Return to Transcripts main page

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Interview With California Senator Barbara Boxer; Democratic National Convention Day Two; Soon: Roll Call Vote to Nominate Hillary Clinton. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired July 26, 2016 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:10]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We are about to see something historic.

Welcome to THE LEAD.

We're live from the Democratic National Convention in beautiful Philadelphia, PA, where, very soon, a roll call vote will officially name Hillary Clinton the Democratic presidential nominee.

For the first time in the 240 years that this country has existed, a woman will be at the top of the major party ballot in November. Think about it. Whatever you think about Hillary Clinton, 100 years ago, women did not even have the right to vote in this country.

Democrats have been talking about the need for the party to come together. And, today, one of the goals is show that process, allowing Sanders delegates to vote for their man in the roll call vote and then to follow his lead in joining the nominee's campaign.

A senior Democratic Party source telling CNN that Sanders' home state of Vermont wants to be the one that goes last in the roll call, so that Sanders home state can be the one to make the motion to formally nominate Hillary Clinton.

Another goal tonight is to reintroduce Hillary Clinton to the American people, the campaign feeling that she is the most famous woman in the world whom you don't really know. Tonight, we will hear from former President Bill Clinton, talking about, among other things, his wife's long record of fighting on behalf of children and on behalf of families.

Let's go to CNN's Dana Bash right now. She's is on the convention floor.

Dana, walk us through this upcoming roll call vote. The optics of it may come off as chaotic, despite the fact that there is this preordained outcome that Hillary will officially clinch the nomination.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

What we're going to see when the roll call begins is all 57 states and territories represented here that voted in the primary and caucus process will be able to announce the number of votes and who they are going for, which candidate.

And that is significant, because you do have over 1,800 pledged delegates walking around this hall who came out and came here for Bernie Sanders. And it is significant because the Hillary Clinton campaign and team understands how powerful they are, and the fact that they need and feel the desire to have their voices heard.

However, despite that, or maybe even because of that, Jake, we're potentially going to see, as you said, some outbursts and some chaos as these states vote.

For example, I'm standing in front of California. You remember last night this was among the most boisterous of states putting out their voice for Bernie Sanders. I talked to a couple of Bernie or bust delegates in California who said that are going to try to do whatever they can, perhaps even to disrupt the roll call in that state by challenging the vote in order to again make their voices heard.

This is really the last stand before Hillary Clinton officially becomes the nominee. And they will do what they can to make their voices heard, Jake.

TAPPER: Dana Bash, thank you.

Let's take a moment again to talk about the historic nature of this woman.

Victoria Woodhull, Belva Ann Lockwood, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun, Elizabeth Dole, Michele Bachmann, Carly Fiorina, all women who blazed the trail for what we're about to witness this evening, women who, as far back as 1872, were running for president.

In just a few moments, Hillary Clinton will break an American glass ceiling, as the first woman to become a major party presidential nominee.

Let's take a moment to talk about the significance of that.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joining me now live on the convention floor.

Jeff, whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, a historic moment.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, no doubt about it.

This is a historic moment. And that is one thing that the Clinton campaign is trying to get across here. I'm just told a short time ago they sent a message out to all of the delegates urging them to get here to the arena, and they're also trying to use this moment of history as a way of reminding some liberals on the Sanders said that, yes, you may not have supported her initially, but this is a historic moment.

But, Jake, I'm standing here with the New York delegation sign just behind me. And it strikes me that on this moment eight years ago, Hillary Clinton did something that put her in this position for today.

Let's go back and watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 2008)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclimation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: And, Jake, for context there, there were some boos there from some of Hillary Clinton's own supporters.

Yes, that could happen tonight when Bernie Sanders is expected to do a similar tonight, but there is still so much history hanging over this tonight. And I think that most Democrats hope they respect that -- Jake.

[16:05:04]

TAPPER: And, Jeff, the former President Bill Clinton is expected to speak this evening, and again there has never been a speech like this before in history, a former president nominating his spouse as president.

ZELENY: Jake, he certainly is a familiar speaker at Democratic National Conventions, at every one since 1980.

But this is such a different roll. I talked to John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, longtime aide to President Clinton. He said that he's been working on this speech longhand for several weeks and this is so different and personal for him.

It's not going to be about her record. It is going to be a very personal speech tonight he is delivering. But this is unlike anything we have seen, a former president embracing and validating his wife, who he believes will win the White House in November -- Jake.

TAPPER: Jeff Zeleny on the convention floor, thank you so much.

Joining me now here in the booth, California Attorney General Kamala Harris. She's also a Democratic Senate -- Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

Madam Attorney General, thanks for being here. We appreciate it.

KAMALA HARRIS, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's good to be with you, Jake. Thank you.

TAPPER: So, I have a lot of tough questions for you.

HARRIS: OK. TAPPER: But, first, let's start with the historic moment of this. This is not a tough question.

HARRIS: Yes.

TAPPER: You're the first woman to ever serve as attorney general in California. You're also the first person of African-American and South Asian ancestry to serve in that position.

Talk a little bit, if you could, about what this means to you that this is going to be a woman major party nominee.

HARRIS: Michelle Obama said it the best last night. It is going to be an inspiration for the children of our country, boys and girls.

It is going to be about understanding that we can, any of us, do whatever we want and dream whatever we want, unburdened by who has classically done that work. And so tonight is a moment of letting everyone know that anyone can do anything and that in this country that is possible.

I will also tell you what my mother told me when I was growing up. She said, Kamala, you may be the first to do many things. Make sure you're not the last.

And so that is part of the significance of tonight and, in particular, the person that we will nominate, Hillary Clinton, because her life's work has been about making sure that not only will she break barriers, but she will create a path for others to do the same.

And so the significance of this, I think, she would say it's bigger than her. It's about all of us, all of us as Americans, regardless of gender.

TAPPER: Exactly. And regardless of whether or not you're even going to vote for Hillary Clinton in the fall.

HARRIS: Sure.

TAPPER: Earlier today, Vice President Biden addressed the constant disruptions we heard yesterday during the convention from Sanders supporters. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have every right to have a outburst. They're going to be fine. Look, they worked hard. We got to show a little class and let them be frustrated for a while. It's OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: You hail from the delegation that might -- seems to have some of the deepest frustrations, California. What do you make of this?

HARRIS: Yes. Listen, I think that I'm proud of who we are as Californians. And

Californians have a history of being very passionate about our politics and very passionate about issues. And so what we have heard is a lot of folks who are here -- they didn't stay at home. They weren't turned off by the process. They said they wanted to be a part of it.

And I think tonight what we're going to see is what started last night, which is we're a party that is coming together, unified as one to take on the big issues that we know must be dealt with as we go toward November 8.

It's be about all of us standing with Hillary Clinton, with our party when it comes to issues like minimum wage, what we need to do around disparities in the criminal justice system, and what we need to do around economic disparities, what we need to fight climate change, a lot of issues that I think we're going to hear about in the coming nights here, we're unified in fighting for.

TAPPER: You're making that pitch. With all due respect, you're not quite unified, not yet anyway. You hope to be.

HARRIS: We're on the path. And one should remain optimistic.

TAPPER: You are very optimistic.

Sanders supporters, though, it does seem are not backing down. At the California delegation breakfast this morning, they locked arms during speeches. Sanders himself also spoke and got some resistance from the crowd. Listen to what he told his supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we must do, or forever look back in regret, is defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.

(BOOING)

SANDERS: It is easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under a Donald Trump presidency.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Doesn't quite fit on a bumper sticker, but that does seem to be a message that Sanders supporters are being told.

It is easy to boo. It is tougher to look your kids in the face during a Donald Trump presidency.

HARRIS: Well, that's right.

And, listen, I was at that breakfast as well and I spoke also. And we spoke about unity. And there was an equal roar of applause for what the California delegation I think knows that we all need to do in the coming 104 days toward November 8.

And so I feel that we will be unified as a party. There will be differences among us, like the differences within any family, but ultimately around the most important issues, we're going to come together.

TAPPER: All right, Attorney General Harris, it's always a pleasure. Thank you so much for stopping by.

HARRIS: Thank you. Good to be with you.

[16:10:00]

TAPPER: Enjoy Philadelphia. Enjoy the convention. We appreciate it.

HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

TAPPER: The big speaker tonight, former President Bill Clinton. What is the big dog going to say? What should he say? Our panel is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention in beautiful downtown Philadelphia, PA. We're actually not in downtown. We're in South Philly.

But let's go south of where I am right now, to Dana Bash, who is on the convention floor with a special guest.

Dana, who do you have with you?

BASH: Jake, I have Senator Barbara Boxer to talk about what you opened the program with, how historic this is, to have a woman who is going to be nominated as the first nominee of a major party.

You were elected in the year of the woman, in 1992.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Yes.

BASH: Did you think that this was going to take that long between that long between '92 and now to happen?

BOXER: I never thought about how long it would take. I knew we just needed the right woman at the right moment.

And even though this has been contentious and it's going to be tough, this moment has come.

[16:15:06] And we really haven't had the time to focus on it, because of all the issues in the country and abroad and right here at the convention and at the Republican convention. But this moment is coming, Dana. I think it's going to hit people all over the country. Anyone who is a woman, who has a daughter, everybody has a mom, when my mother was born, women didn't even have the right to vote.

BASH: And she would take you to vote to tell you how important it was.

BOXER: She took me by the hand, she closed the curtain around me and she'd say, honey, this is the greatest country in the world and this vote is secret, not even daddy knows how I vote. And to me, it just said volumes, especially when I got a little older and I realized that she had to actually fight for the right to vote.

BASH: And you're going to speak tonight. You're going to speak as a friend, but also as a family member?

BOXER: Yes, my daughter was married to Hillary's brother. They have a wonderful son. So my grandson is Hillary's nephew. And we shared so many experiences around that child.

And I know how loving and compassionate and wonderful a person she is. And not enough people know that because Hillary is a quiet and shy person. So I'm going to tell everybody about those years.

BASH: Senator, thank you so much for your time, appreciate it.

BOXER: Thanks.

BASH: Jake, back to you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Dana.

The second day of the Democratic national convention just minutes away from officially starting and shortly after that gavel comes down, the roll call vote to nominate Hillary will happen. Lots to discuss, stay with us. Taking a quick break now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:21:25] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. We're live from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where very soon, Hillary Clinton will officially become the Democratic presidential nominee. We'll go to the floor the second the roll call vote that we have been talking begins.

But let's talk with our panel right now about this moment and this race. David Gergen joins us, along with Gloria Borger, Michael Smerconish, Nia-Malika Henderson, former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton in 2008, Patti Solis Doyle, former Obama White House press secretary Jay Carney, Bernie Sanders supporter Bill Press, and Donald Trump supporter Andre Bauer, the former lieutenant governor of the great state of South Carolina.

Let's just take one moment if we can. We don't have to have everybody weigh in on it, but the historic moment of this -- the historic nature of this moment -- Gloria, let me go to you. A woman major party presidential nominee is, again, whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, remember that for a second, it's a pretty huge moment in American politics.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's interesting because women of my generation sort of think wow, we -- we never thought this day would come and here it is. In many ways, I think like African- Americans thought about Barack Obama --

TAPPER: You never thought it would come? Really, you never thought this day would come?

BORGER: You know what? Actually, I didn't. For really, I mean, I'd say in the last ten years I thought more about it. But what I -- yes, I really, I didn't. I think a lot of other things would have happened first. So, for women of my generation, this is a moment to kind of step back and say what a landmark this is that other countries have done it and we haven't.

So, it is, for women of a younger generation, though, I made a point on the campaign trail of taking to millennial women every rally I went to, particularly Bernie Sanders rallies, and they just assume, they're like, of course, a woman is going to be nominated. So, we found something right in this country because younger women actually take this for granted, which I think is great.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes.

BORGER: Young older women, for which I include myself, do not, take this for granted.

HENDERSON: And they take it for granted because of Hillary Clinton. Her historic run in 2008, you talk about the eighteen cracks in the glass ceiling.

TAPPER: Eighteen million.

HENDERSON: Eighteen million.

And she said it would be remarkable -- it's remarkable because now it's so unremarkable that a woman could run for the White House. So, I think oftentimes young women don't make that connection to Hillary Clinton and what she was able to do. Listen, I grew up, and I think you're right.

You look on, when you were in school, you have those placemats with all the presidents there for obviously, centuries, it was just white men and you have Barack Obama there now, and you think that now, school kids might grow up and it might be a black man there and a woman there or Donald Trump who would also in some ways be an historic figure as well.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I also want to say, it's not just young women, it's young men. You know, I have a daughter and a son, and this is just as important for him to be able to know and to think that women can grow -- girls can grow up to be anything they want to be as long as they set their sights to it and they work hard for it. it's just as important for boys.

TAPPER: Jay?

JAY CARNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I also have a son and a daughter, and this is really meaningful for me because of my 11-year- old daughter. The placemat, when I was working for President Obama, we had that placemat. And my daughter essentially ignored skin color, and she wanted to know why there were no women on that place mat.

And one of the things that I think is frustrating about the fact that folks are taking it for granted is that it's only because Hillary Clinton has been on the stage for as long as she has been. People take her for granted.

[16:25:00] This is what happens when you have been a major player in national politics for several decades. They don't -- she was the favorite in 2008, she didn't get the nomination. And now, she is the favorite in 2016 to get the nomination, she succeeded.

Getting there was really hard. You can't just because you're the favorite doesn't make it easy. Patti knows this. This is tough stuff. She is a great small room politician. She's a sophisticated policy expert. She's passionate about a lot of important issues that matter to families and kids, and she's a woman.

And I think having a woman in the oval office will have profound effects for girls around the country and the world.

TAPPER: David, I want to ask you, because you work in the Clinton White House. Could you imagine back then, when Hillary Clinton was first lady of the United States that this day could come?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. Why did we wait so long? I think this has been very slow in coming. Many countries have proven women can be great leaders. Look at Germany today with Angela Merkel. There are a lot of other women like that. And I think the Democratic Party deserves to be proud they got there first.

There are many people in the Republican Party where I worked for a long time that thought Republicans would get here first. But Democrats did. And they deserve to be, you know?

I want to say one last thing.

TAPPER: Yes?

GERGEN: I think the culture hasn't changed enough so that being a woman may be a drag on Hillary Clinton's camp. I do think she faces a double standard in many respects. If you're ambitious as a man, it's taken for granted. If you're ambitious as a woman, still, it's like well, maybe I can't trust you very much. And I think it has to do with the distrust factor. It's something we have to see play out in the campaign.

TAPPER: Andre, I want to give you the last word as a Trump supporter. I mean, even as a Trump supporter, do you -- are you able to look at this and think, hey, look, other Republican women have tried, Carly Fiorina, Elizabeth Dole, Michele Bachmann. But this is a nice thing? I mean, you have a woman governor.

ANDRE BAUER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I was Elizabeth Dole's chairperson when she ran for the state of South Carolina. So, I was hoping it come sooner. I was quite frankly hoping it'd be a different candidate, so I don't quite as excited about it. But no question, this is a historic mark taking nothing away from her.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much. We're going to have much more to talk about with all of you. Much more coverage next, the start of the roll call vote just minutes away. Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)