Q. How important is the convention to President Obama's hopes of carrying North Carolina?
The goal of everyone involved in the process was to select a city that will host a well-executed convention that will help put President Obama on the path to victory next November. We felt it was important to underscore our expanded map in 2012, and that we will be competitive in all regions of the country, including the South.
It was incredibly exciting that the president turned both North Carolina and neighboring Virginia blue for the first time in many years in 2008.
Q. Republicans hold their convention in your home state of Florida. Will that help them there in November?
Of course, the Republican convention will have a positive economic impact on my home state, and I'm sure Floridians will be wonderful hosts for that convention. But the location of the Republican convention doesn't change the fact that the GOP is advancing the same failed policies of the past - ending Medicare as we know it, slashing Social Security, and balancing the budget on the backs of middle-class families. ... Holding the convention in Florida won't change those facts.
Q. Gallup has Obama's approval rating among independents at 35 percent. How does he change that?
We believe that the president is well-positioned for victory in 2012. He is doing the job the American people elected him to do, fighting for middle-class families every day. In contrast, Republicans are fighting for the special interests, millionaires and billionaires.
Q. Voters gave Republicans a lot of victories in 2010. How do you avoid a repeat in 2012?
The midterms were tough, but we're taking the lessons of that election and applying them to 2012. We are working hard, fostering relationships, and strengthening our strong and vibrant Democratic communities in all 50 states, and I'm confident we're on track to win in 2012.
Q. How will Democrats portray Charlotte?
The Democratic National Convention offers a unique opportunity to showcase this dynamic, diverse and vibrant city on the world stage. Under the leadership of Mayor Foxx, Charlotte is a growing and vivacious community that reflects America in the 21st century.
We all can learn a lot from Charlotte about building a better future and rebuilding the economy in a way that creates opportunities for everyone. Charlotte is a great example for the rest of our country as its leaders are doing what President Obama has set out to do - strengthening and diversifying through education, technology, research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship to leverage good jobs for the American people.