By CNN's Kevin Liptak
(CNN) – As Americans remain fed-up with Congress, who are largely seen as "do-nothing," one group is setting aside talk of action and starting with a more modest goal: talking.
"The only way we're going to get traction on the issues that really do matter - whether it's balancing budgets, energy, immigration, you name it - is to get some people, Republicans and Democrats alike, who agree to meet on a regular basis and focus on problem solving," Jon Huntsman, a national leader of the group "No Labels," said Monday on CNN's "Starting Point."
Huntsman, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former governor of Utah, said the partisan temperature in Washington had reached a "boiling point" that prevents members of opposing parties from cooperating. His group is unveiling a list of current lawmakers at an event in New York Monday who plan to meet on a regular basis in an attempt to lower the heat in the Capitol.
Huntsman is joined by Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, as a national leader of No Labels. Manchin said Monday that in his two years as a lawmaker in Washington, he has yet to attend a bipartisan meeting of senators "where Democrats and Republicans talked about the problems of the day, to try to find commonality."
"Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, whether you're a conservative or liberal, and you really want to get things done, you have to be able to have that dialogue," Manchin continued. "Never did I think I would go to the Senate and make history in being the least productive Congress in the history of our country. I'm frustrated, and I want to do things."
After running for Senate as an Independent, former Florida Governor and staunch Republican Charlie Crist officially changed parties last Friday and became a Democrat.
Crist spoke at this summer's Democratic National Convention about his change of heart and he joins Soledad this morning to elaborate on his decision.
"It's where I feel a lot more comfortable to be perfectly honest with you," Crist says. "It it seems to me today that the leadership of the Republican Party has become a lot more rigid, a lot more challenging. When you look at issues like immigration, they talk about deportation. When you talk about education, they defund it. When you talk about voter suppression, they deny voting to people, and I just can't embrace that anymore and be true to myself.
Ty Pennington is known for building homes for deserving people. We've been following his work as he brought both political parties together for one goal, to build a home for a military family. It's a plan both parties could agree on.
The plan called for half of the home to be built, you'll remember, at the Republican National Convention, the other half of the home was constructed at the Democratic National Convention. Today the home comes together. It's donated, it's finished and it goes to John Jones II and his wife, Tanisha. They're going to get that home at 12:00 noon today.
This morning on "Starting Point," Pennington talks to Soledad about the journey to getting the house produced, and the Jones family explain how thrilled they are to received the house.
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.
On "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Priorities USA Action senior strategist Bill Burton discusses how Republicans have raised more money than Democrats and what that means for President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.
“More money means that they have a lot more cash to spend in these targeted states, but keep in mind that, even though Republicans are going to out-raise Democrats, they need a lot more money,” Burtson says. “Having an impact on what voters think on someone like President Obama, who’s lived in their living rooms for the last six years basically on their TVs, costs a lot of money whereas for Mitt Romney he’s really a blank slate.”
The pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA has raised $35 million compared to pro-Romney superPACs, which have raised more than $100 million.
“I think Democrats are really starting to wake up and see that there’s a real threat from Karl Rove, from the Koch brothers, and from people who are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to try to have a huge impact on this election to drive a very right-wing ideology,” Burton says.
Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) argues that President Obama is largely responsible for the economic recovery in his state as the Democratic National Convention kicks off Tuesday.
“The auto industry is doing really well, investments are being made, thousands of people are working as a result, and the president is responsible for that,” says Strickland.
The former Ohio governor and national co-chair for the Obama campaign said he is “confident” that Obama will win Ohio in the fall and said he “will speak the truth” about the president’s influence on Ohio’s economic recovery in a convention speech late Tuesday.
"I’m going to talk about what’s happened in Ohio and who’s responsible for Ohio’s economic rebound. It wasn’t former governor Ted Strickland, it wasn’t current governor John Kasich," says Strickland regarding his speech. "It was Barack Obama, who saved the auto industry and, that’s responsible, we believe, for at least in a related way, one out of every 8 jobs in Ohio.”
On Wednesday, President Bill Clinton will give a major speech in Charlotte, NC for the Democratic National Convention where he will support President Obama. But the two have quite a strained history.
Ryan Lizza's new article in "The New Yorker" explores that relationship, and on "Starting Point" this morning he explains why the two have never been close.
Read Ryan Lizza's Piece "Let's Be Friends: Two Presidents find mutual advantage"
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is behind enemy lines tonight. The co-chair of the Obama Campaign and chairman of the Democratic National Convention is on hand at the Republican National Convention to rebut the message from the GOP. He talks with John Berman about his role at the convention in the midst of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Villaraigosa says he’s in Tampa to challenge the Republican platform “in a way that is respectful of the other party.”
“We’re to compare and contrast, but we’re also here together, working together, to make sure that people are safe," he says.
Villaraigosa also comments on the Latino vote for both candidates with regards to issues of immigration, health care and education. He predicts President Obama will get close to 70% of the Latino vote. “I think it is because the Republican Party and Mitt Romney have gone so far to the right on issues that are important to them,” Villaraigosa says.