Election 2012: Clinton Nominates Obama
Former President energizes Democrats at convention
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — The second day of the Democratic National Convention concluded with a riveting speech by former President Bill Clinton at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Other speakers on the evening of September 5 included former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Massachusetts Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren.
Clinton officially nominated Barack Obama as the Democratic Presidential nominee and fiercely pledged his support to President Obama.
"I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, by education and, yes, by cooperation," Clinton said. "I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. And I proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party."
In his speech, Clinton spoke about a variety of issues, such as education, healthcare, the national debt, and the economy. He also addressed the question so famously asked by Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter and now being asked by Mitt Romney about Obama: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
"Are we better off than we were when he took office?" Clinton asked the audience. "When President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in freefall. It had just shrunk nine full percent of GDP (gross domestic product). We were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Are we doing better than that today? The answer is yes."
Clinton also championed Obama's actions and record of the past four years. He said that "no President could have repaired all the damage in just four years."
"In the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private-sector jobs," Clinton continued. "We could have done better, but last year the Republicans blocked the President's job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs."
But the major theme of Clinton's speech was to disprove Republican criticism of Democrats, and Romney and Paul Ryan's criticism of Obama.
"Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24," Clinton said. "In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what's the job score? Republicans: 24 million. Democrats: 42 [million]."
After Clinton's speech, the man he nominated walked out onto the stage. Although they were at one time political opponents — Obama defeated Clinton's wife, Hilary, in the 2008 Democratic primaries — the current President embraced Clinton on stage to the roars of the crowd and they walked off the stage together.
A roll call of states followed Clinton's speech, and delegations from every U.S. state pledged their delegates to the party's official nominee, President Obama. He is scheduled to make his acceptance speech on Thursday night.
The original venue of the President's speech was to be outside at Bank of America Stadium. But forecasts calling for severe weather today have forced organizers to move his speech indoors, into the Time Warner Cable Arena.
This move will shut out tens of thousands of people who planned to attend the President's speech.
"The energy and enthusiasm of our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming, and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the President in person," Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the convention, said. "We will work with the campaign to ensure those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the President between now and election day."
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