Rahm Emanuel on 2012 Election: 'Clear Choice,' 'Clear Implications'

The president's former chief of staff discusses the first night of Democratic National Convention.
3:00 | 09/05/12

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Transcript for Rahm Emanuel on 2012 Election: 'Clear Choice,' 'Clear Implications'
And for more on bill clinton and barack obama, the man who has worked for both men, the current mayor of chicago, rahm emanuel. Thanks for coming in. Thank you, george. Michelle obama electrified the room here. But coming in, the president was facing tough poll numbers. Abc news/"washington post," the first incumbent president in modern times to come in under water, more unfavorable than favorable. Among voters. How big a worry is that? And how do you turn it around? Do you need to lay out more of a specific plan? There's no doubt that the president needs to talk about his vision for a second term. What it will mean for america. That's a requirement. I wouldn't call it a state of the union. But I would call it about a clear choice and the direction he wants to take the country. He owes the country, if he gets elected, that type of clarity. In a state of the union, you talk about this and talk about that. Why has it taken so long to I think it's the appropriate time to do that. And I think it's continuing throughout the campaign, right now, through the debates, to election day, this is a choice. I try to say this in not -- in so many words, which is, you have one individual that said let detroit go bankrupt. And another, the president, said I've got your back. Mitt romney said in vegas, when it came to housing, let it hit rock-bottom. The president said, let's figure out how you can refinance to hold on to it. Clear policy choices. Clear implications for the american people. Different directives. And it's a choice. That's what it's going to take. And to finish that conversation, the president will lay out his vision, not just for the next four years. But their consequences for the next four years. President getting criticism for mitt romney. This is an issue the democrats took out, for the democratic platform, they said jerusalem and shall remain the capital of israel. Mitt romney called it shameful. This is a red herring if I've ever seen one. The fact is, jerusalem has always been bipartisan, clearly, by all precedents. It's a discussion between the israelis and palestinians. And regardless of what george bush's platform. I don't know, george. I'm a mayor of the city of chicago. I know what the president's policy has been for four years. And I know a red herring when i see one. Let's talk about bill clinton. Newt gingrich, former nemesis of bill clinton has been a partner, negotiating partner, as well. Says it's an enormous risk to have bill clinton speak tonight. Please. That's ridiculous. A former president who is very popular, who will talk and explain about the policies and the track that the two have had, investing in education, investing in alternative energy, green energy, and a responsible way of balancing the budget. I think he can do nothing but help. And the notion that newt's going to give our party strategic advice? No thank you. The republicans say be careful what you wish for, that sounds like that's your message to them. Let me say this, my only advice to them, not that they would take it, I would not have paul ryan's fact-checker looking over mitt romney's tax returns. Your line of the morning. You're going to be leaving this convention right after president clinton's speech tonight. Facing real problems in chicago. The potentially first teacher's strike in 20 years. Are you going to be able to prevent it? I opened up before I came here, the school day. Went to three different schools. We've added in the first time in a decade, an hour and a half and two weeks to the school year. Five new science and technology schools. The kids belong in that classroom. The negotiators belong at the table. Thanks for your time this

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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