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September 7th, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Rep. Chu says she was 'moved' by President Obama's DNC speech

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) on President Obama's DNC speech and plans for the White House if re-elected President.

September 7th, 2012
11:15 AM ET

DCCC chair Rep. Israel predicts President Obama will win election, but 'he needs a partner in Congress'

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) shares his opinion of President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Committee with Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point."

"The President did what he had to do," Rep. Israel says. "Reminded the American people that he withdrew our troops from Iraq and be rejoined with families and made the decision to kill Osama bin Laden and did it. And he rescued the auto industry from devastation and depression."

"Was it the greatest speech in human history - no," he adds. "I don't think the American people are looking for a speech. They are looking to know what you've done to rescue us from a near depression and where are we going and what choices do we have? And that's what he laid out last night."

When asked if President Obama could overcome a Congress that is resistant to his policies in a potential next term, Israel argues that Americans know that some lawmakers have stood in the way of the President's goals.

"We have compromised over and over and over. We are up against a Tea Party Congress, every time we want to compromise, they say "compromise" is a dirty word. The President talked about the things he hoped to accomplish and things he put on table to reduce debt and rebuild the middle class and start small businesses, the American people know he couldn't accomplish those things because you have a Republican Congress instead of focusing on how you create new small businesses, spent two years trying to shut down Planned Parenthoods," he says.

He adds, "the President, I think, is going to win this election. But he needs a partner in congress. There's a deep sense of buyer's remorse set in with the Republican congress. They wanted a Congress that would focus on opening new jobs. They got a Congress focused on opening up new opportunities for millionaires. They wanted a Congress that will talk about opening up small businesses at home, jobs at home, they got a Congress protecting tax breaks for corporations and shipping jobs overseas. That why when the President says that is a choice, he's absolutely right. It's a choice between policy that's create jobs at home and expand the economy from the middle class out or Republican presidential candidate that thinks you can expand from the top down."

September 7th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Will.i.am on 2012 presidential election: ‘We gotta remix America’

President Obama officially accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for a second term Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, attempting to once again win over the nation since first sending the message of “hope” and “change” in 2008. The president’s 2008 campaign was party defined by the anthems “Yes We Can” and “It’s a New Day” written by Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am. A major proponent of the president, the musician is at the Democratic National Convention this week to once again garner the vote for Barack Obama. He talks to Soledad O’Brien on “Starting Point” about the tone of the campaign this election year.

“Today’s message should be ‘we are one,’ ‘we are united,’” he says. “We need to forge a whole new energy and American Dream.” He questions what the American dream is today, considering that it has changed since the 1940s. “We gotta remix that dream,” he says. “We gotta remix America.”

Regarding the GOP playing “I’ve Got A Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas at the Republican National Convention, Will doesn’t oppose. “Why would I do that?” he asks O’Brien. “I practice what I preach and I don’t want to be a product of division,” he says. “It’s all for the same thing, we’re trying want to fix America. They have a different way. I have a different view. They want to support Mitt Romney. I want to support Barack Obama,” he says. “But, in hopes that it’s all for the greater good to fixing our county, that’s cool.”

NASA also recently played will.i.am’s song. The Mars rover Curiosity beamed back “Reach for the Stars” in the name of inspiring school children. He shares his thoughts on that and his work with educational reform, inspired by the documentary, “Waiting for Superman.” He helped start a Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) school in his neighborhood in East Los Angeles after he realized that Superman is “a fictitious, mythological character with tights,” who wouldn’t come to his neighborhood to change the system. “Maybe I’m supposed to be Superman,” he says he realized. “Maybe I’m supposed to go out and collaborate and connect with all the people that are doing good things and ask them to bring that to my neighborhood.”

He collaborated with College Track, U.S. First, NASA, Discovery Education, to bring a STEM skill set combined with the arts to his neighborhood to “encourage these kids and give them self esteem to dream and become entrepreneurs,” he says. He feels it’s already been successful. In his words, “starting is successful.”

September 7th, 2012
10:57 AM ET

TIME magazine's Joel Stein jokes about after parties and celebrity sightings at the DNC

Looking back at the Democratic National Convention, Joel Stein jokes about the DNC after parties, celebrity sightings of Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian, southern hospitality in Charlotte, N.C., and the tight security at the convention that kept the TIME humor columnist from seeing former President Clinton’s speech.

September 7th, 2012
10:50 AM ET

VP Biden's son Beau: My dad is most effective person to speak to middle class & reassure them President Obama 'has their back'

It was an emotional night for Vice President Joe Biden last night, when the convention moved to nominate him for a second term.

The vice president's son, Delaware State Attorney General Beau Biden, explains to Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" why it was such an emotional moment.

"The whole convention seemed more emotional to me," he says. "We had a great energy obviously in 2008. It was a bit of a whirlwind for our family."

"My mom rebuilt our family," Beau adds, referring to the car accident in 1972 that took the lives of his mother and a younger sister. "That's why my dad spent so much time talking about my mom, who he's incredibly proud of."

When asked about his dad being criticized for some things he's said in the past, Beau says it simply means he's hitting a nerve.

"They wouldn't be howling as much as they are, the other side, if my dad wasn't scoring points on Mitt Romney," he says. "They're attacking him because they know he's the most effective person to speak to the middle class and connect with the middle class, and make sure that the American people know that the president has their back."

September 7th, 2012
09:54 AM ET

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: Romney ‘pretty extreme’ for failure to disclose tax returns

After hammering Mitt Romney in his DNC convention speech Tuesday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn explains to Soledad O’Brien why he called the former governor an “extreme, conservative man” in the speech.

“I think you’re pretty extreme if you don’t disclose your income tax returns. George Romney, who was the father of Mitt Romney, when he ran for president disclosed years and years of his tax returns,” the Illinois governor says.

September 7th, 2012
08:55 AM ET

Romney Foreign Policy Adviser Rep. Diaz-Balart: President Obama has 'failed miserably,' is 'clueless'

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Romney Foreign Policy Adviser Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) weighs in on President Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention, and argues that the Obama presidency has 'failed miserably.'

"President Obama wants to change America," he says. "I understand that. We don't need to change America. We need to change the White House. We need to change the leadership in the White House. It's very clear...that President Obama, who has tried, has failed, miserably has failed. It's not for lack of trying. He's just...he's clueless. Mitt Romney does present a totally different agenda: A person who understands how the economy works who has specific plans that are not President Bush's plan. They're Governor Romney's agenda."

[MORE TO COME]

September 6th, 2012
12:37 PM ET

VA Gov. McDonnell: Speeches don't create jobs...good policies do

Tonight, President Barack Obama is going to accept the nomination for a second term tonight at the Democratic National Convention. He follows a powerful endorsement from President Bill Clinton, who told Americans they're better off now than they were four years ago.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Mitt Romney supporter, joins the "Starting Point" team and says despite the fact that Clinton delivered a great speech, he says it's not enough.

"At the end of the day, speeches don't create jobs. Good policies do," Gov. McDonnell says. "This week, while all these good speeches are going on here, we've got the highest gas prices ever for a Labor Day on Monday. Tuesday, we come out with the debt numbers, $16 trillion in debt. That's $200,000 per family of four. And after the president is going to deliver a great speech tonight, I'm sure it will be one of the best we've ever heard, we'll wake up tomorrow morning with a job report that will show 43 consecutive months over 8%. So the bottom line is speeches make you feel good, but at the end of the day the American people don't think we're better off than four years ago, and they are going to want to change."

"[President Obama] did not create the problem. He just doesn't have a plan to get us out of that. I think he's made it worse," he adds.

September 6th, 2012
12:29 PM ET

Sen. Durbin: Fmr. President Clinton is 'a great teacher,' says independent voters are turned off by negative campaigning

On "Starting Point" this morning, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) shares what he thought about fmr. President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National convention.

"He walked right through each and every major issue, analyzed it in simple terms, even a politician could follow, and folks at home, if they're interested in that explanation, nobody did it better," Sen. Durbin says.

Sen. Durbin also offered up a possible explanation for what might be getting through to independent voters.

"There's so much hate coming out from the other side. I think that turns off independent voters more than anything. They know we disagree. They expect us to find some common ground," he says. "I remember when Jon Corzine told me after he was first elected to the Senate, he spent $65 million to get there. And he said, if that campaign had gone on for two more weeks, I would have lost, overwhelmed his opponent, but people reached the point where they said, we're sick of it. There is just too much of it. You've overdone it."

September 6th, 2012
12:11 PM ET

Flo Rida gets 'low' for veterans at DNC, talks about importance of helping them return to civilian life after combat

Rapper Flo Rida on the "Got Your 6" campaign, helping U.S. veterans with reintegration into civilian life after combat.

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