Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's Choice 2016: Republican National Convention. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 20, 2016 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00] GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: ... stand speech and vote for Donald Trump. So, if this was going to be an Obama-like moment, like Obama had in 2004, Cruz got booed for doing this by a lot of folks on the floor. And I don't they're focused.

ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: David?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think Ted Cruz is making a calculation. I think that calculation is that Donald Trump isn't going to win in November and that he can see the leadership of the conservative movement moving forward, heading to 2020. It is a -- it is a calculated risk because you are incurring the wrath of the Trump supporters.

COOPER: Kayleigh is a Trump supporter.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: David Axelrod is exactly right. I think this is the calculated decision. And it was rather puzzling to hear him stand there and say, quote, "I want to see the values that we believe in prevail in November."

Well, I presume those values are not those of Hillary Clinton. And as we heard Scott Walker say anyone staying home is in fact coordinating, electing Hillary Clinton. So, he's rather cautioning to hear that.

COOPER: Jeff?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He got about 90 percent of the speech right and the other 10 percent I think he made a mistake and I think he's going to come back to haunt him.

COOPER: And what a 10 percent that was.

LORD: Yes. That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, THE SMERCONISH SHOW HOST: And, Anderson, he got...

COOPER: Michael.

SMERCONISH: He got his nights mixed up. That was that was a Thursday night speech. This is Wednesday. That was the -- that was the address that he would have delivered if he had won the nomination. It was all about Ted Cruz.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. But there were moments, right, when he endorsed some of Donald Trump's policies, he said, yes, (Inaudible) he talked about trade, being America first, not a global, you know, a global trade.

I thought this took some guts for Ted Cruz and I think tonight we saw different approaches for what the post-Trump party will look like. We saw Scott Walker and his sort of audition. He said Marco Rubio -- Rubio kind of phoned in approach the 2020. He didn't mention of Donald Trump.

We'll see Mike Pence of course later, and then Ted Cruz. And of course, John Kasich, of course hovering over this convention in some ways, by not being here.

COOPER: Let's hear in, S.E.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Gutsy. I mean, he even took some I thought shadowed, veiled jabs at Trump.

HENDERSON: Yes. He has failed.

CUPP: And it is and Jason mentioned, and Gloria mentioned, vote for candidates up and down the tickets who you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution. That's not Trump in his opinion.

I think the gutsy move really failed. I think it made him look small, out of touch with the room and myopic and really kind of just here for himself.

COOPER: Van?

CUPP: Like I said earlier, come endorse him or stay home.

COOPER: Van, I may have to jump in on you because Eric Trump is about to come out. But have you ever seen anything like this?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I mean, it's a duo; it's up to a circus inside of the side show inside of the (Inaudible). That to insist, you know, (Inaudible) but I saw no response from the crowd when he did that. So, it was bad all the way around.

BORGER: I think that, you know, I think that Scott Walker gave the great political speech here and he came right out and said a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump is a vote for Clinton.

COOPER: And Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump organization, Donald Trump's son. Let's listen in.

ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Wow! Wow! Good evening, Cleveland! Wow! It is such an honor to be here for a man I love so, so, so, so much. That's my father.

(APPLAUSE)

Thirteen months ago, my father sat my family down and told us the time had come. He could no longer stand I live by and watch our beloved country, the country that had given our family so much success, so much opportunities crumble before our very eyes.

He confirmed to us that he was prepared to announce his candidacy for president of the United States. He made sure to acknowledge that ours would not be an easy path, that we should prepare ourselves for what was to come, that we would quickly learn who our true friends were.

Without hesitation, we each committed our unwavering support, but this time none of us could have predicted what lay ahead, the records he would break, the stadiums he would fill, the movement he would start.

Today, my father stands before you with the most primary votes of any republican candidate in the history of our nation.

[22:05:00] (APPLAUSE)

He shattered voter registration records across the country. He has defied the predictions of every single political pundit and turned traditional debates into must-see TV.

(APPLAUSE)

He has inspired multiple generations, including my own, like millennials like myself who have so little faith in our politicians that they no longer even consider public service to be a noble career.

A year ago, my father was a businessman, but like many Americans, he simply could no longer see -- stand to see what was happening to our great country. He could no longer stand to see special interest dollars dictate and incompetent foreign policy that puts foreign countries before our very own.

He could no longer tolerate an inept administration that considers giving $150 billion to Iran or releasing five radical Islamic terrorists a successful negotiation. He could no longer bear witness to our continued Second Amendment attacks.

(APPLAUSE)

He could no longer stand to see the words Christmas stripped from public use or the Pledge of Allegiance removed from our schools in an effort to be politically correct.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

So, he made the decision to set aside a company to which he is dedicated in his entire life. To set aside a global brand that he's made synonymous with success, with quality, with uncompromising, just the best. At a time when the people at the pinnacle of their career like my

father would have held fast to a lifestyle that has truly become the epitome of the American dream, my father instead chose to give that dream back to the people it had eluded for so long.

(APPLAUSE)

As daunting of a journey as he knew it would be, for him it was the easiest decision in the world. After all, who better to implement common sense business approach to this country? Who better to apply practical solutions to the impractical decision making of an administration that has bred a $19 trillion debt, one which goes up by $32,000 a second and over $2 billion a day.

(CROWD BOOING)

Who better to implement common sense tax reductions for one of the highest taxed nations in the world, allowing our citizens the chance to keep what more of what they earned as opposed to having it squandered away by our inefficient government.

Who better to negotiate the return of countless American manufacturers like Nabisco and Ford and Carrier and so many others back to the United States where they began than a man who has single handedly employed tens and tens and tens of thousands of people around the country.

(APPLAUSE)

It's time for a president with common sense. It's time for a president who understands the art of a deal and appreciates the value of a dollar, our tax dollars.

(APPLAUSE)

It's time for the president who has always been the one to sign the front of a check, not the back.

Throughout my father's career, he has been repeatedly called in by government to step in and save delayed and grossly over budget public projects, everything from the exterior Grand Central Terminal in New York, the iconic Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., just to name a few.

Back in 1986, the City of New York tried to refurbish a simple ice skating rink in Central Park. The project dragged on for over six years and ballooned to $13 million, $5 million over an already inflated budget.

That's when my father who overlooked this disastrous construction site his office window each and every day decided he had to step in. Disgusted by government incompetence and ineptitude he invested $2 million of his own money in order to complete the project.

What had taken the city over half a decade to botch my father completed in less than six months, two months ahead of schedule and over a million dollars under budget.

[22:10:00] (APPLAUSE)

It's time for a president who can make America great again, ahead of budget and ahead of schedule, too.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

My father has revitalized rundown neighborhoods, shaped skylines across the country and turned dreams into reality his entire career. It's what he does. It's who he is.

Oprah Winfrey once asked my father if he envisioned running for the presidency of the United States. His answer "Only if it got so bad that I had no choice." "Only if it got so bad that I had no choice." Well, ladies and gentlemen, that day has come.

As I travel the world with my dad building the greatest golf courses in his hotels and real estate projects, I see the unmistakable look in his eyes. I see in his eyes the indignating and frustration of a domestic infrastructure back at home that is in complete disarray and no longer on par with so many other developed nations.

I see in his eyes the sadness of innocent lives lost, like those of Kate Steinle and Jamiel Shaw and so many others cut short by illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities, victims of a revolving door, of government ineptitude and corruption that leaves innocent Americans defenseless.

(APPLAUSE)

I see in his eyes the humiliation of an education system ranked 30th in the world. I see in his eyes the disgrace of nearly $400 billion trade imbalance with China, the $60 billion trade imbalance with Mexico and the continued destabilization of the Middle East which have cost our nation trillions and trillions of dollars and thousands and thousands of lives.

But today, I see in his eyes a man who truly loves his country, who is proud of his country, and who wants his country to be great again.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(CROWD CHANTING)

I want to thank my father over there for the life that he's provided me, for the life that he's provided my family and the life that he's provided all of our employees around the world.

I want to thank my father for the life that he's enabled me to provide to my future children as my beautiful wife Laura and I start thinking about that amazing chapter of our lives. To that end, I often think about the legacy I wish to leave my

children. And to me, there are few things that I hold closer to my heart than charity. For me, it's the essence of who we are as human beings. It's the barometer by which we will be measured for our time here on earth.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?"

When I was 22 years old I started the Air Trump Foundation to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, an incredible, incredible organization.

(APPLAUSE)

I run my foundation based on the principles my father taught me, honesty, integrity and values. I expect other charities to be run by the same moral code, not serve as conduit for personal enrichment, not become a beacon of corruption and scandal.

(APPLAUSE)

To whom much is given, much will be required. This is the very belief that compelled my father to make this great sacrifice, to run for the most powerful yet, unforgiving office in the world. There is no greater calling. There is no more selfless an act.

To the unemployed voter sitting at home watching me right now, wondering how you're going to make your next mortgage payment or rent payment, my father is running for you.

(APPLAUSE)

To the veteran tuning in to this feed from his or her hospital, who has been ignored and disrespected by an ungrateful system for far too long, my father is running for you.

[22:15:06] (APPLAUSE)

To the school teacher forced to walk through metal detectors each and every day to an underfunded school, my father is running for you.

(APPLAUSE)

To the laborer watching me right now forced out of a job by undocumented workers, illegal immigrants, my father is running for you.

(APPLAUSE)

To the oil and gas industry worker denied a job because of radical regulations from a radical EPA, my father is running for you. To single mothers, to families with special needs children, to middle- class families who can no longer afford medical benefits sufficient to cover their everyday needs, my father is running for you. This November, I ask you to be true to yourself and vote for the

candidate who you know is running for the right reasons. Vote for the candidate who has never been a politician. Vote for the candidate who has never received a paycheck from our government.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(CROWD CHANTING)

Vote for the candidate who can't be bought, sold, purchased, bribed, coerced, intimidated or steered from the path that is right and just and true.

(APPLAUSE)

And quite frankly, friends, vote for the one candidate who does not need this job.

(APPLAUSE)

Never have I been more proud to be a Trump. Never have I been more proud to be my father's son. I'm incredibly honored to be part of this journey of which he's invited me, Don, Ivanka, Tiffany, Melania, my beautiful wife, Laura, our entire family to play such an integral part.

Dad, you have once again taught us by example, you are my hero, you are my best friend, you are the next president of the United States!

(APPLAUSE)

God bless America.

COOPER: Donald Trump's son Eric, giving a rousing speech here in the wake of Ted Cruz's speech, which got boos from this crowd. We witnessed really just a remarkable sort of standoff between those who wanted Cruz to endorse Donald Trump and Ted Cruz himself who simply refused to. Michael?

SMERCONISH: These speakers named Trump, they continue to outshine one another with their poise, with their delivery. It's really remarkable and not something to be taken for granted. They've never been in an arena like this before.

My one slight criticism, and it's only something that could have made it better. More of the personal.

BORGER: Yes.

SMERCONISH: A stranger could have delivered much of that speech. I don't want to take it away from him, it was a hell of a speech.

COOPER: But it was something we've seen and talked about a lot. I mean, there's very few personal anecdotes that anybody seems to have with Donald Trump.

SMERCONISH: Right.

HENDERSON: Yes, and we heard some tonight, the black woman talked about Donald Trump and the boss she knew, the children there tonight, too. I did think as somebody who is sensitive about the issue of sort of sibling rivalry, I don't want to sort of knock Eric Trump and compare him to Donald Trump Jr. but I will. Donald Trump Jr. was probably a little better I think more of the sort of the personal anecdotes would have been better.

AXELROD: I'm not going to judge until I hear from Ivanka.

CUPP: Yes.

HENDERSON: Yes.

AXELROD: I think we got -- we got to hear from all of them before we vote. You know, last night I said that I thought it was odd to have the candidate's son deliver such a political speech. This was a political speech, too.

I got some push back. And the fact is, I think that people look at these kids and they have to be at least impressed with the fact that they're composed, they're smart and they're giving a coherent argument and it will reflect on him as a father. And I think that's what they're hoping.

COOPER: It did seem like early on certainly just from watching the hall, there was still a lot of buzz over the incident with Ted Cruz that we witnessed just before and was sort of...

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Yes.

AXELROD: I actually thought that helped Eric.

BORGER: Exactly.

AXELROD: I think that the crowd was defiant because they were angry about what Cruz had done so they were determined to give this young man a rousing reception.

[22:20:04] BORGER: And, you know, don't forget, Trump entered the house at sort of just the right time so that he could...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Not by coincidence.

BORGER: ... deflect it -- and not by coincidence. Right. Let me say something about the adult children of Donald Trump. We saw Ivanka give a few little details of their life, but they are as much as anything -- I mean, they're his children but they are his business partners. We can't forget that. And, you know, Eric Trump runs his golf courses

and they're all involved in his business so that's what they know the best in many things.

COOPER: And here is Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House. Let's listen.

(APPLAUSE)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Wow. Thank you for that very generous welcome. And thank you, Calista. You know, she makes documentary films, writes bestselling children's series in American history. Saints in the Basilica choir plays the French horn as the Fairfax fan.

I am amazed at her achievements. I'm also proud to be here as a republican activist to see the extra effort Donald Trump has invested in bringing the Republican Party together.

(APPLAUSE)

With no requirement for endorsement. He encouraged his competitors to speak once again. Governor Rick Perry, Governor Chris Christie, Governor Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz have all responded to Donald Trump's generosity.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I think you misunderstood one paragraph that Ted Cruz, who is a superb orator say, and I just want to point it out to you. Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.

In this election there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.

(APPLAUSE)

So, to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the United States the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump/Pence republican ticket.

(APPLAUSE)

That way we have a republican ticket to implement republican principles in Washington. Now, what I want to focus on is a subject that has dominated my thinking for decades. How do we keep America safe? Keeping America safe is the first responsibility of the American president.

There have been many fascinating things to watch about the extraordinary historic rise of Donald Trump, but the most significant has been Donald Trump's courage to tell some important truths about our national security.

For example, we are at war, we are at war with radical Islamists, they are determined to kill us, they are stronger than we admit and there is no substitute for victory.

(APPLAUSE)

In contrast to Donald Trump, our national security and foreign policy elites led by Hillary Clinton are incapable of speaking with such honesty while they lie about the threat. We need to tell the truth about the danger.

If our enemies had their way, not a single woman in this room could define her future. If our enemies had their way, gays, lesbians and transgender citizens would be put to death as they are today in the Islamic state in Iran.

If our enemies had their way, every person on earth would be subject to conversion by the sword and to a cruel and violent system of law. There would be no individual liberty, there would be no equality, there would be no freedom.

If you doubt we are at war, if you doubt that this threat is as real as I say, let me refresh your memory. On Monday, an Afghan refugee in Germany used an ax and knives to slash and wound train passengers while shouting "Allah Akbar."

Last week, ISIS claimed responsibility after a Tunisian man drove a cargo truck into a crowd in Nice, France. He murdered 84 people, including 10 children, 3 Americans and injured over 200 others.

[22:25:11] Two weeks ago, almost 300 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded in bombing attacks in Baghdad. Two days before that, radical Islamists in Bangladesh killed 20 hostages, including three American college students.

A few days before that at the Istanbul airport in Turkey, ISIS attackers armed with guns and bombs killed 44 people and injured hundreds more. Last month, a radical Islamist in Paris stalked a French police officer to his home where he murdered the officer, tortured his wife to death in front of their 3-year-old son while streaming it all on social media.

He was pondering out loud whether to kill the 3-year-old when he was killed by police. Two days before that, an attacker pledging allegiance to ISIS killed 49 people in an Orlando night club and wounded dozens more.

All this in just the past 37 days. We cannot let ourselves grow numb to these accumulating atrocities. One analysis estimated...

(APPLAUSE)

One analysis estimated that since January of 2015, some 30,000 people have been killed at the hands of terrorists. Let's be clear. Donald Trump is right. We are at war with radical Islamists, we are losing the war and we must change course to win the war.

(APPLAUSE) Let me be very clear because I know the news media will do their best to distort this. We have nothing to fear from the vast majority of Muslims in the United States or around the world. The vast majority are peaceful. They are often the victims themselves. They are people we'd be happy to have as our friends and neighbors.

(APPLAUSE)

The challenge, the challenge is when even a small percentage of a billion 600 million people support violence against those who disagree with them, that is still a giant recruiting base.

For example, Pew research finds that only 9 percent of Muslims in Pakistan view ISIS favorably. Unfortunately 9 percent is 16 million people. And that's just one country.

So, the truth is, although we are losing the war with radical Islamists, we have been very lucky. The danger we face is much worse than the horrors that happened in Germany on New Year's Eve when 1,200 women were assaulted.

It's worse than what's happening in France whether stabbings of Jews in the streets. And the nation security chief won recently the Europe is, quote, "on the brink of civil war."

It's worse than what's happening in Israel when average citizens fear for their lives whenever they leave their homes. The danger is even worse than September 11th when 19 hijackers murdered almost 3,000 Americans.

The worst case scenario is losing an American city to terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction. Instead of losing 3,000 people in one morning, we could lose more than 300,000. Instead of losing two great buildings, we could lose block after block after block to a nuclear event.

That's not just my view. Back in January of 2001, the Hart/Rudman Commission warned the terrorists, quote, "Will acquire weapons of mass destruction and some will use them, Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers," close quote.

Fifteen years later, the dangers were even greater in a world where Pakistan has nuclear weapons, where North Korea has nuclear weapons and where Ian, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism is close to have a nuclear weapons, this a catastrophic in innocent Americans is a very real threat. Which brings us to the heart of America.

We are sleep walking through history as though, this is all about politics. It is not.

(APPLAUSE)

It is about our safety and our survival as a country. We cannot

[22:30:00] keep in place the people and the systems that have brought us to this point and then lie to us every single day about the threat.

That is why every American should be terrified at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Hillary Clinton has been right at the center of this dishonesty. We know this administration and its allies lied to us about the Iran nuclear deal. We know it because they openly lied about it to the New York Times; we know that Hillary Clinton lied to us knowingly about the terror attack on our Benghazi consulate.

We know that Hillary Clinton and President Obama lied to the American people when they say they can safely screen the Syrian refugees, they cannot. And yet, Hillary wants to increase the number by 500 percent.

So, when you hear about Hillary's dishonesty of the e-mails or taking millions from the Saudis and other Middle Eastern dictatorship. Remember, this is not about politics. The cost of Hillary's dishonesty could be the loss of America as we know it.

(APPLAUSE)

The first step forward to safety is electing a leader who will be truthful with the American people about the realities we face. Only then will we understand support and demand the strategies required to confront this threat.

And because safety and security are the preconditions for our freedom and prosperity, it is also the first step toward rebuilding the America we love. Donald Trump understands this. And that's why he will rebuild our military because he knows that a strong military is the best way to ensure peace.

(APPLAUSE)

Donald Trump will secure our borders because there is no such thing as a nation without a border. Donald Trump will enforce our immigration laws, he will end the policy of deliberate non-enforcement and will end the abuse of our visa programs to protect the American workers on their wages.

Donald Trump will take care of our veterans by holding bureaucrats of the Veteran Administration accountable.

(APPLAUSE)

He will fire those responsible for the waiting list and will give veterans more choices about their IRA. With Donald Trump's leadership, no bureaucrat will get between a veteran and their doctor.

(APPLAUSE)

Donald Trump will get America building again. He will blow apart the ridiculous regulations and requirements that drive up infrastructure costs and drag out the timeline to get anything built. The Trump infrastructure program will make us once again the most competitive economy in the world. Donald Trump will rebuild our education system and give every parent

of every income and every ethnic background a choice about where their children go to school and Donald Trump will help us rebuild and strengthen our communities.

(APPLAUSE)

Here again, the first step is safety. The basis for strong families and good jobs and vibrant neighborhoods, that means restoring law and order. Donald Trump will show zero tolerance for people calling for the death of police officers.

(APPLAUSE)

Think about this. If anyone publicly threatens the life of the president of the United States, the secret service is on them in an instant. Our law enforcement officers deserve the same respect as the president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

Of course -- of course, if individual officers are found to have violated someone's rights, they must be held accountable under the law. America is based on the rule of law. We are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

(APPLAUSE)

That is what has allowed to us to absorb more people from more backgrounds than any nation in history. Nobody is above the law and nobody is too small to deserve its protection.

Donald Trump won our party's nomination because he's willing to tell the truth about the things that matter. He has a great running mate in Mike Pence. They will put our safety first and they will defend America first.

(APPLAUSE)

We can be proud to stand with them. So tonight, the challenge for everyone in this hall and everyone republican, democrat or independent who is watching at home and knows we cannot continue on our current course is to rise above our factions -- excuse me -- and rise about the politics we've inherited.

To ignore the lies of the news media and the old order. To reject the suicidal dishonesty of Hillary Clinton and her establishment allies. And to stand with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, what we know is true.

[22:34:59] We can make America safe again, we can make America work again, we can make America first again, and together, we can make America great again for all Americans. Thank you and God bless the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE) WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM SHOW HOST: Newt Gingrich, he tried

to clean up a little bit for Ted Cruz, Jake, but I don't think it was successful. This crowd was really not happy with what we heard from Ted Cruz. He refused to endorse the republican presidential nominee.

JAKE TAPPER, THE LEAD SHOW HOST: Yes. He attempted a little. Newt explaining just then suggesting that when Ted Cruz said vote your conscience vote for the person you think will defend the Constitution and be allegiant to it. So, that person is obviously Donald Trump.

I don't think that that's exactly what Ted Cruz meant. Ted Cruz has been expressing concern for months and months that he doesn't think Donald Trump will be the protector of the Constitution or understands it all that well, and, again, just remarkable that in this very, very widely viewed speech, Ted Cruz pointedly refused to endorse Donald Trump.

BLITZER: I want to go to Dana. She's on the floor right now, she's doing reporting. It really is an amazing moment here, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. And the anger is boiling over. So much so, Wolf, that I am told by a source who was in a donor suite around here in the cue when Ted Cruz walked in after he gave his speech that people were so angry at Ted Cruz that they were calling him a disgrace to his face.

And this source said that a state party chair was yelling at him so angrily that he had to be restrained. That gives you a sense of just how intense the -- frankly, the animosity is here now on the floor.

I talked to so many people who love Ted Cruz, including somebody who ran his campaign in Virginia who said that he is very, very disappointed in him. And I talked to Chris Christie. I'll have more on that later.

BLITZER: All right, Dana. The reaction, I got to tell you, Jake, the reaction here, the boos we heard from Ted Cruz, I've covered a lot of these kinds of conventions. I don't remember a time when someone was invited to speak the day before the presidential nominee was going to accept the nomination and avoided endorsing that candidate.

TAPPER: It's remarkable. And, Manu Raju, our reporter on the floor, said that Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz's wife, had to be escorted out with Trump hecklers yelling at her. It shows just how ugly this race was, the contentious race was, and just how fractious it remains.

BLITZER: The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is now going to introduce the republican vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence. Let's listen in to the speaker.

PAUL RYAN, U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Hello. My fellow republicans, I could not be more proud of our vice presidential nominee.

(APPLAUSE)

I served with this man in the House of Representatives. We became very good friends. I've watched this man up close. I've seen what he's made of. Let me tell you something about Mike Pence.

This is a man of solid character. This is a man who sees public service as a calling, not a career. He has served honorably with great dignity. You know what? The results -- the results are impressive.

This is a man who led the charge to ban earmarks in Congress and he won that fight.

(APPLAUSE)

As Governor of Indiana, he passed the largest income tax cut in state history; he balanced the state's budget. This man is a Reagan conservative through and through, pro-growth, pro-life, pro-strong defense.

(APPLAUSE)

And most importantly, he is the father of three beautiful children, Michael, Charlotte and Audrey, and he calls his wife, Karen, the best part of my life.

My fellow republicans, the man that you have nominated, he's a man of faith, he's a man of conviction, he's a man you can trust. He comes from the heart of the conservative movement and from the heart of America. And now we need to send him and Donald Trump straight to the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

[22:40:02] There is no doubt in my mind that he will bring real change to Washington. I have every confidence that he will do us all proud.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce to you the next vice president of the United States, Governor Mike Pence!

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

MIKE PENCE, INDIANA GOVERNOR: Mr. Chairman, delegates, friends and my fellow Americans, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am deeply humbled by your confidence, and on behalf of my family here and gone, I accept your nomination to run and serve as vice president of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

And let me thank Speaker Paul Ryan for that gracious welcome. Paul, you're a true friend and a great American leader. But Paul knows me well and he knows the introduction I prefer is just a little bit shorter.

I'm a Christian, a conservative and a republican in that order.

(APPLAUSE) You know, I'm new to this campaign and honestly, I never thought I'd be standing here. I thought I'd be spending this evening with all my friends from the great State of Indiana.

(APPLAUSE)

Yet, there I was, a few days ago, in New York City with a man who won 37 states, who faced 16 talented opponents and outlasted every one of them, and along the way brought millions of new voters into the Republican Party.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, he's a man known for a large personality, a colorful style and lots of charisma and so, I guess he was just looking for some balance on the ticket.

(APPLAUSE)

Well, for those of you who don't know me which is most of you, I grew up on the front row of the American dream. My grandfather immigrated to this country. I was raised in a small town in Southern Indiana with in a big family with a corn field in the backyard.

Although we weren't really political family, the heroes of my youth were President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

(APPLAUSE)

When I was young, I watched my mom and dad build everything that matters, a family, a business and a good name. I was raised to believe in hard work, in faith and family. My dad, Ed Pence, was a combat veteran in Korea.

(APPLAUSE)

Dad run gas station in our small town. And he was a great father. If dad were with us today, I'd a feeling he'd enjoy this moment and probably be pretty surprised. But it's such a joy for me to tell you that my mother is here.

(APPLAUSE)

Would you join me in welcoming the light of my life, my mom, Nancy.

[22:45:00] (APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

You know, growing up I actually started in politics in the other party until I heard the voice and the ideals of the 40th president and I signed on for the Reagan Revolution.

(APPLAUSE)

But the best thing that ever happened to me, even counting tonight, is that 31 years ago, I married the girl of my dreams, a school teacher, an artist, she is everything to me. Would you welcome my wonderful wife, Karen Pence.

(APPLAUSE)

And regardless of any title I'll ever hold, the most important job I'll ever have is spelled d-a-d.

(APPLAUSE)

Karen and I are blessed -- Karen and I are blessed with the parents of the three greatest kids in the world, a writer named Charlotte, a college student named Audrey, and secretary lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, Michael J. Pence.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm so proud of you, guys. Now if you know anything about the Hoosier, you know we love to suit up and compete. We played to win. That's why I joined this campaign in a heartbeat.

You have nominated a man for president who never quits, who never backs down, a fighter, a winner. Until now he's had to do it all by himself against all odds, but this week with this united party he's got back up and on November 8th, I know we will elect Donald Trump to be the 45th president of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

Now we'll win because we're running on the issues facing this country and because we're leveling with the American people about the stakes and the choice.

You know, the American people are tired of being told. They're tired of being told that this is as good as it gets, they're tired of hearing politicians in both parties telling us that we'll get to that tomorrow while we pile a mountain range of debt on our children and grandchildren.

And as Ronald Reagan used to say, they're tired of being told that a little in electoral elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan them for ourselves.

(APPLAUSE)

In the end, this election comes down to just two names on the ballot so let's resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become president of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

Hillary Clinton essentially offers a third Obama term. And the rules are perfect for him. She championed ObamaCare because years earlier she had all been invented it. The national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years and her answer is to keep borrowing and spending.

And like the president, she thinks the path to a growing economy is more taxes, more regulation and more government.

(CROWD BOOING)

Now, they tell us this economy is the best that we can do.

(CROWD BOOING)

It's nowhere near the best that we could do. It's just the best that they can do.

(APPLAUSE)

[22:50:07] And let me tell you, I know firsthand that it doesn't have to be like this. In my home State of Indiana we prove every day that you can build a growing economy on balanced budgets, low taxes, even while making record investments in education and roads and health care.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, Indiana is a State that works because conservative principles work every time you put them into practice.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

Now today, while the nation suffers under the weight of $19 trillion in the national debt, we, in Indiana have a $2 billion surplus, the highest credit rating in the nation, even though we've cut taxes every year since I became governor four years ago.

(APPLAUSE)

We have fewer state employees than when I took office and businesses large and small have created nearly 150,000 new jobs and there's more Hoosiers going to work than ever before.

That's what you can do with common sense republican leadership and that's exactly what the no nonsense leadership of Donald Trump will bring to the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

You know, Donald Trump gets it. He's the genuine article. He's a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers. And when Donald Trump does his talking, he doesn't tiptoe around a thousand new rules of political correctness. He's his own man, distinctly American. And where else would an

independent spirit like his find a following than in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHEERING)

The funny thing is -- you know, the funny thing is the party in power seems helpless to figure out our nominee. The media has the same problem. They all keep telling each other that the usual methods will work against him. They keep thinking they've done him in only to wake up the next morning and find that Donald Trump still standing and running stronger than before. The man just doesn't quit.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

He's tough. He perseveres. He's gone about as far as you can go in business but he's never turned his back on the working men and women who make this country grow.

(APPLAUSE)

And Donald Trump will never turn his back on those who serve and protect us at home and abroad.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, it's been a heartbreaking time for the women and men in our law enforcement community. In this time of great testing for them, let's let them know here and now all across this country, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line of law enforcement in America.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

You know, while Donald Trump was taking my measure as a possible running mate, I did some observing myself. I've seen the way he deals with people who work for him at every level, and I've seen the way they feel about working for him.

[22:55:03] Now, I'll grant you, he can be a little rough with politicians on the stage and I'll bet we see that again.

(APPLAUSE)

But I've seen this good man up close, his utter lack of pretense, his respect for the people who work for him and his devotion to his family.

(APPLAUSE) And if you still doubt what I'm saying, remember, as we say back home, you can't fake good kids. How about his amazing children, aren't they something?

(APPLAUSE)

These are the true measures of our nominee, chosen by the voters as the right man for these times. This is the outsider, my running mate, who turned a long shot campaign into a movement.

Now, over in the other party, you know, if the idea was to present the exact opposite of a political outsider, the exact opposite of an uncalculating truth teller, then on that score you got to hand it to the democratic establishment, they outdid themselves this time.

(APPLAUSE)

I mean, at the very moment when America is crying out for something new and different, the other party has answered with a stale agenda in the most predictable of names, people in both parties are restless for change, ready to break free of old patterns in Washington.

And democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of. You know, Hillary Clinton wants a better title and I would, too, if I was already America's secretary of the status quo.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, the choice couldn't be clearer. Americans can elect someone who literally personifies the failed establishment in Washington, D.C. or we can choose a leader who will fight every day to make America great again.

(APPLAUSE)

It's change versus status quo. And my fellow republicans, when Donald Trump becomes the president of the United States of America, the change will be huge.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, for years we've had fundamental problems in America that get talked to death in Washington, D.C. but they never get solved and they even get worse. We've seen entire stretches of our country written off by bad economic policies in ways that are deeply unfair to American workers.

We see relentless mandates from the executive branch. It seems like no aspect of our lives is too small for the present administration to supervise and no provision of the Constitution is too large for them to ignore.

(APPLAUSE)

Meanwhile, we've seen borders that go unrespected, a military that's been diminished, and promise after ringing promise to our veterans promptly forgotten. Then Donald Trump came along.

And started saying what practically everybody was thinking anyway, that our leaders need to be stronger. Under Donald Trump our deals will be smarter. Our soldiers will have what they need and our veterans will have what they earned.

We will secure our borders, protect our nation. In all this we will be more serious and when we do, this nation will start winning again.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

You know, that's the message that men and women in both parties have been longing to hear. But none of us should think for one second that this will be easy.

[23:00:03] The outcome of this election depends on us and how we contend with an incredible onslaught that's coming our way. You know, this won't be America's first glimpse of the Clinton machine and action.