Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Justice Served To An Untimely Death; Lara Trump's Journey To The Trump Family; GOP Cares For African-Americans; Hurricane Laura Barreling Through U.S. Inlands. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 26, 2020 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You talk to young -- you know, I talked to some group of young black teenagers and folks in their early 20s, they say they are scared to call 911 if something happened.

They would think twice before calling 911 because of possible unintended consequences of what might happen when police show up. I don't think a lot of white Americans in the same age group would have that same concern. So, law and order, it's not just a Republican desire, it's a desire of everybody, I think.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, of course, it is. I mean, this is why leadership is so important, the tone being set from the top. My first year as being governor we had civil unrest in a town called Benton Harbor in Michigan where a black kid was shot by a white officer, it was a black community. People were so angry.

And so, we had a choice, do we send in full force and clamp down or do we make sure that everything is safe, and do we listen. And so we had a whole strategy of going in, we had a major community meeting at a church. We listened to the leaders. We worked with them on a strategy to rebuild the community and respond to what the cry of their heart was.

That to me -- if we had a president who listened, then it would take down the temperature and he has to acknowledge that this pain is real. I mean, Van is so eloquent on this. I can't add anything to what he has said other than we need a president -- not just the vice president. But the president to say, we're going to heal.

COOPER: David (Inaudible)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. So, Van, let me just say, you know, as you know I have a teenage son as well. I emphasize with you. I can't imagine what it feels like for you to be a father who is fearful of his son getting shot. And you know, as many people don't know, but Van and I worked together on the First Step Act and I joined with you in trying to --

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ferguson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- trying to heal, you know, heal the wounds that are out there and close the divide on this front because something has to be done. We've got to turn down the volume, turn down the heat on both sides.

Anderson, just a second point --

COOPER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- not to dilute, but just to talk a little bit on the convention.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Yes, I got to go back to the convention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keith Kellogg --

COOPER: I got to go back to the convention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

COOPER: Sorry, David.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standing guard over Baltimore Harbor is the remains of an earthen star, a relic of time passed. It recalls a time when the spirit of liberty stirred in men of renown, who stood in the gap against the most powerful force in the world. Twenty-seven hours, 1,000 men, low on ammunition firing scrap metal. The battle raged, insurmountable odds, a darkness fell upon this new nation.

In the midst of the fight, the heroes of Fort McHenry were unmoved. The light of dawn overcame the darkness. The gallant flag hoisted above Fort McHenry torn and battered stood victoriously observing a dejected enemy, slowly retreating into the rising sun, inspiring the anthem of our nation.

The spirit of liberty, not to be denied, the earthen star, Fort McHenry, a reminder of those brave patriots who having done all stood and prevailed. It is why we stand today honoring past, present and future generations of freedom-loving Americans when we hear the anthem and raise the "Star Spangled Banner."

LARA TRUMP, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Good evening, America. I'm Lara Trump, daughter of Bob and Linda Yunaska, sister to Kyle, mother to Luke and Carolina and the daughter-in-law of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump.

But tonight, I come to you simply as an American. My life began like many in our country. I grew up in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My parents were small business owners and worked hard to make sure that my brother and I had everything we needed but not everything we wanted.

My parents raised me to believe that in America I could achieve anything with hard work and determination. That the opportunities available to me were limited only by the size of my ambition, that I should dream big and I did.

Those very dreams are what led me to New York City. I heard the adage, if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere. And I intended to do just that. Never in a million years did I think that I would be on this stage tonight and I certainly never thought I would end up with the last name Trump.

[22:05:05]

My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. B., used to tell us, believe none of what you hear, half of what you read, and only what you're there to witness firsthand.

The meaning of those words never fully weighed on me until I met my husband and the Trump family. Any preconceived notion I had of this family disappeared immediately. They were warm and caring. They were hard workers. And they were down to earth. They reminded me of my own family. They made me feel like I was home.

Walking the halls of the Trump organization, I saw the same family environment. I also saw the countless women executives who thrived there year after year. Gender didn't matter. What mattered was the ability to get the job done.

I learned this directly when in 2016 my father-in-law asked me to help him win my cherished home state and my daughter's namesake, North Carolina. Though I had no political experience, he believed in me. He knew I was capable even if I didn't.

So, it didn't surprise me when President Donald Trump appointed so many women to senior-level positions in his administration. Secretary of the United Nations, secretary of the Air Force, the first female CIA director, the first black female director of the fish and wildlife service and countless ambassadors just to name a few.

Under President Trump's leadership, women's unemployment hit the lowest levels since World War II. Four point three million new jobs have been created for women in 2019 alone. Women took over 70 percent of all new jobs. Female small business ownership remains at an all- time high and 600,000 women have been lifted out of poverty all since President Trump took office.

He didn't do these things to gain a vote or check a box. He did them because they're the right things to do.

One hundred years ago today the 19th Amendment was ratified granting the right to vote to every American woman. And since that day, incredible strides have been made by women in America. From Amelia Earhart to Rosa Parks and Sally Ride, women shaped our history and are part of what has made our country the most exceptional nation in the world.

I often think back to my 24-year-old self, driving alone in my car from North Carolina to New York City and I think about what I'd tell myself now as we head towards the most critical election in modern history.

This is not just a choice between Republican and Democrat or left and right. This is an election that will decide if we keep America, America, or if we head down an unchartered frightening path towards socialism.

Abraham Lincoln once famously said America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

While those words were spoken over 150 years ago, never have they been more relevant. Will we choose the right path and maintain the unique freedoms and boundless opportunities that make this country the greatest in the history of the world? Will we remain the beacon of hope for those around the world fighting oppression, communism and tyranny? The choice is ours.

I know the promise of America because I've lived it. Not just as a member of the Trump family, but as a woman who knows what it's like to work in blue-collar jobs, to serve customers for tips, and to aspire to rise.

When I look at my son Luke and my daughter Carolina, I wonder what sort of country will I be leaving for them, for our future generations? In recent months we've seen weak spineless politicians seek control of our great American cities to violent mobs, defund the police is the rallying cry for the new radical Democratic Party.

Joe Biden will not do what it takes to maintain order, to keep our children safe in our neighborhoods and in their schools to restore our American way of life. We cannot dare to dream our biggest dreams for ourselves or for our children while consumed by worry about the safety of our families.

President Trump is the law and order president from our borders to our backyards. President Trump will keep America safe. President Trump will keep America prosperous. President Trump will keep America, America.

If you're watching tonight and wrestling with your vote on November 3rd, I implore you, tune out the distorted news and biased commentary and hear it straight from someone who knows. I wasn't born a Trump. I'm from the south. I was raised a Carolina girl. I went to public schools and worked my way through a state university.

[22:10:06]

Mrs. B. from my seventh grade English class was right, what I learned about our president is different than what you might have heard. I learned that he's a good man, that he loves his family, that he didn't need this job, that no one on earth works harder for the American people, that he's willing to fight for his beliefs and for the people and country that he loves.

He is a person of conviction. He is a fighter and will never stop fighting for America. He will uphold our values. He will preserve our families and he will build upon the great American edict that our union will never be perfect until opportunity is equal for all, including and especially for women.

Our 40th President, Ronald Reagan said it best, the dreams of people may differ, but everybody wants their dreams to come true. And America above all places gives us the freedom to do that.

It's up to us to keep this country a place where no dream is out of reach, for our children and generations beyond.

To my father-in-law, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for bravely leading this country and thank you for continuing to fight every day for America.

May God bless and protect the gulf states in the path of the hurricane, may God bless our troops, and may God continue to bless this incredible country.

SAM VIGIL, WIDOWER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Good evening. My name is Sam Vigil. There is a hole in my heart since my beloved Jackie was taken from me. This is her story. There were two things that Jackie loved to do every day. One was to go to the gym and tweet out bible verses and prayers to her friends.

On November 19th, the tweets stopped. That day started out like any other day. She left for the gym early in the morning. I heard the garage door open. Seconds later, I heard the car horn. I went outside to see if she had forgotten something. What I saw was the jeep blocking her car in the driveway. I noticed the bullet hole in Jackie's window. I saw someone jumping into the jeep and speeding away.

Jackie had just been shot and killed in cold blood. We think this was a carjacking gone wrong, very wrong. Every time I open the garage door or stand in the driveway, I hear the horn, I see her slumped in the seat.

When I go to bed at night, that sound and image haunt me. That's my life's sentence. It's a sentence being served by too many families left behind by senseless killings.

Albuquerque where I live is one of the most violent cities in the country. Fewer than 50 percent of homicide are solved. It is a sad irony that Jackie immigrated to the U.S. for a better life than her native Columbia, only to be gunned down in her own driveway.

For eight months, there were no arrests, no leads in connection with Jackie's murder. The police Albuquerque police were overwhelmed. They needed help. Help arrived from President Trump launched Operation Legend in July of this year. Almost immediately the FBI took over Jackie's case.

In a matter of days, they arrested four people, the fifth suspect, killer, was arrested in Texas on unrelated charges. He is an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record. He had been deported in September and had come back in October to terrorize our community.

I am extremely grateful to President Trump and the FBI for their efforts to deliver justice for Jackie and all of the other innocent victims of violent crime. I'm honored to support the president because he is supporting us. I know he will never stop fighting for justice, for law and order, for peace, security in our communities. CLARENCE HENDERSON, CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER: Greetings, my fellow

Americans. I am Clarence Henderson.

There have been movements that have changed the course of history. Among the most extraordinary was the Civil Rights movement. Sixty years ago, segregation was legal and enforced. The simple act of sitting at a lunch counter could lead to physical harm, jail time or worse.

[22:15:02]

I know from personal experience walking into a Woolworth department store in February the 2nd, 1960, I knew it was unlike any day I had experienced before. My friends had been denied service the day before because of the color of their skin.

We knew it wasn't right. But when we went back the next day, I didn't know whether I was going to come out in a vertical or prone position, in handcuffs or on a stretcher or even in a body bag.

By sitting down to order a cup of coffee, we challenged injustice. We knew it was necessary. But we didn't know what would happen. We faced down the KKK. We were cursed at and called all kinds of names. They threatened to kill us and some of us were arrested. But it was worth it.

Our actions inspired similar protests throughout the south against racial injustice. And in the end segregation was abolished and our country moved a step closer to true equality for all. That's what actual peaceful protests can accomplish.

America isn't perfect. We're always improving. But the great thing about this country is that it's not where you come from, it's where you're going.

I was born on what some would call the wrong side of the tracks. I don't even have a birth certificate. I never attended an integrated school and am the only one out of my immediate family who graduated from college, an HBCU. I'm a military veteran and a civil rights activist. And you know what else? I'm a Republican. And I support Donald Trump.

If that sounds strange, you don't know your history. It was the Republican Party that passed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. It was the Republican Party that passed the 14th Amendment, giving black men citizenship. It was the Republican Party that passed the 15th Amendment giving black men the right to vote.

Freedom of thought is a powerful thing. There are Americans, voters all over the country who media is trying to convince to conform to the same old Democratic talking points. You know what that will get you? The same, old results.

Joe Biden had the audacity to say if you don't vote for him, you are not black. Well, to that, I say, if you do vote for Biden, you don't know history. Donald Trump is not a politician. He's a leader. Politicians are a dime a dozen. Leaders are priceless.

The record-funding Trump gave HBCUs is priceless too. So are the record number of jobs he created for the black community and the investment he drove into our neighborhoods with tax incentives and opportunity zones and so are the lives he restored by passing criminal justice reform where 91 percent of the inmates released are black.

These achievements demonstrate that Donald Trump truly cares about black lives. His policies show his heart. He has done more for black America in four years than Joe Biden has done in 50. Donald Trump is offering real and lasting change and unprecedented opportunity to rise, a country that embraces the spirit of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, a place where people are judged by the content of their character, their talents and abilities, not by the color of their skin.

This is the America I was fighting for 60 years ago. This is the America Donald Trump if fighting for today. Let's all join in this fight for re-electing President Trump on November 3rd. Thank you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We'll briefly break away from the Republican convention. I want to check with Tom Sater. This hurricane Laura, it's what a, category four, almost a category five, extremely powerful, extremely dangerous.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes.

BLITZER: What's the latest?

SATER: We're only seven miles per hour away from category five but that does not matter. It's already stronger than hurricane Katrina. It's now in the top 10, Wolf, of the greatest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the continental U.S.

Remember the images of Mexico Beach when Michael moved in, remember how it just pushed everything off the foundations, we will see that tomorrow. Remember images of Katrina, people waving on their roofs, SOS, we need help, rescue us, we'll probably see that tomorrow, or the images from Houston, boat after boat from Harvey people being rescued. We're going to see that tomorrow.

[22:19:56]

This is going to really make an impact and not just at the coastline but well inland. This could be maybe a tropical storm or close to a category one up near Little Rock, 60 miles now from the coastline, 90 miles from Lake Charles.

In 1913, Lake Charles had a high watermark of 13 feet submerged half of the city. Tomorrow morning they're looking at a watermark above that at 15.6.

We've got hundreds of thousands of people here. If they stayed thinking, I've rode that one out before, I've rode that one out, Laura is not that one. The warnings are so far inland, the storm surge along with the strong winds, along with the flooding rainfall, tornado watch in effect, all of these implications coming together for a 2 or a 3 a.m. landfall and throughout the morning.

Winds alone at least 110, I mean, you've got from Galveston areas just to the east of Houston all the way over to Alexandra to Shreveport, winds strong enough up to 140, 150, destroying homes, churches, building, hospitals, businesses, you name it, tearing off roofs, knocking off power.

We've already lost power in Cameron, Louisiana. We're already seeing surge already over four feet and now we're looking at 20 feet. That's the top of a second story building. You add in 8 to 10, 12 inches of rain falling from the sky above.

Those people who were in their homes were told, if you're staying behind, write your name and the date of birth on your arm. Get a piece of paper and put your social security number and names of next of kin and put it in a Ziploc in your pocket.

They were told to take crowbars and hammers up to the attic if they need to escape. Inundation of 20 feet will go inward, Wolf, some 30 miles. This is going to wipe every building off of its foundation. Nos it's good it's sparsely populated in this region, but there are several communities such as Port Arthur to Lake Charles, northward that will feel the effects of this.

It's going to be a harrowing night in the darkness of the night. The pictures tomorrow are going to be jaw-dropping.

BLITZER: So, for those people -- I'm sure there's thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands who have not evacuated. What else can they do?

SATER: Well, there's not a lot they can do. And that's the worst part of what we're going through right now because we can't do anything. Roads are already submerged in many locations. So, first responders, local officials, they're going to have to sit this one out too. They're going to have to wait inside their home.

The problem is some of the computer models right now, Wolf, are in some communities around Lake Charles, are indicating water heights that are eight to nine feet high ins their buildings, in their homes.

So, again, I cannot stress enough, the widespread power outages tonight with these winds at 140, 150, right now it's giving us gusts at 175. And it's just a matter of hours away. So, if they're in their home, they lose power, they're going to have tremendous winds knocking down trees, maybe shingles off the roof, if the roof stays, and then they've got this heavy rain and the submerged of water coming in from the surge.

But again, this is going to create an impact far to the north. I expect we may have power outages, like I mentioned, from near Houston all the way up into Little Rock in the next couple of days. This is going to be an ongoing event. It's going to take more than weeks or months to recover from this and tens and tens of billion dollars' worth of economic losses. Just a terrible situation we're in right now. BLITZER: Just some perspective. You know, Tom, it was 15 years ago

this week, hurricane Katrina --

SATER: Right.

BLITZER: -- hit New Orleans and the Louisiana Coast.

SATER: Right.

BLITZER: That hit as a category three.

SATER: Right.

BLITZER: This is a category four. Maybe even a category five. So, when we -- when all of these folks wake up tomorrow morning, if they sleep at all, when we wake up in the morning if this hits at 2, or 3, or 4 a.m., what are we going to see?

SATER: Well, like I mentioned, probably pictures that are engrained in our mind from many of the worst hurricanes we've seen. Records go back to 1851, Wolf, and we've never had one this strong make landfall in this area of the northwestern part of the gulf.

This is a first for this area. They were hit by Rita. It's almost the same path for Rita. Rita was at one time a five, made landfall as a three and after taking precious lives, left $18 billion worth in damage and it was 15 years ago.

Two thousand five when we had -- we went through the entire alphabet in names of storms and then we went six letters into the Greek alphabet. We're already breaking records, the earliest fifth named storm, sixth named storm, seventh.

In fact, if you go back to 1851, the greatest number of landfall hurricanes in the U.S. was six. It happened at 1886 and 1916. We tied it with Marco, we're going to break it with Laura. It's a crazy year. But these water temperatures are way higher than they should be, thanks of course to our climate change. But right now, all concerns on this massive historic storm that is now just 60 miles offshore.

BLITZER: Yes, this hurricane Laura clearly hovering over the Republican National Convention. Tom, we're going to stay in close touch with you.

Jake, there's another development that's hovering over this Republican convention, what's going on in Wisconsin, in Kenosha, Wisconsin right now it's a serious, serious situation.

[22:25:04]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes. In addition to the riots and unrest that we've seen there since the shooting of apparently unarmed black man by white police, we've also seen acts of murder, and apparently the chief suspect, a 17-year-old, is a supporter of President Trump which is why I find it kind of surprising that the continued language about mobs in the street has been used. Although, of course, a lot of these speeches are on tape.

Dana, one of the things that I also find interesting about the night is we are hearing, actually, a lot of positive messaging this evening from Kellyanne Conway, from Lara Trump. Generally speaking, a lot of positive messages, things that are positive about President Trump, compliments about him, hiring of women, et cetera, not as many attacks on Pence -- I'm sorry, on Biden and on Democrats as previous nights.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That was definitely the case on Monday. Today is sort of sugar and spice and everything nice. That is kind of how I would sum it up.

But I just want to let our viewers know that the former president, Barack Obama did tweet about what's going on, particularly with the NBA. He said, I commend the players on the -- on the backs for standing up for what they believe in, and coaches like Doc Rivers and NBA and WNBA for setting an example. It's going to take all of our institutions to stand up for our values.

That is again a tweet from the former president. We haven't heard from the current president. Although our White House reporters say that he is trying to reach the family of Jacob Blake, Abby.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and that was -- that along with this hurricane is hovering over tonight. The big moment tonight is going to be Vice President Mike Pence's speech and there's been some back and forth as Kaitlan Collins has reported about what he's going to do about current events, particularly what he's going to say about Wisconsin.

We are getting some indications of what he's going to say about Joe Biden and about the issue of race in this country. He has in his speech a line where he says, Joe Biden is -- says America is systemically racist and that law enforcement in America has, quote, "implicit bias against minorities."

So, I think that gives you a good indication of where they're headed on this, who they're speaking to as well. because, you know, polling shows about half of Americans, a little more than half of Americans believe --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: All right. Here is a video --

PHILLIP: Here is Pence coming.

BLITZER: Abby, here is a video introducing the vice president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By dawn's early light, millions of Americans give thanks for this land, our liberties and those who defend it. That same pride inspired the words of our National Anthem penned here as the smoke of battle lifted over two centuries ago. When those American soldiers bravely fought and died repelling the

British on spot, they did so not only for our people, which that flag represented, but for our principles for which the flag stood, our God- given freedoms, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, equality under the law, government by the people.

These are the threads that bind us together as Americans for we're not a nation born of blood, but of belief. And even though that old flag has sometimes been battered and beaten, faded and forgotten, fired upon and set ablaze, there are heroes throughout our history who have picked up those tattered strands, mended them, and raised our flag anew.

Just as the soldiers at Fort McHenry fought in defense of the beliefs that bind us today, there are new leaders who have devoted their life to do the same.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Greetings across the amber waves of grain, this is Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across Indiana highways and homes, his voice warmly welcomed Hoosiers each morning. Mike Pence filled the radio waves with conservative commentary, guarding our American ideals. But much like the man who inspired him, Mike didn't grow up a Republican.

PENCE: As President Reagan said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His grandfather was a hard-working Irish immigrant who drove a bus to provide for his family. His father served our nation bravely in the Korean War and earned a bronze star. Mike was the third of six children raised here in Columbus, Indiana, with a cornfield in his backyard.

PENCE: The foundation of America is freedom. And the foundation of freedom is faith.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in this small Indiana town, his foundation of faith in Jesus Christ was laid. And from that conviction sprung his love of people and service to others.

[22:30:00]

It was at a church service where Mike met the love of his life, Karen. They married and have three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.

PENCE: I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike became the president of a free market think tank, the host of a statewide consecutive radio show, and then a congressman. In Washington, Mike quickly became known as a foremost defender of freedom. He led conservatives in the fight to protect our time-honored values of family, faith, life, liberty, and limited government.

PENCE: Our nation's strength begins at home because strong families make a strong America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike earned the trust of the people of his state and became the 50th governor of Indiana. He delivered the largest state tax cut in Indiana history, expanded school choice, led the country in manufacturing and helped more Hoosiers get to work than ever before. But he wasn't through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ABC News had learned that Donald Trump will choose Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I would like to introduce a man who I truly believe will be the next vice president of the United States. Governor Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As our Vice President, Mike Pence has held tightly to those threads of freedom woven through our history, leading with those principles alongside President Trump, our nation experienced prosperity like never before.

TRUMP: He is solid as a rock. He's been a fantastic vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now in these uncertain days, we are equipped to overcome. In times of trouble, some call to retreat from those ideals. But Americans throughout history have lifted them in triumph, hope, and resilience.

Mike Pence knows those stars and stripes do not merely represent who we are, but more importantly, what we can be. As the sunrises again on America, we lift our eyes to those lofty truths, to guide our country and every one of us to greater heights in this land of the free and home of the brave.

Vice President Mike Pence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. Accompanied by the Second Lady, Mrs. Karen Pence.

(APPLAUSE)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening, America.

It's an honor to speak to you tonight from the hallowed grounds of Fort McHenry, the site of the very battle that inspired the words of our National Anthem.

Those words have inspired this land of heroes in every generation since. It was on this site 206 years ago when our young republic heroically withstood a ferocious naval bombardment from the most powerful empire on Earth. They came to crush our revolution, to divide our nation, and to end the American experiment. The heroes who held this fort took their stand for life, liberty,

freedom and the American flag. And those ideals have defined our nation.

But they were hardly ever mentioned at last week's Democratic National Convention. Instead, Democrats spent four days attacking America.

[10:35:02]

Joe Biden said that we were living through a season of darkness.

But as President Trump said, where Joe Biden sees American darkness, we see American greatness.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

In these challenging times, our country needs a president who believes in America, who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people, to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we hold dear.

America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Before I go further, allow me to say a word to the families and communities in the path of hurricane Laura. Our prayers are with you tonight and our administration is working closely with authorities in the states that will be impacted.

FEMA has mobilized resources and supplies for those in harm's way. This is a serious storm and we urge all of those in the effected areas to heed state and local authorities, stay safe, and know we'll be with you every step of the way, to support, rescue, respond, and recover in the days and weeks ahead. That's what Americans do.

(APPLAUSE)

Four years ago, I answered the call to join this ticket because I knew that Donald Trump had the leadership and the vision to make America great again. And for the last four years, I've watched this president endure unrelenting attacks but get up every day and fight to keep the promises that he made to the American people.

So, with gratitude for the confidence President Donald Trump has placed in me, the support of our Republican Party and the grace of God, I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as vice president of the United States.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Serving the American people in this office has been a journey I never expected. And it's a journey that would not have been possible without the support of my family, beginning with my wonderful wife Karen.

(APPLAUSE)

She's a lifelong school teacher, an incredible mother to our three children, and she is one outstanding second lady of the United States.

I'm so proud of you.

(APPLAUSE)

And we couldn't be more proud of our three children. Marine Corps Captain, Michael J. Pence, and his wife Sarah.

(APPLAUSE)

Our daughter Charlotte Pence Bond, an author and the wife to Lieutenant Henry Bond who is currently deployed and serving our nation in the United States Navy.

(APPLAUSE)

And our youngest, a recent law school grad, our daughter Audrey and her fiance who like so many other Americans had to delay their wedding this summer. But we can't wait for Dan to be a part of our family.

(APPLAUSE)

In addition, my wife and kids, the person who shaped my life the most is also with us tonight. My mom, Nancy.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

She is the daughter of an Irish immigrant, 87 years young. And mom follows politics very closely. And the truth be told, sometimes I think I'm actually her second favorite candidate on the Trump/Pence ticket.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, mom. I love you.

[22:40:03]

Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to work closely with our president. I have seen him when the cameras are off.

Americans see President Trump in lots of different ways. But there's no doubt how President Trump sees America. He sees America for what it is, a nation that has done more good in this world than any other, a nation that deserves far more gratitude than grievance.

And if you want a president who falls silent when our heritage is demeaned or insulted, he's not your man.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: Now, we came by very different routes to this partnership. And some people think we're a little bit different. (LAUGHTER)

PENCE: But, you know, I have learned a few things watching him, watching him deal with all that we have been through over the past four years.

He does things in his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets past him. And when he has an opinion, he's liable to share it.

(LAUGHTER)

PENCE: He's certainly kept things interesting.

But, more importantly, President Donald Trump has kept his word to the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: In a city known for talkers, President Trump is a doer.

And few presidents have brought more independence, energy or determination to that office.

Four years ago, we inherited a military hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. ISIS controlled a land mass twice the size of Pennsylvania. And we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values, freedom of religion and the right to life.

That's when President Donald Trump stepped in. And, from day one, he kept his word. We rebuilt our military.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: This president signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan, and created the first new branch of our armed forces in 70 years, the United States Space Force.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And, with that renewed energy, we also returned American astronauts to space on an American rocket for the first time in nearly 10 years.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And after years of scandal that robbed our veterans of the care that you earned in the uniform of the United States, President Trump kept his word again.

We reformed the VA, and Veterans Choice is now available for every veteran in America.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: Our armed forces and our veterans fill this land of heroes, and many join us tonight in this historic fort.

Tonight, we have among us four recipients of the Medal of Honor.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: Six recipients of the Purple Heart.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: A Gold Star mother of a gallant Navy SEAL.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And wounded warriors from SoldierStrong, a group that serves our injured veterans every day.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: We are honored by your presence. And we thank you for your service.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!

PENCE: With heroes just like these, we defend this nation every day.

And, under this commander in chief, we have taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms on their soil. Last year, American armed forces took the last inch of ISIS territory, crushed their caliphate, and took down their leader without one American causality.

[22:45:03]

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And I was there when President Trump gave the order to take out the world's most dangerous terrorist. Iran's top general will never harm another American, because Qasem Soleimani is gone.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: My fellow Americans, you deserve to know, Joe Biden criticized President Trump following those decisions, decisions to rid the world of two terrorist leaders.

But it's not surprising, because history records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama bin Laden. It's no wonder that the secretary of the defense under the Obama/Biden administration once said that Joe Biden has been -- and I quote -- "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

So, we have stood up to our enemies, and we have stood with our allies, like when President Trump kept his word and moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: ... setting the stage for the first Arab country to recognize Israel in 26 years.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: Closer to home, we appointed more than 200 conservative judges to our federal courts.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: We supported the right to life and all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, including the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And when it came to the economy, President Trump kept his word, and then some.

We passed the largest tax cut and reform in American history. We rolled back more federal red tape than any administration ever had. We unleashed American energy and fought for free and fair trade.

And in our first three years, businesses large and small created more than seven million good-paying jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs all across America.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: Our country became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years. Unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanic Americans hit the lowest level ever recorded.

And on this 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote, I'm proud to report that, under President Donald Trump, we achieved the lowest unemployment rate for women in 65 years...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: ... and more Americans working than ever before.

In our first three years, we built the greatest economy in the world. We made America great again.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

PENCE: And then the coronavirus struck from China.

Before the first case of the coronavirus spread within the United States, the president took unprecedented action and suspended all travel from China, the second largest economy in the world.

Now, that action saved untold American lives. And I can tell you firsthand it bought us invaluable time to launch the greatest national mobilization since World War II.

President Trump marshaled the full resources of our federal government from the outset. He directed us to forge a seamless partnership with governors across America in both political parties.

We partnered with private industry to reinvent testing and produce supplies that -- that were distributed to hospitals around the land.

Today, we're conducting more than 800,000 tests a day. And we have coordinated the delivery of billions of pieces of personal protective equipment for our amazing doctors, nurses and health care workers.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: We saw to the manufacture of 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. And no one who required a ventilator was ever denied a ventilator in the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

PENCE: We built hospitals, surged military medical personnel, and enacted an economic rescue package that saved 50 million American jobs.

[22:50:07]

As we speak, we're developing treatments known as therapeutics, including convalescent plasma that are saving lives all across America.

Now last week Joe Biden said that no miracle is coming. Well, what Joe doesn't seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles.

(APPLAUSE)

And I'm proud to report that we're on track to have the world's first safe, effective Coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

(APPLAUSE)

After all the sacrifice in this year like no other, all the hardship, we're finding our way forward again. But tonight our hearts are with all of the families who have lost loved ones and have family members still struggling with serious illness. In this country we mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve.

And this night, I know that millions of Americans will pause and pray for God's comfort for each of you. You know, our country doesn't get through such a time unless its people find the strength within. The response of doctors, nurses, first-responders, farmers, factory workers, truckers, and everyday Americans who put the health and safety of their neighbors first has been nothing short of heroic.

(APPLAUSE)

Veronica Sayez (ph) put on her scrubs every day, day in and day out, went to work in one of New York City's busiest hospitals. She stayed on the job, put in the long hours until it was done, and then got back in her neighborhood and helped neighbors and friends struggling.

Her brother William is a New York City firefighter, and they're both emblematic of heroes all across this country. They're with us tonight. And I say to them and to all of you, you have earned the admiration of the American people and we will always be grateful for your service and care.

(APPLAUSE)

Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American people, we're slowing the spread, we're protecting the vulnerable, and we're saving lives. And we're opening up America again. Because of the strong foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years, we've already gained back 9.3 million jobs in the last three months alone.

(APPLAUSE)

And we're not just opening up America again, we're opening up America's schools.

(APPLAUSE)

And I'm proud to report that my wife Karen, that school teacher I've been married to, will be returning to her classroom next week. And so to all of our heroic teachers and faculty and staff, thank you for being there for our kids. We're going to stay with you every step of the way.

(APPLAUSE)

In the days ahead as we open up America again, I promise you, we'll continue to put the health of America first. And as we work to bring this economy back, we all have a role to play and we all have a choice to make. On November 3rd you need to ask yourself, who do you trust to rebuild this economy? A career politician who presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, or a proven leader who created the greatest economy in the world?

[22:55:03]

The choice is clear, to bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

My fellow Americans, we're passing through a time of testing. But in the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation had begun to recover, we've seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities. President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But riots and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. And those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

(APPLAUSE) Last week Joe Biden didn't say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. So let me be clear, the violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died to defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.

(APPLAUSE)

President Trump and I know that the men and women that put on the uniform of law enforcement are the best of us. Every day when they walk out that door, they consider our lives more important than their own. People like Dave Patrick Underwood, an officer in the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service, who was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California.

Dave's heroism is emblematic of the heroes that serve in blue every day. And we're privileged tonight to be joined by his sister Angela. Angela, we say to you, we grieve with your family. And America will never forget or fail to honor officer Dave Patrick Underwood.

(APPLAUSE)

The American people know we don't have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with our African-American neighbors to improve the quality of their lives, education, jobs, and safety. And from the first days of this administration, we've done both and we will keep supporting law enforcement and keep supporting our African- American and minority communities across this land for four more years.

(APPLAUSE)

Now Joe Biden says that America is systemically racist and that law enforcement in America has, and I quote, an "implicit bias against minorities." When asked whether he'd support cutting funding of law enforcement, Joe Biden replied, yes, absolutely. Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America's cities.

The hard truth is, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we're not going to defund the police, not now, not ever.

(APPLAUSE)