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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  July 18, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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>> and if you elect him to be your president, he will fight for you and for our country and together we will make america strong and great again. thank you. >> a sales pitch that melania trump is now perfecting for prime time. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> that does it for us this hour. we'll be back one hour from now. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. and thanks so much, anderson. "out front" next, breaking news. civil war on the convention floor, chaos as anti-trump forces try to stage a protest vote. plus donald trump preparing to take the stage tonight as his wife, melania, makes a rare public speech. can she convince more americans to vote for her husband? official start of tonight's prime time lineup is coming up. we'll bring it to you live. let's go to the special edition
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of "out front." good evening and welcome to this special edition of "out front." i'm erin burnett coming to you from the convention. chaos from the convention on the very day donald trump takes the stage here for the first time. war broke out on the convention floor. >> those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> anti-trump forces in a last-ditch and loud effort, waging a battle against trump failed. the move showed the civil war in the party breaking out on live television. donald trump is about to arrive here at the convention, breaking with tradition because he will take to the stage to introduce his wife, melania. she will then address the crowd here. it is a major moment from a quiet and reserved person whose
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longest speech so far was 90 seconds. push to unify his party and it all begins live this hour. the honor guard will march in national anthem will play, all leading up to trump taking the stage tonight. we begin with our special coverage with dana bash on the convention floor. that moment of chaos today, incredible, unprecedented thing. they say this wasn't meant to embarrass donald trump but, obviously, it did just that. >> right. i mean, look, the bottom line is when you are at a convention, which is gather iing here in cleveland, to nominate -- to do a lot of things about the rules of the party but to nom nais nate somebody to be their presidential pick and there is that kind of display that you showed, it is not certainly what the trump campaign or the republican national committee wanted. to boil down what the chaos and
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discussion was all about was that there were a couple of camps that worked on the rules before most people got to cleveland. they were not able to do that. they were not able to get that kind of roll call vote primarily because the trump campaign and also the republican national campaign didn't want to open that up. because for the nondelegates to be unbound if they were elected originally for others, for example, or the -- there were other people in the camp, the conservative camp, particularly ted cruz, who wanted to change the process and make it more palatable for conservatives in the future. one of those was senator mike
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lee. here is what he said to me about how upset he was that they didn't actually get a vote. >> this is about the future of the party, about the ability of delegates at the convention, grassroots activists from around the country being able to come together at the national convention this year in cleveland and have their views heard and talk about their view for the future, how we expand the party, the tent. how we make sure we have good candidates. this is not about mr. trump. it's about having a good, fair rules process. >> and so, erin, i'm standing here in the colorado delegation. this is one of the places where delegates were really pushing for that roll call vote. when you heard people screaming no, this is one of the places it was coming from. you see here, colorado. when, in fact, they didn't get that vote on the floor, the ability from their perspective to have their voices heard in this kind of arena, about 20 of these delegates walked out. they walked out in protest, to show that they were not happy with this process.
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so, what does this mean at the end of the day? for donald trump and his ability to be the republican nominee? the answer is nothing. because the people who were here were already -- many of them were already not supporting donald trump and not happy with the process, but the fact that this is how it began was no question not how the trump campaign wanted it, not how the rnc wanted it and worked extremely hard behind the scenes all week last week to try to avoid that. that is how that happened. it will be a different kind of moment and movement the next few days but certainly not how they wanted it to start. >> not at all. incredible drama, as you said. >> exactly. >> playing out on live television i want to go to david gergen, adviser to four former presidents, former president of trump productions, andy dean, donald trump supporter, ana navarro and baccari sellers.
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when you heard the shouting erupt here on the floor -- i think evupt a fair word for what we saw today. >> couldn't hear in these booths. >> a moment of great significance. >> i think it was. and i must say, what -- talking to some of the people who were on the losing side of this, what disturbed them so much was they couldn't understand -- they didn't have the votes to win the roll call. they were a minority here. so they don't understand, why didn't they just give us something we could take home? if they're trying to unite the party why not concede on this point? there's a famous quote from churchill who said in defeat, defined defiance and in victory, magnanimity. >> when they didn't allow that roll call vote, here is what we
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heard. [ crowd chanting: roll call vote ] [ others chanting [ . >> if you looked at that footage, the first guy shouting out "roll call vote" was from the texas delegation. they all walk around here with that texas lone star shirts. texas is ted cruz. a lot of this was the remnants of ted cruz. we thought this was going to be a contested can convention. ted cruz's people were trying to stack the delegate floor. they did a decent job of that. the american public spoke in indian may 3rd.
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let them have their fun today. that's cool. but ted cruz is speaking for donald trump and these people will vote for donald trump. >> the screaming and celebrating, right now the delegates are arriving. the big program here begins during our hour. donald trump's plane is slated to land in a few minutes. we'll have the national anthem, color guard. you'll be hearing that through the hour. the plane has just landed. bacari, this is putting today's moment aside, as significant as it was, this is his big moment, his big convention, his big chance to not squander. >> i mean, you have to juxtapose what's going on in this convention with what's going on outside these secure gates. not speaking to the delegates of the republican national convention today. he is speaking to the united states this week. tonight's theme is make america safe again. donald trump is going to paint this bleak picture about where we are in a country full of
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despair. but we have to begin to hear solutions from donald trump. in the republican platform they talk about a one-state solution. in israel and palestinian. we know that will cause more chaos. we're talking about building a wall, muslim ban, deporting and rounding up hundreds -- excuse me, millions of immigrants into this country. that is not a solution that this country wants to hear. donald trump will have to actually do something. he has to have some there, there. it hasn't been there the whole campaign. the bar is set pretty high for him. >> ana, the frustration you saw, the eruption here on the floor -- we're looking at video of trump's plane arriving, as we said, in the highly unusual move of introducing his wife for her keynote address tonight. ana, four of the five republican nominees are absent, right? 41 and 43 president bush is not here, mitt romney is not here. is there anything he can do this
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week to win those people over, people like you? >> well, i'm not sure there's anything he could do to win me over. maybe if the virgin mary appeared to me and asked me to do it, i would consider it. maybe. but short of that, not really. we've seen how the convention is starting and how this day has gone. this day started with donald trump's campaign manager attacking john kasich, the governor of ohio, for not being here. what a ridiculously stupid thing to do. go attack hillary clinton, your opponent. you are not running against john kasich. and whether you like him or not, whether he likes you or not, he is the popular governor of this state which happens to be a purple state. and he manages and knows the political machinery in this state. so just do not antagonize the man that runs the machinery in a purple state. you really should win if you want to win the presidency. >> john kasich's role not
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insignificant today. >> one of kasich's supporters, county chair here in ohio, was so angry after their attempt failed that they didn't get this roll call vote on the rules package alone, because they wanted some avenue to express that they were with someone else. we should not have expected a smooth sailing like first day of the republican convention. donald trump has upended the way the party has functioned for the better part of the year. why would we think that would stop here on the convention floor? he is the victor, on the winning side of it, just like he was on the floor today. they pushed for a roll call vote. trump forces with the rnc actually quelled that. >> yes. >> and prevented that from happening. if it did go to a roll call vote, it would have been a huge show of strength that donald trump probably had more than 2,000 delegates on his side. >> perhaps as david points out, he should have let it happen. >> i think so. look at the 2008 election, probably the democrats comparison to this.
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a lot of people coming to the floor who were hillary clinton supporters. the obama campaign gave a way for them to channel their energy in a positive. maybe there's a move the trump campaign could have done along those lines. >> for one moment, we will be back. next, much more on our special edition of "out front." we are live at the republican national convention, counting down to the crucial beginning of tonight. the theme tonight, make america safe again. with the chaos, it is proving to be a very unconventional convention. we seldom hear from melania trump. she will take the stage tonight. crucial moment as we're counting you down to that. why she thinks her husband should be president. (guy) oh man, the show's
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welcome back to a special edition of "out front" live at the republican national convention in cleveland. we are moments away from the prime time kickoff of the convention. donald trump is officially on the ground in cleveland.
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going to introduce his wife, l melan melania. as i said they just landed noth cleveland together. she is going to be speaking a speech that we understand she has been working on with a speech writer for five or six weeks. a very quiet and reserved person. of course, this hour we'll be bringing you live the pomp and circumstance of the first prime time evening of ceremonies, color guard, pledge of legion an ance, the national anthem. officials tonight saying the gunman, quote, assassinated police officers in what they say, in their words, was a meticulously planned attack. we'll go to the floor of the convention in a moment. my panel back with me. let me start with you -- all right. let's go down to chris cuomo. he is on the floor as the delegates are gathering. tonight is a crucial night, first night. you have donald trump and his wife, melania, arriving. the theme tonight is keep america safe or making america
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safe again. >> reporter: here is the word, erin. yes, that's the big theme, make america safe again. you'll hear that mostly with the floor speakers tonight, over 20 speakers and i'm told there's something for everyone. older members of the guard like giulia giuliani, rick perry in the race. not many of the competitors are going to be here. he is one that shows an evolution that the campaign likes. he started out calling trump bad names. you remember he said he was a carnival barker, then went for cruz and eventually came around to trump for the reason they think is most important. he is better than clinton. you'll hear on the positive side attributes donald trump. on the negative side, policy mistakes that speakers will ascribe to hillary clinton. that's the main theme from the floor speakers. the big event will be melania trump speaking about her husband. just as importantly, donald trump's introduction. i'm told we will see a different donald trump tonight.
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he is going to fawn over his wife and leave the fire power to others. the big moment for melania trump is this is really not her natural setting. she is very intelligent, very accomplished and very tied to what her husband does personally and professionally. but this is going to be about how she says things, her comfort with the language. there's a lot of excitement and anticipation. that's why trump wanted to do the introduction tonight. as you said, erin, unorthodoxed, but donald trump cares about his wife very deeply and how she is perceived. it will be interesting to see what he does leave to others tonight and what he says about his wife and himself. >> chris cuomo, thank you very much. that will be a crucial part of this evening. of course, as chris mentioned, we'll be having addresses from rudy giuliani, mayor of new york, one of the first to criticize the black lives matter movement, along with sheriff david clark, very critical of that movement. that's a crucial part, david gergen. he may leave the tough talk to
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others but there will be incredibly tough talk in the context of what just happened in baton rouge and dallas. donald trump has been -- and his speakers tonight, these are speakers who have criticized black lives matter. >> absolutely. i think he can turn it around tonight. if this is well organized. i think they scrambled to put together sort of law and order evening so they can cover the full range of issues that are out there. this could be very, very well done. to come back to the melania speech, i think that will be the highlight of the evening, likely to be. worth remembering in the last republican convention four years ago, the most memorable speech of the convention was by ann romney. >> by far. >> remember that? she came out and told us stories about her husband that we had not heard before. you kept wondering why didn't they tell us this before? it was very compelling. melania has the chance, along with the children who are going to follow during the week, to tell us about a different donald
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trump will he remain tough but you like to hear the story of compassion. what is the best story she has about donald trump? show us who he is. that's the story you would like to hear today. >> people are going to be interested in that and all the children. a preview of her speech is coming up. andy, this issue of black lives matter. you have protesters on the streets here, you hear what police are saying is an assassination in baton rouge, will be front and center. david clark is has blamed black lives matter for what happened and for inspiring violence against police. he is going to speak tonight. last night he spoke to don lemon. i want to play a very brief clip of that for everyone. >> this anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called black lives matter has fueled this rage against the american police officer. i predicted this two years ago. so when -- >> okay. sure. >> do i want to know -- >> with all due respect, do you
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know that this was because of that? >> yes, i do. >> as a law enforcement officer? >> i've been watching this for two years. i predicted this. this anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the american police officer. >> he will be speaking tonight. he blames black lives matter for the violence against police. does donald trump condone that? >> david clarke is an excellent police officer. he is right that black lives matter, their rhetoric is completely out of control. what we're seeing from the white house is some sort of moral equivalent between black lives matter and our police officers. what donald trump wants the american people to know is that african-americans are not under attack. in effect, they make up an equivalent amount of our police forces in america. 13% black population united states and approximately 13% of
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the police force. david clarke is an excellent example of that and one of the tragic victims in baton rouge was a wonderful african-american officer. this breakdown is what donald trump will talk about and barack obama, with his couch language, with blm and our police officers, which is flat out unacceptable. >> that is absurd. we're at a moment in the country where donald trump, david clarke, all of these speakers on a night when we're talking about make america safe again need to be bringing this country together. you hint around, it's almost macarthy-ite. barack obama condoning the slaughter of these police officers is the same language donald trump used to say somehow barack obama condoned when we had islamic terrorists in this country. i know you want to chime in. >> just so i can tell people what you're referring to. donald trump saying i watched the president but sometimes the words are okay. you look at the body language and there's something going on. that's what you're referring to. >> exactly.
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donald trump, david clarke, they have no solutions. they want to make it an attack on black lives matter. what we know is that we had two young men, two african-american men who committed a heinous act, tragedy in this country that should not have happened, but they do not speak for the majority of african-americans who are victimized on a daily basis. >> we agree. >> i'm not done yet. >> neither did the two horrible cops speak for the police force. >> that's my point exactly. >> exactly. >> if you're going to sit here and say that the officer who choked eric gardner or shot tamir rice do not speak for law enforcement, then these men do not speak for me and many others who just want justice. the fact of the matter is donald trump, until he realizes that african-americans in this community, in this country has this very specific pain and are victimized the same way that law enforcement feel today -- i pray for philando castile and alton sterling the same way i pray for
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those officers in dallas. >> we agree on that. >> i hope that donald trump will capture the passion and the emotion that bakari has. he has an opportunity at this event and tonight others speaking for him, but to speak to everyone. not just to police, to everyone. >> it's a really big opportunity two-fold. one, the predicate of trump's campaign to this moment over the past year with the immigration issue and the wall, with the muslim ban initially and now talking about banning people from countries that harbor terrorists, that actually -- he was laying a predicate on this law and order stuff before dallas. once dallas and baton rouge happened, this sort of compounded his message of law and order, and that there's a sense that we're out of control and not as on top of our own security. he has that opportunity but he also has said we are a divided nation. criminally divided, he said, after this weekend. to me that's a challenge to himself to present himself as the uniter. >> we'll pause for a moment.
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next, as we're here in cleveland in this special edition of "out front" we are inside the republican convention, moments away from the opening speeches. donald trump bucking tradition, taking the stage the first day of the convention. is he on the ground here in cleveland to introduce his wife, melania. she is with him. can she win overwhelm? what will she say tonight? our special report next. you do what it takes to be healthy.
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we're back from the republican national convention here in cleveland, live for a special edition of "out front," donald trump arriving in cleveland moments ago. he is now in a car, on the way to where we are right now. the center of it all, the convention. we are moments away from the opening speeches, national anthem, pledge of allegiance. you'll see the color guard take the stage behind me as the pomp and circumstance of the convention gets under way. donald trump will take the stienlg introduce his wife. we've seen chaos on the convention floor, last-ditch effort to stop trump. explosive and historic moment.
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senator thank you for speaking with me. it felt as if it came out of nowhere. all of a sudden the shouting, mike lee among them a part of this. are you concerned about this division, that this dislike by some against donald trump is playing such a front and center role at this convention? >> i think the republican party will not only come out unified but expand a reach to americans who want a different path than what we have. some of the opposition to the rules package wasn't about opposition to donald trump. they're just wanting to change the rules. that's a healthy debate for our party to have. we didn't have it tonight. we'll probably have it next winter. >> good way to put that aside. let me ask you about tonight's theme. you are speaking about it, keep america safe. five years active duty, iraq, afghanistan. why do you believe donald trump is the best person to keep america safe?
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in a nutshell, why? >> we know that hillary clinton isn't because of the failures of the obama/clinton foreign policy and donald trump has said we need to focus on our core national interest, rebuild our military, which has been badly reduced in terms of defense budgets over the last eight years, and we need to look out for the core national interests of the united states of america. we need to be tough once again in the world. we need to quit appeasing our adversaries. >> it's much easier to talk tough than be tough. he talked about his plan for isis specifically. i know that's something you have spoken about. here is what donald trump said he would do about isis. >> i am going to have very few troops on the ground. unbelievable intelligence, which we need. right now we don't have. we don't have the people over there. >> all right. we don't have the people over there. i'm going to have very few troops on the ground. just last week president obama
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approved, as you know, another 560 troops to go. it sounds like trump isn't saying anything different than what barack obama is actually doing. >> i would disagree with that. one thing that he stressed throughout is that we need to hit the islamic state harder and faster. what you just pointed out is how president obama continues to make small, incremental changes every time there's a terrorist attack. >> donald trump says i'm going to have very few troops on the ground. that's exactly the light footprint that barack obama has pursued. >> if we can have our allies, troops from countries like united arab emirates, jordan, taking the fight to the regime in syria, which i've been told they are willing to do if america would be more constant and steadfast in our policy to defeat the islamic state and we don't want a muslim government to replace assad, they would be
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willing to bear more of the fight and we wouldn't have to have so many troops. >> in your speech tonight will you be giving a ringing endorsement of donald trump? in the past your support has been described, at best, as luke warm. are you now full heartedly behind donald trump? >> i'm going to say that i think that donald trump and mike pence, republican congress, will be able to better provide for our military and better keep america safe. >> senator cotton, thank you for your time. he will be speaking in prime time here at the big event. headline speaker will be melania trump. she hasn't been seen much on the campaign trail. we haven't really heard from her at all, frankly. it's such a big deal that donald trump himself will be introducing her. so, what will she say? we have a peek out front. >> reporter: tonight is melania's moment. >> he will be the best president ever. >> reporter: for one night, trump's wife will steal the spotlight away from her husband, who is the one used to being
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center stage. >> i'll bet she gives a great speech. she's worked hard on it. i will be there. i want to watch. it's going to be very exciting. >> she was there for the launch of trump's campaign, she is not a regular presence on the trail. >> hello. >> reporter: and speaks even less frequently. when she does, it's usually for very brief remark. >> melania, say something. please. >> just want to say an amazing place, south carolina. >> reporter: her longest speech so far this cycle? clocking in at 90 seconds. >> as you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back ten times harder. >> reporter: trump oldest daughter, ivanka, often fills the role of family spokeswoman, introducing her father at his presidential announcement instead. >> he is battle tested. he is a dreamer but perhaps more importantly, he is a doer.
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>> reporter: but melania trump does play a significant role behind the scenes. >> he will be unbelievable. >> reporter: her voice carrying real weight with the candidate known for a tight inner circle. >> she's a secret weapon. >> reporter: injecting herself at key times. >> you don't try to change him? >> i don't try to change him. he's an adult. he knows the consequences. and so i let him be who he is. i give him my opinions many, many times. >> reporter: calling her husband out at moments of controversy during his campaign. >> my wife called just before. she said, darling, would you please react presidentially? be presidential. >> the man who will -- >> reporter: sources telling cnn melan melania's role to soften her husband's image, speak of the side we don't get to see in public. breakout moment like the one ann romney delivered with her prime
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time speech four years ago. >> that is where this boy i met at a high school dance comes in. his name is mitt romney and you should really get to know him. >> reporter: a unique look at the personality of the presumptive gop nominee that now falls to melania trump. >> oh, she's going to be a great first lady. i want to just tell you one thing. one thing i will tell you. she is beautiful, but she's more beautiful even on the inside. she's a great person and, boy, is she smart. >> and melania trump has been working on this speech for quite some time, working with a speech writer for the last five or six weeks. she will be trying to stay on script tonight. she will be using a teleprompter. this is such an important moment for her, erin. she is really reintroducing herself nows a potential first lady. >> all right. sunlechlt n, thank you very much. my panel back with me now. julie, she is been working with a speech writer five to six weeks. david gergen said this is a
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moment for her to share a deeply personal anecdote about donald trump. >> almost the totality of what we've heard from melania trump throughout this entire campaign. so first there's just a curiosity factor. how does she perform in this environment? this is a huge stage for anyone, let alone someone who is not involved in politics and hasn't done this before. second, she has an important role here tonight. she is the first person from the family that's going to be out front, say iing to the american people that there is another side to this man. this is why you want him in the white house, protecting your family. that's incredible crucial for her husband. >> can she show the personal side of donald trump? and more, right? she is an immigrant. she will speak with an accent. she will show a side of donald trump that, frankly, a lot of people don't expect. >> i'm so happy i won't be the only one with an accent in this entire hall. with the lack of immigrants here, i might be. look, i -- as you know, lightning might strike that i would say something good about
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donald trump but i actually think it's very sweet that he's coming to see his wife and support his wife. she's obviously outside of her natural habitat, outside of her comfort zone and i think his being here lends support to her, tells her how important it is to him. i do think she can do a lot to help him. because she seems to be very grounded. though she is spectacularly beautiful, spectacular wealthy, she seems to be spectacularly normal despite those things. she criticizes her husband, says he needs to be presidential, that she sometimes disagrees with him that she doesn't like some of the words and tone he has used throughout this campaign and tells him so but lets him be who he is. >> she can help him tonight, david gergen. no question. can anything she says hurt him? >> sure. if she seems elitist or wrapped up in her wealth, that would hurt him. i think it's important.
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she cannot only help him but, remember, she's auditioning to be first lady tonight. this is the most important time she can have to introduce herself to the country. there's going to be a lot of comparisons, what is it like to have melania trump versus bill clinton back in the white house? interesting. >> thank you all. our special edition of "out front" continues. we are moments away from the keynote speakers and formal kickoff here. you'll see it live out front. we're counting down to melania trump, willie robertson of duck dynasty, rudy giuliani is on the speaker's list. we're getting ready for the pledge of allegiance. i love my shop,
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all right. welcome back. we're now here on the floor. we're now here on the floor. my mike is very close to my mouth. they're getting ready for the call to order here. sean spicer with the republican national committee is here with me. this is obviously the big moment. we'll have the call to order, the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem. today, what erupted on the
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floor, did it surprise you? >> not really. we've known that there is a very vocal minority of delegates. we've been hearing about it for the last couple of months. we saw it in the rules committee last week. every proposal they put up went down in fair order. we saw it again today, they tried to ask for a voice vote. it got voted down. they asked for a roll call vote. they needed seven states, ended up with five. i get it. it's over. we're on to the program. melania trump is going to take the stage tonight. we're going to talk about making america safe again. >> the question i have for you, though, when you say it's over, it is a vocal grooi group, right? >> they're loud but they're small. >> mike lee, ken cuccinelli. coming into this convention, you have 80% of the people in the gop says your party is divided. 44% of them don't want donald trump as your nominee. >> 44 states, 6 territories voted overwhelmingly for donald trump in the rules package
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today. you'll see that. when you actually look at the numbers -- that's what really matters. overwhelming number of delegates that are here are excited about this ticket. they're excited about mike pence vice president nomination and excited about beating hillary clinton. >> have you had a chance to talk to donald trump about his tone, about presenting an image of unity at this convention? >> there are three things that will come out of this convention. number one, people will learn a lot more about donald trump, the man. we'll see it tonight with some of the people that know him, have worked for him. his wife, melania. two, they'll draw a sharp contrast with hillary clinton. you'll see that from some of the guys who will talk about benghazi and hillary clinton's record as secretary of state. you'll see the republican party that i hope more people want to join our party and see the contrast with the democrats in philadelphia. >> what about melania trump? have you had a chance to talk about her speech? we understand she's been working on it for over a month. >> i'm sure. >> it's a crucial speech, right?
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tryout for a first lady. it's humanizing a man who comes off often as very bombastic and loud. a lot is at stake. >> one thing that people always say they love about donald trump, his family. his kids, his wife, the way they speak to him, their relationship. it will be a week of the trump family talking about their dad, him as a husband, him as a family man and getting to know more about the man behind the guy you see on tv a lot. >> sean spicer, thank you very much. the ceremony and the program about to begin in just a moment. we'll take a very quick break and we will be back with that. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know
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i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
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please welcome marlena van cuse who will perform the national anthem. ♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts
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we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home
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of the brave? ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> and that was marlana vanhoose, she was born without the ability to see. they thought she would only live to 1 year. here she is, one of the singers of the year, singing here the national anthem at the republican national convention. the festivities begin tonight and all the speeches, including melania trump and donald trump. let's hand it off now to my colleague, anderson cooper. and good evening. we are here at the republican
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national convention. i'm anderson cooper. welcome to the special edition of "ac 360." the convention has just gotten under way. the first speech is moments away. donald trump is on the ground in cleveland right now. this is his big week, his big chance to present himself to america his way. trump is expected on stage some time after 10:00 eastern tonight. he is here to introduce his wife, melania. as you might expect, we're told he will have more to say than just that. melania trump is the headline speaker tonight, being showcased at this convention, along with trump's children, to reveal more about his personal side. a carefully planned celebration but was briefly sidetracked earlier today. ant anti-trump delegates tried to force what could have been an embarrassing protest vote. it was a remarkable show of some of the party's division. we're seeing this play out from a unique perspective.
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double decker studio. i'll be here and wolf blitzer is on the ground level studio. >> nation is on edge after police officers were gunned down in batten sbrunlg dallas and after the third terror attack in france in 18 months. tonight former new york city mayor rudy giuliani and other speakers will drive home tonight's basic theme, make america safe again. there will be lighter moments as well at this unconventional convention. we'll see an eclectic mix of trump supporters, from everyday americans to tv personalities. speaking this hour, duck dynasty star, willie robertson and actor scott baio, best known for his role on "happy days." jake tapper is here with me. what is the message that the trump campaign wants to get through tonight? >> the theme of the trump campaign is make america great again. and the theme tonight is make
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america safe again. three groups speaking this evening. national security, such as rudy giuliani, members of congress who served in the military and, of course, president obama, former chief of the defense intelligence agency. then we have people who will talk about immigration, keeping the border safe. in addition to senator jeff sessions, family members of people who have been killed by undocumented immigrants. three people who lost a family member and, of course, relatives of brian terry, the border patrol agent who died. lastly i would call the group i'm going to refer to now as the validators. people who are not politicians. scott baio. by the way, you forgot "charles in charge," a gross offense. we'll talk about that some other time. scott baio, an totonio sab atto jr., willie robertson from "duck dynasty" and the chief validator, melania trump. >> she will be here during the 10:00 hour. and she will have a special person introducing her tonight. >> who could it be? >> i wonder. maybe her husband. >> perhaps.
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perhaps. >> let's take a closer look at the arena in cleveland. chris cuomo and dana bash are on the convention floor. let's go to you, chris. pretty exciting out there. right? >> absolutely. you're hearing applause here. there was the presentation of the colors on the floor, the american flag, obviously, going to be the biggest celebrity tonight here at the republican national convention. we heard the invocation from a catholic priest, good samaritan and define who your neighbor is very broadly. it's interesting and not a coincidence. the country certainly is in the grip of the story in baton rouge and the tension going on and the need to move forward. it will be interesting how that's brought into play tonight. willie robertson will start us off of "duck dynasty" fame. he can speak to the america that donald trump wants to recognize at the convention. >> he will be three minutes, willie, in fact. dana bash, we're all anticipating the melania trump
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speech later tonight, dana. >> that's right. certainly, there is no question that she is going to be the most fascinating speaker to listen to. but what is most unusual about this night for a convention is that the presumptive nominee is going to not just be here to support his wife in her speech, but will actually be on stage, introducing her. i am told that she very much wanted that to happen. this is not something that is in her comfort zone. and most spouses as they give this kind of speech. but particularly for her because she really has not been on the circuit speaking that much. this is a very, very large audience, national and international. english not her first language. she has been working very hard at this. but wanted her husband to be here and looking at history, i don't remember a time where the spouse has actually introduced. but, you know what? it's donald trump and he knows
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better than anyone else. and the introto his convention, pretty big ratings grab. >> i want to go to jim acosta in the hall as well, covering the trump campaign. jim, what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. it was a surprise yesterday that donald trump would be introducing his wife at the republican national convention tonight. until we found out about it. but i am told by a senior trump adviser that donald trump will not only introduce his wife, melania trump. he will be doing some more talking, as to be expected. and we should be looking for donald trump to tap into that theme of america making america safe again. i'm also told, wolf, he will be showing some affection, warm, genuine, loving affection toward his wife, melania trump, up here on stage tonight. we should be looking fo r that as well. in addition to trying to get out the message, wolf, that donald trump will make america safe again, that he will adopt a tough tone when it comes to prot