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Deadly Attack in Louisiana Kills Three Police Officers; How to Tamp Down Rhetoric?; Eve of the Republican National Convention; A Look at Policies, Security and Polls. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 17, 2016 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The breaking news here on CNN, another deadly attack on police, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just 10 days after the fatal ambush in Dallas.

This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon.

Three officers are dead, three wounded, ones of those fighting for his life tonight. Fallen officers identified as Matthew Gerald, Montrell Jackson and Brad Garafola. The killer, 29-year-old Gavin Long, a former, died in the shoot out. Authorities say he was lone gunman and apparently a member of black sovereign citizens group that rejects government authority. He attacked the officers on his birthday, the gunman's birthday.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland, Donald Trump tweets, "President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn't have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse." And the presumptive nominee of the party of Lincoln tells "60 minutes" -- this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We need toughness, we need strength, Obama is weak, Hillary is weak, and part of that is that a big part of it. We need law and order.


LEMON: I want to right to CNN's Drew Griffin and Nick Valencia. They're live for us Baton Rouge on this terrible evening, not only for Baton Rouge, but for the entire country.

Drew, I want to begin with you because there's a - again, a terrible day here, a nightmare really for the families, and ...


Don, I want to tell you some biographical information about the shooter. As you said, he was a marine, before that, it appears he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, went to high school, out of the high school, he went into the marines, five years as a marine, rose to the rank of sergeant, was deployed into Iraq for about seven months, it appears honorably discharge. Once he got out of the marines in 2010, he divorced his wife, they have no kids. That's where there seems to be a change and what took place, at least, on the social media that CNN has been following.

Gavin Eugene Long also went online as a person that he called "Cosmo Setepenra". He had two websites in which he called himself a "Freedom Strategist" and author. He has Youtube videos of himself walking around mostly black or African-American communities handing out these books to people, usually young men. But he belonged to several groups that you might consider, and certainly the SPLC considers radical groups devoted to anti-government surveillance, law enforcement monitoring. He posted on a website, called "Stop, Organize, Gang is Stalking". And he had several Youtube videos with CNN he has chosen not to show because we do not want to give this killer any more notoriety than he has already earned o this terrible day.

On July 10th, he posted Youtube video. This is from Dallas, where he says you've got to fight back, that's the only way a bully knows to quit. These are just - that was just one of the videos that he posted, seemingly protesting and calling for action instead of just merely protests that he has been seeing. He wanted a call for action for people across the country, and he also, at 12:12 a.m., this morning, tweeted this. This is his birthday. At 12:12 a.m., he tweeted, "Just because you wake up every morning, doesn't mean you're living. And just because you shed your physical body, doesn't mean that you're dead." Again, that was posted at 12:12 a.m. Of course, in less than 10 hours, he himself would be dead.


So as police continue to look into his back ground, we're seeing all this social media pointing into possible reasons why he had a grudge, why he came apparently hunting police in Baton Rouge, where there was a police involved killing not far where I'm standing just 12 days ago.

Police are still trying to figure out all of the information that they're dealing with, and while they do that, they're all still mourning the lost three officers.

Nick Valencia of that part of the story from the hospital. Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He y there, Drew, we are outside our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where one of those officers who remains in critical condition is apparently being held. A source with knowledge of the investigation tells us that this officer is hurt very bad. They're trying to be optimistic right now about this officer again clinging to life.

It has been an incredibly dark period here over the course of the last two weeks in Baton, Rouge starting with the shooting death of 37-year- old Alton Sterling at the hands of police officers. In the days that followed, we saw massive demonstrations here, many of them outside of the Baton Rouge. Police department headquarters, many of those demonstrators proetesting against police. And it was during that time that officers here at the state level and local level remains on high state of alert, fearing that what we saw happen in Dallas, the attack and ambush on police officers there in Dallas Texas could happen here and on Sunday morning, that's exactly what happened.

Six police officers were shot, three of them were killed. They range in age, in experience, as well 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, the youngest victim who just days earlier had taken the Facebook to talk about the fears and concerns of being a beat officer here in Baton Rouge during this very tense and anxious climate saying he believes that the city does not let him right, that there was not enough love being showed to police officers.

And, well, while there are those in this community, who refuse to give sympathy to police officers despite what they're going through, we did see some touching moments earlier today, just outside of the hospital of a 2-year-old little girl, as well as a handful of other young children, showing up for a bouquet of flowers to give the police officers here, who are still on a heightened state of alert, still standing by protecting this area in case something else happens. One of those officers turned to me afterwards and says, "That will really warm your heart." These officers could use a lot more moments like the ones that what he saw today. Drew.

GRIFFIN: Nick, thank you.

President Obama, in what has become an all too routine event for him, had to step in front of a camera today and make an announcement, make a statement about, yet another police killing in this country. Here's what he had to say.


BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Five days ago, I traveled to Dallas for the memorial service of the officers who were slain there. I said that that killer would not be the last person who tries to make us turn on each other. Nor will today's killer. It remains up to us to make sure that they fail. That decision is all of ours. The decision to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America, not our worst -- that's up to us.

We have our divisions, and they're not new. Around-the-clock news cycles and social media sometimes amplify these divisions, and I know we're about to enter a couple of weeks of conventions where our political rhetoric tends to be more overheated than usual.

And that is why it is so important that everyone, regardless of race or political party or profession, regardless of what organizations you are a part of, everyone right now focus on words and action that can unite this country rather than divide it further.



LEMON: Breaking News tonight, the City of Baton Rouge and America reeling, three police officers' dead, three wounded in a brutal attack today.

I want to bring in Baton Rouge Councilman LaMont Cole and Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana.

I'm sorry, so sorry for the loss that you've suffered there in Louisiana. You know, Representative Graves, you represent the people who live in the district where this terrible tragedy took place. Can you tell us any more about the shooting?

REP. GARRET GRAVES (R), LOUISIANA: Absolutely. This appears that it was intended to be somewhat of an ambush against our police officers. And of course, investigations are still ongoing. We want to make sure that we understand everything that happened, but this appears that this was a well-planned event. It was very intentional. Folks have talked about some of the social media feeds of the suspect in this case. But good news is that this looks that this was one person at least at this point. And he has been killed, as you know. But bottomline is this is not what our community is about at all.

LEMON: Representative Graves, my apology. I need to cut you off here. We need to go to a press conference in Louisiana happening right now with sheriff's press conferences. Listen.




LEMON: It appears that that's just an interview, those are the three gentlemen we had on earlier in the hour on CNN. That was actually in our 10:00 hour, 10:00 Eastern Hour. Members of the different departments are there to share, the state police and Baton Rouge police as well.

Pardon me. I want to get back now to Baton Rouge Councilman LaMont Cole and Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana.

Representative Graves, I'm sorry to cut you off. Again, my apologies. Continue on.

GRAVES: No worries. I was just going to say that, well, this is not our community. This is not what our community is about. And we knew early on that this couldn't have been someone that was homegrown. That we saw tensions very much escalate last weekend when folks came in from out of town and really tried to change the dynamic in terms of really tightening that was machining (ph) up the tension with the police. So I think that was verified that this is someone from out of town and really not what our community stands for. We've seen people very much come much together following the shooting trying to take lessons learned and make sure that we're preventing that type of violence from happening again.

LEMON: Councilman Cole, Sterling's family is still to cope with their loss. What are they saying about today's murder of three police officers? We heard from Diane (ph) who spoke out against violence. But what are other members of the family saying?

LAMONT COLE, COUNCILMAN DISTRICT 7 BATON ROUGE: Well, first and foremost, my condolences to the families of the fallen officers on a tragedy in the city of the worst kind. I spoke with Sandra Sterling in about five times today, and she and her family and the rest of the family are totally outraged about these particular series of events that have taken place in our city, this is not what we want here in our city of Baton Rouge and (inaudible) it's not what we're about.


And those - that family, Sterling family, being such a vital part of this community, a very large family, over 300 members of that family, they are outraged, they are against this, they didn't want to see this happen. They have already made some public statements relative to non-violence in our community, and not wanting to see this happen. They have offered their prayers and their condolences to the families as well.

And so I think we all are in a state of shock. We are all set (ph) in various -- series of events, and we're all praying for our community and then we want to work and try to find some solutions so that we can move forward peacefully.

LEMON: Councilman LaMont Cole, Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana, thank you very much gentlemen. I appreciate it. We know it's a very busy time for you.

COLE: Thank you.

LEMON: I want to bring in now Cedric Alexander, the Public Safety Director of DeKalb County in Georgia and author of the new Guardians Policing in America's communities for the 21st Century. And also Bernard Kerik, the former New York City Police Commissioner. And Art Roderick, the Former Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshal's Office.

So, Art, so much to unpack here. We've been learning about this 29- year old shooter. Our Chris Cuomo told us about the conspiracy videos that he had ...


LEMON: ... the surveillance videos and the monitoring. Tell us what you know about that.

RODERICK: Well, I mean he was on a bunch of different websites, had joined a bunch of different groups that are strange when you look at the names of these groups. It just appears that this individual was suffering from some type of paranoia, and I think you put that together with him traveling to Dallas, him posting information about how he admired the Dallas shooter, and then we have him coming all the way over to Baton Rouge, another flash point location in the country right now and committing this horrendous act. Unfortunately, we have been concerned about copy cats, we talk about them every single time after we have one of these scenarios and here's a prime example of what we have been talking about. LEMON: We also talked about it and it was a very, you know, contentious conversation, but it's remarkably calm in the studio. With Sheriff Clark, I think people at home were, you know, really got a little bit more excited ...


LEMON: We did. But I also -- we have been talking about the rhetoric going on around the country, and sadly enough, we couldn't really get into a conversation about that if you want to talk about something else. But what do you make of the rhetoric, because we don't know what fueled this particular thing?

RODERICK: We don't.

LEMON: But the mayor is saying that the rhetoric needs to be ratcheted down. A lot of people are saying, Mr. President said that today.

RODERICK: And the sheriff has a point, I mean, we have got to ratchet down the rhetoric on all sides. I mean -- and have conversation, even if we agree to disagree, at least let's sit down and have a conversation.

LEMON: But you can only have a conversation when two people are talking with sound. It can't be a soliloquy.

RODERICK: I understand that. And law enforcement is emotional about this too. I mean that posting that Officer Jackson did, absolutely ripped my heart out when I read that. And here he is lying dead today.

LEMON: He's one of the officers who died.

RODERICK: Yes, yes.

LEMON: A very emotional Facebook posting.

RODERICK: Yes, very emotional Facebook posting.

LEMON: Just days before we died.

RODERICK: Exactly. And not only just in support of law enforcement, but also trying to initiate a dialogue.

LEMON: And it's up on the screen, by the way, if you want to read it. But go on.

RODERICK: Yes. And it just as heart wrenching to see something like this and then of course you hear this young child and wife at the hospital, and I feel for the sheriff that has had to have that conversation, the sheriff and the chief of police in Baton Rouge to have those conversations to those family members. And it's the toughest thing to do in the world and it just rips your heart out.

LEMON: It really is. And when I spoke to one of my law enforcement sources, they said that they were meeting with the family members so he say he had to go in today, you know, we're meeting with the family members right now and I couldn't imagine what it was like going into that meeting and having to tell those family members.

Cedric Alexander, this is something that we talked about a lot, and, you know, we talked about it during the town hall about taking, you know, the value from here to here and the temperature from here to here. And that sometimes tough to do when you have those conversations, what's fact and what is not. And depending on your stance, you see things one way, and, you know, if you're somewhere else, you see things another.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, part of the issue now, Don, is there's just so much emotion across the nation, in terms of what we have seen and experienced, over the last number of months, I mean we would really have to take it back even beyond, even before Dallas and we look at the horrible events that took place back in San Bernardino, then of course in Orlando, then we had the deaths of the officers in Dallas, and now in Baton Rouge. And of course, you had the other victims that lost their lives, during altercations with police officers that are still under investigation.

It is a lot of emotion that's out there.


And as I have said so many times before, and I will continue to say, we all have to pull back a little bit. We all have to recognize that we need police to guard our communities and to be guardians to our community, but police also needs its community at this very moment, more so than never.

And here, again, what we saw today in Baton Rouge was officers running towards gun fire, just like we did in Dallas. And they lost their lives, very heroically, but nevertheless, they're not with their families and their loves ones anymore. So we really do have to pull back, this is a real difficult, challenging time.

And if you go back to Sheriff Clark who's struggling in his own way, to deal with this in his own way, it may not be the way we would land up with, Don, but I think the important part is hopefully Sheriff Clark and others will recognize the fact that the only way we get through this is that we all have to pull our emotions back, self- correct so that we can have the type of dialogue that will move this nation along because that is the biggest concern for me at this entire nation recognizing the only way we're going to fix what's wrong right now, without all the history that we know is important. But we are in here and now, we got to fix this to pulling back, getting rid of this negative language, and supporting each other in this really difficult time in America's history.

LEMON: Commissioner Kerik, Baton Rouge was already a city on alert after the shooting of Alton Sterling, three officers now dead, three more wounded, there's one really fighting for his life right now. These officers are under tremendous pressure, you've dealt with this as a police commissioner, how do that -- what do you tell the officers? How do they cope with it?

BERNARD KERIK, FORMER COMMISSIONER NEW YORK POLICE: You know what, Don? A lot of it has to do with leadership. It has to do with their chief. It has to do with the superintendent of the state police. It has to do with the leadership of their government so, you know, their mayor, their governor.

You know, one thing I want to go back to in touch on what Cedric just said and even with the sheriff was alluding to, when you have a governor like the governor of Minnesota that comes out before there's any investigation concluded, conducted, and says that the guy in the car probably wouldn't have been shot if he was white, that incites people, that incites many guys like this and others to go out and do things that are harmful to the community, to the cops. And there's one stat, Don, that nobody is talking about statistics. There's a 94 percent increase, a 94 percent increase, as of today over last year of cops in this country being gunned down, almost to 100 percent. Nobody is looking at that. And that, I strongly believe, that is coming from this anti-cop, this racial divide type of rhetoric that has to stop.

LEMON: So Commissioner, and this is the same conversation that I wanted to have with the sheriff, but because of -- and as Cedric said, he's very emotional to get up, but he kept bringing other things up.

We mentioned that during the town hall about the number of police officers being shot this year, as opposed to last year. It's up. It's not onto the target. People being killed by police officers are on track with last year, there has not been an increase in it, but an increase in the number of police officers who are shot.

My only question is when you are someone else who says -- you said the mayor of - the governor of Minnesota saying that, you know, the person wouldn't have killed if he was white and you say that incites people. What is the concrete evidence of that? That's my question. That is your opinion.


LEMON: One could come to that conclusion, I can understand how you can come to that conclusion, but I want to know, what is the evidence of that? That's all I'm asking.

KERIK: Here's the evidence, go online, and I know your people do this. Go online and look at the rhetoric by a lot of these parties inciting this violence. And one thing that the ...

LEMON: No, No, I think you're right about that, the rhetoric, it is crazy online. But what is the ...

KERIK: It's insane. It's the insane.

LEMON: ... the line that draws you -- it is insane, but that draws you from that to this. What takes you as an investigator from that? All I'm asking you to do and I'm not on any side here, is to tell our audience, as an investigator, how you go from there, what arrow takes you from there to the other place. How did you get there? What is the concrete evidence that one caused the other?

KERIK: I'll give you one primary example. Liu and Ramos, in New York, the shooter, the gunman, the assassin that killed those cops in New York City specifically said he did it because of things that were said just like that. That's one example.


There're thousands of postings on the internet. And one last thing, Don, I just got to touch on this because the Councilman and the Congressman touched on it.

You know what? These communities are hurting, the cops are hurting, they're working together, but a lot of this hate, a lot of this violence is not coming from those communities. It comes from outsiders that are coming into those communities in reeling violence, inciting violence and I think that's the kind of stuff that has to stop as well.

LEMON: Yeah, like this young man was not even from Baton Rouge, he came from ...

KERIK: Exactly.

LEMON: ... you know, from Missouri.

OK. Thank you, appreciate it.

Stick around, panel, we may need you a little bit later on.

Coming up, we're just hours from the start of the GOP Convention here in Cleveland. What to expect, coming up.


LEMON: We're life in Cleveland, where the GOP Convention is just hours away. The excitement is in the air.

Here to discuss, a Bakari Sellers, who's a Hillary Clinton supporter, Kayleigh McEnany who supports Donald Trump, David Chalian, CNN Political Director, Amanda Carpenter, a Former Communications Director for Ted Cruz, Maria Cardona, who supports Hillary Clinton, and Andre Bauer, a Trump supporter.

I have to test Maria and Bakarii, how does it feel to walk under that big sign that says "Make America Great Again"?




SELLERS: And even when you go through the signs, that say "White Bathrooms", even in the facility over there. That's ...



[23:30:00] MCENANY: They fixed that, right?


SELLERS: They fix that, they fix that.

LEMON: We're going to go there.

David, we're here in Cleveland, give us a preview tomorrow. It's going to be security and immigration?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is. It's going to be different components to security. I mean, one thing they're going to do tomorrow night in this "Make America Safe Again" is go after Hillary Clinton's confidence on Benghazi. That's going to clearly be a big part of the program tomorrow night.

And I think your -- what you're going to see across all four nights, Don, is you're going to see a real take down of Hillary Clinton on character and competence, and an attempt to try to flesh out Donald Trump in the positive timeframe in a way that people don't know him yet.

He's been so identified as this, you know, all his bravado from the campaign trail. He's such a well known character now in the consciousness of Americans and I think what they're going to try to do throughout these four nights, with his family, with people that normally well is try to give him a different viewpoint on him.

LEMON: Do you think they can do it?

CHALIAN: Listen, these are big moments and these are big audiences, and they do -- you do have the ability to -- you can't tell an entirely knew story, but you could start bringing in other components. It really works best, though, if you leave the convention continuing to tell those components.

LEMON: Yeah.

CHALIAN: That will be ...

LEMON: And it helps, you know. It's very rah-rah-rah, right? It's your people and you're telling and you got the yelling behind you, you know, the cheering.


LEMON: So that does help. So Mike Pence and Donald Trump, they give their first joint interview to "60 Minutes" this evening and they were asked about negative campaigning. I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say about this, but let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LESLEY STAHL, CBS ANCHOR: What do you think about your running mate's campaign and the tone and the negativity of it?

GOV. MIKE PENCE, (R) INDIANA: I think this is a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about.

STAHL: But name calling Lyin' Ted?

PENCE: In the essay that I wrote a long time ago, I said campaigns ought to be about something more important than just one candidate's election, and this campaign and Donald Trump's candidacy has been about the issues the American people care about.

STAHL: What about the negative side? He apologized for being a negative ...

TRUMP: We're different people, I understand that. I'll give you an example. Hillary Clinton is a liar. Hillary Clinton -- that was just proven last week.

STAHL: That's negative one.

TRUMP: But you cannot believe it. Hillary Clinton is a crook.

STAHL: That's negative.

TRUMP: I call her crooked Hillary. She's crooked Hillary. He want -- I don't -- I didn't ask him to do it, but I don't think he should do it because it's different for him.


LEMON: That was just one clip, but did he ever answer? I mean, that's -- did Pence ever answer because Donald Trump jump in and answer for him with a negative.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's going to be a lot of that. There's going to be a lot of that going out, Donald Trump answering for his vice presidential candidate.

Now, listen, I see what the Trump campaign is trying to do with the Pence pick presenting more balance ticket, but this isn't like yin and yang where they complement each other, it's just kind of awkward to watch, because these are two people that could not be more different.

And Mike Pence, he's trying to be a good sport. You know, once you put on the make America cap on, start calling him Mr. Trump, you can pretty much say anything. But, this is painful and awkward to see.

LEMON: Do you think so?

CARPENTER: Yeah. Yes. I mean, Mike Pence -- the best thing about Mike Pence, he has a very sunny disposition. He's, you know, modeled himself after Ronald Reagan and kind of watch and go down this path of Trump, covering up his actions. It's just -- you're watching this guy sort of be humiliated in the way that Chris Christie was and we'll see how it makes it out in this week, but it is very uncomfortable.

LEMON: Do you think it was humiliating or do you think that Donald Trump is such a big personality that anyone sitting there might be dwarfed by his personality?

MCENANY: I mean that is certainly true. He does have a big personality. Mike Pence has a very different demeanor. But, you know, had -- how do we're seeing Donald Trump choose a Newt Gingrich the same people who don't like Donald Trump and will never like any decision Donald Trump ever make so he'd be saying, "Oh, he chose someone too bombastic."

You know, with the certain group of people he can never do anything right. But he did do something right. Mike Pence is a respectable man. He's principled. He's strong. Anyone who watches him, he's a common sense person who cares deeply and strongly about this country. This is the exact pick he needed to make.


LEMON: Donald Trump did jump in and answer the question. No, no, no let me answer.

SELLERS: But let's talk about, you know, I mean, let's talk about that for a minute that who Mike Pence is, because I think that goes into why this is so awkward, to figure back what Amanda was talking about.

They disagree on trade. Mike Pence is in favor of the TPP. Mike Pence was an avid supporter of NAFTA. Mike Pence praised Hillary Clinton for going into Libya. Mike Pence voted for the Iraq war. Mike Pence is everything that Donald Trump is talking about not being, so that's why this relationship is awkward.

But, to Donald Trump's credit, I think that although Mike Pence doesn't put any fear in the hearts of Democrats like a Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie did due to their oratory skills, or their bombastic personality, I do think that he was the best of what the choices were. I mean, there were no A-list choices.

[23:35:02] There was no Tim Scott. There was no Marco Rubio. There was no Nikki Haley. There were none of these people who could have change the conversation and back to David's point just briefly, this is an amazing opportunity. However, this is about character witnesses for Donald Trump. And Donald Trump's character witnesses are pretty -- Antonio Sabato and Scott Baio are not of being see ...

MCENANY: But, no, that's unfair. That's unfair.


LEMON: Hold on, hold on. Now we have a short of about a time, and I want to get this in, I promise of you talk. But this is where he said they disagree on Iraq, here it is. This is the interview tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Yeah, you went to Iraq, but that was handled so badly, and that was a war. By the way, that was a war that we shouldn't have entered because Iraq did not knock down ...

STAHL: You're running mate voted for it.

TRUMP: Iraq did not ramp it (ph) -- I don't care.

STAHL: What do you mean you don't care that he voted?

TRUMP: It's a long time ago and he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people ...

STAHL: But you hopped on this.

TRUMP: ... but I was against to the war in Iraq from the beginning.

STAHL: Yeah, but you've used that vote of Hillary's that was the same as Governor Pence as an example of her bad judgment.

TRUMP: Many people have and frankly, I'm one of the few that was right on Iraq.

STAHL: Yeah, but what about his vote?

TRUMP: He's entitled to make a mistake every once in a while, but she is not.

STAHL: OK, come on.

TRUMP: But she's not.

STAHL: She's not.

TRUMP: She's not.


LEMON: Andre, come on. He is entitled to make a mistake, but she's not?

ANDRE BAUER, FMR. SOUTH CAROLINA LT. GOVERNOR: I would defer that these are two battle tested ...

LEMON: Oh, there it is.

BAUER: ... job creators, but that's what this was going to be about.

LEMON: Give me a straight answer. That was a little ...

BAUER: Straight answer is these are job creators, you've got one from the public sector ...

CARPENTER: You want Trump to answer that one for you?

BAUER: ... and one from the private sector, and that's what this convention needs to be about. It needs to be about telling the American public. We're going to get this economy straightened out. We're going to fix some of the problems that have not been handled in the last eight year of administration.


BAUER: When I ran for lieutenant governor in a reelection, my governor endorsed my opponent from the same party, but after the primary was over, we still had to come together and work together and find common ground. It have ...

LEMON: What do we suppose to get out?


LEMON: Anyway ...

BAUER: There's going to few on issues.

LEMON: But, you know, people said that Bernie Sanders gave his sort of Trump card, when he said we're sick of hearing about your damned e- mails that he saying, you know, I don't really care how you voted for Iraq and Hillary Clinton that he use that against Hillary Clinton hasn't he sort of pushed that off the table?

CARDONA: Sure he's taken that off the table. But not only that, I think this interview was just -- not just awkward, it was painful to watch, because I completely agree with Amanda, these are not two people that know each other well at all. And, in fact, we've even heard that Mike Pence deeply dislikes Trump.

And so what you're seeing is you're trying to kind of fit a square peg into a round hole. What it does for Democrats is that it gives us the opportunity to underscore just how out of touch this ticket is. You look at what Mike Pence did Indiana, that the LGBT law, reversing trying to reverse women's rights when it comes to health care, immigration. He wants to deport the 11 million ...

MCENANY: This is what Democrats are going to ...

CARDONA: It is a Democrat's dream.



LEMON: Kayleigh, you've got the first word out of break. I promise you. OK, sorry I have to take a break, we'll be right back. Kayleigh gets the first word.


[23:41:45] LEMON: OK, back with me now, Bakari Sellers, Kayleigh McEnany, David Chalian, Amanda Carpenter, Maria Cardona and Andre Bauer. If you guys do what happen to breaks, I said you would get the first word, but I thought you were to shut up that was some horrible joke you were making about the white bathroom signs.

SELLERS: No, no.

LEMON: It was that did happen?

SELLERS: It was a misprint. Yes, they had time to said white restrooms in the convention ...

LEMON: It was horrible. Was that because ...

BAUER: Same of course, Bakari's ...

CARPENTER: Is it -- it's (inaudible).

LEMON: And say once again, nobody pointed it out.


LEMON: But it was a mistake.

SELLERS: It was a mistake, yeah.

CARPENTER: Quote unquote.


LEMON: Kayleigh, you were saying?

MCENANY: Yes, I wanted to say, Democrats, this is what they'll do because Mike Pence is such a good pick and such a qualified person. They will try to point him out as divisive. They will gloss over the fact that he has the record of the fifth highest job creating states, the largest tax had in the state history and a $200 million surplus

They will go after over the fact that the bill he was actually advocating, the RIDDOR law that you referred to. Barack Obama as Illinois senator supported the same law. They'll gloss over all that and paint Barack Obama as fine and him as divisive and they will ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton -- not only that she vote to go into Iraq, she invaded Libya, she sat in the ...


MCENANY: She sat in an administration and endorsed ...

CARDONA: But it's OK now.

MCENANY: ... endorse the foreign policy that called ISIS J.V. that has led to the crumbling of the Middle East.


CARDONA: Mike Pence -- 40 percent approval rating. That's how much they love him in Indiana, 40 percent. So many -- tons of Republicans were dying for him to be offered this vice presidential pick because that way they would have a chance at winning, because he was on his path to lose, that's how much they love him Indiana.

CARPENTER: I guess the Mike Pence is a good conservative, but Donald trust isn't going to have a chance to talk about all those good qualities when he does say in a live interview saying that it's OK that Mike Pence voted for the Iraq war. It's not OK that Hillary Clinton did and some time I'm going to make an issue out of it.

That's -- what they revealed to me, Donald Trump does not care what Mike Pence has ever said or done in his life because he's not going speak any input from Mike Pence as a president.

SELLERS: Every time the light is shine on Mike Pence and every time he's at the opportunity to step up to the play, whether or not he was just, "Religious Freedom Law" which failed, which got Indiana boy cut, which substantially heard, but ...


MCENANY: But Barack Obama supported.

SELLERS: ... which substantially heard.

MCENANY: But Barack Obama supported.


SELLERS: What are you talking about that Barack Obama supported?

MCENANY: In Illinois.


SELLERS: It was not the same law by any stretch.

LEMON: One at a time.

SELLERS: It was not the same law by any stretch. I mean, you can take a Religious Freedom Law and because they have the same name in the title of the bill, the substance of the bill was the same.

But my only point was that -- well, my only point was that Mike Pence every time, whether or not we are talking about the interview with George Stephanopoulos, or the time that he had to go out and deal with the Religious Freedom Law. There's no way, if anyone can tell me that Mike Pence is the first or second tier candidate for vice president of the United States and that's going to be a problem as we move forward.

And it also freed Hillary Clinton up -- it also freed Hillary Clinton up in order to appoint whomever she wants to, because again, Mike Pence doesn't strike fear, debating or rhetorically to policy wise or savvy wise in any Democratic ...


BAUER: ... scheduled anyway.

LEMON: Go ahead.

BAUER: There's only one V.P. debate scheduled anyway. So it's more about job creation, fixing the economy, what's really on the minds of the American people right now, more than all these other issues you're talking about.

CHALIAN: We're talking about giving comfort to the Republicans that will be gathering here. I mean, listen I think Mike Pence has a resume for vice president as much as any vice presidential nominee that we've seen perhaps.

LEMON: So, so ...

[21:45:08] CHALIAN: House leadership, Governor of the State. He's got the right credentials for it. Did he thought that ...


SELLERS: Was he in the top tier of -- if this was Marco Rubio or if this was Ted Cruz, or if this was any candidate other than Donald Trump, you can honestly tell me that Mike Pence is in the top tier of people?


LEMON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We're talking a lot about Mike Pence, OK, yes. But does anyone vote for the vice president?


CARDONA: No and I actually going to say that. But the bottom line is no ...

CHALIAN: I would disagree.

CARDONA: ... no one really votes for the vice presidential pick, but what it does, again and I go back to underscoring -- giving Democrats the opportunity to underscore just how out of touch Donald Trump and the Republican Party is, that the GOP platform has in it -- it has lurched so much to the right, and I know it hasn't been ratified again, we'll see that on Tuesday, but it has conversion therapy for gays and lesbians in it. It has building the wall. It talks about women should not be allowed in combat.

I mean this is the kind of platform again that underscores like the ...


MCENANY: Maria wants to void talking about terrorism and the economy, which are the top two issues of voters. In fact the issues you cite are statistically insignificant to voters or at 1 percent of voters, a gallop. You want to avoid terrorism because under Barack Obama's ...

CARDONA: Not at all.

MCENANY: -- watch ...

CARDONA: Not at all.

MCENANY: Under Barack Obama's watch we wake up every day and we ask ourselves is it a terrorist attack today? A police shooting? Are we going to see a civilian die in the streets? Everyday we wake up with that question. And this is seven years of Barack Obama ...


CARDONA: But the majority of Americans believe that Hillary Clinton is the one that has the temperament and the judgment to be President of the United States.


LEMON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We will be right back.


[23:50:42] LEMON: We're back now with my political panel and you can hear Bakari Sellers talking in the commercial break there. I'm with my dream team. David, can we talk about some of these polls.


LEMON: OK. The latest CNN/ORC polling, show Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump 49 to 42 percent. You know, we talk so much about -- about these polls and that's -- they are national polls.

When it comes to the election, or actually electing someone, does this really matter? Does it reflect the population of the country really -- we saw this last time with Romney and then it turned out to be a different thing on Election Day.

CHALIAN: I mean listen, polls are not going to be an exact science and give you the precise thing. But I think you can look at the totality polls that came out today and they all kind of point to the same thing that's going on right now which is advantage Hillary Clinton.

And that's where we are right now. She's got a five to seven point national lead. If you look at the battle ground stage, it's advantage there towards 270. And here is where they matter.

If Donald Trump can narrow the gap in these polls nationally, I do think that there is a psychological impact that happens with that. What happens is people like whoa, this is winnable, folks, donors get excited, supporters get excited. And so that's what is so important about these polls. It's the psychological impact.

LEMON: But that happened in '08 when Barack Obama was a candidate. They said, "Oh well we won this primary, maybe we can win the next one." And people actually think they could actually win.

So you -- I think you do have a point with that. But the big thing that everyone sort of aghast before the commercial break when we're talking terrorism, you mentioned terrorism, and you said that people thought that Hillary Clinton was better for terrorism and you went, "No way", right.

Andre Bauer said, "No way". I'll let you respond but I want to put the poll that says, despite Hillary Clinton being on top and head to head in this competition, Trump voters believe he would be better -- he would better -- voters believe that Trump will better handle terrorism, 51 to 45 percent -- 51 to 45 percent.

CARDONA: So that -- OK.

LEMON: I want Andre on this.

BAUER: Well first I would say, Trump is taking it one on the chin right now. He's getting all these -- I mean we're in Ohio and you're seeing T.V. commercials where he's getting pounded and she's not taking any hit, so ...

SELLERS: That's not true. I mean Hillary Clinton, I mean we just talked about these polls. And one of the things about these polls is ...

BAUER: What's Hillary Clinton doing, Bakari?

SELLERS: Hillary Clinton is coming off her worst week in the campaign.

CARDONA: Yes, that's exactly ...


BAUER: But that is true.

LEMON: Let him ...

BAUER: Everything I said is true. She's spending millions of dollars ...


BAUER: ... to beat him up and he's not spending anything in return. So at some point in time she'll get that beating as well. I mean all -- we've been there, we've all been ...

SELLERS: Trust me I'm not ...

BAUER: I've been there, you've been there.

SELLERS: But, I think the point remains though Andre, I mean, Hillary Clinton has been ever since she got to the point where she secured the nomination, it's been a mistake for the campaign. The campaign has been running extremely well and then you have Comey comes out.

LEMON: Is this free?

SELLERS: I mean for the hope (ph) -- I mean by comparison to what it was ...

BAUER: But we're on to test with you're numbers took a hit in ...


SELLERS: But even with all of that, that's my point.

CARDONA: Exactly.

SELLERS: Even with all of that, Ms. Tallian came out and simply said that she's still five ...

CARDONA: That's right.

BAUER: But when did Trump ever show that he was going to win anything? Every pundit, every poll said Trump can't win. Every time somebody gets out, all that -- most is going to go to the other person.

SELLERS: But the poll said.


BAUER: Every time somebody was going to ...

LEMON: Hold on, hold on.

BAUER: ... there's no way he could win.

LEMON: David Chalian, he got -- he hasn't he been under poll. Doesn't it show that he always out performs the polls?

CHALIAN: Absolutely. He had outperformed polls, it's not always but yes. He -- during the primary season we saw him outperform some of these polling numbers.

And listen, you know, that may happen here again too. He has been hovering in the low 40s right now. He clearly is going to have to improve that a little bit to be able to put together an electoral method like you said.

LEMON: Amanda, can we talk about some of the speakers coming up this week, his former rivals, Marco Rubio, who I spoke to on Friday night where, we talked about terrorism. Ted Cruz, what are you expecting to hear from them?

CARPENTER: Well it's going to be really interesting especially among the speakers who have not endorsed Donald Trump but are speaking at the convention.

And I know they're talking and people are questioning what Ted Cruz is doing and I think it is hard for anybody that as far as being a leader of the Republican Party, in any respect whether future presidential candidate movement leader in the Senate to not come to Cleveland.

To turn your back on the party it's one thing, not to support the nominee but there's a lot of delegates there who are uncomfortable with Trump and still want to see other Republicans come and attend.

And so, you know, Ted Cruz may have a moment like Reagan did in 1976, you know, where -- during that time. And so I think it is going to be a really important speech because it has to speak to the people who don't know where the party is going and want to look past this election and see where we're going.

[23:50:10] LEMON: So the interesting thing for me is having -- this is at CNN, this will be my third, right. There's a different feeling now with the Republican Party. It is a different -- it's I can't really explain it. This is a -- it feels like a new -- what's going on here.

MCENANY: It is a party that needed to change. It's a party that lost ...

LEMON: I just walking into the hall it felt differently.

MCENANY: Yes and it's a good thing and look change can be uncomfortable for some people, but I think that we're seeing voters rally around Donald Trump. He's bowing to the party by picking to Mike Pence but he's also saying, we need to move forward.


LEMON: Before we go, we have less than a minute, this is going to be a Bush-free, right no -- none of those ...


SELLERS: But the change is also devastating because the change has Donald Trump in Pennsylvania and Ohio literally getting zero percent of the African-American vote and that we seeing in polls and he's down 48 points.

MCENANY: And winning in Florida, winning in Pennsylvania ...

SELLER: No he's not.

MCENANY: ... the Quinnipiac poll ...

CARDONA: He's not winning in Florida.

MCENANY: ... in the rQuinnipiac poll, in the Quinnipiac poll, he came back.

CARDONA: This is wrong

SELLER: Out liar.


CARDONA: Here's the problem really quickly, not just with Pence but with the whole party and the fact that you don't have a party that's unified. He is doing nothing to reach out and broaden his appeal at past the people that have already voted this out. LEMON: Maybe this week will be the week for it. Thank you everyone.

I think, that's for us tonight, I'll see you right back here for our special live coverage of the GOP convention here in Cleveland.

Everyday this week beginning at 1:00 a.m., if not earlier, believe it or not, eastern time. Our live coverage continue in just a moment, George Holden and Natalie Allen at the CNN center in Atlanta. Good night.