Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Former President Bill Clinton Address the Convention; Bill Clinton Highlights Past Work and Leadership of Hillary Clinton; Powerful Speech by Bill Clinton Calls Hillary a "Change-Maker". Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 26, 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] MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: She knows that safeguarding freedom and security is not like hosting a TV reality show.
It is a complex, round-the-clock job that demands not only a steady hand and a cool head but also a big heart. You're not just representing yourself. You are there for all of us.
Hillary has displayed these qualities in every job she has ever had. And last week in Cleveland, we were reminded that her opponent possesses none of them.
Many have argued that Donald Trump would harm our national security if he were elected president. The fact is that he has already done damage just by running for president.
He has undermined our fight against terrorism by alienating our Muslim partners, he has weakened our standing in the world by threatening to walk away from our friends and our allies, and by encouraging more countries to get nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump also has a strange admiration for dictators, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin. When asked about Putin, Donald Trump said, and I quote, "In terms of leadership, he's getting an a."
The truth is that a Trump victory in November would be a gift to Vladimir Putin, and given what we've learned about Russia's recent actions, Putin is eager to see Trump win.
And that should worry every American. Take it from someone who fled the iron curtain. I know what happens when you give the Russians a green light. Trump's dark vision of America, one that's isolated in the world,
alienated from our allies would be a disaster. We would -- must make sure that this never happens.
We must elect Hillary Clinton as our next president.
My fellow Americans, at the age of 11, I sailed past the Statue of Liberty and started my life in the world's greatest democracy. I am so grateful to our country and I am supporting Hillary Clinton because I love it.
God bless America and God bless the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Next the main speech of the night, former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. He'll be introduced with a media right -- with a new -- with a video right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S PRESIDENT: When I was a little boy, my favorite thing to do would be to go to my grandfather's country store and just meet people. They told me that everybody's got a story.
I began to make a connection that there was something you could do if you got elected to help people live better lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear President Bill Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear Mr. Bill Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear President Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much for this opportunity to write you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am writing this letter on behalf of my family and myself.
CLINTON: I would read these letters every week. If they wrote us, we'd try to help them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was a 19-year-old single mom with an eighth grade education. I lived in garage collected welfare. Anguish over the real possibility of my child growing up and losing his life in the streets.
Then you came into view.
You saw hearts and minds, not colors. You believed that people were defined by their best qualities, not their shortcomings. You showed me that my downtimes, my mistakes and my fears weren't fix as mistakes. They were experiences to learn from and leave behind. Your message permeated the country. Thank you for believing in me.
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
[22:04:58] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Bill Clinton the work begins and ends with people. Under his administration 23 million jobs were created and our country had a budget surplus.
He signed the Family and Medical Leave Act and gave a historic tax relief for working poor families, the middle class parents sending their children to college. He protected 58.5 million acres of heritage forests and saved Medicare, Medicaid and education spending from republican cuts.
His actions have changed millions of lives for the better.
CLINTON: We moved a hundred times as many people out of poverty as moved out when President Reagan was in office with 40 percent more jobs, that meant we were empowering more people to take control of their own lives.
JOHN BOYER, OHIO RESIDENT: My name is John Boyer. I live in Ashland, Ohio. This farm has been in our possession for about 108 years now.
Joseph Robert Nutty (Ph), Ohio. My father work for Chrysler and then I started in 1996. Both sides of my family, you know, was always union so we believe in us and in the working family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things were good through the Clinton era. We, you know, we put away -- retired a lot of debt. I think that's important.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety three and ninety four was a big boom. Mr. Clinton was captivating. Like when he said stuff, you believed it, you know, because you lived it.
JORGE ANGELES, IMMIGRANT: My name is Jorge Angeles. I came to this country in '88. It was virtually impossible to get a house. And then under Bill Clinton, I bought a house. We've been in this house for 23 years now.
Politicians tell you that they care for you, but Bill Clinton showed you how he cared for you.
CLINTON: I remember I was in this rural county, this guy was standing there talking to me one day and he said, you know, we don't want a handout but we do want a hand up.
Stayed with me my whole life. We need to share the future and we need to empower people to make the most of their own lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Bosnia and Kosovo to Vietnam and Colombia, to Northern Ireland, he worked tirelessly to nurture peace and improve lives, efforts that continued through his foundation across the world.
Places like the Central Highlands in Africa where he was struck by the simple but powerful way people greeted each other every day.
CLINTON: One will say "Good morning, hello, how are you." And the answer is not, "I'm fine. How are you?" The answer translated into English is, "I see you." That's inherently empowering.
You have to be able to look at somebody and actually see them and at least imagine what their lives were like. Ask when a lifetime trying to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 1999, I graduated in the top 3 percent of my law school class. And in 2013, my son graduated from UCLA.
CLINTON: If you get people out of poverty then their children will likely be out of poverty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like I'm a Clinton baby. The reason why, you know, I aspired to get my law degree and get my business degree. He instills that belief for my mom. In turn, she passed that down to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear Cynthia, thank you for sharing your amazing story with me and for what you said about the impact of my presidency on your life. And your son's.
Out of your troubled past came a mother, lawyer and citizen who embodies the best in America. Help us make more of you. Sincerely, Bill Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Clinton had a good administration. I just like the philosophy of the democrats. They tend to care for each other.
CLINTON: You get up in the morning and you're really interested in getting people better life stories. There's always something to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Clinton, I want to thank you. You open my eyes when I was 18. I'm living the greatest dream I could ever imagine.
CLINTON: I still write my own life story. That's what I tried to make people believe they can do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.
The first time I saw her we were appropriately enough in a class on political and civil rights. She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no make-up and she exuded this sense of strength and self- possession that I found magnetic.
After the class I followed her out intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back but I couldn't do it. Somehow I knew this would not be just another tap on a shoulder. And I might be starting something I couldn't stop.
I saw her several more times the next few days but I still didn't speak to her. Then one night I was in the law library talking to a classmate who wanted me to join the Yale Law Journal. He said it would guarantee me a job at a big firm or a clerkship with a federal judge.
I really wasn't interested. I just wanted to go home to Arkansas. Then -- then I saw the girl again. Standing at the opposite end of that long room. For the -- finally, she was staring back at me. So, I watched her. She closed her book, put it down and started walking toward me.
She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, look, if you're going to keep staring at me and now I'm staring back, we at least ought to know each other's names. I'm Hillary Rodham, who are you?
I was so impressed and surprised that whether you believe it or not, momentarily, I was speechless. Finally, I sort of blurted out my name we exchanged a few words and then she went away.
Well, I didn't join the law review, but I did leave that library with a whole new goal in mind. A couple days later I saw her again. I remember she was wearing a long white flowery skirt, and I went up to her and she said she was going to register for classes for the next term.
I said I'd go, too. And we stood in line and talked, you had to do that to register back then, and I thought I was doing pretty well till we got to the front of the line and the registrar looked up and said, "Bill, what are you doing here? You registered this morning."
I turned red and she laughed that big laugh of hers and I thought, well, heck, as soon as cover's been blown, I just went ahead and asked her to take a walk down to the art museum. We've been walking and talking and laughing together ever since. (APPLAUSE)
[22:15:00] We've done in good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak. We cried together this morning on the news that our good friend and a lot of your friend Mark Weiner passed away early this morning.
We built up a lifetime of memories. After the first month and that first walk, I actually drove her home to Park Ridge, Illinois, to...
... to meet her family and see the town where she grew up. A perfect example of post-World War II middle class America. Street after street of nice houses, great schools, good parks, a big public swimming pool. And almost all white. I really liked her family. Her crusty, conservative father, her rambunctious brother, all extolling the virtues of rooting for the bears and the cubs.
And for the people from Illinois here, they even told me what waiting for next year meant. Could be next year, guys. Now her mother was different. She was more liberal than the boys. And she had a childhood that made mine look like a piece of cake.
She was easy to underestimate with her soft manner. And she reminded me all over again of the truth that I will say and you should never judge a book by its cover. Knowing her was one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave me.
I learned that Hillary got her introduction to social justice through her Methodist youth minister, Don Jones. He took her downtown to Chicago to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak and he remained her friend for the rest of his life.
This will be the only campaign of hers he ever missed. When she got to college, her support for civil rights, her opposition to the Vietnam War compelled her to change parties and become a democrat.
And then between college and law school alone a total ark she went alone to Alaska and spent some time slamming fish.
More to the point by the time I met her, she had already been involved in the law school's legal services project and she'd been influenced by Marian Wright Edelman.
She took a summer internship interviewing workers in migrant camps, for Senator Walter Mondale subcommittee. She'd also begun working in the Yale New Haven Hospital to develop procedures to handle suspected child abuse cases.
She got so involved in children's issues that she actually took an extra year in law school working at the child studies center to learn what more can be done to improve the lives and the futures of poor children.
So, she was already determined to figure out how to make things better. Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by private citizens. Then the summer of 1972, she went to Dalton, Alabama to visit one of those segregated academies, it's in enrolled over half a million white kids in the south.
The only way that economics work is if they claimed federal tax exemptions to which they were not legally entitled.
She got sent to prove they weren't. So, she sauntered into one of these academies all by herself pretending to be a housewife that just moved to town and needed to find a school for his son. And they exchanged pleasantries.
And finally, she said look, let's just get bottom line here. If I enroll my son in this school, will he be in a segregated school? Yes or no? And the guy said, absolutely. She had him. I've seen it a thousand times since.
And she went back and her encounter was part of her report to give Marian Wright Edelman ammunition she needed to keep working to Ford and Nixon administration to take those tax exemptions away and give our kid access to an equal education.
[22:19:57] Then -- then she went down to South Texas where she met...
She met one of the nicest fellas I ever met, the wonderful union leader Franklin Garcia, and he helped her register Mexican-American voters. I think some of them were still around to vote for her in 2016.
And then, last year, in our last year in law school, Hillary kept up this work. She went to South Carolina to see why so many young...
She went to South Carolina to see why so many young African-American boys, I mean, young teen-agers were being jailed for years with adults in men's prisons. And she filed a report on that which led to some changes, too. Always making things better. (APPLAUSE)
Now, meanwhile, let's get back to business. I was trying to convince her to marry me. I first proposed to her on a trip to Great Britain. The first time she'd ever been overseas and we were on the shoreline of this wonderful little lake, like Ennerdale. I asked her to marry me and she said I can't do it.
So, in 1974, I went home to teach in the law school and Hillary moved to Massachusetts to keep working...
... to keep working on children's issues. This time trying to figure out why so many kids counted in the census weren't enrolled in school. She found one of them sitting alone on her porch in a wheelchair.
Once more, she filed a report about this kid and that helped influence ultimately the Congress to adapt the proposition that children with disabilities, physical or otherwise should have equal access to public education.
You saw -- you saw the results of that last night when Anastasia Simosa talked.
She never made fun of people with disabilities. She tried to empower them based on their abilities.
Meanwhile -- meanwhile, I was still trying to get her to marry me. So, the second time I tried I tried a different tact. I said I really want to you marry me but you shouldn't do it. She smiled and look at me like, "what did this boy up to." She said that's not a very good sale pitch.
I said I know but it's true. And I meant it was true. I said I know most of the young democrats our age who want -- who want to go into politics. They mean well and they speak well but none of them are as good as you are at actually doing things to make positive changes in people's lives.
So, I suggested she go home to Illinois or move to New York and look for a chance to run for office. She just laughed and said are you out of my mind? Nobody would ever vote for me.
So, I finally got her to come visit me in Arkansas.
(CROWD CHEERING) And when she did, the people at the law school were so impressed they offered her a teaching position. And she decided to take a huge chance. She moved to a strange place, more rural, more culturally conservative than any place she'd ever been where she knew good and well people would wonder. What in the world she was like and whether they could or should accept her.
It didn't take them long to find out what she was like. She loved her teaching and she got frustrated when one of her students said, well, what do you expect, I'm just from Arkansas. She said don't tell me that, you're as smart as anybody. You just have to believe in yourself and work hard and set high goals. She believed that anybody could make it.
She also started the first legal aid clinic in Northwest Arkansas providing legal aid services to poor people who couldn't pay for it. One day, I was driving her to the airport to fly back to Chicago, when we pass this little brick house that it had for sale sign on it and she said, boy, that's a pretty house.
[22:25:08] It had 1,100 square feet, an attic fan and no air conditioner in hot Arkansas and a screened in porch. Hillary commented on what a uniquely designed and beautiful house it was. So, I took a big chance. I bought the house.
My mortgage was $175 a month. When she came back I picked her up and I said, "You remember that house you liked?" She said "yes," I said, "while you were gone, I bought it, you have to marry me now."
The third time was the charm.
We were married -- we were married in that little house on October 11th, 1975. I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was.
And I really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret. A little over a year later, we moved to Little Rock and I became Attorney General and she joined the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi.
Soon after, she started a group called the Arkansas advocates for families and children.
It's a group, as a group as you can hear that is still active today.
(CROWD CHEERING) In 1979 -- in 1979, just after I became Governor, I ask Hillary to chair a rural health committee, to helped expand health care to isolated farm and mountain areas. They recommended to do that partly by deploying trained nurse practitioners in places with no doctors to provide primary care that they were trained to provide.
It was a big deal then. Highly controversial and very important. And I got the feeling that what she did for the rest of her life she was doing there. She just went out and figured out what needed to be done and what made the most sense and what would help the most people, and then if it was controversial, she just tried to persuade people it the right thing to do.
It wasn't the only big thing that happened that spring, my first year as governor. We found out we were going to be parents.
And time passed. On February 27th, 1980, 15 minutes after I got home from the National Governor's Conference in Washington Hillary's water broke and off we went to the hospital. Chelsea was born just before midnight.
It was the greatest moment of my life. The miracle of a new beginning. The hole filled for me because my own father died before I was born. And the absolute conviction that my daughter had the best mother in the whole world.
For the next -- for the next 17 years, through nursing school, Montessori, kindergarten, through t-ball, soccer, volleyball and her passion for ballet, through sleepovers, summer camps, family vacation and Chelsea's own very ambitious excursions from Halloween parties in the neighborhood to a Vietnamese wall scaler in the White House, Hillary first and foremost, was a mother.
She became what she often said our family's designated warrior, born with an extra responsibility gene. The truth is, we rarely disagreed on parenting, although she did believe that I had gone a little over the top when I took a couple of days off with Chelsea to watch all six Police Academy movies back to back.
[22:29:58] When Chelsea was 9 months old I was defeated for reelection in the Reagan landslide. And I became overnight, I think the youngest former Governor in the history of the country. We only had 2-year terms back then.
Hillary was great. Immediately, she said "OK, what are we going to do? Here's what we're going to do. We're going to get a house, you're going to get a job, we're going to enjoy being Chelsea's parents. And if you really want to run again, you need to get out there and talk to people, figure out why you lost, tell people you got the message, and show them you've still got good ideas."
I followed her advice. Within two days, we had a house. I soon had a job. We had two fabulous years with Chelsea. And in 1982, I became the first governor in the history of our state to be elected, defeated, and elected again.
I think my experience is, it's a pretty good thing to follow her advice.
The rest of the decade sort of flew by, as our lives settled into a rhythm of family and work and friends.
In 1983, Hillary chaired a committee to recommend new education standards for us, as a part of our -- in response to a court order to equalize school funding, and a report by a national expert that said our woefully underfunded schools were the worst in America.
Typical Hillary, she held listening tours in all 75 counties with our committee. She came up with really ambitious recommendations, for example, that we be the first school in America -- first state in America to require elementary counselors in every school because so many kids were having trouble at home and they needed it.
So, I called the legislature into session, hoping to pass the standards, pass the pay raise for teachers, and raise the sales tax to pay for it all. I knew it would be hard to pass, but it got easier after Hillary testified before the education committee and the chairman of Plainspoken Farmers said, "It looks to me like we elected the wrong Clinton."
Well by the time I ran for president, nine years later, the same expert who said that we had the worst schools in America, said that our state was one of the two most improved states in America. And that's to low standard that Hillary help us to go up.
Now, two years later, Hillary told me about a preschool program developed in Israel called HIPPY, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters. The idea was to teach low-income parents, even those that couldn't read, to be their children's first teachers. She said she thought it would work in Arkansas. I said that's great, what are we going to do about it? She said, "Oh, I already did it. I called the woman who started the program in Israel, she'll be here in about 10 days and help us get started."
Next thing you know I'm being dragged around to all these little preschool graduations. Now, keep in mind, this was before any state even had universal kindergarten and I'm being dragged to preschool graduations watching these poor parents with tears in their eyes because they never thought they'd be able to help their kids learn.
Now, 20 years -- 20 years of research has shown how well this program works to improve readiness for school and academic achievement.
There are a lot of young adults in America who have no idea Hillary had anything to do with it, who are enjoying better lives because they were in that program. She did all this, while being a full time worker, a mother, and enjoying her life. Why? Well, she's insatiably curious, she's a natural leader, she's a good organizer and the best darn change-maker I've ever met in my entire life.
So, look, this is a really important point. This is a relaly point for you to take out of this convention. If you believe in making change from the bottom up, if you believe the measure of change is how many people's lives are better, you know it's hard and some people think it's boring.
Speeches like this are fun. Actually doing the work is hard. Some people say, "Well, we need a change," she's been around a long time, she sure has. And she's sure been work every single year she's put into making people's lives better.
[22:34:57] I can tell you this. If you were sitting where I'm sitting and you heard what I have heard and every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, on every lawn walk you would say, "This woman had never satisfied with the status quo." In anything she always wants to move the ball forward, that is just who she is.
When I became president with a commitment to reform health care, Hillary was a natural to head the health care task force. You all know we failed because we couldn't break a Senate filibuster. Hillary immediately went to work on solving the problems the bill sought to address one by one. The most important goal was to get more children with health insurance.
In 1997, Congress passed the Children's Health Insurance Program, still an important part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act. It insures more than 8 million kids. There are a lot of other things in that bill that she got done piece by piece, pushing that rock up the hill.
In 1987 -- '97, she also teamed with the House Minority Leader Tom DeLay, who maybe disliked me more than any of Newt Gingrich's crowd. They worked on a bill together to increase adoptions of children under foster care. She wanted to do it because she knew that Tom DeLay, for all of our differences, was an adoptive parent and she honored him for doing that.
Now, the bill they worked on, which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, led to a big increase in the adoption of children out of foster care, including non-infant kids and special-needs kids. It made life better because she's a change-maker, that's what she does.
Now, when you're doing all this, real life doesn't stop. Nineteen ninety-seven was the year Chelsea finished high school and went to college. We were happy for her, but sad for us to see her go.
I'll never forget moving her into her dorm room at Stanford. It would have been a great little reality flick. There I was in a trance just staring out the window trying not to cry, and there was Hillary on her hands and knees desperately looking for one more drawers to put that liner paper in.
Finally, Chelsea took charge and told us ever so gently that it was time for us to go. So we closed a big chapter in the most important work of our lives. As you'll see Thursday night when Chelsea speaks, Hillary's done a pretty fine job of being a mother.
And as you saw last night, beyond a shadow of a doubt so has Michelle Obama.
Now, fast forward. In 1999, Congressman Charlie Rangel and other New York democrats urged Hillary...
... urged Hillary to run for the state of retiring, the seat of retiring Senator Pat Moynihan. We had always intended to go to New York after I left office and commute to Arkansas, but this had never occurred to either one of us. Hillary had never run for office before, but she decided to give it a try.
She began her campaign the way she always does new things, by listening and learning. And after a tough battle, New York elected her to the seat -- to the seat once held by another outsider, Robert Kennedy.
And she didn't let him down. Her early years were dominated by 9/11, by working to fund the recovery, then monitoring the health and providing compensation to victims and first and second responders. She and Senator Schumer were tireless and so were our House members.
[22:40:03] In 2003, partly spurred on by what we were going through, she became the first senator in the history of New York ever to serve on the Armed Services Committee.
So, she tried to make sure people on the battlefield had proper equipment. She tried to expand and did expand health care coverage to Reservists and members of the National Guard. She got longer family leave, working with Senator Dodd, for people caring for wounded service members.
And she worked for more extensive care for people with traumatic brain injury. She also served on a special Pentagon commission to propose changes necessary to meet our new security challenges. Newt Gingrich is on that commission, he told me what a good job she had done.
I say that because nobody who has seriously dealt with the men and women in today's military believes they are a disaster. They are a national treasure of all races, all religions, all walks of life.
Now, meanwhile, she compiled a really solid record, totally progressive on economic and social issues. She voted for and against some proposed trade deals. She became the de facto economic development officer for the area of New York outside the ambit of New York City.
She worked for farmers, for winemakers, for small businesses and manufacturers.
For her upstate cities in rural areas who needed more ideas and more new investment to create good jobs, something we have to do again in small-town and rural America, in neighborhoods that have been left behind in our cities and Indian country and, yes, in coal country.
When she lost a hard-fought contest to President Obama in 2008, she worked for his election hard. But she hesitated to say yes when he asked her to join his Cabinet because she so loved being a senator from New York.
So, like me, in a different context, he had to keep asking.
But as we all saw and heard from Madeleine Albright, it was worth the effort and worth the wait.
As secretary of state, she worked hard to get strong sanctions against Iran's nuclear program. And in what the Wall Street Journal no less called a half-court shot at the buzzer, she got Russia and China to support them. Her team negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear
weapons and reestablish inspections. And she got enough republican support to get two-thirds of the Senate, the vote necessary to ratify the treaty.
She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a ceasefire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Gaza -- I mean, between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace of the region.
She backed President Obama's decision to go after Osama bin Laden.
She launched a team, this is really important today, she launched a team to fight back against terrorists online and built a new global counterterrorism effort.
We've got to win this battle in the mind field. She put climate change at the center of our foreign policy.
She negotiated the first agreement ever - ever - where China and India officially committed to reduce their emissions. And as she had been doing since she went to Beijing in 1995 and said women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights.
She worked to empower women and girls around the world and to make the same exact declaration on behalf of the LGBT community in America and around the world.
And nobody ever talks about this much, nobody ever talks about this much, but it's important to me. She tripled the number of people with AIDS in poor countries whose lives are being saved with your tax dollars, most of them in Africa, going from 1.7 million lives to 5.1 million lives and it didn't cost you any more money.
[22:45:05] She just bought available FDA-approved generic drugs, something we need to do for the American people more.
Now, you don't know any of these people. You don't know any of those 3.4 million people, but I'll guarantee you they know you. They know you because they see you as thinking their lives matter. They know you and that's one reason the approval of the United States was 20 points higher when she left the secretary of state's office than when she took it.
Now, how does this square -- how does the square with the things that you heard at the republican convention, what's the difference between on what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can't. One is real and the other is made up.
(CROWD IS CHEERING)
And you just have to decide -- you just have to decide which is which my fellow Americans, the real one, had done more positive change- making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office.
The real one -- the real one, if you saw her friend Bessy (Ph) vote in Illinois today, has friends from childhood through Arkansas where she has not lived in more than 20 years who have gone all across America at their own expense to fight for the person that they know.
The real one has earned the loyalty to respect and the fervent support of people who have worked with her in every stage of her life, including leaders around the world who know her to be able straightforward and completely trustworthy. The real one calls you when you're sick or when your kid's in trouble or when there's a death in the family.
The real one repeatedly drew praise from prominent republicans from when she was a senator and the secretary of state.
So, what's up with this? Well, if you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up for two cooperate, a real change-maker, represents a real threat.
So, your only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative. Then run against the cartoon. Cartoons are two dimensional, they are easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard and a lot of people even think it's boring.
Good for you, because earlier today, you nominated the real one.
Listen, we got to get back on schedule. You guys calm down. Look, I have a lived a long, full, blessed, life, it really took off when I met and fell in love with that girl in the spring 1971. When I was president I worked hard to give you more peace and shared
prosperity, to give you and America where nobody is invisible or counted out.
But for this time, Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunity and reduce the risk we face. And she is still the best darn change maker I have ever known.
[22:50:00] You could drop her -- you could drop her in any trouble spot -- pick one-- come back in a month, and somehow, someway, she will have made it better. That is just who she is.
There are clear, achievable, affordable, responses to our challenges but we won't get to them if America makes the wrong choice in this election. That's why you should elect her. And you should elect her because she'll never quit when the going gets tough. She'll never quit on you.
She sends me in this primary to tell West Virginia where she knew we were going to lose to look those coal miners in the eyes and say I'm down here because Hillary sent me to tell you that if you really think you can get the economy back, you have to appear and go have it, vote for whatever you want to.
But if she wins, she is coming back for you to take you along on the ride to America's future.
And so I say to you. If you love this country and you're working hard, you're paying taxes, and you're obeying the law, and you like to become a citizen, you choose immigration reform over somebody who wants to send you back.
If you're -- if you're a Muslim, and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.
If you're a young African-American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody's afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future.
Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she spent a life time doing it. I hope you'll do it. I hope you'll elect her. Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrow tend to care more about our children and grandchildren. The reason you should elect her is that in the greatest country on earth, we have always been about tomorrow, your children and grandchildren who will bless you forever if you do.
God bless you. Thank you.
BLITZER: A very powerful speech by the former President of the United States, I covered him for a long time. The first time I heard him deliver a speech along those lines, clearly embracing the notion of becoming a political spouse. A speech, Jake Tapper, almost exclusively not about himself but about his wife.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: A truly remarkable speech. And one of the things that you realized from the speech is first of all, he still has it. He still is one of the great speech givers of this time and really one of the great storytellers of his time.
He started out with a line that could have been written by Harper Lee in "To Kill a Mocking Bird." In the spring of 1971, I met a girl. Then he goes a lays the case. And the case he was making was not only Hillary Clinton the spouse, Hillary Clinton the person.
And clearly, they do feel the need here at the Democratic National Convention to explain to people who the real Hillary Clinton is. But also, Hillary Clinton the change-maker.
In this election we have a very stark difference between somebody who is really identified with the status quo, Hillary Clinton, and somebody who I think its agreed, whether you like him or not, to represent change and that's Donald Trump.
Now his job here was clearly to say she represents change, talking about all the ways that she changed things in Arkansas and when she worked for the Children's Defense Fund. He said she's never satisfied with the status quo. Talking about the stories told about Hillary Clinton and the stories told about Donald Trump and saying you know who the real one is when it comes to change, she's the real one.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And also reminding people that she is feminine, that she is a woman and she said talking about meeting a girl in the spring of 1971, but then making it clear that she was sort of the object of desire.
[22:55:00] TAPPER: Right.
BASH: Which I know that it sounds a little bit, maybe a little bit, you know, quaint or whatever, but it actually is incredibly important politically for people to hear this because she has become, as he was saying, in many ways a caricature.
Because people feel that they know her and certainly republicans trying to paint her in a certain way last week, but talking about her as magnetic. And he really did try to feminize her, never mind as, you know, somebody who he wanted to date and went after and chased, tried to get her to marry him in three times but also as he went through the years, a mother, a young working mother. And really trying to bring that part of her out that people don't really get to see.
BLITZER: And he took on the republicans at the end of his speech, he really went after them. He said there is one image of Hillary Clinton that you heard of that republican convention, the critics and there's another version of her you heard from me tonight, one is real, the other is made up.
And he told the people you want to vote for the real Hillary Clinton, the one I told you about, the one who gets very, very -- has effectively done what she's trying to do all of these years.
TAPPER: He described -- you said caricature, what he said was cartoon.
TAPPER: He said when you can't run against somebody who are -- because they are such a compelling change maker, you have to create a cartoon, it's much easier to run against that.
The case that he's trying to make here is, yes, you've been hearing about Hillary Clinton for decades but what you've been hearing about is not the real Hillary Clinton, it is a cartoon, don't believe it, believe the real person beloved by her friends dating all the way to Arkansas, or even earlier than that to her childhood..
BASH: I also wrote down the number of states that he listed off.
TAPPER: That was great. That was classic.
BASH: As you said --as you said, OK, this is another example of how Bill Clinton still has it. The way he talked to, you know, from Illinois, then talked about Alaska, about Texas, about South Carolina, and Massachusetts, Arkansas, as a way to sort of clearly interact with the crowd, knowing that the delegations were going to go crazy when he talked about that, but also in trying to make the point that she at a very young age traveled to try to help people. I thought that was a very nice statement.
TAPPER: And also with Bill Clinton, it's not enough just to say he was working on the subcommittee.
TAPPER: It has to be the subcommittee headed by Walter Mondale so that the people from Minnesota...
BASH: Exactly, exactly.
TAPPER: One other thing on the Massachusetts thing, on the visit to Massachusetts when she was building getting information to help children with the Children's Defense Fund and finding that young girl not in school because she was in a wheelchair on her porch.
He said in this and he didn't have to say anything more because it's been such a highlight of the Clinton campaign and their case against Donald Trump. He didn't make -- she doesn't believe in making fun of the disabled.
TAPPER: She believes in empowering them. Clear contrast with when Donald Trump made fun of that disabled reporter.
BLITZER: You know, it's also very important -- it's also very important that were a couple representatives about mentioning Donald Trump by name in which he went after Donald Trump, said Hillary never makes fun of people with disabilities, she empowers people with disabilities. And also, and also this whole notion that the military is a disaster, she doesn't believe that, he doesn't believe that either.
Let me tell you what's going to be coming up next, Alicia Keys is going to be performing. This is going to be the historic nature of what is happening right now.
This is the first time a major political party in the United States has nominated a woman to be the nominee.
Meryl Streep is going to be introducing this moment, a very powerful moment that's coming up.
TAPPER: And look at that patriotic outfit that Meryl Streep is wearing.
MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: We got some sight left in us, don't we?
What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit and it takes grace. Deborah Samson was the first woman to take a bullet for our country. She served disguised as a man in George Washington's continental army.
And she fought to defend the document that didn't fully defend her. "All men are created equal," it read. No mention of women. And when she took a blast in battle to her leg, she was afraid to reveal her secret.
[23:00:01] So, she took out a pen knife, she dug out the musket ball and she sewed herself back up again. That's grit.