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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump to Appear on Stage Later Tonight; Interview with Ivanka Trump; Former Astronaut Speaks on Moonwalk Anniversary; Hispanic Trump Supporter Talks About Immigration; Three Former Trump Rivals to Speak Tonight. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired July 20, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I met Donald Trump about 20 year ago before either of us decided to run for office.
[20:00:04] Let me tell you why this is the time for Donald to be president.
A lot of politicians like to give speeches where they say, we are at a crossroads. That's not really where we are today. Today, America is in a terrible world record-high debt. Our economy is not growing. Our jobs are going overseas and we've allowed our military to decay, and we've projected weakness on the international stage.
Washington grows while the rest of America struggles. The Democrats have not let us to a crossroads. They have led us to a cliff.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Now I know that some have reservations about my friend Donald Trump. Perhaps, he's sometimes not polite. He can be a little rough and for some people he may be too direct.
But this election is not actually about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In fact, it's not the election about you or me. This election is about the very survival of the American dream.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
It's time for all Americans to put down the partisan banners, vote for the survival of the greatest country in the world and do the right thing for this country, vote for Donald Trump!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Finally, I have some great news. This is the time America has been waiting for. This year, we get to fire the politicians!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And who better to let the politicians know you're fired than Donald Trump?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We need a president who is politically incorrect and will tell it like it is. We need a president who isn't afraid of Washington. We need a president who doesn't believe government is the answer to every problem.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We need a president who recognizes that great countries have borders. We need a president who will bring American jobs back to America.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We need a president who is not afraid to say radical Islamic terrorism.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And we need a president to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And on every one of these measures, Hillary Clinton fails. She fails. She fails. She fails.
America is worth fighting for. Let's make America great again. Let's elect Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Thank you and God bless this great country.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, Jake. I guess that's the appetizer. We're going to be hearing a lot more of that over the next few hours.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, elected in 2010, he specifically was addressing the skeptics, people who might have misgivings about Donald Trump. He said he knows that he's not polite Donald Trump, that he can be a little rough, that perhaps he's too direct.
[20:05:06] But the stakes are too high, that what is at stake right now is the American dream itself.
BLITZER: He said the very survival of the American dream is at stake right now. The next president must destroy this evil which he referred to as ISIS.
Stand by. Dana Bash is with us right now. Jim Acosta is there, and Sara Murray. They're all on the convention floor.
Dana, you have some new information about Ted Cruz, what we anticipate from him tonight?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. I talked to a source who has seen Ted Cruz's prepared remarks and in that speech that they have given about 30 minutes ago to Republican officials, there is no endorsement, no endorsement of Donald Trump. The source says that in these prepared remarks there's just one line about Trump, and he doesn't explicit he say that he will vote for him. Mostly, it's about Cruz's vision for America and about why Hillary Clinton would be wrong for president.
Now, let me just caveat this. These are Ted Cruz's prepared remarks and Sunlen Serfaty and I have been told by sources familiar to Ted Cruz's process throughout the day that it could change, very well could change.
And on that note, I just want to tell you that you can see all of these cowboy hats here, we have been talking to members of the Texas delegation including here our friend Marcus. You see his Cruz stickers there, almost to a person, almost to a person they have said that they want Donald Trump to be the nominee. They're going to vote for him, and they want their senator to endorse him tonight. So, very clear sentiment from his home state.
BLITZER: All right, Dana.
Jim Acosta is also getting more information. Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence prepared to do if Ted Cruz does not meet the requirements they're looking for?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. I did talk to a source very close to the Trump campaign who said there are concerns inside the Trump campaign that Ted Cruz will come out and he will not offer that endorsement, that he may not a whole lot of nice things about Donald Trump and that Mike Pence may have to come out tonight and do a little bit cleanup after the Texas senator.
Now, that is -- that is something that they are worried about inside the Trump campaign, but I did talk to a senior Trump adviser just a few moments ago who said they are, quote, "pumped", about Ted Cruz's speech. That they feel like when the Texas senator comes out, he will say good things about Donald Trump, things that will make them happy. And at this point, they say, hey, Ted Cruz is no fool, so they believe that this potentially could be, maybe not an endorsement as Dana was saying, but something approaching it and that might be just enough for the Trump campaign tonight, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's go over to Sara Murray.
We know Donald Trump, Sara, is going to be here. What about Melania, his wife?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Wolf, Donald Trump is continuing to break tradition tonight. He is going to be appearing on stage right after Mike Pence's speech is when we're expecting him to give a little wave, to sort of give a show of unity. This, of course, will mean that Donald Trump will appear on all four
nights of his convention because tomorrow, of course, he'll be giving his prime time speech. One person that we're not expecting to see with Donald Trump tonight is Melania Trump. She was not with him when he arrived in Cleveland earlier today, but I am told by a senior adviser to the Trump not to worry, Melania Trump will be here tomorrow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sara, thank you.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much.
Back here with our panel. Jeffrey Lord, Trump supporter, for Ted Cruz, I mean, anything short of full-throated endorsement, is it dangerous for his political career?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do, I do. I mean, when someone wins the nomination, anyone, obviously, they've got the support to do that. If the candidate then loses in November, those supporters are still there and they're going to be very upset with those folks who decided to basically bail out on their candidate.
And so, when you come around asking for their votes, you know, for the next go round, they're going to say, sorry, you know, we're just not interested. We've been down this road for you, you wouldn't help us, why should we help you.
COOPER: Kayleigh, are you expecting Ted Cruz to fully endorse Donald Trump?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would be surprised if he didn't. There are a lot of people to remember in this very arena on August 6th last year, Ted Cruz was asked, all of the candidates were asked, will you support the eventual nominee? Donald Trump at that time was not prepared to make that commitment until he has certain assurances from the Republican Party. But Ted Cruz not only raised his hand, he also signed pledge saying he would support the eventual nominee.
So, it's not just a Republican values, a conservative values issue. It's also an integrity issue. When you make a commitment, you follow through with it.
COOPER: S.E. Cupp, once Donald Trump retweeted the unflattering photo of his wife and a number of other issues, Ted Cruz started backing off that pledge.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This election has been so personal. Imagine Heidi Cruz watching what's going to happen tonight. Imagine Rafael Cruz.
COOPER: Ted Cruz's father who he accused of being involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. [20:10:01] CUPP: The Kennedy assassination. Yes. It's very awkward.
I actually -- I agree with you, Kayleigh, that it would -- it is a matter of integrity to make good on your word to show up and not sure why he's here, if he is not here to give a full-throated endorsement.
It's not worth risking, you know, the added humiliation of your family, this guy has denigrated so profoundly. So, I would hope that he comes here to give a full-throated endorsement, otherwise stay home and sort of avoid the situation entirely.
LORD: Not to mention if Donald Trump wins and becomes president of the United States and then Ted Cruz is going to have a problem on his hands.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think you have a true dilemma. Two different kinds of honor. The honor of your word and then the honor of your family. Right there in front of you and it's a character test.
It's -- this whole election has been a series of character tests for these people. And I think for Ted Cruz, it's a true dilemma, and I'm interested to see which one he chooses.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's interesting to me that he accepted the invitation to speak at the convention. He does have hundred of delegates down there, and I think he felt the need to kind of close the loop on that which he did this afternoon with a lot of his supporters, and he -- but it seems to us from Dana's reporting and others that he's not coming here so much to endorse, as its to kind of talk about conservatism and how conservatism lives.
LORD: That's great.
BORGER: How he's against Hillary Clinton and all the rest and this may be his moment for 2020.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ay no matter how often he invokes the constitution tonight and no matter how often he thumps his chest in a love of country mode, if he doesn't endorse Donald Trump then it's all about Ted Cruz and it's really not about the party. That's what I think.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Do you remember in 2012 Chris Christie sort of fell into that trap, too, as well.
SMERCONISH: You're right.
HENDERSON: It was all about Chris Christie. It didn't do him many favors with a lot of the folks.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But he was keynote speaker. HENDERSON: Yes.
AXELROD: That was particularly awful.
But, you know, I wish this whole -- what would be so much fun is if everyone spoke with this convention had a thought box over their head and we could actually see what they were thinking.
Paul Ryan spoke yesterday and I got the distinct feeling that he was thinking, I can't wait for November 9th when we can start rebuilding this party, and I want to lead that, and I think Ted Cruz's coming here thinking he's going to be a candidate for president in 2020, and he wants to make common cause with his conservative troops.
COOPER: A lot more coming up. Ivanka Trump, one-on-one, the daughter of the GOP nominee opens up to CNN about her father and their family. She'll be speaking, of course, tomorrow night introducing her father. What was it like to introduce her father to her future husband? That and much more, next.
[20:16:56] COOPER: We are back live from Cleveland with a special edition of AC360.
The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will return to this arena tonight for the third night in a row to make an appearance for this convention after his vice presidential nominee gives his address. Trump's son Eric is getting ready to speak from the heart, we are told, about his famous father. We'll also hear from vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.
His speech could help prove Trump made the right choice, or perhaps even raised some doubts. Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka will introduce her father tomorrow when he accepts the GOP presidential nomination.
Right now, we have an interview with Ivanka Trump who sat down with our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
BORGER: How would you describe your father as a parent growing up?
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He was an incredible parent and is an incredible parent, that I think I appreciated much more today as a parent of three young children. I think when I was a teenager I thought parenting was just something that happens, and now I realize how much work goes into raising kids with a sense of purpose and work ethic and -- and raising them to be close to one another and obviously, to stay close to their parents.
So, I -- I'm very grateful for him and my mother, and all that they did for us as children and all that they continue to do for us today, but you know, he was the same type of parent as we see generally. He was funny, sometimes wickedly so. Great sense of humor. He -- he was demanding of us. He had very high expectations for us
because he knew what we had the potential to accomplish, and he saw the potential in us before we saw it in ourselves, and I think really encouraged us to pursue our passions. He wanted us to find meaning and purpose in our lives, but was very careful not to push us into real estate. So I think that's partially because his excitement, his passion for real estate and everything that he did he brought home.
And so, I think we inherited a little bit of that excitement and perhaps it's in the blood, but he always said to us you have to do what you'll love and you'll never succeed, you'll never be able to compete at the highest level if you don't deeply love what it is what you do.
If you don't want to get out of bed every morning and do what it is that you're doing, and he firmly believes that. It's probably most consistently piece of advice he gave me my whole life. So, he would periodically check in with me and almost undermine my thought process about coming into the family business because he wanted to make sure that I knew that it wasn't an expectation of his.
BORGER: So when you were young was your dad sort of the kind of a dad who would play games with you, read your bedtime stories or different than that?
TRUMP: No. He was different. He was not really the type of -- he wasn't long on diaper changing and things like that.
[20:20:05] But, you know, he -- I think maybe he was a little bit more traditional in that regard, but he was very accessible and very available, and I think one of that I think about so often is that I never questioned that my siblings and I were his top priority. He never allowed us to. He never allowed us to question that fact because he always made us his top priority.
So, it doesn't mean he was home every night for dinner. He wasn't. He was working very hard. He was building an enormous business and he was in the early days of doing that when I was young and had a lot to prove to himself and to others, and he had big ambitions for himself. So, you know, he wasn't always physically present, but he was always available.
As a little girl, a friend of mine reminded me about this recently, that she used to hang out with me in a janitor's closet where there was a pay phone at school, and on recess, I'd go there and I'd call collect to his office. I was probably, you know, 10 years old. And I would call collect to the Trump Organization which is hilarious that --
BORGER: And you'd say hi, this is Ivanka?
TRUMP: From the Chapin School, and he would pick the phone every single time, and he'd put me on speaker phone. It wouldn't be a long conversation.
He'd introduce me to whoever was in his office, but only in retrospect I laugh now that it didn't matter who was there. It was colleagues. It was titan of industry. It was heads of countries, he'd always take my call. And he'd always tell everyone in the room how great a daughter I was and say cute things and, you know, ask me about a test I took.
But, you know, I think that's really telling of him as a person and a parent. We always came first.
BORGER: How about when you brought home a date or a boyfriend?
TRUMP: I was too smart to bring home a date or a boyfriend. I think I brought home my husband. That's it.
BORGER: A little intimidating?
TRUMP: My husband, when I brought him home, but I was not going to subject boyfriends to the scrutiny of my father or mother, for that matter, unless I was 100 percent sure.
BORGER: And let me move on now to the campaign a little bit. Your father has said that you and Melania had wanted him to be more presidential is the word that he uses. Tell me about that because do you believe that the nicknames he used for some people or the name calling was a mistake? Is that what you're talking about when you say more presidential?
TRUMP: Well, you would -- my conversations with my father are really between us, but, you know, obviously I'm his child, and I also have been his colleague, and I've worked alongside of him for the past decade here at the Trump organization, and part of the reason we have such a good relationship is because he respects me, and because I'm candid in my opinions, and I share them, solicited or otherwise.
BORGER: But to that question, I mean, do you think those were -- did you tell him those were a mistake or you don't?
TRUMP: Well, once in a while he'll say things and I'll tell him he could do with ratcheting it back.
BORGER: And he listens.
TRUMP: Sometimes and sometimes he doesn't and sometimes he listens for limited periods of time.
BORGER: But you can tell him.
TRUMP: I think it's part of what people love about him. It's also what part of what angers people. He is authentic.
You know, nobody tells him who to be. He is himself. He is his own man. He listens to the opinions of others. He respects the opinions of others. He processes the advice people give him. But ultimately, he makes his own decisions.
BORGER: How do you reconcile the Donald Trump you know as your dad with the candidate that some people see and consider so divisive? How do you square that -- that circle for our viewers?
TRUMP: My father has always elicited strong opinions in people. He is bold. He is unabashed. He is very himself.
And I think for me, you know, the ultimate -- the most important thing, if I know the man, so when I hear things that are factually inaccurate, it's sometimes hurtful. I feel that as a daughter, but I still know the man.
I -- I, as a woman, I as a person, could never support someone who was sexist or racist, but I just couldn't. I -- I would not be able to be okay with that, but I know who he is as a human being, and I know those things are not true.
[20:25:03] And not many people say those things, but when they do, it's easier for me to dismiss it because of that fact.
COOPER: Gloria Borger sat down with Ivanka Trump.
She's going to be introducing her father tomorrow night. It can't be underestimated the role that the Trump children have played in this convention.
BORGER: Well, not only in this convention, but in his campaign. They are his closest advisers and at this convention, you know, we don't have the former President George W. Bush. We don't have a lot of party leaders. We don't have Mitt Romney, for example.
So, the children are really playing the role of the stars every night. I mean, tonight, you have the vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, but when you look at Donald Trump, Jr.'s speech last night, which was very well-received, Ivanka is a star in her own right and Eric Trump tonight, they are really the glue that's kind of holding this convention together.
And what Donald Trump is saying through them is look at my kids, look at my family, look at my values.
COOPER: Have we, David Axelrod, have we ever seen in recent memory a presidential candidate whose kids are so close as advisers and perhaps -- I mean, his circle is pretty small.
AXELROD: We've not had a candidate who is so devoid of political experience. I mean, he doesn't have a circle of political associates and he is generally someone who has a close circle of family and some friends and so that's natural.
In this convention, though, we've also never had a candidate who needed an infusion of humanity, someone to tell that story as much as Donald Trump does here, and so I think he's art to have the -- have his children play the role that they're playing. I think it will help him.
HENDERSON: Yes. I think it will help him. I think they've become household names after this. A lot of people saw them maybe just in clips on television and now they get a full sense of who they are and a full sense of who they have seen in Donald Trump.
I think it will be interesting to see going forward how they're used. I mean, are they campaigning in swing states? A lot of times, surrogates like this can be force multipliers, right? And they can go to different states and have Donald Trump have more of an imprint --
COOPER: Well, also, if Donald Trump is elected president, how a Donald Trump White House actually works? I mean, how would it take from a relatively small, core group I assume, from what I understand in the Trump Organization, and his kids are in that sinner circle and if they'll continue to run businesses, who is his inner circle?
SMERCONISH: Well, he hasn't shown any signs thus far of diminishing their roles should he be elected. My expectation is that in the near future, maybe as soon as next week, you are going to hear some of those names put forth that would serve in a Trump cabinet to the point of how he's using the children, everyone named Trump who has spoken thus far has done a marvelous job in his presentation.
I find what, which is most effective is how they offer details about the personal side of Donald Trump that have not yet been brought forth, and I think last night's speech was a great speech by Don, Jr., but more of the personal would work better for Eric.
COOPER: It does seem from Eric Trump that will be more of what we'll hear tonight.
LORD: More of the personal. I think that's probably true. There are not many families, the Bush family, the Kennedy family that get involved to this degree. It is unusual to have the kids as opposed to siblings involved in this.
COOPER: We're going to take a short break. Still ahead, what will Ted Cruz say about Donald Trump tonight? Will he embrace the theme of unity? Will he endorse Donald Trump? Find out soon. Details ahead.
[20:02:42] WOLF BLITZER, CNN LEAD POLITICAL ANCHOR: We are back live at the Republican National Convention. Delegates are on the lookout for Donald Trump. He's about to make his third convention appearance, another compelling moment coming up tonight. Trump's son Eric promises to deliver a speech about his father that's written from the heart that's what he told me earlier today.
Jake, we're about to hear from Eileen Collins, a retired astronaut. Today marks the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon back on July 20th 1969.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, and Eileen Collins, who is retired astronaut from Texas, she was the first female to be a woman pilot of the Space Shuttle Mission, and also the first woman to command the Space Shuttle Mission. So a lot of firsts for her and obviously, she have feels very strongly about the space program. We've heard from her on Capitol Hill testifying.
BLITZER: Yes, she said -- in February, she said during testimony, she said I believe program cancellation decisions that are made by bureaucracies behind closed doors and without input by the people are divisive, damaging, cowardly and many times more expensive in the long run. So I assume we'll be hearing more of that in the next minute or so.
TAPPER: Yeah. The thing that's interesting about her obviously, most interesting is the fact that this is the date the 47th anniversary of that Apollo 11 mission to the moon and we'll see how much she touches on that and talks about the ability of the United States to go to the moon.
BLITZER: And a lot of the anticipation building for the Ted Cruz speech, that's coming up in a little while as well.
TAPPER: It's a big mystery right now. A lot of people wondering will he actually endorse. The fight between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the primaries is possibly the nastiest we've seen in the modern era. I mean, some of the things that they said about one another, obviously, Donald Trump calling him "Lying Ted Cruz" suggesting not flattering things about his wife, suggesting his father Rafael Cruz, suggesting falsely, I might add, played the role in the Kennedy assassination.
For his part Ted Cruz referred to Donald Trump as a pathological liar, utterly immoral, narcissist to the level I don't think the country's ever seen and a serial philanderer. It has not been easy for the two of them to come together and even though Ted Cruz is here tonight at the Republican Convention we'll see if he says Trump's name even this evening.
[20:35:00] He considers himself the current leader of the conservative movement in this country.
BLITZER: Yeah, then we'll hear from the Republican vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, this is going to be an important speech for him.
TAPPER: Mike Pence who endorsed Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary and that's right after -- the day of the Indiana primary is when Ted Cruz made those blistering remarks about Donald Trump.
BLITZER: Here's a video that's coming up right now. First, we'll see this video of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For centuries, the dream had beckoned from night skies, sparked in the light of a million stars on quiet, clear summer nights. It ignited the minds of fearless and determined individuals who summoned the courage to break the rules of gravity.
47 years ago on July 20th, 1969, a young man from Ohio took one giant leap for mankind. We celebrate the memory and selfless courage of Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team and were Armstrong here tonight, he would remind us of all those who came before him to make his journey in the history possible. Like those two young brothers from just down the road in Dayton. Oroville and Wilbur built and perfected the first successful airplane in world history in the back of their bicycle shop. And before we knew it, the race for space was on.
By 1958, the nation committed to winning and NASA was born. The skies were no longer the limit. America aimed for the moon and the stars. And while all that was happening another young hero from Cambridge, Ohio, was writing his own chapter. A decorated fighter pilot and combat veteran, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20th, 1962.
Soon, brave women emerged beyond breaking glass ceilings they broke sound barriers and the Earth's atmosphere. I believe, you will meet one of them in a moment. At the age of 23, Eileen Collins became the first female flight instructor in the history of the United States Air Force.
In 1995, Colonel Collins became the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle. Later, she became the first to command a Space Shuttle mission. Then, after the nation grieved our loss of Space Shuttle Columbia, Eileen Collins fearlessly led our first mission back into space. When she brought it back safely, the whole world breathed a sigh of relief.
America's astronauts, striving to see their country achieve greatness, inspired by those starlit skies on clear nights and the accomplishments of those pioneers who preceded them. What is it about this great country where so many have risks so much and traveled so far into the heavens? There are many answers in the eyes of these brave men and women, but there is one they all share in their hearts. They love their country so deeply they were willing to risk their lives to keep it strong and make it great.
So when you look to the heavens tonight, take a minute to thank God for each and every one of them, and say an extra prayer that the U.S. will soon reclaim its rightful place as the leader in space exploration because we will summon the courage and strength to make America great again. So when future astronauts look up to the night sky and dream of taking their turn, they will know that their country is waiting for them. Greatness abounds and once again, the stars are the limit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please welcome Colonel Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.
COL. EILEEN COLLINS (RET), FIRST FEMALE SPACE SHUTTLE COMMANDER: Good evening. It's great to be with you tonight. Thank you.
From the moment the first pilgrims arrived on our shores, Americans have been asking what's next? We are a nation built by the passion of people who weren't afraid to do something first, to step into the unknown and to pave our own way forward. We are a nation of explorers.
[20:40:02] In 1961, President Kennedy issued a challenge to America, to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. And 47 years ago, on this very day, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin answered that call and they walked on the moon. And they took with them an American flag and a plaque bearing the inscription, "Here men from planet Earth, first set foot upon the moon, July 1969. We came in peace for all mankind."
We landed on the moon to fulfill a leadership challenge and to explore. We know that exploration leads to invention, innovation and discovery. For example, our successful robotic missions to Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto have provided valuable information about our own planet. But in 2011 the space shuttle program ended. The last time the United States launched our own astronauts from our own soil was over five years ago. We must do better than that.
Countries that are strong are countries that explore, invent and discover to remain resilient in a changing world. I'm honored to have played a role in our nation's heritage of explorers as the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, joining the ranks of those that have fought to lead the way. Thanks.
And we are all so proud of our Apollo program that put our astronauts on the Moon, first, in peace for all mankind. Nations that lead on the frontier, lead in the world.
We need that visionary leadership again. Leadership that will inspire the next generation of explorers to have that same passion.
We need leadership that will ask Americans -- Americans will ask again, what's next? We need leadership that will make America's space program first again. And we need leadership that will make America great again. I want to thank all of you. Thank you for what you're doing. God bless America.
BLITZER: Eileen Collins, a retired astronaut, veteran of space shuttle missions. Jake, you know, this was a very positive moment, that video, that video was very -- the Apollo 11 video was very lovely and reminding a lot of us what had happened in that space program which has now been dramatically cut back.
TAPPER: It paid tribute to explorers, paid tribute to a lot of Ohioans who have had leading roles in space exploration, including one who went on to become a Democratic senator, John Glenn.
You're really getting a very different tone this evening, markedly different almost as if it's a different convention. It's been very positive, very uplifting, we haven't really heard Hillary Clinton's name invoked in -- at least I haven't yet, in the way that we did last night. Of course, the night is still young.
BLITZER: Well. We'll see what happens next, but you're right. This was a very positive moment, the Eileen Collins presentation.
We'll take a quick break. Coming up, a crucial test for Donald Trump's running mate. We're standing by for Mike Pence's big speech.
We're going to soon find out what Ted Cruz has to say about Donald Trump, whether he helps bring in the party together. And Donald Trump apparently can't stay away from his own convention. What will he do and say on stage here at the convention tonight?
[20:48:33] BLITZER: We're back live here in Cleveland. We're closing in on one of the most suspenseful moments of this Republican National Convention. We will soon find out whether Senator Ted Cruz, what he has to say about Donald Trump and whether he may bow to pressure to formally endorse him. Cruz speaks this hour.
We're also watching for Trump to make a third appearance at his nominating convention, a very unconventional move. They'll join running mate with Mike Pence on stage after Pence accepts the vice presidential nomination.
We expect from Trump's son Eric to deliver a very emotional high point of the night. He says he'll explain why his father should be president of the United States and his speech, he told me earlier today, he wrote himself. The Trump family, Jake, really is playing a very significant role throughout this convention.
TAPPER: Oh sure and throughout the campaign. As we know the Trump children, the Trump offspring, Ivanka and Eric and Don Jr. were a big part of the selection of Pence -- Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana as Donald Trump's running mate. They are playing a very, very major role. Look, they also playing major role in the Trump business so it's not a surprise.
BLITZER: We're about to hear from states Senator Ralph Alvarado Jr. of Kentucky. The first Hispanic elected to Kentucky in -- Kentucky State Senate. He's going to be making a presentation. And then Darrell Scott, a pastor from here in Ohio, he's the senior pastor, cofounder of the New Spirit Revival Center Ministries.
[20:50:04] So we're going to hear from an African-American and we're going to hear from a Hispanic. This is going to be an important moment at this convention as well.
TAPPER: Well, there has been a big effort this evening to show more inclusive Republican Party so far four of the six speakers have been women. There have been African-Americans speakers so far. On the first night, we heard from a number of them. But there have been Latino conservative, Latino Republicans upset that there have not been more featured. And we're going to hear from State Senator Ralph Alvarado this evening.
BLITZER: Here he is right now.
DR. RALPH ALVARADO, (R) KENTUCKY STATE SENATE: Good evening. It's a great night to be an American. From the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, the home of horses, bourbon, coal, bluegrass, and the finest people on earth, allow me to express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude for the privilege of addressing this assembly.
I'm proud to stand before you tonight as the first Hispanic member ever elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. Thank you. But the road here was not an easy one. It's a long story, but three failed political runs were lonely at times and full of adversity. With a lot of determination, a lot of grit and hard work, I triumphed and I'm standing before you here tonight. Everything I am, everything I've achieved, I owe to God and my parents.
My father was a proud legal immigrant from Costa Rica, my mother from Argentina. And being the son of immigrants, I saw firsthand their sacrifice to provide our family a better life. I watched their struggle in mastering a second language and their strong and quiet commitment to hard work.
We didn't have the luxuries that other families had. But what my parents did give me was family structure, discipline, support, high personal expectations, love and faith in God. They were Hispanic, they were Americans and they were very proud of being both.
They understood the value of preserving our culture and our language, but also the value of an education and instilling a pride and love for our country.
Like most immigrants, they understood that their sacrifice would not provide them with immediate success, but the reward would be in the opportunity and success of their children and their grandchildren.
But this story is not unique to my family. It's the story of many legal Latino immigrants who come to America. At their core, and this is important for us to understand, that Hispanics believe what Republicans believe, traditional family values, church, faith in God, the dignity of work, and the opportunity for self-sufficiency that comes from a free society and a limited government.
They have simple dreams that might seem mundane to the average American, but would sound very familiar to our founding fathers and their core principles.
Some flee corrupt government leaders for the dream of liberty and freedom. Some flee crime and anarchy for the dream of safer communities for their families. Some flee a hunger and despair for the dream of opportunity, entrepreneurship and abundance. But all of them leave their homelands for the dream of America, the place where if you work hard, study hard and obey our laws, you can accomplish anything.
Now, over the past eight years, our President and his apprentice, Hillary Clinton, have talked about that American dream but they have absolutely no idea how to protect it, foster it or expand it. Today, we have a President who has not only failed to end racial tension, he has made us more divided than ever.
Today, we have a President who is itching to restrict our fundamental constitutional rights such as religious liberty, the right to bear arms and free speech.
Today, we have a President who has rejected honesty and transparency, lying to the American people over and over again, from ObamaCare to the promise of immigration reform to fast and furious, to phone records spying, to an IRS enemies list, to green energy crony bankruptcies, to Benghazi, to the V.A. scandal, to the Iran nuclear deal, the list just goes on and on and on.
[20:55:02] And with Hillary Clinton, this eight year nightmare will get far, far worse.
Americans face a very important decision. Do we want someone who is brutally honest, perhaps to a fault, or do we want someone who is brutally dishonest? It is not a decision this year about America moving left or about America moving right, it's a decision about America going up or America going down.
And by protecting the American dream, we can make America first again. There is only one candidate who will protect it for our current and future generations and that candidate is Donald Trump.
And now, I have a message for my Spanish speaking Latino friends at home.