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Was Donald Trump's Speech Too Dark?; Newt Gingrich Clarifies Comments On Sharia Law; Clinton To Announce Running Mate Soon; Democratic National Convention Begins On Monday; Late-Night Comics Take Jabs At RNC. Aired 8:30-9a ET.

Aired July 22, 2016 - 08:30   ET


[08:32:28] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's being called the most important speech of Donald Trump's political lifetime, certainly. It is drawing both positive and negative reviews this morning, even from Republicans. Some say the message was too dark and negative. Others say that it reminded them of Reagan and Nixon. So here to discuss and get his impressions, Newt Gingrich, former presidential candidate, of course, and house speaker who endorsed Donald Trump for president. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much fro being here. What were your impressions?

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good to be with you. I thought it was a very comprehensive speech. I thought it was very deliberately designed. It started when he, at the very beginning, says, my fellow Americans -- he doesn't say Republicans -- and he built on that, and he had a series of parts of the speech that were designed, I think, to appeal to African-Americans in the inner city, to appeal to the LGBTQ community, to appeal to a number of people. He didn't automatically say it would have been a traditional Republican speech.

CAMEROTA: Such as -- what were the parts of the speech that you think could have brought in new voters to him?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it's pretty clear that he's very likely -- both he and Mike Pence, are very likely to campaign in places like South Side Chicago, Baltimore, the places he mentioned, Detroit, and really make the case to the African-American community that 2,000 shootings in the first half of this year in Chicago are just plain unacceptable. That having 3,400 people killed in South Side Chicago since Obama became president is just unacceptable. And, that having their kids go to a school that doesn't work -- in Detroit, only five percent of the fourth graders can read. So having a Republican prepared to take seriously the lives of the poorest and least served Americans could be almost a revolutionary moment.

CAMEROTA: He's getting credit for working in the outreach to the LGBT community, but he said, I vow to protect you from foreign ideology and oppression. Is that a bold position, I'll protect you from foreign terrorism? What about domestic policies and rights here?

GINGRICH: Well, I think that's got to be part of the same conversation. But I don't think it's -- I think it's a fairly big step in the Republican Party to move in the direction that he was describing. And as you'll notice, it got very strong support on the floor of the convention, more than would you have thought. Romney could not have said this four years ago. He wouldn't have had the personal authority to say it, and the party wasn't ready for it to be said.

CAMEROTA: Some people think it was too bleak. That he painted too bleak a picture of where we are in America. Crime is down in America. Violent crime is down. The economy is picking up --

GINGRICH: It is not down in the biggest cities.

[08:35:01] CAMEROTA: Violent crime, murder rate is down. It is down.

GINGRICH: Then how come it's up in Chicago, up in Baltimore, and up in --

CAMEROTA: There are pockets where certainly we --

GINGRICH: Your national capital, your third biggest city --

CAMEROTA: But violent crime across the country is down. We're not under siege in the way that we were in say, the 80s.

GINGRICH: The average American, looking at Dallas policemen -- and look at the states he listed. The Average American, I will bet you this morning, does not think crime is down, does not think they are safer.

CAMEROTA: But we are safer, and it is down.

GINGRICH: No, that's your view.

CAMEROTA: It's a fact.

GINGRICH: I just -- no. But what I said is also a fact. The average American feels -- when you can walk into a nightclub and get killed, when you can go to a party in a county government building and get killed, people don't think that their government is protecting them. When you have Baltimore, when you have policemen ambushed in Dallas -- your view, I understand your view. The current view is that liberals have a whole set of statistics which theoretically may be right, but it's not where human beings are. People are frightened. People feel that their government has abandoned them. 25 million Americans have dropped out of the middle class, according to Gallup.

CAMEROTA: Yes, well that's the economic figures that you're saying, though, unemployment has ticked down. But what you're saying is -- but hold on, Mr. Speaker, because you're saying liberals use these numbers, they use this sort of magic math. This is the FBI statistics. They're not a liberal organization.

GINGRICH: No, but what I said is equally true. People feel it.

CAMEROTA: They feel it, yes, but the facts don't support it. GINGRICH: As a political candidate, I'll go with how people feel and

I'll let you go with the theoriticians. But the same thing comes down -- the whole pattern of things Trump's talking about. The fact is, statistically, five percent of the fourth graders in Detroit can read. Ninety-five percent of the fourth graders are being cheated by the teacher's union and an incompetent system.

CAMEROTA: As a leader, is it important for the leader, somebody who wants to be the president of the free world, to paint a more optimistic future? Not a bleak --

GINGRICH: We have a very optimistic future. He's painting a bleak president.

CAMEROTA: What did he say optimistically about the future?

GINGRICH: Said we're going to solve all these things.


GINGRICH: By having the kind of leadership that cuts through the red tape, cuts through the boloney, and gets things done.

CAMEROTA: People contrast it to Ronald Reagan, and so let me just play for everyone a portion of Ronald Reagan's 1980 speech at the RNC, back in 1980, and the different tone that he took than Donald Trump. Listen to this.


RONALD REAGAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Everywhere, we've met thousands of Democrats, independents, and Republicans from all economic conditions, all walks of life, bound together in that community of shared values of family, work, neighborhood, peace, and freedom. They're concerned, yes. They're not frightened. They're disturbed, but not dismayed.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The first task for our new administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens our communities.


CAMEROTA: How about that? When Ronald Reagan said, they're concerned but not frightened, they're disturbed but not dismayed --

GINGRICH: I love dealing with you guys. I was in that campaign. I can get you a passage where Ronald Reagan says, a recession is when your brother is unemployed, a depression is when you're unemployed, recovery is when Jimmy Carter is unemployed. He spent half his time pounding on Jimmy Carter.

CAMEROTA: But in terms of the bleak picture, wouldn't it be nice to hear, Americans are concerned but they're not frightened. They're disturbed but not dismayed -- isn't that a rosier picture? GINGRICH: I think that was a rosier time. You tell me if you were a

mother living in South Side Chicago and you couldn't have a picnic outside because you're afraid of drive-by shootings, you don't think that's bleak? You're a middle class person in a small town in West Virginia where Hillary Clinton has just announced she wants to destroy your industry. You don't think that's bleak?

CAMEROTA: One more thing I want to ask you about, and that is for some clarification about what he said that seems to have shifted from his Muslim ban. Last night, he said, I want to immediately suspend immigration from any nation compromised by terrorism.

GINGRICH: There's going to be a direct fight -- first of all, there's going to be a direct fight over Syrians. The Clinton position is, we're willing to risk American lives by bringing in Syrian refugees about whom we know nothing.

CAMEROTA: Not nothing. We've talked about -- they are vetted --

GINGRICH: Vetted how? We have no records. First of all, the largest number of refugees are male. The afghan refugee who just killed somebody, who tried to kill people in Germany was male. The Tunisian was male.

CAMEROTA: Many, many women and children are coming in. They first go through the U.N. --

GINGRICH: The 2,000 men who sexually assaulted 1,200 women in Germany at New Year's were male.

CAMEROTA: So when he says, any nation compromised by terrorism, he means just Syria or he means any nation --

[08:39:56] GINGRICH: I think, look, you start with the easy one. The fight is over Syria. What is Hillary's rationale for expanding the number of people from an area which is totally infested by ISIS in which ISIS cheerfully says every day, we're going to send some of fighters as part of the refugees? We don't have the data inside Syria to know anything. That's just a fact. We don't have the intelligence penetration, we don't have any police cooperation, we don't know anything about these people.

CAMEROTA: So that's what he meant when he said any nation compromised by terrorism? He meant Syria?

GINGRICH: I think the focus, the fight he'd be glad to pick is on Syria.

CAMEROTA: Former Speaker, Newt Gingrich. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY. Always good to have you here.

CAMEROTA: All right. Now that the RNC is wrapped up, we are going to head to Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. Next week, Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential pick could be announced as early as this morning. So, will she try to steal Trump's thunder with her pick? We'll explore that when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Every action has a reaction. What are we going to see after the big night last night, after the big convention? Now it's the Democrats' turn, and the first thing that we're going to learn is who the running mate will be for Hillary Clinton. We hear she is set to make her announcement as early as today. Who will it be? What are they going to do next week? Let's discuss. Political analyst and host of "The David Gregory Show" podcast, David Gregory himself. CNN political commentator and senior (ph) contributor to "The Daily Caller", Matt Lewis, and CNN political analyst and editor in chief of "The Daily Beast, John Avlon. Let's put up the names that are in contention as the final four. Let's see them. Here are the people who may be vice-president as we understand them. Does anyone here, other than Camerota, think that Tim Kaine will not be the choice? Brother Gregory --

[08:45:10] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think it's -- I mean, who knows. I think it's Kaine.

CUOMO: Brother Lewis --

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Speaks fluent Spanish, it's Tim Kaine.

CUOMO: Avlon --

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Honest to God, and I've been saying this for months, it's not to try and imitate Matt Lewis -- she'd be crazy not to pick Tim Kaine.

CAMEROTA: Why, why is he the best, head and shoulders above everybody else?

AVLON: Look, governor, senator, hugely respected and trusted by his colleagues, fluent Spanish speaker, very much a man of faith, which could help balance out some of her negatives with regard to honesty and trustworthiness --

CUOMO: Because religious people never lie.

AVLON: Never, as we've seen many times throughout American history. But no, if anything, he'd catch some flack from the far left, who are concerned maybe that he's not pro-choice enough, et cetera. But look -- and he comes from a crucial swing state, and probably most importantly, from a practical perspective, his replacement would be picked by a Democratic governor.

GREGORY: I think that's important, by the way. There is a lot of consideration about that. There is a steady factor here, right. She is going for steady leadership in a troubled world. And I think he helps her with that. Plus, I think they would work well together. I think that's an important consideration that we don't want to overlook. When you think about Mike Pence as the choice, there are certain things that maybe have something to do with the campaign. A lot of it is, if Donald Trump were to become president, Pence would be very helpful working with Congress, and I think that's one of the reasons why he prevailed.

CUOMO: Why not Vilsack or Perez? What's your problem with them, Camerota?

CAMEROTA: I'm not (inaudible).

LEWIS: I think there are more exciting candidates out there than Tim Kaine, but I don't think she needs to go exciting, because number one, she is history, she is change, would be the first woman president. Number two, Donald Trump went boring. And number three, the bench on the Democratic bench is not as exciting as the Republicans. The Republican could have picked a Hispanic, a U.S. senator, Marco Rubio, a Susana Martinez, but the Democrats don't have that experience, so I think they're going to go safe and boring.

CAMEROTA: John, let's talk about what the Democrats need to do in their convention next week. Have they been studying what's happened here, and will they be trying to present a contrast, or did they already have it sort of scripted and they're not going to worry about whatever happened here?

AVLON: I mean, if they'd been studying what has happened here, it's presumably just to make sure they do the opposite. The goal is first, do no harm. Do not light yourself on fire. Show that you are steady, that you are competent, that you are confident, and can present an optimistic view of the future. Because here, it's been midnight in America. Now it's not simply enough to say that, you know, everything is great in the world, because that's not the case, but they do need to make the case that Donald Trump is not a man prepared to address the challenges.

GREGORY: I think there's two things that they do. They want big time party unity. I mean, they'll probably have a kiss cam (ph) to show how much fun they're going to have over there. Number two, they're going to playing the fear card as well, but it's a different kind of fear. It's, be very afraid of Donald Trump. He is so risky and so dangerous, we cannot take that risk. You may not like her, you may not think she's not trustworthy, but she's steady. She can do the job. I really think that's the theme --

LEWIS: Plus, they've got the star power. They have the President of the United States, they have the first lady, and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former president.

LEWIS: Yes, so I mean, the unity thing is going to be much easier for them for that very reason.

AVLON: That's the thing. There's a real contrast in the lineup. There's a big gap between Scott Baio and Anthony Sabato Jr. and the President and Vice President and --

CUOMO: But I'll tell you what, I think they'd be well advised --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not everybody can get Scott Baio.


CUOMO: He ruined "Happy Days" for many with his appearance this week.

CUOMO: But the idea of, hey, hope, this is going to be great, it's not what they said at the Republican convention, I would leave that to her husband, and I would leave that to the President of the United States, because I don't think the mood of the country is ready to hear that there are no problems out there. So I think what she has to do, to your point, David, is, she's got to come long and strong about how she's the one who can get these things done, but I think part of that is going to have to be that she's got to own some flaws next week, and they've got to figure out a way to do it.

GREGORY: I think owning flaws, owning some of her weaknesses, owning -- Paul Begala made an interesting point on his podcast interview with our colleague, David Axelrod -- own some of that reservedness. She is not going to set the world on fire. She's got to own some of that, again, double down on the steady leadership.

AVLON: Joe Biden has a great line that's applicable -- don't compare me to the all mighty, compare me to the alternative. Making that case, perfect is not on the menu. But make the contrast and make competence case.

GREGORY: I like that.

CAMEROTA: I do, too. Panel, thank you very much. Should be interesting. We'll see you all there.

Well, the RNC had its highs and low points, and of course, its funny points. Next, the best of the late night comics taking aim at the convention. Wait until you see these punch lines.


[08:53:23] CUOMO: You've got to laugh in life, and you definitely got to laugh when it comes to politics. The republic national convention providing no shortage of memorable moments, the four night event, the gift that kept on giving, for late night comics. Here is a taste.


JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: Thank me, thank me. We're going to win big. We're going to win big. Thank me.

Did you see Melania? She stole the show. Literally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I learned honesty during my humble upbringing. In West Philadelphia, born and raised. (applause) Thank you. On the playground is where I spent most of my days. So, to those who say I stole my speech, I say, give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: I was actually wondering if I could maybe just, I don't know, talk about the election for a little bit. [08:54:59] Well, the convention is over. I thought Donald Trump was

going to speak. Ivanka said that he was going to come out. She said he was really compassionate and generous, but then this angry groundhog came out and he just vomited on everybody for an hour.


CUOMO: Has Jon Stewart been on an island somewhere? He's got like a beach comb (ph) now or something? These guys go off TV and they lose it. Have you seen Letterman?

CAMEROTA: I know. Why the long, Ichabod Crane beard, suddenly?

GREGORY: I saw the teleprompter for the practice sessions and it said, four score --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't do that again.

CUOMO: It was funny, though. Do you find it funny?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hilarious. And these comedians have to be hoping that Trump wins, right? So much material.

CAMEROTA: Gold mine. All right, on the Democratic side, first lady Michelle Obama gets in on the carpool karaoke action with James Corden and Missy Elliot. Watch this.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNTIED STATES: I hear you're here for a 1:45 too, and I have some time on my hand.



CUOMO: This has really become one of our favorites.

CAMEROTA: I love it.

CUOMO: It's doing really well online, too. And to see the first lady, did she hold her own?

CAMEROTA: Oh my goodness, of course. She knows all the Beyonce moves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris, I just like to see Missy back --

CUOMO: Get your freak on.

CAMEROTA: He is auditioning for carpool karaoke and I wish we could be on it. That is -- then we would have arrived.

CUOMO: Yes, that's when we've made it.

CAMEROTA: So true. Thanks so much for watching us all week here in Cleveland. It's been great, and we look forward to Philadelphia. "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello picks up right after this very quick break.

CUOMO: Not coffee. (laughter)