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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
DNC Speakers Praise Clinton, Denounce Trump; Clinton to Speak at DNC. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired July 28, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:21] DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY & FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It is inconceivable that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This guy doesn't have a clue.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAJOR: I'm a New Yorker. And I know a con when I see one.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president.
BIDEN: She's always been there.
OBAMA: I'm asking you to join me to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan, live from the convention in Philadelphia.
And this is the fourth and final day of this convention. Today, Hillary Clinton takes the baton handed to her last night by President Obama.
Oh, you missed it, you say. Here is a dramatic re-enactment. Now here's the real thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And that's why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve --
OBAMA: -- as president of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: This sets the stage for tonight and what could be the biggest speech of Hillary Clinton's long political career.
BERMAN: And tonight, the fourth night of the convention in the city of Rocky and the spirit of Rocky, 4, Hillary Clinton will enter the ring and tell Donald Trump, I must break you.
Let's go to CNN White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, inside the convention hall in the midst, Michelle, of what have been some big speeches.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Da, da, da. Oh, I thought I was just put that in there.
BERMAN: Nicely done.
KOSINSKI: Just when you thought you got that out of your head, right?
I mean, this was a big speech. Even just -- when you consider all that was in there, it's something that President Obama worked on for weeks, it was just packed with so many phrases that are likely to live in sound bite eternity. Things like, "The American dream isn't thing that can be contained by building a wall." As you might imagine, as that phrase was, he really took this opportunity to tear into Donald Trump and run with it, using his name. Listen, here's part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: He's selling the American people short. We're not a fragile people. We're not a frightful people. Our power doesn't come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don't look to be ruled.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KOSINSKI: So this wasn't just a big contrast between what he called the qualifications of Hillary Clinton and the disqualifications of Donald Trump. At one point, he said it was dangerous to national security. It was also a contrast between what he sees as the deeply pessimistic message of the Republican National Committee that we just saw and the message here that he tried to keep optimistic.
Now Hillary Clinton is in the enviable and unenviable position of having to wrap all of this up into one powerful speech. We also know she's been working on this for weeks. Even today, she was expected to be finishing, really putting the finishing touches on it.
So what do we expect her to say? Well what her campaign has offered is that she's going to talk about her values. Really hammer home the "Stronger Together" phrase that she's been using. Draw on points from her book, "It Takes a Village," so unity, of course, is the theme. That's not saying a whole lot. That's not a lot of detail that we wouldn't have already expected. But when you look at what Bill Clinton said the other night, really looking at Hillary Clinton's life, how she's helped people along the way, her personal stories, she's likely to do something similar to really, you know, get that across to people watching across America that she understands their problems and that she's working for them, because that is what she has been doing.
Back to you guys.
BERMAN: Michelle Kosinski inside the hall where it all happens tonight.
Thanks so much, Michelle.
BOLDUAN: Winning the day, Michelle Kosinski.
Joining us now to discuss, Christine Quinn, CNN political commentator, the former speaker of the New York City Council and a Hillary Clinton supporter; Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, of New York, a Trump supporter; and also, "New York Times" political correspondent, Patrick Healy; and CNN political commentator and radio show host, Bill Press, who I would say is, still is, a Bernie Sanders supporter. He can clear it up if need be.
[11:05:21] Bill Press, you and Barack Obama have not always been on the same page. John Berman remembered this morning you actually wrote a book about President Obama called "Buyer's Remorse, How President Obama Let Progressives Down." Did President Obama let you down last night?
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you, John, for the plug.
I still am a Bernie Sanders supporter. There's still hope, you know, until 11:00 tonight, right?
(LAUGHTER) CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: God bless you, Bill.
PRESS: No, President Obama did not let me down. He did not let the country down last night.
You know, there's a contest I think now as to what is the greatest Barack Obama speech that we've heard. There are a lot of them, right. A speech here in Philadelphia, in Constitution Hall, whether he talked about racism during the campaign, Charleston, Newtown, Connecticut. What I loved about it is, you know, his message was like maybe you don't trust Hillary, but I didn't either in the beginning, but now I've seen her, I've worked with her, and she is great, ready to lead, and this other guy is not. And the other thing I liked is he shredded Donald Trump but he didn't do it -- he wasn't mean. He wasn't ugly. He remained positive while he was destroying Donald Trump. I thought that was a real coup.
BERMAN: He called Donald Trump a homegrown demagogue.
BOLDUAN: That's not nice, Bill.
BERMAN: Some noted that he almost sneered at the concept of Donald Trump when he was doing it.
Christine Quinn, if you're sneering at Donald Trump, calling him a demagogue, are you essentially saying -- now, I understand reaching out to Independents and a broad bunch of Republicans who may be disaffected and are available, but does that close the door on Trump supporters? If you're saying you're supporting a demagogue, you probably can't win them over at this point.
QUINN: Look, never say never. But President Obama had to call it like he sees it and like a lot of America sees it. If Donald Trump didn't want to be called a homegrown demagogue, then why did he say at the Republican convention that I can do it all? I don't need anybody, nothing, it's all about me and I'll get it done and, of course, I'll be great. He set the stage for himself to be called that. It's what he basically said, how he sees himself. I think the president hit it totally correctly and gave an amazing, amazing speech, as did Joe Biden. You got to love Joe Biden screaming the word "malarkey" across the arena hall last night.
BOLDUAN: Google searches for "malarkey" went up 100 jillion percent.
QUINN: Exactly. Exactly.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, Rich Lowry, editor of the "National Review," last night tweeted this, "American exceptional and greatness, shining city on hill, founding documents, et cetera, they're trying to take all our stuff."
Are you handing it over to the Republican, to the Democrats? REP. LEE ZELDIN, (R), NEW YORK: No, absolutely not. With the
president's speech last night, you know, the "ruler" piece, for example, the reference to "ruler," I don't think Donald Trump is looking to be both the president and Congress. And also don't believe that this president is the best messenger. You're coming right of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that his immigration executive order was illegal. After a couple of dozen times, the president said beforehand that he didn't have the authority do it. You have a federal court ruling that the health care on Obamacare, the money that was paid out of the federal treasury, wasn't done with authorization. So I don't think on those couple of points -- the other thing that I think is important is that maybe for a lot of people in the room, who are watching at home, who are already supporting Hillary Clinton, hearing talk about a third term for President Obama, that might connect with the people looking for a third term with President Obama. And for the people at home watching who aren't looking for a third term of Obama, you're not going to get their support, the ones who are very committed to Trump. But people in the middle -- I'll tell you, there are a lot of people -- there are a lot of people who are registered, they're Independents, there are whites all across America who believe we should be going in a different direction than what we've seen over the course of the last eight years. I think, in some respects, the president's speech last night contradicts that motive and that goal.
PRESS: But to the Independents, was Michael Bloomberg, I thought he was the most effective --
BOLDUAN: Don't move on yet --
BERMAN: Hold on.
Because I want, Patrick Healy, i want to talk about what the congressman just said right there, because that is a risk the president took last night. He essentially said that things in America are great. And that keep them great for four more years with Hillary Clinton. If you do not believe they are great right now, does that message go right past you?
[11:09:49] PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. They're so twinned right now, they're so together. I think what Hillary Clinton needs to do, I mean, tonight, is sort of go out there and say, you know, I believe in the progress that we've made. Here's how I sort of see that progress but I'm not going to be just another four years of Barack Obama. You're going to get something different from me. And especially I think on the national security side, going to people who might feel uncomfortable with what Obama has done with -- against the Islamic State, with keeping America safe, and who look at Donald Trump and so a whole lot of risks there, a whole lot of kind of loose cannon, shoot from the hips arguments. That's sort of the pocket of voters that she can go at in terms of those national security Republicans, those Independents, you know, who she can go to. She can draw differences with Barack Obama. I think a lot of people see her in some ways as kind of more hawkish than Obama, as sort of taking a tougher line.
BERMAN: I'd be pretty surprised if tonight was the night of differentiation and space --
BOLDUAN: I don't think tonight is the night to do it, after last night, the baton pass off. And the points. What are going to do about the points?
Let's talk about Biden. He tore into Donald Trump, in Joe Biden fashion, using one of his signature phrases. For our viewers, here you go, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: His cynicism is unbounded. His lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he's most proud of having made famous, "You're fired." I mean, really, I'm not joking. Think about that. Think about that. Think about everything you learned as a child, no matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying, "You're fired?" He's trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarkey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: But with that, it sure seems like Joe Biden is trying to target here one of Hillary Clinton's weaknesses so far, white working class voters.
PRESS: First of all, I'm from Delaware. I'm a big Biden fan. It made me kind of -- I wish he had run.
BOLDUAN: You're still doing "if only then."
QUINN: Move on, Bill, move on.
PRESS: I have.
What I loved about Joe Biden's message last night, he also talked to the people, like Bloomberg did, outside of that hall. And he talked to them in a language that they speak and they can understand. As he said about Donald Trump at one point, he doesn't have a clue. Right. Or give me a break. But I think in terms of he was carrying the message that, yes, Hillary Clinton has to reach out to, to Independents and middle class Americans. He did it very effectively. He's going to continue to do it effectively. Sure, she has to do more. But Joe Biden, that was the best speech of his career, hands down.
BERMAN: And there are people who are saying it was so good they should have moved it into the prime-time hour instead of the current vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, who chose a different direction to go in with his speech. He did a comedy routine in let's watch.
PRESS: I'd agree with that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE, (D), VIRGINIA & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's going to be great, believe me. We're going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, believe me. We're going to destroy ISIS so fast, believe me. There's nothing suspicious in my tax returns, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Christine Quinn, I speak as someone who makes jokes that no one laughs at.
BOLDUAN: A lot.
BERMAN: A lot.
I don't do it when I'm speaking to the country at the Democratic National Convention. Should he have been doing that last night?
QUINN: Let's all remember the amazing speech he gave when he was announced as her candidate and try to stay in that moment.
But Sarah Silverman had nothing to worry about, nothing to worry about. It was attacked. They tried it. I don't think we'll do it again but, you know, he seemed to be having fun so that's important.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, do you have any good impressions you're taking on the campaign trail?
ZELDIN: From this week?
BOLDUAN: Would you like to try some out right now?
ZELDIN: I would say while I was talking about the irony of the president talking about that "ruler" point to the vice president bringing up the "malarkey" point, I mean, Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs to Tim Kaine when he talked about the national security piece. There are people at home who are taking this very, very seriously. The national security, the economic growth themes for people, it's their number-one issue. For some people, if they pick two issues, it's both of those issues. So what's important for whether you're the president, the vice president of either party, from this point forward, I would strongly recommend that all four of them take these very seriously and don't make light of the fact that, for the American people, they're prioritizing defeating ISIS for many above all else.
QUINN: Let's take a couple things here. One, Joe Biden's Irish. I'm Irish. "Malarkey" is not a joke. It's dead serious, A. B, Donald Trump has backpedalled that he was joking yesterday. He wasn't joking. So you can't put that in the same category at all.
[11:15:08] And you want to know the thing with -- I mean, whatever Kaine tried and didn't work. The issue here, as you bring up Donald Trump and jobs, just today, CNN is putting out a story again showing how he's not employing Americans. He's, in fact, manipulating, taking the immigration system, he wants to make harder, and bringing in workers with a specific focus on pretty young white women. As he's already said if you ain't a 10, he ain't interested, right --
BOLDUAN: Congressman --
QUINN: Because he's not actually about jobs, he's about himself, everything he does is about how he can make it, make money, bringing in women from other parts --
ZELDIN: That's not the message --
QUINN: Message and reality are different.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, final thought.
ZELDIN: I like the fact Donald Trump is actually having a press conference yesterday. Hillary Clinton hasn't had a press conference since the end of 2015, so what happens --
BOLDUAN: Hang on, guys.
ZELDIN: When you have a press conference --
BERMAN: Bill, hold on --
ZELDIN: When you have a press conference where you allow any reporter to ask the question on their mind. If you want to focus on one question, one answer, you want to sit Donald Trump down and have a conversation about it, that's a fair point. By the way, on that fair point, you can also talk about the Clintons connections with the Clinton Foundation, with paid speaking. There's a lot to talk about the Russian piece of it.
But what I do think is great is the fact that we are seeing press conferences and both of them should put themselves for full accountability, full transparency in front of all of you, in front of all the reporters and answer every question --
BERMAN: Does full transparency include tax returns for Donald Trump?
ZELDIN: I mean, the fact is, with regards to finances and background, all these questions are legitimate questions that deserve answers.
HEALY: I've got a better job at going after that, this was a real problem with that speech.
BERMAN: We've got a lot more to discuss and only a little bit more show after that block.
Next, expectations off the charts for Hillary Clinton's speech tonight. How is she going to go about it? Will she go after Donald Trump? Will she talk about her own biography? The architect of her 2008 campaign join us live.
BOLDUAN: Plus, after Donald Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's e-mail, he's responding now to the backlash that set in quickly. What Trump says he really meant.
This is CNN special coverage from the Democratic National Convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:21:19] BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.
CLINTON: Shame on you, President Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public.
OBAMA: She compared our campaign to Karl Rove's. That's not one I had not heard before.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: All right, that was then, 2008. This is now. Oh, what a difference. The president gave a glowing speech last night about Hillary Clinton and tonight it is her turn.
BOLDUAN: Here with us to discuss, the architect of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign, Mark Penn, here with us.
Mark, thanks for being here. Thanks for being here.
MARK PENN, ARCHITECT OF HILLARY CLINTON'S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Great to see you.
BOLDUAN: So after last night, after last night, what's the bar for Hillary Clinton tonight?
PENN: Well, I think the great thing is the setup for Hillary Clinton has been tremendous. Everything has gone so well. So that rather than sitting there worrying about everything, I think she can really feel confident she can get up to the plate, hit a homerun and drive three people into the plate.
BERMAN: The question for Hillary Clinton is, what is a homerun here. Because she's acknowledged she's not a natural politician. People say she's not the orator, the likes of which we've seen the last several nights here in Philadelphia.
PENN: But the polling numbers are out of whack. What she's going to do now is reset them. You know, you have some of these polls where almost 70 percent are saying she's not honest. I mean, they're just out of whack because people sort of have gotten the impression machine. The negative spin-down machine has just gotten too much. I think she's going to come out, she's going to be forceful, she's going to be clear, she's going to be tough and human at the same time, and I think that's going to melt a lot of opposition to her.
BOLDUAN: But with so many heavyweights in the days leading up, is the bar higher for her than when Donald Trump took to the stage last night?
PENN: Well, I think expectations are high. But because of the effect of the polling numbers being so low, she's well positioned to hit that homerun. Everybody has set her up. This is not a convention of disunity, of fights breaking out. It's a building unity. Look at all the surrogates now she's got ready to go out on the stump with great speeches.
BERMAN: You're a demographic expert here. Who's the audience tonight? If Hillary Clinton's talking to one person, who is that one person?
PENN: There are four kinds of voters. People who like Hillary and Trump. There are none of those. People who like Hillary, not Trump, about 40 percent. People who like Trump, not Hillary, about 40 percent. People who don't like either, about 20 percent. She's talking to the 20 percent that right now doesn't like either candidate and will decide. She gives those people more confidence in her leadership, she will spike up five, six, seven points in this race.
BOLDUAN: With that goal in mind, how directly should she take on Donald Trump tonight?
PENN: I think her taking on Donald Trump, it's got to be there, but it's less important than the result. They already don't like Donald Trump. What they're really saying is, do I like Hillary Clinton, do I trust her with the presidency of the United States? And she has set up now by the president, by the former president, her vice presidential candidate, by the first lady, by the others who spoke, to say, yes, I am, I'm ready.
BERMAN: I'm curious because you've looked at data, maybe not recently -- I don't think you're polling for her now -- but this is something you looked into, I know, eight years ago. What does Hillary Clinton or can she do to make people like her? What does it take for her to flip that switch?
BOLDUAN: And can you do it one speech?
PENN: It's not so much about likability about trusting her.
BERMAN: 68 percent.
PENN: She's got to knock that down 10 percent, 15 percent, and that will bring this race into a --
BOLDUAN: But, Mark, can she do that in a speech? That's putting a lot of pressure on one speech.
PENN: The power of a single speech -- I mean, the audience is going to be huge tonight. It's the second most-important probably event remaining. There's the first debate and this. These are the two major -- mass events have driven this election from day one. Yes, there's a lot of pressure. I think she's up to it. I think she'll do it. The setup has been tremendous. The better the other people are, the better I think she will be perceived as the leader of a group of leaders.
[11:25:32] BERMAN: Are you advising her at all? She talking to you?
PENN: No, I'm not. I am enjoying this convention. I've been thought a lot of conventions that are difficult ones. I can come on and say my two cents. It's been a pleasure to be at this convention because it's been so incredible.
BOLDUAN: Any idea where her head is right now?
PENN: I think her head is going to be, knowing her, 100 percent, practicing. Is it right, you know, is this right, is this going to work? There are always suggestions that fly in from everywhere. She doesn't need them. She's ready. BERMAN: Mark Penn, great to have you here with us. Thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Mark.
PENN: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right, hey, Russia, hack Hillary Clinton's e-mails. No, I'm just kidding. So can Donald Trump get away with that language? We're going to ask the RNC's chief strategist, who's sticking his tongue out at us right now, next.
BOLDUAN: Literally, and figuratively.
Plus, the Trump kids were the stars at the Republican convention. Tonight, it's Chelsea Clinton's turn. We're going to talk about her speech and her role in her mother's inner circle.
Be right back.