Emanuel: Election will shape nation's future - FOX 32 News Chicago

Emanuel: America needs proven leadership, judgment, values

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the winner of the 2012 presidential election will have an opportunity to shape the country for decades to come and he urged voters to give President Barack Obama a second term.

See: Emanuel appeals to parents as school strike looms

Speaking Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, Emanuel said Obama has tackled the tough problems -- from passing health care overhaul to saving the American auto industry. The mayor said Obama's opponent, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was willing to turn his back on Detroit and believes in giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

Full video: Michelle Obama's speech

Emanuel said the country needs proven leadership to deal with the inevitable crises and challenges it will face.

Emanuel served as Obama's chief of staff until late 2010 when he left to run for Chicago mayor.

Full video: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's speech

In an interview with FOX Chicago News after his speech, Emanuel said he learned from the president how to stay in touch with average Americans.

"Yeah, one of the things I try to do is stay in touch. I ride the L. This weekend, I was on Target on 33rd St...what I call my Target Town Hall." I just walked the aisle, meeting parents who were buying back to school supplies...you can get isolated in these offices..and you do different things to stay in touch."

Emanuel also commented on the looming teacher's strike in Chicago.

"I think good progress has been made throughout the weekend," he said. "Kids belong in the classroom and negotiators belong at the table."

When asked about his thoughts on the recent RNC, the mayor said, "they are so retro, it's unbelievable. It is like a black and white movie the way they're trying to take the country back."

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