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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Trump VP Making High-Stakes Speech Tonight; Trump Staffer Takes Blame For Melania Plagiarism; Awaiting Ted Cruz Speech; Three Former Trump Rivals to Speak Tonight. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 20, 2016 - 19:00   ET

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


[19:00:02] ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: I've sat, you know, across the table from him for the last ten years negotiating incredible deals all over the world and there is no better person to lead this country. I mean, there is no better person to negotiate for this country. There's no person that has more backbone, he would do such an amazing job for this nation.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: That does it for Anderson Cooper and me this hour. Our special coverage from Cleveland continues right now with Erin Burnett OUTFRONT.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT live from the Republican National Convention. Breaking news. The convention is about to be called to order. We are just moments away from the crucial kickoff to this important night. We are counting down to one of the most anticipated events of the entire convention this evening. Mike Pence, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee will be taking the stage.

The Indiana governor and former talk radio host making the biggest speech of his life tonight. He has to prove he's the right man for this job, and that he can unite a deeply divided party. Pence waiting on the ground with his family and Trump's family this afternoon as Trump approached in his own chopper, a flight of only 800 yards from his plane. The helicopter circling for the cameras in maximum, dramatic effect, and of course as you see, the two men there greeting each other this afternoon. Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT tonight on the floor here in Cleveland. And

Jim, the stakes are very high for Governor Pence tonight.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: They are very high, Erin. This is why I think as you said, this is the biggest speech of Mike Pence's life of his political career, and I can tell you from talking to a source close to the Trump campaign there is some concern that Mike Pence may have to do a little cleanup after we hear from Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Donald Trump's ex-rival from that bitter primary process. There is some concern inside Trump world that Ted Cruz will stop very short of any kind of endorsement and that will force Mike Pence to essentially give Donald Trump when he comes out here on stage tonight, sort of the conservative good housekeeping seal of approval to settle these delegates down here in Cleveland because there is still concern inside the Republican Party that Donald Trump is a true conservative. Now, I did talk to a Pence aide earlier today who said, you know

what, Mike Pence is a conservative and as they say, he's just not mad about it. But at the same time he is known inside the Republican Party as a conservative warrior and that he is going to be making the issue case forcefully tonight that Hillary Clinton should not be president of the United States and that Donald Trump should be. But make no mistake about it, there is a feeling inside the Pence camp, inside the Trump camp that Mike Pence has a very big job ahead of him tonight.

I talked to a couple of delegates earlier this evening, Erin. Right here inside the hall who said he has a tough act to follow after Chris Christie. A lot of people inside this convention are very impressed with that so-called indictment that Chris Christie handed down last night aimed at Hillary Clinton. They'd like to see Mike Pence. Even though he's known as Midwestern Mike, nice guy, they'd like to get him a little closer to where Chris Christie was at least in terms of tone and content from what we heard last night -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

As we count you down to that crucial opening speech and of course the gaveling in here tonight. Two of Trump's main rivals for the Republican nomination are also going to be speaking tonight and all eyes will be on Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio as they take the stage here tonight. Combined they got about 600 delegates to vote for them. As a percentage of the total, that's the most to not vote for the nominee since the contested convention of 1976, all right? So this is crucial. This is a divided party.

Dana Bash is on the floor, and Dana, you know, was there no love lost between Trump and either of these men during the campaign, and yet tonight they're supposed to speak on his behalf and you don't even have an endorsement yet from Ted Cruz.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't, and the open question is how he will address that elephant in the room about the fact that he has not endorsed Donald Trump. Now, I was told yesterday not to expect a full-throated endorsement, but I can tell you just from talking to delegates here on the floor, especially from Ted Cruz's own state of Texas, there's a lot of pressure on him to do just that. Whether or not he actually says I endorse, even to say this party should unite. We have a nominee. Let's move forward.

The question, though, is what the people who simply don't want Trump at all who voted for Ted Cruz like a man who came up to Cruz in a rally today and said do not endorse. Whether that pressure will be what he listens to at the end of the day. So, we are certainly waiting for that. At the same time you mentioned his rivals, one of Donald Trump's former rivals, John Kasich, the governor of the state of Ohio is in such a war of words and the animosity has built up between the two campaigns, Kasich and Trump as the week has progressed for lots of reasons but mainly because Kasich has refused to step foot in this arena and have anything to do with this convention.

[19:05:13] Today, we were told by sources close to John Kasich that Donald Trump, Jr., called a top aide to Kasich offering him a VP slot and saying that he could be in charge of domestic and foreign policy to which the Trump campaign fired back saying it is simply not true. One aide said to us that Kasich is just a sore loser, but the fact that it's being leaked, the fact that they're going back and forth again shows you that there is still a very, very deep rift. It's not just personal. It is about the principles and the conservative philosophy that Donald Trump has versus Kasich and frankly, what we're going to hear from Ted Cruz and even Marco Rubio by video tonight.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dana Bash.

And OUTFRONT now, the former adviser to four presidents including Reagan and Clinton, David Gergen, Maeve Reston, our national political reporter, our Political Director David Chalian, former president of Trump's Production Andy Dean who supports Donald Trump, Ana Navarro, political commentator --

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Who doesn't support Donald Trump.

(LAUGHTER)

BURNETT: In case you haven't been watching CNN over the past year.

And Bakari Sellers, Hillary Clinton supporter.

So, David Gergen, let me just start. Without a doubt, this is the most important night of Mike Pence's career. There is so much at stake tonight for him.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: There is, indeed because what he has to do is help this convention pivot away from a lot of the negativity and the sense of discord and the sort of -- this has aren't had a lot of crackle in this hall compared to most conventions.

BURNETT: Right.

GERGEN: And I think if Ted Cruz and Pence can come and turn that around tonight, they would really help Trump sailing in tomorrow night and he can go in with a lot of momentum. But I will tell you, I was there in 1976 when we had this most contested, last most contested convention. And Ronald Reagan was the challenger. He was in Ted Cruz division and he was up here pretty high up and Ford came out and try to back him to come to the stage. And at first Reagan wouldn't do it. Reagan did come down and he was extraordinarily magnanimous in his speech and endeared him to a lot of people. Ford went on to lose the election but Reagan was the next nominee of the party.

BURNETT: So, that could have pave the way, does Ted Cruz see this as a path to his future.

GERGEN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: I mean, and David Chalian, when you look at Mike Pence, 55 percent of voters have no opinion or have no idea who he is, okay?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right.

BURNETT: OK? That's a bad thing, but it could be a good thing, right? He's got the opportunity to change minds and enlighten people, so. But it does make tonight's speech that much more important. It cannot be milk toast. It cannot be bland, and it cannot be fine.

CHALIAN: Right. This is going to be the best shot he gets throughout the entire campaign to define himself on his terms. The other time that the country will tune in large to see him again will be when he debates Hillary Clinton's vice presidential candidate in the fall and that will not be solely on his terms. So, this is the best time for him to take the 55 percent that don't know him, introduce himself in a way that serves as a conduit to bring more people onboard with Donald Trump. That's his mission tonight to be a real Trump validator for some folks who have been weary to get onboard the Trump train.

BURNETT: And Maeve, your sources are saying tonight matters big time for voters but also for donors. Are they really going to get onboard because of the VP? Because of Mike Pence?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think we don't know the answer to that question yet. There are still many people on the sidelines but certainly people watching to see how this ticket gels and whether Mike Pence can have some influence, you know, in terms of policy on Donald Trump. You know, the rickets family that actually was behind a lot of the anti-Trump ads earlier this year. They are apparently on the fence. The Koch brothers in their network are under a lot of pressure to come over and really finally support Donald Trump.

BURNETT: Yes.

RESTON: So we'll be watching to see what happens and whether that the chemistry there can help pull some of these people over the line.

BURNETT: And you now see, Ana, a real attempt at chemistry between Trump and Pence. Right? First there was all this criticism. But look a little bit at what we saw today. A little bit of love.

NAVARRO: Well, it was a little bit of love. I mean, you know, I was watching when Pence and Trump saw each other. This was not a warm embrace. This is obviously people who don't know each other who are just getting to know each other, it's still an awkward, OK, now, it's not an awkward first date. It's still an awkward second date. But I agree with David, this is Mike Pence's big, big opportunity to make a first impression. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Fortunately, for Mike Pence the other day when Donald Trump introduced him, he introduced him for 30 minutes so he hardly got a chance to get a word in edgewise. This is his big shot.

BURNETT: This is his big shot, Bakari and you're going to see them again because you're going to see Trump right before Pence tonight. So there's going to be more interaction.

BAKARI SELLERS (D), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Mike Pence has a very, very difficult job tonight because what no one has seen throughout this entire convention, let alone this campaign is any depth from Donald Trump or the Donald Trump campaign. Last night, I believe, the theme was Make America Work Again, but we don't know what Donald Trump's jobs plan is. We don't know how he's going to stimulate the economy and before Andy chimes in, I'll give you the fact that he wants to renegotiate trade deals and there is no jobs plan and no plan to stimulate the economy whatsoever.

[19:10:28] Mike Pence is a wonk. Mike Pence has to go out there and do something outside of what Governor Christie did which is lead the Salem witch trials last night and actually put forth an agenda for a Trump presidency. No one can tell me what a Trump presidency in terms of policy will look like.

BURNETT: Andy?

SELLERS: Mike Pence has that chance.

ANDY DEAN, FORMER PRESIDENT, TRUMP PRODUCTIONS LLC: First, Donald is going to cut taxes, cut regulations, I'll e-mail you the link to the huge, you know, Trump economic plan.

SELLERS: That plan was going to drop us into another recession, so if he says that, thank God.

DEAN: Well, I disagree with you 100 percent, but look Mike Pence's job tonight, you say it's very difficult and I think it's actually rather easy because Mike Pence is a professional. That's why he was picked. He's not an unknown quantity. I think we all, whether you like Sarah Palin or not are going to feel that backlash for at least another decade where you are not going to have a pick that's a complete surprise. Mike Pence has been doing this his entire life and the reason why, one of the main reasons why Donald Trump wanted to pick him is, he wasn't this unknown quantity. Washington Insiders know him.

BURNETT: Washington Insiders do.

DEAN: You know, they like him. And the American politics --

NAVARRO: It's not easy and I'll tell you why, we saw last night here some very seasoned, professional politicians speak, people who are policy wonks and this room was very, very flat. If Mike Pence goes that route he's going to get greeted like burnt broccoli.

DEAN: Mike Pence needs to be who he is, right? He's not Rudy Giuliani who was like over the top, and I love Giuliani. But Mike Pence is who he is. And when Donald Trump and Mike Pence was in "60 Minutes," Trump said look, the way I talk isn't the way that Mike Pence talks, he's a more subtle guy, he's a Midwestern guy. We need to win the Midwest. I think it's a good pick and I think he'll going to do a good job tonight.

BURNETT: All right. Obviously a crucial night, all staying with me in our special edition of OUTFRONT continues. Speaking tonight. The man Trump lying Ted Cruz. Remember that lying Ted, lying Ted. It's one of those favorite things to say.

(LAUGHTER)

And even as he kicks off his appearance here in Cleveland, Cruz still can't escape Donald's shadow, literally we want to see what happened today. And the breaking news, the Trump campaign doing a 180 on the plagiarism charges. Why can they not stop the bleeding and we are just moment away from hearing, from Eric Trump, Marco Rubio and one of the men who was on the short list for VP, Newt Gingrich. We're counting you down. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:16:34] BURNETT: The breaking news, as we come to you live from the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland, Ohio. The convention about to be called to order. The festivities of the night about to begin. We are learning from Trump's aides at this moment that he is expected to take the stage with Mike Pence tonight and a crucial night it is as the Trump campaign is still dealing with the fallout over Melania Trump's speech. A Trump writer, speech writer for the organization is admitting that parts of Melania's speech came directly from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention remarks.

That writer is taking responsibility and offered her resignation and Donald Trump though said, he won't accept it. In a statement, Meredith McIver, that's her name, wrote in part and I quote her, "Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and we learn and grow from these experiences."

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT from the convention floor. And Sara, this is a big admission from the Trump campaign and they completely and point- blank denied that there was any plagiarism and obviously now admitting it today.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Erin. For the last couple of days, Paul Manafort has been out there saying Melania Trump did not take from Michelle Obama's speech. Even this morning he had a feisty exchange where Chris Cuomo where he was trying to downplay this thing. There were just a couple of similar words. So, to see this statement now is more of an acknowledge that, look, these were phrases that appeared in Michelle Obama's speech obviously, they were word for word in a number of cases and I think it was an indication from the Trump campaign that it took a while for them to get there, they realize this was not necessarily a controversy that was just going to go away.

They had hoped to kind of stall on it, hoped to turn the page. But instead, this is a narrative that has dominated the first three days of their convention. And it does make you wonder, Erin, why they would not put that statement out on two day morning, put this issue to bed and be able to move on instead of sort of having the shadow hang over the speeches of Tuesday night where we saw Tiffany Trump and where we also saw Donald Trump, Jr., and then tonight we're expecting to hear from Eric Trump.

BURNETT: All right. Sara Murray, thank you very much.

And my panel is back with me. Andy, Paul Manafort, and you heard Sara mention his exchange with Chris Cuomo this morning which, you know, Chris Cuomo pressed him and pressed him very fairly. Paul Manafort was asked about this controversy repeatedly since Melania Trump's speech and for all of you, I want to play you what Paul Manafort has had to say on every television network over the past few days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy. To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd. As far as we are concerned the speech is Melania's speech.

There were not that many similarities. There was nothing that she did in that speech that she thought was anybody's words but herself.

That speech reflected her values and not Michelle Obama's, there is nothing plagiarized about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Why didn't they own up to this from the beginning? Why spend all these days and time saying all those things? Why not just say, we messed up. Made a mistake. Sorry?

DEAN: Well, I think first, the time line is important. This happened very late Monday night and then Trump was on a flight back from Cleveland to New York. So, by the time they woke up on Tuesday morning --

BURNETT: Yes, but today's Wednesday.

DEAN: Right. It was corrected a couple of hours ago. I'll be honest. It was not good politics. I think if Paul Manafort, were -- I don't want to say smart, because I'm going to get, you know, some evil mails, he's a smart guy. I just think you say, look, the smart political answers, we'll looking into it. We take this very seriously. We'll look into it. And I think if they have done that and says, hey, let us investigate and let us look into it, it buys you a couple of days and puts the story at least on the backburner. It became big news today because they confronted the story again. I thought this was going away today.

BURNETT: It wasn't going away. Let me just tell you, it wasn't going away.

DEAN: They needed to investigate and then during Hillary Clinton's convention, you can come out with what happened. I think the fact that they came out with the results today. I don't think that to me, they just needed to investigate what was going on.

BURNETT: But Ana, they lost 36 hours of convention time where they could have talked about the convention and instead people were talking about how a speech was plagiarized and they wouldn't admit it.

NAVARRO: Completely self-inflicted wound. Complete loss of time. They have rained on their own parade. This is the Donald Trump show. This is the Donald Trump convention and we have been distracted by this stupid, amateur mistake now for 36 hours. Why did they do it? Because that's what they've done for the last year and a half. They've made mistakes. They've done things and said things that would have killed any other campaign, and the next that they come out and double down and it's worked for them. They didn't realize they're now playing in a different league. It will not go away. It will bloom.

DEAN: This campaign has won.

SELLERS: I think Andy's sentiment is the reason why they're struggling so much because the sentiment is that Trump's won, Trump's won, so we can continue to run this campaign like the bad news bears and make these mistakes that are unforced errors. This is a general election, the world is watching. You're running up against a complete machine in the Hillary Clinton campaign that's going to will take advantage of all of these mistakes and you cannot continue to not have a ground game and not have a communications department. I understand you are on a plane, but if you can't come out with a release that owns it, apologizes, and fire some 26-year-old immediately?

(CROSSTALK)

[19:21:38] BURNETT: Andy?

DEAN: You need to give me some loving like this song is saying right now. There are always these loyal things that come up to the convention. Was it handled perfectly? Absolutely not. But to say that this is a function of the entire campaign when he got over a 14 million votes, and voter turnout was at 50 percent.

BURNETT: Hold on! I want to --

NAVARRO: The Trump show for Melania Trump, her first big speech and she has been embarrassed terribly. Plagiarism is a very serious act --

BURNETT: And yet, here's what Donald Trump -- here's what Donald Trump tweeted today about it. "Good news, if Melania's speech got more publicity than any in history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press."

David Gergen, he is happy that his wife is getting attention and humiliated for plagiarized speech.

GERGEN: I can guarantee he's not happy. I can guarantee you the theory that probably came from that man was -- but here's what I think. I don't think it took him 24 hours. I think it took him about one hour to figure out what happened and they decided to stonewall. They made an intentional decision to mislead people and try to stick by it and then they got their hand caught because it blew up as a story and what worried me about, I mean, we all agree on the sloppiness that went into it beforehand, but here you've got a campaign that has said if Paul Manafort has said we're copying this campaign and this convention after Richard Nixon in 1968. And here, when trouble broke, what do they do? They came out and stonewalled. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They copied Richard Nixon.

GERGEN: I don't understand that, you know, why do that?

BURNETT: David.

CHALIAN: You know, Trump sat down with ABC tonight for an interview and said people make mistakes, right? And this woman made a mistake and he said I've made mistakes and people make mistakes which is something you really don't hear from Trump all that often, clearly trying --

BURNETT: As a matter of fact, I think he said to Anderson Cooper when Anderson asked him whether he ever apologized, he said no.

CHALIAN: Right.

BURNETT: So, we're close to the first time here tonight.

CHALIAN: Well, I wouldn't call it an apology. It's just a recognition --

BURNETT: An acknowledgement of a problem.

CHALIAN: So, he clearly wants to move on from it. I think there are tweets that he sent out that was right before they were rolling out the statement, and I do believe that they lamped the boil on this today. Yes, 36 hours too late, but you know what? I really think tomorrow night his speech is going to wipe so much of this away --

BURNETT: Right.

CHALIAN: -- because there's going to be such a huge moment and they needed to deal with this before that.

BURNETT: All right. And next, breaking news as the convention is about to be called to order here tonight. You hear the music getting everyone ready and Ted Cruz is going to take the stage very soon. Will Trump's ex-rival endorse him? It is the crucial question tonight of course along with Mike Pence's big speech.

And all of the bashing of Hillary Clinton over the past few days, are these attacks going to bring Republicans together or will they finally start saying good things about Donald Trump tonight?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:28:30] BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT. I am live from the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland, and you hear the music because the breaking news is we are just moments away from the convention formally being called to order tonight that will kick off all of our prime time speakers tonight and it is an important roster. Senator Ted Cruz on that list, is a man who has called Trump a pathological liar, a narcissist and serial philanderer. So, will Cruz endorse that man?

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, their road to Cleveland has had its ups and downs. At the beginning --

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We both agreed that we started out at friends and will end as friends.

SERFATY: To this.

CRUZ: Donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.

SERFATY: Their complicated relationship culminating on stage tonight in a prime time address from the Texas senator who has yet to endorse the GOP nominee. In Cleveland today, Cruz holding an event to thank his delegates never mentioning Trump once by name.

CRUZ: Our party now has a nominee, and I don't know --

SERFATY: Interrupted by that nominee's plane flying overhead.

CRUZ: That was pretty well orchestrated.

SERFATY: And a chance from Cruz supporters calling for another presidential run.

CRUZ: You know, there's a lot of talk about unity. I want to see unity and the way to see unity is for us to unite behind shared principles.

[19:30:02] SERFATY (voice-over): At the start of the campaign, the rivals acted more like allies.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think it is terrific that Donald Trump is in the race.

SERFATY: Appearing together at a rally in Washington to oppose the Iran deal.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, it is a little bit of a romance. I like him. He likes me. He's backed me 100 percent, when I came about illegal immigration.

SERFATY: Regularly praising each other on the campaign trail.

CRUZ: He has an incredible ability to cause the media to talk about an issue that is a serious problem.

SERFATY: But all that changed in the days before the Iowa caucuses. The bromance was broken.

CRUZ: Everything in Donald's world is about Donald. Donald is a bully. Donald Trump is a serial philanderer. TRUMP: Lyin' Ted. He's a liar. Ooh! Bible high, bible high, puts

it down and then he lies.

SERFATY: The two launching a series of charges and county attacks going after the other's character and family members.

CRUZ: I don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family.

TRUMP: I think Ted Cruz is desperate. Look, I think Ted is a very unstable guy.

SERFATY: Aides to Cruz will not definitively say if the senator will make a formal endorsement on stage tonight saying stay tuned, but assuring that the Trump campaign will be pleased with Cruz's speech.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY: And Senator Cruz wrote the speech himself with the help of about four or five aides and asked about the tone and the message that he will take tonight, an adviser to Senator Cruz says he will be talking about all about moving forward and projecting optimism, Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Sunlen, thank you very much.

And my panel is back with me as we are awaiting that crucial gaveling in.

David Gergen, at this point, sources say there's not a plan for a Cruz endorsement tonight. He could still change that. He could still come out and give a full-throated endorsement of a man that by all beings he despises because it's the right thing to do. Will he do it?

GERGEN: Well, first of all, I'm not a believer in conspiracy theory, but you have to wonder if the sponsors turned the music way out so loud that's going to drown out all commentary for the next hour.

BURNETT: Until Ted Cruz is done.

GERGEN: It's unbelievable. If he endorses, they'll turn down the music.

(LAUGHTER)

GERGEN: Listen --

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I know I'm still Republican base because I kind of like it.

BURNETT: Right. There was a statement in the music about the party, but go ahead.

GERGEN: Yes. Listen, I think he will endorse tonight, I just think it's in his political interest to do so, but Ted Cruz, he and Donald Trump are very strong-willed men. They believe very, very powerfully in who they are and what they're going to accomplish and I think he knows his own future is on the line that the Trump people will be so disappointed one way or the other, if he doesn't endorse tonight there will be bad blood that will continue for a long time.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: There are so many delegates that I talked to over the last week who were here early, who were just die hard Ted Cruz supporters who do not want to see him take that step and actually endorse. They feel that, you know, Donald Trump does not represent their principles and so, you have to think about the calculation that Ted Cruz is going through tonight, thinking about potentially winning in 2020. How can he keep, you know, his base supporters with him, not look like a sellout and still not anger the Trump organization?

(CROSSTALK)

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: When Maeve says 2020, she's not just talking about if Donald Trump loses. If Donald Trump wins as president you can foresee Ted Cruz making a primary challenge against a sitting incumbent President Donald Trump, too. So, 2020 is looking at -- when I saw this event this afternoon on TV, I wasn't there, it looked like it was a mini-Ted Cruz convention in Cleveland with his delegates and his supporters.

I don't recall -- I mean, I get that you want to touch base with your supporters and thank them for their support, but holding this very public event and at the same time Donald Trump is landing.

BURNETT: I want to just play this moment.

CHALIAN: Sure.

BURNETT: Because Ted Cruz is talking to his supporters outside almost like he wasn't even invited into the convention and Donald Trump flies over, literally. Can I just play it for everyone?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Our party now has a nominee and I don't know --

(CROWD BOOING)

CRUZ: All right. That was pretty well orchestrated!

Jeff, did you e-mail them to fly the plane right when I said that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: I mean, Ana, he laughed, and he made a joke of it which speaks well for Ted Cruz.

NAVARRO: You know what? Ted Cruz has always been pretty witty, pretty quick humor, I would say.

[19:35:04] Go ahead and call me whatever you want. I will tell you this much, remember who Ted Cruz is. This is the guy who does not play in the sandbox. This is the guy who does not cower or bow down to political pressure from the hierarchy. This is this friend.

Let's also remember, Donald Trump called his wife ugly and said his father was implicated in the conspiracy to kill JFK. This was ugly. It was deep. It was nasty. And I think, you know, Ted Cruz at some point has to go there and do what he thinks is right and what's in his heart because that's --

BURNETT: And, Andy, there's so much risk tonight, though, because of all of those things. What does Ted -- Ted Cruz, it is a risk to Donald Trump because he doesn't know what he's going to say.

ANDY DEAN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Look, I think we do know what he's going to say to most extent and he's going to talk about Hillary Clinton and the fact that he's going to hit her so hard is -- may not be a de facto endorsement of Donald Trump, but I think we get the benefit of the doubt here. Was that Reince Priebus speaking, I actually prefer Neil Diamond --

(LAUGHTER)

BURNETT: All right. We're going to take a brief break as the convention is now formally being called to order. All of these events beginning right on the other side of this break. Reince Priebus, the chairman, bringing it to order. We'll take a brief break and we'll be right back here live from the Republican convention.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And welcome back to our special edition of OUTFRONT.

You are hearing right now the national anthem playing at this convention is formally brought to order this Wednesday night.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

BURNETTT: And now the convention is brought to order as we said. Mike Pence speaking tonight. Ted Cruz speaking tonight. Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich, Eric Trump. It will be a very crucial and important list, as you hear them chanting "USA" getting ready for the festivities tonight.

One thing that has stood out in the speeches that we have seen so far here in Cleveland is that Donald Trump has not gotten as many mentions as Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton, in fact, has been bashed by speaker after speaker and her name mentioned much more often than that of Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Hillary Clinton is a risk Americans can't afford to take.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We know exactly what four years of Hillary Clinton will bring. All of the failures of the Obama years, but with less charm and more lies.

[19:40:01] We didn't disqualify Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. The facts of her life and career disqualify her.

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: No way, Hillary. No way on earth.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BURNETT: So what will happen tonight? Will we hear a lot of pro- Donald Trump or more anger against Hillary Clinton?

Pamela Brown is on the floor here OUTFRONT as this convention comes to order.

Pamela, that's the big question tonight.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: You can expect it, Erin. In years past, we know that the opponent has usually hammered away one night and it seems that Hillary Clinton is the target every night here at the Republican convention. She's really the unifying force and a party so very much divided over Donald Trump.

We know that Governor Mike Pence is expected to call her secretary of status quo. You can expect Ted Cruz who has not formally endorsed Donald Trump yet to also hit on Hillary Clinton. In fact, we counted just the past couple of nights Donald Trump's name was mentioned 61 times versus 79 times for Hillary Clinton.

And you've heard the crowd here last night really get galvanized whenever her name was mentioned. They kept chanting, "Lock her up, lock her up."

Now, Hillary Clinton for her part says that some of the people coming out against her such as Giuliani have praised her in the past, and they're only saying this because we're right in the middle of an election year -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. My panel is back with me and Rick Perry didn't mention Donald Trump, and Paul Ryan did and barely only to say he's better than Hillary Clinton to advance my agenda in Congress.

What does it is a about the party that what seems to unite the speakers here is anger against Hillary Clinton, not cheering for Donald Trump?

NAVARRO: I think you just laid it out. That's exactly what it is. We are a divided party. Some people may want to sugar-coat it and whitewash it and they want to be more subtle about it, but there is no doubt that right now there are deep divisions within the Republican Party.

But what there is unity around is the idea that Hillary Clinton should not be president. And so therein lies such a problem for so many Republicans that don't want to support Donald Trump. Some of them are supporting Donald Trump not because they support Donald Trump, but because they can't fathom and stand the idea of Hillary Clinton. Some of them are just saying, folks like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, I'm not going to vote for president. I'm going to vote down ballot because they can't fathom the idea of him either.

BURNETT: And they're not even here.

But, Andy, other than Newt Gingrich, who else tonight? Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, will they come out and say Donald Trump, Donald Trump?

DEAN: Donald Trump beat all these people in the primary, and I disagree with Ana and I agree with her to some extent. The elites of the party are divided, but that's not what this election was about. Fourteen million people, more so than any other nominee in the history of America voted for Donald Trump, because they're voting against the elite, and they're the ones that pick the speakers. And these are the ones that speak, these governors, these senators, that's not what the American people are looking for. That's not what Donald Trump is about.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We keep talking about this number that Donald Trump got the most votes ever in the history of the Republican primary, which is true. But what other people won't say is that 2 million more people voted against Donald Trump in that same Republican primary than voted for him.

DEAN: You have 16 opponents.

SELLERS: The person tonight -- the person tonight who I believe has the best opportunity to actually put some meat on the bone is Newt Gingrich, because what has not happened throughout this entire process, what has not happened throughout this process is no one here has given the American public a reason to vote for Donald Trump. Everything in here --

DEAN: His kids --

SELLERS: -- were amazing. Everything in here has been vote against Hillary Clinton and vote against Hillary Clinton and vote against Hillary Clinton, and Newt Gingrich has the ability to do that.

BURNETT: David?

GERGEN: To follow up on Bakari's point, what was stunning about those numbers, and how you mentioned there was a job and the economy and the things that really count.

SELLERS: Exactly. Education.

GERGEN: There were things missing from this.

Donald Trump did a great job last night, he's the one person who really just done it.

But what's been missing from this is a sense of vision and a hope and a plan to get there and they're leaving all of this to Donald Trump right now. I think Michael Pence has an easy job of laying out Trump vision so Trump can come back and do his job tomorrow night, but they've got to turn to the positive. RESTON: They have not, you know, given that bridge here to those

independent voters who are going to be so crucially important in this election. There has been almost nothing. There's been Hillary bashing and Benghazi, et cetera.

BURNETT: Right.

RESTON: We have not seen a way that will draw in independent women who Donald Trump has a huge problem with.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all.

Next, our special edition of OUTFRONT continues here live from the Republican National Convention gaveled in.

A close friend of Donald Trump know the Trump children for decades will be my guest. We're going down to the floor right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:48:34] BURNETT: And we are back here from the floor of the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland. Tonight's ceremonies have been gaveled in and they have sung the national anthem and said the Pledge of Allegiance and we are awaiting crucial speeches from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich and, of course, the keynote tonight Mike Pence introduced by Donald Trump.

Joining me now on the floor of the RNC, Tom Barrack, founder of Colony Capital who has known Donald Trump for 40 years, known Donald Trump's children.

You're going to be speaking here at this convention tomorrow night right before Trump and his children. So, what can we expect from Donald Trump? I mean, this speech tomorrow is crucial and this l his big chance to address more people that he has at anytime so far in this campaign.

TOM BARRACK, CLOSE FRIEND & BUSINESS ASSOCIATE OF DONALD TRUMP: I think what you can expect to hear from Donald rump is something that no one has heard before. I've known the man for 40 years. He's singularly the best executive, the most disciplined, with the most amazing amount of compassion, kindness and trustworthiness that I know, and nobody's seen that.

So, when you think about what's happening, we have an opportunity to have status quo, and I have nothing negative to say about Hillary, but Donald, as a disciplined executive is far better than anybody that I can imagine, and I think you are going to see tomorrow the roll out of a lot of facts that people have not known as to how good he can be when he's in the saddle and not the rhetoric, but the man.

[19:50:06] BURNETT: So, he's going to talk about specific examples or business examples? What might we hear?

BARRACK: Well, you'll have to ask him what he's going to talk about, but what you will get on the edges is Donald the man. Donald, the compassionate father. Donald, the caring worker. He's the only president in 40 years that has actually made a payroll. He's the only president that I can remember that's actually been an executive.

So, my point of view is very simple, that we have an opportunity to change and to change you have to be the change and not talk about the change, so you have to look at someone who has a proven ability and I've been in the valleys with him, and I've been on the mountains with him.

He's disciplined. He's focused. He has no bad habits. He's relentless and as a negotiator, he is first class.

BURNETT: And that's what we will hear from you tomorrow in your speech?

BARRACK: Yes.

BURNETT: So the other question, of course, you have hosted the single biggest fund-raiser for Donald Trump. You have been on the forefront of getting people to get behind him financially. So, Mike Pence on the ticket, a lot of people are looking carefully at that. Does Mike Pence help you?

BARRACK: Hugely. Mike Pence is a pro.

So, what everybody has been asking for is the pivot. So they know Donald is rich. They know he's capable. They know he's a great businessman and they know he's a celebrity and they want to see a little bit of presidential tone, a little bit of that ability to build consensus.

But remember, consensus just goes to the lowest common denominator, but Pence is pro and legislative enactment and governing. As Chris Christie, we had a transition team meeting today. I have to tell you I was so impressed as to what can happen with Trump.

So, Trump assigns Christie as a transition team management. I sat for 15 minutes and listened to him and said, you've got to come with me to my Wall Street brethren because in 20 minutes you will convince them that we are going to do something that hasn't been done. It will be a team --

BURNETT: Even though Christie is not on the ticket?

BARRACK: Look, having Christie there is going to be powerful, the job that he'll take probably than vice president. But it's another sign of the capability of the man in selecting a team. These people are first-class and they're not of the system. They'll take apart the system and put it back together.

BURNETT: All right. Tom Barrack, thank you very much. You'll be speaking here at the convention just before Donald Trump and his children tomorrow night. Thank you for being with me.

Our special coverage continues here from the floor of the convention here in Cleveland with "AC360." (MUSIC)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: On this stage tonight, the Republican's new presidential nominee will shatter convention traditions again.

Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper. Welcome to a special edition of "AC360".

There is no bigger in this convention than Donald Trump himself and it will leverage his star power and he will show up on stage again and he will be the only nominee ever to make an appearance every single night at the convention.

Look for Trump to join Mike Pence on stage after the vice presidential nominee makes his big speech tonight and his remarks will be a crucial test of what he can do to try to help the ticket.

Also tonight, there is a lot of mystery surrounding remarks by one of Trump's last bitter primary rivals, Senator Ted Cruz. Will he actually endorse Donald Trump and help try to unify the party? We'll find out soon.

Right now, let's go across the hall above the convention floor and my colleague Wolf Blitzer.

Wolf, we'll hear a different tone, we are told, tonight, and we'll see if that actually happens.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We will find out pretty soon, Anderson. After two days of hammering away at Hillary Clinton, look for the Republicans to present a more robust case as to why Donald Trump should be the next president of the United States. His son Eric will help deliver the speech tonight, who says he wrote the speech himself and it will be full of love and earning motion.

Ivanka Trump will get her turn on stage tomorrow night. Just ahead, a CNN interview with Donald Trump's oldest daughter about her father and the surprises in the campaign.

Jake Tapper is with us, of course, tonight.

Jake, we're going to be very carefully looking at these speeches. They will be scrutinized. What do you anticipate?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we're going to will hear a lot from Donald Trump's former opponents. We're going to hear from Ted Cruz, as you noted and Scott Walker, former governor of Wisconsin. We're going to hear a videotaped message to Marco Rubio.

So, in many ways the team this evening will be uniting the Republican Party, obviously, and also, we're going to hear the speech by the vice presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Indiana Governor Mike Pence chosen in no small part because Donald Trump wants to unite the party. [19:55:01] He knows that there is a lot of skepticism from the

conservative wing of the Republican Party, people who supported Ted Cruz in large numbers, millions of them and he needs to convince them.

In many ways, Mike Pence is an antidote to that, given the fact that he supported Ted Cruz and beyond that endorsement of Ted Cruz, Indiana Governor Mike Pence was a leader of the House, he is a conservative evangelical, he is somebody who the conservatives here really, really respect.

BLITZER: Stand by, Anderson. The program less than two minute away is about to begin. Let's go back to you.

COOPER: Yes, Wolf, Jake, thank you very much.

First speech that we'll be bringing is Florida Governor Rick Scott, obviously a crucial state for Donald Trump to win. He is leading right now in Hillary Clinton polls there, but there is a lot of work to be done. We are told Hillary Clinton will be making her vice presidential announcement in Florida. We're going to hear what Governor Rick Scott has to say, and I am here with the panel, of course, and our colleagues.

David Axelrod, I mean, last night was supposed to be make America work again. We didn't actually hear too much on the economic -- and it was back to Hillary Clinton time and time again.

Do you expect a different tone tonight?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think what we've learned is this party is united in its opposition to Hillary Clinton. The question is whether it can come together around this nominee, and I think we're going to have to hear more of that to be convinced that they can do that, and obviously, people will be looking for cues from Ted Cruz.

Marco Rubio sent a video. I guess he won't affect himself in his campaign if he appears in video and not in person. But I think they've got a lot of work to do between now and the close of this convention tomorrow night to build the case for Donald Trump and not just against Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: And the big speech is not just Eric Trump, obviously. Governor Pence is making a critical speech.

But Ted Cruz, will he endorse Donald Trump?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's the huge question, Anderson. You know, it seems to me that he's going to try and walk fine line. You know, there's no love lost between these two men and what he has to do is let the Republican Party know that he wants to unite the party and that he's not going to work against Donald Trump which is actually a little different from actively endorsing Donald Trump, so he can walk that fine line, but we don't know. We could be surprised this evening and we'll have to see what Ted Cruz does. COOPER: Governor Rick Scott has just been introduced to this crowd.

Let's listen in.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Good evening. My name is Rick Scott, governor of the great state of Florida.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Before I begin tonight, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has kept us in their prayers after the horrific and hate-filled terror attack in Orlando a month ago.

We have received -- we've received an outpouring of love and support from Americans everywhere. American people sure stick up for each other. So, on behalf of all of the citizens of our great state -- thank you, thank you, thank you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I'm old enough to remember when terrorism was something that happened in foreign countries, not today. How many more times is the evil of radical Islamic terrorism have to occur before the president of the United States will muster the courage to face the truth? How many more Orlandos, San Bernardinos or Ft. Hoods will happen until President Obama decides to be honest?

I cried with the grieving moms and dads and brothers and sisters of the 49 people slaughtered by the ISIS-inspired terrorist. This war is real. It is here in America, and the next president must destroy this evil.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Donald Trump is the man for that job.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: Trump! Trump! Trump!

SCOTT: I met Donald Trump about 20 year ago before either of us decided to run for office. Let me tell you why this is the time for Donald to be president.

A lot of politicians like to give speeches where they say, we are at a crossroads.