'Now It's Our Turn': The Democratic National Convention Kicks Off In Charlotte

Sep 3, 2012

Unlike what Republicans did in Tampa last week, Democrats will lay out a clear plan to get the country back on sound footing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during news briefing in Charlotte, N.C., moments ago.

Villaraigosa, who is the chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that by the time the convention wraps up Thursday night, the party will have crystalized its platform and explained that this election is about a stark choice.

It's a choice between "a candidate who wants to build an economy from the middle out and a candidate who wants to build an economy from the top down," Villaraigosa.

In a lot of ways, the opening press conference echoed the themes President Obama has talked about in recent interviews. To Time magazine, for example, Obama iterated that with enough explanation of his policies and the different approach that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would take, the American people would side with him.

That's the point that National Commitee Secretary Alice Germond made during the media briefing.

"We are proud of our president and we are proud of what he's accomplished," she said. Taking a dig at what she said was the secrecy of the GOP platform, she said that by the time President Obama delivers his acceptance speech Thursday evening, everyone will have a copy of the platform.

Villaraigosa said that the next few days were a time to remind the country about Obama's first term in office. He said they'll try to explain how Obama "stopped an economic catastrophe" and "how he saved the auto industry" and passed a landmark healthcare law.

The Obama campaign's National Press Secretary Ben LaBolt was asked about a just-released Gallup poll that found Romney's acceptance speech was received tepidly by Americans.

"Most Americans are looking for an answer on how we're going to secure the middle class," LaBolt said. What they heard at the GOP convention was more "recycled and debunked" attacks against President Obama.

"We are going to use this convention to answer those questions," LaBolt added, "and have an honest conversation about where we were in 2008."

LaBolt also defended the president's record on economy.

"We've made progress," LaBolt said. And the president will use his speech on Thursday to lay out his plans to continue on that path.

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