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July 24, 2014

Posts in "Charlotte"

September 5, 2012

Gabrielle Giffords to Deliver Pledge Thursday at Convention

Updated: 8:12 p.m. | CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will make a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, Roll Call has confirmed.

She will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a source close to the former Congresswoman, kicking off the night that will culminate in President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination for president.

Giffords spokeswoman Hayley Zachary confirmed that the former Congresswoman is in Charlotte but did not expound on her plans for the convention.

“I can confirm that Gabby is in Charlotte to attend the convention, and she is excited to be here,” Zachary said. “She does not have a role in tonight’s convention schedule.” Full story

Democrats: Mitt Romney Will ‘Take Us for a Long, Painful Ride’

Democrats: Mitt Romney Will Take Us for a Long, Painful Ride

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray this evening urged voters to keep a Democratic majority in the Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The heads of Democratic campaign arms charged with winning a majority in the House and keeping a majority in the Senate this evening made a largely economic case for Democratic control in Washington, D.C., and painted a sharp contrast with the GOP.

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) ticked through the accomplishments of a Democratic Congress and President Barack Obama, from health care reform to veterans benefits.

But both saved their most impassioned words for knocking the GOP.

“Simply, with a Republican Congress sitting shotgun,” Murray said. “Mitt Romney will put the middle class on the roof and take us for a long, painful ride.” The crowd cheered as the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee alluded to an incident years ago during which Romney put his family’s dog on the roof of his car for a long road trip.

“Here’s their economic plan, ladies and gentlemen,” Israel said. “If you’re a millionaire, you win the lottery. If you’re a senior, you lose your Medicare guarantee.”

The phrase “middle class” was peppered throughout both speeches, honing a message that Democrats are looking out for and will look out for the wide swath of Americans who consider themselves in that economic strata — and that Republicans have not and will not.

Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took particular aim at GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the House Budget chairman, and his Republican House colleagues’ votes.

Israel has made the changes to Medicare ensconced in Ryan’s controversial budgets a centerpiece of Democratic attacks on Republican candidates and Members. But Israel has a very steep uphill battle in taking back the House.

Murray, on the other hand, has at least an even chance of maintaining Democratic control of the Senate, even if by a razor-thin margin.

“Re-elect this president. Keep the Senate Democratic. And we can make sure every American family has the opportunities mine did,” Murray said. “Republicans may have given up on our country’s middle class, but President Obama never has; Senate Democrats never have and, together, we never will.”

The crowd cheered: “Pat-ty, Pat-ty, Pat-ty.”

Ted Strickland Can Light Up a Room. Now What?

Ted Strickland Can Light Up a Room. Now What?

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland blew the party faithful away with his speech highlighting economic comeback stories in his home state.

But Strickland might as well have been talking about himself when he uttered these words: “You know, Vince Lombardi was right when he said, ‘It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get back up.”

Since narrowly losing re-election last cycle, Strickland kept active in national politics — in part by serving as the president’s re-election campaign co-chairman. But his fiery speech last night only fueled speculation about the 71-year-old’s next move.

Full story

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Inside Game

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Inside Game

Workers clean up to prepare for tonight's program in the Time Warner Cable Arena. The threat of severe weather has moved Thursday night's program into the arena as well. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

The CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing is being published from the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week. For more information on signing up to receive this free email, click here.

THE PODIUM: The story of the day is that the podium will stay inside for tomorrow night’s Obama and Biden speeches. Convention organizers say they’ve decided the odds of intense thunderstorms in prime time are too strong to risk having the convention finale at Charlotte’s open-air football field; Republicans say the move is more because the Democrats were embarrassingly far away from filling the 74,000 seats in Bank of America Stadium.

The convention’s middle session convenes at 5 inside the 21,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena for six straight hours of speeches reflecting all the constituencies and agendas of the party — climaxing with the party’s surrogate-speechmaker-in-chief. Bill Clinton will take the stage at 10:30 and is supposed to finish formally nominating his best frenemy before the end of prime time. After that, a ceremonial roll call of the states will last well past midnight before Obama as officially acclaimed the party’s 2012 standard-bearer. (Amazingly, the scheduled benediction afterward is to be offered by Monica Lewinsky’s childhood rabbi, David Wolpe of Temple Sinai in L.A.)

Full story

For Barack Obama, it’s Never Been About ‘Better Off’

For Barack Obama, its Never Been About Better Off

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Obama campaign and its chief surrogates have spent the week here cleaning up a mess from the Sunday talk shows, when they collectively declined to answer “yes” to the question: Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?

Answering this question in the affirmative is standard practice for a president running for re-election — regardless of the circumstances he finds himself in. Vice President Joseph Biden tried to reset the campaign’s answer on Monday by telling a crowd at a rally in Detroit: “If you want to know whether we’re better off, I got a bumper sticker for you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!”

By the end of the Labor Day holiday, everyone on team Obama was with the program, and in the two days since, the president’s supporters have told anyone who asks — or who will listen — that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. But that has never been President Barack Obama’s re-election message, nor his argument for why he deserves a second term. And it still isn’t.

Full story

Weather Forces Barack Obama’s Speech Indoors

Weather Forces Barack Obamas Speech Indoors

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic officials announced today that President Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech scheduled for Thursday has been moved from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena because of anticipated thunderstorms.

Full story

September 4, 2012

Democrats Hammer Mitt Romney for Quote He Never Said

Democrats Hammer Mitt Romney for Quote He Never Said

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was among those who hammered Mitt Romney for words he didn't say or write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From dawn to dusk on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, Democratic leaders seemingly used Mitt Romney’s own words against him in front of delegations and national television audiences.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, echoing others, described Romney tonight in his speech as “a person who said in four words, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’”

Except Romney never said or wrote it.

The source of the quote is a November 2009 op-ed Romney wrote in the New York Times. The editorial Romney wrote is not nearly as definitive as that headline, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

Full story

Kennedy Tribute Sets Tone for DNC’s First Night

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An emotional tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) set the tone for the first night of the Democratic National Convention here, reminding delegates of the key facets of his legacy, from health care to his early support of President Barack Obama.

A seven-minute video was broadcast to delegates and a national audience, ending with a picture of Obama walking side-by-side with an ailing Kennedy, ambling with a cane in the waning days before he lost his battle with cancer.

Kennedy’s image served as both a hopeful reminder of the energy that surrounded Obama’s 2008 campaign and an eerie foil to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who challenged Kennedy in 1994 for his long-held Senate seat. The video cut by the Democratic National Committee included footage of Kennedy attacking Romney in a now-infamous debate. Full story

Harry Reid Slams Mitt Romney on Taxes Again in Convention Speech

Harry Reid Slams Mitt Romney on Taxes Again in Convention Speech

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In one of the toughest speeches of the Democratic National Convention’s first night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized Republicans and again implied that their party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, skipped out on paying taxes.

The Nevada Democrat accused the GOP as a whole of being under the thumb of Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist and called the tea party a group of “extremists and ideologues.”

He went on to describe Romney as a “beneficiary” of a “rigged game.” Full story

Democrats Officially Kick Off Convention in Charlotte

Democrats Officially Kick Off Convention in Charlotte

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Debbie Wasserman Schultz gaveled the Democratic National Convention to order this evening, kicking off the event that will officially renominate Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and Florida Congresswoman welcomed delegates and guests.

She said the convention was about more than just demonstrating why Obama should get a second term in the White House.

“It’s about Americans coming together to build one economy: not from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up,” she said. Full story

Democrats Like Their Chances of Holding the Senate

Democrats Like Their Chances of Holding the Senate

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is among the Senate candidates speaking at the Democratic National Convention this week. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee believes it is in a better position today than it was at the beginning of the cycle, when the lopsided number of Senate seats the party was tasked with defending in battleground states put its 53-47 majority in jeopardy.

“Relative to where we started the cycle in January of last year, we’ve made significant improvement in our chances of holding on to the Senate,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said today in an off-camera briefing with reporters at the Charlotte Convention Center. Full story

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Vision Revision

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Vision Revision

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, does her podium walk-through before speaking at the convention tonight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing is being published from the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week. For more information on signing up to receive this free email, click here.

THE PODIUM: The Democratic National Convention will convene at 5, the gavel wielded by national party chairwoman and Florida House member Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (It’s the party’s 47th convention, but only the fifth in the South; Republicans have won the presidency each of the previous times Democrats met in the region — the last in 1988, when Michael Dukakis was nominated in Atlanta.) The party has underscored its “room for everyone” approach by sending 5,556 delegates, more than twice as many as went to Tampa for the GOP convention. Half are women, 27 percent are African-Americans and 5 percent are students — including Samuel Gray of Iowa, the youngest delegate, who won’t turn 18 until just before Election Day. (The oldest is 98-year-old Elzena Johnson of Mississippi.)

The opening night’s marquee attraction is Michelle Obama, whose approval rating of 66 percent is 20 points or so above her husband’s current “favorable” polling average. She’ll take the stage at 10:35 as Character Witness No. 1 and testify that her husband’s life experiences guarantee he understands the struggles of most Americans — in contrast, she will imply but might not say explicitly, to his opponent.

Full story

Isaac Could Cause More Havoc for DNC Than RNC

Telecommunications officials in North Carolina are preparing for the possibility that the remnants of Hurricane Isaac could knock out access to cell towers near the Democratic National Convention.

Verizon Wireless said in a statement this afternoon that the company is working with convention officials to help ensure its customers in and around Charlotte maintain access to their iPhones, tablets and BlackBerrys in the event that high winds and heavy rains lead to power outages.

Jerry Fountain, president of the Carolinas/Tennessee region of Verizon Wireless, said that mobile cell towers and emergency generators could be brought in from adjoining states if bad weather materializes.

“Our team has been meeting regularly with DNC committee and city officials to discuss and prepare for possible flooding and high winds. We are confident we have resources and procedures in place to keep our network strong through the heavy rains being dumped in Charlotte,” Fountain said.

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy showers and thunderstorms in the Charlotte area from this afternoon through overnight.

Rain could fall at rates of as much as two inches per hour in the heaviest downpours associated with the storm, according to the NWS regional office in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.

“Any heavy rainfall today could quickly cause flooding of streams and creeks,” in the region, the office said.

Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre: A Tale of 2 N.C. Democrats at Party’s Convention

Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre: A Tale of 2 N.C. Democrats at Partys Convention

(Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike McIntyre joined several House Democratic colleagues speaking to the North Carolina delegates in Charlotte today. Missing was embattled Rep. Larry Kissell, who was only a few miles away.

Redistricting in North Carolina made both Kissell’s 8th district and McIntyre’s 7th significantly more Republican. But while Kissell is keeping his distance from the Democrats gathering in Charlotte — particularly President Barack Obama — McIntyre is speaking out.

At the delegation breakfast, McIntyre touted his seniority in the House and took some digs at his Republican opponent’s plans to cut education spending and overhaul Medicare.

McIntyre said state Senator David Rouzer wants to turn Medicare into “a voucher system” and “give seniors a check and say: good luck.” Full story

Elizabeth Warren Invokes Edward Kennedy; Tom Menino Mum on Senate Race

Elizabeth Warren Invokes Edward Kennedy; Tom Menino Mum on Senate Race

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren invoked the memory of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) in remarks to the Bay State’s Democratic delegation here, a day before she is set to take the stage at the Democratic National Convention.

Warren, hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown, recalled a long meeting she had with Kennedy in the mid 1990s about bankruptcy and its effect on working families. She talked about Kennedy’s decade of work against a bankruptcy reform bill that she said wasn’t in the interest of working people.

“Ted Kennedy changed my life,” Warren said. “He changed how I understood what it is that a public servant does. And I think of him in this race every single day. And I come to this convention and I think of him every single hour.” Full story

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