tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 10, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
louisville sponsoring group saw his potential and helped him build a runway to launch his career. his timing was impeccable as he burst into the national stage just as television was hungry for a star to change the faith of sports. you know, if muhammad didn't like the rules, he rewrote them. his religion, his name, his beliefs were his to fashion, no matter what the cost. the timing of his actions coincided with a broader shift in cultural attitudes across america, particularly on college campuses. when he had challenged the u.s. government on the draft, his chance of success was slim to none. that the timing of his decision converged with a rising tide of discontent on the war. public opinion shifted in his direction followed by a court
ruling in a stunning reversal of fortunes. he was free to return to the ring. when he traveled to central africa to reclaim his title from george foreman, none of the sports writers thought he could win. in fact, most of them feared for his life. but in what the africans call the miracle at 4:00 a.m., he became a champion once more. [ applause ] and as the years passed and those slowed by parkinson's, muhammad was compelled by his faith to use his name and his notoriety to support the victims of poverty and strife. he traveled to places like war-torn afghanistan, campaigned as an advocate of reducing the
debt of third world debt [ applause ] as his voice grew softer, his message took on greater meeting. he came full circle with the people of his country. when he lifted a torch that seemed to create new light in the 1996 olympics. [ applause ] muhammad always knew instinctively the road he needed to travel. his friends know what i mean when i say he lived in the moment. he neither dwelled in the past nor harbored anxiety about the future. muhammad loved to laugh and played practical jokes on just about everybody. he was sure-footed in his self-awareness, secure in his faith and he did not fear death. yet, his timing is once again
poignant. his passing and his meaning for our time should not be overlooked. as we face uncertainty in a world and divisions at home, as to who we are as a people, muhammad's life provides useful guidance. muhammad was not one to give up on the power of understanding, the boundless possibilities of love and the strength of our diversity. he counted among his friends people of all political persuasions, saw truth in all faith and in the nobility of all races as witnessed here today. muhammad may have challenged his government but he never ran from it or from america. [ applause ] he loved this country and he understood the hard choices that are born of freedom. i think he saw a nation's soul
measured by the soul of its people. for his part, he saw the good soul in everyone and if you were one of the lucky ones to have met him, you know what i meant. he awoke every morning thinking about his own salvation and would often say, i just want to get to heaven and i've got to do a lot of good deeds to get there. and i think muhammad's hope is that his life provides some guidance on how we might achieve for all people what we aspire for ourselves and our families. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, maryam
ali. >> peace be with you, everyone here, and on behalf of the ali family, i just want to say thank you to louisville, kentucky, all of the love you've shown us in our lives has been unbelievable. also, i want to thank the entire globe. my father was loved all over. the processional today was overwhelming but so beautiful. we love you just like you love us. thank you very much. [ applause ] as you know, my father loved poetry. he was always rhyming and promoting his fights and he had poems of the heart, spiritual poems and poems to promote and i just wrote a piece for him, in honor of him on behalf of my sisters and brothers and everyone who loved my father. it's called "thank you our dear father."
my heart was sore when your six spirit soared. your physical body is no more but my mind tells different tales of all that you taught me, your family and the masses. most importantly, the belief in god who created humanity to thrive in quality. you fought for a purpose to uphold the principle that we as a people have divine human rights. staring right into the eyes of oppression, you proclaim your beautiful complexion. your god-given skills, your independent will and the freedom of your faith. as your daughter, i am grateful for all of our conversations about men, women and relationships. guiding me to first have a
loving relationship with self, refusing anyone to chip away at my esteem and expect the respect of a queen. [ applause ] thank you, our dear father, for asking us to think about our purpose and showing us the beauty of service to others. we marvel that your sincere love for people as you treated all who approached you with dignity. whether they were rich or poor, your kindness was unconditional. never perceiving anyone as beneath you. so many have shared personal stories about what you have meant to them as you have exemplified values and qualities that have enhanced their lives. if i had every dollar for every story, i could pay for the sky.
your family is so proud of the legacy you left behind. but i hope that the history of you can help -- >> we apologize for the technical difficulties we're having from louisville. again, that was his daughter maryum speaking there on his behalf. let's listen back in. >> anywhere else in the world, we crave for peace. the peace that you rest in now. we will forever cherish the 74 years you graced this earth. you will be greatly missed but now we send you off in celebration, a blown kiss and prayers as you enter your final
thank you so much for being here today to celebrate our father. you were the greatest father to us and it was god's will to take you home. your family will try our best to make you proud and carry on your legacy of giving and love. you have inspired us and the world to be the best version of ourselves. may you live in paradise free from suffering. you shook up the world in life. now you're shaking up the world in death. [ applause ] daddy's looking at us now and saying, i told you i was the
greatest. no one compares to you, daddy. you once said, i know where i'm going and i know the truth and i don't have to be what you want me to be. i'm free to be who i am. [ applause ] now you are free to be with your creator. we love you so much, daddy. until we meet again, fly, butterfly, fly. [ applause ]
>> hello. i was born on muhammad ali's birthday. it was named after him. he used to call me the little greatest. we can all learn from muhammad's example of kindness and understanding. when muhammad was asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, i like for them to say he took a few cups of love, one tablespoon of patience, one teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness, one pinch of concern and then he mixed willingness with happiness. he added lots of faith and he stirred it up well. that he spread it over a span of
a lifetime and he served it to each and every deserving person he met. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, natasha. >> before i begin, i would just like to say that i am truly humbled and honored to be here and i would like to thank the muhammad ali center and the family for giving me the opportunity to speak and to echo the voice that muhammad has given me. so let me tell you a story about
a man. a man who refused to believe that reality was limitation to achieve the impossible. a man who once reached up through the pages of a textbook and touched the heart of a girl whose reflection of herself mirrored those who cannot see past the color of her skin but instead of drawing on that pain from the distorted reality, she found strength just as this man did when he stood tall in the face of pelting rain and shouted, i am the disturbance in the sea of your complacency and i will never stop shaking your waves. [ applause ] and his voice echoed through
hers, through mine and she picked up the rocks that were thrown at her and she threw them back with a voice so powerful that it turned all the pain that she had faced in her life into strength and tenacity and now that 8-year-old girl stands before you to tell you that ali still shakes these waves today. [ applause ] that we are to find strength in our identities, whether we are black or white or asian or hispanic, lgbt, disabled or abled body, muslim, jewish,
hindu or christian. his cry represents those who have not been heard and invalidates the idea that we are to be conformed to one normative standard. [ applause ] that is what it means to defeat the impossible because impossible is not a fact. impossible is an opinion. impossible is nothing. [ applause ] when i look into this crowd, i smile. i smile to recognize that he is not really gone. he lives in you and he lives in me and he lives in every person that he has touched in every
corner of this world. reality was never a limitation for ali, for us, just as every punch his opponents threw, impossible is never enough to knock us down because we are ali. [ applause ] we are greater than the rocks or the punches that we throw at each other. we have the ability to empower and inspire and to connect and to unify and that will live on forever. so let me tell you a story about a man.
>> first of all, on behalf of my fell fellow louisville residents, we know that muhammad was blessed with many gifts but none more than lonnie ali and we thank you so much. you know, i've got to tell you, louisville, when i was in the procession today and saw the tens and thousands of people and all of the warmth and love and respect shown for muhammad, i've got to tell you, my heart swelled with pride. i know he was watching from above and i know he absolutely loved it. but i don't think he'd be surprised. i think muhammad would say, louisville, kentucky, the greatest city of all times. i'm feeling good. man. i tell you what, how can we lose
with the stuff we use? i'm feeling so good, i think i'm going to make a comeback and change my name back to walnut street. that's how good i feel. you know, for me, i always felt connected to muhammad even before i had met him. you know, maybe it was the fact that i was a louisville boy. maybe it's the fact that i loved the louisville cardinals like muhammad. you know, but as our relationship evolved, i found that a lot of people felt this personal connection with muhammad. and that's part of the ali magic. you know, initially, for a lot of men my age and certainly myself, it was the athlete that i was attracted to. i mean, that kind of size, that kind of speed, agility, that grace not only made him the heavyweight champion of the world three times but it made him "sports illustrated"
sportsmen of the century, the a.p. athlete of the century and certainly made him the athlete -- a once in a lifetime athlete. but i would argue that the combination of compassion, kindness, love and the ability to lift us up made him a once in a lifetime person. [ applause ] you know, muhammad was blessed with many gifts, as i said, and he was a wise and faithful steward of those gifts. many stories about muhammad but a couple really to me encapsulate what he was about. i remember back in 2000, i made a trip to the summer olympics with muhammad and one day he decided we were going to go see a boxing match and i remember we're ringside, the american wins, 15,000 people are chanting, usa, usa! and i thought, this is my olympic moment. you know, i was filled with
patriotic pride. the boxer came down from the ring, he took the picture with muhammad, the fist shot, thousands of people cheering for muhammad and this victorious fighter and muhammad leaned down to me and whispered in my ear, he said, i want to see the loser. i'm like, excuse me? i want to see the loser. i said, muhammad wants to see the loser. can we go to the losing locker room? and we go there and there's not then tens and thousands of people, there's not any photographers. there's a kid on a stool with a towel around his neck, a bloody mouth under his eye. this has got to be the lowest point of his athletic career and he's defeated and the vibe in that room was literally the lowest of low. but then when muhammad walks in,
this kid recognizes him instantly and in broken english says muhammad and muhammad starts throwing out jabs and this kid starts ducking and smiling. muhammad grabs him in a bear hug. he said, i saw what you did out there, man. you can be a champion, man. don't give up. and i remember, it warmed my heart how he took this kid from here to here in an instant. and -- [ applause ] and i remember, i got in the car and i said to muhammad, i try to be a nice guy but i've got to tell you, i got caught up in the moment. i didn't give that losing guy a thought. i said you're the greatest. muhammad said, tell me something i don't already know. he -- and -- but what i don't want people to forget, no doubt, he's the finest example of a
human that i've ever seen. the finest example of a great human being that i've ever seen of the kindness that a human possesses. that was muhammad. but don't forget about this, man. muhammad was the coolest cat in the room. i mean, he was good looking, he had charm, he had charisma, he had swagger before he knew that swagger was. i mean, i remember, i went to -- when -- about 25 years ago he came to town to visit his mother and wanted to go to outback steakhouse. we came in and at the time here in louisville, there was a fireman's convention and they had their engine numbers on their shirt and sure enough i had seen this thing a million times. they line up for an autograph. i said, muhammad, if you'd like, i'll play the bad guy. muhammad would have none of it. he said i'll sign between bites. he's taking bites of his food and signing. this one guy walks up and he was
a big fan. he knew muhammad. all of his adrenaline flowing and he said i saw the stand you took in the vietnam war. i've got to tell you, champ, you're my hero. i've got a picture of you at my firehouse. instant bely he wanted to change the channel. said, you're the real hero saving lives. and the fireman responds real quickly. he said, you fought the bear, sonny liston. you fought joe frazier. and he said, yeah, but joe wasn't really smoking. and i said, muhammad that's a good line. he said, you're right. write that down. but it wasn't all about signing
autographs and kissing babies. if there was a village that needed food in a third-world country, muhammad was on the plane, will travel with check. if there was a conflict and he could be part of a resolution, again, muhammad will travel. as lonnie had mentioned, if there were hostages to be released, muhammad was a man of action. one of my favorite quotes and i think it's right here in your program, muhammad said service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth and i just want to say, champ, your rent is paid in full. your rent is paid in full. [ applause ] your rent is paid in full! and you know, in fact, i think he's paid it forward. because he has taught us to love rather than to hate.
to look for commonalities rather than differences. so i think he's paid it forward for all of us. so, as we all know now, the fight is over but i'm here to tell you, the decision is in and it is unanimous, because of muhammad ali, we all win. the world wins. thank you so much, muhammad. it is time for a man of peace to rest in peace. and thank you so very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. we're at the halfway point.
i was clean shaven when this started. dear lonnie, family, friends, mr. president, members of the clergy, all of these amazing people here in louisville, today this outpouring of love and respect proves that 35 years after he stopped fighting, he is still the champion of the world. [ applause ] last week, when we heard the news, time stopped. there was no war, there were no terrorists, no global catastrophes. the world stopped, took a deep breath and sighed. since then, my mind has been racing through my relationship with this amazing man, which is now 42 years that i've known
him. every moment i can think of is cherished. while others can tell you of his accomplishments, he wanted me to speak and tell you of some personal moments we had together. i met him in 1974. i was just getting started as a stand-up comedian and struggling. but i had one good routine. it was a three-minute conversation between howard and muhammad where i would imitate both of them. muhammad had just defeated george foreman and sports magazine made him the man of the year. a great man, editor for "sport," was going to host this televised dinner honoring muhammad. so dick called my agent looking for a comedian who did some sports material. as fate would have it, that comedian was not available and she wisely said -- it's destiny, man. and she wisely said, but listen, i've got this young kid and he does this great imitation and i
don't know why, but dick said, okay, i'll try him. i couldn't believe it. my first time on television and it would be with ali. i ran to the plaza hotel, the event was packed. he said, how should i introduce you? no one knows who you are. and i said, just say i'm one of ali's closest and dearest friends. and my thought was, i'll get right to the microphone, go into my how word cosell and i'll be fine and i move into the jam ballroom and that's when i saw him for the first time in person. it's very hard to describe how much he meant to me. you had to live in his time. it's great to look at clips and it's amazing that we have them but to live in his time, watching his fights, his experience of the genius of his
talent was absolutely extraordinary. every one of his fights was the aura of a super bowl. he predicted the round that he would knock somebody out and then he would do it. he was funny. he was beautiful. he was the most perfect athlete you ever saw and those were his own words. but he was so much more than a fighter as time went on with bobby kennedy gone, martin luther king gone, malcolm x gone, there were millions of young men my age, eligible for the draft for a war we didn't believe in. all of us huddled on the conveyor belt but ali stood up for us by standing up for himself. after he was stripped of the title, after he was stripped of the title and the right to fight anywhere in the world, he gave speeches at colleges and on
television that totally reached me. he seemed as comfortable talking to kings and queens as the lost and unrequitted. he was always himself, willing to give up everything for what he believed in. and his passionate rhetoric and the plight of black people resonated strongly in my house. i grew up in a house dedicated to civil rights. my father was the producer of jazz concerts in new york city and was one of the first to integrate concerts. my uncle and my family, jewish people, produced strange fruit, billow holiday's classic song describing the lynching of african-americans in this country. and now there he was a few feet from me. i couldn't stop looking at him and he seemed to like glow and he was in slow motion, his amazing face smiling and laughing. i was seated a few seats from
him and all of these athletes in their individual sports, great ones, archie griffith who won the heisman and all in a day fawning over ali looked at me with an expression that seemed to say what is joe gray doing here? mr. schapp introduced me as one of mr. ali's closest and dearest friends. two people clapped. my wife and the agent. i rose, ali is still staring at me, i passed right behind him, got to the podium, went right into it, hello, everyone, howard coming to you live from zaire. some people would pronounce it
zare. they are wrong. it got big laughs and then i went into the ali. everybody's talking about george foreman, george foreman is ugly, he's just so slow. george was slow. and then i'm still faster at 33 years of age. i'm so fast i can turn in my bed before the room gets dark. [ applause ] i'm eannouncing that i've got nw religious beliefs. i am now an orthodox jew and i am the greatest of all time. [ applause ] the audience exploded. no one had ever done him before and here he was a white kid from long island imitating the greatest of all time and he was loving it. when i was done, he gave me this big bear hug and he whispered in
my ear, you're my little brother. which is what he always called me until the last time that i saw him. we were always there for each other. if he needed me for something, i was there. most memorable, he was an honorary chairman for a dinner and a very important event where i was being honored by the hebrew university in jerusalem. he did all of this promotion for it. he came to the dinner. he sat with my family the entire evening. he took photographs with everybody. the most famous muslim man in the world honoring his jewish friend. and -- [ applause ] because he was there, because he was there, we raised a great deal of money and i was able to use it to endow the university in jerusalem with something that i told to him about and it was something that he loved the theory of. and it thrives to this day. it's called peace through the
performing arts. it's a theater group where israeli, arab and palestinian actors, writers and directors all work together in peace creating original works of art. [ applause ] and that doesn't happen without him. i had so many -- so many funny and unusual moments with him. i sat next to him at howard's funeral, a very somber day to be sure. closed casket on the stage, muhammad and i were sitting over there next to each other. and he quietly whispered to me, little brother, do you think he's wearing his hairpiece? [ laughter ] so i said, i don't think so. well, then how will god
recognize him? [ laughter ] so i said, champ, once he opens his mouth, god will know. so we started laughing. it was a must haffled laugh at but then we couldn't contain ourselves. it was like we heard something dirty in church. we were just laughing and laughing. and then he looked at me and said, howard was a good man. one time he asked me if i would like to run with him one morning. do road work with him. i said, that would be amazing. i said, where do you run? he said, i run at this country club and it's very private, nobody bothers me. we'll have a great time. i said, champ, i can't run there. the club has a reputation for being restricted. what does restricted mean? they don't allow jews there. they don't have any jewish members. i'm a black muslim and they let
me run there. little brother, i'm never going to run there again. and he didn't. [ applause ] my favorite memory was 1979. he had just retired and there was a retirement party in los angeles for muhammad and 20,000 of his closest friends in los angeles. i performed a piece that i had created, the imitation had grown into a life story. it's called 15 rounds. and i would play them from the age of 18 until he's 36 ready for the rematch with leon. i posted it on the internet last week, footage that nobody had seen before, of me portraying ali doing his life for him all those years ago in 1979. there were 20,000 people there. but i was doing it only for him. that's one of my favorite performances in my life. i sort of got lost in him.
i didn't even know where i was at the end of the performance. and suddenly i'm backstage with another heavyweight champion, richard pryor and he's holding on to me crying and then i see ali coming and he nudged mr. pryor aside and whispered in my ear with a big bear hug, little brother, you made my life better than it was. but didn't he make all of our lives a little bit better than they were? [ applause ] that -- that, my friends, is my history with the man that i've labored to come up with a way to describe the legend. he was a tremendous bolt of lightning created by mother nature out of thin air, a fantastic combination of power and beauty. we've seen still photographs of lightning bolts at the moment of
impact, ferocious in strength and magnificent in elegance. it lights up everything around it. you can see everything clearly. muhammad ali struck us in the middle of america's darkest night, in the heart of the most threatening gathering storm, toppled the mightiest of foes and intense light shone on america and we were able to see clearly injustice, inequality, poverty, pride, self-realization, courage, laughter, love, joy, religious freedom for all. ali forced us to take a look at ourselves. this young man who thrilled us, angered us, confused and challenged us ultimately became a silent messenger of peace who taught us that life is best when you build bridges between people, not walls. [ applause ]
my friends, only once in a thousand years or so do we get to hear a mozart or see a picasso, read a shakespeare. ali was one of them and yet at his heart he was still a kid from louisville who ran with the gods and walked with the crippled and smiled at the foolishness of it all. is he gone but he will never die. he was my big brother. thank you. [ applause ]
>> ladies and gentlemen, bryant gumble. >> the great maya angelou who was herself no stranger to fame wrote that ultimately people forget what you said and people will forget what you did but that no one will ever forget how you made them feel. that's applied to muhammad ali, the march of time may one day diminish his boast and poetry, maybe even his butterflies and bees. it may even one day dull the
memories of the thrilla in manila and the rumble in the jungle. i doubt any of us will forget how muhammad made us feel. i'm not talking about how proud he made you feel with his exploits or how special he made you feel when you were privileged enough to be in his company. i'm talking about how he ripped our hearts and our souls and our conscience and made our fights his fights for decades. people like me, who were once young, semi-gifted and black will never forget what he freed within us. some of us like him took pride in being black, bold and brash.
and because we were so unapologetic, we were in the eyes of many, way too uppity. we were way too arrogant. yet we reveled in being like him. by stretching society's boundaries as he did, he gave us levels of strength and courage we didn't even know we had. but ali's impact was not limited to those of a certain race or of a certain religion or of a certain mindset. the greatness of this man for the ages was that he was, in fact, a man for all ages. has any man ever a greater arc to his life? what does it say of a man, any
man that he can go from being viewed as one of his country's most polarizing figures to arguably his most beloved. [ applause ] and to do so without changing his nature or, for a second, compromising his principles. yeah, you know, there were great pauses and national movements and huge divisions that afforded ali unusual opportunities to symbolize our struggles. but harry truman had it right when he said men make history and not the other way around. or as lauren hill so nicely put it, consequence is no
coincidence. befitting his stature as the goat, muhammad ali never shied away from a fight. he fought not just the biggest and baddest men of his day inside the ropes but outside the ring he also went toe to toe with critics, outside of societal norms, the u.s. government. he even fought ultimately to his detriment the limitations of father time. strictly speaking, fighting is what he did. but he broadened that definition by sharing his struggles with us and by viewing our struggles as his. and so it was that at various times he accepted and led
battles on behalf of his race in support of his generation, in defense of his religious beliefs and ultimately in spite of his disease. i happen to have been overseas working in norway this past week. my buddy matt called. told me the champ had been taken to the hospital. this time it was really serious. right away i called lonnie who was, as always, a pillar of strength. and as we discussed the medical details, the doctors' views and the ugly realities of mortality, lonnie said, bryant, the world
still needs him and indeed it does. the world needs a champion who always worked to bridge the economic and social divides that threaten the nation that he dearly loved. the world needs a champion that always symbolized the best of islam to offset the hatred born of fear. and the world needs a champion who believed in fairness and inclusion for all. hating people because of their color is wrong, ali said, and it doesn't matter which color does the hating. it's just plain wrong. [ applause ] yeah, we do need muhammad ali now. we needed strength and the hope, the compassion, the conviction
that he always demonstrated. but this time, our beloved champion is down. and for once he will not get up. not this time. not ever again. let me close with a quick personal story. 50 years ago, muhammad ali defeated george devalo in toronto, canada. the very next day, he showed up in my neighborhood on the south side of chicago. as ali got out of the car in the driveway at the home, i happened to be next door shooting hoops in a friend's backyard. i, of course, quickly ran to the fence and for the first time in
i was 17. i was awe struck. and man, i thought he was the greatest. now a half century and a lifetime of experiences later, i am still awe struck and i am convinced more than ever that muhammad ali is the greatest. [ applause ] to be standing here by virtue of his and lonnie's request, is an honor. to be here today as he goes to
his grave is a moment i will take to mine. god bless you, champ. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the 42nd president of the united states, the honorable william jefferson clinton. [ applause ] >> thank you. i can just hear muhammad saying now well, i thought i should be eulogized by at least one president and by making you last
in a long, long, long line, i guarantee you a standing ovation. i am trying to think of what has been left unsaid. first, lonnie, i thank you and the members of the family for telling me that he actually as bryant said picked us all to speak and giving me a chance to come here, and i thank you for what you did to make the second half of his life greater than the first. thank you for the muhammad ali center and what it has come to represent to so many people. here's what i'd like to say.
i spent a lot of time now as i get older and older and older trying to figure out what makes people tick, how do they turn out the way they are, how do some people refuse to become victims and rise from every defeat. we've all seen the beautiful pictures of the home of muhammad ali and people visiting and driving by. i think you decided something i hope every young person here will decide. i think he decided very young to write his own life story. i think he decided before he
could possibly have worked it all out and before fate and time could work their will on him, he decided that he would not be ever disempowered. he decided not his race or his place or expectations of others, positive, negative or otherwise would stop him from writing his own story. he decided first to use these stunning gifts. his strength and speed in the ring, his wit and way with words, and managing the public, and finding out at a fairly young age who he was, what he
believed, and how to live with the consequences of acting on what he believed. a lot of people make it to steps one and two and still just can't quite manage living with the consequences of what he believed. for the longest time in spite of all the wonderful things that have been said here, i remember thinking when i was a kid this guy is so smart and he never got credit for being as smart as he was. and then i don't think he ever got the credit for being, until later, as wise as he was. in the end besides being a lot of fun to be around and basically universal soldier for our common humanity, i will always think of muhammad as a
truly free man of faith. and being a man of faith he realized he would never be in full control of his life. something like parkinson's could come along. but being free, he realized that life still was open to choices. it is choices that muhammad ali made that brought us all here today in honor and love. and the only other thing i would like to say, the first part of his life was dominated by the
triumph of his truly unique gifts. we should never forget them, we should never stop looking at the movies. thank will smith for making his movie. we should all be thrilled. it was a thing of beauty. but the second part of his life was more important because he refused to be imprisoned by a disease that kept him hamstrung longer than mandela was kept in prison in south africa. that is in the second half of his life, he perfected gifts that we all have, every single solitary one of us have gifts of mind and heart. it is just that he found a way to release them in ways large
and small. i asked lonnie the time when they were still living in michigan and i gave a speech in southwest michigan to an economic club there, and sort of a ritual when a president leaves office, and you know, you had to get reacclimated, nobody plays a song when you walk in a room any more, you don't really know what you're supposed to do, and this club, the economic club, they're used to acting like you deserve to be listened to, they have to be reacclimated. he sat with me at this dinner. and he knew, somehow he knew that i was a little off my feet that night. i was trying to imagine how to make this new life and so he told me a really bad joke.
and he told it so well and he laughed so hard that i totally got on board and had a great time. he had that feel about, you know, there's no textbook for that, knowing where somebody else is in their head, picking up the body language. then lonnie and muhammad got me to come here when we had the dedication of the muhammad ali center, and i was trying to be incredibly gray haired elder states man, dignified, i have to elevate this guy, i am saying all this stuff in high tone, language, and muhammad sneaks up behind me, puts his fingers up. finally after all the years we
had been friends, my endearing image of him is like three shots. the boxer, the man i watched take the last steps to light the olympic flame when i was president, and i'll never forget it, i was sitting there in atlanta, we knew each other, by then i felt i had some sense of what he was living with, and i was still weeping like a baby, seeing his hands shake, his legs shake, and knowing by god he was going to make those last few steps no matter what it took, the flame would be lit, the fight would be won. i knew it would happen.
[ applause ] and then this. the children whose lives he touched, the young people he inspired. that's the most important thing of all. so ask you to remember that. we all have an ali story. it's the gift we all have that should be most honored today because he released them to the world. never wasting a day the rest of us could see feeling sorry he had parkinson's, knowing more than three decades of his life would be circumscribed in ways that would be chilling to the
naked eye. but with the free spirit it made his life bigger, not smaller. because other people, all of us unlettered, unschooled said would you look at that. look at that. may not be able to run across the ring any more, may not be able to dodge everybody, exhaust everybody any more, and he's bigger than ever because he is a free man of faith sharing the gifts we all have. we should honor him by letting our gifts go among the world as he did. god bless you, my friend, go in peace. [ applause ]
>> the former president of the united states, welcome jefferson clinton wrapping up hours long ceremony in louisville, kentucky. as we end this, you can hear people still celebrating the life of muhammad ali and sad at his passing. there are orders and no one does it like bryant gumbel, couldn't have picked a better person as well, his family, than billy crystal to eulogize him. it was an amazing ceremony. muhammad ali was known as a number of different things, louisville lift, the greatest, the champ. he was extraordinary. he was a lot of things to a lot of people. he was beloved, revered.
at some points in his life he was even hated. one thing he never did, that was disappoint. he never disappointed as you heard the former president say, can always read someone their mood and inspire other people when he was not doing well himself. he was also very fertile, left behind a legacy of children, rashied a gave her eulogy, layla, hannah, assad, marion, gentleman mill a, ka leah, muhammad, mia also. it is sad they lost their father but gained so much having the experience of being with him all those years. saw some bold faces, some celebrities in the audience as well, but they took a back seat to the family and his beautiful wife. mike tie son, will smith, billy crystal, sugar ray leonard, david beckham among them. it was a most extraordinary
ceremony and also quite honestly, we got to hear versus from the koran and see a muslim ceremony, it was interfaith, see muslim practices not on a television show or not when there's a memorial for a terrorist bombing around the world but in practice, a peaceful religion, people saying peaceful things about islam. as we wrap it up here, i am in new york, i am don lemon in new york. we want to give our praises and condolence to the ali family and his friends. extraordinary hours we witnessed. passing, memorial service of muhammad ali. he will now go to cave hill cemetery for a private burial. the world has lost a champion. i am don lemon in new york. thanks for watching. our coverage continues next with wolf blitzer and his interview
with republican presidential nominee mitt romney. >> don, thanks so much. may he rest in peace. romney unleash in my exclusive interview. mitt romney slams donald trump for what he calls a bigoted, vulgar campaign. romney wishes trump supporters would reject him now and worries a vote for trump could lead to, quote, trickle down racism. third choice. romney says he won't vote for trump or hillary clinton but is open to voting for a third option. who will romney back in november? sticking to the script. donald trump's second speech this week using a teleprompter shows he may be yielding to pressure from gop leaders to act more presidential. can he stay on message? democrats unite. hillary clinton huddles with elizabeth warren while bernie sanders vows to work together to defeat donald trump, but are they ready for trump's latest
attacks? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news, the former gop stand bearer mitt romney slams this year's presumptive republican presidential nominee, donald trump, saying trump is promoting bigotry. in my exclusive interview, romney says trump should not represent america and feergs he will inspire what romney calls trickle down racism. romney won't wage a last ditch campaign of his own to stop trump, he says he can't vote for him but is not ruling out a vote for a third party candidate. trump may be hearing the appeals of gop leaders to tone down his harsh rhetoric and stuck to a carefully scripted speech today and dropped attacks on the latino judge saying, quote, no
one should be judged by their race or color. and democrats are rallying now to hillary clinton. she now has the president, the vice president, and senator elizabeth warren in her corner, but as she goes on the attack clinton may be put on the defensive by new scrutiny about her e-mails during her time as secretary of state. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of all of the day's top stories. let's get to the breaking news. i sat down today for an exclusive interview with the 2012 republican nominee mitt romney at his e-2 summit in deer valley, utah. romney has been a strong critic of donald trump and pulls no punches here. you're being called in essence the leader of the never trump movement right now. the fact is that you say there are principles that come before supporting your party's nominee. you hoped someone else would emerge as the republican nominee. that has not happened.
so will you now consider last ditch running. >> no, that's something i'm not going to be doing. i would like to see someone run but i think that's not very likely and the reason for that is that it is almost impossible for a third party candidate to receive the 270 electoral votes that are necessary to become president or to stop hillary clinton or trump from getting the necessary 270, so i think you're not going to find a credible candidate running as a third party contender. >> so there's no possibility. >> i'm not planning on doing that and have no intention to do that. >> you're not doing it. all right. you said that donald trump in your words would sink the country into a prolonged recession, that he is not smart on foreign policy, your words, that he is a con man, a phony, a fraud and a fake. if you feel that strongly, why don't you think you have an obligation to run right now? >> well, because he has become the nominee of the republican party and the only way to win the white house in my view is to
become a nominee of either of republican or democratic party and simply running to be a spoiler would not give the american people the chance to express their own views about mr. trump or about secretary clinton. i think they will do so. i, myself, will not be voting for either one of them. i can't bring myself to vote for hillary clinton. i don't think the policies she promotes are right for the country, and mr. trump i think is too great a departure from the values of our country for me to sign up as a voter for him either, so i'll be writing in someone else's name, probably another republican. >> isn't that sort of -- you write in some other name that has no chance. isn't that copping out of your responsibility? >> my responsibility is to express to the american people what i believe is right about the potential nominee of the party, i did so plainly, clearly, and the people that made the choice decided to go a different direction. that's their right.
but as an individual i simply can't put my name down as someone who voted for principles that suggest racism or xenophobe i can't, mi song knee, bigotry, who has been vulgar time and time again, the recent attack on judge curiel, a racist approach is one which i think says to me i can't be part of that. i will not sign up for that, i don't want to be associated with that in any way, shape or form. >> what do you say to people like your vice presidential running mate, paul ryan, who is very critical of donald trump, does not like any of the words he said about judge curiel, called it a textbook definition for a racist comment but still says he's going to support donald trump. >> well, i don't argue with people who come to a different conclusion. they're looking at the two candidates and deciding who they think is best able to serve our country at this time and i'm sure there are things they'd like to change in whoever they
support, every candidate has a problem or two or maybe more than that, but for me mr. trump's problems are such a dramatic nature, such a departure from the values of our country and my own personal values that i can't sign up to be part of his campaign. >> are you disappointed paul ryan has endorsed him? >> i wish everybody in the republican party had rejected mr. trump and chosen someone else but my choice is different than that of other people, i am not going to argue them about their choice. their view is secretary clinton would so dramatically change the nature of the supreme court that that represents a threat to our future. i understand that perspective. but i find that compelling but also the donald trump failures also compelling. >> should paul ryan take back that endorsement? >> i wish every republican who supported mr. trump said i made a mistake, let's go a different direction but that's not going to happen. the people have spoken and we're going to have donald trump as the republican nominee. >> how can you square what you
say racist comments, xenophobe i can't, misogyny, and square that with voting in favor of that candidate. >> i can't. that's why i reached the decision i have. over the coming campaign, mr. trump will probably be able to adjust his rhetoric and follow the script of a written speech in such a way that he won't be quite as offensive on value issues as he has been in the past. but unfortunately what he said already demonstrates who he is and the nature of the character of the man, and for me that's something that will not be erased by rhetoric in the coming months. >> you don't believe he can change? >> i believe who he is has been revealed by his lifetime and by words in the campaign he has spoken to this point. >> because he did tone down rhetoric in that speech the other day, reince priebus, chairman of the republican
national committee that was here this weekend with you called it a great victory speech and the right approach. trump says it is time to move on now. is that okay with you if he moves on and you forget about all of the other stuff? you think it is time to move on? >> well, i can imagine that mr. trump would like to have people move on and forget what was said during the primary process and what's been said over the years but we actually take the measure of an individual over their entire career and during the primary as well. on that basis get a sense of the person's character, integrity, values with regards to race, religion, gender and mr. trump has made that clear through the campaign to this point. i am absolutely convinced that reince priebus is right when he says mr. trump will be able to read from the text and present a different image going forward
but that is not something which is consistent with who he is as demonstrated by his pass. >> you don't think he should get a pass if he stops talking about judge curiel? >> everyone else can make their assessment, he indicated what he believes in his heart about mexicans and about race by comments he made about judge curiel, he may try to distance himself from that today but we know what he believes, and he didn't just say it once, it wasn't a slip of the tongue which he went back and apologized for. first of all, he has repeated it time and time again, and secondly has never apologized for it, so he obviously sticks by what he believes. >> what would he have to do to win your support? >> i don't think there's anything i am looking for from mr. trump to give him my support. he's demonstrated who he is and i decided that a person of that nature should not be the one who if you will becomes the example for coming generations or the example of americans of the
world. i don't want to see trickle down racism. i don't want to see a president of the united states saying things which change the character of the generations of americans that are following. presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle down racism and bigotry, trickle down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of america, so i'm not looking for mr. trump to change a policy that more aligns with my own. this is not a matter of just policy, it is a matter of character and integrity. >> do you think he is racist? >> i think his comments time and again appeal to the racist tendency that exists in some people and i think that's dangerous. >> hillary clinton took a page out of your play book, using donald trump's own words against him, painted a picture why she thinks he is dangerous, would be dangerous commander in chief and
temperamentally unfit. you agree with her on that? >> i am not sure i sign up with all of her words. >> is he temperamentally unfit to be president? >> well, i've already said in my view that the temperament that mr. trump has demonstrated is not consistent with a world which is as combustible as it has been in my lifetime. if you look around the world, china's assertiveness, north korea's nuclear capability, syria and a number of other failed states like syria, afghanistan still troubled, pakistan with over 100 nuclear weapons and so forth, this is a very dangerous world and requires a person who is thoughtful, knowledgeable, curious intellectually, willing to listen to other people, to change their mind based on the advice of other people, and i haven't seen those qualities to the extent i want to see them in a president in mr. trump to this point. >> you clearly have misgivings about hillary clinton but a lot of republicans do, but some say she's the lesser of two evils.
would you be in that camp? >> i understand people that have come to a different conclusion that i have, those that support, republicans that support mr. trump say gosh, hillary clinton would appoint a more liberal court and that's troubling. her policies in many cases are destructive to the kinds of things necessary to put people to work and get them better wages, so they're going to vote for mr. trump on that basis. i understand that. i am not going to argue with them. i am not going to spend the coming months campaigning against mr. trump and attacking him time and again. i expressed what my views are, i will let the american people make their choice. >> once again, simply writing in a name, does that demonstrate a lack of political courage if you will? as you say, either donald trump president of the united states or hillary clinton, president of the united states. >> for me this is a question of my own integrity and character. and if there's someone that was an antisemite, for instance, and they had all of the same positions i had and were running
for president, i simply could not vote for them. i could not bring myself to do that. and things that mr. trump has said during the campaign and things he revealed about himself are such departure from what i believe in my core that i cannot in good conscious vote for him. >> bottom line, who would be worse for the country as president of the united states, donald trump or hillary clinton? >> both of them have enormous drawbacks. i am not going to choose which one is worse. i expressed my views about both of them. this is a critical time for our country and we are in an unfortunate condition. >> and gary i don't know son, would you consider supporting him? >> i am going to look at what he has to say, his running mate bill weld is someone i respect enormously. >> republican governor of massachusetts. >> exactly. he was a fine governor, a fine friend, supporter of mine both in 2008 and 2012. if bill weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy to vote for bill weld for
president, so i'll get to know gary johnson better, see if he is someone i could end up voting for. that's something which i'll evaluate over the coming weeks and months. >> you're not necessarily ruling out that possibility? >> i'm not ruling that out. >> have you looked at all of his positions, some of his positions probably align with yours, some clearly don't. he, for example, wants to legalize marijuana, legalize drug use, has sensitive, controversial issues. >> it would be hard to come to support someone that takes those kinds of views. i think the legalization of marijuana on recreational basis and legalization of drugs would be highly destructive to the coming generations and work ethic of this country. marijuana makes people stupid and it is just not a good idea to say let's have more people falling prey to that. >> you're looking at that possibility? >> i'll look carefully at people who are on the ballot. >> you're not looking carefully at donald trump or hillary clinton. >> i already had a good chance
to see both of those. the others i am spending time get to go know. >> there are others that say if hillary clinton were collected, you could focus on down ballot races, gubernatorial races. >> i will be work on gubernatorial, house and senate racings. looking hard with paul ryan's efforts to keep the house and save our senate with chamber of commerce. raising money with lindsey graham and others, doing our best to support those senate races that are close. this is a challenging time for the party, we have senate races on our side of the aisle this time. i am going to spend political time associated with those races. >> changing rules to have a contested, open convention, you don't think it is realistic? >> i sympathize with people that say we would love to see a different nominee of our party than donald trump, he doesn't
share our views on issues in many cases and doesn't have the personal qualities we think are appropriate for president. i happen to subscribe to that point of view but i think changing the rules, denying him the nomination at this point is not likely to happen. >> what does it say that almost half the republicans that voted in the primaries and caucuses supported donald trump. what does it say about your party? >> it says the people of america are angry and in some respects feel a good deal of resentment. i think they're angry washington has not gotten the job done and they don't know exactly where to point and who it is to blame, and i think in my own view president obama shares the -- has the lion's share of the blame for the fact we have not had leadership in washington necessary to actually accomplish great things that need to be done in our country, and they're angry, they want to see something done. both on the left, they look at bernie sanders who has been
demagoguish, saying it is all the fault of banks and rich people. on the right, you have donald trump saying it is the mexicans and muslims and each looked for their own form of scapegoat and people have responded to that in a way pop lists have been able to carry their message forward. and i'm disappointed in the nominee that we have and hope that america is able to make the right decision at some point soon. >> after you gave that blistering speech against donald trump, since then almost 10 million republicans voted for him in various primaries and caucuses. he wound up getting more votes than any other early republican candidate in many primaries, including you. that must be disheartening to you? >> i don't spend time counting how many votes different people got. obviously different seasons, different issues bring people to the ballot box. but i have to admit that i am discouraged by the fact and
disappointed by the fact and troubled by the fact that mr. trump received the degree of support he has. i don't think he got the scrutiny applied to him that typically is applied to a frontrunner by people running against him. most of them were firing -- >> they did their best. >> very late in the process. said as long as i am going down, might as well take a parting shot. in terms of leading contenders from the beginning going after mr. trump, they didn't do that. >> jeb bush had a shot but missed it. >> he had a super pac over $100 million, and focused their fire on marco rubio and others opposed to the frontrunner. he hasn't had that kind of if you will exposure to the combat of politics like you will in the general election. >> you regret you didn't throw your hat in the ring? >> no, i thought it was time for someone new. >> what about hindsight? >> look, i wish there had been somebody that stopped mr. trump.
had i been in the race i can assure you i would have taken him on. i am sure he believes he would have been able to be successful pushing me aside like he did others in part because i would be seen as an establishment republican but i don't spend a lot of time looking back, trying to rethink decisions that were made. >> he went after you, including just a couple of weeks ago, what he said about you, blistering words. >> once a joker, always a joker. i was nasty about it. so now as retribution, donald trump shouldn't run. he walks like a penguin on the stage, ever see him, like a penguin. >> he called you a choker. when you hear those words from the man that's now the presumptive republican nominee, you think of your grandchildren, what do you say to them when they hear that? >> i don't know that they have any concern about what mr. trump is saying.
reminds me of what was said in elementary school and i think that's one of the things people find -- some people find it refreshing, others find it to be quite troubling that someone would engage in elementary school theatrics to attack and characterize other people. i think it is unfortunate in our political process. i don't think it will go away now, by the way. i think this is the kind of change in culture you'll see as a result of his candidacy which has brought in some respects the political process even lower than it has been in the past. >> you say there's a bombshell in his income tax returns, he is refusing to make those public. say he is being audited, can't do that right now. what do you think he is trying to hide? >> well, i think he was in some respects correct when he said if i went on fifth avenue and shot someone, people would still support me, but i think he has calculated he could get support even if he shot someone, but if he released his taxes, he would lose support, so there's
something in the taxes that's worse than shooting someone on fifth avenue. that suggests there could be all sorts of things that could be troubling there. >> like what? >> your imagination can run wild. doesn't pay taxes, doesn't have much income, receives income from unsavory sources, ownership in enterprises perhaps associated with unsavory enterprises or nations or groups. who knows what it can be. this is a person that never had his personal life subject to an audit which can be potentially prosecuted by individuals that are assessing that it is improperly stated. and the only place you can get that kind of audit where the penalties for lying are criminal is with someone's tax returns. that's why in the last 40 years, nominees for president released tax returns so people could say all right, i am getting a clear view of who this person really
is and he doesn't want people to see that. there's no question in my mind he will never release his tax returns. he will follow one excuse after the other to say why he can't and will never release them because there's something in there that he feels is worse for him than shooting someone on fifth avenue. i think the american people have every right to see what that is. >> let's talk briefly about experts and enthusiasts, the e-2 summit, conference this weekend. you brought in top fund-raisers but there are a lot of republicans here and some democrats as well. this is the fourth year you've done it, first year you haven't invited the presidential candidates to make an appearance. tell us a little about this. >> the idea is to bring people together who are supportive of my candidacy as well as some that are not supportive but leaders in their respective spheres, and give them a chance to see what's happening in the world of politics, but also in the world of the private sector. there's such dramatic change occurring in the private sector,
in technology, employment, education, that i want these people to have a sense of what's going on and share some ideas. in the world of politics and foreign policy, the change is so dramatic and consequence of a misstep so enormous that i want people to have a sense of that. i think a number of them will have influence in the coming presidential administration, whether republican or democrat, and this is a chance for people to share ideas, be exposed to what's happening on a global basis. >> at such a beautiful location. >> deer valley couldn't be a more beautiful spot. >> thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf, good to be with you. >> let's get reaction to my exclusive interview with the 2012 republican nominee. joining us now, cnn politics editor, apps editor, and former romney spokesman kevin madden, manu raju, and cnn politics
chris moody. manu, start with you. what was your immediate reaction what you heard from mitt romney. >> that's a significant interview, wolf, this is the first time we heard romney go into depth since trump has become the presumptive nominee. you've seen other folks he tried to prop you up as part of the so-called never trump movement peter out. and his passion hasn't cooled down, he really does not like donald trump, that comment about trickle down racism is something the hillary clinton is going to seize upon for months and months on end but really it was interesting to hear you push him why not run for a third party since you're leading the effort. there's no significant third party challenger out there, why not do it. he says that would not be good for the party, not ruling out the libertarian ticket, voting
for the libertarian ticket, also interesting. it shows you, wolf, there's nowhere for those never trump people to go. they know they don't have a candidate and if they were to pop up someone like a mitt romney, it would only help hillary clinton. he is sort of in a bind. >> fair point. kevin, you worked for the romney campaign in 2012. what surprised me was how far out he was willing to go and express his opinions. we all knew he didn't like donald trump but was willing to go public with all of that now. what was your reaction? >> i think it was in many ways why he was going public. he was very firm in beliefs. he was still very cautious and very calculating. i think he made clear personal beliefs are separate from some of the judgments he may have about those that are currently supporting donald trump, namely speaker paul ryan who was on the ticket in 2012 with him. so i think what he tried to do
is almost geo fence his remarks about donald trump to make sure this is something where he believed donald trump didn't have the character, doesn't have the integrity, doesn't have temperament to be president and that those are feelings that are -- that he has personally. >> chris moody, what do you think? >> well, it's interesting when you ask the question about paul ryan. i think when you ask that question, you see that mitt romney is in an easier position than paul ryan now as a private citizen. paul ryan is the top elected republican and had to make a calculated, difficult calculated choice when he decided to hesitantly endorse donald trump. you asked him why don't you urge paul ryan to take back that endorsement. it seemed clear that mitt romney sees that as a futile gesture. he would have to go after every top republican and try to convince them to pull back their endorsement and i think he
doesn't see that's something that would be possible to accomplish. >> it was interesting that he is not necessarily ruling out supporting the libertarian third party ticket. he wants to take a closer look. you heard that. >> i did. it was one of the most outstanding parts of the interview, to think mitt romney, the face of what appeared to be four years ago a united republican party. he and paul ryan running that ticket. now saying he dislikes and disagrees with his party's nominee so deeply that he is considering voting for a libertarian candidate, third party candidate rather than get in the race himself. makes me think will there be other voters like in the fox news poll that showed gary johnson with 12% support. only takes 15% average to get on the debate stage in the general election. will we see significant movement or folks that decide so never trump that they stay home. it is not clear yet. >> were you surprised, kevin,
that mitt romney is not ruling out supporting gary johnson, bill weld on the libertarian ticket? >> i did. you take mitt romney out of the situation, asking someone that was the nominee in 2012, only a few years later then potentially open up themselves to endorse another party is somewhat of a surprise. i think you're going to see a lot more conscientious objectors. that does indicate that these efforts led by some never trump folks to find it and stand up a third party effort is not looking very realistic now. if anything, i think it will put more of an end to that chatter and the idea that in the next few weeks we could see a nominee
be stood up and compete across 50 states. >> kevin, he said a third party candidate wouldn't have a chance. wouldn't that be a waste from his perspective? >> potentially. this is something that so many folks that don't support donald trump continue to wrestle with, and charges from so many of those that do support donald trump that not voting for donald trump would somehow be an effort to support hillary clinton and lead to her being lekd. many republicans, not only those in party leadership position, many voters across the country are wrestling with that now. >> chris, romney speculated that donald trump's tax returns could be more damaging to trump than shooting someone on fifth avenue. he said he could do without losing voter support. do you believe romney is right when he says we will never, never see donald trump's tax returns? >> i was listening to the
interview, i was struck with the memory when harry reid said a few years ago about mitt romney, suggesting he hadn't paid taxes. i said my goodness, mitt romney is harry reiding donald trump now, in a way we wouldn't expect four years ago. donald trump made it pretty clear he has very little interest in adopting norms on running for president and this seems to be one of the areas. i think it will take quite a bit of pressure not just from hillary clinton and the media and voters to request and demand he release the documents, but i don't think anyone is hopeful that he will give in on that. >> manu, mitch mcconnell was asked about who donald trump should choose for a running mate and he said, and i am quoting now, he needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it's pretty obvious he doesn't know a lot about the issues. that's a pretty remarkable statement about the republican presumptive nominee.
>> it really is. almost like piling on after such a terrible week for donald trump. mitch mcconnell made it clear that donald trump was not his first or second or third choice, and clearly one of the reasons is when donald trump says things, sometimes it raises eyebrows, especially when you talk issues. one of the things mitch mcconnell has been pushing donald trump to do is speak more message. read from the teleprompter, talk about repealing obamacare, unite the republican party and show contrast with democrats. you saw more of that today, wolf. when donald trump was in washington addressing social conservatives, he read from a teleprompter, he talked about the main red meat republican base issues. that's something that mitch mcconnell, paul ryan and republican leadership want
donald trump to continue to do. perhaps if he does that, he can alleviate concerns we have been hearing from folks for weeks. >> you're absolutely right. can donald trump stick to teleprompters, to scripted speeches? >> that's the question here, whether or not the temperament can be consistent. we saw donald trump come out earlier this week as he did today, using teleprompters, gave a somber speech, sounded like a more traditional candidate. this morning, goes on twitter, attacks elizabeth warren, calling her pocahontas. the question is sure, he can do it in the moment. whether he can sustain it until voters go to polls in november is the question. it is temperament versus trust, can people trust donald trump's temperament and can people trust hillary clinton. >> stand by. i want to bring into the conversation donald trump's campaign national spokeswoman, katrina pierson.
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that can camp out in between our teeth, if we'll let it. use gum® brand. soft-picks®. proxabrush® cleaners. flossers and dental floss. gum® brand. we are back with national spokeswoman for the trump campaign, katrina pierson, here to respond to mitt romney's strong condemnation of the message when the presidential nominee sat down with me for an exclusive interview today. katrina, gore romney told me he is worried a trump presidency would call what he calls trickle down bigotry, misogyny, and racism. obviously a serious charge from the former republican
presidential nominee. respond to that. >> wolf, i have to say if you want to know what stripping power of an elite politician is, it was on your show. he couldn't find three sentences to criticize barack obama when he ran for office, magically wants to criticize a candidate that had 15,000 more votes in his home state but broke the record in republican primary turnout and has essentially won over a lot of the american public, something mitt romney could not accomplish. this is someone that's run for office several times and lost. and honestly, these attacks against donald trump, i think mitt romney is just upset because when he did attack donald trump on his business, donald trump let the whole world know he had a gucci store worth more than mitt romney. so this is just sour grapes. >> he is saying that donald trump has not apologized for his comments. if donald trump is talking about racial harmony, at least on this day, why hasn't he at least apologized to the federal judge
for the comments he made? >> there's nothing to apologize for. again, we're talking about the comment out of context, out of the judicial activism, which a lot has been reported on that since that discussion. but i will say that this again is just sour grapes from the establishment who have had the power stripped out of their hands by a candidate they don't like because he managed to do something they have been unable to do for decades. >> did you see the interview that he did with jake tappert, nothing was out of context. it was clear what he was saying. >> it was clear. interviews prior to that, he was talking about a lot of decisions made in that case and including some context around associations of that judge, which it is my understanding more of those associations have been revealed on breitbart, but i don't want to get into that. i want to focus on mitt romney. there's somehow a concept that being against donald trump is somehow against your values, against your integrity because
last time i checked, if your values included surrendering the supreme court, giving up the first amendment, second amendment and all those that follow, if those are your values, then maybe you should vote for hillary clinton because that's what's going to happen if the republicans don't support their nominee which is what they asked all of us to do when it was mitt romney. >> romney says trump appeals to what he called racist tendencies that exist in people. that's a quote. why hasn't donald trump done more to condemn some of the white supremacist supporters out there, why hasn't he told them he doesn't want their support. >> you know what, wolf, a lot of those supporters are fake. mr. trump is not wasting time applauding and appeasing to the media or a lot of republican detractors. he has one focus, that is the american public, the voters. believe it or not, the majority of americans aren't watching cable news all day every day like the rest of us. there are hundreds of millions of people out there sitting at
their kitchen tables, talking about their jobs or lack thereof. they're talking national security. are they safe in their neighborhoods as they bring in isis infiltrated refugees. they don't care about partisan politics and republicans that claim that donald trump shouldn't be the nominee, but guess what, he is. he has touched a lot of people. he sparked inspiration in a lot %-p. he has grown the republican party. they should be embracing donald trump's candidacy. i'm not saying they have to agree with everything he says or does, but they at least need to agree it is time to grow the party, time to move forward and now it is time to beat hillary clinton. >> wouldn't it be smart, wouldn't it be important for the republican presumptive presidential nominee to deliver a speech condemning the white supremacists, antisemites out there that are supporting him and say bluntly, flatly i don't want your support. >> you know, wolf, i believe it was cnn who asked the question at a press conference with
mr. trump and he condemn all of it. how many times does he have to do it. why not clinton? why are we not talking about hillary clinton? why are we not talking about hillary clinton, going out and condemning violence at some of the trump rallies. >> you're the spokeswoman for donald trump. do you think it would be important for him to make a firm public speech along those lines and say to white supremacists out there who are backing them, to say to antisemites that are backing him, you know what, i don't want your support. >> he has said that and mr. trump will continue to say that but he's not on the time line of the media or the left. mr. trump is going to continue to do what he has been doing. he has been accessible, he has been holding press conference. hillary clinton, not so much. i don't think she's really been asked to denounce hardly anything at this point and we need to see that change as well. mr. trump has been very vocal about a lot of cases simply
because he is told these people are supporting him. come to find out, there are accounts dedicated to pretend to associate mr. trump, and it is just something the media loves to talk about. >> what about david duke, he is public and everybody knows who he is. >> we have been through that circle a number of times. mr. trump did condemn. again, it was a cnn reporter asked him at a press conference and he condemned it. he said i condemn. period. >> senate majority leader mitch mcconnell now says it is pretty obvious, those are his words, that donald trump, once again i am quoting him, doesn't know a lot about the issues. this is the senate republican, majority leader saying that the republican presumptive nominee doesn't know a lot about the issues, as a result he wants him to read scripted speeches on teleprompters. that's pretty humiliating, isn't it? >> no, not at all. i think it goes to show how separate and far the
establishment is from the people because it is the issues that came out, voters came out for in the republican primary because they don't support trillions of dollars of spending, they don't support they don't support amnesty. mr. trump wants to get back to common sense policies. he doesn't want to send people overseas. he wants to do things right here at home. and so you're right. this is something that mr. trump doesn't agree with when it comes to the gop. because they have done everything but put the american voter first, which is exactly why they're voters rejected them. >> katrina pearson, thanks very much for joining us. >> great to be here, wolf. thanks. we're also following important developments on the democratic side of the presidential race as the parties' top leaders now unite behind her. hillary clinton is using donald trump's own words about women to launch a policeterring new attack. the big hilton
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my mouth feels super clean! oral-b. know you're getting a superior clean. i'm never going back to a manual brush. tonight, hillary clinton is arguing that women will be put at risk if they put their futures in donald trump's hands. the new presumptive democratic presidential nominee is intensifying her fight to try to unite her party, even as there's new fuel for the controversy about her private e-mail server. our senior washington correspondent, joe johns, has more on what's going on. joe, what's the latest? >> reporter: no readout yet on what hillary clinton talked
about in that meeting at her house in washington this morning with senator elizabeth warren. but the understanding from aides was that one of the things they were going to talk about was campaign against donald trump. as far as the speech in washington went, hillary clinton talked about women's health issues today, including contraception and abortion, along with the supreme court. but the target of the speech, once again, was the presumptive republican nominee. hillary clinton's first campaign appearance after securing enough delegates for the democratic nomination was on friendly turf before the planned parenthood action fund, talking about women's issues and hammering her republican opponent. >> we are not going to let donald trump or anyone else turn back the clock. >> reporter: front and center, the issue of abortion, and trump's suggestion, which he later walked back, that women should face some form of punishment if the practice were ever banned. >> that's someone who doesn't hold women in high regard. because if he did, he would
trust women to make the right decisions for ourselves. >> reporter: the event a preview of the general election fight to come. do we want to put our health, our lives, our futures in donald trump's hands? clinton firing up the liberal wing and closing out a good campaign week after a round of major endorsements yesterday. >> i don't think there is ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. >> secretary clinton. >> reporter: she also got the support of senator elizabeth warren whose loyal following on the left could help energize the party's progressive base. >> i am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for hillary clinton to become the next president of the united states. >> reporter: warren's endorsement comes as a divisive primary fight with senator bernie sanders is ending. and she is already fully engaged in a vicious war of words with donald trump, hammering him in a speech last night. >> donald trump is a loud,
nasty, thin-skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself. >> reporter:s and as the speculation continues over whether woarren could be the pik for vice president, the two met this morning. only hours after warren said in an interview, she is ready for the oval office. >> do you believe you would be capable of stepping into that job and doing that job if you were ever called to do it? >> yes, i do. >> reporter: but as clinton is riding high, questions about her ethics are swirling again. cnn has learned that among the multiple e-mails found on clinton's private server, a series of messages dealing with a classified cia drone program regarding a potential drone strike in pakistan. and more embarrassing controversy for the campaign today after reports of a donor who gave at least $1 million to the clinton foundation was selected to serve on a key
intelligence board in 2011 and received a security clearance while hillary clinton was secretary of state. newly released e-mails show the man was placed on the list of appointees by a top clinton aide. the man with drew his name two days later, after an abc reporter started asking questions. cnn has asked the clinton campaign about this latest allegation involving the donor and the clinton foundation. the campaign so far, wolf, has not responded. >> joe, you were over at that planned parenthood event today, where hillary clinton spoke. what was the buzz there about a potential ticket -- hillary clinton/elizabeth warren? >> i got to talk to a number of people in the crowd, and, of course, this is the base. these are some of hillary clinton's most loyal supporters. and almost all of the people i talked to said they thought elizabeth warren on the ticket would be a great idea, one of the key questions, of course, whether warren on the it ticket might actually upset or turn away red state america.
they said she's not going to get red state america anyway. >> joe johns reporting for us. joe, thank you very much. that's it for me. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news. mitt romney in a rare and exclusive interview accusing trump of racism and bigotry. he says he'll never vote for trump. this is calls for a convention coup go lord. could it happen? and hillary clinton meeting with elizabeth warren. is america ready for two women on a ticket? and a nuclear advisory board. no experience whatsoever in national security. our investigation, let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett "ro