TOPICS > Politics

As Democratic Convention Opens, President Obama Fights How GOP Portrays Him

September 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
The first day of the Democratic National Convention began in Charlotte, N.C., where first lady Michelle Obama will be one of the first prominent guests to make remarks. President Obama campaigned in Va., and fought back against what he called a "fictional Barack Obama" portrayed by his Republican opponents in speeches and ads.
LISTEN SEE PODCASTS

TRANSCRIPT

JUDY WOODRUFF:  As you can hear, the Democrats already under way here in Charlotte this evening, beginning their quadrennial national gathering, their goal, to reelect the president, who spent this day campaigning not so far away.

Hari Sreenivasan begins our coverage of the day’s events.

HARI SREENIVASAN: With the convention gearing up in North Carolina, President Obama was in neighboring Virginia, another battleground state that he carried in 2008. At Norfolk State University, he argued his reelection gives the country its best chance to move forward.

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: Now, the other side may not have been eager to talk about their ideas, but on Thursday night, I’m going to look forward to sharing mine with you, a path that will create good jobs and strengthen our middle class and grow our economy.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president also pressed his case in print. In an interview with USA Today, he said his Republican opponents have created what he calls a fictional Barack Obama in their speeches and ads.

NARRATOR: Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president planned to fly to Charlotte tomorrow to be nominated for a second term.

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the convention city this afternoon. On the Republican side, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan campaigned in Westlake, Ohio, charging again that the president has been a failure.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R – Wisc.), Vice Presidential Candidate: You really can’t look at the data, you can’t look at the suffering families or the jobs lost or the debt crisis that is hanging over our economy and honestly say that we’re better off than we were four years ago. As a matter of fact, President Obama’s record is worse than Jimmy Carter’s record.  

HARI SREENIVASAN: The man at the top of the GOP ticket, Mitt Romney, spent the day in Vermont preparing for the fall debates.

Back in Charlotte, the Democratic National Convention officially kicked off late this afternoon.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (DFla.): The 46th quadrennial National Convention of the Democratic Party will now come to order.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HARI SREENIVASAN: The highlight tonight will feature first lady Michelle Obama addressing the convention.