Tonight, former President Bill Clinton is headlining the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. His highly anticipated speech could show he is the Democratic Party's best weapon in November. Last night we heard from a man who worked in the Clinton administration and served as President Obama's White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Now the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel talks with Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" about trying to bring back the enthusiasm for hope and change that defined the Obama campaign in 2008.
"I saw the president make the tough calls in the situation room. And today our troops in Iraq have finally come home so America can do some nation building here at home. That was a change we believed in. That was a change we fought for. That was a change president Obama delivered," he says. "My goal last night was to give people I thought I had a unique perk as chief of staff worked for two presidents and give a front row seat in the Oval Office."
Emanuel also argues that President Obama needs more time in office to fix the rough economy.
"Until the middle class feel comfortable that they can own a home and save for retirement and send kids to college and pay for health care, the basic pillars of middle class, our work is not done," he says.
"I think the president has very clear responsibility, to layout a vision for the future and make clear the choices," he adds. "You will have in my view after this election an agreement between the parties about the shape and role of government."
Soledad also asks Emanuel to weigh in on a comment from RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who said on "Starting Point" fmr. President Clinton will help the GOP argument against Obama, because "he's going to illustrate to the American people that Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton." Emanuel shared his experience working in the Clinton White House.
"I was in the Clinton White House. Republican Congress voted against his entire budget in '93, to start the lay the groundwork for a balanced budget. They voted against the health care plan that President Obama finished. When he was sending troops to Kosovo and Europe to actually bring peace the first time in American history the Congress did not support a war even while the troops were in the air. They were not exactly partners in bringing back the 22 million jobs that were created in the private sector and a balanced budget in the efforts of what happened there. People may remember a period of time of bipartisanship. I was in the Clinton White House, that's not how we lived it. That's not how it happened. It was the same type of battles we have today against a party that put ideology over progress," he says.