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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Kayleigh McEnany Applauds President Trump's Support For Pre- Existing Condition Coverage At 2020 RNC; Lou Holtz: President Trump "Deserves To Be Re-Elected As Our President"; Alleged Wisconsin Shooter's Social Media Shows Support Of Trump, Guns, Police. Aired 9- 10p ET
Aired August 26, 2020 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TERA MYERS, MOTHER OF CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: --showed Samuel, he valued him, and was proud of what he accomplished. President Trump gave Samuel an equal seat at the table.
Tonight, I would like to extend my thanks to President Trump, and his Administration, for their work towards making every student's dream of a meaningful education a reality, and for fighting to ensure every child in America has an equal seat at the table of education freedom and an equal opportunity in life.
Thank you. And may God bless America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It all started at a tea party.
13 years before the American Civil War, civil unrest and division separated countrymen into two opposing camps, one determined to keep African-American people enslaved. The other determined to see all people free.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott felt the call to fight for that freedom, when they were selected as delegates for an anti-slavery convention. But, upon arrival, were told they could not speak or vote at the male-dominated event.
On July 9th, 1848, Mott, Stanton, and three other women met for tea. By the end of the day, they'd formed a coalition with the soul purpose of gaining the right for women to vote, so they in turn would be free to fight for the freedoms of others.
Women across America united, and formed activist groups, working tirelessly to win the vote for American women.
The unconquerable Susan B. Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of Women's Suffrage, when, in 1872, she registered and voted for every Republican on the ballot. As punishment for her actions, she was arrested for illegal voting. At the request of Susan B. Anthony, Senator A.A. Sargent introduced the 19th Amendment in 1878. The Susan B. Anthony Amendment was submitted and defeated four times. But women continued to fight.
Sojourner Truth and many other Black suffragettes defied segregation, fighting for all women's voices to be heard, and allowed to vote.
For the two years prior to ratification, the Silent Sentinels quietly picketed the White House. Finally, when Republicans regained control of Congress, on August 26th, 1920, the Equal Suffrage Amendment was signed into law.
Women's Suffrage Movement took 72 years, and would change the lives of women forever. The victory was achieved peacefully through the valiant efforts of women patriots and the Democratic process.
100 years later, in a bold declaration, of rights for women, President Trump granted a full pardon to Susan B. Anthony, on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment's ratification. Women's Suffrage was born from a desire to fight for the freedom of
others. Now we, the great patriots of America, will band together once again, and with one unified voice, we will vote for freedom.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm Kayleigh McEnany. You may know me as a supporter of President Trump. But tonight, I'm here to share with you how he supported me, both as a new mom and as an American with a pre-existing condition.
When I was 21-years-old, I got a call that changed my life. It was my doctor, informing me that I had tested positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation, a mutation that put my chances of breast cancer at 84 percent.
It was the same mutation that my mom had, compelling her to get a preventative double mastectomy, removing her breast tissue, but protecting her from a disease that has taken far too many of our mothers, our sisters, our friends.
In my family, eight women alone were diagnosed with breast cancer, several in their young 20s. I now faced the same prospect. For nearly a decade, I was routinely at Moffitt Cancer Center, getting MRIs, ultrasounds, and necessary surveillance.
During these visits, I crossed paths with brave women battling cancer and fighting through chemotherapy. They were a testament to American strength. They are American heroes.
On May 1st, 2018, I followed in my mother's footsteps, choosing to get a preventative mastectomy. I was scared. The night before, I fought back tears, as I prepared to lose a piece of myself forever. But the next day, with my mom, dad, husband, and Jesus Christ by my
side, I underwent a mastectomy, almost eliminating my chance of breast cancer, a decision I now celebrate.
Breast reconstruction has advanced remarkably. While it is an individual's decision, my doctor and I chose a course of surgery that left me virtually unchanged. But more important than physical results, I developed a strength and a confidence that I carry with me.
During one of my most difficult times, I expected to have the support of my family, but I had more support than I knew. As I came out of anesthesia, one of the first calls I received was from Ivanka Trump.
As I recovered, my phone rang again. It was President Trump, calling to check on me. I was blown away. Here was the Leader of the Free World caring about my circumstance.
At the time, I had only met President Trump on a few occasions. But now, I know him well, and I can tell you that this President stands by Americans with pre-existing conditions.
In fact, President Trump called me this morning. I spoke with him several times today, and he told me how proud he was of me for sharing this story. The same way President Trump has supported me, he supports you. I see it every day.
I've heard him say the hardest part of his job is writing to loved ones of fallen soldiers. I've seen him offer heartfelt outreach to grieving parents, who lost their children to crime in the streets. And I've watched him fight for Americans who lost their jobs.
President Trump fights for the American people because he cares about stories like these.
I have a 9-month-old daughter. She's a beautiful, sweet little girl, and I choose to work for this President for her. When I look into my baby's eyes, I see a new life, a miracle for which I have a solemn responsibility to protect.
That means protecting America's future, a future President Trump will fight for, where our neighborhoods are protected, where life is sacred, where God is cherished, not taken out of our schools, removed from our pledge and erased from our history.
I want my daughter to grow up in President Donald J. Trump's America.
Choosing to have a preventative mastectomy was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but supporting President Trump, who will protect my daughter and our children's future, was the easiest.
KAREN PENCE, SECOND LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening. I'm Karen Pence. My husband is Vice President Mike Pence. One hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment was adopted into the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Because of heroes like Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone, women today like our daughters Audrey and Charlotte and future generations will have their voices heard and their votes count. The women's suffrage movement was the gateway that led to women having the opportunities to achieve monumental milestones and accomplish significant achievements in both civic and governmental roles.
This evening we look at heroes in our land. As second lady of the United States for the past three-and-a-half years, I have had the honor of meeting many heroes across this great country.
The Pences are a military family. Our son Michael serves in the United States Marines and our son-in-law Henry serves in the U.S. Navy. And one of my key initiatives is to elevate and encourage military spouses.
These men and women like our daughter Charlotte and our daughter-in- law Sarah are the home front heroes. I have been privileged to hear so many stories of selfless support, volunteer spirit and great contributions to the armed forces and our communities.
You know, military spouses may experience frequent moves and job changes, periods of being a single parent while their loved one is deployed, all while exhibiting pride, strength and determination and being a part of something bigger than themselves.
To all of the military spouses, thank you.
President Trump and Vice President Pence have been supporting our United States armed forces, including our military families on a significant scale.
While traveling throughout our nation to educate military spouses about policy solutions that President Trump has promoted, involving real tangible progress in military spouse employment, I have been inspired to meet heroes like Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruise. These military spouses decided to start their own business R. Riveter, named after the Rosie the Riveter Campaign used to recruit women workers during World War II.
R. Riveter makes beautiful handbags designed and manufactured exclusively by military spouses. And many of those spouses live all over the country. They prepare and send their section of the bags to the company located in North Carolina where the final product is assembled.
Military spouse hero Jilan Hall-Johnson in Billings, Montana, is a culinary artist who had dreamed of starting her own restaurant. Working with the Small Business Administration's Development Center, Jilan started her restaurant, the Sassy Biscuit. And she just opened a second restaurant in Dover, New Hampshire.
And as the second lady, I've also been able to bring awareness to a form of therapy for our heroic veterans suffering from PTSD. Art therapy facilitated by a professional art therapist is especially effective with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Chris Stowe, a marine veteran I met in Tampa, who deployed for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, said nothing had helped him deal with the trauma from his service in the Marines, until he finally agreed to meet with the art therapist at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Chris credits art therapy with saving his marriage and his life. And Chris went on to establish a glass blowing workshop to help other vets.
Many of our veteran heroes struggle as they transition back into civilian life. And sometimes, the stress is too difficult to manage alone.
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking with some amazing Americans who answer the veterans crisis line. One in particular, Sidney Morgan, especially impacted me. A veteran herself, Sidney said it is the highest honor of her life until they physically walk into a clinic to receive help they deserve, and she can pass their hand to someone ready to help.
In these difficult times, we've all seen so many examples of every day Americans reaching out a hand to those in need, those who in humility have considered others more important than themselves.
We've seen healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, mental health providers, law enforcement officers, grocery and delivery workers, and farmers, and so many others, heroes all.
One hundred years ago, women secured the right to vote. So let's vote, America. Let's honor our heroes. Let's re-elect President Trump and Vice President Pence for four more years.
God bless our heroes, and God bless the United States of America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. I'm Kellyanne Conway. One hundred years ago, courageous warriors helped women secure the right to vote. This has been a century worth celebrating, but also a reminder that our democracy is young and fragile. A woman in a leadership role can still seem novel.
Not so for President Trump. For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men.
President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his campaign to its successful conclusion. With the help of millions of Americans, our team defied the critics, the naysayers, the conventional wisdom, and we won.
For many of us, women's empowerment is not a slogan. It comes not from strangers on social media or sanitized language in a corporate handbook. It comes from the everyday heroes who nurture us, who shape us, and who believe in us.
I was raised in a household of all women. They were self-reliant and resilient. Their lives were not easy. But they never complained. Money was tight, but we had an abundance of what mattered most, family, faith and freedom.
I learned that, in America, limited means does not make for limited dreams. The promise of America belongs to us all. This is a land of inventors and innovators, of entrepreneurs and educators, of pioneers and parents, each contributing to the success and the future of a great nation and her people.
These everyday heroes have a champion in President Trump.
The teacher who took extra time to help students adjust to months of virtual learning. The nurse who finished a 12-hour COVID shift and then took a brief break, only to change her mask, gown and gloves to do it all over again.
The small business owner striving to reopen after the lockdown was lifted, and then again after her store was vandalized and looted. The single mom with two kids, two jobs, two commutes, who, 10 years after that empty promise, finally has health insurance.
President Trump and Vice President Pence have lifted Americans, provided them with dignity, opportunity and results.
I have seen firsthand many times the president comforting and encouraging a child who has lost a parent, a parent who has lost a child, a worker who lost his job, an adolescent who lost her way to drugs.
"Don't lose hope," he has told them, assuring them that they are not alone and that they matter.
There always will be people who have far more than us. Our responsibility is to focus on those who have far less than us. President Trump has done precisely that, in taking unprecedented action to combat this nation's drug crisis.
He told me: "This is so important, Kellyanne. So many lives have been ruined by addiction, and we will never even know it, because people are ashamed to reach out for help, and they're not even sure who to turn to in their toughest hour."
Rather than look the other way, President Trump stared directly at this drug crisis next door, and, through landmark bipartisan legislation, has helped secure historic investments in surveillance, interdiction, education, prevention, treatment and recovery.
We have a long way to go, but the political inertia that costs lives and the silence and the stigma that prevents people in need from coming forward is melting away.
This is the man I know and the president we need for four more years. He picks the toughest fights, and tackles the most complex problems. He has stood by me. And he will stand up for you.
In honor of the women who empowered me, and for the future of the children we all cherish, thank you, and God bless you always.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That was Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway.
And, Abby, I have heard, as I'm sure you have, covering the Trump Administration, Kellyanne tried to talk about the President in the way she just did for a national/international audience, as somebody who empowers women like her.
But the fact that she decided to put this front and center, following Kayleigh McEnany, following other women, who are trying to soften the President's edges, in a big way, and try to give permission to female voters, who look at the President as crass, as misogynistic, as somebody who may agree with what they believe in policy-wise, but not in terms of how he operates, and not in terms of how he treats women, give them permission to vote for him.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BASH: Unclear if it's going to work, but they certainly went all-out in trying to do that.
PHILLIP: Yes. Kellyanne is a pollster by trade. And she sees the same numbers we do, which is--
PHILLIP: --in our latest poll, a 23 percent gender gap between President Trump and Joe Biden right now. That's more than double the gender gap between previous Republican nominees and the Democratic nominees in past elections.
So, it's a massive chasm that they're trying to bridge, and not just with these softer messages, about women's empowerment, but also with this broader message about law and order. That's really what this is all about.
This is about the so-called suburban housewives that President Trump has been trying to appeal to. And so, this entire night, I think, really from beginning to end--
PHILLIP: --is going to be about that message.
BASH: Yes. And not just about women, but just more broadly about empathy, clearly trying to try to mirror what we saw last week, talking about all of those moments and life experiences from Joe Biden reaching out to people in their real lives.
And we're going to expect a very emotional moment ahead from a Congressional candidate and paraplegic, who has an amazing story to tell. Our coverage of Night Three of the Republican Convention continues after this quick break.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER: Let's return to the Republican Convention. The remarks by legendary college football coach, Lou Holtz.
LOU HOLTZ, FORMER FOOTBALL COACH: I'm Lou Holtz. Many of you might know me as Coach Holtz or maybe that football guy.
It is a pleasure, a blessing, and an honor for me to explain why I believe that President Trump is a consistent winner, an outstanding leader, and deserves to be re-elected as our President.
First, I want you to know that I grew up in a one-bedroom house in West Virginia. I may have been poor, but the lessons my parents taught me were priceless.
They taught me that life is about making choices. Wherever you are, good or bad, don't blame anyone else. Go get an education. Get to work. You can overcome any obstacles. And always remember that in this great country of ours, anyone can amount to something special.
I lived by those principles of hard work and responsibility my whole life, living out the American story, and it works.
But there are people today like politicians, professors, protestors, and of course, President Trump's naysayers, in the media, who like to blame others for problems.
They don't have pride in our country, and because they no longer ask "What can I do for my country?" only what their country should be doing for them. They don't have pride in themselves. That's wrong.
When I was an officer in the Army, I served with so many great Americans, who embraced a responsibility to our country. I'm so proud of their sacrifices and the opportunity that is provided for so many millions.
America remains a land of opportunity no matter what the other side says or believes.
You know, there's a statue up at Notre Dame. I guess they needed a place for the pigeons to land. But if you look closely, you will see these three words there: trust, commitment, and love.
All my life, I've made my choices based on these three words. I use these three rules to make choices about everything, my beloved wife of 59 years, athletes I coached, and of course, politicians, even President Trump.
I ask myself three things.
One, can I trust them?
When a leader tells you something, you got to be able to count on it. That's President Trump. He says what he means. He means what he says. And he's done what he said he would do at every single turn.
One of the important reasons he has my trust is because nobody is but a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump.
The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump.
The second question, I ask is, are they committed to doing their very best?
President Trump always finds a way to get something done. If you're wanting to do something bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse, and excuses are a lot easier to find than solutions.
President Trump finds solutions. President Trump is committed.
And the third question I ask is do they love people? Do they care about others?
To me, this is very clear. President Trump has demonstrated, through his prison reform, advocating for school choice and welfare reform, that he wants Americans from all walks of life to have the opportunity to succeed and live the American Dream.
President Trump loves our country and our great people, trust, commitment, and love. In President Trump, we have a president we could trust, who works hard at making America greater, and who genuinely cares about people.
If I apply this test to Joe Biden, I can't say yes to any of these three questions.
I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame, if you did not show up, who would miss you and why? Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for President?
I'm so glad he showed up. Thank you for showing up, Mr. President. I encourage everyone who loves this country, who loves America, to show up in November for President Trump. Thank you.
MICHAEL MCHALE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS: Hi, I'm Michael McHale, but my friends call me "Mick." I'm a 30-year active- duty member of law enforcement in the State of Florida.
I am also the President of the National Association of Police Organizations, NAPO.
Our organization recently endorsed Donald Trump for re-election as President of the United States. Our endorsement recognized his strong support for the men and women on the frontlines, particularly during these challenging times.
We value his support of aggressive federal prosecution of those who attack our police officers, his signing of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, and his supporting for permanently authorizing funds to support 9/11 first responders and their families.
Law enforcement officers across the nation take an oath to run towards danger when everyone else is running away. They do so willingly to protect our families and communities.
I'm proud that the overwhelming majority of American police officers are the best of the best and put their lives on the line without hesitation. And good officers need to know their elected leaders and the department brass have their backs.
Unfortunately, chaos results when failed officials in cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York make the conscious decision not to support law enforcement. Shootings, murders, looting and rioting occur unabated.
The violence and bloodshed we are seeing in these and other cities isn't happening by chance. It's the direct result of refusing to allow law enforcement to protect our communities.
Joe Biden has turned his candidacy over to the far-Left, anti-law enforcement radicals. And, as a Senator, Kamala Harris pushed to further restrict police, cut their training, and make our American communities and streets, even more dangerous than they already are.
Conversely, President Trump supports the creation of a national standard for training on de-escalation and communication to give officers more tools to resolve conflict without violence.
The differences between Trump/Pence and Biden/Harris are crystal clear. Your choices are the most pro-law enforcement President we've ever had, or the most radical anti-police ticket in history. We invite those who value the safety of their family and loved ones to join the hundreds of thousands of members of the National Association of Police Organizations, and support the re-election of President Donald J. Trump.
Thank you. And God bless America.
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I'm Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, and I am honored to represent New York's 21st Congressional District, the cradle of the American Revolution.
It's where almost 250 years ago, brave patriots fought in the Battles of Saratoga to turn the tide of the Revolutionary War.
It's where 40 years ago, in Lake Placid, a team of amateur hockey players out-hustled, out-skated, and defeated the Soviet Union, stunning the world and giving us the unforgettable Miracle on Ice.
And today, it's home to Fort Drum and the historic 10th Mountain Division, the most deployed unit in the U.S. Army since 9/11, where I saw firsthand President Trump graciously thank and honor our men and women in uniform and sign the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade.
Since our nation's founding, generation after generation of everyday Americans served and sacrificed to preserve and strengthen the American Dream. The vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the idea that if you work hard and dream big, you can achieve anything you imagine.
I believe in the American Dream because I've lived it. Like millions of Americans, I grew up in a small business family, where I learned the values of hard work and determination.
I was the first person, in my immediate family, to graduate from college, ran for Congress to serve Upstate New York, and am proudly the youngest Republican woman elected to Congress in history.
I am honored to support President Trump for re-election because I know that he is the only candidate who will stand up for hardworking families and protect the American Dream for future generations.
Since his first day in office, President Trump has fought tirelessly to deliver results for all Americans, despite the Democrats' baseless and illegal impeachment sham and the media's endless obsession with it.
I was proud to lead the effort, standing up for the Constitution, President Trump and, most importantly, the American people. This attack was not just on the President. It was an attack on you, your voice and your vote.
But the American people were not swayed by these partisan attacks. Our support for President Trump is stronger than ever before.
We know what's at stake in this historic election. Americans from all walks of life are unified in support of our President. It's why more Republican women than ever are running for office this year.
We understand that this election is a choice between the Far-Left Democratic Socialist agenda versus protecting and preserving the American Dream. President Trump is working to safely re-open our Main Street economy.
He understands that the engine of our country is fueled by the ingenuity and determination of American workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
Joe Biden wants to keep them locked up in the basement and crush them with $4 trillion in new taxes.
We face a critical choice. Joe Biden's Far-Left failed policies of the past 47 years, or President Trump who will stand up for the American people and the Constitution.
I believe in the wisdom and spirit of the American people to elect the only candidate who is capable of protecting the American Dream, President Donald J. Trump.
Thank you to the North Country for the opportunity to serve as your voice, supporting his re-election. God bless the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.
MADISON CAWTHORN, (R) NORTH CAROLINA CONG. CANDIDATE: Good evening, I am Madison Cawthorn, and I am running to represent North Carolina's 11th congressional district.
This is a time of great adversity for our country. And I know something about adversity.
At 18-years-old, I was in a horrific car accident that's left me paralyzed from the waist down. Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed. I was given a 1 percent chance of surviving.
But thanks to the power of prayer, a very loving community, and many skilled doctors, I made it. It took me over a year to recover.
My first public outing in a wheelchair was to a professional baseball game. Before my accident, I was 6'3". I stood out in the crowd. But as I wheeled through the stadium, I felt invisible.
At 20, I thought about giving up. However, I knew I could still make a difference. My accident has given me new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. God protected my mind and my ability to speak. So, I say to people, who feel forgotten, ignored, and invisible, "I see you. I hear you."
At 20, I made a choice. In 2020, our country has a choice. We can give up on the American idea, or we can work together to make our imperfect union more perfect. I choose to fight for the future, to seize the high ground and retake the Shining City on a Hill.
While the Radical-Left wants to dismantle, defund, and destroy, Republicans, under President Trump's leadership, want to rebuild, restore and renew.
I just turned 25. When I'm elected this November, I'll be the youngest member of Congress in over 200 years. And if you don't think young people can change the world, then you just don't know American history.
George Washington was 21 when he received his first military commission. Abe Lincoln, 22, when he first ran for office. And my personal favorite, James Madison was just 25-years-old when he signed the Declaration of Independence.
In times of peril, young people have stepped up and saved this country, abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled the cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps and cracked codes. Yet, today, political forces want to usher in the digital dark ages, a time of information without wisdom and tribalism without truth.
National leaders on the Left have normalized emotion-based voting, and a radicalized identity politics that rejects Martin Luther King's dream.
MLK's dream is our dream, for all Americans to be judged solely on their character. Millions of people risk their lives, every year, to come here because they believe in the dream of MLK, and the American Dream.
Join us, as we, the Party of Freedom, double down on ensuring the American Dream for all people. We are committed to building a new Town Square. It welcomes all ideas and all people. Here, we will have freedom of speech, not freedom from speech.
To Liberals, I say, let's have a conversation. Be a true Liberal, listen to other ideas and let the best ones prevail.
And, to Conservatives, I say, let's define what we support, and win the argument in areas like healthcare, on the environment.
In this new Town Square, you don't have to apologize for your beliefs or cower to a mob. You can kneel before God but stand for our flag.
The American idea, my ancestors fought for, during the Revolutionary War, is just as exciting and revolutionary today, as it was 250 years ago.
I say to Americans, who love our country, young and old, be a radical for freedom, be a radical for liberty, and be a radical for our republic, for which I stand, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. And may God bless America. (MUSIC)
JACK BREWER, FORMER NFL PLAYER, BLACK VOICES FOR TRUMP: I'm Jack Brewer, a former three-time NFL team captain, college professor, coach, husband, son, and father.
I'm also a lifelong Democrat, but I support Donald Trump. Let me be clear. I didn't come here for the popularity, or the praise, the likes or the retweets. I'm here as a servant to God, a servant to the people of our nation and a servant to our President.
I grew up in Grapevine, Texas, a town that my great grandfather was the first Black man to settle as a sharecropper in 1896.
My early high school experience included fighting with skinheads, and being a witness in an attempted murder trial, after my friend shot a skinhead in self-defense.
I remember my dad's bravery, when he personally stood up against a KKK rally in my town. In my house, my father taught me to back down from no one.
I know what racism looks like. I've seen it firsthand. In America, it has no resemblance to President Trump.
And I'm fed up with the way he's portrayed in the media, who refuse to acknowledge what he's actually done for the Black community. It's confusing the minds of our innocent children.
Before I left to come deliver this message, my energetic 8-year-old son, Jackson, stopped me, and said, "Dad, can you please just tell everyone that all lives need to matter and that God loves everyone?"
In that moment, I realized that my 8-year-old had figured out what so many adults have seemed to forget. We are not as divided as our politics suggest. At some point, for the sake of our children, the policies must take priority over the personalities.
So, because you have an issue with President Trump's tone, you're going to allow Biden and Harris to deny our underserved Black and Brown children school of choice?
Are we so offended by the President's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," that we're going to ignore that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have collectively been responsible for locking up countless Black men for non-violent crimes?
Are you going to allow the media to lie to you by falsely claiming that he said there are very fine White supremacists in Charlottesville? He didn't say that. It's a lie. And ignore the so called Black Lives Matter organization that openly, on their website, called for the destruction of the nuclear family?
My fellow Americans, our families need each other. We need Black fathers in the homes with their wives and children. The future of our communities depend on it. [21:45:00]
I'm blessed to be able to run inner city youth programs, and to also teach in prisons across America. The inmates in my federal prison program literally receive days off their sentence just for attending my class. And that's thanks to President Donald Trump and his First Step Act.
President Trump cared about these Americans, and their families, even when so many others had left them behind, and had written them off. I'm forever grateful for President Trump for that.
He endures relentless attacks, and so do many of us, like myself who support him. But my mom always told me, "When the Lord starts blessing, the devil starts messing."
This Convention marks a time to celebrate our history. Republicans are the Party that freed the slaves and the Party that put the first Black men and women in Congress. It's the party of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, and now, Tim Scott and Donald Trump.
Our President has made incredible strides to end mass incarceration and give unprecedented opportunities for Black in America to rise.
America, let this election be a call for all God's people, who are called by his name to humble ourselves, and pray together, and to seek his face, and to turn from our wicked ways. Then he will hear us from heaven, and he will forgive our sins and he will heal our land.
Amen and God bless America.
BLITZER: Jack Brewer, a former NFL player.
Jake, a very powerful statement, we've been hearing a consistent theme now, clearly the President of the United States wants additional African-American support.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER: Specifically, the Trump campaign is trying to pick off Black men who otherwise might vote Democratic.
And you heard a very direct appeal there. "You don't like President Trump's tone? Therefore you're going to go for Biden and Harris, who are responsible for locking up a number of Black men?"
A reference to the fact that Kamala Harris, and by the way, I don't know that I've heard her name pronounced correctly in three nights of this Republican Convention, it's Kamala, that Kamala Harris, when she was Attorney General and District Attorney in San Francisco, obviously was a law enforcement official, and then, Joe Biden, of course, as a Senator, wrote the 1994 Crime bill.
It's really remarkable trying to see or seeing individuals trying to claim that President Trump is more progressive on racial issues than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, while at the same time they claim that they are prisoners of far-Left progressives.
It doesn't really actually make a whole lot of sense. But it is an attempt to try to chip away at Black support for the Democratic candidates, and it is also an attempt to erase the fact that President Trump has said things that are not just racially incendiary, but empirically racist.
Telling four Congresswomen of color, four Democratic Members of Congress, they should go back where they came from, even though all four are American citizens, and three of the four were born in the United States--
TAPPER: --is remarkable, Dana.
But you're seeing this attempt. And, again, it doesn't make sense, the attack Biden is being a prisoner of the Left, and also too conservative, there isn't a lot of coherence, but they're hoping it will work.
BASH: Right. I mean, the only thing that is coherent tonight is whether it is on race or on women, two of the President's huge vulnerabilities, given his rhetoric and some of his policies, but particularly his rhetoric.
What you're hearing from speaker after speaker after speaker, are testimonials about why, what you see and hear from him is not really what matters. It's not really what his policy is. It's not really what he is behind the scenes.
And that is going to take a huge leap of faith for voters who aren't decided. I mean, look, voters who are firmly anti-Trump, they're not even going to be listening to that. It's not even an open question.
But for those who maybe are on the fence about whether or not they're really sure Joe Biden is the guy, and they hear these stories that is the audience that the Trump campaign is going for. And it could work in some cases, Abby.
PHILLIP: Yes. Look, they wouldn't be trying it if they didn't think it would work.
I mean, Jake is right. This is not about Black voters, writ large. It's about a specific subsection of them, Black men who have actually been much more comparatively, compared to Black women, much more interested in hearing Trump out.
And, particularly, when you heard him say, when you heard Jack Brewer say that Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have been responsible for locking up countless Black men for non-violent offenses, my ears perked up on that, because it's interesting to me, I don't recall President Trump being an advocate for loosening the sentences necessarily for non- violent crimes writ large. I mean, this is a President who is arguing for 10-year sentences for vandalism of Confederate statues and other statues around the country.
He's running both on this law and order message, while having surrogates trying to make an argument that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are too tough on crime. To say that it doesn't make sense, I think would be an understatement, Wolf.
BLITZER: Kaitlan Collins is over at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where the Vice President Mike Pence will be delivering his big speech in a little while. You're getting some new information, Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf.
Well the Vice President and the President actually just landed here a few moments ago. We saw their helicopters touching down. But we are learning something, that gives you a sense of just how quickly the Vice President is about to speak.
And we have now learned he is going to address what's happening in Wisconsin in his speech tonight.
That's a change from when we spoke at 8 o'clock when a mention of Wisconsin was not in the draft of the Vice President's speech, but has since been added, after he saw how dramatically things escalated throughout the day.
There's been a back-and-forth over whether or not he was actually going to address it. But we are now being told he is going to bring it up. Though it's still unclear exactly what the Vice President is going to say.
And Wolf, if you're watching these speeches, and you're wondering how they're not referencing things like the Category 4 hurricane that's heading for Texas, and Louisiana, or what's happening in Wisconsin, given how dramatic it is, a lot of these speeches are taped.
The only one not taped tonight, in advance, is the Vice President's speech, which means of course he can't (ph) make these last-minute changes like this decision to address what's going on in Wisconsin, as he did in the 90 minutes before he is scheduled to take the stage.
BLITZER: Stand by. I want to go back to Jake. I understand, Jake, you're getting some new information about the shooting suspect in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
TAPPER: That's right, Wolf.
We are learning that social media accounts believed to belong to the 17-year-old Kenosha shooting suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, portray a young man who has an affinity for guns, who says that he is pro- police, and who is a supporter of President Trump's. So, Facebook profile and TikTok bio both refer to the Blue Lives Matter Movement, which is a pro-police response to Black Lives Matter.
In a post, on December 22nd, 2018, Rittenhouse wrote that for his birthday, he was asking for donations for a non-profit organization called "Humanizing the Badge," along with a post that said that the group sought to forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
Videos posted on a TikTok account show individuals taking part in target practice, and assembling a long rifle.
So, we are learning more about this individual, who is accused, Wolf, accused of shooting two individuals in Kenosha, two apparent protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last night.
And I have to say, we've known this was going to break throughout the night, and I wondered if that was going to temper, at all, some of the language we have heard from Republican officials, talking about the mob, talking about these protestors in very dehumanizing ways.
We heard Kristi Noem, the Governor say today, Democrat-run cities are, across this country, are being overrun by violent mobs. We talked - Burgess Owens, others, mobs torch our cities.
I have not heard any tempering of that language, even though, and look, this individual, if he is guilty, he is responsible for his crimes, not any of the individuals he supports, including President Trump.
But the idea that a supporter of President Trump is accused of killing protestors, last night, has not resulted in the Republican campaign, the Republican Convention, adjusting even a little bit. Their language about protestors seems rather irresponsible.
BLITZER: Yes, it certainly does.
Anderson, back to you.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Yes. Let's check in with our group.
Van, I'm wondering what you think, based on what you have heard so far, as Kaitlan pointed out, these speeches were largely on tape. The Vice President will be first live speech I understand that we will hear.
VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I'm glad that he's going to address it.
And I think we should be very careful now. There's nothing wrong with a kid being pro-law enforcement, and there's nothing wrong with a kid being pro-Donald Trump, and there's nothing wrong with a kid liking guns. That's not a problem.
The problem is when the rhetoric and things get so heated, and you start losing any real nuance, and then people can get the wrong impression. And that's why I think, the Republicans have to be very careful tonight.
Do not criticize this young man for his political - his political - he can vote for who he wants to. Guns are legal in this country. That's not the problem.
But there is a - there's some irresponsible and reckless choices that have been made, I think, by this Convention, to lift up people who are irresponsible, pointing guns at people, who are not armed, that is irresponsible.
So, I think, tonight, I'm going to wait, I want to hear from this Vice President. My prayer is that he will try to bring us together. My prayer is the Left won't beat the kid up because he likes Donald Trump.
We should beat this kid up because he is doing irresponsible things, and has been pulled into an irresponsible movement that the President needs to denounce.
COOPER: Senator Santorum?
RICK SANTORUM, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think the point about the - all the speeches being taped is one that needs to be emphasized here. You can't criticize Republicans for not talking about it when they were taping this before it happened. So, that's number one.
And number two, I'm glad the Vice President is addressing this issue. I think it's important that when big things happen in the country, that - and you're talking live, that you address it.
And, it's horrible. What that boy did was a horrible thing, and should be condemned. And I'm glad, Van, you said what you said. But I would just offer that the rhetoric on both sides is very overheated. I mean, it's a horrible mess.
I mean I was involved in politics for a long time. And I've never seen two sides of the aisle just look at each other with such contempt, and vilified, not just what they do, but their motives behind it. And it is both sides. And it's bad.
SANTORUM: And you can say the President sets the tone, and I'd say that, and I agree with you. But the bottom line is it's both sides, and it's leading to bad things.
JONES: But can I say something - can I say something as a Black dad though tonight? And I - I get it. I don't want to filibuster. But I think the rhetoric gets hot.
But I'd tell you, if you're an African-American tonight, the despair is so hard to hold off. We spent the whole summer thinking we were making progress, thinking people were hearing us, thinking people were understanding.
And then what happens is, you get somebody shot in the back, you get these vigilantes. And what's happening tonight on social media is you have people sticking up for this kid shooting people. There's something wrong in this country.
And I'm just going to say, I'm scared for my sons. My big boy just turned 16. He's tall as me. He's driving now in Los Angeles.
You got a lot of people - yes, people - the rhetoric gets hot. But on the one side, it's getting hot because we're just terrified our children are going to get killed here. We're terrified of what's happening in this country. And I don't think when you have people sitting on a white hot stove you should tell them how to holler.
I want to see something happen in this country, where we go back to where we were just a few months ago, where at least we could agree. We may not agree on how to finance the police department. But we could at least agree that too many of our kids were getting killed.
We're getting away from that now. And when you got people sticking up for folks, shooting protestors down, there's something really wrong.
And I want the Vice President to speak to me tonight. You've got your votes, Sir. You've got your votes locked up. You've got your swing - you got your Red states locked up.
Talk to me and talk to my family tonight, Mr. Vice President, because we got people out here who are hurting.
COOPER: David Urban, what do you--
SANTORUM: Van, I think he will.
COOPER: Oh, go ahead, sorry.
SANTORUM: But the reality - the reality is, that very quickly - the reality is, that your son has unfortunately a better chance of being shot by someone in a neighborhood, in a criminal event than he does by a police officer.
And that's - and it's not even close. We're talking about seven or eight unarmed people in the - in the entire country, last year, who were shot by police officers, unarmed.
JONES: I'll tell you how you fix it.
SANTORUM: So, let's just deal with--
JONES: I'll tell you how you fix it.
SANTORUM: --where the fear really should be and where the objective--
JONES: Hey, listen, my--
SANTORUM: --where the objective should be--
JONES: I'm going to tell you. My kid--
SANTORUM: --to try to get law and order in this country. JONES: Hey, I'm going to tell you. My kid has a lot - is much more likely to get stopped or hurt by a police officer than anybody else just because of the neighborhood I live in. That's just the honest truth.
But I'm going to tell you this. The way that we fix it is that we're--
JONES: --but the way that we fix it is that we're honest about the fact that you've got communities being crushed between street violence and police violence and the fact that you have too much lawlessness in police departments is making everything worse.
We can fix this. But what's not going to work and what's not going to work, is if the GOP continues to try to, from my point of view, exploit, the pain and the funerals in the Black community, and ignore the fact that we have a Movement, against violence, in our community.
I'm a Founder of "Silence The Violence" in Oakland. We've been fighting against it for years. You guys never give us credit those of us who are saying "Put the guns down." But that gets pimped. And then we get crushed now between police violence and vigilante violence.
And I want - if you want Black votes, talk about that tonight. Talk about these right-wing vigilantes tonight. Don't just pick and choose.
COOPER: Governor Granholm, the President talks about law and order, and that's a very powerful desire for everybody to have law and order. It's heard differently, though, by different people.
And you hear from many Black Americans who are saying, "I want law and order too in my community." Some say, "Well, I want more police. I want better-trained police, but equal law and order, equal treatment, not to be viewed automatically with suspicion when walking down the street."
You talk to young, you know, I was talking 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--