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Bernie Or Bust People At Convention; Mothers Of The Movement To Speak Tonight; Day Two Includes Roll Call Vote For Hillary's Nomination; Silverman Aims Joke At Sanders' Supporters; Representative Grijalva Discussing Sanders And Clinton; Michelle Obama's Powerful Speech Last Night. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired July 26, 2016 - 13:00   ET



[13:00:01] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. And I am proud to stand with her.

EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: She's been fighting for us for decades and now it's time we fight for her.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We are not going to be Donald Trump's hate-filled America, not now, not ever.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Philadelphia. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.

History is the order of the day for this, this second day at the Democratic National Convention. If all goes as planned, Democrats will make Hillary Clinton the first woman to be nominated for president of the United States by a major party. The roll call vote that would seal the deal is set to take place a few hours from now.

A senior party source tells CNN that the Clinton and Sanders' camps are in serious talks right now to have Senator Bernie Sanders formally nominate Hillary Clinton. That would be a very extraordinary move, a sign of party unity.

Regardless, there could be loud opposition on the floor from the Bernie Sanders' supporters, but he tried to tap that down, once again, today in a speech to California delegates.


SANDERS: Elections come and go. In my view, our immediate task, what we must do, or forever look back and regret, is defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.

In my view, it's easy -- it's easy -- it is easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under a Donald Trump presidency.


BLITZER: And just a little while ago, we saw the vice president, Joe Biden, on the floor of the convention hall checking things out. He'll address delegates tomorrow night before President Obama speaks. Today, he also talked about the Bernie Sanders' supporters.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Supporters have a right to have an outburst. They're going to be fine. Look, they worked hard. We want to show a little class and let them be frustrated for a while. It's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long is a while do you think, Mr. Vice President?

BIDEN: Hey, they're all going to end up voting for (INAUDIBLE) Hillary. (INAUDIBLE) guys who are going to walk in and vote for Trump? Raise your hand if you think any of the people who are protesting here or hollering are going to go vote for Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some say they will.

BIDEN: Oh, come on, people. (INAUDIBLE.) Then they didn't support what Bernie stands for.


BLITZER: After the roll call vote, the focus will quickly shift away from party unity and to Donald Trump, shift towards Hillary Clinton and her decades of public support. Former President Bill Clinton takes to the stage later tonight to talk about his wife and her commitment to women's issues as first lady and long before they were in the public eye.

Before former president Clinton speaks, we'll also hear from what's being called The Mothers of the Movement. Mothers of young African- Americans killed in very high-profile incidents. They include the mother of Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Brown, who was choked to death by a New York city police officer; Jordan Davis, who was gunned down at a gas station parking lot.


LUCIA MCBARN: We know Secretary Clinton even as Senator Clinton has been dealing with these kinds of issues with gun violence, gun violence prevention, mass incarceration, criminalization, poverty. She's been dealing with these kinds of systemic issues all along. So, her record speaks for itself. So, she didn't just join the game.


BLITZER: Tonight's historic nomination will just be the first part of Hillary Clinton's quest. There's also, of course, the general election. And tonight's theme of Hillary Clinton fight of her life is certainly aimed at that second goal.

Let's go to our Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar. She's inside the convention hall. Brianna, how conscious is Hillary Clinton of the history that will be made tonight and does she plan to make it a part of the narrative going forward?

[13:05:04] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, Wolf, she is very aware of the history that is going to be made tonight. It's not necessarily the case that she's going to be making. We've heard her talk about the historic nature of her candidacy before, on the night of the California primary when it became clear that she would be the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.

She addressed this but it's something that she's let others be messengers for. We heard Michelle Obama, the first lady, talk about it last night. A very effective messenger for talking about how historic this is. What Hillary Clinton's aim, or certainly the aim of the convention tonight and those supporting her, is to counter some of the issues that she has about trust.

This is what we're hearing from folks out in the campaign. She knows it's an issue. She knows it's not something you can change overnight. And so, what we're going to be seeing here today, including these Mothers of the Movement, is people vouching for her. And certainly, we'll be hearing that from her husband, former President Bill Clinton -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Will she be in the convention hall later tonight when Bill Clinton speaks?

KEILAR: No, she's not going to be. She'll actually be home in New York in Chappaqua watching. That's what we've heard from the campaign. She, of course, is going to be working on her remarks for Thursday night.

And this is really an opportunity for Bill Clinton to provide her perhaps one of the best services he can provide, as a -- as a surrogate. As someone who is vouching for her. We saw him do this for President Obama in 2012. He is capable of giving a very motivating speech. That is certainly what we are expecting to hear from Bill Clinton tonight.

You know, at times throughout the campaign, he hasn't been able to provide as much of a voice perhaps as he would have liked to. Donald Trump made sure of that when he brought up Bill Clinton's past infidelities before. Certainly, Bill Clinton did his wife some disservice by meeting with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix just before she was to sit down with the FBI for an interview.

This is Bill Clinton, really, with his ability to speak in a way that certainly a number of politicians just aren't able to be. And that's what he's hoping to deliver tonight for his wife -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Brianna is inside the convention hall where some of the musical artists who will perform tonight are rehearsing right now. Brianna, thank you very much.

The historic roll call vote could offer a glimpse at where the Democratic Party goes from here. Eight years ago, we saw a similar situation unfold with delegates making a public choice, at least until Hillary Clinton closed it down.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: In the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let's declare together in one voice right here, right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate, and he will be our president!


BLITZER: A very dramatic moment eight years ago. Here with me now is Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. He was the first in Congress to back Bernie Sanders. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.


BLITZER: Do you think we'll see a similar moment tonight where Bernie Sanders will make it official? She will be the Democratic presidential nominee, the first time in American history that a woman will lead a major party ticket?

GRIJALVA: It's historic and I think that it would be very historic for Bernie, whether he does part of the nomination for her from the podium. And in doing so, I think that that sends a message to his supporters that we're unifying.

And I think that will affect many of the pledged delegates that are there for Bernie at the convention. I think it would -- I think it would be very good, not only for the question of unity, but for understanding the historic role in the moment that we're in.

BLITZER: So, you want him to do it? If he's watch right now, you would say, yes, Bernie, go ahead and do it.

GRIJALVA: If I had to talk to Bernie, I would encourage him to do it. I think that that shows a kind of spirit and class that he showed through the primary. He can show it again today.

BLITZER: Is it more, from your perspective, because you were one of the first -- you were the first in the House to endorse Bernie Sanders. That you're so scared of Donald Trump as president or you really believe Hillary Clinton would be a great president?

GRIJALVA: I think Hillary Clinton's going to be a good, good president. And I think that it's going to surprise some people, in terms of her independence and the priority she pursues from that office. But I don't think -- it's part fear, but it's also part of an understanding that progressive politics within our party have made great advances what the Sanders' campaign platform reflects that, the commissions that have been established reflect that, the reform that'll happen at the DNC reflect that.

And if we are going to pragmatically move that agenda forward, we need an ally in the White House and Bernie can go a long way for our issues in pushing that alliance.

[13:10:03] BLITZER: As you know, some of the Bernie Sanders' supporters, they're not on board yet. They're still angry at Hillary Clinton. Can he -- can he and you and others who are now saying vote for Hillary Clinton bring them along?

GRIJALVA: I think there's a significant number. And at the end of the day, in November, the vast, vast majority of Bernie voters are going to vote for Hillary. But the people that are Bernie or bust or just can't bring themselves to cross to support Hillary, that percentage, however small it might be or not, it's going to be difficult to turn them around. Having talked to him here at the convention and in Nevada, there is just a line that is going to be difficult to cross. And I think we just accept that and move on.

BLITZER: Sarah Silverman, the comedian, she spoke last night. You heard her speak. She went off script and she addressed those Bernie Sanders' supporters. Listen to this.


SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: Can I just say, to the Bernie or bust people, you're being ridiculous.


BLITZER: When you heard that, Congressman, what did you think?

GRIJALVA: You know, it was kind of -- I thought, look, here's Sarah, for a year has been a Bernie surrogate and worked on his campaign, committed to that agenda and that cause and that campaign. For one of our own, if that's the word we want to use, to admonish in the way that she did, I think -- I think that those delegates need to pause for a second, not to get angry and to understand that, you know, for every action, there's a reaction.

And, you know, the definition of progressive, the definition of getting -- you know, beating Donald Trump is not whole and only their definition. And there's others that supported Bernie that feel just as strongly that this is a step forward.

BLITZER: Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, thanks very much for coming in.

GRIJALVA: Thank you, Wolf, appreciate it.

BLITZER: Appreciate it. Coming up, the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, went where a few first ladies go. In her convention speech, she attacked the Republican presidential candidate, although not by name.


M. OBAMA: 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.


BLITZER: We'll have more of that very memorable speech, more memorable moments from last night. Stay with us for that.

Take a look at this, live pictures coming from inside the convention hall here in Philadelphia. We'll be right back.


[13:16:29] BLITZER: Welcome back. We're live from the CNN Grill here in Philadelphia just hours away from the historic Democratic nomination of Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. She would be the first woman to lead a major party going into a presidential election.

One of Hillary Clinton's most important surrogates addressed the convention last night. The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, electrified the crowd using her personal experience to make the case that Hillary Clinton should be sitting in the Oval Office.


M. OBAMA: During our time in the White House, we have had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women. A journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington when they set off for their first day at their new school. I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just seven and 10 years old, pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns. And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window. And the only thing I could think was, what have we done? See, because at that moment, I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become. And how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them.

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 TV 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.

And I -- I am here tonight because, in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility. Only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States. And that is our friend, Hillary Clinton.

Leaders like Tim Kaine who show -- who show our kids what decency and devotion look like, leaders like Hillary Clinton, who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in the highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her, that is the story of this country. The story that has brought me to this stage tonight. The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I have watched 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.


[13:20:42] BLITZER: And joining us now, CNN political commentators Angela Rye and Marc Lamont Hill.

What's going to be the impact of her speech as far as Hillary Clinton's potential election is concerned?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think if Hillary Clinton wins in the general, this was a decisive moment of change for her. I think Michelle Obama completely humanized Hillary Clinton. The rhetoric that's been used to talk about, you know, the length of her service, you know, whether as first lady of Arkansas or the first lady of the United States or the senator and secretary of state, she made that theme as if Hillary is a long-standing fighter and public servant for all of us. And I think that she really changed the course on the narrative of Hillary Clinton. I think Hillary Clinton should also think about using her speech writer for Thursday. She was fantastic.

BLITZER: What does it mean to you, Marc, when she said that she wakes up in a house every day that was built by slaves?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean it was powerful and it was compelling. Oftentimes in this country we don't want to come to terms with the viciousness legacy of slavery. She brought it into full public view in that conversation, but then linked it to her vision of American promise and possibility. I think that's powerful. The only concern I have is whether Hillary Clinton, one, can match that.

RYE: Right.

HILL: But also, will Hillary Clinton be able to bring up or sustain that energy for younger voters, for black voters and also for the Bernie folk, because they've found that resonate, but I wonder if they'll find it in future speeches resonate. I almost wish Michelle came a few days later.

RYE: Yes.

BLITZER: All right, well we'll see how Hillary Clinton does Thursday night.

Cory Booker, the senator from New Jersey, also spoke very passionately. Let me play a little clip.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is our history! This is our history! Escaped slaves knowing that liberty is not secure for some until it's secure for all. Sometimes hungry, often hunted in dark woods and deep swamps, they looked up to the North Star and said with a determined whisper, America, we will rise! Immigrants -- immigrants risking their lives in times of sweatshops and child labors. They organized labor unions and devoted themselves to lifting the tired, the poor and the huddled masses. With fiercest of grit they shouted so all could hear, America, we will rise! King pointed to the mountain top. Kennedy pointed to the moon. From Seneca Falls, to those who stood at Stonewall Inn, giants before us, said in a chorus of conviction, America, we will rise!

We are the United States of America. Our best days are ahead of us. And together, with Hillary Clinton as our president, America, we will rise!


BLITZER: A powerful speech he gave. A powerful -- the only criticism some people thought he went on too long. Did it have -- did it have enough substance in the speech? But it was really well delivered.

RYE: You know, if the Democratic National Convention ended today, there is already such a stark distinction between what is represented at the -- with the Democrats and what's represented at the Republican Convention. I finished the Republican Convention last week and I was just like, I'm just so sad. And this, I was so uplifted, whether you're talking about the little girl who ran up to Hillary to give her a hug and said what are you going to do about my mother, she can't be deported? Ore you're talking about the disabled advocate, the international disabled advocate, or Cory Booker's speech. The fact that this was representative of a big tent party. Even though we've got miles to go, as evidence by these e-mails, right, I think that it was such an amazing first night to demonstrate unity.

BLITZER: The Democratic leadership gave him a primetime spot --

RYE: Yes.

BLITZER: Because they see him as a rising star.

HILL: I was going to say, he gave -- it went so long because it was his 2024 --


HILL: Nomination speech at the same time.

I thought what was fascinating night with Cory Booker and Michelle Obama and others, is they simply took a page out of the Republican playbook. Republicans tend to try to hold the mantle of Americanism and patriotism. And because last week's convention was so dark and so somber in many ways, Democrats said, we're going to go high, to use Michelle Obama's term.

RYE: Yes.

HILL: And they said, we're patriots. They talk about patriotism, American values. They essentially co-oped that language and it may resonate with independent voters who want to feel optimistic. They want to feel hope and not despair.

BLITZER: It may have been dark, but he did get a bump according to the polls --

[13:25:03] RYE: Yes.

BLITZER: Out of that Republican Convention. We're talking about Donald Trump.

RYE: Yes.

BLITZER: I assume Hillary Clinton will get a bump out of the Democratic Convention, but were you surprised by that bump he got?

RYE: I was not surprised. I would have been surprised if Donald Trump did not get a bump, and that here's why. That's a lot of free air time to tout your message. And they focused so much on Hillary's negatives that, you know, of course he should get a bump. She should get a decline. If anything maybe it wasn't a bump, maybe she just went down a little bit because of how hard they were -- her negative were higher.

BLITZER: These polls show it's very close right now --

RYE: Yes.

BLITZER: Especially in those key battleground states like Florida and Ohio, Pennsylvania, the state we're in right now.

HILL: Absolutely. But you'll see -- again, not only did it have an infomercial, he had an infomercial in the battleground state of Ohio.

RYE: Right.

HILL: I think that's important. Hillary has one right here in Pennsylvania. I think at the end of this week, Hillary will take over again because not only does she have the free advertising for a week, but she also has presidents, first ladies, very popular Americans. No one's more popular among Democrats, really Americans, than Michelle Obama right now. Those numbers are going to go up over the course of the week. I think Hillary (INAUDIBLE) will be very successful.

BLITZER: We'll hear from the president of the United States as well.

HILL: Yes. BLITZER: And if he can help her recreate the coalition he put together in 2008 --

RYE: Absolutely.

BLITZER: 2012, that will go a long way --

RYE: That's right.

BLITZER: In helping her become the first woman president of the United States. He was the first African-American president of the United States.

RYE: Absolutely.

BLITZER: So we'll see what happens. Guys, thanks very much.

RYE: Thank you.

BLITZER: Coming up, we're just hours away from that roll call on the convention floor where Hillary Clinton is expected to make history once again as the first female presidential nominee of a major party. Hillary Clinton's deputy communications director is with us here. She'll join us live. That's coming up, next.