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September 5th, 2012
11:37 AM ET

Obama Campaign's Robert Gibbs: RNC selling tired ideas and slogans, predicts Bill Clinton's DNC speech will be 'terrific'

First Lady Michelle Obama was front at center at the Democratic National Convention last night with a personal pitch for her husband and an appeal to women. The keynote address by Democratic Party rising star and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s speech about living the American dream was also a major highlight of day one at the Convention. Obama Campaign Senior Advisor and Fmr. Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joins Soledad O’Brien on “Starting Point” this morning to weigh in on the opening night of the DNC.

“I think we had a terrific night last night,” Gibbs says. “Mayor Castro and the First Lady did a remarkably great job, I think, in setting the tone and talking about the president.”

Gibbs also shares his thoughts on tonight’s upcoming speech by Former President Bill Clinton. "I think he's going to be terrific," he says. But RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who appeared on "Starting Point" earlier this week, says Clinton’s speech would help the Romney campaign, “because he’s going to illustrate to the American people that Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton.”

“Certainly Barack Obama’s not Bill Clinton,” Gibbs responds, “but the theory of the case that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had were, everybody needs to pay their fair share and we need to invest in middle class security.” Gibbs says Preibus is “selling a series of tired ideas and tired slogans” once again giving “more tax cuts to the rich” and letting “Wall Street write the rules,” in hopes for different outcome than in the eight years under the previous administration.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz totally disagrees with Gibbs. “There’s more systemic risk with what President Obama has done,” he says. “We have less big players out there.” The two spar on air over legislation regulating Wall Street until CNN Congressional Correspondent asks Gibbs about the irony in running a campaign against the Clintons four years ago and relying on Bill Clinton today.

“We got over that a long, long time ago,” Gibbs says. He also tells CNN Sr. Political Analyst Ron Brownstein, “I think the challenges that Barack Obama had the very first day, and the challenges, quite frankly, that had been neglected for eight years, needed to be addressed and needed to be addressed in a way that transformed the country and moved it to a different place.” “Look,” he says “this race is about whether or not we’re going to stay on that path moving forward or we’re going to go back to what we tried for eight years that never worked.”

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