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Dems seek Clinton luster; move Obama’s big speech

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama swept into his convention city Wednesday, eager to accept his party's nomination and make the case for re-election despite a sputtering economy. He hoped to claim a little luster from Bill Clinton's prime-time address to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. In a last-minute shift, the president ditched plans to deliver his acceptance speech before a throng of 74,000 at an outdoor stadium on the convention's final night, citing iffy weather for Thursday. With a chance of thunderstorms on the horizon, Obama will accept his party's nomination indoors before about 15,000 people at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

God out of Democratic platform

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Democratic Party's platform makes no reference to God, drawing criticism from Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan tells Fox News' "Fox & Friends" the change is not in keeping with the country's founding documents and principles and suggests the Obama administration is behind the decision. The Republican platform mentions God 12 times.

Ryan faces accuracy questions as he assails Obama

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan defended himself Tuesday against lingering questions about the accuracy of some of his recent statements. In interviews, Ryan disputed the notion that he misled voters in last week's convention speech while criticizing President Barack Obama's handling of debt reduction and the closure of a General Motors plant in his Wisconsin hometown. He also laughed off questions about why he understated his time in a marathon race by an hour.

Opening night convention spotlight on first lady

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — In a tight race for the White House, President Barack Obama exhorted college students not to forget him despite difficult times on Tuesday as Democrats shone the spotlight on his wife at the opening of their national convention. Republicans weren't alone in pointing out the economic troubles in an election year shadowed by a sluggish recovery and unemployment of 8.3 percent. "It's tough out there" for many Americans, conceded Elizabeth Warren, running for a Senate seat now in Republican hands in Massachusetts.

Dems see Latino-based future as union clout wanes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — On a precarious political bridge, Democrats are desperately trying to reach a promising future before their old foundation crumbles behind them. Union clout has eroded. But Hispanic strength is growing, raising long-term hopes. What about now?

Romney campaign, RNC raise $100 million in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has raised at least $100 million in August, The Associated Press has learned, hitting that mark for a third consecutive month with a fundraising prowess that has let him outraise President Barack Obama so far this summer. The early numbers, which include money raised by the national Republican Party, will be publicly released next week. They were described by two people familiar with the figures who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share internal campaign matters.

Michelle Obama out to rev up enthusiasm for Obama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democrats open their national convention Tuesday offering President Barack Obama as America's best chance to revive the ragged U.S. economy and asking voters to be patient with incomplete results so far. Michelle Obama, in her opening-night speech, aims to give people a very personal reminder of "the man that he was before he was president." "The truth is that he has grown so much, but in terms of his core character and value, that has not been changed at all," Mrs. Obama said in a radio interview.

Ryan says Obama’s record worse than Carter’s

WESTLAKE, Ohio (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan pressed the GOP argument Tuesday that the country isn't better off after nearly four years under President Barack Obama, comparing the incumbent's record to the performance of the last Democrat who was denied a second term in the White House. "As a matter of fact, President Obama's record is worse than Jimmy Carter's record," Ryan declared from behind a lectern labeled with a sign that asks, "Are you better off?"

Dems try to rev up Obama enthusiasm at convention

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democrats open their national convention Tuesday offering President Barack Obama as America's best chance to revive the ragged U.S. economy and asking voters to be patient with incomplete results so far. Michelle Obama, in her opening-night speech, aims to give people a very personal reminder of "the man that he was before he was president." "The truth is that he has grown so much, but in terms of his core character and value, that has not been changed at all," Mrs. Obama said in interview airing on SiriusXM's "The Joe Madison Show."

Dems open convention playing defense of Obama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democrats open their national convention Tuesday offering President Barack Obama as America's best chance to revive the ragged U.S. economy and asking voters to be patient with incomplete results so far. Michelle Obama, in her opening-night speech, aims to give people a very personal reminder of "the man that he was before he was president." "The truth is that he has grown so much, but in terms of his core character and value, that has not been changed at all," Mrs. Obama said in interview airing on SiriusXM's "The Joe Madison Show."

Dems: “Better off” question needs context

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democrats say answering the question of whether Americans are better off now than they were four years ago requires some context. Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren tells NBC's "Today" show Tuesday that people should remember how far the economy fell and how hard it is to get back from a time when the stock market was crashing and the auto industry was a mess. She says the real issue is who has the best plan to move forward.

Convention eve: Obama consoles storm victims

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama consoled victims of Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast on Monday and stoked the enthusiasm of union voters in the industrial heartland, blending a hard political sell with a softer show of sympathy on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. At times like these, "nobody's a Democrat or a Republican, we're all just Americans looking out for one another," the president said after inspecting damage inflicted by the storm and hugging some of its victims. He was flanked by local and state officials of both parties as he spoke.

Obama: Help is on the way to hurricane zone

LaPLACE, La. (AP) — President Barack Obama insisted on Monday that the federal government can help Americans in crisis, whether they're autoworkers fearful that their company will disappear or Gulf Coast residents picking up the pieces after the devastation of Hurricane Isaac. In separate appearances in Ohio and Louisiana, the Democratic incumbent delivered a forceful defense of government involvement to counter the oft-repeated Republican argument that business and free enterprise are the main drivers of U.S success. Obama has said the election between himself and Republican Mitt Romney is a clear choice of the competing visions about the role and reach of government.

Analysis: 4-year progress query puts Obama in box

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It's a question that aides to any president seeking re-election should be ready to handle: Are Americans better off now than before he took office? This seemingly simple query, however, flummoxed President Barack Obama's team over the Labor Day weekend, throwing the campaign on the defensive just as the Democrats are about to open their national convention.

Marchers lament NC union stance but support Obama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Union activists walked a political tightrope on Monday — voicing support for President Barack Obama's re-election bid while lamenting adversarial attitudes toward organized labor in the state Democrats chose for the presidential nominating convention. More than 300 people marched in the Charlotte Labor Day Parade a day before the kickoff of the Democratic National Convention, carrying signs, wearing matching shirts and chanting. In contrast to a protest the previous day, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly pro-Obama, family-friendly and generally low-key. The police presence was much lighter.

Obama says Romney would bring a ‘losing season’

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — President Barack Obama warned union workers in football-crazy Ohio on Monday that Republican Mitt Romney would guide the nation to a "losing season," imploring voters in the battleground state to take his opponent's plan and "punt it away." Before a trip to Louisiana to view flood damage from Hurricane Isaac, Obama marked Labor Day by using a series of sports analogies to dismiss Romney, who told voters in Iowa last weekend that it was "time to get a new coach. It's time for America to see a winning season again, and we're going to bring it to them."

Biden to organized labor: We’re with you

DETROIT (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden had a simple Labor Day message for unionized workers: Stick with President Barack Obama because the other guys are worse. Biden told about 3,500 supporters Monday that the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would roll back collective bargaining rights, denigrate their work and undermine the slow economic recovery under way.

Another disaster brings candidates to Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mitt Romney wasted no time after accepting the GOP presidential nomination in heading to Louisiana to see the damage from Hurricane Isaac, changing his schedule on the fly to get there the very next day. President Barack Obama also tweaked his travel plans to make sure he gets there Monday, ahead of his own nominating convention. This for a Category 1 storm that killed seven and swamped low-lying areas of Louisiana and dumped more than a foot of rain on its way north — a disaster, to be sure, but one that will never rival the biggest to hit the Gulf Coast.

Obama’s Labor Day: Politics, presence in the Gulf

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Barreling through the presidential campaign's competitive states, President Barack Obama will detour deep in the South on Labor Day, long enough to offer a presence and promises of help to those flooded out by Hurricane Isaac. Obama will mix politics and presidential empathy on a holiday traditionally known as an election-year turning point, with summer closing and more voters paying attention to the race for the White House. Obama shortened his campaign schedule after Isaac pounded the Gulf Coast, but he will still rally the labor vote in Ohio on Monday.

Dems seek to exploit advantage on foreign policy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democrats sought to push foreign policy, one of President Barack Obama's strengths, to the forefront of the White House campaign Sunday, casting Republican Mitt Romney as out of touch with the nation's international priorities and unprepared to manage them. Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Pennsylvania, painted Romney as a warmonger who opposes ending the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and is looking to start new military action in Iran and Syria. He made the claim without offering any proof.