tv NBC News 2016 Republican Convention NBC July 18, 2016 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
tonight an nbc news exclusive. the first interview with donald and melania trump. matt lauer boarded their plane just moments after they touched down in cleveland for a big night. her headlining speech at the republican national convention where things have already erupted into chaos, pandemonium on the convention floor as delegates tried to stop donald trump. and my exclusive conversation with a man who is not here, ohio's republican governor john kasich responds after trump's campaign manager accuses him of embarrassing his state. our prime time coverage from cleveland begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news. live
the republican national convention. here's lester holt. >> good evening, everyone, from cleveland, ohio, where the excitement is building on the floor, as this crowd awaits the woman who could be the next first lady of the united states, melania trump. it's been a wild day inside the arena. with us for all of it, chuck todd and savannah guthrie. we're between texas and colorado. we thought there would be fireworks. the stop trump movement, maybe its last gasp. >> it was, and it was loud. they tried to get a full-fledged roll call, trying to see what they could do. but trump and the rnc gavelled their way out of it. some delegates tonight who were not part of the never trump
how the trump campaign and the rnc treated these folks. this could become a problem later in the week, just for how they treated the detractors. >> i think of a political convention as an outreach for the party, to reach people that may not have been paying attention. but savannah, the tone we've heard here over the last couple of hours is more akin to a rally speaking to the believers. >> so far we've heard a lot of red meat, speaking to the part's base. that's part of what the convention is about. but it's also about the audience sitting at home, and it's the mission of the candidate to then expand out that mission to the general electorate. it's early in the convention. we'll see if they can do it. by the way, donald trump breaking with tradition tonight, going to be on this stage to introduce his wife melania. usually we don't see them until the last night of the convention. >> we expect to see him very quickly. stay with me, guys. we want to take you to the tarmac earlier this evening when our
trump plane moments after the trumps touched down here in cleveland. an exclusive conversation with donald and melania trump ahead of her big speech. here is some of the conversation. >> you guys have flown in this plane all across the country for the last year or so. did this flight feel different? was there a different energy on the plane? >> a little bit. there's a lot of energy right next to us, right in that hall. there's a lot of energy going on. >> is it surreal to finally be here? we've talked about this week for so long, mr. trump. is it surreal to be here? >> i think it's just a great feeling. it's a great accomplishment. but the real accomplishment, and you know what it is, make america great again. that's what i'm doing it for. that's why i'm doing it. it's a lot of work. it's a lot of activity. but i will say, you see that hall, you see the kind of enthusiasm they have. they want to see something happen. it's make america great and safe again, matt. >> one part of the campaign ends in that hall tonight, another part begins. your wife is going to get to speak to the delegates about you.
speech with you? did you practice it on the plane? >> i read once over it, that's all, because i wrote it, and with a little help. >> are you nervous? it would be okay to be nervous. >> no. i'm excited. it's an exciting night. >> what do you want to tell the delegates, mrs. trump, about your husband that they haven't learned in the last year? >> he's amazing. >> she's learned a lot from you. that was really good. >> he's an amazing guy. and he really wants to bring america to the next level. >> matt is going to have much more with donald and melania trump tomorrow morning on "today." we expect to see her maybe in about ten minutes, they're running about ten minutes late. rudy guiliani, former new york mayor, is right now speaking to the crowd. as i look at the numbers, that puts him about ten minutes or so behind. >> i don't think 's
i think they want rudy in this 10:00 hour. >> guiliani got himself in the 10:00 hour one way or the other. we have hallie jackson, andrea mitchell, and peter alexander. hallie, who have you been talking to tonight? >> hi there, savannah. we're leaving one of the areas near the convention stairs because a protest just erupted outside, we're actually being told to move here. what you saw was donald trump's convention, night one, interrupted, like so many of his rallies, by a protester, this particular one from code pink. we'll show you the vip box, governor pence off to the side, seated next to senator dole, as the trump campaign and others here try to show a unified fronted. the family is here too, tiffany trump, along with donald trump jr. and tonight i spoke with donald trump jr. just moments ago as he was walking out of the vip booth where we finally got back down to now. he said he was unconcerned about the
floor today, calling it more of a media creation than anything else. he said he was looking forward to melania's speech tonight and his own speech tomorrow. >> you just saw the vp nominee, mike pence, chatting with bob dole, one of the imminence grises of the party. what was the shouting match on the floor all about? do you think this is something that will come back later in the week? >> i think that potential exists. we're here in ohio. as rudy guiliani brings the crowd to its feet, no republicans have won the white house without winning this state. its home state governor, john kasich, basically taking a series of insults from the campaign manager for donald trump and from donald trump himself, saying in effect, his campaign manager did, that it's an embarrassment what he's
the past they were right there at the 50-yard line. this time around they've been exiled to left field. back to you. >> rudy guiliani, a guy who has not necessarily been on the same page with jump, seems to be firing up the crowd. let's see what he's saying. >> it's time to make america safe again. it's time to make america one again. one america. what happened to there's no black america, there's no white america there is just america? what happened to it? where did it go? how has it flown away?
i know, i know we can change it, because i did it by changing new york city from the crime capital of america to the safest large city in the united states. [ cheers and applause ] what i did for new york, donald trump will do for america. [ cheers ] i have known donald trump for almost 30 years. and he has created and accomplished great things. in my city and all over the world. but beyond that,
is a man with a big heart. every time new york suffered a tragedy, donald trump was there to help. [ applause ] he's not going to like my telling you this, but he did it anonymously. when police officers were shot, when firefighters were hurt, when people were in trouble, he came forward and he helped and he asked not to be mentioned. well, i am going to break my promise to him. i am going to mention it. this is a man with a big heart who loves people, all people, from the top to the bottom. from the middle to the side. [ applause ] i am telling you this because i am sick and tired of the defamation of donald trump by the media and by the clinton
it. this is a good man. [ cheers ] and america should be sick and tired of their vicious, nasty campaign. you deserve to know this about your next president. he's been a great father. father-in-law, grandfather, and friend to me, my wife judi judith, and my family for now almost 30 years. i know him personally. and this is a very good and decent man. and he will be a great president. >> decent pro-trump speech of the night. >> rudy guiliani, former mayor of new york, really playing to the theme, which is make america safe again. i think the line there was, donald trump will do for the united states what i did for new york city. >> we're also for the first time really hearing a testimonial
he just said this is a person i know, i've known him a long time, he has a big part. >> an endorsement. >> it's something that has been missing. it struck me, oh, wow, there had been no trump testimonials. rick perry, former governor of texas, never uttered his name. >> and it's firing up the crowd. >> andrea mitchell has her spot at the podium right near where the speakers step off after they've given their speeches. andrea, we would be remiss if we didn't say who is not in this convention hall. a lot of establishment figures, a lot of the graybeards of the republican party, not here. >> the only former republican nominee who is here tonight is bob dole. i talked to him extensively about that today. he said that while he supported jeb bush, that he thinks both jeb and george w. bush, the former president, should have been here out of ec
has been good to them. he said he has not missed a republican convention since 1964, and that in fact donald trump, whom he doubted could do this, has now proved that he's beginning to moderate his rhetoric, and can be a credible commander in chief, better, he says, than hillary clinton. by the way, rudy juliguiliani is right on the theme of the night now, which is law and order and national security. and i covered him when he was briefly running for the senate. he is a tough law and order advocate. and that's, we're told, what we're going to hear from donald trump thursday night, a speech echoing richard nixon in 1968. savannah? >> andrea, thank you so much. >> we're still waiting for melania trump to be introduced by donald trump in a short time. it's go back to rudy julia
have this crowd eating out of his hand. >> our enemy sees us as weak and vulnerable. donald trump has said the first step in defeating our enemies is to identify them properly and see the connections between them so we can find them and catch them, to defeat islamic extremist terrorists we must put them on defense. if they are at war against us, which they have declared, we must committee ourselves to unconditional victory against them. [ cheers ] this includes undoing one of the worst deals america ever made, obama's nuclear agreement with iran. that will eventually --
-- that will eventually let them become a nuclear power and that is putting billions of dollars back into a country that's the world's largest supporter of terrori terrorism. we are actually giving them the money that are funding terrorists and killing our allies. we are giving them the money. are we crazy? donald trump will make sure that any agreement with iran meets the original goals of the u.n. and our allies. a non-nuclear iran. [ applause ] donald trump is a leader. he will reassert america's position as the nation with the best values to lead the world. it was hil c
overthrow of qaddafi and libya. now libya has in chaos. hillary clinton is accountable for this and much more. her dereliction of duty and failure to keep her people safe played a major role, as you heard tonight, in the horrific islamic terrorist murders on september 11th and 12th, 2012, in benghazi, which claimed the lives of four brave americans. ambassador j. christopher stevens, sean christopher smith, amay they rest in peace. and clinton and the obama administration for political
lied about the purpose of the attacks, including hillary clinton lying directly to the families of the people who were killed, right to their face. [ audience booing ] hillary clinton's answer to congress about the death of these four brave americans, because of her gross failures as secretary of state, was, quote, what difference at this point does it make? [ audience booing ] what difference does it make? watch the video yourself and see the arrogant disregard for american lives lost unnecessarily because of her. and then make up your own mind. anyone who -- >> usa! usa! usa!
>> it means we're getting to them. it means we're getting to them. it means we're getting to them. anyone who can say that it makes no difference how or why people serving america are killed should not be entrusted with the awesome responsibility to protect them and us and should not be allowed to be our commander in chief. [ applause ] who would trust hillary clinton to protect them? i wouldn't. would you? >> no! >> donald trump will change all of that and more.
following. you know donald trump will secure our borders. his opponent has had her chance to do this and she has failed. hillary clinton is for open borders. [ audience booing ] she is in favor of even taking syrian refugees even though the islamic state has told us they're going to put their operatives in with the syrian refugees, operatives who are terrorists, who are going to come to western europe and come here and kill us. they've told us that. and she still wants to take in those syrians. we can't afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. [ applause ] hillary clinton's experience is the basi
campaign. hillary clinton's experience is exactly the reason she should not be president of the united states. [ applause ] there's no next election. this is it. there's no more time for us left to revive our great country. no more time to repeat our mistakes of the clinton/obama years. >> rudy guiliani, a former new york mayor with a point by point takedown now of hillary clinton after a strong endorsement of donald trump. we are awaiting to see donald trump very shortly. he will be introducing his wife melania trump. in the meantime we're joined on our panel. nicole wallace, nbc news political analyst is with us, and former speaker of the house
to have you. >> great to be here. >> things didn't turn out exactly as you were hoping for. >> oh, i think i'm very satisfied with mike pence. i think trump and i spent two and a half hours discussing it last thursday. i think given where he's at, he doesn't need, as i put it at the time, a second pirate on the ship. he needed somebody to balance it and to give him access to the republican regulation and the people who were worried about him. i think pence will be a very effective ambassador. >> we saw the first signs of -- >> i'm not picking you up at all, by the way. >> can you hear me now? >> oops. now we lost your mike. >> we should note we're all in these tricky get-ups here. >> we're not used to being britney spears here. hey, nicole, since your mike is on, what do you make of the tone so far? >>
the whole night is really underscoring the anxiety. this is sort of anxiety night, big it into focus. i think conventions are a four-piece story. tonight's installment is about fear, about everything that donald trump thinks he can win by simply being stronger than his predecessor and his opponent. >> we heard from those who were contractors in benghazi, we heard the families of those who were killed by undocumented workers, very somber. >> very grim. i mean, this is the kind of night you leave needing a stiff drink. this is donald trump's cor core message. i'm sorry, the soundtrack. >> this song may only mean one thing. >> there he is. [ cheers ] >> this is a
for sure. >> very rock-star-like. >> yes. >> wow. >> oh, my. we've never seen this before. >> i thought bill clinton's walk in 2000 was the rock star entrance. this one may top it. >> i'm not picking up anything. >> thank you. we love you. thank you very much. oh, we're going to win. we're going to win so big. thank you very much. thank you. [ cheers ] thank you very much. thank you.
big. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. we're going to win so big. thank you. ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to present the next first lady of the united states, my wife, an amazing mother, an incredible woman, melania trump. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ cheers ] >> thank you.
you have all been very kind to donald and me, to our young son barron and our whole family. it's a very nice welcome, and we are excited to be with you at this historic convention. [ applause ] i am so proud of your choice for president of the united states, my husband, donald j. trump. [ cheers ] and i can assure you, he's moved by this great honor. the 2016 republican primaries were fierce and started with many candidates, 17 to be exact. and i know that donald agrees with me when i mention how
all of them are. they deserve the respect and gratitude from all of us. [ applause ] however, when it comes to my husband, i will say that i'm definitely biased, and for a good reason. i have been with donald for 18 years, and i have been aware of his love for this country since we first met. everyone had a hidden agenda when it comes to his patriotism, because like me, he loves this country very much. [ applause ] i was born in slovenia, a small, beautiful, and then-communist country in central europe. my sister, an incredible woman and a friend, and i were
parents. my elegant and hard working mother introduced me to fashion and beauty. my father installed in my a passion for business and travel. their integrity, compassion, and intelligence reflects to this day on me. and for my love of family and america. [ applause ] from a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your work is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. they thought and showed me values and more in their daily life. that is the lesson that i continue to pass along to our
those lessons on to the many generations to follow, because -- [ applause ] because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievement is the strength of your drms and your willingness to work for them. [ cheers ] i am fortunate for my heritage but also for where it brought me today. i traveled the world while working hard in the incredible world of fashion. after working in milan and paris, i arrived in new york city 20 years ago, and i saw both the joys and hardships of daily life. on july
become citizen of the united states. [ cheers ] the greatest feeling on planet earth. [ cheers ] i cannot or will not take the freedoms this country offers for granted. but these freedoms have come with a price so many times. the sacrifices made by our veterans are reminders to us of this. i would like to take a moment to recognize an amazing veteran, the great senator bob dole. [ cheers ] [ applause ]
and let us thank all of our veterans in the arena today and those across our great country. [ applause ] we are all truly blessed to be here. that will never change. i can tell you with certainty that my husband has been concerned about our country for as long as i have known him. with all of my heart, i know that he will make a great and lasting difference. donald has a great and deep determination and a never-give-up attitude.
[000:29:58;00] project done or even started, and he does not give up. [ applause ] if you want someone to fight for you and your country, i can assure you, he's the guy. he will never, ever give up. and most importantly, he will never, ever let you down. [ applause ] donald is and always has been an amazing leader. now he will go to work for you. [ applause ] his achievements speak for themselves. and his performance throughout the primary
campaign proved that he knows remain focused on improving our country, on keeping it safe and secure. [ applause ] he's tough when he has to be, but he's also kind and fair and caring. this kindness is not always noted. but it is there for all to see. that is one reason i fell in love with him to begin with. [ applause ] donald is intensely loyal to family, friends, employees, countries. he has the utmost want for his parents, mary and fred, to his sisters, mary and elizabeth, to his brother robert, and
the memory o his children have been mentor mentored. they are an amazing testament to who he is as a man and as a father. [ cheers ] there is a great deal of love in the trump family. that is our bond and that is our strength. yes, donald seems big, which is especially important when considering the presidency of the united states. no room for small thinking. no room for small resolve. donald gets things done. [ applause ] our country is underperforming and needs new leadership. leadership is also what the world needs. donald wants our country to move
forward in the most everyone wants change. donald is the only one that can deliver it. we should not be satisfied with stagnation. donald wants prosperity for all americans. [ applause ] we need new programs to help the poor and opportunities to challenge the young. there has to be a path for growth. only then will our problems resolve. my husband's experience exemplifies growth and successful passage the opportunities to the next generation. his success indicates inclusion rather than division. my husband offers a new direction, welcoming change,
prosperity, and greater coopeon nations. donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people. [ cheers ] that includes christians and jews and muslims. it includes hispanics and african-americans and asians. and the poor and the middle class. [ cheers ] throughout his career, donald has successfully worked with people of many faiths and with many nations. like no one else, i have seen the talent, the energy, the resourceful mind, and the simple goodness of the heart that god
gave to donald trump. now is the time to use before for purposes far greater than ever. and he will do this better than anyone else can. and it won't even be close. [ applause ] everything depends on it for our cause and for our country. people are counting on him. all the millions of you who have touched us so much with your kindness and your confidence, you have turned this unlikely campaign into a movement that is still gaining in strength and number. [ applause ] the primary season is behind us. let's all come
together in a nationa other. [ cheers ] the race will be hard-fought all the way to november. there will be good times and hard times and unexpected turns. it would not be a trump contest without excitement and drama. [ applause ] but throughout it all, my husband will remain focused on only one thing, this beautiful country that he loves so much. [ applause ] if i'm honored to serve as first lady, i will use that wonderful privilege to try to help people in our country who need it the most. one of the many causes
dear to my heart is help women. you judge society by how it treats its citizens. we must do our best to ensure that every child can live in comfort and security with the best possible education. [ applause ] as the citizens of this great nation, it is kindness, love, and compassion for each other that will bring us together and keep us together. [ applause ] these are the values donald and i will bring to the white house. my husband is ready to lead this great nation. he's ready to fight
reemerging to greet his wife, giving her the thumbs up. [ cheers ] ♪ >> i know chuck todd is in disbelieve that trump is not going to speak. >> he couldn't leave the stage, though. he took the curtain call. >> she delivered the line, it would not be a trump contest without excitement and drama, the understatement of the year. >> i think if the mission was to look like a possible first lady, i think most viewers would say she did it. >> newt gingrich is back with us, former speaker. you can hear me now. >> i think i can hear you now. >> it struck me that the applause was warm, tepid at times. i don't think this
crowd knows melania they've done a very good job of keeping her under wraps. ivanka has done much more speaking than she has. we now know what to measure bill clinton's speech against next week. the two first spouses, we'll see how they do. the other was that anybody who thinks that trump is anti-immigrant per se just had vivid proof that in fact he's very much in favor of legal immigrants, and he just brought one to the stage, who i think knocked it out of the park. very hard not to think of this as a hugely successful speech. >> nicole? >> i think she was spectacular. the difference between a spouse and a candidate, i remember watching michelle obama deliver her speech in 2008, and no matter what your politics are, you always root for the family. they didn't choose this life. hear here to support the people they love. >> at times when he
was getting beat up over how women viewed him, why wasn't she [000:40:58;00] speech? >> i think you may see more of her now. that was a home run, a very effective speech. she's got the poise and the eloquence to be an effective messenger. and the election hinges on his ability to win over married women. i would be surprised if you didn't see more of her. >> i thought it was very well-done to have her do the bob dole moment, it also lifted her as well. it was all done well. >> we're going to take a break. we'll be back from cleveland. tom brokaw will join us. see you in a minute. i'm in vests and as a vested investor in vests, i invest with e*trade, where investors can investigate and invest in vests... or not in vests.
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you're a better you all day. tylenol®. cleveland, on the first night of the republican national convention, with chuck todd and savannah guthrie. we're joined now by tom brokaw, tom, good to see you. the theme tonight is keep america safe. we heard a lot of speakers before we came on prime time talking on issues of national security, benghazi. how important is that in terms of how people glom onto donald trump and his candidacy? >> a couple of things that are quite obvious. first of all, a lot of establishment republicans have been waiting for him to pivot, so to speak, change his style, change his message. it's clear that donald trump is going to stay where he has been successful. he met with a group of republican senate leaders recently. they got around to issues. and he said, wait a minute, people show up because i put on a show. and what we're seeing here tonight is an extension of what he did during the campaign so successfully. now, have the rules changed so profoundly? will this work going into the campaign as
well? that we don't know yet. buto he knows what works for him and how he can be successful with it. the fact of the matter is, however, as you look at this audience and as you look at the message, even with mrs. trump saying what she said, it's a pretty divisive message. there was no attempt to really pull the country together, it's pitting one against the other, which worked so successfully for him. all the pollsters say they talk to groups, and they talk about some of the outrageous things he's said and the way he's challenged people even in his own party. they don't care, they like him for who he is, taking on the convention way we do business. can that extend once they leave cleveland? i think there's a very big question, when you look at the two pages of republican office holders across this country who are not here tonight, including the governor
of ohio who you talked to earlier today who won't have anything to do with him until he changes. i don't think security theme, you and i were talking about yesterday the sense of jitters right now that are really driving this convention. >> it is. i'll present an alternative theory as to why it feels divisive. i think this is the trump campaign's attempt tonight of uniting the republican party around something that can rally around, even non-trumpsters. now, given that that was the goal tonight, they really messed up with the kasich move this morning, as you noted, and of course the mess earlier this afternoon on the floor. but you're right, what unites -- what trump needs to do to unite the party right now may be a little too divisive down the road. >> well, the best thing they've got going for them, you're hearing from people who are not trump fans, is that we don't want a third obama term. this is not about continuing the status quo, we've got to change, they're not happy about the agent
of change they have now, but they think if they can sell change inor shot going in. but he is the instrument. and based on everything we're seeing so far, he's going to carry through with what he did with the campaign, because after all, it did work for him. >> i think we make too much of the things he does. he makes a thousand more mistakes in any way than most campaigns make during the entire course of a general election. he's behind, but he's probably only four to seven points behind hillary clinton, having introduced his vice president in a disastrous matter. he came here this morning and his campaign manager set up a feud with governor kasich. that played out all day. the fact that he's still in it has more to do with the things beyond people's control.
it's an events, it's anxiety, than it does anything he's doning, right or wrong. >> we're going to play the interview with talks about why he's here and what donald trump's chances may be in ohio and why he may have a struggle here. we'll be back with that and more from cleveland, after this. ♪ the sun'll come out tomorrow... ♪ for people with heart failure, tomorrow is not a given. but entresto is a medicine that helps make more tomorrows possible. ♪ tomorrow, tomorrow... ♪ i love ya, tomorrow in the largest heart failure study ever. entresto helped more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure... ...kidney problems,
and help make tomorrow possible. ♪ you're only a day away ♪ welcome back to cleveland, night one of the republican national convention. one of the big storylines here, of course, is those who aren't here, the conscientious objectors, high profile republicans who have opted out of the convention, including the republican governor of the state, john kasich. paul manafort, the trump campaign chairman, said today he was an embarrassment to his state. we tracked him down
for an exclusive interview and the governor talked about why he your failure to go to the convention? >> the challenge i have is i'm a person who wants to unite. i've said i don't like the divisive language we've heard from mr. trump. and i've held out hope that it would change. look, i ran a campaign based on bringing people together. that wasn't just some bunch of lines i put together. it's what i firmly believe. >> if donald trump called you right now and said, bygones be bygones -- >> he would have to change everything he says. we can't be speaking against muslims and hispanics and shutting down trade. those are all problems with me. i don't hold any personal animus to donald trump. we just are two companies with different values, directions, and philosophies. >> ohio is a battleground state.
can donald trump win in ohio? >> i think it's hard if you don't have a bad economics here. the second time, i pulled every together, because ohio is really a snapshot of america. if you go hard one way or too hard the other, very difficult to win. if you're not a unifier, it's a real challenge of i have to also tell you i have been, frankly, a little surprised at the intensity of the opposition to hillary. ohio is still up for grabs. but that person who can give some hope and some unity and a vision i think is the one that will win in the state of ohio. it's a very tough state to win. >> i have to ask you, you worked very hard for the nomination. you are essentially host of a party that could have been yours. how do you reconcile that, how do you deal with it? >> what's funny about
it is, what was so hard when i quit, i thought when i leave, will i miss the crowds, the selfies, all o it. i'm as happy as i've ever been. and i just feel great. i don't have any regrets, any bitterness, any sour grapes. it's just fun. >> the governor told me he's at peace, you saw him meeting with out of state police officers helping with security here. by the way, some of the trump folks think this is all about him trying to preserve a chance at another run for the president. i asked him about that, he said he's not ruling anything out, but he said he doesn't know what he's having for dinner tonight, much less what's going to happen in 2020. >> there's an off color joke and chuck filled in the blank. >> it's like sex, you don't do it once. >> that's the quote of the night. >> james carville's quote, not mine. >> exactly. hallie is with an early supporter of donald trump.
>> hi, savannah, yes, here when senator jeff sessions, one of trump's earlier supporters, one of closest advisors even now. you were rumored to be until the vp race. talk to me about melania's speech. did she do what she needed to do here? >> i think so. this lady is obviously highly intelligence, has a wonderful personality and a commitment to the country. i thought that was special. >> one of the issues we saw today was chaos, franchiskly, on the floor with the delegates. how does donald trump overcome that over the next three days? >> the voters were very strong for donald trump. he got more votes than anybody has gotten in a republican primary by far, a clear majority of the delegates here. but there's usually some excitement at conventions. i'm not surprised something would happen. i think it will all blow over.
i think the strength he has is the vote totals he's gotten, strength with th >> thank you, senator sessions. peter alexander is on the floor. how was melania trump's speech received in the room? >> you're a pretty good analyst of this sort of thing, what do you think, melania trump, how did she purcha perform tonight? >> i thought it was fantastic, such a greatest that meant to their marriage and commitment to their family. her comments were spot on, really heartfelt. you can tell she's so proud of her heritage and coming here, coming here and becoming a u.s. citizen. >> do you think it may change minds? you told me you're going to vote for donald trump over hillary clinton. but do you think nights like this are exactly what the party needs to do? >> i do. it's great to see so many people come out and share stories from mothers who have lost soldiers, their children, to hear rudy
guiliani with such great passion, to talk about important issues facing our country with national >> it's been a pleasure to meet you, thanks so much. >> thank you so much. >> savannah, lester, back to you. >> peter alexander on the floor, thank you. >> i'm curious among the group here, what's the headline going to be tomorrow? >> i think melania trump nails it in an otherwise grim presentation in the first night of the republican convention. this is about people's kids who had died, this was about illegal immigrants who had committed crimes. it really was sort of a contrast between grief-stricken families, this is a terrible headline, and melania trump. >> your font is going to be this big on your headline. >> there's one positive, the most positive highlight, optimistic highlight, melania trump tonight. but everything else, it was a dark theme, and so it wasn't warm and inviting. then of course the
disunity issue. this was supposed to be the beginning of unifying the party and they still have this. on the chairs are empty. >> they left. they did leave. they're boycotting. i'm sure we'll see, but this has got a little bit of fuel. this could be disruptive later in the week. >> let's talk about the moment, donald trump walking out, like the opening sequence of "the apprentice." they pulled that off very well. to me, the thing i'm going to watch all week long is, are they making this affirmative case for donald trump? hillary already has her detractors. there's already high negatives for her. trump has to convince the american people he is qualified to hold the position. that's the work that's cut off for him. >> tom, how many people are truly sitting on the fence, how much people are watching this convention and may watch the democrats and say, hmm? >> my own experience in 50 years of doing
this is that in the final week they sit down around the kitchen table and kind of talk to each otr and families, in bars and other places, to try to sort it out. the race is surprisingly close given the controversial character of donald trump's candidacy. between of two of them, there are not that many points between them at this point. what's surprising to me was that they didn't reach out and try to pull the country together. they went back to benghazi again, they had seven investigations of benghazi, it was a terrible tragedy, but they didn't move beyond that, they just wanted to replow it. i think even very conservative people are saying, give me something more than that at this point. >> and you have new things in the news. there was an opportunity to talk about what happened in nice. >> right. >> there is a very real and current threat of terrorism. i don't even think rudy guiliani spent too much time on it. >> that is going to do it for us on this night one of the republican national convention. a reminder, matt lauer will have more on donald and melania
trump tomorrow morning on "today," as we showed you earlier he spoke to them as their plane touched down here in cleveland. coverage continues tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific on nbc. for chuck todd, savannah guthrie, nicole wallace, and tom brokaw, i'm lester holt saying good night from cleveland. (announcer vo) at unitedhealth group, we're on a mission... to meet the unique health needs of our service members, veterans and their families. by expanding access to high-quality care, from enlistment through retirement. using data insights to customize that care, so it's responsive to the military experience.
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