By Amie Parnes - 09/04/12 10:06 PM EDT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Actress Eva Longoria entered the “Are we better off” debate on Tuesday, insisting the country is in better shape now than it was four years ago because of President Obama’s policies.
“Absolutely we are better off,” Longoria, a staunch Obama supporter and bundler, said in a telephone interview with The Hill, adding that the country will be able to have “an honest discussion” about its state of affairs as the Democratic National Convention begins on Tuesday evening.
“I have confidence in the American people,” she said. “They understand the choice we have and I think they're going to make the right decision. My confidence in Obama is great but my confidence in the American people is even greater.”
Longoria, who is also a small-business owner (she owns a Latin steakhouse in Los Angeles) and heads up a foundation focused on entrepreneurship and education for Latinas, will speak about her own experience growing up in the Lone Star State with some government assistance.
“I'm an example of the American Dream,” she said. “I couldn't have done it without certain interventions. Growing up in Texas ... I went to school on Pell grants and student loans.”
While she's logged thousands of hours before television cameras, Longoria confessed to being nervous about her big speech on Thursday night, saying it's “the biggest, most important stage I'll ever be on.”
Longoria said the speech will focus on entrepreneurship, women in business, and what the president's policies have done for small business, an effort she said she hopes might “bury all the false, misinformation out there” and help make further inroads with women and Hispanics.
She said she'll spend the next couple of days in Charlotte helping to mobilize and engage voters including Wednesday night when she hosts a Lifetime event in Charlotte.
While she is the Democratic Party's answer to actor Clint Eastwood, she shied away from commenting on the Hollywood legend’s speech at the Republican National Convention, saying she didn't see it live and only saw clips of the speech.
But she threw her support behind another A-lister: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, giving an early endorsement should she choose to run for office in 2016.
“I would be the first person to be there standing up and applauding,” she said. “I'm a big fan.”