Nightly News | September 04, 2012
>>> good evening, and if it's tuesday, must be charlotte. the second of the two conventions this political season. and the democrats, the incumbents get to bat last. a lot has changed since the last time they gathered during those days of hope and change. the nation remains mired in an economic downturn. back then americans were serving in uniform on two fronts overseas. and as of tonight, the nation is still at war. president obama the incumbent now has an opponent to run against. this is the chance for obama/biden to make their case against romney/ryan and ask americans for their vote again. tonight we'll see the keynote and hear from first lady michelle obama . and with that ahead of us, let's go to our political team here in charlotte. four white house correspondents , current and former, beginning with chuck todd down on the floor of the north carolina delegati delegation. chuck, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. if the republican convention was all about trying to present mitt romney 's softer side, the democratic convention has a different goal for the president. shoring up votes from hispanics and women. as workers inside the hall put finishing touches on the convention stage, democrats prepare to appeal to two key constituencies, women and hispanics . they favor the president but lack the enthusiasm they had for him four years ago. leading the charge on women, michelle obama .
>> are you ready for this?
>> reporter: in all, five of the prime time speakers tonight at the convention are women. charged with delivering tonight's official keynote address , julian castro . the 37-year-old mayor of san anton antonio. democrats hope his personal story will resonate with latinos.
>> my mother worked very hard so joaquin and i could have a good shot in life and reach our dreams.
>> reporter: joaquin is castro's twin brother , who will introduce him tonight. he's one of six hispanics speaking tonight. while modern conventions are tightly scripted affairs, before this gathering even started, a basic question tripped up the democrats.
>> can you honestly say people are better off today than they were four years ago?
>> no, but that's not the question of the selection 37
>> reporter: while martin o'malley reversed himself the next day.
>> we are clearly better off as a country because we're creating jobs rather than losing them.
>> reporter: it hasn't stopped the republican ticket from exploiting the misstep. even adding an are you better off sign to paul ryan 's podium.
>> he cannot tell you that you're better off. after getting -- after four years of getting the runaround, what america needs is a turnaround. the man for that job is mitt romney .
>> reporter: and now republicans are making hay over this answer the president gave to a colorado tv station about his handling of the economy.
>> you've had three and a half years to fix it, what grade would you give yourself so far for doing that?
>> i would say incomplete. what i would say is the steps we've taken in saving the auto industry in making sure that college is more affordable in investing in clean energy and science and technology and research. those are all the things we're going to need to grow over the long term.
>> reporter: a little irony on the are you better off argument, jimmy carter , the man ronald reagan defeated using that very question, he addresses the convention tonight by videotape. also of note, there will be a tribute to the last person to defeat mitt romney in a general election , the late ted kennedy . brian?
>> chuck todd starting off our