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Special Event

Clinton Addresses NAACP Natl. Convention in Baltimore, MD

Aired July 13, 2000 - 10:50 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take a live now back to Baltimore, Maryland, where President Clinton is set to address the NAACP Convention. He is being presented right now with the NAACP's President Award, and being done by the head of the NAACP, Kweisi Mfume. The president has just accepted that award.

It has been an emotional morning for the president, moved by the comments and the tribute given to him at this convention.

We will go ahead and listen in to what the president has to say.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, let me say it's good to see you. Thank you for making me feel so welcome. Thank you, Julian; thank you, Kweisi. Thank you, Myrlie Evers Williams. Ben Hooks, Elaine Jones, the whole board. Thank you, Wendell Anthony, for letting me come to Detroit to the biggest dinner in the history of the world.

(APPLAUSE)

I know I had dinner with Wendell in Detroit with over 10,000 people, because he told me so, but I couldn't even see the people at the other head table, it was so big.

(LAUGHTER)

Thank you, Mayor O'Malley, for welcoming us to Baltimore and for being such a great leader.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Representative Elijah Cummings, for representing Baltimore so well.

(APPLAUSE)

And thank you, Mayor John Street, for representing Philadelphia so well and making it true to the founders' dreams.

(APPLAUSE)

I have, I know, oh, a dozen or more members of the White House staff here, but I would like to mention a few: Thurgood Marshall, Jr., whose father was a native of Baltimore... (APPLAUSE)

... my chief speechwriter, Terry Edmonds, a Baltimore native.

(APPLAUSE)

I thank Mark Lindsey; Mary Beth Cahill; Ben Johnson, who runs our One America office; my political director, Minyon Moore; Janis Kearney; Broderick Johnson, a Baltimore native; Orson Porter; and we have at least another half a dozen folks who are here because they wanted to be here with you today.

(APPLAUSE)

This has been a remarkable week for African Americans. Venus Williams became the first African American woman since Althea Gibson to win the Wimbledon.

(APPLAUSE)

Perhaps even more remarkable for those who know the mysteries of the church, Baltimore's own Dr. Vashti McKenzie became the first woman bishop in the history of the A.M.E. Church.

(APPLAUSE)

And you have had an amazing conference. I'm really glad Governor Bush came.

(LAUGHTER)

I am. But I thought the other fellow gave a better speech.

(APPLAUSE)

And I liked especially the speech that that Senate candidate from New York gave. I caught that one on Tuesday.

I want to tell you, I'm very proud, as we look back on the last seven and a half years of all the work that my wife has done -- not just for those, but for 30 years for children, for families, for education, for health care. But as First Lady, she has done so much to increase adoption and improve foster care, to increase the access to children to health care and to early education.

(APPLAUSE)

And one thing that ought to be of particular importance to the African American community

KAGAN: All right, we were listening to President Clinton's comments at the NAACP Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

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