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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America's Choice 2016 - DNC. Aired 11p-12a
Aired July 25, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:07] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-NH) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This election is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle-class.
SANDERS: The reality that 47 million men, women, and children today live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our
economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living than their parents.
SANDERS: This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America today.
SANDERS: It is not moral, it is not acceptable, and it is not sustainable that the top one-tenth of 1-percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90-percent -
SANDERS: -- or that the top 1-percent in recent years has earned 85- percent of all new income. That is unacceptable; that must change.
SANDERS: This election is about remembering where we were 7.5 years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.
SANDERS: The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. That's where we were. That is where we were. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs; 800,000 people. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion, and by the way, the world's financial system was on the verge of collapse, that's where we were when President Obama came into office.
Well, we have come a long way in the last 7.5 years, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden. I thank them for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession. Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions --
SANDERS: -- not just bombast, not just fearmongering, not just name calling and divisiveness. We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger, not leadership which insults Latinos and Mexicans, insults Muslims and women, African-Americans, and Veterans and seeks to divide us up.
By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that based on her [23:05:02] ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: The choice -
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: This election -
SANDERS: This election -- this election is about a single mother, a single mom I saw her in Nevada, who, with tears in her eyes, told me she was scared to death about the future because she and her daughter were not making it on the $10.45 an hour she was earning. This election is about that woman and the millions of other workers in this country who are struggling to survive on totally inadequate wages.
SANDERS: Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in this country works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty.
SANDERS: She understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage -
SANDERS: -- and she is determined to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems, and waste water plants.
SANDERS: But her opponent, Donald Trump, well, he has a very different point of view. He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage.
SANDERS: While Trump believes in huge tax breaks -
SANDERS: -- huge tax breaks for billionaires; he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.
SANDERS: Brothers and sisters, this election is about overturning Citizens United.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: Citizens United is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch Brothers,
SANDERS: -- to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections, and in the process, undermine American democracy.
SANDERS: Hillary Clinton will nominate justices to the Supreme Court who are prepared to overturn Citizens United -
SANDERS: -- and end the movement toward oligarchy that we are seeing in this country. Her Supreme Court appointments will also defend a woman's right to choose -
[23:10:02] SANDERS: -- workers' rights, the rights of the LGBT community -
SANDERS: -- the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government's ability to protect our environment.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: If you don't believe that this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate -
SANDERS: -- and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights, and the future of our country.
This election is about the thousands of young people I have met all over this country -
SANDER: -- the thousands I have met who left college deeply in debt and, tragically, the many others who cannot afford to go to college.
During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with somewhat different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: It will guarantee, guarantee, that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less, 83-percent of our population, will be able to go to a public college or university, tuition free.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: This election is about climate change, the great environmental crisis facing our planet and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy, and habitable for our children and future generations.
Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that unless we act boldly to transform our energy system in the very near future, there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs transforming our energy system.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: Donald Trump? Well like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science.
SANDERS: He believes that climate change is a hoax, no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president's job is to worry about future generations, not the profits of the fossil fuel industry.
[Cheering and Applause] SANDERS: This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care -
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: -- and reducing the number of people who are uninsured or underinsured. Hillary Clinton wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their health care exchange.
SANDERS: She believes that anyone 55 or older should be able to opt in to Medicare.
[23:15:04] SANDERS: And she wants to see millions more Americans gain access to primary healthcare, dental care, mental health counseling, low-cost prescription drugs through a major expansion of community health centers.
and what is Donald Trump's position on health care? well, no surprise there, same old, same old. Republican contempt for working families. He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off of health insurance
SANDERS: -- and cut Medicaid for lower income Americans.
Hillary Clinton also understands that millions of seniors, disabled vets and others are struggling with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs and the fact that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for the medicine we use. She knows that Medicare must negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry -
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: -- and that drug companies should not be making billions in profit when one out of five Americans are unable to afford the medicine they need. The greed of the drug companies must end.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: It's about making sure that young people in this country are in good schools and in good jobs, not rotting in jail cells.
[Applause] SANDERS: Hillary Clinton understands that we have to invest in education and jobs for our young people, not more jails for incarceration.
SANDERS: In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. while Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: Yes, we become stronger when Black and Whites, Latino, Asian American, Native American, when all of us stand together. Yes, we become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native-borne and immigrant, fight together to create the kind of country we all know we all know we can become.
SANDERS: It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That is what this campaign has been about. That is what democracy is about.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: So I'm happy to tell you, that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming to between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.
SANDERS: Among many, many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street -
[23:20:01] SANDERS: -- and the passage of a 21st century Glass- Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing trade agreements like the TPP.
[Applause] [Crowd Chanting "No TPP"]
SANDERS: Our job -
[Crowd Chanting "No TPP"]
SANDERS: we have got to make sure that TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress in the lame-duck session.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: our job is now to see that strong Democratic platform implemented by a Democratic-controlled Senate, --
SANDERS: -- by a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency.
[Cheering and Applause]
SANDERS: And I am going to do all that I can to make that happen.
SANDERS: I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great First Lady who broke precedent, in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play, as she helped lead universal health care.
SANDERS: I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women, and for the disabled. Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight. Thank you, all, very much.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Senator Bernie Sanders, perhaps the most important speech of the night, in terms of trying to unify this convention. David Axelrod, did he do it?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I thought it was a very valiant effort. Anybody who thought he was going to come here and make a half-hearted speech, he did not. This was a full- throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton. He made the case to his supporters as to why he felt it was important and I don't think he hedged in any way.
You know, there was a little bit of a hesitancy, I thought, in his original endorsement when they first appeared together. This, there was none of that here. This was as good as she could have hoped for.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: He was also making the case to his supporters not to sit out this election, that it's too important. He made the case for what's at stake here, whether it was in terms of the Supreme Court or in terms of climate change or in terms of Wall Street, et cetera, et cetera; and he also made the case, by the way, which no one else had done this evening, about what got better under Barack Obama.
COOPER: That's right.
BORGER: And how Hillary Clinton will continue to make things even better. I mean, he went back to the economic crisis eight years ago, and then talked about the continuum there. So not only did he make the case for Hillary Clinton, but he made the case for her effective third term of what the President has already started. NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, at some point he said, election days come and go but the struggle continues. I thought he basically able to talk about the influence that his candidacy had on the platform and essentially said, listen, if you like this platform, you have to vote for Hillary Clinton and you have to make sure there's a democratic senate as well.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Sanders supporters throughout the campaign, and still in this hall now, you can go back to Iowa, New Hampshire, some just don't trust Hillary Clinton on these issues. I thought Bernie Sanders was very strong in going through this issues: climate change, equal pay, fair economics --
AXELROD: Supreme Court.
KING: -- supreme court justices, campaign finance reform and not only saying he was with her and talking about how she's come his way on some of those issues but making the comparison to Trump.
I was texting with a couple Clinton campaign people as the speech went on, they are incredibly happy with this speech and also incredibly happy, Anderson, overwhelmingly when he first did the "I'm with Hillary," there was applause in the hall. There was the worry the whole time would you get a lot of boos, would Bernie Sanders get disappointment from his supporters? There was a smattering of it down there, but overwhelming, at least up here, -- we'll see if the floor people feel any differently about it, at least up here [23:25:01] and what the Clinton campaign is saying, they were thrilled that Bernie Sanders' followers, at least in this hall, seemed to be with him.
COOPER: We should also point out, when he came out and you saw all those Bernie signs. Those were actually handed out by folks in the hall. That was not people who had brought Bernie signs with them. those were actually handed out just as they handed out Michelle Obama signs for Michelle Obama coming out.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Really, really incredible act of leadership on his part.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.
JONES: This is a hard horse to ride. When you've got a mass movement, and that thing is whipped up and it's moving, and, you know, those young people out there, they were crying, to get out there and to in able to get his arms around that movement, hug them, hold them, tell them you did great and show them a future that's not about sitting down, that's not about surrendering, that's not about being grumpy, but it's about taking this thing forward. She may have won the nomination; god bless her. But he has won over a huge part of this party and platform and the future is on the side of the young people he brought here; and not just the young people, the enthusiastic people he brought here.
I'm telling you, what he just pulled off is very, very difficult. Kudos to him. BEGALA: The easier path is what I suggested last night, right?
Nothing unites a people like a predator from Mars. Trump's a pig. Trump's a pig. There's nobody else you can really vote for; right? That would have been effective and easy. This is more effective because he told them there was something positive about Hillary, something positive to be for and he made it about the ideas. His movement all along, and I've been saying this just - my friend who were Sanders supporters, especially young people I've seen here, do you want a movement or monument?
A movement has to keep going. He said, we're going to keep going and this woman will enact the ideas and issues that I campaigned on and that you care about. As a Hillary guy, I could not have asked for more from Senator Sanders tonight.
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I also have to say, you know, he ran a fantastic campaign. I mean, he did start a movement. He made her a better candidate. He brought really important issues into this election cycle and it was really heartwarming to see that he got his due tonight. I mean, he had, like, a three-minute standing, sustained ovation and that was a good thing.
COOPER: Jeffrey Lord?
JEFFREY LORD, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: When you listen to Elizabeth Warren run through the litany of things wrong with country, you were reminded the "Washington Post"/ABC poll from this month says that 68- percent of adults think the country is on the wrong track and yet they're saying more of the same; more of the same. I mean, it's one or the other: either this has been a great eight years, and the "Wall Street Journal" today was noting President Obama got most of what he wanted. He got stimulus Obamacare, nationalized student loans, the banks have to now answer first to government, he raised taxes, he reduced the American role in the world and yet - and yet you've got these folks saying the country's in terrible --
AXELROD: But, Jeffrey, here's the paradox; that same poll had Obama -- you said the "Washington Post"/ABC poll?
LORD: ABC, right.
AXELROD: Had Obama with a 56-percent approval rating. 56-percent in this day and age is very high. So, you know, the fact -
LORD: But he's not at the top of the ballot, David.
AXELROD: Well you just implied that he was. You implied that his policies were on the ballot.
LORD: He may be personally popular, but his policies clearly have got people upset.
AXELROD: I think what's going to be tested here is this is going to be the first time we're going to have a president actively campaigning for a nominee of his own party, and it's a popular president; so you guys, you know, are testing the proposition, you know, the third-term jinx which is very hard to break -
AXELROD: -- of a party -
LORD: Reagan broke it.
AXELROD: -- versus a popularity of this president.
KING: Just to come back to Senator Sanders at the end, I mean, David makes a point about the President. The First Lady was here tonight; Elizabeth Warren was here tonight. They have signaled before, they did it passionately tonight, the President will do it later, but Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama have quite forcefully signaled here to this crowd, they're all in but there was a question, I think Paul made the point when Bernie Sanders first endorsed, the wounds were still raw.
KING: You're just getting through it. Is he doing it because he feels he has to or is he doing it because he wants to? Is he doing it because he's going to be out there playing? I think you heard in that speech, and it's important because it's a very close election when you go state by state right now -- and Donald Trump tweeting during Bernie Sanders' speech, you know, Bernie's caving. He's surrendering. The system's rigged, come to me. - that you're going to have all hands on deck, including Senator Sanders and
the First Lady and Senator Warren, and we're going to get the President and the former President Bill Clinton.
If you go back to the Republican Convention, remember, Trump has support. Trump's in play in this election but he doesn't have the "A" list of Republican luminaries who can split up and go to the ballot -
COOPER: Just one interesting sign on that front, with the roster of speakers, this place was packed until Bernie Sanders finished.
BORGER: All night.
COOPER: The first two nights at the Republican Convention, I mean, again, not that it's much of a comparison, but by 10:20, 10:30 - let me finish.
AXELROD: That was in part because of bad planning on their part.
COOPER: Right. I mean, they put some very obscure people on in the very height of the primetime; it was a mistake.
JONES: But, listen, part of what you're seeing here is what it means to be a part of a political party, as well as a part of a political movement.
JONES: So part of what happened, if Bernie just wanted to have this movement, be out there and rail, he doesn't have to be a part of the Democratic Party. What I think he's trying to do is get his folks to understand, you know, we are part of something that's bigger, a machinery that's bigger and we can take this over.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
JONES: He didn't start as a Democrat.
BORGER: Right, he -
JONES: He started as an Independent.
JONES: But that's an important because you have people saying, since we didn't get the nomination, we're not going to play. I think he's trying to say to his people, this whole thing could be ours if we keep going.
BORGER: But that's what this election is about, it's about mobilization. You know, Bernie Sanders wasn't trying to convince Independent voters tonight to vote for Hillary Clinton. What he was doing was saying to his voters, you got to mobilize. You've got to get out there. You've got to participate. You can't sit out this race. It's too important, and here are the stakes.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You know -
BORGER: Now, he can do that and so can President Obama and Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama and all the rest.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michelle Obama can do that -
COOPER: Well one of the things people have been critical of the Clinton campaign for is not sort of coming up with, -- you know, Donald Trump, you can ask just about anybody what his tagline is and people will know, you know, "Make America Great Again." He's the law and order candidate; those are his two things now. Hillary Clinton hasn't really come up with kind of an easy one sentence -
AXELROD: The thing about the hat.
BORGER: The I'm with her.
COOPER: But I do think Michelle Obama came closest to kind of giving possible avenues for -- I mean, you know, I saw somebody on Twitter saying they could just cut Michelle Obama's speech into sound bites and make commercials out of that.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think Bill Clinton was "Putting People First," right; that was the book Bill Clinton put out in the 1992 campaign in New Hampshire. It was hope and change, when you had -- with Obama. That has been a criticism with Hillary Clinton, give me one sentence or one line that describes it. I think that's a fair criticism that a lot of people, when you ask them, when you meet with voters, I'm not exactly sure what the overriding principle is. What would -
AXELROD: I thought we supplied the answer.
KING: -- she jump in front of a train for; but I will say this, and, again, the voters will decide. This is an outsider year. a lot of people are voting on an incumbent versus a change environment; they view Hillary Clinton as the incumbent but if you listen to the speakers tonight, including Senator Sanders making the contrast against Trump and embracing Hillary Clinton, we heard a lot more policy here tonight (inaudible) and maybe not how we're going to pay for it, this or that, but we had a lot more policy tonight than I think we heard in the entire Republican Convention.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Nobody -- nobody compared Donald Trump to Lucifer. Nobody said he should be shot for treason. Nobody was handing out buttons saying -
BORGER: They did make fun of him.
AXELROD: In all fairness, it's night one.
BEGALA: It is day one. The hate-fest in Cleveland, which was a successful hate-fest, was only that. There were no ideas to hold onto.
JEFFREY LORD, DONALD TRUMP REPORTER: I would have to say, respectfully, that this is a party that divides by race, age, gender, class --
BEGALA: We're together. The whole message, which, by the way is --
LORD: -- class warfare, class envy, and you think the Republican Convention was a hate-fest? I mean, I would respectfully disagree with you.
JONES: Who was hated here?
JONES: Who was hated here?
LORD: People, the 1-percent.
JONES: Okay; how's that?
LORD: The subtext here with people who oppose illegal immigration, that they should be - absolutely. You're dividing - you're dividing by race.
JONES: Here's where I take issue with your argument - here's where I think you lose your argument: when you say that people who are speaking as Americans in their own way and their own voices and for their own experience are saying I want to be a part of this, when you call those people hateful, I think you lose your argument because nobody here is hateful. What they're afraid of is, they're afraid of being hated. That's what they're standing up for.
BORGER: I think they were belittling and making fun of Donald Trump an awful lot tonight. There were sort of comedic intervals here -
JONES: That whole religion, groups of Americans -
BORGER: That whole thing was kind of belittling to Donald Trump and I think nobody here was screaming "lock him up" or any of that kind of stuff. I think they were methodically making the case against Donald Trump, for Hillary Clinton, and I think you're going to, you know, you're going to hear more of that.
COOPER: And certainly Michelle Obama saying who will have the power to shape our next four, eight years of their lives and don't say that, you know, this country isn't great, this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.
BORGER: Can I say, that's where the woman thing comes in. I know we don't talk about that a lot with Hillary Clinton anymore, but Michelle Obama spoke as a mother, about the importance of role models to our children. You want to talk about, you know, John's question about a theme, well, Hillary Clinton doesn't want to talk about being a woman running for president and all the rest, but I do think that role model issue, as a woman, is important.
HENDERSON: For her.
COOPER: Let's go for more on Michelle Obama, let's go to Wolf; Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you very much. There's no doubt that the Bernie Sanders speech was politically very, very significant in trying to bring in that base, that Bernie Sanders base; but the most powerful speech of the night by far was the speech by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. [23:35:01] Look at the front page of the "New York Daily News," the "The Lady Is Her Champ"; very strong words.
We got a tweet, Jake, from the President of the United States: "Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn't be more proud. Our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS, First Lady of the United States. I love you, Michelle."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think what's the most interesting thing about Michelle Obama's speech, which was incredibly well received here in the arena, and I'm sure all over the country, is that it showed she is willing and eager to step into the political fray in 2016 in a way we haven't really seen her do for other candidates other than her husband. The Democrats, Hillary Clinton campaign and others, plan on deploying her, and her husband, all over the country in key places to get out the turnout, to get out the vote, in places where Barack Obama did really well, in places where Michelle Obama is incredibly popular.
What you heard tonight was, were political arguments about (A) testifying on behalf of Hillary Clinton's character. People do remember in 2008 it was a rocky relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas. Testifying to her character, talking about how she never gives up; and, (B) rather biting remarks though she never mentioned Donald Trump by name, rather biting remarks, tough remarks, about Donald Trump. There were moments there where I almost felt like they were kind of baiting him to attack her, given that she is so popular and that would be such a political mistake for Donald Trump to do.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It will be interesting to see if he does. We've been monitoring his Twitter feed. It hasn't happened yet.
TAPPER: He went of Corey Booker.
TAPPER: And Bernie Sanders.
TAPPER: But nothing against the First Lady?
BASH: Not yet; but, the other thing I thought was so fascinating and so, sort of, well done, in terms of the argument she was trying to make, was that she spoke also as a former competitor of Hillary Clinton's.
BASH: She and her husband obviously ran against Hillary Clinton in 2008; came out on the winning side, but from that perspective and that perch, she could say things like, "when she didn't get what she wanted, she didn't get angry or disillusioned" and "she knows that this is bigger than her own desires and disappointments." That was a direct message to all the Bernie Sanders supporters here.
And, you know, the beginning of the afternoon really, when they were gaveling in, and there was so much vocal animosity by many of the Bernie Sanders supporters, you didn't hear any of that in the hall when Michelle Obama made that statement, which I think is incredibly powerful.
BLITZER: You only heard tremendous applause.
BLITZER: Standing ovations. Everyone in this hall, I think. I didn't see anybody who was complaining or booing or heckling or anything along -- they clearly loved every word she said.
TAPPER: Agreed, 100-percent; but by the same token, we should not pretend that the hostility and reluctance that many Sanders supporters feel has gone away because Michelle Obama gave a great speech.
BASH: No question.
TAPPER: Or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
BLITZER: The combination of Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders telling the Bernie Sanders supporters you have no alternative, this is the woman who should be the next president, that will resonate.
TAPPER: Ii think it will resonate. I think it remains to be seen how effective it is because we haven't talked about it tonight, there remains this DNC leak scandal where these leaked e-mails suggest that the top officials of the Democratic Party were working against Bernie Sanders during the primaries. That still bothers a lot of Sanders supporters. So we'll see.
He certainly made a very strong case, issue by issue, as to why Hillary Clinton was more in line with his vision of America, his political revolution, than Donald Trump would be.
BASH: It was a politically gracious speech that Bernie Sanders made, but to your point about, you know, speech by Michelle Obama or Elizabeth Warren or, most importantly, Bernie Sanders, is going to change the minds of more a significant group of Bernie Sanders supporters out in this hall today than I thought, saying, and I asked the question to so many of them, can Bernie Sanders say anything to you to change your mind from saying, you know what, I'm a never- Hillary person? The answer of more people than I thought was no. Now, these were the diehards who came here. These are the delegates, the people who worked for hundreds and hundreds of hours to try to get Bernie Sanders the nomination. But still, that's not exactly something that the Clinton campaign -
BLITZER: What a difference this morning's speech and tonight's speech by Bernie Sanders makes because this morning he was going after Donald Trump, barely saying nice words about Hillary Clinton. Tonight it was a mixture of Both; very powerful speech.
TAPPER: Although just to say one thing about that, he gave a very strong case about Hillary Clinton's positions on issues and how they are closer to his than Donald Trump. Really didn't really offer a character testimony.
TAPPER: He didn't really say, this is a woman -- there was some stuff at the end where he talked about how he'd known her and she'd fought for people but [23:40:00] there wasn't anything in terms of, like, I've gotten to know her, I really care about her, that sort of thing.
BLITZER: He said, "By these measures any objective observers will conclude based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States. The choice is not even close.
TAPPER: It was a case; he laid out a case.
TAPPER: But it wasn't a testimony.
BLITZER: The First Lady made the case, more of that moral case, about her character.
TAPPER: We'll hear more; it's just the first night.
BLITZER: Anderson, over to you.
COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. Do we know how much - I mean, at the end of this convention, as Senator Franken pointed out, there's going to be, what, 100, 102 days before the election. Is it clear, at this point, how Michelle Obama is going to be used, President Obama, Senator Warren, how they're going to be used out on the campaign trail, and how often they're going to be out there?
KING: In the case of Senators Sanders and Warren, they want them here in, in Pennsylvania. They want them in Michigan. They want them in Ohio. They want them in the blue-collar places where, right now, Hillary Clinton does have a problem. Donald Trump does very well with white, working-class, particularly men; people with high school degrees. Not college degrees. Our new poll out today shows a pretty big gap there, post-convention.
Blue-collar people, people who work with their hands, a lot of union guys; a lot of Michigan Democrats have been complaining for weeks and weeks now to the Clinton campaign saying I don't think you people understand. Trump's pretty strong out here. You know, you go sit around with the guys in the bar, guys that work with their hands, and Trump's pretty strong with the cops, with the firefighters, with the autoworkers and they want people, you know, they need help. Especially -
COOPER: They have union leaders in the hall tonight, but the rank and file, the ones who are actually doing the work?
KING: Union leaders have had a hard time throughout the campaign. Some of them have endorsed Hillary in the campaign and their rank and file were for Bernie; so they had some tensions during the primaries about that, where the "establishment" guys in Washington, and this happens in democratic primaries, but a lot of that and now they are on board with Clinton, without a doubt, but they know, some of them are getting blowback from their own people about what are we getting from this? They don't trust her on the trade issue, for example.
AXELROD: But as you point out, they've got a phalanx of surrogates now, A-list candidates.
KING: If it matters.
AXELROD: A Tim Kaine, to go into suburban areas -
KING: That's a question for you guys that do campaigns, in this outsider year, it should matter when you have a president who's over 50-percent, when you have Bernie, you know, Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren who are popular with the rank and file member, it should matter but -- AXELROD: For Barack Obama with some -
KING: -- Trump's bet is that it won't.
AXELROD: Well, that is his bet, but the fact of the matter is, it is helpful to have a number of people who have A-list stature, to make your case -
AXELROD: -- than carry the entire thing yourself, which is what Trump is trying to do.
BORGER: And I've have Bernie Sanders on every college campus in America if I could, particularly in states like Colorado, you know, any kind of battleground state that she's looking at with young people. He'll help her -
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: And Michelle Obama would be very effective with millennials, young people, college campuses, women, young women especially had a hard time supporting Hillary.
JONES: Listen to what you're saying. You're saying to stop your man, Donald Trump, it's going to take two Obamas -
LORD: I'm listening. I'm getting it.
JONES: -- two Clintons, two Sanders. I mean this is -
LORD: That's right; two Biden's.
JONES: Two Biden's. I mean, this guy is a phenomenon.
LORD: And he's now ahead in the polls after his convention.
LORD: He had a great convention. I think we should get back to that here for a second. He did have a great convention. They finally got over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz here and finally moved on.
BEGALA: Well, where have they moved on to -- I want to come back to the First Lady's speech. This is - I forget. This is my ninth Democratic Convention. I've been to three, four Republican Conventions. I can't count how many hundreds of convention speeches, presidential speeches. you cannot do better than she did.
BEGALA: It was that good. Because she came from her personal experience and she made the character case for Hillary, and these words were carefully chosen by this Princeton graduate; she said, "There is only one person I trust with that responsibility for my children and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton." You can't ask for more. This is -- she - During the speech, James Fallows, a great journalist, former
presidential speechwriter himself was tweeting about the Hall of Fame. I was joining in and Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama. She's now the second best -- Barack Obama is now one of the greatest orators in history, and second best speaker in his family.
COOPER: Still ahead, Actress and Comedienne Sarah Silverman told the Bernie or Bust crowd that they were being ridiculous. She joins us along with Senator Al Franken ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SILVERMAN, ACTRESS & COMEDIENNE: The Bernie -- can I just say, to the Bernie or bust people, you're being ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was a headline moment with actor and comedienne Sarah Silverman standing next to former funny man, now very, very serious U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, who join us now. I know, you're looking at me now serious guy; I get it. I get it; you don't have to give me the look.
Sarah, was that moment when you told the Bernie or bust people, just to translate, those people who will not vote for anyone other than Bernie Sanders, when you told them they are being ridiculous, was that scripted at all?
SILVERMAN: No, it wasn't scripted at all. actually -
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MN): We are stretching.
SILVERMAN: It was like an old timey movie where we got to the part where we were introducing Paul Simon and the guy next to us went -
FRANKEN: Stretch. Stretch.
TAPPER: Sorry; I didn't mean to hit you.
SILVERMAN: Ow; it was like a peach.
TAPPER: The significance of you being on stage, you have been a very, very strong, vocal Bernie Sanders supporter.
TAPPER: You actually switched I believe in march.
SILVERMAN: Switched what?
TAPPER: From Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders?
SILVERMAN: Well, Hillary was always my person until I became aware of Bernie and I was swept off my feet by just loving his -- his candor and his total, just, unwavering -- he's not -- I just love that he wasn't for sale and I loved everything about him, and I continue to, and I think that he's already succeed in so many ways.
TAPPER: But you've come around because he lost and Clinton won, but there are a lot of Sanders supporters -
TAPPER: -- who don't feel the same way. What about your --
FRANKEN: Not that many. Not that many. The latest poll is 90- percent of [23:50:01] Bernie supporters support Hillary, will vote for Hillary and I think that will -- when we were on, that was pre- Elizabeth Warren, pre-Michelle, and pre-Bernie.
SILVERMAN: Look, the fundamentalists of any people are nut-so.
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question, have you convinced -
SILVERMAN: Sorry, Al.
TAPPER: -- your other Hollywood Sanders friends, the Mark Ruffalo's of the world, Rosario Dawson's of the world? Have you brought them along or are they still Burning for Bernie?
SILVERMAN: I don't know. I haven't been on Twitter lately.
TAPPER: You don't just hang out?
SILVERMAN: Yes, well, they're back at our pad obviously.
TAPPER: What -
FRANKEN: I hang out with Jeff Merkley, and he's going for Hillary.
SILVERMAN: Name dropper.
TAPPER: What speech did you like the best? A lot of people out there thinking a Michelle Obama made a very effective -
FRANKEN: She made a great speech. I think the -- Bernie was the speech -- had to be the speech of the night and I thought he did -- I thought he made the case beautifully.
TAPPER: Did you? Did he convince you?
TAPPER: Did he convince you? You already were on board with Hillary Clinton, but did he convince you? Do you think his speech was effective at convincing Sanders supporters?
SILVERMAN: Well, if Sanders can't convince his own supporters, then who can? I mean, I think, absolutely. I think most Sanders supporters are reasonable people who realize that they've -- you know, Bernie and Hillary have so much in common. They have a lot of the common -- the same values.
FRANKEN: I mean, he made the case with the supreme court. He made the case just in the contrast between Trump and Hillary. There's no question about this and I believe that we're going to leave here united as a party, and, you know, of course, there are people who work their hearts out for Bernie Sanders and are diehards, but I think tonight went a long, long way and I really believe we're going to leave here united.
TAPPER: You, Senator, took on Donald Trump. You did so in a humorous way.
FRANKEN: That's right.
TAPPER: Mocking him. Do you think that's effective?
FRANKEN: I was asked by the campaign, by the Hillary campaign, to do that, and I will do anything for Hillary, including be funny will do that. I will do that.
TAPPER: Since being elected to the Senate, you've really tried to stay away from that?
FRANKEN: Yes; I lost my sense of humor during that long recount.
SILVERMAN: Not funny at all.
TAPPER: And let me ask you, how do you think -- it seems to me, at least in the room, that the more positive speeches, the Corey Bookers, the Michelle Obamas, might have played better here than some of the ones that were attacking Donald Trump. Do you agree, or what was your sense?
SILVERMAN: Well, I think the way Al did it was brilliant, and besides that, I don't think his name -- it had to be about not voting for Donald Trump, but to be inspired to vote for Hillary and that's all I got.
FRANKEN: You know, Elizabeth gave a great speech and really said what Trump is about.
TAPPER: It was an academic case against Trump in a way.
FRANKEN: It was, but, you know, Cleveland was so dark and it was so -- it was basically him saying America is ugly and a terrible place and it's all Barack Obama's fault. I mean, Bernie reminded us what it was like 7.5 years ago, when he came into the presidency 800,000 jobs a month being lost and -- but he said this is a dark place and only I can save us and didn't say how. it was all magical thinking.
ISIS was going to defeat ISIS and it's going to happen fast and it was kind of childish, I thought, the whole -- the whole thing in Cleveland. And I think, yes, there is a lot of substance today and I thought Elizabeth brought that and I thought Bernie brought that and I thought Michelle gave a great speech.
TAPPER: Sarah, can I ask you, I've known you for a while. Did you ever think you were going to be speaking at a political convention? When I first met you ten or so years ago, that didn't seem to be something that was in the cards.
SILVERMAN: I never really think I had ever. So, you know, you never predicted anything that's happened in your life, right? That's what my therapist says.
TAPPER: I don't name drop.
FRANKEN: It actually was my first time speaking at a convention.
TAPPER: Is that right?
SILVERMAN: Is that right?
FRANKEN: Yes; so we did it at the same time.
TAPPER: That's sweet.
FRANKEN: Isn't that?
TAPPER: Senator Al Franken, Sarah Silverman, thank you so much.
Coming up, a one-two punch by two democratic women. How much did Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama help Hillary Clinton tonight? stay with us.
[23:58:41] COOPER: Well, tonight some of the democrats' most popular, passionate speakers made the case for the party to unite behind Hillary Clinton, arguing she could be trusted to shape the future of America and its kids and Donald Trump cannot. On the opening night of the Democratic Convention, Bernie Sanders offered his most forceful endorsement yet of Clinton, no doubt about that. Elizabeth Warren provided some red meat for Progressives. First Lady Michelle Obama brought the crowd to its feet with an emotional and powerful speech rejecting what many Democrats view as Trump's dark view of America.
I want to play two of the lines that Michelle Obama used. The first one sort of echoing Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again"; let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: About Donald Trump, without actually using his name. Again, let's play that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I want someone with the proven strength to persevere; someone who knows this job and takes it seriously; someone who understands that the issues the president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Obvious reference to Donald Trump, but I do think it was interesting her kind of recasting Hillary Clinton as somebody who never gives up; somebody who never backs down.