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tv   2020 Democratic Convention  NBC  August 18, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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good evening, everyone. welcome to day two of nbc news live coverage of the 2020 democratic convention. as we come on the air, the roll call vote to nominate joe biden for president is under way. it does not look familiar to you, but they found a different way. >> this is the real business of the convention to nominate the candidate. like the convention itself, the roll call is virtual in this age of covid. right now all 57 u.s. states and territories are casting their ballots remotely. some are live, some are on tape
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and we'll be following this roll call as it plays out. it happens over several minutes. there are a lot of states who want to be counted. you see the tally at the bottom of your screen. we'll bring you highlights as we go this evening. we'll of course go to that big moment when joe biden officially clinches the nomination with 2,374 votes needed. >> we can dip in if you want. there's montana now. >> joe biden has a plan to make it happen. montana casts one vote for bernie sanders and 18 votes for our next president, joe biden. >> nebraska. >> and that's the way it's been playing out. this is really a nomination on location. there are also some big speeches ahead this evening, including former secretary of state john kerry, who was the democrats' 2004 presidential nominee, form secretary of state colin powell, a republican, and tonight's headliner, joe biden's wife, dr. jill biden. >> well, it's been a busy night. they have been on the air over an hour now. we've seen a number of noteworthy speakers, including
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former president bill clinton. let's take a listen to some of the earlier speeches. >> in a time of voter suppression at home and authoritarians abroad, joe biden will be a champion for free and fair elections. >> our party is united and offering you a very different choice. a go-to-work president, a down-to-earth, get the job done guy, a man with a mission to take responsibility, not shift the blame, concentrate, not distra distract, unite, not divide. our choice is joe biden. >> good evening and thank you to everyone here today endeavoring towards a better, more just future for our country and our world. in fidelity and gratitude to a mass people's movement working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages and labor rights for all people in the united states.
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>> those are some of the highlights from speeches we have seen so far tonight as we continue to monitor the roll call vote in progress. we want to turn to nbc news political director and moderator of "meet the press" chuck todd. chuck, it's night two for the democrats, the first-ever virtual convention. are they finding a way to make the case? >> you know, it's interesting. i would argue in this first hour, and i've noticed it both during the keynote and even during this roll call, guys, is that tonight we are seeing a little bit of the pro joe biden argument. one of the more interesting findings in our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll this week was the breakdown of joe biden's support. a large majority, 58% of biden voters, tell us they're primarily voting for him because it's a vote against trump. just 36% of his voters say they are voting for joe biden. i have heard more of the for joe biden case tonight, much more than we heard last night. look, it is hard to sort of separate the two issues.
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it's not -- you can't really say let's talk about joe biden without the context of donald trump, right? he is, you know, all consuming when it comes to this campaign. but i do think that unlike last night, which was a totally anti-trump affair, i do think we're starting to hear some of the case for joe biden and a little bit of the personal biography of joe biden. i'm getting a lot more of that tonight than i did last night. >> that's kind of by design. isn't tonight all about leadership? >> well, you would assume with joe biden being sort of the premiere speaker of the night that, yes. if the whole -- if the best contrast they believe they have with donald trump is joe biden's character versus donald trump's character, then i think it does behoove them to spend time talking about joe biden's character. >> they're also going to put an emphasis on foreign policy, national security. gives us a good chance to check in with andrea mitchell, our senior washington correspondent. andrea, we'll hear from two former secretaries of state, one for worked for a democrat and one for republicans.
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what do you expect? >> they're going to be talking about leadership and their view that donald trump has abandoned our allies, has coddled dictators like vladimir putin and kim jong-un, and has really abandoned america's leadership around the world. you'll hear from colin powell the validation of someone who has endorsed the democrats before, he's endorsed hillary clinton, he's endorsed barack obama, but he's never appeared at a democratic convention. he's appeared at a republican convention, interestingly, several of them. one i saw in 2000 where he was booed from the floor for endorsing affirmative action. that was the beginning of his departure from the republican party over race issues. but tonight he'll be talking about leadership and what they see as donald trump's failure in leadership around the world. >> andrea, thank you very much. we want to dip right back into the roll call. as i said, this is the business of the convention and they're about to hit that magic number that will make joe biden officially -- >> i think he just hit the number. there's the check mark. i think he just went over.
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>> joe biden knows that everyone deserves a chance to climb that ladder. so as a proud tribal member, as a mexican american, as a harvard graduate, i am proud to cast north dakota's vote, 10 for bernie sanders and 8 for our next president, joe biden. >> northern marriotta island. >> hello from paradise, the northern mariana islands. we may be far away but we're american citizens and this year for the first time in decades we finally have a democratic slate because democrats organize everywhere. we don't get to vote for president, so please don't waste yours. the northern mariana islands is proud to cast two votes for senator bernie sanders and nine votes for our next president, joe biden. >> he's over the top of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. he will go from presumptive nominee to nominee of his party. normally we would expect a big demonstration of applause but
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we're not in that environment anymore. kristen welker is in wilmington, delaware, tonight just across the street from where dr. jill biden will be speaking. kristen, do we have some sense of what she will say and what her message will be for the crowd here tonight? >> we do, lester. dr. jill biden is joe biden's closest confidant, his wife of more than 40 years, and so she is going to speak about joe biden in deeply personal terms. she's going to do it at this high school behind me. this is where she taught english years ago. and she's going to make this about leadership and she'll make education really the centerpiece of this. she's going to argue that in order to send children back to school in a safe environment, the united states needs new leadership and needs her husband, joe biden. i'm told she's going to speak about him as a father, as a husband, as a man. and also someone who has endured great loss. part of her excerpts say how do you make a broken family whole?
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the same way you make a nation whole. with love and understanding. so that really frames, i think, the messaging that we will hear from dr. jill biden. as chuck was saying, last night we heard from a number of speakers, including former first lady michelle obama, who really unleashed a searing indictment of donald trump. this is going to be the personal case for joe biden. now, jill biden is no stranger to defending her husband. we all remember that on super tuesday she was on stage with him and even blocked a protester who was coming up on the stage. and so this is a role with which she is quite comfortable and quite familiar. you can expect a full-throated but very personal defense of her hundred dollar, lester. >> kristen, thanks. about seven minutes left in the roll call right now. you continue to watch that in the upper right corner of your screen. democrats, as always in these conventions, determined to show a united front this week but there has been some daylight between the party's progressive
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and moderate wings. capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt has been watching that play out for us. kasie, good evening. >> good evening, lester. that's right, you have see unity be at the absolute forefront for the biden campaign, but there has been some small cracks over the course of the last day and a half. alexandria ocasio-cortez has been at the center of those cracks. we saw her speak briefly earlier tonight nominating actually, seconding the nomination for bernie sanders, that part of the formal unfolding of the convention that we are now seeing play out in primetime because this is all virtual. she actually didn't mention biden's name but talked about the movement that sent many votes and some delegates here at this convention to bernie sanders. she is, of course, probably the highest profile new young member of congress. she has in many ways a celebrity following that other young progressive members of congress don't have the way that she
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does. she was criticized by john kasich, the republican former governor who spoke last night, for being too extreme is what he said. she hit back at him on twitter saying that his views on issues like abortion, for example, don't line up with where democrats are. so that, of course, what the biden had been trying to avoid through all of this. that also in a little bit of tension with the more moderate wing of the democratic party that looks to include people like alabama senator doug jones, for example, someone who's running for re-election in a red state. but by and large, lester, democrats have managed to hold this together and present a mostly united front with a few exceptions here. >> kasie, thanks. >> as we continue to watch this roll call, instead of being from a convention floor, it's from 57 states and u.s. territories. we just saw puerto rico pledging their delegates in spanish with subtitles. obviously one of the keys to the 2020 election for democrats is
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that bloc of latino voters. they make up more than 13% of all eligible voters in this country. and they are concentrated in some key battleground states too. let's go to jose diaz-balart, our colleague. there's a lot to the latino vote, far more than immigration, jose, and latinos do not want to be overlooked by the democratic party. >> absolutely not, savannah. great seeing you. absolutely. we just concluded a poll at telemundo and buzzfeed on young latino voters. interesting numbers. 64% of young latino voters said they will definitely be voting this coming november the 3rd. 60% say they'll be voting for biden. 19% for trump. 60% for biden is pretty much what hillary clinton got from latino voters last time around. much less than the 71% that president obama received from latinos in his re-election
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campaign. but interesting, issues, covid and many others. but immigration still is an important place where joe biden and donald trump are far different. 11th of july i interviewed president trump in an exclusive for telemundo and he said that he was going to have an executive order, this is july 11th, on dreamers, on daca. it's going to be legalizing dreamers. he said he was going to do that within four weeks. it's august 18th and still nada as far as immigration from president trump. that's the difference from the policies of joe biden. savannah, as i kind of wrap it up, an interesting number came out of that poll on latinos. 33% of latinos that were polled said someone who showed up and has shown up for the latino community in the united states, 33% said nobody.
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joe biden and senator sanders, 6%, and donald trump at 3%. so a lot needs to be done still. >> all right, jose, thank you very much. and as we watch the roll call as it unfolds, we turn to chuck todd who actually does have a podcast. chuck, break it down for us. i know you're at your map, so show us where these battlegrounds are. what is the road to 270 electoral votes for either candidate? >> by the way, it's the chuck toddcast. >> that's very clever. >> that's right, that's right. more importantly, i have missed this. we don't have this in the todd household in my home studio, it is nice to have the interactive map back. but here is our road to 270. this is the nbc news political unit. this is our competitive battleground map. all the gray states are where both campaigns are spending money actively trying to win. so this is the playing field, these gray states from nevada in the west and arizona up to maine's second congressional
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district, even the nebraska second congressional district, those midwestern states. this is where we believe the race begins and this is where we have it right now. and right now we would have biden already with a win. we've got these states, he's got a 10-point lead nationally. right now we have some big battleground states from nevada to arizona, florida to north carolina, minnesota, wisconsin and michigan, all already lean biden. we think biden has a lead of 5 points or more. what's interesting here, savannah, is that the states that we haven't assigned, iowa, ohio, georgia and texas are toss-up states right now. he doesn't have to win any of them and he'd still win the presidency with barack obama-like electoral vote numbers. >> you're talking about joe biden. but just for those who remember this movie from 2016, chuck, when folks like you and all of us put up polls and put up maps that said that hillary clinton would win and now you're showing us a similar map, i think a lot of people sitting at home are
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probably a little skeptical. >> that's okay, i'll give you the trump path. it exists, it's legit. it's the same thing. there's a way for him to do this. it's very narrow. but when you're trailing in the national popular vote by the numbers he's trailing, in order for the president to get to this path, he needs to get a job approval rating north of 46%. he's not been north of 45% in our poll for over a year. and he's going to have to get his popular vote to that 47%. he can win that way, but it is -- it is very -- it is a very difficult path as things stand right now. >> but part of this model is from a pre-pandemic model. biden has to defend those states. how does he do it without traveling on the ground? how does he pull it off and defend these places without getting some flesh on the ground? >> well, look, i think this is -- right now this is the issue for the democrats. i think they know that there's some concern that when it comes to getting out the vote, when you need to get out the vote in
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places like georgia, places like milwaukee, you do need people on the ground. you need people dragging people. come on, you've got to vote, i'll come drive you to vote. i think that is a concern. i think this is why this convention looks the way it looks. this is why this convention has got a lot of, you've got to get out there and vote because they're going to have to do this virtually, lester. you know what, that is harder. i think there are some nervous field people in team biden. >> you go back to michelle obama yesterday, what was her point? trying to get out the vote. democrats clearly see -- >> get some comfortable shoes and stand in line. >> we're watching -- we're about at the ending of the roll call. >> we're almost at the end of alphabetical order. two states get to go last, wisconsin, because it was the site of the real convention before the pandemic and then the home state will vote and we will let that play out live. let's listen. >> it's the place where i was born and raised right in the heart of 53206 zip code. this is a community faced with significant challenges due to
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historical injustice but what many don't see is the joy, resilience and opportunity that lies within this community and so many others across america just like it. we're hard-working people, fighting to provide for their families and to build a better future. we know we build a better future for our nation by wisconsin's legacy as the birth place of the progressive movement and uniting in a bold agenda. in the pursuit of a more just future, one that tackles the climate crisis and takes on racial and economic justice. wisconsin casts 30 votes for bernie sanders, and 67 for the next president of the united states of america, joseph biden. joseph r. biden. >> delaware. >> long before this train station bore his name, you'd see joe biden up here on the platform with the rest of the crowd on his way to work or going home to his family. that's always been his north star, delivering for families
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like his own, working people who struggle and sacrifice to build a better life. nobody has ever had to wonder who joe biden is in it for. >> our nation faces daunting challenges, but i've known joe biden for 40 years, and there's nobody i trust more to lead our party, unite our country and restore our standing in the world. what's more, he's humble. he tells the truth. he treats everybody he encounters with respect and builds bridges, not walls. he is a leader made for this moment and the finest public servant i've ever known. >> delaware is proud to cast its 32 votes for our favorite son and our next president, our friend. >> delaware's joe biden! [ applause ] >> a live look at joe biden reacting to the zoom-like crowd celebrating his nomination. >> yeah, the zoom call is stretching across the country. we've now heard from 57 u.s.
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states and territories. that's our first glimpse of joe biden live, direct and jill biden right there. they have the celebration. this is what a virtual convention, this is the balloon drop. andrea mitchell, normally you would be on the floor, but this is what it looks like in 2020, and here we go, the democrats trying to really get the enthusiasm up virtually, but also literally. >> i'm going to bring balloons on thursday. >> you should bring balloons, chuck. >> this is a homespun moment. >> it's going to be nothing but confetti and balloons here. >> i can tell you the bidens are as excited being there. you can see their children, their grandchildren. joe biden and jill biden are as would be to be on the floor. here he comes. >> has officially been nominated by the democratic party as our candidate for president of the united states. vice president biden is hereby
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invited to deliver an acceptance speech. >> well, thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart. thank you all. it means the world to me and my family, and i'll see you on thursday. thank you, thank you, thank you. >> might be the shortest speech vice president biden has ever given because he's got a big one coming up on thursday night. >> so does his wife, dr. jill. we'll be hearing from her shortly. chuck todd, walk back for a minute. south carolina, before south carolina it was he's fighting for his political life, his last chance, his last shot. and tonight he accepts the nomination. >> lester, i'm old enough to remember when we thought we were going to be covering a contested convention in milwaukee. remember that? there's just no way this is all going to happen. can we take a step back? it's a remark -- joe biden -- this is a remarkable journey to this nomination. this was never the joe biden year.
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1988 was a joe biden year. 1992 was a joe biden year. maybe 2008 was a joe biden year. it was never supposed to be now, and yet you never know when your moment comes. so you've got to say it's a remarkable journey. he's had an extraordinary career that suddenly now has gotten a little more extraordinary. >> all right, chuck, andrea, everybody stand by. we're just getting started. we've had the official business, joe biden is now officially the nominee of the democratic party. more speeches. we are awaiting speeches from john kerry, colin powell, two former secretaries of state and dr. jill biden just ahead. we'll take a quick break and are back after this.
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in a time of voter suppression at home and authoritarian as broad, joe biden will be a champion for free and fair elections.
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for a public health system that keeps us safe. for an economy that we build back better than before. and for accountability and integrity in our system of justice. we stand with joe biden. >> that's voting rights advocate stacey abrams speaking earlier this evening and that brings us to a major moment in history being celebrated today, the ratification 100 years ago today of the 19th amendment to the constitution granting women the right to vote. andrea mitchell has more on this for us. andrea, you had a fascinating story on nightly news tonight. tell us more. >> this anniversary celebration is something to celebrate, 100 years of emancipation for women to have the right to vote, but the true story, the untold story is that black women were marginalized in the suffrage movement. they were segregated in the marches in new york and washington as it led up to this anniversary. when it finally got through congress and had to get through the states, it was finally
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today, 100 years ago, voted with one vote in nashville, tennessee. tennessee was the last vote. it was because a young 24-year-old freshman legislator, he got a letter from his mother the night before written in pencil. we have a copy of the letter saying do the right thing. be a good boy, vote for -- basically vote for ratification and he switched his vote and they won the vote. but black women still after this anniversary of 100 years ago in 1920, they still couldn't vote because most black women lived in the south and the south was the jim crow south, lester and savannah. they had to fight for the right to vote and that fight went all the way with great women leaders on the edmund pettus bridge, amanda boynton and fanny lou hamer until the voting rights act in 1965 and that goes on with stacey abrams still fighting against voter suppression. a lot of great women leaders started the suffrage movement
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and became civil rights leaders in the emerging civil rights movement and their descendants still today. >> let's bring kristen welker, our colleague at the white house, in on this conversation. kristen, you study politics 24 hours a day as far as i can tell and the female vote absolutely essential. >> reporter: it's essential, it could not be more critical, savannah. that was underscored when joe biden said that he was going to pick a woman vice presidential nomin nominee. true to word, he did in fact do that and he picked senator kamala harris. she is, of course, a history-making pick. she is the first woman of color to serve as a vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket. and so undoubtedly, democrats feel as though that will help them. the ticket itself reach out to women voters. we saw that last night when we heard from former first lady michelle obama. her forceful indictment against
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president trump, speaking not only on behalf of all americans, but on behalf of women. and of course they have taken aim at president trump in the white house for some of what they have argued is divisive rhetoric, and rhetoric that is offensive to women, tweeting about housewives. i can tell you based on some conversations with officials inside the white house, they're concerned that that type of rhetoric could back fire so democrats have that front and center as they head toward november. >> we're awaiting a speech from someone quite remarkable. his name is addie barken. he was diagnosed with als and newer jen rafb disease. he became politically active, an advocate f rorm, and he has traveled the country. his voice has changed, though, over these years and kasie hunt joins us with a little bit more about his story and what we're about to hear in a few moments. >> it's really such a remarkable story, savannah, and everyone is
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going to hear how this disease has changed his voice when he speaks here. but this is a man who after he was diagnosed with als, lou gehrig's disease, decided he couldn't stay silent. he became an advocate for medicare for all, he endorsed progressive democratic candidates. he's interviewed many of them over the course of the last few months but tonight he's going to be endorsing joe biden and saying that he really needs -- is the person who is going to protect people's health care against president trump, but really the focus here on his inspiring personal story. >> he's 36 years old, he has two children, he's from california and he was diagnosed four years ago and tonight he addresses the democratic national convention as an advocate and an activist and somebody speaking on behalf of those suffering this condition. let's listen. >> hey, it's me, dad. by the time you're watching
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this, you will have grown up to be strong and courageous, but i don't know how much longer i'll be around for you. i was diagnosed with als today, which is a deadly debilitating disease. after i was diagnosed, the president had the tax bill that put my health care at risk. so i went to washington, d.c. >> my next guest made headlines when he confronted a republican senator on an airplane. >> you can be an american hero. >> i wanted to help create a better country for you to live in. >> democracy is beautiful. >> democracy is beautiful! >> all that matters to me is to make you proud because i'm already so proud of you.
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>> hello, america. my name is audie barken and i am speaking to you through this computer voice because i have been paralyzed by a mysterious illness called als. like so many of you, i have experienced the ways our health care system is fundamentally broken. enormous costs, denied claims, dehumanizing treatment when we are most in need. since my shocking diagnosis, i have traveled the country meeting countless patients like me, demanding more of our representatives and our democracy. today we are witnessing the tragic consequences of our failing health care system. in the midst of a pandemic, nearly 100 million americans do not have sufficient health insurance. and even good insurance does not cover essential needs like long-term care. our loved ones are dying in unsafe nursing homes. our nurses are overwhelmed and unprotected, and our essential workers are treated as
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dispensable. we live in the richest country in history and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right. everyone living in america should get the health care they need, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay. even during this terrible crisis, donald trump and republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people's health insurance. with the existential threat of another four years of this president, we all have a profound obligation to act. not only to vote, but to make sure that our friends, family, and neighbors vote as well. we must elect joe biden. each of us must be a hero for our communities, for our country, and then with the compassionate and intelligent president, we must act together and put on his desk a bill that guarantees us all the health care we deserve. text vote to 30330 to learn how to vote safely, because our lives depend on it.
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>> i can't imagine anyone who can deliver that message with more impact than him. >> democrats looking to put a human face and voice to what is needed in this country as far as health care reform is concerned, so that obviously is -- they're hoping to pack a powerful emotional punch tonight. >> as we mentioned earlier, a key focus of tonight's convention is also national security. it will begin with a speech from the party's 2004 standard bearer, a vietnam veteran, form senator, u.s. secretary of state under president obama, john kerry. >> and then kerry will be followed by another former secretary of state, a four-star general, a republican who served three republican presidents, colin powell, who later voted for president obama and candidate clinton. let's turn to andrea mitchell who has followed colin powell's career for years and jeremy bash who served as president obama's chief of staff at the cia and at the defense department. andrea, briefly, the significance for colin powell to actually address a democratic convention. as mentioned, he has voted
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democratic in the last few elections, but this takes it another step. >> and he sees this as a real issue of leadership. he is a general first, secretary of state and diplomat second. but he really is a military man and also the child of immigrants. he sees that donald trump does not meet the leadership needs of this country. he is that forcefully compelled to speak out for joe biden as a former republican speaking at the democratic national convention. it's the first time he's done this and it's pretty remarkable. >> jeremy bash, when you look at joe biden, in the 30 seconds we have before we hear from him, how would he use the military? >> well, i think he would do so to defend america's core national security interests, lester. i think the biden team likes this contrast because biden is experienced, he is steady and trump has been erratic on the national stage. >> all right, jeremy, thanks. we are going to now hear from this group of speakers on
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national security. >> hi, i'm john kerry. for the eight years of the obama/biden administration, we led by example. we eliminated the threat of an iran with a nuclear weapon, we built a 68-nation coalition to destroy isis, we forged 195-nation agreement to attack climate change, we stopped ebola before it became a pandemic. donald trump inherited a growing economy and a more peaceful world. like everything else he inherited, he bankrupted it. when this president goes overseas, it isn't a good will mission, it's a blooper reel. he breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. america deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at. donald trump pretends russia didn't attack our elections. and now he does nothing about
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rush -- so he won't defend our country, he doesn't know how to defend our troops. the only person he's interested in defending is himself. this is the bottom line. our interests, our ideals and our brave men and women in uniform can't afford four more years of donald trump. our troops can't get out of harm's way by hiding in the white house bunker. they need a president who will stand up for them and president biden will. joe's moral compass has always pointed in the right direction, from the fight to break the back of apartheid to the struggle to wake up the world to genocide in the balkans. joe understands that none of the issues of this world, not nuclear weapons, not the challenge of building back better after covid, not terrorism and certainly not the climate crisis, none can be resolved without bringing nations together with strength and humility. joe understands our values don't
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limit our power, they magnify it. he knows you can't spread democracy around the world if you don't practice it at home. and he knows that even the united states of america needs friends on this planet. before donald trump, we used to talk about american exceptionalism. the only thing exceptional about the incoherent trump foreign policy is that it has made our nation more isolated than ever before. joe biden knows we aren't exceptional because we bluster that we are, we are exceptional because we do exceptional things. on june 6, 1944, young americans gave their lives on the beaches of normandy to liberate the world from tyranny. out of the ashes of that war we made peace and rebuilt the world. that was and remains exceptional. it is the opposite of everything donald trump stands for.
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this moment is a fight for the only joe biden can make america lead like america again. if you agree, text join to 30330. thank you. in the situation room, presidents make decisions of war and peace, so when joe biden walks in the situation room, first and foremost in his mind is how will my decision impact the lives of the american people. >> he is experienced. he has made the tough calls. >> he's got courage. he's got tremendous courage. character, judgment, and he can be tough. >> i witnessed it close up. >> joe biden is decisive and well prepared for any issue. >> there's no one more qualified than joe biden to be sitting at the head of the table in the situation room making decisions for this country. >> having sent his son to war, i don't think anyone can be more ready than vice president biden.
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>> he knows exactly what's at stake when he sends our troops overseas. >> biden understands how important it is to have allies standing together with us. they are force multipliers. >> joe biden has the unique ability to connect with people. he knows the leaders. he's dealt with them for years. he knows what make him tick. >> they trust him, they trust his judgment and they know that his word is good. >> i know that biden's personal diplomacy will save american lives. >> to build these relationships takes decades. and to tear them down, all it takes is a tweet. >> thanks to donald trump, our adversaries are stronger and bolder. >> donald trump has had a lovefest with dictators, including china and russia. he hasn't been standing up to them at all. >> i served in the united states air force for 36 years. i've led space squadrons, nuclear missile squadrons, and i never thought i would have a president who is a danger to national security. >> president trump has degraded and debased the presidency and our country in the eyes of the world.
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>> the russians offered bounties on u.s. soldiers. i was shocked when i read that. but the president didn't even ask vladimir putin about it. that's unamerican. >> there's something wrong with that. that's a dereliction of duty. you're failing the troops. you're failing this country. >> the first thing the president needs to do is find out what the facts are. this president doesn't care about facts. >> biden cares about the safety and welfare of american servicemen and women. >> for military, the policy to maintain our presence in syria, we helped stop the advance. president trump told us to simply abandon the kurds. it's shameful. >> joe biden will be strong against dictators. >> i've heard him on the phone with some pretty tough characters. you know, you talk about joe biden's empathy, his deechbcenc but joe biden is tough as nails, and everybody knows it. >> he will do the right thing, no matter the political cost. >> i've served for two republican presidents and one democratic president. i have seen the trump administration make decisions
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without any thought, without any preparation, that have massive life-and-death consequences. >> at one of the most defining times in the history of the world, joe biden is uniquely qualified to be president of the united states. >> if you want a strong america, you want joe biden. >> hi, i'm former secretary of state colin powell. 100 years ago a young immigrant left a dirt farm in jamaica and set out for america. three years later, a ship pulled into new york harbor and a young jamaican woman gazed up at the statue of liberty for the first time. they became my parents and they inspired me to finish college and join the army. this began a journey of service that would take me from basic training to combat in vietnam, up the ranks to serve as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and secretary of state. the values i learned growing up in the south bronx and serving in uniform were the same values that joe biden's parents instilled in him in scranton, pennsylvania.
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i support joe biden for the presidency of the united states because those values still define him, and we need to restore those values to the white house. our country needs a commander in chief who takes care of our troops in the same way he would his own family. for joe biden, that doesn't mean teaching, it comes from the experience he shares with millions of military families, sending his beloved son off to war and praying to god he would come home safe. joe biden will be a president we will all be proud to salute. with joe biden in the white house, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries, never the other way around. he will trust our diplomats and our intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and december upon th despots. he still wanted up to our a adversaries with strength and experience. they will know he means business. i support joe biden because the power of our example and the beginning on day one, he will restore americans with example of our power.
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he will restore america's leadership and our mor leadership in the world and restore the alliances we need to address the dangers that threaten our nation. from climate change to nuclear proliferation. today we are a country divided and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way. what a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul. i still believe that in our hearts, we are the same america that brought my parents to our shores, an america that inspires freedom around the world. that's the america joe biden will lead as our next president. thank you very much. >> it was a friendship that shouldn't have worked. john, a former navy pilot, just released from a north vietnamese prison. joe, a young senator from delaware. but in the 1970s, joe was
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assigned a military aide for a trip overseas. >> i have the navy senate liaison and used to carry your bags on overseas trips. >> the son of a gun never carried my bags. he was supposed to carry my bags, but he never carried my bags. >> john and joe traveled thousands of miles together. the families got to know each other, gathering for picnics in the bidens' backyard. >> they would just sit and joke. it was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them. >> but when john was elected to the senate as a republican from arizona, they found themselves on opposing sides. >> we're in different parties. we hold different views on many issues. >> maybe going out on the floor and think oh, these guys must really, really dislike each other. and they'd be having dinner that night together.
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>> senator biden had great respect for the institution of the senate. he built relationships that were cordial, that were personal. >> we've always been willing, we thought the other guy was right, to cross the aisle and lock arms. it's good for the country. >> it takes trust to get things done in a divided government, and i think with joe biden his colleagues knew that your points were equally valid to him. >> even if a deal seemed out of reach, it was always joe who tried to cross the aisle. >> he was like a natural for that. he just had an ability to find the common ground but never give up your principles. >> for three decades, joe was able to move his colleagues and find a way forward. on violence against women, banning chemical weapons, assault weapons and controlling nuclear arms.
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>> with a style of legislating and leadership that you don't find much anymore. >> and when millions of americans were faced with losing their health insurance, it was joe's friend who saved obamacare by crossing the aisle. >> mccain cast his vote with a thumbs down. >> john and i have been given several awards about bipartisanship. we don't understand why you should get an award for bipartisanship. >> thank you for your example and how to remain the same good guy that you were when you first got here. most of all, for your friendship. my life and the lives of many have been enriched by it. >> we've been watching a video montage narrated by cindy mccain, the widow of u.s. senator john mccain, a republican. for the second night, lester, we're seeing some republican voices really getting primetime at the democratic national convention. we await dr. jill biden's speech in a minute but let's go to a
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former top advisor to president obama who ran his campaign, david plouffe. an interesting moment in the democratic party. on the one hand we see how it's reaching out to shore up its left flank, bernie sanders, alexandria ocasio-cortez, and now this section of the convention with former general colin powell and this tribute with john mccain. can the democrats be all things to all people? >> well, you have to do both. you're going to need great turnout, particularly in a pandemic when voting is more challenging, and joe biden is doing extremely well with seniors and suburban voters and i think voices like cindy mccain and colin powell are helpful. by the way, arizona could determine who our next president is so cindy mccain's voice takes on extra meaning there. >> let me turn back to jeremy bash. jeremy, i just want to get your thoughts on that montage there and building up joe biden as this man of leadership. do we know -- you know, he talked about being the last advisor in the room with president obama during big decisions.
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do we know what kind of advice, what kind of influence he wielded on national security issues? >> oh, in the situation room, lester, he sat at the president's right hand. he was in the room for every single large decision. the drawdown in iraq, the buildup in afghanistan and the drawdown. the effort to take down osama bin laden, the effort to go after iran's nuclear program. joe biden was in all of those discussions. when he raises his right hand, lester, and takes the oath, he will be the most prepared person ever to assume the presidency. that's again why i think the biden team likes this contrast because trump has been so erratic and so cozying up to dictators like kim jong-un and vladimir putin and joe biden will make our adversaries very nervous and our allies i think will breathe a sigh of relief. >> let's turn to andrea mitchell who covers foreign policy. national security republicans, are they a group that could vote for joe biden? is this fertile territory for the democrats to be mining? >> i think so, because they have
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come out in large numbers. you've seen a hollowing out of the state department and the intelligence community. the president has taken on all of these agencies. his secretary of state has really gotten rid of all the assistant secretaries. i've seen all of these people, i've worked with them for years in different administrations. they're not partisans, but i can very much see the national security, the military people following joe biden. even today we had the news today out of the republican-led senate intelligence committee which goes far beyond the mueller report indicating that former trump 2016 campaign chairman paul manafort was actually closely aligned with a known russian intelligence officer who became his business partner and may very well according to this report signed by republicans and democrats well have known about the hacking in 2016 and that the hacking actually was directed by vladimir putin. that's something the mueller report never even said and that came out today from a committee
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led by marco rubio. >> i want to go to kristen welker right now. kristen, i'd like to get a preview of what we think we're going to hear from jill biden, but before we do that, i understand you have a little intelligence on what we're going to hear from president obama tomorrow night. >> that's right. i think it's going to be a big moment, lester. tomorrow night i think will be the first night when we really start to see the argument coming together for the biden/harris ticket as a whole. i am told that form president obama is going to talk about why the ticket is the right one to lead the country through this economic crisis and this health crisis. and then an aide close to obama tells me that he is going to talk about seeing biden's leadership firsthand. part of what jeremy was just talking about. but the ways in which they worked together to recover the economy when it was in a deep recession, to pass health care and to navigate all of those very complicated foreign policy issues. and then i am told that former president obama is going to cast
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this as a fight for our very democracy itself and he'll reiterate something that we heard from the former first lady, which is the need to get out and vote. and then we will of course harry from senator kamala harris tomorrow evening, and she will reintroduce herself to the country essentially, talk about her background as a former prosecutor, as the former attorney general of california, and then of course the title that means the most to her, momala, and it all culminates on thursday night with that big speech by joe biden when he accepts his party's nomination and casts this as a fight for the very soul of the nation. lester, savannah. >> but tonight belongs to jill biden who in just a few moments will be addressing the convention about her husband of 43 years. now, watching this convention is president trump. he's been pretty vocal about it, who he's seen, what he thinks of the speakers. he's on the road tonight doing some counterprogramming. let's go to hallie jackson
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returning to duty one baby later. welcome back from maternity leave, hallie. and the president has certainly been paying attention to what's been going on these last couple nights. >> no kidding, savannah. thank you for the warm welcome back. i got off the phone with a senior administration official who said of course the president is absolutely engaged in what is happening with this democratic convention. but here's the thing about president trump, savannah, as you well know and as we've talked about for a number of years. you can call a million sources but the president ends up just tweeting it and that is what we have seen. the president not just counterprogramming but counterpunching as well. he's defending nihimself in a series of retweets against the democratic attacks particularly as it relates tonight to the coronavirus. it follows what we saw from the president earlier today where he slammed night one's headline speaker, and that is former first lady michelle obama making what he described as a divisive speech for the american people. the president has been traveling as part of this counterprogramming effort on his own kind of campaign swing. he was just in arizona, a place
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that will be absolutely critical for both joe biden and donald trump coming up this fall. he is now heading back to the white house, savannah, and i expect that we'll hear more from the president in the hours to come. >> hallie, thank you. >> and we are moments away from hearing jill biden. you've met her. she doesn't come across as a person that embraces politics per se. >> no, but she's a very experienced veteran political wife, her husband having been elected to the u.s. senate in the '70s. of course she married him a few years after that and that personal story and how she came in and as beau biden once said, his mom rebuilt that family just as much as his dad after the death of joe biden's first wife, so we'll hear from dr. jill biden. she's going to be speaking actually, lester, from a high school. we call her dr. jill biden. she's not a medical doctor, she has her doctor in communication. >> she was a community college professor. >> and stayed doing that all through her time at the white house while she was second lady.
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that's the place she's chosen to make her address tonight. >> let's go quickly while we're waiting for her to begin, let's go back to chuck todd. chuck, is she anxious to get back -- obviously she's somewhat anxious, but to get back into this game? >> well, you know, it's interesting that she's been in some ways, you've heard this about joe biden, much more involved in this campaign not as if she wasn't involved in previous campaigns, but this one a lot more involved, whether it was in the running mate process or in some of the strategic decisions. she's been a much bigger player this time in this campaign than she has in previous ones. >> all right. we're about 15 seconds away from the former second lady, who may become the first lady of the united states, again speaking from that school in wilmington and to tell a little bit of their story together and to kind of set the stage for a night in
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which it was about leadership and about promoting this idea of joe biden as a guy who is ready on day one. >> perhaps there's no better character witness than someone who spent four decades with him so let's listen as dr. jill biden addresses the convention. >> i have always loved the sounds of a classroom. the quiet that sparks with possibility just before students shuffle in, the murmur of ideas bouncing back and forth as we explore the world together, the laughter and tiny moments of surprise you find in materials you've taught a million times. when i taught english here at brandywine high school, i would spend my summer preparing for the school year about to start filled with anticipation. but this quiet is heavy. you can hear the anxiety that
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echos down empty hallways. there's no scent of new notebooks or freshly waxed floors. >> the rooms are now confined to boxes on a computer screen. i hear it from so many of you. the frustration of parents juggling work while they support their children's learning or are afraid their kids might get sick from school. the concern of every person working without enough protection. the despair in the lines that stretch that follows every lonely last breath when the ventilators turn off. as a mother and a grandmother, as an american, i am heartbroken
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by the magnitude of this loss, by the failure to protect our communities, by every precious and irreplaceable life gone. like so many of you, i'm left asking how do i keep my family safe? you know, motherhood came to me in a way i never expected. i fell in love with a man and two little boys standing in the wreckage of unthinkable loss. mourning a wife and mother, a daughter and sister. i never imagined at the age of 26 i would be asking myself how do you make a broken family whole. still, joe always told the boys mommy sent jill to us, and how could i argue with her? and so we figured it out
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together in those big moments that would go by too fast. thanksgivings and state championships, birthdays and weddings, in the mundane ones that we didn't even know were shaping our lives, reading stories piled on the couch, rowdy sunday dinners and silly arguments. listening to the faint sounds of laughter that would float downstairs as joe put the kids to bed every night while i studied for grad school or graded papers under the pale yellow kitchen lamp. the dinner dishes waiting in the sink. we found that love holds a family together. love makes us flexible and resilient. it allows us to become more than ourselves together. and though it can't protect us from the sorrows of life, it
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gives us refuge, a home. how do you make a broken family whole? the same way you make a nation whole. with love and understanding and with small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith. you show up for each other in big ways and small ones, again and again. it's what so many of you are doing right now for your loved ones, for complete strangers, for your communities. there are those who want to tell us that our country is hopelessly divided, that our differences are irreconcilable, but that's not what i've seen over these last few months. we're coming together and holding on to each other. we're finding mercy and grace in the moments we might have once taken for granted.
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we're seeing that our differences are precious and our similarities infinite. we have shown that the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage. that's the soul of america joe biden is fighting for now. after our son, beau, died of cancer, i wondered if i would ev smile or feel joy again. it was summer, but there was no warmth left for me. four days after beau's funeral, i watched joe shave and put on his suit. i saw him steel himself in the mirror, take a breath,


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