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August 31st, 2012
11:27 AM ET

CA Senate candidate Emken says GOP needs more women talking about what we're trying to do for families

Mitt Romney officially accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president last night with a sweeping speech relaying why he should be the next president of the United States. Romney even shared personal anecdotes, resonating with the American public and women especially.

Joining John Berman on “Early Start” this morning is Elizabeth Emken, Republican Senatorial Candidate for California. Emken is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Diane Feinstein for the seat in a two-woman race in the largest state in the nation. She talks to Berman about Romney’s big night and women leaders at the Republican National Convention.

Emken says Romney made a great connection with women in his acceptance speech, but wife Ann Romney stood out to her most. “Ann Romney did such a good job in my view of making that connection of women to her husband,” she says. “As we’re looking at women and families, and what it is we need, especially in California, I just think that connection is so important.”

Emken also responds to the latest WSJ/NBC Poll showing a gap among women for approval of Obama versus Romney, 51% to 41% in 12 battleground states.

“I think we need to have more women in the Republican Party out there and talking about what is we’re trying to do for families,” she says. “I think we have to do a better job in the Republican Party of putting women out there with real life experiences,” Emken says. “I’m a real person.”

August 31st, 2012
11:12 AM ET

Will Romney get a bump from RNC speech? National Journal's Ron Brownstein weighs in

Governor Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in Tampa last night with a powerful speech that convention goers had been looking forward to all week. CNN Senior Political Analyst and Editorial Director of the National Journal Ron Brownstein joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning to assess whether Romney’s acceptance speech will deliver a bounce for the party.

Brownstein offers that “there should be some game for Romney, but nothing that happened this week though is likely to fundamentally change this race.”

Breaking down the speech, Brownstein notes it for its “striking tone.” “The tone was more of sorrow than of anger,” he says. “It felt as though he was trying to give Obama '08 voters permission to vote against him in 2012 without feeling bad about voting for him the first time.”

“In essence, the Romney campaign is responding to the charge that he favors the rich by basically making the argument that Obama is taking money from the middle class and giving it to the poor,” Brownstein says the Romney Campaign is going “directly on the offense” on key issues. “The Ryan plan to convert Medicare into a premium support system is still unpopular among seniors,” Brownstein says. “But so is the Obama health care plan, overwhelmingly unpopular,” he adds.

On a final note, Brownstein says the Obama Campaign’s challenge in Charlotte next week is two-fold. “One is to recement that portrait of Romney who favors the few at the expense of the many,” he says. “Even more importantly, where is President Obama going to take us in a second term?” Bronstein asks. “There really hasn’t been a lot of detail. And I think that is the biggest detail.”

August 31st, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Did Romney reinvent himself in his Republican National Convention speech? CNN contributors Margaret Hoover and Erick Erickson weigh in

CNN contributors Margaret Hoover and Erick Erickson recap Mitt Romney and Clint Eastwood's speech at the RNC.

August 31st, 2012
06:51 AM ET

What the election means for your kid's education – Christine Romans on what politicians claim they'll do to fix the system

Education issues are starting to play a part in the race for the White House. This morning on "Early Start," Christine Romans looks at what the candidates have been saying and what they claim they'll do to fix our education system.


Filed under: 2012 election • Education • Minding Your Business • Politics
August 31st, 2012
06:41 AM ET

Tech gadget season kicks off in September – Christine Romans details which tablets you'll be craving

September is just a day away, and you know what that means: A bunch of big gadget releases.

Which gadget will you be craving? Will it be the Applie iPad mini? Or the Microsoft Surface tablet?

Christine Romans looks to the hotly anticipated gadgets scheduled for a fall 2012 release.


Filed under: Gadgets • Minding Your Business
August 30th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Rep. Blackburn says Paul Ryan is 'a guy of big ideas'

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) talks with John Berman on "Early Start" about what she thinks GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan did right in his speech to the Republican National Convention..

"The floor did love him and I think the American people are going to realize how genuine he is in trying to solve our nation's fiscal woes," Blackburn says. "You know, Paul is a guy of big ideas and he's not afraid to put something out there and say let's consider this or let's think about this or let's have a discussion on this issue."

When asked about Ryan's 'specificity' on budget cuts, Blackburn points to Ryan's track record.

"Look at Ryan budget that the House has brought forward," she says "Look at the way we've addressed across the board spending cuts. Look at the way we have talked about reforming the trust funds, Medicare and Social Security, making those stable, secure, solvent, and then addressing entitlements in Medicaid, the largest of the entitlements. You know, there is time for specificity. Last night was the time to say - hey, we've got a pathway and this is where we're going to go. And I think you're going to see him fill in those specifics as we go forward."

August 30th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

VIDEO: CNN contributor Will Cain on Paul Ryan's 'tough sell' message

CNN contributor Will Cain analyzes Rep. Paul Ryan's speech before the Republican National Convention.

August 30th, 2012
10:04 AM ET

New Orleans recovery operations for Isaac going 'hard and heavy' today, city deputy mayor says

New Orleans is still in the midst of slow-moving Tropical Storm Isaac today. Trees are down and streets are flooded while some residents remain in desperate need of rescue. But a dozen cases of looting have been reported as of yesterday as well.

Lt. Col Jerry Sneed is both the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Director for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for the city of New Orleans. He leads the storm response for the city and speaks to Zoraida Sambolin on “Early Start” this morning with the latest.

“The big thing is no power for about 160,000 of our citizens,” he says. “The winds are finally dying down,” Sneed adds. Some of his crews started cleaning up yesterday, but the winds were still too high to work safely. Sneed says they’ll “start recovery options today, hard and heavy,” when it’s safer.

“We want to get the power back up. We want to get the streets right and get our citizens back, he says. “But we can’t jeopardize life. So we’ll take care of our public safety people and energy and so forth and work safely.”

Sneed also praises the New Orleans police who have been on the scene to arrest looters. “Everybody’s got some bad people out there that will burglarize and loot even in good weather,” he says, “but the police department is doing a wonderful job.”


Filed under: Isaac
August 30th, 2012
06:34 AM ET

Delgadillo family recounts dramatic rescue after Hurricane Isaac floods Plaquemines Parish

Hurricane Isaac put the levees in the Gulf Coast to the ultimate test yesterday on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Two levees outside of the federal levee system in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana were overtopped and flood waters have reached 14-feet, trapping some residents during the storm.

The Delgadillo family fled to their attic when their home flooded until they were rescued by neighbors. Rafael Delgadillo joins Zoraida Sambolin over the phone on “Early Start” this morning to talk about the ordeal.

He and his family “didn’t really have much time to panic and get scared,” Delgadillo says. Delgadillo says a neighbor called to make sure the family was okay and said to “hang tight” until he could help. The neighbors risked their lives to rescue the family from the attic in the morning.

When asked why Delgatillo didn't heed the mandatory evacuation, he says it just didn't seem like Isaac would wreak havoc.

"During Katrina, my house didn't take on any water. Pretty much everybody in that neighborhood, we realized it was a category 1 storm coming in. We didn't feel threatened," he says.

Delgadillo says his 8-year-old daughter and rest of his family are fine after the rescue. He also says he thanks Jesse Shaffer and his son for rescuing his family.


Filed under: Isaac
August 30th, 2012
06:24 AM ET

Relief coming after Hurricane Isaac leads to gas price spike

Christine Romans on a report claiming that gas prices should ease soon after largest one-day jump since 2011.


Filed under: Gas prices • Minding Your Business
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