hello i'm wolf blitzer in 1:00 p.m. in cleveland. where you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we have breaking news this hour, we're learning new details right now about the speech writer responsible for melania trump's convention speech monday night which appears to have lines directly lifted from michelle obama's 2008 speech. this as we are just moments away from republican presidential nominee donald trump's arrival here in cleveland. looking at live pictures right now. he'll be with his running mate governor mike pence of indiana and his family. we'll bring that to you live. stand by for that. also this hour, senator ted cruz, he's set to speak here in cleveland as well any minute now looking at live pictures of
that. we'll monitor that. we'll hear what he has to say. will he endorse donald trump? here to talk about all of that, the controversy what today's reaction mean. maeve reston, a speech writer from the trump organization has come forward, offered her resignation which donald trump has declined to accept. tell us the background. >> so, this obviously has been a huge source of confusion over the last couple of days, how did the passages from michelle obama's 2008 speech show up in melania's speech. the campaign was not offering details. they said they were trying to track it down today just a few minutes ago, someone who has worked with donald trump in the past on some of his books, think like a billionaire, came forward and she said -- took responsibility saying it was an innocent mistake and i want to read you some of that statement from meredith mciver who helped
melania with the speech. she said in working with melania trump on her speech we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the american people. a person she has liked is michelle obama, over the phone she read me some passages from mrs. obama's speech as examples. i wrote them down and later included some of them -- some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. i did not check mrs. obama's speeches, this was my mistake. and i feel terrible frl tor the chaos i have caused the trumps. she offered a resignation, trump rejected it. and she said mr. trump toldmy that people make innocent mistakes and we learn and grow from the experience and apologizes for the confusion. a remarkable statement. this is someone who was worked for the trump organization. the campaign hopes by putting the statement out they can move past the controversy and get people to focus on the message they want them to focus on here
at the doconvention. >> when melania trump over the phone was reading excerpts from the speech michelle obama made was making notes and when she looked at the notes later she didn't recall those were quotes from the current first lady's speech back in 2008. that's why they showed up in this speech monday night. >> what's remarkable about this, in most campaigns, and yes, trump has an unconventional operation you would have enough people vetting the speech they would run the speech through various programs making sure there were no phrases in common with past speeches. that's what interesting is that it shows us there are gaping holes in the trump organization. they are understaffed and clearly need more people helping to avoid these kinds of embarrassments. >> david gregory is with us. ryan lizzo is with us as well. it sounds like it could have been an innocent mistake.
she forgot to mention that these quotes, these actual thoughts came from michelle obama's speech. >> there's two egregious problems. real sloppiness with the candidate's spouse who is your first big speaker on the firstnectomy first night. whoever was working on the speech should have been enough of a pro to make sure melania trump was not in the position. that was not done. it's evidenced the fact the campaign got big before it was ready and didn't do the basic campaigning as well as it should have. two, hypocrisy is a tough thing in politics. every night of his campaign convention is attacking hillary clinton because she lies. for the past two days on cnn, paul manafort who is the campaign strategist has lied to chris cuomo on the air saying there was no plagiarism. it's absurd to suggest it's true. won't acknowledge what is plain to see, which is these were lifted from michelle obama's speech in 2008. that's a credibility gap from a team who says you can't trust
hillary clinton because you can't believe her. >> you accept it simply was inadverte inadvertent. they weren't trying to plagiarize those words. in the communication, the phone call, she wrote it down and subsequently she forgot that these quotes were coming from michelle obama's speech. >> absolutely. her resignation later etter is accurate i agree. this isn't watergate, that's the first thing to say. i think there are three significant issues, the one that david raised is that paul manafort and by the way, sean spicer the communications direct f er for the rnc have been saying this was not plagiarism. the words were similar to michelle obama's speech in 2008 but they did not originate with the speech. that has proven to be untrue and it would be interesting to know if sean and manafort knew that when they were saying that or if they were sort of sent out there to not tell the truth. >> but manafort said yesterday
to chris cuomo saying melania does not believe what she did was plagiarism. they had a conversation. he was involved. >> that's a good important question for manafort and undermines his credibility. >> i'm sure what melania believes it was an inadvertent mistake, a fumble if you will and this woman has come forward and said i feel awful, she's worked for the trump organization for a long time. donald trump says you know people make mistakes i'm not going to accept your resignation. >> you get flunked out of college courses for stuff like this. >> i'm a professor at georgetown university. anytime a student hands in a paper we have software that that paper goes through to find out if there's plagiarism. if there is that student would be expelled. look, she's not a student, she is -- her history is not giving speech, speech writing, i think you can show forgiveness to melania trump. the final thing i would say, though, is, give the trump campaign some credit for the transparency in releasing the
letter and explaining what happened. at the same time, it is now put melania herself at the center of this. they're now telling us that melania is the one that read the speech, gave the excerpts to the speech writer and in effect should have known once the final draft was out that that language in there. >> we're learning about a rather unusual vice presidential offer from the trump camp. that was made to the former rival, the ohio governor john kasich. i want to go to cnn political reporter sarah murray who has got the details. what have you just learned? >> reporter: well, wolf, what we've been learning from several sources close to john kasich there was a phone conversation between donald trump jr. and john weaver in which don sr. said they were interesting on having john kasich on board for vp. this would be a prominent role. he could be in charge of domestic policy and foreign policy. this set off a number of conversations between the two
camps. and ended up with donald trump on the phone actually with john kasich. we're told they did not directly discuss the vp slot there but it was more of a discussion how the how they have different approaches to things. we saw kasich elaborate that in past speeches. that's was sent to paul manafort afterwards. at that point it became clear that john kasich was not interested in this position. it was essentially going to be a non-starter. we know kasich of course has been critical of donald trump. of his campaign. he is not appearing at the convention. this is all coming out at a time when there is a very nasty feud playing out between the trump camp as well as the kasich camp. we saw paul manafort earlier this week saying john kasich is embarrassing his state by not appearing here at the rnc. that has not set well with kasich and allies. that's why you're continuing to see the spat play out publicly. it's a very unusual vp offer and unusual to hear it coming out
now, wolf. >> certainly is. sarah murray, thanks very much. i want to bring back our panel. our cnn political director is also with us. extraordinary bit of information we just learned. >> david and i were sitting in these seats this morning and talking about how much this incident has informed us about how the trump campaign responds to these kinds of things. we saw that they were trying to just steam roll through it. that's been their approach to over controversy. no more what's clear about releasing this, they came to the understanding this was consuming their convention and they want today lance that boil. >> the allegations of plagiarism. >> yes. >> this other issue about john kasich, presumably being offered this opportunity to be the vice presidential running mate? >> oh, well, i'm sorry i thought we were talking -- this to me, is bad blood between the trump and kasich campaigns spilling over into public on the eve of his acceptance speech because both sides still feel burned by the other and they want to let
this stuff out in public. >> what's your reaction to this information about john kasich? >> well -- >> who is not coming here at least not yet to the convention and he's the host governor here in ohio? >> yet you have trump when he accepted the nomination saying to this gathered crowd we're going to win ohio. trump has got to win ohio if he's got a chance of winning the presiden presidency. he's made an enemy of the governor of the state who won the primary here and whose political apparatus could be essential to helping trump if he wanted to use it to those ends. >> absolutely. one, it does seem like slightly strategic leaking on the part of the kasich world and sort of stepping on mike pence's big night. john kasich was in cleveland yesterday. he had an event at the rock and roll hall of fame. he didn't go to trump's convention, i agree with david. this is the critical state for trump. he needs this state. politically if donald trump can't figure out a way to make
friends with the governor of the state he needs to beat hillary clinton. then you just have to question his political sense. i mean, in politics, you know, you make up with people who can politically benefit you. and put the bad blood behind. >> as we know, no problem -- we say this all the time -- has won the presidency without carrying this state of ohio. >> that's true. >> critically important. >> it's more important to donald trump because it's this region of the country that is his path. yes, you are right, no republican has done it without ohio. i don't think donald trump really has a shot at all at the white house. because if he's not converting ohio, he's likely not converting pennsylvania or michigan or wisconsin. because so this is really critical for him. >> the polls show it's relatively close in all these so-called rust belt states. >> that is his best path. >> if he can't do it here how can you believe he can do it in pennsylvania. can i make this other point, if
ultimately you take away from the trump business about the plagiarism and the like or other incidents where he is denied the truth of something, as a response to some of these koerv controversies, maybe you say a lot of the politicians lie. hillary clinton shades the truth. that's what a lot of voters believe. his calling card is to be a truth teller. level with the american people. on a small matter about a couple paragraphs in a speech. voters on television paying attention are getting an insight to how he might handle the scrutiny if he were president of the united states. that's instructive. >> stand by there's a lot more happening here in cleveland at this republican national convention. also coming up, donald trump's family stole the spotlight at the republican convention last night. tonight, his other son, eric will take the stage. what will eric trump say? my one-on-one conversation with eric trump. that's coming up next. ience with usaa is awesome. homeowners insurance life insurance
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donald trump: i could stand in the middle of 5th avenue i'm hillary clinton and i approve this message. and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters, okay? and you can tell them to go f--- themselves! you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever... you gotta see this guy. ahh, i don't know what i said, ahh. "i don't remember." he's going like "i don't remember!"
primary rival, senator ted cruz, he's holding an event here in cleveland as well to thank delegates for their support. he's going to be speaking later this hour. we'll see if he actually endo e endorses donald trump. we'll stand by for that. martin savidge is at the cleveland science where trump is expected to arrive. martin, first of all, tell us about today's events there. who will be there with the new nominee, donald trump, no longer presumptive, he is the nominee? >> reporter: right. and it's going to be a grand entrance, donald trump is going to make not one, but two landings in cleveland in the space of just a matter of a few minutes' time. essentially, his big airport is going to set down at berkeley front airport. it's not cleveland's main airports. it's the small one but it gives you a fabulous view of the city. he boards a helicopter, even though he's 800 yards away from where we are here, and that
helicopter will touch down amidst a real visual fan fare. expected to greet him his running mate mike pence and family members and a small gathering of friends here. we can show you what it looks like, there was a practice run that the trump helicopter made earlier today. again, the candidate was not on board, this is the practice run. but there is the very famous now trump helicopter touching down. clearly the pilot there nailed it. again, the candidate not on board that is a practice run. but we should point out, since that time it appears the winds may have shifted somewhat. and so the landing zone may be changing here, too, just slightly. it just shows you that you have to be fluid, even with donald trump. the cameras are gathered, his supporters are gathered. we're simply watching and waiting. wolf? >> we'll watch and wait together with you, thank you. what are we expecting to hear from senator cruz?
that's coming up fairly soon. will it be a preview of his speech before the convention tonight? how far will he go in actually saying i endorse, i support donald trump? >> reporter: wolf, that certainly is the big question. i have to tell you frankly this event here today right now feels much more like a ted cruz campaign event. i want to show you here they have his former presidential logo spread out on all the signs across the room. and on table settings. this is the logo he used during the campaign. his event right now is to take delegates across the country that supported his campaign. i'll see senator cruz kmcome ou and thank them for the support. the big question will he endorse donald trump. he's not done that so far. aides have been telling us he would not endorse donald trump. i just spoke to his former
campaign manager and asked him if that would happen. he said stay tuned. it seems they're going out of their way to hype the attention of the speech or to not come down definitively one way or the other. he also told me he believes the trump campaign will be pleased by the speech that ted cruz delivered tonight. senator cruz worked on the speech himself, wrote it with the aid of four or five advisors, the team that senator cruz will address will be on forward thinking, positive, mentioning this will be the first speech he'll be unshackled and he could lay out his vision of the world, wolf? >> all right. thanks very much. we'll certainly stay tuned. anxious to hear what he winds up saying. donald trump's children as you know have been front and center at this republican convention. last night, tiffany trump took her turn in the spotlight. only 22 years old. a recent graduate of the university of pennsylvania. she spoke about the personal side of her father that most
people she said don't see. and donald trump jr. delivered a rousing speech that brought the crowd to its feet. tonight, another trump takes to the podium. we're talking about eric trump. i sat down with eric trump earlier today for a one-on-one interview. we spoke this morning and i asked him about the moment last night when his father officially became the republican nominee for president. >> incredibly special day for the family. we've never done anything like this. this isn't what we do. we build hotels. and to walk into the room and feel the love and passion and excitement in the crowds and to stand up there and kind of bring it over the top on behalf of our father it's incredible. we've worked so hard for this moment for the last 12, 13 months. it's amazing to be here. >> did you really think 12, 13 months ago when he went down that escalator you were going to be here accepting the republican presidential nominee? >> if anybody said yes they would be lying. i thought he was going to do well. the people on stage are gifted
people. do i think he was going to make it to top three, top two, sure. the republican nomnaination for man who has never been in politics. he could win the presidency of the united states. he's going to win it. this is going to be studied for years and years and years in college. just the story of this campaign and the twists and turns have been amazing. >> because look, i've covered politics for a long time. no one really anticipated it, maybe he did. maybe a few others, but when he said to you at that time i'm going to run for the republican presidential nomination. did you think that was crazy? did you think it was realistic? >> you're taking a little bit of my speech tonight, i'm not going to dive too -- listen, he's been passionate. all right, you or me as a soon can look in your father's eyes and see frustration build. you look at the $19 trillion. he spends a lot of time talking
about it. how could we have $19 trillion of debt? it's gone up over the obama administration. how could that possibly happen? you look at what's happening to our army, the educational system. american no longer makes anything, we no longer produce anything. we buy, you see the trade deals. the list goes on and on and on. but he's man who doesn't need to be running for the position. he could live a beautiful life in florida, he could be taking it easy. he doesn't need the stress. he's sitting here watching a country that's given him so much go down the tubes. he simply couldn't sit by and let that happen. >> he often over the years speculated maybe i'll run. i never took him all that seriously. you heard your dad speculate for a long time. did you ever think that was a serious considerationing? >> we as family played into that. he has an amazing empire and
business. what was he going to take the thousands of employees and say i'm going to run for the president? when he thought about it four years ago. i don't think he could have run at that point because we were not prepared. we've been in the business for more than ten years. we run the assets. it gives him a break and say i'm going to dedicate my life to winning the race and you take care of the business. it will be in great hands, you've always done a great job. i think this was actually almost the timing of where we were as a family. really, kind of reinforced his decision to hop into the race. >> he says if he's president, he will leave the company and hand over all the responsibility to you, your sister, your brother. >> he has immense trust in us. that's why i'm speaking tonight. that's why i speak before the vp. that's why don spoke last night. he has immense trust in our family. ivanka is introducing him.
we love the man. i've sat across the table from him for the last ten years negotiating deals all over the world. there is no better person to lead the country, negotiate for the country, no person who has more back bone. he would do an amazing job. >> tiffany spoke last night. she was very effective. very different speech from your brother, donald trump jr. you've got a tough act to follow. his speech was well-delivered. it was a very powerful address. what are you going to do tonight? >> i think very much i'll do the same thing. i wrote my speech from the heart. i care about the subject matter, i care about him. i wasn't going to out source it, it's too important and i'm going to speak from the heart. i think i have an amazing speech. i focus on the question of why, why he's doing this. why the country needs a person like him. i think i answered that question very well and give a good inside look into what his life was what his life is going to be. you know, what are the questions
facing the nation, why this whole mission matters to him. here's a man who put $50 million of his own money. he funded his entire primary race for presidencpresidency. you see the scrutiny he takes. he's sacrificed a lot to do what he's doing because he believes in the cause. >> when you see all the criticism that he gets, and you love your dad, and you know your dad. but when you see some of the tv commercials from the hillary clinton campaign, and others, what goes through your mind, especially the negative? the negative accusations? >> we're big boy and girls. you have to be. if you're going to step into possibly being a candidate for the president of the united states you better have thick skin. otherwise just don't run. you're going to be on the firing line. we're on the firing line because we stand next to them. that's the nature of the beast. when i see a man who has a track record of what he has. he's built one of the great real estate empires of the world, so many of the best assets and people are taking cheap shots at him. people who have never done
anything in their lives, never accomplished anything, you know, i kind of roll my eyes, and you know, it is disheartening, a guy like that would be a great leader for the country because he knows how to cut the red tape. he doesn't get bogged down in nonsense. he wouldn't make silly deals for the nation. he can't be bought or sold or bribed. look at what's happening in washington, look at the clinton foundation, here is somebody who made $141 million between 2007 and 2014 all while being secretary of state or the vast majority of that while be secretary of state. you're sitting there saying how can this happen to our nation? you see people using private e-mail servers for our national -- >> you're going to get into that tonight. >> not really. i think it's my point to get into that in my speech. i touch on charity. charity is something that's personal to my heart and i have a big charity and do a lot for the children at st. jude. i believe in that cause are all my heart. i do talk about charity tonight. but you just look at some of the leaders that we have and look at some of the decisions and look at some of the wars we've gotten
into. you look at what's happening in iran, syria, and libya i could go down the list. what are we doing as a country? all by the way, wolf, while having an education system that's ranked 30th in the world. >> is it true that the children, ivanka, you, don you are playing a significant role behind the scenes as his senior advisors? i refer to the issue of mike pence being selected as his vice presidential running mate. >> i hate the word advisor, we're his kids and the people he cares about most. do we have a voice? 100%. i speak to the man five times a day, so does ivanka and don. we have that back and forth. i'm not a politician. i know little about politics on a relative basis. there's better people to advise on certain things. we understand the world. we can give him a unique perspective. we can say things to him that other people wouldn't necessarily say. >> are the three of you on the same page usually? or disagreements? >> the four of us are usually on
the same page. >> you and your brother and sister. >> we are. i think he is as well. i think we see things the same way and i think we react to things for the most part the same way. ivanka don and i, don is one of my best friends in the world. ivanka i'm so close with her h. we have an amazing family. >> the mike pence decision did you push him to go with mike pence? >> he's an amazing guy. newt is an amazing guy and chris is an incredible guy. >> why did you pick mike pence? >> i had dinner with mike last week, right before we announced it with my father and karen his wife. we had an amazing dinner. he's amazingly thoughtful person. he's kind. he is tough. he believes which is really nice. my father picked him i think because the economic record of indiana is flawless. here they have -- a state that has a $2 billion surplus. $2 billion surplus. every single year he was
governor they cut taxes. they have one of the lowest tax rates. more corporation going into indiana than any other state in the country. you go down the list. you know what he did with k-12 education. the vets have the second highest employment in the country. life the things my father has been talking about for the last 13 months. he's done it in the state so well. >> what's been the high point over the past year and the follow up, the low point? >> i think last night may have been the high point. there were two. i think when he won new hampshire. i'll never forget we were sitting in a hotel room. some random hotel. and it was just us as a family. and they came across. you might have been the one who came across, cnn announces donald trump's the winner of new hampshire. and i'll never forget that moment. it was an incredible moment. it was our first win in politics. we kind of all hugged, we embraced. that was amazing. the other one was obviously right after indiana when, you
know, cruz dropped out and kasich dropped out simultaneously. here he was as the presumptive nominee. last night when the three of us were on the floor and we got that count and it was that we got it over 1,237 and don announced he was now the republican nominee for president of the united states. that was the high point. and i guarantee you that the next high point is going to be on november 8th because we're going to win it. i see the movement. i feel that strongly about it. >> and the low point? >> you know, i don't know. there's been a lot of twists and turns. i mean, people have been incredibly tough, people have been very, very unfair. there are so many things i've seen throughout the campaign which was so ridiculous. so hurtful in so many ways and so many things he's had to fight through. you know, i also think maybe iowa was a low point for me personally. we put a lot into the state and it was a state i think we actually won, you remember some of the things that happened the day of the actual thing. and i think that day also taught
us a tremendous amount about politics. it taught us how the game is played. it taught us the things that are going to happen. it was the best thing that happened to us in that it taught us a tremendous amount. at the same time, it was the first little kind of punch to the gut. >> so will you go out on the campaign trail? are we going to see you you and your siblings campaigning? >> i've been to every debate. i care about standing next to the man, if nothing else for emotional support. i care about him, love him. he's a tremendous person. he would be a tremendous leader. i'll fight by his side until november. i believe in him and believe what he'll do for the country is terrific. i believe in the cause and i believe in family. he's been by my side every single day of my life. he supported me in everything i've ever done. i'm going to be on the stage with him and supporting him and going to do that tonight when i deliver the speech. and we'll be there, wolf. >> you know your dad well. a lot of people out there don't know your dad. what single aspect of him do you
know that you want to share with our viewers right now? something about your dad that we may not know. >> i think the kindness. you know, and the fatherly aspect. he has been an amazing father to me. he's been an amazing grandfather to don and ivanka's children. he's a warm and kind person. he's incredibly loyal person. sometimes that doesn't come across in debates because you have to have your guard up. you have to have tremendous backbone. make no mistake about it my father is an incredible fighter. that's what you have to do. this country, we need a fighter. in business you have to fight. if you don't fight in business you get run over in three seconds. in new york real estate you'll get run over. sometimes the persona is being a tough fighter. that's what he is. i think that's what you'll get as president. at the same time, deep down, i mean, he's a charitable person. there is no greater father in the wuorld. you see what tiffany said, don
said what i'm say tonight. you can read right through us if we weren't sincere. >> you've been practicing your speech? you've been rehearsing. reading from a teleprompter and i do it all the time it's not that easy? >> it's different. we have that innate ability to wing it, but it's different. i think it's going to go amazing. i think i have a great product and i care. when you speak from the heart it always somehow works out. you know, that's what you'll see. >> good luck tonight. >> great being with you. >> thanks very much. eric trump speaking with me earlier this morning here in cleveland. the republican convention, we're following the breaks news, a speech writer in the trump campaign offers her resignation after allegations that melania trump's republican national committee speech, at least a couple or three paragraphs chunks of it were plagiarized
from michelle obama. trump used to call him him lying ted. now he's having him speak at the republican convention tonight. standing by, these are live pictures you're getting ready to hear from ted cruz very soon. will he endorse donald trump? will he help unite the party behind the republican presidential nominee? i'll speak live with two prominent republicans about that and more congressman adam kind collins are here at the cnn grill. you do all this research on a perfect car,
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presidential nominee, donald trump here in cleveland. trump will be joined in today's kickoff events scheduled to begin very soon by his family and by his running mate, mike pence. who will be speaking during night three of the republican convention, later tonight. also, i want to reset our top story this hour. we now have heard from a staff writer in the trump organization who says she wrote melania trump's speech and admits that some parts came from michelle obama's 2008 convention speech. she said it was an inadvertent area. meredith mciver apologized for the mistake and offered her resignation and donald trump refused to accept it saying people make mistakes. phil mattingly is joining us, he's at the arena. what more can you tell us about this speech writer, her apology, and what happened? >> well, wolf, you make an interesting point up top. she is not a campaign official.
she's not a campaign advisor. she is a trump organization in house staffer. i was e-mailing back and forth the trump advisor said she's well-regarded inside the trump family. she offered her resignation, donald trump rejected the offer. she's been with the family for a while. as to the apology itself, she made clear, what happened according to her, was she was on the phone with melania trump, they were jotting down things from people she was influenced by. michelle obama being one of them. she jotted down a few lines from the 2008 democratic national convention speech. that is how it ended up in the final speech. she included it. that is her explanation. the big issue here is, over the course of the last 24 hours, the trump campaign publicly has pushed back very hard on any indication that this was plagiarism despite what everybody's been reporting instead. all of those comments now look wrong. because of this staffer now acknowledging this is the first trump campaign apology. admitting wrong doing. they're trying to move on it day
three of the convention, wolf. >> all right. phil mattingly thanks for that update. the calls for republicans to unite are growing louder and louder here in cleveland. now that donald trump is officially the nominee of the republican party for president. the house speaker paul ryan was lukewarm in his initial reaction to trump as all of you remember. at the convention last night, he said it's time for the republican party to come together. >> what do you say that we unify this party at this crucial moment when unity is everything? let's take our fight to our opponents with better ideas. let's get on the offensive and stay there. let's compete in every part of america and turn out at the polls like every last vote matters because it will. fellow republicans, what we have begun here, let's see this thing through. let's win this thing. let's show america our best and nothing less. >> joining us now, representative adam kinzinger of
illinois and representative chris collins of new york. you were the first member of the house to endorse donald trump. you have not endorsed donald trump at least not yet. you heard what the speaker said are you ready to join the speaker and say you're going to support -- >> look i intend to support donald trump, the republican nominee. i want to hear how the speech goes tomorrow. there's a few republicans that have some concerns when it comes to areas of foreign policy and stuff. and, you know, donald trump has had a good week and a unifying week for the party. he'll have an opportunity tomorrow to address some of those things, mike pence will tonight. the pick of mike pence has been positive for donald all and all. >> there are some republicans who are not coming to cleveland, including the republican governor of ohio, john kasich. he's not even here. interesting that the democratic mayor of cleveland showed up to welcome the delegates but the republican governor of ohio, he's boycotted the convention. >> i can't speak for the
governor. what i will tell you is the party is uniting solidly behind donald trump. i think as we leave this convention, we'll have over 90% of republicans there. hillary is the great uniting of our party. never hillary, supreme court, first, second, tenth amendment. there are so many critical issues. the country could not survive four years, let alone eight years of a hillary clinton presidency. she's uniting our party. there's nothing wrong with disagreeing on certain issues with anyone and everyone whether it's your wife or your kids or your best friend. hillary clinton is uniting the party, you're hearing the speeches. they're going after her. as we should. and so i'm comfortable. this is a great unifying convention. >> congressman kinzinger what your reaction to a speech writer for the trump organization shat she copied a few lines from michelle obama's 2008 speech and it wound up in melania's speech? >> i'll take her word for it.
i think it was glaring mistake i would think it would have to be a legitimate mistake versus an intentional copy. i am concerned with the continuing double down of we did nothing wrong, and okay yeah, somebody did something wrong. i think people ought to be given leverage for this. i think the campaign should have been clear at this was not intentional. al tonight is going to be a good night for the party. we're going to stress the importance not just talking about the presidency but holding the house, holding the senate and insuring we have good republicans in office >> what was your reaction to the whole melania trump speech issue? >> right now it says a lot about donald trump's character he's keeping the speech writer on. did not run her over with a bus. there is no one more loyal than donald trump. we saw that again, i think america would like all of us to be magnanimous and forgiving and he was. it was truly a mistake. an honest mistake by her. and i think it is time to move on. but i think it says a lot
positive about donald trump's character. >> you're an iraq war veteran. what specifically would you like donald trump to say in his speech tomorrow night that would reassure you that he's your man for the presidency? >> i've got a lot of details. i don't expect that to come -- i think things like american strength and engagement in the world is important. not militarily everywhere but understanding we have a purpose in being engaged. pushing back against the russians. i've been concerned with the rhetoric about russia which i think has been devastating to europe and europe's security. maybe talking a little more about isis and frankly the need to destroy them. but then long term how you'll win the fight. this is a generational fight as much as i hate to say it. it's winning a war of ideas. >> thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> we'll see you tonight, we'll see you tomorrow at the convention. ad still to come, there is one person who seems to be unifying
onagain we're standing by dru donald trump getting ready to arrive in cleveland. ted cruz is on the right side of your screen getting ready to speak. we're going to monitor that and see whether he will go ahead and endorse donald trump. one theme at the republican convention last night, was jobs, many of the speakers took the opportunity to go after hillary
clinton including the national rifle associate. chief lobbyist chris cox who says if elected hillary clinton will abolish the second amendment second amendment to the constitution. listen to this. >> in case you're wondering where hillary clinton stands, she said, "the supreme court is wrong on the second amendment." it's that simple. a hillary clinton supreme court means your right to own a firearm is gone. >> cnn last night fact-check chris cox's claims and on a recording leaked last year, hillary clinton did say the supreme court got it wrong on the second amendment. kwln w clinton was referring a 200078 case which struck down washington, d.c.'s ban on handguns and overturned a requirement that guns be kept either unloaded or bound by a trigger lock. hillary clinton explained the comment saying she worried the decision would allow future gun safety measures to be
overturned. however, hillary clinton has never called for the establishment -- for the abolishment, i should say, of the second amendment. therefore, cnn rules chris cox's claims as false. with us now to discuss this, chris cox. you want to react to that? she said she supports the second amendment, she believes people should be able to buy guns but there should be restrictions on the purchase of guns. >> sure. this fits very neatly into hillary clinton's pattern of lying to the american people. on issue after issue after issue. in a moment of honesty, and you mentioned it -- she said that the supreme court was wrong on the second amendment. it is important for your viewers to know all the supreme court said was that you have the right to keep a gun in your home to defend your family and hillary clinton says it was wrong. we know justice ginsburg, both before and after justice scalia's death has said she looks forward in the future overturning that decision. if you don't have the right to keep a gun in your home to defend your family, have you no right at all.
hillary clinton can say whatever she wants but we're not going to let her get away with it regardless of what your fact checks say. >> she wants restrictions on gun purchases, background checks. a recent cnn/orc poll, among republicans, agree that 91% favor universal background checks, 88% believe certain people like those who have committed felonies or suffer from mental health issues should be prevented from going out there and buying guns. >> sure. and if hillary clinton wants to have a conversation about keeping guns away from hands of people with mental health problems, violent criminals, she needs to pick up the phone and call president obama and tell him to tell the justice department to start prosecuting criminals in chicago, to start prosecuting criminals across this country to encourage the states to put mental health record into the system so they can be denied. those are things that the national rifle association's been working on and calling for for decades. but it's hillary clinton and chuck schumer and barack obama who would rather play politics with the issue than get
something done. >> chris, stand by for a moment because ted cruz is now speaking. i want to listen in briefly to see if in fact he goes and endorses donald trump. >> we want ted! we want ted! we love ted! we love ted! we love ted! we love ted! we love ted! >> you know with be this afternoon, this afternoon is really for one very simple purpose, and it is to say thank you to each and everyone of you. thank you from the very, very bottom of our hearts. [ applause ] more than anything else, heidi and i are filled with extraordinary gratitude and thankfulness. together, the men and women here, we have been part of an amazing journey. and it has been the privilege of
our lifetimes to stand with each and everyone of you fighting for our country. the men and women gathered here today, you are patriots. you love this country. you love our constitution. you love our freedom. you love our children. and you believe in tomorrow. and this campaign i believe was about a lot more than one campaign, or one candidate. this was a movement all across this country. you know, i'm reminded over and over again of the inspiration we received -- some people would ask on the campaign, do you guys
get tired? do you get beaten down by all the nonsense? and the answer i would give over and over again is, no. i am inspired, and i'm inspired by each and everyone of you. [ cheers and applause ] i was inspired by two little children in california, 4-year-old and 6-year-old, who when we were out there, they gave me an envelope filled with change. they had held a lemonade stand the weekend before. they said we want to give everything we made at that lemonade stand to the campaign because this is the future of our country. i'm inspired by a gentleman in north carolina who sent an e-mail to our campaign. he said, i'm retired. my wife and i, we're on social security. he said every month we send $200 to the campaign. he said a couple of weeks ago, my wife fell and broke her hip
and just had to have surgery, and we can't send our $200 this month. i just wanted to e-mail and say i'm sorry we don't have the money this month but we're with you. you know, i'm inspired by a woman in indiana, when heidi was in this -- >> we're going to continue to monitor ted cruz. he's speaking right now here in cleveland. we'll see how far he goes in saying whether or not he will endorse donald trump. chris cox is still with us. very quickly, donald trump, as you well know, after the orlando nightclub shooting, he tweeted this on june 15th -- i will be meeting with the nra who has endorsed me about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list or no-fly list to buy guns. has he met with the nra? ? i know you weren't happy with that tweet. >> we were fine with that tweet because the truth is donald trump's position is the same as the national rifle association. we do not want terrorists to have access to firearms legally or illegally. what we've asked for is when the
government keeps a secret list, that there be due process protection for law abiding americans who have put -- >> have you met with trump? >> we've had multiple conversations with the campaign and those conversations with continue. >> with the campaign but not directly -- >> i've had conversations with mr. trump as well. again there is no difference between mr. trump's position and nra's position. >> you guys are exactly on the same page. >> we are on the same page. >> stand by for a moment. a democratic congressman from california is over with as well. vice president? is that in the cards or not happening? >> it's somewhere in the cards. >> for you. talking about for you. you were vetted, right? >> secretary's looking at a number of people. i know she's reducing the list. >> you were on that list. >> i know that they were looking at a lot of people. >> you can shay it. >> i can say it but i don't know how far things have gone. >> but presumably friday and saturday she'll be making an announcement. >> i think so. >> you haven't been told officially who it is? >> i want me to whisper it in your ear? no. again, that's --
>> so a lot of people are wondering, you're a democratic congressman, you are a top-notch democratic leader in the house of representatives. you're here in enemy territory in cleveland at the republican convention. tell us how you got leer and why you're here. >> i took a plane. i did it the way most americans do. it is a great city. people have been great. i hope that republicans have a good convention because we need to have active parties that are really trying to show america what's the best part of us and we have to come out with a winner. i hope they do well. i've not been completely pleased with what i've heard in the last few days. >> when you heard the crowd screaming out during chris christie's speech last night -- lock her up, lock her up, talking about hillary clinton. >> that disturbs me when anyone yells that kind of thing about someone who could be the next president of the united states. i don't mind locking someone up who's committed a crime, who has been adjudicated and found guilty. but there's no evidence that secretary clinton deserves to have people saying "lock her up." i think it is unfortunate. i don't believe it is america.
it may be this convention but i don't think it is america. >> how far do you think the democrats will go in philadelphia next week? there are going to be some tough, tough words about donald trump. >> we'll prosecute based on the facts. we don't have to turn to anyone other than donald trump and his words to prosecute those facts. i think they'll try to do it in a way that shows we understand that it is still a campaign and donald trump or hillary clinton will probably be the next president and we want to respect whoever will become the next president. even though donald trump has said some things that i find very offensive, in fact racist, i think it is still important to respect the system, respect the process, because we want everyone -- not just in america but around the world to respect our president. >> what do you think of the first two nights of this convention? >> as i said, i think it's been lacking. i hear a lot of talk about uniting but all the previous republican presidents and all the previous republican nominees for president, except bob dole, are skipping. >> do you accept the explanation for how michelle obama's words got into melania trump's speech?
>> plagiarism is plagiarism. i'm glad they admitted it, get it off the table. >> inadvertent error. >> plagiarism is plagiarism. but you make a mistake, admit it. >> thanks very much. that's it for me. i'm back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." the news continues next right here on cnn. here we go, top of the hour. live in cleveland, ohio. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. we have definitely an exciting hour ahead of you. we are talking planes, helicopters, donald trump, mike pence, you name it. day three, rnc. breaking news here though. we are learning that the writer who wrote melania trump's sp