It was that close. So she is an extraordinary woman.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A fascinating point to me. I think she is more likely to run in 2016 if President Obama loses in 2012.
COOPER: Really? Why is that?
KING: Because if he is out of office there will be pressure on her to move around and step into a leadership role in the party. And she could do that if he is out of office. If he is reelected, if he's in the White House, Joe Biden is the vice president, the heir- apparent, even though he'd be 70 years old after this election, it's much harder for her to be out in Iowa, to be in New Hampshire. Plus she'll get comfortable in retirement like David said.
Want to get up for a second, though, because Bill Clinton is the speaker tonight. Not Hillary. But she'll make her decision down the road. Want to show you I think is a fascinating contrast. The difference between these two presidents politically. Here is the map, in 2008, President Obama won a convincing victory, 53 percent of the vote. A huge electoral college win. But look at this right in here. I'm just going to circle an area of the country right here. All red, all red in the border states and southern states, Missouri down there. Even in the big Democratic year, President Obama unsuccessful here.
Let's look at Bill Clinton's last win in 1996. Look at this. Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia. In this part of the country, the Clinton-Gore ticket was able to succeed. Now I should note in every race both times Bill Clinton won, a Democrat, 50, always had Ross Perot on the ballot, and in the '92 election, Ross Perot got closer to 20 percent of the vote. But a very, very different piece of the electorate, a very different piece of the electoral college.
Let's come back to '08 now. Again, just to remind you, the country has changed a lot also. You have a more liberal in Barack Obama than you did in Bill Clinton. With the Democratic Leadership Council. When Bill Clinton takes the stand tonight, this is who he is trying to talk to. Clinton versus Obama, their coalitions are different. This is how whites with no college education voted.
Again, even with Ross Perot on the ticket in 1992 and 1996 Bill Clinton won more of the non-college white vote than Barack Obama, so when you think about Michigan, you think about Wisconsin, you think of other key battleground states, that is the electorate, those are the people Bill Clinton is talking to tonight. With even with -- again, in a three-way race with Ross Perot on the ballot, Bill Clinton still ran stronger among non-college whites than Barack Obama did in a big Democratic year in 2008.
Anderson, that is the challenge tonight for Bill Clinton, try to reach out to those people, try to convince them, yes, the economy is tough, the economy is tough, but give this guy a chance.
COOPER: It's going to be a fascinating speech to watch. A lot of people are listening very, very closely. Analyzing every sentence, as I'm sure we will as well.
A former White House insider says that whether it's in basketball, politics, or anything else, President Barack Obama does not like to lose, and the Obama campaign is breaking out -- well, some star power, including actress Eva Longoria. We'll talk to her ahead.
BLITZER: The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, is speaking out about her mom, Ann Richards.
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND: She believed -- she believed that the American dream wasn't meant for just a few. It promised opportunity for everyone.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Well, just a couple of years before she passed, mom had the chance to become friends with a young senator named Barack Obama.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And she saw in him -- she saw in him the promise of the future and the promise of America. The promise of an America that always moves forward. That's the America we believe in. That's the future we'll be voting for this November.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
That's right. Because as women, as women, we've come way too far to turn back and we won't.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we won't. No, we won't.
RICHARDS: Because, you know, mom wouldn't have stood for it, and neither will we.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
So this November, we're going to keep moving forward. And we're going to re-elect President Barack Obama. Thank you. Thank you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BLITZER: And so you have it. There she is, the daughter of the former Texas governor, Ann Richards, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood delivering a very, very rousing statement in support of abortion rights for women.
Now let's go up, check out what's happening elsewhere here on the floor. Some Hollywood stars are here tonight to show their support for the president of the United States.
Our own Piers Morgan is upstairs with Eva Longoria.
You're the lucky guy tonight, Piers.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT: You know, I get all the terrible jobs at CNN, Wolf. And this is one of the worst I've ever had.
EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: Thank you for having me.
MORGAN: Before we go any further, can we see your heels, please?
LONGORIA: It's not about fashion here.
MORGAN: Now, Wolf, you don't get many of these (INAUDIBLE). Look at the size of these.
LONGORIA: You took off my shoes.
MORGAN: Absolutely extraordinary.
LONGORIA: I have to stand taller here. There's a lot of important people.
MORGAN: We're all going to be watching you're wearing a Victoria Beckham dress.
LONGORIA: Yes. But tomorrow I'm wearing an American designer when I am speaking.
MORGAN: It's a big night tomorrow. You're going to be addressing this very convention here, just before Barack Obama the president. How do you feel about that?
LONGORIA: I'm excited, I'm nervous. It's important. As one of the co-chairs for the re-election campaign, I was honored that they ask me. I've been speaking to two big communities that are important to the president, to the women's community and the Latino community. And so I'll be speaking on those issues. A little narrative about my American dream and how I'm living proof of that, and it's going to be exciting. The energy here is incredible.
MORGAN: Well, certainly last night, the San Antonio mayor.
MORGAN: You're from San Antonio.
LONGORIA: San Antonio mayor.
MORGAN: Mayor was Julian Castro.
MORGAN: Who made an amazing speech.
MORGAN: And meet him afterwards with his twin brother.
MORGAN: Remarkably impressive people.
MORGAN: Do you know them?
LONGORIA: I do know them.
MORGAN: What do you think of them?
LONGORIA: I love them, Julian. And Joaquin Castro have been active their entire lives in politics. Their mother was a civil rights activist and it was -- it was so amazing to be here in this arena, witnessing history. It's the first time there was a Hispanic keynote at the Democratic National Convention. So that says a lot about the respect that the Democratic Party is paying to this -- to this market and this vote.
MORGAN: Now I want to take you back to a moment of great political history. A moment that everyone that witnessed it, will never, ever forget. And can always remember where they were when it happened. The moment Clint Eastwood began talking to a chair, pretending it was Barack Obama.
MORGAN: Where were you when you watched it?
LONGORIA: Where was I at that moment?
MORGAN: And what were you honestly thinking as a fellow actor?
LONGORIA: You know, I have yet to see it. I have seen excerpts of it on CNN. But you know it's interesting because people keep comparing us because we're both from the entertainment industry. And he had a very different narrative.
I'm -- you know, a co-chair for the reelection campaign. I've been on the ground, I've been all over the United States, speaking not only on behalf of the president and his record, but aggregating voters, mobilizing voters, So I come from a very different position than Clint Eastwood.
MORGAN: You won't be bringing out any chairs tomorrow?
LONGORIA: I won't.
MORGAN: Presenting to Mitt Romney.
LONGORIA: I won't. I won't be.
MORGAN: I mean, it was awkward, wasn't it?
LONGORIA: It was interesting, yes. I mean, like I said, I haven't seen the whole thing so it's not fair for e to judge it but I haven't seen it.
MORGAN: Barack Obama and a lot of the delegates making a big play for not just Latino vote but the women vote. You are a female Latina, how is he doing in getting to both of those groups. Latinos are 50 million plus in America.
LONGORIA: Yes, you know -- MORGAN: It's becoming one of the fastest growing parts of the population we have.
MORGAN: What do you think? As a female, is he doing enough for women and for Latinos?
LONGORIA: Yes. Well, let me talk about being a female. And people keep addressing the female vote as if we're a special interest group. We're half of the country. So it's very important that these issues about moving women's rights forward and keeping them and the president -- moving the country forward, protecting women's rights, whether it's health care or access to health care, education, higher education, the economy, jobs.
We have the same concerns that every other American has and so Obama has a very, very good record with women. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act that gives us equal pay for equal work. He's, you know, supported small businesses, which many women open up. Latinas open up small businesses six times the national average. And he's given many tax cuts to small businesses.
And so I just find that that argument, that's a very clear choice for women in this election.
MORGAN: When you see the Republican platform actually had the abortion, for example. I know you're Catholic, you're pro-choice. In there she said that there are no exceptions for us.
MORGAN: Nothing, not for rape, not for incest, not for the health of the mother, what do you feel about that?
LONGORIA: It's -- it's archaic in the sense that I find that the government should not be making that choice. And it's very interesting that the Republican platform is for smaller government, but yet they want to be in the bedroom, and I don't understand that argument. If you want less government, then why do you want to be involved in a decision that should be made by my doctor, by my spouse, by my family, or by myself, for my health concerns. I mean there's a lot of circumstances that, you know, where abortions are not used as birth control. That is not what we're talking about.
MORGAN: Final question. A lot of people are watching this thinking she is a smart cookie, not just the pretty face from "Desperate Housewives." Any plans to get into politics seriously?
LONGORIA: Oh, my gosh, you know what, I'm having so much fun. I'm a student of the process, I really love the process. I'm having a lot of fun. Just being a surrogate for President Obama. I think the question everybody keeps asking is, are we better off than we were four years ago? And for the Hispanic community, I would say yes. I mean, because he's doubled the Pell grant, 150,000 more Latinos can go to college. Because he's passed Affordable Care Act, over nine million Hispanics now have access to affordable health care. There are so many things that he's been doing, and I'm very proud to be out there on the front lines. I've been to Florida, Colorado, a lot of swing states, talking to Americans and being on the ground and doing that grassroots organizing, so I really like that. That's where I want to be on and where I'm comfortable.
MORGAN: Well, best of luck tomorrow night.
LONGORIA: Thank you.
MORGAN: It's been a great pleasure as usual to see you and also your heels.
LONGORIA: Thank you.
MORGAN: Back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Piers, before you let her go, a lot of our viewers want to know, are they the Manolo Blahniks, those red soled heels?
MORGAN: Very good question. I'm sorry I failed you on the details.
MORGAN: What are --
LONGORIA: They are Louis Vuitton.
MORGAN: Louis Vuitton.
BLITZER: Louis Vuitton. What do I know.
MORGAN: Louis Vuitton. You should know all about that, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Well, they were nice shoes. Thanks very much. Thanks to Eva.
LONGORIA: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: John Berman is with another actress, Patricia Arquette.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I like how you say, Wolf, a lot of viewers wanted to know when you know deep down inside you were the one wondering there.
BERMAN: I'm here with Patricia Arquette. TV star, film star. There are all a lot of actress and celebrities here. But you are here for a specific reason. PATRICIA ARQUETTE, ACTRESS: Yes, I'm here with the Creative Coalition, and we're a non-partisan group. A lot of our members were at the RNC last week and I'm one of the delegation here today to talk about arts and arts funding and how important arts are and how much money this nation makes from the arts.
BERMAN: Barack Obama over the last several years has had a strong relationship with Hollywood. But has it changed? Has Hollywood somewhat losing its love for Barack Obama?
ARQUETTE: I don't think it's so much that. I mean you saw celebrities at the RNC. You'll see some celebrities here as well. I think it's more a situation where people are now -- we have these huge corporations and people want contracts and they want commercials, and they want all this, and they don't want to pick a side. And they don't want to alienate any part of their audience. And they're not sure what to say and they want to have these contracts and so they're all twittering very safely and they're really afraid to stick their necks out either way.
BERMAN: Are you afraid?
ARQUETTE: I'm pretty silly and foolish and fearless.
BERMAN: If you are so fearless, let me ask you this. Because there was an entertainer who was at the Republican convention and it was Clint Eastwood. What were your impressions of his performance?
ARQUETTE: You know what, it's funny because I -- at first I actually read it, which I thought was very strange to read the transcript of it before seeing it. But, you know, he's an American, what is beautiful about the political process is each one of us having our right to say how the hell we feel. But --
BERMAN: Even if it's to a chair?
ARQUETTE: Even if it's to a chair.
BERMAN: All right. Patricia Arquette, thank you very much for talking to us.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, John. Thank you.
A surprising attack on the Romney-Ryan economic plan from a Catholic nun right here at the Democratic convention.
COOPER: And welcome back to Charlotte, North Carolina. The Democratic National Convention. Let's check in with our Candy Crowley who's down very close to the stage -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, tonight the big headliner is going to be, of course, Bill Clinton, a favorite both in this arena and outside of it. As we've said, the most popular living ex-president right now. He's going to deliver the message that will set up, in fact, of President Obama's speech tomorrow night. And what the Clinton folks say he will do is make a clear argument about here's what this side is going to say and what they are arguing. Here's what our side is arguing.
Now nobody does these kinds of side-by-side comparisons better than the former president. You may totally disagree with his comparisons, but he puts them in language that I can assure you will arouse this crowd. Here's one of the excerpts that they sent us from the former president's speech tonight.
"In Tampa," he will say, "the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple. We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in. I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery and lays the foundation for a more modern, more well-balance economy that will bring us millions of good news jobs, vibrant new businesses and lots of new wealth for the innovators.
So again, you may disagree with what his conceptualization of which side is saying what, but this is a man who totally knows how to communicate. They called Ronald Reagan the great communicator on the Republican side.
Bill Clinton, certainly one of the most talented politicians of his generation, and, of course, will be tonight making the case as best he can, and it will be very good for President Obama -- Anderson.
COOPER: They are hoping night two of this convention got off to a rocky start earlier today with reinserting the word God and Jerusalem back into the Democratic Party platform.
Some debate over that and contention over that we saw. They are hoping to get back on message with former President Clinton's speech. Let's check in with Kate Bolduan down in the floor -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you, Anderson. I'm here with the two senators from the great state of California, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer.
Thank you both. It's great to see you off the Hill and outside somewhere else. We're talking about the headlining event tonight, former President Bill Clinton making a speech.
You both were in public office during his presidency, and I wanted to ask you, Senator, what does Bill Clinton need to do tonight?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think Bill Clinton needs to lay out in terms of every day importance, what the democratic position really is with respect to balancing the budget, improving the economy, developing a job base for this society.
And he can do it in such a way that every individual understands just what is being said. He has that unique capability of explaining public policy in a way that touches the hearts of Americans.
BOLDUAN: Speaking of public policy, the big issue of the economy, President Clinton has a huge job tonight, a huge sales job in terms of making the case of former years of President Obama working on this economy.
You just look at your state. It has faced a huge budget crisis as well as cities going bankrupt. So how do you make the case then for four more years? How should President Clinton make the case for four more years of President Obama?
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Bill Clinton has been making the case for the past several months. It's very clear. He knows because he served. We came in with him how to balance the budget, how to create a surplus, how to create 23 million jobs.
And he sees what Mitt Romney wants to do is go back to the years of George W. Bush, where we had tax breaks to the wealthiest among us, the middle class got squeezed. The working poor were just out of it.
And we went into the worst recession since the great depression, and he knows that President Obama embraces the Clinton ideas, which is investing in the people, be fiscally responsible and everyone paying their fair share.
BOLDUAN: Senator, why does it appear that the voters are not yet convinced? The race is neck in neck. It's tight and the president has not pulled away when you look at the polls in terms of how his handling of the economy that is seen the strength of Mitt Romney?
FEINSTEIN: I think most people don't understand that it was under the Bush administration that the economy began to come apart. I was on a phone call in the last quarter, with the secretary of the treasury, as well as the head of the Federal Reserve.
When he said to about 40 senators that were on that call, we face a recession as bad as the great depression. That's what developed the initiative to begin to move, which began really your honor the Bush administration and then was carried on by Barack Obama.
That was the troubled assets relief program, which Obama got a lot of heat for. But it has worked, and he has bailed out the automobile industry, and we're now coming back. There are some changes in the economy, I think, but productivity is up, but now we've got to get employment up too.
And I think -- I really sincerely believe that Barack Obama has gotten a lot of misinterpretation, and the Republicans are perpetuating that, and it's just not true. Let me give you an example.
Four jobs bills, which three of them were filibustered, the stimulus, which people carped and carped about, but nonetheless, he did it, five housing measures to restore housing so he has worked prodigiously to begin to turn this economy around. BOLDUAN: And it's the relationship with Congress, which is the issue that we hear so much about. The gridlock in Washington that is also an issue that needs to be addressed more and more.
Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you both for your time. Thank you very much. Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: OK, thanks very much and, of course, all of the action later on. Not too distant future within the next hour or so the former president of the United States will be speaking, but let's talk about the current president of the United States right now.
The president earned the nickname no drama Obama during his 2008 campaign, but even he says that's not entirely accurate. Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin is here.
She was granted exclusively access to the current president of the United States with the amazing documentary you did for us, all of us here at CNN.
This whole no drama Obama, you had a chance to speak to him a little bit about that and to some of his closest aides.
YELLIN: One of the most common adjective that's used to describe President Obama by those who work most closely with him is cool. Sometimes it's positive, as in cool under fire, or sometimes negative, cool as in aloof of not given to making new friendships.
I interviewed Reggie Love who was the president's personal aide and knows him as well as anybody about his reputation.
YELLIN: Everyone describes him as cool under pressure and calm, always calm. When he is off, and not working, is there another side to him?
REGGIE LOVE, PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PERSONAL AIDE: I think -- I think there is definitely some -- you know, I think you are -- when you are president, you are president all the time. If you're on camera, off camera, with a small group, with a large group, you know, everyone is kind of looking at you.
And sort of they are gauging you and your demeanor and your position to sort of get a sense of what's really going on and what's at stake. I mean, he's a competitor, and I think when you compete, I -- you can't really -- you can't spend all your time sort of being overly emotional or reactional to what's going on.
In sports, I always look at it this way. Sometimes you get a bad call, sometimes you make a bad play or there's a foul or -- but you can't extend or overextend too much emotion worrying about what just happened.
YELLIN: What's he like when he's just hanging out? LOVE: He's like a guy. You know, he likes the Bulls, likes the Bears. He likes sports. He likes cars. Like most guys that I know, which is -- which I think can sometimes be hard for some people, because they are taken attack by it.
Because wait, he's like me. He's the president and, you know, enjoys watching a good game, enjoys a good cocktail, is competitive at everything he does. If it's bowling or pool or shuffle board, you know, he's --
YELLIN: Shuffle board?
LOVE: Yes. He's -- there isn't anything I think he would be OK losing at.
YELLIN: I was a little bit surprised by that, but I guess the president doesn't like losing at anything. That means he's fiercely in the game to win this election too.
BLITZER: When he plays basketball or when he plays politics, he wants to win.
YELLIN: That's right.
BLITZER: That certainly came through. Your documentary will air once again. I want to let our viewers know if they missed it the first time, they may want to see it a second time, Sunday night, 9:30 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN "Obama Revealed."
Jessica did an outstanding, outstanding job. Anderson, let's go back up to you.
COOPER: Yes, it is really a fascinating documentary, no matter how much you think you know about President Obama, no matter what side of the political aisle you're on. You are guaranteed to learn some new things.
It's interesting, Donna, the president is often referred to as cool. That cuts both ways. Calm in a crisis, but also not as he says a backslapper.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he's -- he's very pragmatic. He is very serious, extremely intelligent. He's focused, but there is a very sensitive side of President Obama.
A few months ago, I was going through a very personal crisis, and the last person I thought who would call and want to talk about what I was going through would be the president of the United States.
Yet he called me and said I just want to see how you're doing. I've gone through some things like this. I was losing my dad, of course. And, you know, there is just a warmth about him that we don't always see in our presidents. And he called me a day later and we talked about it again, and I said, you know, my daddy loved basketball. I wish would you have played with my dad. He would have really liked that you played basketball. He said put him on the phone. He's a really great guy.
COOPER: It is interesting. He is and we're going to be hearing from former President Clinton. He's so different in style in Washington, D.C. and his relationships in Congress. How has that impacted policy? How has his personality you think impacted policy?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: My sense, when the president speaks and he gives a wonderful address, really rouses up people's emotions, he just expects people to follow. They should all be listening, why aren't they falling into line?
The president's job is half to deliver the speech and then half to disappear and go behind the curtains, and work the phones and get people on the Hill to come over to get position.
He doesn't do that. You hear complaints from Democrats on Congress that they haven't heard from him. That he doesn't pick up the phone to call them about policies and votes. That's how Washington works.
COOPER: We're going to talk more about this in just a moment. I want to hear from David Gergen. We're about to hear from a speaker, I believe, a former Catholic nun.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sister Simone Campbell, she runs a network of nuns called "Network," a political group called "Network." They took these nine states, I think, it's about 26 places, 100-mile tour across the country to protest the Paul Ryan budget.
Saying the Medicare cuts and other cuts to the social safety net that would be required how to dislodge it would be destructive. It's an interesting moment because the Catholic vote is often the swing vote.
The Republicans want to put Wisconsin in play. The Republicans think maybe they can put Michigan in play. In the state of Ohio, it's very close. Pennsylvania, which some Republicans think they can put in play. I'm skeptical on that point.
But if you look at some of these bigger states and elsewhere in the country as well, often the Catholics can be a swing vote. Reagan Democrats, a lot of them, you know, they are Catholics, some of them are union members, vote Democrats sometimes.
But they can be swayed by Republicans on conservative social issues, sometimes on tax issues, tough on crime issues, so the Catholic voters, always one of the subsets we watch.
A big deal was made at the Republican convention about the Obama health care plan, the fight with the Catholic Church over contraception policy and this would be the Democrat counterargument here.
COOPER: She is going to be speaking on the budget?
KING: That was what the bus tour was about. That the Paul Ryan budget, which is now the Romney/Ryan view, call it what you will, would be destructive.
And as a nun, as a caregiver, protector of the poor, those who have the least in society, her view, it was amoral. That the Ryan budget in the view of these liberal or progressive nuns was amoral because of the cuts of the social safety net across the country.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: For these women, it's all about the social safety net, because they provide the services -- they are the net to the government. If they feel the government is not providing the services it ought to provide then they believe they have to do even more and they can't do it.
KING: You know, sometimes it's hard to get attention in today's politics. This bus tour got a ton of local news as it went across the country in important battleground states.
We think of our national newscasts, a lot of times you can move states in local conversations. They were feisty. They were interesting. They were spunky and they got a lot of attention.
COOPER: Sister Simone Campbell is taking the stage right now. Let's listen in.
SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL: Good evening. I'm Sister Simone Campbell and I'm one of the nuns on the bus. So -- yes, we have nuns on the bus and a nun on the podium. Let me explain why I'm here tonight.
In June, I joined other Catholic sisters on a 2,700-mile bus journey through nine states about the -- to tell Americans about the budge that's Congressman Paul Ryan wrote and Governor Romney endorsed.
Paul Ryan claims this budget reflects the principles of our shared faith, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan bishop failed a basic moral test because it would harm families living in poverty.
We agree with our bishops and that's why we went on the road to stand with struggling families and to lift up our Catholic sisters who serve them. Their work to alleviate suffering would be seriously harmed by the Romney/Ryan budget and that is wrong.
During our -- during our journey, I rediscovered a few truths. First, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are correct when they say that each individual should be responsible. But their budget goes astray in not acknowledging that we are responsible, not only for ourselves and our immediate family, rather, our faith strongly affirms that we are all responsible for one another.
I am my sister's keeper. I am my brother's keeper. While we were in Toledo, in Toledo, I met 10-year-old twins, Matt and Mark, who had gotten into trouble at school for fighting. Sister Virginia and the staff at the Pottawa Center took them in when they were suspended and discovered on a home visit that these 10-year-olds were trying to care for their bed-ridden mother who has MS and diabetes.
They were her only caregivers. The sisters got her medical help, and are giving the boys some stability. Now the boys are free to claim much of their childhood that they were losing. Clearly, we all share responsibility for the Matts and Marks in our nation.
In Milwaukee, I met Billy and his wife and two boys at St. Benedict's dining room. Billy's work hours were cut back in the recession and Billy is taking responsibility for himself and his family.
But right now, without food stamps, he and his wife could not put food on their family table. We share responsibility for creating an economy where parents with jobs earn enough to care for their families.
In order to cut taxes for the wealthy, the Romney/Ryan budget would make it even tougher on hard-working Americans like Billy to feed their families. Paul Ryan says this budget is in keeping with the moral values of our shared faith. I disagree.
In Cincinnati -- in Cincinnati, I met Ginny, who had just come from her sister's memorial service. When Ginny's sister, Margaret, lost her job, she lost her health insurance. She developed cancer and had no access to diagnosis or treatment. She died unnecessarily, and that is tragic. And it is wrong.
The Affordable Care Act will cover people like Margaret. We all share responsibility to ensure that this vital health care reform law is properly implemented. And that all governors, all governors expand Medicaid coverage so no more Margarets die from lack of care.
This is part of my pro-life stance and the right thing to do. I have so many other stories to tell, but I want to tell you one more. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, a woman in her late 30s came to me, approached us, she asked for the names of some people she could talk to because she felt alone and isolated.
Her neighbors had been polarized by politics, masquerading as values. She cares about the well-being of her people in her community. She wishes the rest of the nation would listen to one another with kindness and compassion.
Listen to one another rather than yell at each other. I told her then, and I tell her now, that she is not alone. Looking out at you tonight, I feel your presence combined with that of the thousands of caring people we met on our journey.
Together, we understand an immoral budget that hurts already struggling families does not reflect our nation's values. We are better than that. So I urge you -- I urge you -- join us on the bus. Join us together as we stand with Matt and Mark, Billy and his family, and the woman in Hershey, and the Margarets of our nation this is what nuns on the bus are all about. We care for the 100 percent.
And that will secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our nation. So join us, join us as we nuns on the bus, all of us, drive for faith, family and fairness. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Sister Simone Campbell bringing many people in this auditorium to our feet. We have to take a quick break. Our coverage of the Democratic National Convention continues in just a moment.
BLITZER: We're here on the convention floor with the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Madam Secretary, thanks very much. What do you make about this whole brouhaha over Jerusalem?
It's a subject you know well U.S. policy for Jerusalem. Today, the president of the United States said that in an amended version of this platform that he believes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, that's the president's view and it's the American policy. That is also one of the final status issues the president and the amended platform say that, and I think that it is very important to have the platform reflects the president's wishes and the policy of United States.
BLITZER: Usually, almost always, the U.S. embassy has its embassy in the capital of a country. The U.S. embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv. Should it be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?
ALBRIGHT: Well, that is one of the issues that always come up. That's the bottom line here is that we are trying to get peace talks going again. This is a final status issue.
Nobody has been more supportive of Israel and Israel's security than President Obama. And he's dedicated to making sure that there is progress in all of this. Peace talks, two-state solution and moving toward final status issues.
BLITZER: You heard Mitt Romney say in his acceptance speech last week in Tampa that this president, President Obama, has thrown Israel under the bus.
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that's one of the more ludicrous statements that was made in the -- in Tampa. And Governor Romney, I think, needs to examine what President Obama's record has been on Israel.
And also to hear what many Israeli officials say in terms of President Obama's support for Israel. As you know, helping on some of the military issues, the iron dome complex.
Then also providing aircraft and giving Israel a military edge so I truly do think that is a statement that makes absolutely no sense by Governor Romney along with a few others.
BLITZER: We'll continue this conversation. Madam Secretary, thanks very much.
ALBRIGHT: Thank you.
BLITZER: Bill Clinton is getting ready to take on the Republicans and make his case for re-electing President Obama. And we're also hearing from a rising Democratic star who is also a member of Joe Biden's family. Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is a servant of today, but his true constituency is the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is the future that each generation must enlarge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because this election is not about ideology. It's about confidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still believe in a place called hope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I stand here tonight as my own man, and I want to know me for who I truly am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: America, we cannot turn back, not with so much work to be done.
BLITZER: Democrats here in Charlotte are preparing for tonight's roll call to re-nominate President Obama.