tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 18, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
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 protecting the country, in law
and order. they also want to show their softer side in their nominee, wolf. >> they certainly do. anderson, over to you? >> broadcasting live, willie robertson, "duck dynasty" star. let's talk to david axelrod before he comes out. to introduce melania trump, to have donald trump, it defies pretty much every convention i've ever been at. you don't hear from the candidate really until the last night. >> no. i remember 2012. mitt romney was sitting in the box, watching his wife speak. and then surprised her and came up on stage to give her a kiss after her speech. so, he did make a cameo appearance. this is different. what donald and melania trump are trying to do tonight and throughout the entire convention is present themselves as an american family to the public and to show that their family has values that not only republicans share, but that the country should share. and i think she is the beginning
of that. and i don't think it's a donald trump needs humanizing. i think he is a pretty human candidate. i think she needs to soften him a little bit and talk about the other side of him. that's exactly what she's going to do. his popularity with women, as you know, is not high. >> david, we did see an attempt by, i guess you could say, anti-trump forces -- although a lot of them said this wasn't an anti-trump move, it was just about the rules. but an attempt to go for a roll call vote on the rules, on the passing of the rules here. that basically failed, though. this is definitely donald trump's convention. >> well, it is his convention. there's no doubt about it. this is not the story that they wanted on day one, however. it's going to be high up in every story. this is a divided party. he has two missions. the one gloria is talking about, to reach out to new voters. and the other is to bring the republican party together. and they may be at odds at points. the way you rally the republican
party is with some red meat. and the way you get some of these women who are resistant to him will be by telling the softer story. >> we'll hear a lot about benghazi tonight and a number of people who are survivors of the attack in benghazi will be speaking tonight. marcus lutrell who wrote the book "lone survivor," about his experience in afghanistan, will be speaking tonight. as well as melania trump. >> working on the obama administration, short list for the new slot as well as rudy giuliani. i think we'll get a harsh critique of the obama administration. this emerging point, and it was really hillary clinton who was the leader in terms of foreign policy, in leading barack obama in terms of major polishes. so i think we'll see a lot of that tonight as well as this idea, make america safe again.
that's going to be the theme tonight. again, i think this softening of donald trump, that's the main theme out of tonight. and just overall the rebranding of donald trump. people are going to go into this convention the american public, a lot of people have negative views of donald trump. >> at one point there has got to be some concern. there's a lot of supporters of donald trump who don't want a softer donald trump. if you look at the polls they like that he's viewed as strong. strong on the economy. >> those very lines that have been so antagonizing to so many americans have also been known to rally the base. i think that's the point that you're making, anderson. >> willie robertson has just been introduced, "duck dynasty" star. the first speaker we'll be hearing from tonight. his father having endorsed ted cruz before endorsing donald trump. let's listen. >> fired up?
thank you so much. i'm so honored to be here. as some of you know, we end every episode of "duck dynasty" with a family prayer at the dinner table. and i know we just said one, but i'm going to throw one more up with the way things are going in this country. father, we're so thankful and blessed to be in this country and, father, tonight we want to pray that you keep us safe. i am mindful of my brothers and sisters in louisiana right now, father. be with them in their pain. we love you through jesus. amen. i've always said that me and mr. trump have three things in common. we're both successful businessmen. although i flew commercial here, so i'm guessing he didn't. we both have had hit television
shows. and we both have intelligent wives who are much better looking than we are. are you cheering because we're ugly? it's been a rough year for the media experts. it must be humbling to be so wrong about so much for so long. but i have a theory about how they missed the trump train. they don't hang out with regular folks like us, who like to hunt and fish and pray and actually work for a living. heck, i don't even know that they know how to talk to people
from middle america. i mean, when i tell them i'm from louisiana, they really start talking real slow and real loud. let me tell you why i've been on the trump train from the beginning. see, when you're from the south and you grow up with rednecks, there are some occasional disagreements. sometimes those disagreements turn into fist to cuffs. but any time i was ever in a bad spot, i always knew my brothers would have my back. and today, in a lot of ways, america is in a bad spot. and we need a president who will have our back. and i can promise you this. no matter who you are, donald trump will have your back.
if you're looking for a job, or trying to grow a business, like i am, donald trump will have your back. if you're a serviceman, fighting overseas or a cop who is risking their lives to help keep us safe at home, donald trump will have your back. [ cheers and applause ] >> if you're an average american who feels like you've been forgotten, neglected by faraway leaders, that the deck is stack ed against you and you just can't win, donald trump will have your back. [ cheers and applause ] now he may not always tell you what you want to hear. you may not always agree.
and he may not always be politically correct. but when your father is phil robertson, i'm used to that, okay? but i'll say this. donald trump will always, always tell you the truth as he sees it. and that's why we can trust him to make america great again as our next president. thank you. god bless you. [ cheers and applause ] >> willie robertson of "duck dynasty" opening up this. now here is scott baio. >> thank you for that warm welcome. thank you so much. tonight's theme is making america safe. so i want to thank all the brave men and women who served our country, including retired
lieutenant colonel charles kettles, who just this morning received the medal of honor for his heroism in vietnam. absolutely. and i want to thank mr. trump for asking me to be here tonight. i can't tell you how much of an honor it is to stand up here and talk about a man that i trust with the lives of my family and the health of our country. [ cheers and applause ] america, the greatest country god ever created. now, america is an easy place to get to. but for you first-time voters, it's important for you to know what it means to be an american. it doesn't mean getting free
stuff. [ cheers and applause ] it means sacrificing, winning, losing, failing, succeeding and sometimes doing the things you don't want to do, including the hard work, in order to get where you want to be. and that's what it means to be an american. but, folks, our country right now is in a very bad spot. you can feel it. you can see it everywhere. there's no stability. nothing seems right. and all the things that we hold dear are being attacked every single day. we cannot go down this road anymore. we need to stop.
we need donald trump to fix this. [ cheers and applause ] is donald trump a messiah? no. he's just a man. a man who wants to give back to his country, america, the country that has given him everything. a country that has also given all of us so much. and now it's time to give back to her. we have a choice in november. we can go for hillary clinton [ crowd boos ] i agree. who wants to continue the same policies that are wrecking this country, policies that make us unsafe. a woman who somehow feels that she's entitled to the
presidency, that she somehow is owed it. or we can go for donald trump. [ cheers and applause ] a man, doing this from the goodness of his heart and genuinely wants to help. a man who knows how to get things done. a man who says what he means and me means what he says. hillary clinton wants to be president for hillary clinton. donald trump wants to be president for all of us. [ cheers and applause ] so, of course, let's make america great again. but let's make america america again. [ cheers and applause ]
our guy that day happened to be this big old drink of water navy s.e.a.l. recovering from combat-related injuries. now, he is a texas boy. he was pretty plain spoken, respectful and his love for america came through loud and clear. as we departed that day, i told him kind of in passing if you're ever in austin, come by and see us. now some people might say that that meeting was just blind chance or a twist of fate. i will tell you it was by the grace of god. he and i kept in touch over the course of the months, through a tour he had in iraq and in his return to texas.
and darned if he didn't just show up on the doorstep at the governor's mansion unannounced, with nowhere else to go. we welcomed him in our home. we helped him get the care that he needed. and today, he's like a second son. now, many of you know the battles he fought in afghanistan, but too few of you know the battles that he and thousands of veterans just like him face when they come home. tonight, our commitment is this. making america great again starts by taking care of our veterans. [ cheers and applause ]
thank you. all right. [ crowd chanting "usa" ] all right. thank you. thank you again for having me back. for those of you i have stood before in the past, it's a pleasure to do so again. for those of you i haven't stood in front of, thank you for the privilege to do that. really, i mean that from the bottom of my heart. [ cheers and applause ] >> i was fortunate enough in life to be born from a patriotic family. taught me to love this country and the people who make her up unconditionally. to die for any woman or fight beside any man for hopes of
achievement. that's the way i was raised and the way i still walk my life. for generations, the men and women in my family have served this country proudly, both at home and abroad. my father served in vietnam. and although he was shamed out of his uniform, it only solidified his resolve to raise his boys, me and my twin brother, to be patriotic and love this country and its people more than we loved ourselves. [ cheers and applause ] >> the past ten years of my navy s.e.a.l. career, first ten was in combat. next part i was traveling around the country. state to state, city to city. town to town. armed only with the memories of your bravest fighters and the story of how hard they fought to protect our way of life. and because i was willing to completely open up my life and
speak about the worst week of it, i was blessed with meeting and see iing one of the greates people america has to offer. and i think it's important to say that we have to make sure that the hell the veterans return from is not the hell they come home to. okay? [ cheers and applause ] that's what was promised and that's what's deserved, period. it also speaks to my generation and how much i love my generation. generation x men. it was wonderful to fight alongside of you. even when our country doesn't take care of our boys, the citizens step up to help the wounded and families of the fallen. so from the bottom of my heart and, literally, please know i end every day on my knees for thanking god for y'all and what you do and how you cut it.
my generation of veterans coming home. [ cheers and applause ] i got a chance -- those of you who know me, i only talk about stuff that i experienced. usually on the worst side of it and the best side of it. i had a chance to actually spend time with mr. trump. i know he understands what it's going to take to fix this. and to -- the only way we're going to keep america safe is have an elite military. all right? [ cheers and applause ] made up of the warriors and prepared by the toughest training that we have to offer, supported by the best equipment and backed up by the nation. every one of us has to step up in some way. we need our leaders to lead by
example. each -- excuse me. they need to lead by example and show the american public that each and every life under the flag should be considered family and treated accordingly. [ cheers and applause ] >> i'm sorry. i'm so used to speaking from the heart when i have to read this, it goes wrong so i'm just going to go. are you ready? [ cheers and applause ] not only do the leaders have to speak up and support us, but the family. we aback them up, too, and we hold them accountable for every position and office that they hold. either way -- [ cheers and applause ] look, either way, the only way we survive this is together, not apart. in order for any life to matter, we all have to matter. you understand? [ cheers and applause ]
to my generation, that was for y'all. to the next generation, this is for you. your war is here. you don't have to go searching for it. your people are afraid. i stand among you, walking. i was allowed to walk with giants, all right? now we're looking for the next generation of giants. who among you will love something more than you love yourself? who among you are going to step up and take the fight to the enemy? because it's here! [ cheers and applause ] i challenge all of you to fight for this country and for each and every one of us. look, the world, outside of our borders, is a dark place, a scary place. america is the light. and her people are the goodness that grows from that.
she'll always be worth fighting for and it was my greatest honor to fight for her every day of my adult life. all right? [ cheers and applause ] and i just wanted to come up here and thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve you for 20 years. and i swear to god i'm going to spend the next 20 paying you back. so, thank you again. god bless! [ cheers and applause ] >> announcer: ladies and gentlemen, please welcome pat smith, mother of shawn smith, who was killed in benghazi in 201
2012. >> my name is patricia smith. my son, shawn, was one of four brave americans killed during the 2012 terrorist attack at benghazi. sean was a wonderful son and father to my two amazing grandchildren, samantha and nathan, now 10 and 11. he was proud to serve his country with the united states foreign service. the last time i talked to sean, the night before the terrorist attack, he told me, mom, i am going to die. all security had been pulled from the embassy, he explained. and when he asked why, he never received a response. nobody listened. nobody seemed to care.
the very next day, he was murdered. by radical islamic terrorists. to this day, i don't even know why a computer guy like sean was sent to benghazi. that night we lost sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. we lost four brave americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they chose to serve and the american people lost the truth. for all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the citizens of the tragedy in benghazi has brought upon america, i blame hillary clinton. [ cheers and applause ]
i blame hillary clinton personally for the death of my son. that's personally. and in an e-mail to her daughter shortly after the attack, hillary clinton blamed it on terrorism, but when i saw hillary clinton -- [ inaudible ] >> she sure is. she lied to me and then called me a liar. [ crowd boos ] >> when i saw hillary clinton at sean's coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible. [ crowd boos ] since then, i have repeatedly asked hillary clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son
is dead. i'm still waiting. whenever i call the state department, no one would speak to me, because they say i am not a member of the immediate family. [ crowd boos ] >> sean is my son. hillary clinton is a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. i -- i am a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. how could she do this to me? [ cheers and applause ] how could she do this to any american family? donald trump is everything
hillary clinton is not. [ cheers and applause ] he is blunt, direct and strong. he speaks his mind and his heart. and when it comes to the threat posed by radical islamic terrorism, he will not hesitate to kill the terrorists who threaten american lives. [ cheers and applause ] he will make america stronger, not weaker. this entire campaign comes down to a single question. if hillary clinton can't give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?
[ cheers and applause ] that's right. hi hillary for prison. she deserves to be in stripes. [ cheers and applause ] >> jake tapper, so far we've heard from willie robertson, rick perry, marcus luttrell and very emotional remarks now from pat smith. i guess a theme is developing right now. >> well, the theme right now is emotion tied in to international security. and you heard this very, very stirring, moving speech from marcus luttrell, awarded the
navy cross after being the lone survivor, nasame name of the bo that he wrote. talking more about the need for elite military and supporting mr. trump just by being here and even more tears. there were people moved to tears after the luttrell speech but even more after patricia smith, who lost her son, sean smith, i.t. consultant, killed in benghazi, talking with anguish and grief. i've interviewed her a few times, patricia smith, and that anguish and grief is obviously very, very real and very, very close to the surface. just one moment just for anybody out there wondering, she referred to hillary clinton lying to her and calling her a liar. that is a reference, just to try to explain for people who haven't been following the benghazi story that closely, a
reference to hillary clinton telling her and other families that the video -- anti-muslim video was to blame, according to some of these accounts, and then at the march debate on cnn, hillary clinton was asked about it and she said i feel a great deal of sympathy for the families of the four brave americans we lost in benghazi and i certainly can't even imagine the grief that she has for losing her son but she's wrong, she's absolutely wrong, she said, specifically referring to patricia smith. >> she is wrong that she never blamed the video in her conversation? >> in her conversation with her. that was hillary clinton, that was the reference. you know, patricia smith has been making these comments about what hillary told her. she's not the only one. other benghazi families have as well. it is, just as a political observer, reporter, analyst, i
never understood why there wasn't more outreach to patricia smith by the state department and more when she started going public and talking about her concerns and talking about her anguish and grief. i don't really have the answer to that. >> she said i blame hillary clinton for the death of my son. >> because it was her -- when i asked her about that on my show, when she came on, i said why? why do you blame her? because it was the state department. it was her department. she was in charge. and there was inadequate security. it is hard to argue that there was adequate security. >> anderson, over to you. >> wolf, jake, thanks very much. here with our panelist, jeffrey lord, republican nontrump supporter s.e. cupp and van jones, democrat. what we've seen so far, is this -- i mean, again, an unconventional convention, certainly started out unconventionally with willie robertson, scott baio, governor perry, who had called donald trump a cancer, i think, on
conservatism and one of the first candidates not only to drop out but to attack donald trump. what do you make of what you heard? marcus luttrell, very powerful speaker. >> i thought it was very, very moving. this was a direct appeal to what used to be called and maybe still is, middle america. the silent majority. donald trump, i think, has even used the phrase invented by richard nixon years ago. it basically means, as i remember, nixon's description to people who pay the taxes, get up and go to work every day, love their country, fight for the country, et cetera. all these people in their own way appeal to exactly that audience. and there's nothing condescending about it. it's a straight out appeal to equals, very touching stories that apply directly to hillary clinton. >> other than governor perry, a practiced politician, it is people who are not politicians, who are speaking. willie robertson speaking pretty plainly, marcus luttrell, a
friend of mine, accomplished speaker, but who speaks from the heart, going off prompter, as we saw there. it's interesting that that's how they chose to start this. >> yes, that's exactly right. these are everyday americans. they are heroes and putting forth a positive vision of what it means to be a american. scott baio, america is about sacrificing, failing and succeeding. we heard from marcus luttrell that people in this country love this country, fight for this country. we love this country because we love ourselves, positive vision being put forth by everyday americans and heroes like marcus luttrell. >> s.e., governor perry didn't mention donald trump at all, unless i somehow missed it. i don't think he mentioned donald trump by name during his whole speech. >> no. i think that would have been uncomfortable for him to do. but whatever you think of the caliber of celebrities on stage tonight, there's no way around it. i thought these were great speeches. they were short. they were emotional. they hit on a consistent theme,
whether rick perry is talking about taking care of our vets, marcus luttrell is talking about service and pat smith giving that emotional account of her son. these were good speeches. these were good speeches for this room and good speeches for american audiences, i think, as well. and where the democrats have accused donald trump of being insufficiently informed, what donald trump is trying to say is that hillary clinton has been insufficiently outraged about all of the foreign policy and domestic policy. catastrophes and everyone on that stage really struck, i think, that tone that there's been insufficient outrage from hillary clinton and the democrats. it was a very good lineup, i thought. >> very powerful. very emotional. and yet in some ways there's broadcasting and there's narrow casting. and as a democrat and as someone who maybe isn't in the strike zone, i felt like it was narrow casted to a particular kind of
person and signaling to a particular kind of person. it didn't feel like it was reaching out to me yet. but i tell you what, when that veteran got up there and spoke from his heart the way he did, the honesty was so refreshing. >> marcus luttrell. >> marcus luttrell. the honesty was so refreshing and so bracing, they continue to do that night after night, it will begin, i think, for those of us who are confused by the trump phenomenon, i think we will begin to get educated with what he was preaching. i felt very uncomfortable with the mother. i thought she was unhealed and i felt that -- i remember when the mothers from -- mother emmanuel, when those people were killed in south carolina and the country applauded them for forgiving so quickly. i worry about exploiting grief. and i feel that, for me, i felt
uncomfortable with her unhealed grief being brought forward in that way and pray she can find some peace and we don't politicize that. >> according to pat smith, she was told on the runway by hillary clinton that the reason that her son was killed was because of a video when, in fact, she said different things in private e-mails. she has a real grievance if that is the case and there is a reason she is upset. >> jake mentioned hillary clinton in a debate said that was not the case. but again that's clearly only those two know exactly what was said. >> michael smerconish, your thoughts on what you heard? >> earlier today they got out of the gate with a stumble. i thought this was well choreographed. i thought this was to the point. i thought this was playing all the hits that appeal to the gop base. as the week progresses, they have to expand the tent. they cannot end the week only focused on the folks who are in this hall. >> we'll take a short break, and bring you more of the speeches coming up. donald trump's big entrance at
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welcome back to the republican national convention. we're waiting to hear from rudy giuliani, former new york city mayor. also donald trump. he will be speaking. he will be introducing his wife, melania trump. that is all coming up right now. dana bash has scott baio, the actor who was the second speaker tonight. dana? >> reporter: thank you, wolf. scott baio, thank you for joining me. we are on. how did this come to be? how did you meet donald trump and how did it come to be that you appeared tonight? >> i was doing judge jeanine pirro's show and mr. trump happened to walk in the building. she knows him. spent a couple of moments with him at the trump bar in trump tower. on thursday, last thursday, i was at a trump event in l.a. and he was finishing his speech and was walking off. and i said, mr. trump, scott baio and he went oh, my god. hey, did you want to speak?
and i thought he meant there. and i went here? he goes, no, at the convention. and i went -- >> just last thursday this happened? >> and i went i, uh -- you've been so good to me and thank you so much. i said mr. trump, whatever you -- come with me. we walked in the house and said this is my girl. she's going to set you up, blah, blah, blah and that was it. >> reporter: did you have any hesitation? >> the only hesitation i had was i was shocked. guys like me don't get to do this kind of stuff often. so, it was just -- came out of left field and i didn't know how to respond. i couldn't tell if he was joking with me. but i was honored. >> reporter: you first endorsed scott walker. why did you choose scott walker at first before donald trump? >> i had seen scott walker prior to mr. trump getting in the race and i saw him at somebody's house. he sounded fantastic. and he was a governor. and it made -- seemed like a good move, common sense for that kind of guy with that kind of
credentials, and what he did in his state of wisconsin was amazing. and then i think after the first debate, when -- you know, come on. this guy, to me, is a guy that's going to fight back. and that's what i liked about him. so i immediately went over to mr. trump. he wasn't taking crap from anybody. and republicans never fight back, ever. and i got so sick of it. and he was fighting back. and that's why i went to him. >> reporter: speaking of fighting, i have to ask you about a tweet you sent out last week. hillary clinton in front of a sign. >> right. >> reporter: that had the words of a -- vulgar words about a female body part. given -- and talking about hillary clinton, given the high profile that you have now, given the discourse that i think republicans are trying to sort of calm down, do you regret that? >> it's just a picture somebody sent and we sent it out. you make of it what you want. i didn't have to put anything behind it.
i just sent it out there, you know. you look at it any way you want. >> you have been doing republican campaigning since -- at least you've been involved. >> since reagan. >> since reagan in 1980. people think of hollywood and for the most part they think of democrats. what made you different? >> dana, i grew up in brooklyn, where all i knew was hard-working people. my dad worked hard his whole life, provided for me, my brother, my sister, my mom and went broke when we were babies. and didn't ask anything from government. dusted himself off. got back up and went back and did it. that's all i saw. i didn't know anything different. so that, to me, is a conservative mentality. and my father was just a straight shooter. and the whole neighborhood i grew up in was a bunch of guys and girls who just had a -- i
think back on it. it was conservative. and then as i started getting older and becoming aware of politics, it was the logical sort of thing. i heard reagan speak. to hear that guy speak was magical. >> reporter: so before i toss back, i have to ask, would joni still love chachi? even though chachi is supporting trump? >> joni ernst loves chachi, more important. >> reporter: all right. thank you. wolf? over at the vip section, what are you seeing, chris? >> we have senator bob dole, who is behind us right now, and donald trump jr., you see represented as a family all over the convention. this is a big night for the trump family. i think that so far the mood has to check every box for the party and for their presumptive nominee. there's been a lot of heavy emotion here tonight. what's happening overseas, what
happened with benghazi, what men and special operators who have been fighting for america overseas have endured, that's what's going on, on the stage right now. that's been a big theme. it's resonating very strongly with this crowd. there is no question. if you had to identify on the opening night what the galvanizing emotion is here, it's concern for america's fighting men and women. and it does suit the theme for tonight of making america safe again. all the anticipation, though, wolf, on a personal level, will be melania trump. what does she have to say? what's the message? how does donald trump come out of the box tonight? the big speech is thursday when he a's officially nominated by the convention. how will he deal with his wife? how much will he talk about hillary clinton? how much politics versus how much personal? my bet from what we're hearing on the ground, wolf, this is going to be a very personal night for donald trump. >> i think you're right by all accounts. good to see senator bob dole
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we are back live at the republican national convention in cleveland. the speakers, the performances, the messages tonight designed to show this is donald trump's party. there is certainly a lot of anticipation to see and hear from donald trump for the first time as he introduces his wife, melania. also want to point out somebody in the audience, former presidential candidate bob dole. senator dole is in the audience. notable because both other republican candidates, former presidential candidate mitt romney, senator john mccain, are not here. neither are george h.w. bush or george w. bush, the two former bush presidents. bob dole, the only republican candidate who is actually here in attendance.
he's sitting next to donald trump's -- one of donald trump's sons. coming up, we will be hearing from another celebrity who is a supporter of donald trump, antonio sabato, jr. we are back with gloria, david, nia, michael. in terms of what we are -- david, you have been to a lot of these conventions. how different is the start of this one? >> it's obviously starting with a big emotional punch. i agree with what everybody said here. they may have been narrow cast but they were effective narrow casting to the republican base. as i said earlier, one of the missions for donald trump is to try and unify the republican base and these speeches are helpful in that regard. the reason he needs to do it is as you point out, bob dole is the only living candidate for republican candidate for president dating back 30 years to appear here and a lot of
republican, leading republicans aren't here. they have decided this was the week to clean their sock drawers because they didn't want to be part of this. >> john kasich, the governor of this state who is hosting this convention, is not here. >> you see it in the numbers. donald trump has work to do. he's about 12 points off of where mitt romney was among republicans and he needs to consolidate the base if he has a chance. >> donald trump's motorcade arriving here at the convention center. donald trump flew in just a short time ago. >> i just think this is a big challenge for him. some of these themes, a lot of these people in the hall may have differences among themselves, they don't like hillary clinton, many of them don't like barack obama, although barack obama's numbers are better than most people in american politics today. not among republicans. so they are hitting themes that will bring republicans together and as michael said, the next mission is to expand out. some of the republicans they
need to reach, you know, college educated professional republicans, maybe less susceptible to some of this messaging than some of the people who have already been for trump. >> the way the campaign has been run thus far is the antithesis of what that autopsy report commissioned by reince priebus after 2012 and mitt romney called for which is specifically encouraging more people to participate by growing the tent. they haven't done that. they better pull out that playbook soon because they will have to take on hillary clinton. >> the alternative theory is there is somehow enough white voters out there to win. >> yeah. >> you're right about that. donald trump is getting 14% in the "wall street journal" poll, 14% hispanic vote, half of what mitt romney got. what mitt romney got set off alarm bells among republicans in a country that's becoming more
diverse. >> he's also doing poorly with white women. melania trump and ivanka trump will try to close that gap. there is also an underlying theme here tonight, too. the idea of what it means to be an american. you have willie robertson say being in america doesn't mean getting stuff for free. scott baio said it's not only making america great again, it's letting america be america again. i think it veers away from what paul ryan wanted this party to be. he actually got this idea from the makers versus the takers, he thought it wasn't very helpful in terms of broadening the party but guess what, this is donald trump's republican party. >> for a lot of people in this room tonight, hearing from, seeing melania trump is certainly something, you hear a lot of people talking about that beyond just the emotion we started out with.
we have been hearing a lot about undocumented immigrants. you will hear from families who had family members killed by illegal immigrants. donald trump to be introducing his wife is, have you ever seen this? >> no. no. you know, as we were saying earlier, mitt romney kind of sat in the box, then came up onstage -- >> thanks for coming. there was the legendary when nancy reagan was talking -- >> but i don't think this is as much about melania as it is about donald trump being on every night of the convention, because he knows that that's going to be a draw. i just want to say one thing about tonight, though. what struck me, i don't know if you guys all agree, but was how very personal it was about hillary clinton. one thing that unites the republican party which donald trump has to do and mitt romney had 92% or 93% of republicans voting for him, what he needs to do is unite the republican party and nothing unites the republican party like hillary clinton.
so when you hear pat smith say she blamed hillary clinton personally for what happened to her son, and you hear her grief, and you hear these veterans talking about benghazi and war, you know, it comes down to a choice. a binary choice that they want viewers to see, which is the one we have before us and i think they're going to keep pounding at that. for those people who have their doubts. >> can i just say this? i don't want to denigrate in any way the great enterprise in which we are involved but at 10:00, all the networks start covering this convention and when i was planning conventions, we really were concerned about the 10:00 to 11:00 hour because that's when you had by far the largest audience. the fact that melania trump is the star of that hour and the
fact that donald trump is introducing her are signs i think of the importance that they attach to this. all of this stuff is being watched by much more likely by voters but it becomes a much larger audience come 10:00. >> we understand melania trump has been working for weeks practicing this, getting ready for tonight. this will be without a doubt not only the largest number of people she has spoken to at any one time but probably the most important speech she has ever given or public statement she has ever given. >> this is a coming out for her in a way. what this does, we went through this with the obama convention -- >> here's antonio sabato, jr. let's listen in. >> i know i'm not your typical convention speaker. you might be wondering why i chose to speak. the truth is that i never considered myself very political or spoken