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CNN "CNN Newsroom" - Transcript

Interview

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BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Joining me now, we have Senator Bill Nelson. The Florida Democrat is up for reelection.

So, Senator, nice to see you. Thanks for joining me.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: Hello, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Senator, let's just begin with the guy you're hoping will win this thing and get another four years being Barack Obama.

What do you want to hear from him? What does he need to do in his president-elect Thursday to appeal to voters specifically, sir, in your state?

NELSON: Well, I want all this misinformation to be put to rest.

I will give you an example. You heard last week over and over $700 billion cut out of Medicare. It is exactly the opposite. It was $700 billion in the health care bill of savings in order to extend the life of Medicare. Where did it come from? It came from providers like insurance companies on Medicare Advantage. That's the truth and what I want, the truth to come out of this convention.

BALDWIN: You think the president will get into that kind of detail on Thursday?

NELSON: If he doesn't, it will already be put to rest by many people before him.

And that's what the American people need to know. Another example, you have heard this refrain. Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Well, what was four years ago? September and October of 2008, we were in a financial down spiral after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The stock market crashed, massive job layoffs.

(CROSSTALK)

NELSON: Fortunately, now, for the last 29 straight months, we have had private sector job growth. It's painfully slow, but it is the recovery.

BALDWIN: But what do you make of the president's response to the question yesterday talking to a Colorado reporter with regard to grading his job with the economy, his mission in those four years? His answer was incomplete. Republicans have jumped all over that.

NELSON: Well, I don't know why they would jump on it.

We're in the process of what the true facts are. And it is, as I just described it, coming out of the recovery. Now all the pieces are in place. Once we can get out of this ideologically rigidity and excessive partisanship and start bringing people together to build consensus in order to govern, that will start unfortunately after the election, but fortunately that is only two-and-a-half months until a lame-duck session. We will get a lot of it done then.

BALDWIN: Let me just move onto you, Senator Nelson, because I know you have a race for reelection. Last month, you released this ad about your opponent. Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NELSON: I'm Bill Nelson and I approve this message.

NARRATOR: Florida, meet Connie Mack IV, a promoter for Hooters with a history of barroom brawling, altercations and road rage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Barroom brawling, altercations and road rage, that's pretty tough stuff there, Senator. Anyone turned off by that ad of yours? Do you enjoy running ads like that?

NELSON: Well, people need to know who our opponent is.

And, indeed, all the fact-checkers have checked that ad and said that it is correct. It is true. You didn't get to the part about our opponent doesn't show up for work. He's missed all kinds of votes this year.

And then, when he does show up, as a matter of fact, he votes on taking away the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, and he has a plan to take a trillion dollars out of Social Security. So, the voters are entitled to know what the truth is. And that's what we're doing.

And, by the way, that's after I have been on the receiving end of $15 million of attack ads that all the fact-checkers say are absolutely untrue.

BALDWIN: Attack and counterattack, it's politics, it seems, these days.

Senator Bill Nelson, thank you very much. Enjoy Charlotte.

NELSON: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: And when it comes to Florida, the Republicans, they have Marco Rubio as their up-and-comer.

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