Emanuel slams Romney, recalls his time working with Obama

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes the stage to speak during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 4, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes the stage to speak during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 4, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered up his view of the choice facing voters this November and reaffirmed Democrats' support for President Obama while criticizing Republican Mitt Romney.

"Whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the White House when that crisis lands like a thud on the Oval Office desk?" Emanuel asked the crowd on the first night of the Democratic National Convention here.

"A person who said in four words, 'Let Detroit go bankrupt,'" he said, referring to anop-edRomney wrote, although those words were in the headline and not actually written or said by Romney, "or a president who had another four words, 'Not on my watch'?"

"A person who believes in giving tax cuts to the most fortunate, or a president who believes in making college affordable for all Americans? A person who wanted to keep 'don't ask, don't tell,' or a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love?"

Emanuel, who served as Mr. Obama's hard-charging and sometimes expletive-laden chief of staff from 2009 through 2011 ("We have a 'no profanity' promise from Rahm, so we're very excited about that," an Obama campaign official told CBS News while previewing his speech) spoke about serving with the president and how they approached tackling the economic problems they faced.

"On that first day, I said, 'Mr. President, which crisis do you want to tackle first?' He looked at me, with that look he usually reserved for his chief of staff, 'Rahm, we were sent here to tackle all of them, not choose between them.' There was no blueprint or how-to manual for fixing a global financial meltdown, an auto crisis, two wars and a great recession, all at the same time."

He went on to describe how the president dealt with the auto bailout, winding down the war in Iraq, health care and the economy and repeated the mantra, "That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered."

"The person who takes the oath of office in the next four months will shape not just the next four years, but the next forty years of our nation. In these next four years, we need proven leadership, proven judgment and proven values," said Emanuel, adding, "America needs four more years of President Barack Obama."

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBSNews.com's Executive Editor, Washington.

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