Former President Bill Clinton formally nominated Barack Obama for re-election, telling a cheering convention crowd that his policies are best for the U.S. economy.
President Obama “inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs,” Clinton said in a speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
No president could have repaired the damage to the U.S. economy “in just four years,” Clinton said.
In their first order of business today, Democrats amended the party’s platform to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Republicans had criticized Democrats after discovering the language had been omitted, seeking to cast Obama as a weak supporter of the U.S. ally.
Four years ago, Democrats’ platform stated that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.” That language was reinstated.
The convention also added a reference to God, which the platform had lacked. The document now refers to the “God-given potential” of “working people.”
Speakers preceding Clinton to the podium tonight included Elizabeth Warren, who is challenging Republican Scott Brown for his Senate seat in Massachusetts.
Warren, a Harvard Law professor who helped set up the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Obama, is her party’s hope to recapture the seat long held by Ted Kennedy, who died in office in 2009.
Warren on Romney
She highlighted what Romney’s plan to roll-back Wall Street regulations would mean for consumers. Former employees of companies bought by Romney’s private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC also addressed delegates. Obama and allied political action committees have attacked Romney over his work at Bain, linking him to job layoffs and outsourcing by companies that the firm invested in.
Romney, who is taking a break from campaigning this week to huddle with top advisers on a Vermont estate preparing for next month’s presidential debates, came out of seclusion briefly to travel to a building supply store in nearby West Lebanon, New Hampshire and to sit for several television interviews.
He also spoke briefly to reporters and criticized Obama’s fiscal record, saying Democrats during their convention’s first day avoided talking about the U.S. debt that has ballooned and poverty that has deepened during Obama’s presidency.
“You heard no one stand up and say that people are better off today than they were four years ago,” Romney said after stopping at the Lui Lui restaurant to pick up pizza. “They really can’t say that.”
He said news this week that the national debt has reached $16 trillion -- up from $10 trillion when Obama became president -- and that the number of food-stamp recipients has reached 47 million tell the story of Obama’s failed record.
“There’s just no way he can square those numbers with the idea that America is doing better, because it’s not,” Romney said.