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Drama in Philadelphia as Democrats Open Convention; Michelle Obama's Rock Star Speech; Bernie Sanders Back in the Spotlight; Sanders' Former Press Secretary Discusses Campaign. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired July 26, 2016 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:13] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: A night of drama here in Philadelphia as democrats open their convention, a rock star speech from the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. And Bernie Sanders' moment in the spotlight. This is a special CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
It is after hours here at the democratic convention and we are live at the CNN Grill. And it's popping. It's lit. We have a lot to talk about. Barn burners form Senator Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren and a speech from the First Lady Michelle Obama that absolutely rocked the house. The big moment, though, the big moment, I'm sorry, the First Lady, was Bernie Sanders, vowing to do everything he can to make Hillary Clinton president as the 42nd president, Bill Clinton, watches.
Here with me now, my political dream team, except for one. You'll have to figure out who that is. Mark Preston, Peter Beinart, Kevin Madden, Angela Rye and Bakari Sellers. Who do you think is the except for one?
LEMON: Already throwing pins at people. Somebody grabbing Angela on the porch and try to throw it at me. So last week we were pouring over Melania Trump's speech tonight, right and -- last week. But then tonight though, it was the First Lady of the United States. She really rocked the house. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black, young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States. So look, so 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) LEMON: Bakari, that's when I cried.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah.
LEMON: When you think about it, a house built by slaves, watching her daughters. And you -- she put you there. I don't care if you're a democrat or a republican, that was a very powerful moment.
SELLERS: What Michelle Obama did tonight was spectacular. I thought everybody else's speech was second place tonight. I think that there are a few things we have to look at. She spoke to the country as the First Lady of the United States with grace. She spoke to the country as a mother, she spoke to the country as a wife and she spoke to the country as a black woman and I thought that that was very important as well.
Michelle Obama took the conversation to another level, the energy and the building was amazing. Everybody had the Michelle Obama signs, which I'mma bring mine out. Yeah, I got mine too. I mean, I brought mine with me. This just -- just so I could share with it, you know? It was -- Tonight Michelle Obama separated herself and I actually said it earlier, if you want to compare Melania Trump to Michelle Obama, then you have to grate on a curve.
I mean, what we saw tonight was pure Jackie O, it was pure grace, it was pure elegance and my hats are off to not only who she is as the First Lady, not only who she is as a wife, but a mother and I'm going to truly miss her on January 20 of 2017. I truly am.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Maybe she'll call you.
LEMON: No, I was thinking that it's going to -- you know, when you get used to having a certain figure and certain people in the White House and getting on to and out of Air Force 1 and so it's going to be interesting.
SELLERS: See, and let me just -- and I know everybody wants to chime in, especially my good friend Angela. But she was able to speak about Donald Trump in a way without even mentioning his name. She didn't even have to say Donald Trump at all. You know, in the country, back in Denver, we say a hit dog will holler.
LEMON: A hit dog will holler.
SELLERS: And she was able to ...
LEMON: Because you throw a rock or a stick into a pack of dogs, the one hit hollers.
SELLERS: She was able to say everything that everybody things about Donald Trump without speaking his name and I thought tonight, she was amazing. Tonight was an amazing night for democrats, even as bumpy as we had I guess today. The conversation changed and tonight, as a democrat, Michelle Obama made me proud. [01:05:05] LEMON: Michelle Obama took on Donald Trump as only the
First Lady could. And let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight. How we urge them to ignore those who question their father's citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on T.V. does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is when they go low, we go high.
With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We, as parents, are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country. This November when we go to the polls, that is what we're deciding. Not democrat or republican, not left or right. In this election or every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So is there going to be a Michelle Obama bump coming out of this for Hillary Clinton?
PRESTON: Certainly, I mean, look, there's no question and when we talk about surrogates that can campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton over the next couple of months, we've been talking about Michelle Obama, how will she deliver, what will she do? We certainly saw that tonight. The question is how much will she do it?
I envision she will do it quite a bit. Let me just say two quick things. One, as a father of two children, a 10 and 11-year-old, when she talked about the first time when those kids left and got in those big SUVs and went away to school, I think that every parent could feel that, whether they were in the White House or they were just in the suburb or they were in the city, because that is something we can all relate to. Another thing about Michelle Obama is that not only did she deliver that speech very well, very effectively, so much with poise, we don't hear Michelle Obama engage in politics very often which makes it even more powerful what she did tonight.
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The -- you know, the thing is that she can draw the character contrast with Donald Trump so effectively because her character is unimpeachable. And that's part of what makes her. Hillary Clinton, it's tough for her because there are a lot of people who question Hillary Clinton's character.
BEINART: But nobody questions Michelle Obama.
LEMON: I want to hear from the conservative on the panel, what do you think?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well look, I think first ladies actually have a built-in advantage when they give a speech like this because I think the public, by and large, has strong and favorable feelings about the first lady. But for Michelle Obama to then beat those expectations, embrace those expectations and exceed that, I think it just goes to show you how strong of a surrogate she was.
To Mark's point, really good campaigns don't tell you about their difference sthes. They show you about them. They show you those differences. And I think that was what was most effective about Michelle Obama's speech tonight was that she drew these very subtle contrasts without ever having to name check Donald Trump. So I think she was a very effective, I think she was a very effective surrogate tonight for Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: And so I want to check on the First Lady before we move on Bernie Sanders I want to get what you thought. This is what the President tweeted out to us, "Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn't be more proud. Our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle."
And then check this out. This is the cover of "The Daily News". This is a home run for her, for Hillary Clinton, for women, for people of color. It hit on everything.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree. And this is the thing that's kind of funny to mow.. Michelle Obama beginning in the 2008 election was known by everyone as the closer. And tonight, you saw why. Like that was the thing that I tweeted. I was like, "This is why she's the closer. She doesn't just close for Barack Hussein Obama, she can close for anyone.
And when we talked yesterday about the Hillary standard, it would have been wonderful for Michelle Obama to get up there tonight when she talked about that glass ceiling, to drop the Hillary standard. That is the person who can deliver that message as a surrogate. Because again as you pointed out, Peter, she does have unimpeachable character. This black woman lawyer that so many of us regardless if we're black or white, Asian or Latino can look up to and respect is amazing. That is what a true first lady is. And I wish Melania would try to copy this speech.
[01:10:00] MADDEN: But that -- so, yeah, that is the thing, though. Bakari said that earlier and I disagree with that. I don't think voters compare I don't think voters compare Melania Trump with Michelle Obama. I think that they see them as very distinctly different individuals and they're not going to compare one against the other.
PRESTON: And I also don't think it's fair, by the way, for us to go after Melania. The fact of the matter, she didn't write the speech even though she said she did. I just think that let's let Michelle Obama stand on her own pedestal.
SELLERS: Michelle Obama does stand on her own pedestal, but I think she did that on -- but I also think to say that they're not compared is just untrue and we're not actually talking about what happens in the real world in this course because the fact of the matter is what we have right now is the First Lady of the United States. What Melania is trying to do is be a first lady of the United State and I think that that's a very fair comparison. So we can go back and roll the tape from Monday, last Monday when we were having a different discussion. If we can roll the tape from this...
BEINART: So you're talking apples and oranges.
RYE: But I don't think it's an apple ...
RYE: I don't think it's an apples and oranges comparison...
SELLERS: Because you have a first lady and somebody who is trying to be a first lady.
RYE: OK, but you have to compare them to a standard that exists,. You have someone who can be presidential or not presidential, and you have someone that could be a first lady or not be a first lady.
PRESTON: I think that's unfair.
SELLERS: Kevin, I'm trying to help you out.
BEINART: There's also fundamental difference. Michelle Obama is a deep reader of American history. She told the story of America in very profound ways with that line, being the mother of two African- American girls in a house built by slaves. Let's be honest there ...
BEINART: ... Melania Trump cannot tell the story of America in the way that Michelle Obama.
LEMON: Right, of course.
BEINART: She has not lived the story of America. She does not understand the story of America, and that's a profound difference more generally between these two parties. When the democratics -- democrats talk about the story of America, they talk about slavery. They talk about the brutality of American history. Republicans tell the story as basically we were beaver cleaver. Everything was terrific and now things have gone downhill. That's a very big difference...
LEMON: That's a little bit of generalizing and I understand your point. But I mean Melania Trump is an immigrant to this country, I mean she married wealthy... BEINART: Yeah, but she's very big in her speech that really ...
MADDEN: But the thing I would disagree with you is that, I don't think voters look at those two comparatively and say one is better than the other. I think both of them gave very good speeches. I think both of them served as very able surrogates for the folks that they were looking to promote, and I -- but I do think that a lot of what Michelle Obama did today as it relates to the debates of the issue debate that we're having she did -- I think she did better.
LEMON: But in all fairness, that is the way the story of America should be told. I mean, that is a deep -- I think that the deep history of this country, African-Americans are deep rooted in the history of this country, and to ignore that I think that you know...
SELLERS: But I don't think anybody is --
LEMON: But it should be told that way.
SELLERS: And I don't want -- and I agree with you, Don, wholeheartedly. But we -- I don't want it to be seen through that lens alone because what Michelle Obama did was give a speech that the white woman who lives in Burbank who is raising two children can understand. The black woman who was working at the motel who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, can Hispanic woman who is picking peaches or whatever she's doing because she's an illegal immigrant who comes to this country trying to survive in Georgia can understand.
LEMON: OK, but here's the thing, all right, as a person of color, every day -- listen, not that I'm comparing myself to the Obama. They are here and I'm here. But every day when I walk in that CNN Center, I say hello to every single person in that, every security guard, every cleaning lady because I am -- I cannot believe that I'm here, right. That this little black guy from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has this position. Every day when I open my office, I look out the window and I'm almost in tears.
And so for Michelle Obama to be sitting in the White House, a house that slaves built, I can't even imagine that as a person. It would be overwhelming every single day for me. But I don't think everyone understands that and I think you're right. I don't think Melania Trump understands it in that way. I don't think Donald Trump understands it in that way.
RYE: But, Don, to that point, to that point, on this -- in this same vein, you also are under an additional level of scrutiny because of the position that you hold, and so is Michelle Obama and she got that extra level of scrutiny when her husband was on the campaign trail. So let's say well I don't think it's fair for us to go after Melania. You get vetted, you get vetted. That's the life your husband chose.
(CROSSTALK) PRESTON: Let's stop and check. When we started this, I said I felt what she felt when she was -- when she talked about slavery and what have you, I could not understand that necessarily in a bad way because I didn't feel it, I did understand that entire speech. I felt it. She delivered it like a parent and it was moving there's no doubt about that.
MADDEN: And as a republican, I agree with you on that, I am trying to agree that ...
BEINART: In the polls show that most Donald Trump supporters think America was a better country in the 1950s this is -- that's why republicans -- their candidate calling it zero percent --
[01:15:07] LEMON: I wasn't even born in the '50s and I don't even want -- I don't want to go back there. And Mark ...
LEMON: And Mark can understand this as a strong black woman.
LEMON: We're going to talk -- Bernie Sanders, did he deliver, when we come back don't go anywhere. We are live from the CNN Grill here in Philadelphia.
LEMON: All right, here we go. We're back now live in Philadelphia on the first night of the Democratic Convention. It's only been one night all those speeches. Bernie Sanders encouraging his supporters to unite behind Hillary Clinton saying she'll make an outstanding president. I want to talk about this with -- Symone Sanders, the Sanders national press secretary.
SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY FOR BERNIE SANDERS: The former national press secretary.
LEMON: The former national press secretary.
[01:20:05] And back with me now, CNN political commentator Peter Beinart, a contributor to "The Atlantic", republican strategist Kevin Madden, CNN political commentator Angela Rye, Bakari Sellers, a Hillary Clinton supporter. Thank you for keeping me straight on that.
How are you doing? I haven't seen you.
S. SANDERS: I'm doing great. I'm feeling real good now that day one of dims in Philly is down. And I'm looking forward today, too.
LEMON: So your guy had his moment tonight.
S. SANDERS: He did. LEMON: How do you think he did?
S. SANDERS: I think he did amazing. Alright, let's listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 the divides up. By these measures, any objectionable observer will conclude that based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. So you said he did all right. Everybody was watching. Do you think he convinced his followers, his people, to go with Hillary Clinton?
S. SANDERS: I think he definitely made the case. I don't think this is something that could be won over with one speech. But I do think that the senator laid the foundation and is continuing to lay the foundation for Sanders supporters to come on over to Secretary Clinton.
Look, this is about the issues and I'm so excited that the democrats are starting off our convention talking about the issues and we're on message. You know, the republicans had a whole convention last week and I didn't really -- they had things but I didn't really see it correlate. But today, we were talking about the economy and so we had speakers like First Lady Michelle Obama, Cory Booker, Senator Warren and Senator Sanders.
LEMON: They were OK speeches. I'm joking.
S. SANDERS: They were some good speeches. But we talked about the economy. And I do think Senator Sanders laid out policy prescriptions and then connected why he thought Secretary Clinton was good for those policy prescriptions and that's what he's going to have to go out there before it gets ...
LEMON: He kept saying, she's listening, you know, and talking about climate change, and those things, talking about Wall Street, she's listening, she's listening. Do you think he made the case? I thought it took him -- the speech was good. I thought it took him a while to get there. I was like, "Well, when is he going to talk about Hillary Clinton?"
RYE: About 18 minutes in, he brought up Secretary Clinton and I think the challenge that I have is twofold. On one hand, given what he's been through over the last 72 hours, you can understand and thankfully, it was not a Ted Cruz speech. On the other hand, I think I've watched him on Sunday show, after Sunday's show and even at the rally he did earlier today where he really made a hard case for it, he made a hard pitch, so I was surprised he didn't take that same fervor into this particular speech. Again, I do understand it but I wish he would have brought her up maybe about the seven-minute mark.
SELLERS: Well, I mean I -- I think now we're at the point where we're ...
SELLERS: Listen, the fact that it took him 750 words I think is ...
S. SANDERS: Oh, now y'all are counting.
LEMON: No, it's true. It took ...
SELLERS: I don't think -- I'm not certain that that matters because his endorsement was full throated. You know, if you go back to Ted Cruz's speech, because we're comparing apples and apples, I wish Mark was still here. people think that they approve the speech, everybody was simply waiting on whether or not it was word 750 or whether or not it was word one, people were all waiting on Ted Cruz to utter the phrase, I support Donald Trump.
S. SANDERS: Or just Donald Trump.
SELLERS: Or just Donald Trump, period. But I think tonight he gave a full throated endorsement. Are all his supporters going to be onboard? No. because everybody is not just as monolithic group that's going to run from one candidate to another. Is it going to take work? Yes. Did it begin with the platform committee back months ago and months ago? You saw Keith Ellison, you saw Benjamin (inaudible). I mean, this was not just something that was happened by happenstance. This was very well orchestrated.
LEMON: Kevin, I'm not sure if you're buying that.
MADDEN: Well look, when you asked Symone earlier did he convince all of his supporters to all of a sudden get on board with Hillary. I actually was surprised that you said not yet, like I would have probably been worried if you said absolutely. Because it is going to be a process. It was a very divisive primary, a contentious primary. There are strong passions here and it is going to be a much longer process than any one speech. I think just from a -- again, if I take myself out of this as a republican and look as a clinical operative ...
BEINART: You can do that?
MADDEN: But it was a decent first start.
MADDEN: I can, but it was a decent first start.
BEINART: You know what, I think this is all wrong. We have been so distracted by the fight in this hall that we have not noticed the data. Pew, the Pew Research Center says that 90% of Sanders supporters today say they will vote for Hillary Clinton.
[01:25:05] In fact, go there -- people here anecdotally we can find people who are really upset. The polling is already showing us even now that Hillary Clinton is already getting 90% of the Sanders supporters.
LEMON: It's going to have points, but in the hall. There was humor, the boos. But it was like one small section.
S. SANDERS: California. California, coming to California delegates.
LEMON: But I wanted this -- this, to me, was a very strong moment. I was like, "Yeah, somebody finally said it," right here. Sarah Silverman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: I am proud to be a part of Bernie's moments and a vital part of that movement is making absolutely sure that Hillary Clinton is our next president of the United States.
SEN. AL FRANKEN, (D) MINNESOTA: Gee, that was pretty good, Sarah.
SILVERMAN: Unity. Unity.
FRANKEN: Hillary. Hillary.
SILVERMAN: The Bernie -- can I just say to the Bernie or Bust people, you're being ridiculous. He told us to (inaudible) so I figured I'd add that. He made me cut off my speech and now we have to stretch. Oh, I have so much I want to say.
FRANKEN: Well, OK, we -- you know ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, booyah, all I wanted her to do was go hey now.
MADDEN: Who would have thought Clint Eastwood would have look like the old school statesman.
LEMON: Who would have thought all of those people who were in there, the reason I thought that it was important for her to say that because all of those people were like Ted Cruz's, right? Because Ted Cruz is the only one who's at the convention going everybody but Donald Trump. The only people who are going everyone but Hillary at this convention, which is a democratic convention, which she was supposed to get on board with a nominee, are they not supposed to get board -- are those group of people who are saying Bernie or Bust. She's like, you're being ridiculous. So I'm just saying ...
S. SANDERS: But you also have to give those people time. So I want everybody to remember that, no, people joined the political revolution for the issues. Not because they had no money send of ... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Hang on, how long has everybody known that Hillary Clinton was going to -- is a presumptive nominee? It's been what, a month, two? How much time do you need?
S. SANDERS: But Bernie Sanders -- no way Don. Bernie Sanders had not endorsed Secretary Clinton until about two weeks ago. For a lot of these supporters though, it's fresh for them. So all I'm saying is we have to remember this, people got into this for the issues, and so these are not your regular run-of-the-mill democratic sheet that are like OK, we lost, now we have to go ever here. These -- a lot of these people are both said, they have to ...
LEMON: I'm going to say -- hold on, hold on, I like that.
S. SANDERS: They don't come together, give them their time.
LEMON: Fine. You know what people said about we're comparing apples to apples, right? What did people say about Ted Cruz? You weren't going to get up on that stage and you aren't going to support Donald Trump, don't come. Have class.
S. SANDERS: Bernie said he got on the stage, it's not OK prior to coming.
S. SANDERS: But prior to coming to stage, Bernie Sanders had said what he needed to say weeks ago. In terms of the supporters, again to your point, an overwhelming percent of them are already on board with Secretary Clinton. They're talking about I'm with her, we're stronger together. Heck, I believe we're stronger together.
RYE: They are coming to go you. They went from the protest line
LEMON: I haven't seen Symone in a while. (inaudible). No, I know they have every right. But I'm just -- honestly, I'm comparing --
MADDEN: I wouldn't worry that that was too dismissive, what she said which is get over it. I really wouldn't worry that was too dismissive. If I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, I would have worried about it.
BEINART: Here's what I don't understand. I understand that the process it takes weeks and months, how many days does it take for Bernie Sanders supporters to understand that Hillary Clinton is running against a birther who wants to ban Muslims from the United States? That's pretty simple.
S. SANDERS: I think that is definitely pretty simple. And people understand that. But, again, we can't scare people into fear mongering. And that's why we're voting for somebody. As democrats, we actually have some something to vote for in this election. We can vote for a candidate that supports addressing climate change, that supports ...
LEMON: Hang on. But to your -- to the point, as considering what happened with the DNC and the e-mails, people are really upset on Bernie Sanders' side and I think they do have a right to be upset about that.
S. SANDERS: I don't think anybody has said that the Bernie Sanders supporters or anyone doesn't have a right to be upset about the e- mails. I mean even the DNC, they did with what I knew they were going to do. Handle business.
[01:30:04] LEMON: I got to go to a break. Thank you. I got to go to a break. We'll be right back.
LEMON: We're back and we're live at the CNN Grill right here at the democratic national convention in Philadelphia. Two key speakers tonight, the First Lady, Michelle Obama and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
I want to bring in now Lynn Forester De Rothschild, a Clinton supporter and founder of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism and my political dream team is with me. It's so good to have you here.
LYNN FORESTER DE ROTHSCHILD, FOUNDER, COALITION FOR INCLUSIVE CAPITALISM: So great to be here. Thank you.
LEMON: It's good to have you on and it's really early. It's 8:00 at night, so don't...
DE ROTHSCHILD: Exactly. No, I'm wide awake. I haven't had one drink all night. Neither have you.
LEMON The First Lady took no taking swipes at Donald Trump. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is when they go low, we go high. And when she didn't win the nomination eight years ago, she didn't get angry or disillusioned. She -- Hillary did not pack up and go home. Someone who understands that the issues the president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters. You can't make snap decisions. You can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out.
[01:35:00] So 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)
LEMON: Lynn, this is the first time that she spoke at length about Hillary Clinton. How do you think she did it? Did she win people over?
DE ROTHSCHILD: I think she was absolutely magnificent. I think everything that she said about Hillary was perfect, including the most important thing to me was when she said I trust my children with Hillary Clinton. She went right for that vulnerability that the media and opponents have been trying to create and she just shut it down. And she shut it down about Hillary's grace and her confidence.
LEMON: How she raised -- she raised her child beautifully and perfectly. But also, you know, as we were discussing as it was playing, she spoke about Donald Trump without mentioning him, saying that you have to be calm under pressure, right, especially if you have the nuclear codes. But there was also something in there for Bernie supporters as well saying she just didn't get mad and go home.
DE ROTHSCHILD: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. That was clearly the message. It was a perfectly crafted and perfectly delivered speech.
LEMON: Is she the -- as we -- as Angela's been saying, the closer, should -- maybe should she have been there on the last night instead of the first night?
DE ROTHSCHILD: Well, it was perfect to have her, though, with Bernie. I mean, because Bernie had to rise to that occasion. No, I think the Clintons knew what they were doing when they put this program together.
LEMON: How important is that coalition between the Clintons and the Obamas for this race?
SELLERS: It's very important. That's how you get the 270 electoral votes. It's one thing that the republican party with all their autopsies after each election just haven't realized that the country is getting browner, you know, women do matter in elections. And when you actually offend brown people and women, it's very hard to get to 270.
But I think what you're seeing from the Clinton camp is this embarrassment of riches. Because you have everyone from someone like secretary of labor Thomas Perez to Tim Kaine, to Elizabeth Warren, to Bernie Sanders, to Michelle Obama, Barack Obama. I mean, the list -- Al Franken, the list goes on and on and on. And Donald Trump can't get the anybody to stand on stage with him outside of his relatives.
LEMON: Speaking of which, Elizabeth Warren. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: What kind of a man roots for an economic crash that caused millions of people their jobs, their homes, their life savings? What kind of a man cheats students, cheats investors, cheats workers? Well I'll tell you what kind of a man. A man who must never be president of the United States.
Last week, Donald Trump spoke for more than an hour on the biggest stage he's ever had. But other than talking about building a stupid wall, which will never get built, other than that wall, did you hear any actual ideas? Did you hear even one solid proposal from Trump for increasing income or improving your kids' education? Or creating even one single good paying job? Look, let's face it. Donald Trump has no real plans for jobs or for college kids or for seniors, no plans to make anything great for anyone except rich guys like Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. It's all good cop/bad cop. Hillary Clinton doesn't have to do that because she does it for her.
DE ROTHSCHILD: Yeah.
LEMON: Why is she the perfect person to attack Donald Trump, though?
DE ROTHSCHILD: I mean, I think to have Michelle Obama out there just being positive is as effective. But I thought the most effective line is what kind of man would do that? And when you go through what kind of man, what kind of man and then the problem for the republicans is then they have to say what kind of party are we that we are now the party of this man? And I think that this is really going to be the election where people begin to say, I'm going to put my country before my party. And the fact that he could not get the grandes of the republican party there, means that the grandes, the Romneys, the Bushes, the Kasichs, can come back with another day and maybe we will have a compassionate conservative party again. But we certainly have a party of hate and fear right now under Donald Trump and that's bad.
LEMON: Lynn, thank you so much.
DE ROTHSCHILD: You're welcome.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
[01:40:00] Everybody else stick around. We've got a lot more to talk about here from Philadelphia. I promise you, Kevin Madden will get a chance to speak tonight. Angela Rye will talk as well. Bakari won't hog the stage any more.. We'll get Bakari a beer. Bakari needs to show Obama.
Someone on Twitter said, you guys are only talking about Hillary Clinton. Well, we're at the democratic national convention. Who are we going to talk about, Beyonce? I mean, come on. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Alright and we're back now live at the CNN Grill on the first night of the democratic convention. Speakers tonight not missing an opportunity to take on Donald Trump. Whether or not they mentioned him by name, that's a different story. My political dream team back with me.
So trending tonight, you mentioned that, Angela, you said, it was Michelle Obama and then Cory Booker, right? I kept thinking as I was watching Cory Booker, I'm like, this is like Barack Obama, you know, back in 2006.
SELLERS: Well, good was he because he was yelling or because he was good?
RYE: I don't know that --
SELLERS: He was a little yelling.
MADDEN: He kind of gave the democrat version of Rudy Giuliani to me.
RYE: Yeah, no, not at all.
RYE: I beg to differ with my good friend from the other side of the aisle, Kevin. No, I actually think that that was not yelling. I think that was passion. I can understand how you could see it that way. But I thought his speech was very compelling. My favorite part was the ending where he brought up Maya Angelou for so many reasons. It was amazing. I thought it was a really, really strong speech. I was surprised that I really liked his speech far more than Elizabeth Warren's speech. And just now when I was watching the clip, I was like, oh, this really did play different in the room than it did on air.
[01:45:02] LEMON: It always does.
LEMON: Let's see, you didn't think it was -- OK, so I thought he was great because I really like Cory Booker. I think he's a nice person. Personally I like him. But I thought it was a little yelly and maybe he was trying to yell over the crowd.
LEMON: And maybe different in the room ...
SELLERS: Well I think ...
LEMON: ... but on television it was a little yelly.
MADDEN: I was kidding before. I thought it was an effective speech. But it did seem like there was a moment there Bakari and I'd like to know what you think on is that there was a lot of tension in the room. And I think when Cory Booker kept speaking and he gave a very aspirational speech, much different from -- I want to get to Elizabeth Warren later.
But I thought she was a little bit more negative. It seemed like the tension began to dissipate as he confronted some of the boos that were in the room.
SELLERS: Because Cory Booker is a very likable person. Cory Booker is someone who -- whether or not you interact with him on Twitter or whether or not you meet him for the first time or whether or not you hear him speak ...
LEMON: He's a nice guy.
SELLERS: ... he believes in those things that aren't tangible. Cory Booker believe, literally believes in love, truth, justice, peace, hope. He embodies those things. He believes those things. And I think what we do and what I do just as someone who admired all these political different figures is sometimes we get lumped in to trying to compare him to things which we should not.
Cory Booker did not deliver the 2004 Barack Obama speech nor should he had tried to, nor did he tried to. I think that's totally unfair. For the purposes of tonight, Cory -- listen, listen, you can be black and go on that stage and give a great speech and then to be the Barack Obama that still break out. I think Cory Booker, there are more people tonight who know his name than yesterday. There are more people tonight who know his name for giving a very aspirational speech than yesterday. Was he Barack Obama ...
LEMON: I thought he was good. He reminded me of -- and that's a compliment. He reminded me of the ...
BEINART: Right, but you know, underlying the entire evening was this ideological gulf in that democratic party and you could see then the difference between Booker's speech, which is very aspirational about what a great country we always rise and then Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders speech, right, where they talk about also becoming oligarchy about the fact that things have gotten worse over the last 40 years.
This is the ideological between people who believe that America has turned a corner under Barack Obama and people who believe that America continued to slide downward under Barack Obama. That divides the Democratic Party
LEMON: Does this convention feel different than the other convention.
PRESTON: Yes. I mean, it absolutely does now.
Now, I'm not sure where Kevin would stand on this, but I would say that republicans as a whole are going to say, listen, it's the mainstream media who were piling on with the democrats and our convention which is just as good. There's a different type of energy at a democratic convention than there is a republican convention. And the reason why is that there's a different type of passion that comes out of a democratic convention. There's a lot of union members that are in that hall who are extremely passionate that helps kind of bring it together.
As far as Cory Booker goes, though, I do think you can compare it to Obama's speech, not that you compare it to it. But I do think four years from now, six years from now, we're going to look back and say, do you remember that speech that he gave? Also, a lot of people forget about the speech that he gave four years ago, which was really, it just wasn't prime time.
LEMON: Opening night, we'll be right back. We'll be right back.
[01:52:07] LEMON: We've been talking about all the bold names but there was one person who was really effective tonight and you guys know who I'm talking about, Anastasia, amazing, right? Anastasia Somoza impassioned speech by her disability rights advocate. Here it is, I spoke to her moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Anastasia, you were great.
ANASTASIA SOMOZA, DNC CONVENTION SPEAKER: Thank you so much.
LEMON: How do you feel?
SOMOZA: It's unbelievable. Totally surreal.
SOMOZA: And it's such an honor to have been asked to be here and to get the reception that I've already gotten from the speech. I just can't believe it. I'm so grateful and honored to be here and supporting Hillary.
LEMON: How -- you got the call, right?
LEMON: Who called you? What happened?
SOMOZA: I got the call from Uma, one of Hillary's top assistants, but when she called me, they were both with her. So Hillary and Bill were with her when she called. And she told me that they were standing there and wanted to know if I would speak at the convention.
LEMON: And you said?
SOMOZA: Yes. After, you know, getting my bearings about me. It took me a while to register what she was saying, but of course I said yes, yes, yes, I'll be there.
LEMON: Why was this so important to you?
SOMOZA: Because I think Hillary is going to be an amazing president, and what I said in the speech couldn't be more true. She is the only candidate in this race that sees me and the 56 other -- 56 million other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in this country, and she also is obviously the best candidate for women in this country, and essentially the best candidate for a diverse America.
LEMON: Yeah, you said that Donald Trump doesn't speak for you in this speech. When he -- when you saw him and he's denied it, though, when you saw him with some people say making fun of the "New York Times" reporter, what did you think?
SOMOZA: Unfortunately, it didn't shock me. Because as we've seen, he's made fun of virtually everyone he can possibly make fun of in this election. And I was obviously very personally offended by it, and that's why I felt so strongly about speaking up about it, because we can't elect someone in this country who doesn't -- anyone who doesn't agree with him is stupid or wrong. And that's just not who we are in America. And I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that Hillary is elected.
[01:55:09] LEMON: Do you believe him when he said he wasn't making fun of the reporter?
SOMOZA: No. Do I believe what he said?
LEMON: That he said he wasn't making fun of the reporter.
SOMOZA: No, absolutely not. It was clear from his physical gestures, not only did he verbally made fun of him, but he made derogatory physical gestures referring specifically to the reporter's physical disability. So I don't understand how he could possibly deny it, and even if he tries, the evidence is -- has been all over the news and everywhere, so ...
LEMON: Finally, what do you say to him?
SOMOZA: Exactly what I said today, that Donald Trump doesn't represent me at all. And I'm proud as a woman to say that, as a young person with a disability to say that and, yeah.
LEMON: Thank you, Anastasia.
SOMOZA: Thank you.
LEMON: You were amazing. Thank you so much.
SOMOZA: Thank you.
LEMON: We appreciate having you on.
SOMOZA: Thank you for having me. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Very brave young lady. We'll be right back.