Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) weighs in on GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan's speech at the Republican National Convention. John Berman asks Bush on "Starting Point" about one point that has fact checkers working hard this morning, where Ryan seems to blame President Barack Obama for the failure of a General Motors plant in Wisconsin. The plant was in fact closed in 2008, when Jeb's brother President George W. Bush was in office.
"Not at all," Bush says. "Those are the words that Barack Obama used. It was a campaign promise and yet another campaign promise unfulfilled."
Bush also addresses Ryan's mention of the Bowles-Simpson commission in his speech, which Ryan voted against.
"He voted against it because he did not have any aspect of it that included entitlement reform which is the most pressing budget issue that our country faces, and the Ryan budget does deal with that over the long haul. And so to suggest that Paul Ryan is not completely truthful when he is the only guy in Washington, D.C. that's actually put out a comprehensive plan with a budget attached to it I think is wrong," Bush says.
Towards the end of the interview, Bush says he thinks that if elected, Mitt Romney would be able to handle the immigration issue.
"I think he will be a president that will try to solve our immigration problem by securing the border, but then turning this conversation into how can we create sustained economic growth by using a catalytic converter for growth in the pursuit of dreams, and that's an immigration policy that allows people to come in legally and be able to add value and vitality to our country. President Obama has had four years, two of which he had Democratic control of Congress where he promised he was going to have comprehensive immigration reform. He hasn't even submitted it to Congress," he says.
Private citizen Jesse Shaffer on how he worked with other residents to help save neighbors in the floods during Hurricane Isaac.
La. National Guard Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak on evacuation efforts in St. John the Baptist Parish after hurricane Isaac.
This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Peter King (R-NY) weighs in on vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan's speech at the Republican National Convention and addresses allegations of intelligence leaks by the Obama administration.
"Paul Ryan is a great guy, so I am biased on this," King says. "He is going to resonate especially we have a number of competitive congressional races in suburban areas. And I am confident Paul is going to appeal to them. The average husband and wife, mother and father, grandparents, watching Paul Ryan, and I think will be very moved by him."
Bermans asks King if Ryan's lack of foreign policy experience could be an issue.
"I worked with Paul. I know he has excessive knowledge of foreign policy issues and what he said last night I think has to be really the message from the Republican Party: That President Obama has been inconsistent on foreign policy," King says.
Berman also asks King to respond to Sen. John McCain's statement in his speech before the convention, that the Obama Administration is guilty of leaking intelligence secrets. Berman asks if King, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, if he has seen any evidence to back up this claim.
"First of all, just the White House's own statements. The stories are in the "New York Times" that talk about the cyber attacks on Iran and came from people in the National Security Council meetings. That's the White House," King says.
"We're talking about a small circle of advisers. We're talking about a policy in Yemen where we penetrate the highest levels of al Qaeda. Nobody in Congress knew about it, the small circle in the CIA, the White House, the entire thing was leaked in the Associated Press," King adds.
The Delgadillo family of Braithwaite, Louisiana explain how they were rescued from their attic by their neighbors after the levees were overtopped.
Lots of areas on the Gulf Coast were hit hard as Hurricane Issac made its way over land yesterday. Plaquemines Parish was one of the hardest hit, with at least four levees overtopped. The resulting was so widespread that people who did not heed the mandatory evacuation were ordered to their roofs and in some cases out of their windows. At least 100 people had to be rescued from here yesterday.
Parish president Billy Nungesser talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning with an update on the flooding and the number of people who need to pull out of homes.
"Last night we believed they got everyone out but at first light this morning the sheriff's office and the National Guard will be going house to house to make sure they got everyone," he says. "We also are going to start an effort this morning on West Bank. Late yesterday I tried to get up highway 23 and the water was rushing up high over 23 so fast that a herd of cattle and deer were running to get out of the flood waters."
Nungesser also explains the plans to move the flood waters from the parish.
"We're going to breach the back levees as this wind dies down this morning. We're going down at first light by air boat on the West Bank, and as the wind dies down and the levees become visible through the water, we're going to strategically cut those levees and break those levees so the water can move out quickly. We're going to do that on the East and West Bank," he says.
Mitt Romney is set to take another big step forward tonight on the road to the White House. He'll accept his party's nomination at the Republican National Convention as the event wraps up in Tampa. But last night, it was all about Rep. Paul Ryan. Romney's running mate took direct aim at President Obama, making his case for the GOP ticket.
This morning on "Starting Point," Romney Senior Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom addresses the may questions this morning about the factual accuracy of some of Ryan's claims in his speech.
Ryan says that "Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you...this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day."
Berman points out that the decision to close the GM plant Janesville, WI, was made in June of 2008 when President Bush was in office. Berman asks Fehrnstrom if what Ryan says is misleading.
"Well, no he didn’t talk about Obama closing the plant," Fehrnstrom says. "He said candidate Obama went there in 2008 and what he said was with government assistance, we can keep this plant open for another 100 years. Here we are four years into his administration. That plant is still closed. I think it's a symbol of a recovery that hasn't materialized for the people of Janesville, Wisconsin, just as it hasn't materialized for Americans everywhere."
Berman pushed back on Fehrnstrom, saying that Ryan left the impression President Obama shut down the plant.
"I encourage people to go back and look at what candidate Obama said in 2008," Fehrnstrom adds. "What he said was with his recovery program, with government assistance, we can keep that plant open for 100 years. Four years later, it's still shuttered. I think it's a symbol of a broken economy under this president."
Berman also asks Fehrnstrom about his thoughts on the uproar on his “Etch A Sketch” comment he made in March on Starting Point, pointing out that other prominent Republicans are still talking about Romney having the chance to reintroduce himself to the American public.
Fehrnstrom says, “the point I was making back then is that the campaign in the general election is going to be different than the primary campaign in this sense. In the primary campaign we had eight opponents. We were talking about the legislative record of some of those opponents like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Today we’re in a different situation. It’s a one-on-one contest with President Obama. And I think what we’re looking forward to is the opportunity to debate the President in October three times and I think what people will see in that setting is a person in Mitt Romney who is extraordinarily qualified to lead at a time of crisis in this country. He has a plan to put America back to work. And we can compare that to the failures of the Obama administration over the last four years in creating jobs and getting this economy in order.”
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We've opened a live blog for "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" this morning, with Soledad live from St. Bernard's parish in Louisiana with the latest on the flooding and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. John Berman is also live from Tampa at the Republican National Convention with a full recap of Rep. Ryan's speech and a preview of Mitt Romney's speech tonight. Soledad and our Starting Point producers will be moderating.
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New Orleans resident Jackie Grosch reports on how her family is riding out Hurricane Isaac at home.
Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser on flooding due to an overtopping levee during Hurricane Isaac that left two stranded.
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