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CNN TONIGHT

Day Three of GOP Convention; Cruz Speech Examined. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 21, 2016 - 01:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Drama takes center stage on night three of the GOP Convention. This is a special CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

[01:00:05] It is after hours here at the CNN Grill. And it's packed. The Grill is packed tonight. We got a lot to talk about.

The politician formerly known as Lyin' Ted -- well, that's what Donald Trump called him -- Ted Cruz takes the stage for a highly anticipated speech, mentioning Trump exactly once. And failing to endorse his party's nominee simply saying, vote your conscience.

Conscience, even as echoes scream we want Trump. And meanwhile Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence gets his turn in the spotlight and Eric Trump makes a speech he promises he wrote himself.

We're going to go through all of that. The political dream team is here.

Mark Preston, Kayleigh McEnany, smile, smile from ear to ear. Bakari Sellers, another smile from ear to ear. Amanda Carpenter is here. And Andy Dean -- can someone -- camera three, can you go down right here? Look at this. Look at that.

Andy has taken off his shoes, he's relaxing tonight.

ANDY DEAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, I'm wearing two right socks.

LEMON: And he's wearing two right socks and less much comprehensive he gets. That's how much he understands. You are a true Republican. You're wearing two right, two R's.

DEAN: Nothing left in me, nothing.

LEMON: All right. The man who stole the night, Ted Cruz? All right, Ted Cruz. Yeah, he stole it, but it wasn't a good steal.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Donald took it back, too.

LEMON: Yeah.

MCENANY: Right?

LEMON: Yeah. Well, a lot of drama. Let's look at Ted Cruz and then we'll talk. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the constitution.

I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegations. We must make the most of our moments to fight for freedom, to protect our God-given rights. Even if those we totally don't agree so that when we are old and gray, and when our work is done, and we give those we love one final kiss good-bye. We will be able to say freedom matters and I was part of something beautiful.

The case we have to make to the American people, the case each person in this room has to make to the American people, is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the constitution.

We will unite the party. We will unite the country by standing together for shared values by standing for liberty. God bless each and every one of you and God bless the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. So if you talk about a "You know what" show, and "Ish" show tonight, I mean, I was watching -- I couldn't believe that Donald Trump had to come in and say just before -- Andy, I'm going to go to you to get your response.

DEAN: OK.

LEMON: But let me read some of these. Jim Acosta, this is our reporting, crowd getting angry at Cruz, yelling at him to endorse Trump. One man screams, this is torture, Ted. Get over it.

Bobby Rogers (ph) said Heidi Cruz is supported out by security, crowd gets very angry. Jeremy Diamond, Trump walk to the VIP box waving to his supporters. And then Peter King said Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump was disgraceful and disqualifying and that a-hole -- he used the entire word -- doesn't do him justice, meaning himself. He had the crowd and who you refuse to.

[01:05:09] DEAN: I'm angry at Peter King for not going far enough. But this I'll tell you Don, off the record, and this is just between me and you, Ted Cruz strikes a lot of people as a total creep who's dishonest and might be a liar.

And to do what he did tonight, which not endorse Donald Trump when Donald Trump gave him the stage, I think it's hurtful to the party, it's hurtful to America, but Ted Cruz has always been in the business of Ted Cruz, so I can't say I'm surprised.

LEMON: Yeah.

DEAN: He's a dirtbag. LEMON: What do you think, Kayleigh?

MCENANY: I think ...

LEMON: A dirtbag.

DEAN: A dirtbag?

LEMON: Wow.

DEAN: It's loud in here.

LEMON: A d-bag.

MCENANY: I think that's ...

LEMON: That would be something else. Go ahead.

MCENANY: That's exactly right Andy hit the nail on the head that Ted Cruz is about Ted Cruz. Because look, in 1976 when Ronald Reagan lost handedly or not handedly I should say but slimly to Gerald Ford, in the speech at the very end.

He didn't mention Gerald Ford. He just said, you know, thanks for having me, Gerald. But at the very end, he said it's time for the party to unite. He didn't endorse, but he said that one statement and Ted Cruz should have said something about unity and instead it was about Ted Cruz. It was sad, it was a sad day for America, I agree and it's -- that hurts ...

LEMON: Amanda, I have to say this. Someone, a very astute person e- mailed me and said Don, Donald Trump talks about not being politically correct. Ted Cruz is not politically correct. Donald Trump can't handle both ways. Ted Cruz got up there and said wait a minute. And so Donald Trump should not criticize him. He should embrace him.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Listen, Ted Cruz never promised an endorsement. He gave a speech that didn't say anything bad about Donald Trump. They're just mad that he didn't bend down to him and give him the endorsement. And now they're revealing what they've revealed all along calling him a dirtbag, Peter King continues to say the same things he's always that.

Listen, everyone talks about how concerned they are about Donald Trump as president. A lot of people Republicans, a lot of people don't do it in public like I do.

LEMON: Yeah.

CARPENTER: But they do it.

Ted Cruz spoke to them. He had the guts to say it on stage. The party is divided, yes, but people should find out where they stand and he had the courage to do it for everybody.

(OFF-MIC) LEMON: ... on Ted Cruz communications director, right? That took cojones to do what he did.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that Ted Cruz, he came and he was very courageous.

As Ana Navarro said, he came, he ate the food, he drank the liquor and he took a whiz on the carpet. He came he was courageous but it might have been the wrong time or wrong place for this, but you have to think back at this whole convention.

And vote for Donald Trump is a vote that your country will be run like this convention ...

MCENANY: Yup.

SELLERS: ... which is a sad, sad commentary. Donald trump's message every single night had been stepped on by something else. It was Melania -- first of all we had the chaos on the floor with the rules. Melania Trump's plagiarism lasted 36 hours. And now tonight instead of talking about a very good speech and instead of talking about a very good speech by Eric Trump, which I thought was very good, I mean for me, it was very good.

We're talking about Ted Cruz stealing the show. And I just think that this is unfortunate but it's a consistent commentary about how inept the Trump campaign is.

LEMON: I got to go to Mark Preston, I'm just saying he has a new reporting for us.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I do so, first of all to the point of a good speech. I thought Mike Pence did very well tonight, exactly right? Because we're not going to talk about Mike Pence who is the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, again, another day that he should've had his day in the sun and a big cloud came over that.

LEMON: But he saw the speech, he saw the speech like, what, two hours ahead? Is that 2.5 hours?

PRESTON: Mr. Trump has said that but ...

LEMON: But he twitted. He said I have the speech, there it is. He said that but I let it go on and put it up and I read up through out there, there it is.

He said "Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn't honor the pledge. I saw his speech two hours early, but let him speak, anyway. No big deal." Well, it turned out to be a big deal.

PRESTON: Yeah, big deal, so we talk about the booing in the arena and of course, Republicans across the country that are just probably upset at Ted Cruz in general. But this is somebody who is very upset. And this could be damaging to Ted Cruz if he chooses to run again in 2020 which we all think he's going to run in 2020. Ted Cruz had been invited to up to Sheldon Adelson's suite OK, he had been invited to go up, he went up to the suite and he was prevented from going in.

Now for our viewers who don't know who Sheldon Adelson is, he's one of the riches men in the world, he is a huge, huge, huge donor to the Republican Party. In fact, he is the one who kept new Newt Gingrich's candidacy alive back in 2012.

So, Ted Cruz went up, he tried to get in. He was told that the Adelson's did -- could not speak to him, they did not want to speak to him, he was turned away and get this the top aid for Sheldon Adelson reached out to Gerald Kushner who is Donald Trump's son-in-law into Paul Manafort and said if Donald Trump's around, we'd love to have him come up.

Who came up to the suite? Donald Trump and we have ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Let's see it.

PRESTON: We have a picture of them together. So we will have that picture very quickly.

LEMON: No, well have it -- well get this.

[01:10:03] CARPENTER: Hey, but one thing about that, that money has been on the sidelines for a long time. I could see why any donor in the middle of this controversy, where Trump is the nominee doesn't want to get involved in a back and forth between these men.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: But Andy he was making it clear.

CARPENTER: Lost out on this money, it was never coming, anyway.

PRESTON: No but he had made it, very, very clear to Donald Trump that he is supporting Donald Trump ...

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: That also comes to light when we know that Donald Trump only raised $26 million in the month of June. Those numbers were released while this fiasco was going on ...

LEMON: Yeah. But doesn't this help? I mean you got Sheldon Adelson now, does he not know?

PRESTON: I wouldn't be surprised Sheldon Adelson now opens up his pocket and does help Donald Trump. Which when you put money out there like that, other big donors will talk to the ...

LEMON: Because this is the Trump campaign manager. You mentioned Manafort. PRESTON: Right.

LEMON: Well, here's a response from him, listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: We're disappointed that he didn't say something more about ...

We didn't have any equipments with you that's what's important should've Donald Trump felt all the candidates that ran for president should have an opportunity to speak. Like he gave of Walker, Rubio couldn't make it, but he still said send a video and so the others as well, so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Cruz campaign, they called Trump two days ago that he would not endorse. Is that accurate?

MANAFORT: Not to think that was not quite accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you please clarify that for us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To coveted prime time spot. Is that a mistake?

MANAFORT: Mr. Trump does finish second, he should have a good spot and he did it. And Donald Trump was trying to unify the party and he's done that. I think now I was standing what does everyone said, right. The party came together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It's a little tough. Basically he said that Donald Trump wanted party unity. He saw the speech. He felt that Ted Cruz, you know, should have a chance to speak, which I found was very big of him. But I don't know after -- I think if you see it on paper, it doesn't read until you deliver it ...

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: I think the speech read very well, and when you just look at the transcript.

LEMON: But when you hear him speak ...

SELLERS: When he deliver it.

LEMON: Yes.

SELLERS: Ted Cruz gave a full throated endorsement of Lebron James tonight. That was the only endorsement that he gave all night. And it was very evident that the only person outside of Ted Cruz That he came to speak about was Lebron James.

LEMON: But it's only came and -- it's all in the delivery, always.

MCENANY: It is. LEMON: And I don't think the Trump campaign, you do look at it, as he said, on paper, you're like, OK, this isn't bad. Go ahead.

MCENANY: No, you're right. And there was that extemporaneous moment where the New York's delegation started to yell we want Trump and, you know, Cruz had a sidelined them a little bit, (inaudible) of the remark.

But the point is, you know, we had Ted Cruz who wouldn't endorse Donald Trump. But what I saw tonight was everyone who Ted Cruz was speaking to, stand up together and boo and shout, we want Trump together.

The delegates at the convention are united. Adelson come to Trump's rescue who had Michael Reagan endorsement yesterday. This party is unified. Ted Cruz is from the side.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: You don't want it to be fair because you're a Democrat.

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: I will not said that the text to Ted Cruz is going to deliver ...

CARPENTER: Are you guys saying you could not read and understand the words?

DEAN: Deliver with Michelle Obama in 2008 speech and he went completely out ...

SELLERS: No, what we do know is that 2 million more Republicans voted against Donald Trump then voted for Donald Trump.

MCENANY: OK, well, by that logic, like 45 percent of the Democratic Party voted against Hillary Clinton.

SELLERS: But she still got the majority of the votes. But that needs here to there but we got falling apart.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But there is this guy here tonight, his name was Mike Pence. And he's running for Vice President of the United States. You don't know, he was on the stage. Remember that guy?

SELLERS: OK.

MCENANY: It's OK, then that's great.

LEMON: And what about this air kiss. Didn't anybody see that?

MCENANY: That was funny. I think I saw ...

SELLERS: Everybody should do that, yeah. LEMON: Trump went in and there was a pull back, there I thought.

[01:13:55] We're going to talk about that next. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. We're back here in Cleveland at the CNN Grill where it's still going -- the action is still going on. Ted Cruz spoke tonight at the convention. He failed to endorse Donald Trump.

Back with me now, my political dream team. They're all here. The question -- that's right, this is the "Boston Herald" tomorrow. Let's get this cover up and then you can see what's going to happen across the country. "Boos Cruz".

The New York Post is angry, right? I know they're like you still, you're still going to act, right? Is it better to come and endorse or just not come like the Bush's, the Bush's are like, we're not going to this.

MCENANY: It's better to not come at all. I mean, what John Kasich said by just not showing up, not making the story about John Kasich, that is the right answer. The story of the Republican Party needs to be unity if he want to beat Hillary Clinton. And to just show up and reign on the parade and you look like a sore loser.

SELLERS: But that's the fact. The Republican Party is not unified. Whether or not you talk about the older states like John McCain or Lindsey Graham or whether you're not to talk about the future of the party like Marco Rubio or Nicki Haley or I mean, the Republican Party, as much as you want to say it's about unity, simply is fractured. And if there was no better example of a fractured party, it's the person who came in second tonight who got up there and gave a speech which he felt he should give.

CARPENTER: But the only way the convention even in by any measure seems unified tonight is the fact that Republicans aren't showing up. That's the only way Donald Trump wins if he drives other people away from the party.

Cruz said I'm not going abandon the party like that. It's just courageous to go there to say I'm not going to stay at home or send in the video like Marco Rubio.

He went there and spoke to people who have true concerns about Donald Trump. It was risky. I think if you look at the facts knowing how you get deliver it for being deep. He's a smart guy. He knew this would happen.

[01:20:02] And he stood there and he took it and he stood his ground. So, Good for him.

LEMON: I was watching it going.

DEAN: It takes cojones to do that and ...

LEMON: No, you don't think so. Are you kidding me? Perhaps that like ...

DEAN: No, Ted Cruz is an egomaniac who somehow in his crazy mind ...

SELLERS: That's a lot from someone who supports Donald Trump.

DEAN: He is a super egomaniac, Ted Cruz. And I think in his mind he actually thinks he's going to be president of the United States one day. I mean, Senator John Edwards has a better chance than Ted Cruz. That will never, ever happen.

SELLERS: Oh, that's a false.

DEAN: Yeah, but let me tell you one thing about Donald Trump. It shows his true character to give a snake like a Lion-Ted a platform.

CARPENTER: Here we go. I wonder what could Ted Cruz to do something. I want it ...

DEAN: Trump gave him a platform without a ...

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: without an -- he said you can speak and Lion-Ted is Lion-Ted.

LEMON: But that's true. I mean, would you ...

CARPENTER: He proved the point so well, so well.

DEAN: Go ahead ...

LEMON: So, then why you're going to speak to the end? Why did he come out and steal the thunder if he's a big guy like you said?

DEAN: Wait. I don't understand. It's loud in this bar and the drinks are free.

LEMON: Oh yeah, right. Donald Trump is really - you served Ted Cruz at the end of the speech. Donald Trump comes out in the way to knew he was going to steal Ted Cruz's thunder by coming out to and doing that. Why not let him speak till the end?

DEAN: I don't really -- I didn't feel that way. I think he was just warming up. Getting ready for the stage, Mike Pence was coming on.

SELLERS: All right. It was more of a transitional.

DEAN: OK. Let me see this. I don't know what he's talking about.

LEMON: By the way, Ted Cruz is still on stage at this point.

DEAN: Yeah.

CARPENTER: Let me explain. Hey, guys, let me explain what's happening.

DEAN: He air kiss of Mike Pence. He had to go backstage because he had to get on stage for Mike Pence for the air kiss. That's a logistical thing. The air kiss was in the script.

LEMON: No, no.

CARPENTE: Listen, Trump has no control of anything.

LEMON: This is way before then. This is him coming into the speech.

DEAN: No, it takes a while. Quicken loans is gigantic to get to the stage. It literally takes 20 minutes.

SELLERS: He was going back to his seat here. That's him going to his seat.

DEAN: No, he was leaving his seat.

SELLERS: No. He was going to his seat.

DEAN: From where?

LEMON: From where he was coming into the arena tonight. There it is, he's walking in.

DEAN: Wait, but what's your point then?

LEMON: Doing in the middle of Ted Cruz he walks in.

DEAN: To say hello to Ted Cruz.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: For all our loyal viewers who were watching Monday night when Andy Dean wouldn't say word one about plagiarism ...

LEMON: I think he's got a few tricks behind him, but pretty lit up tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: Like, if someone calls your wife ugly, and then accuses your father of being on the grassy knoll as part of the assassination of JFK, he didn't accuse him. He said it could have happened.

DEAN: Something strange was going on there. Something happened.

SELLERS: Do you think that -- I mean, would you endorse that person? I mean, I don't understand why ...

LEMON: I would do exactly what Ted Cruz said. I would lay in wake.

SELLERS: I would take the opportunity and then I would just say go ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Oh, yeah, Mr. Trump, yeah, yeah, thank you. Boom.

MCENANY: This is not about Ted Cruz, though. This is about a Republican Party that had t elected Donald Trump as its nominee. And to squander the will of your party and your voters in a way that elevate -- you think it's going to elevate you for 2020. It's a little narcissistic.

LEMON: I would take the high road.

CARPENTER: Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of Republican ...

Listen, there's a lot of Republicans who believes that Donald Trump wins this thing, the Republican Party is over, burn it down. It doesn't stand for anything.

LEMON: You think so?

CARPENTER: Yes. I mean, everyone worries about his temperament, his character, his morals, his consistency, his knowledge of the issues. So, there's a lot of Republicans that will say, "Oh yeah, I'm going to go along with it. We can change him."

Cruz is saying, I'm going to draw a line in the stand. We're going to see where people were on the question of Donald Trump and I'm making my choice so everyone can see it.

LEMON: Hold on. I'm going put your picture up. Let's put the picture up that Mark talked about earlier. This is Donald Trump. This is Sheldon Adelson in his suite, right?

DEAN: Right.

LEMON: Yeah. There you go.

PRESTON: Worth a thousand words, maybe worth millions of words if Sheldon Adelson decides to spend some money for Donald Trump. What's interesting about this picture is not that they're together, what's interesting is that it was orchestrated by Sheldon Adelson's staff to say, "Listen, we are behind Donald Trump and what Ted Cruz did was disrespectful."

Sheldon Adelson was on the sidelines for all of this election. Will he now get off the sidelines and open up his wallet?

LEMON: A very, very, very rich person. You saw the e-mail. Went won't say who it is.

PRESTON: Right.

LEMON: He said I doubt if he gives him more than a few million. He's not a huge fan.

So, if that very, very rich person will e-mail back and I will tell you I will see.

(CROSSTALK) CARPTENTER: But I thought Donald Trump, he's big, big donor Mark ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Very rich person, I know you're watching. So shoot me an e-mail and then we'll get you to call in. I'm sure everybody knows who we're probably talking about.

Stick around. We're live at the CNN Grill in Cleveland where it was a total, you know what show tonight and we're covering all of it. We're not done with Plagar-gate tonight. We're not done with -- oh, and then there's Mike Pence.

PRESTON: Who?

LEMON: Yeah.

(CROSSTALK)

[01:24:57] PRESTON: Stole your line.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A wild, wild night in Cleveland because Senator Ted Cruz got booed for withholding his endorsement of Donald Trump in his big convention speech. The only person I can think to talk to is Billy Baldwin.

He's an activist and a Ted Cruz expert and my political dream team is back with me, as well.

Welcome, sir.

BILLY BALDWIN, ACTOR, ACTIVIST: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Are you the second Baldwin? You're brother Steven was here the other night.

BALDWIN: I'm the anti-Steven.

LEMON: We could -- I know. You guys are on opposite sides, polar opposites.

BALDWIN: My entire family is on one side and he is ...

LEMON: And then there's Steven.

BALDWIN: Yeah. And then there's Steven.

LEMON: Is he the black sheep of the family?

BALDWIN: Actually, they call me the white sheep. My entire family is strewn with black sheep. But a couple of my friends refer to me as the white sheep.

LEMON: So, what are you making? You said, you know, I saw you here last night. You've been here the entire time, right?

BALDWIN: I've been coming to the DNC since 1988 and the RNC since 1992. I've been to a lot of conventions. And I've never, ever, ever seen a spectacle like I've seen this evening and quite frankly all week.

There's been -- yesterday in prime-time a lot of the seats in the upper bowl were empty. We had technical glitches that I've never ever seen before where the screens were going out. What I saw tonight with actually the assistant to the Trump family, that woman, that African- American woman, I've heard her referencing things that I've never heard uttered before the Republican Convention before.

LEMON: Like?

BALDWIN: The LGBT community, black lives matters, there's a lot of cool stuff that she was discussing. And then of course Ted Cruz shoots his career in the foot and is booed off the stage. I have never seen. And he was actually doing quite well, I thought, up until then. And then he committed, I think you know, political suicide.

[01:30:09] LEMON: Do you think at -- that's my question at hand. Everyone says --

BALDWIN: No, no, no, they don't think so because that's kind of his thing.

LEMON: But let's create a scenario where there is a political future for him. Go ahead.

DEAN: I can do it. I think he could lead the country one day and that's the country of his birth place, Canada. I think there is --

(CROSSTALK)

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Donald Trump birthers, once again.

DEAN: We're not birthers --

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Donald Trump's got in the political scene trusting Obama's Birth.

DEAN: Well, Obama is born in Hawaii in the United States.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But you didn't live with that.

DEAN: I did.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: Can we give a cry out?

DEAN: In Hawaii. But like Ted -- like Ted was born in Alberta, Canada which is a lovely place but it ain't United States.

BALDWIN: I will say a lot of people on the floor, whether they were Trump or Cruz or not are the delegates that run the Republican Party on the county level. And I just can't -- if this guy was opting for 2020, and punting as they say, for 2020 in hopes to take down Hillary for a second term, I don't think it is, but if that was the strategy, it's a failed strategy.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know one thing we know about Trump, supporters are there intensely loyal. This is the entire establishment crowd. Donald Trump won in even (inaudible) in almost every state. These are the people Ted Cruz hopes to support and hopes to have. And I don't see a scenario where they forgive him for this.

BALDWIN: And precisely.

MCENANY: And then, then that, that Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Yeah, but interesting -- Let me know in this scenario again where -- about the political correctness. Donald Trump says, you know, in one of his saying, that I like being politically correct. Well you know, we got to stop doing it.

Ted Cruz was politically incorrect tonight. Why wouldn't Donald Trump embrace that?

BALDWIN: I just think, you know, Jeb Bush had the decency to stay away from the convention. He didn't ask to speak at the convention in prime time. Ted Cruz wasn't going to endorse it.

I think there's a lot of egg on Ted Cruz's, more than an egg on Ted Cruz's face.

SELLERS: Makes them look small.

BALDWIN: I there's a lot of egg on the Trump Campaign's face and on the RNC. How did they even get this in a way that guaranteed that this wouldn't happen to that -- look, the first night was Melania and now all we're going to talk about for the next two or three cycles is Ted Cruz and that's not what they wanted coming out of this. This -- I've never seen in a -- this is a debacle. If I were Hillary Clinton, I would not announce my running mate on Friday. I would let them screw this up day three and day four. And let it bake throughout weekend.

SELLERS: I can -- I knew you would worry about it.

BALDWIN: Oh you did? I'm sorry.

SELLERS: No, no, no. I was just saying that the best thing that happened to the Democratic Party for next week is that we got this exhibition this week. But I do have to caution Democrats around the country. I mean, what we saw from the first three days of this campaign outside of the distraction from Melania and Ted Cruz is this theme that somehow America sucks. You know, I mean that was the pervasive theme throughout the entire convention. LEMON: Yeah.

SELLERS: America sucks.

LEMON: America is terrible.

SELLERS: So, next week -- I mean I caution my Democrats not to spend too much time talking about Donald Trump. We know enough about Donald Trump after this convention, not to talk about Chris Christie really (inaudible). But talk about not what this country was or what it is, but what it can be.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hold on. Hold on. I have to say. But right now, we're discussing this earlier and I used to be at least -- I'm not a political person. And I'd sit back and watch people wonder, are your liberal or conservative? Me, I'm neither.

I was so depressed by watching the first night's speakers, the second night's speakers, the country is awful. We're not safe. We don't have any money. We don't -- listen, I am a gay black man on Television. That's the -- That doesn't happen in other countries. This country is not that terrible. I don't care which side of the political --

MCENANY: It's called reality. When you wake up --

LEMON: The reality is not that awful.

MCENANY: When you wake up everyday and you see five cops dead here, three dead there, 83 dead overseas in Nice, and you see 143 dead this Paris. Things are not good.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Where we were seven years ago compared to where we are today, we're in a much, much better place. There's a lot of problems. There's room for a lot of improvement. But we're lot --

MCENAMY: Thirty thousand dying at the hands of terrorism since of January 2015 and we're in a better place? False reality.

SELLERS: No, Kayleigh, Kayleigh, Kayleigh maybe you're very young, but some of us remember the 60's and the 70's. Some of us remember Vietnam, people coming home in body bags, our relatives coming home and not being the same. There's always been a strife, war, political strife.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: Some of us remember the days when you could go to work out in San Bernardino and come home alive. And you could go out through the night --

BALDWIN: That's -- you're mongering.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: You could go to a night club.

BALDWIN: That's one isolated incident.

MCENANY: One, no, no.

BALDWIN: How many of those were supported?

MCENANY: In the last two weeks, we've had six incidences. There used to be a day when you could go out to a nightclub in Orlando and celebrate your lifestyle and you wouldn't end up dead.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you something.

MCENANY: This is the world.

BALDWIN: This the kind of thing that goes on between the Palestinians and the Israelis that had gone on for decades. And the Palestinians --

MCENANY: And now it's happening here.

BALDWIN: And the Israelis have the best military and the best intelligence in the world right there with the United States. And it happens all the time there and it's been happening for decades. I've been wondering since 9/11, why that doesn't happen here more frequently. But clearly, that's not something that we want. But I'm wondering why that hasn't happened more frequently in the last ten years. I'm sorry, yeah.

SELLERS: I mean, no, no, no I just -- and I have to point this out. Because in Kayleigh's -- are very articulate sentiments that she just stated. She forgot to mention Alton Sterling of Orlando's. We're in the middle of the show, sir, hold on.

[01:35:17] MCENANY: Who were mentioned tonight.

SELLERS: And no -- but no, no, no, which you forgot to mention them in everything that's going on --

MCENANY: I have mentioned them publicly several times.

SELLERS: But my only point is that yes, and they were mentioned tonight. And the most amazing part about when Ted Cruz actually mentioned out Sterling. Do you know the crowd did tonight? They sat on their hands. You know what happened when he mentioned the men who were nine in Charleston? They sat on their hands. So yes, we had a problem in this country but we are a lot better off than we were seven years ago.

BALDWIN: Let me just say one thing. Watch the contrast between what happens at the Republican convention and what happens with the more policy, more specifics, more solutions, more hope. It's going to be a totally different --

MCENANY: You obviously slept during my (inaudible) of speech. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Even like this.

BALDWIN: Let me just finish. I am not hearing a Republican's say at this convention how awful this place is as much as they're attacking Hillary. It's a one-note attack. It's a recipe for disaster. When this convention is over -- I mean Hil1ary is sitting down with her campaign strategies right, and they were popping champagnes corks.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Now listen, I expect that --

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: Guaranteed. I know it will be.

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: Tomorrow will be optimistic.

BALDWIN: And that's what their job is.

LEMON: Now I didn't expect this committee is going to be so negative about it.

DEAN: But it's not America's (inaudible), Barrack Obama's America.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Well, that sort of thing.

CARPENTER: And that's part of the problem, there's not unity in the party. Everything is this, you know, Paul Ryan, another face, they're buying a new toy. You can choose Hillary or Trump and that's not --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I think we've got a statement from Ted Cruz and we're going to do it after the break.

MCENANY: Oh, no.

LEMON: No one's going to stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:40:22] TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: Stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: I'm going to tell you. I gave him the benefit of the doubt tonight as they were booing him. I thought they were saying "Cruz." But actually they were saying "boo".

Back with me now, let's talk about all this drama.

Actor and activist. So I can call you an activist, right? Billy Baldwin is here with me and my political dream team.

We have a statement from Ted Cruz and we'll do it after the break. No, I'm kidding. We're going to do it now.

He gave this to his comments to great broadcasting as he get on the elevator. On why he didn't endorse, Cruz. He said, "I've laid out some pieces, I laid out a very simple standard. We need a president that will defend liberty and be faithful to the constitution". And on top of that, Ted Cruz is fund-raising off of his speech tonight and here is the e-mail as you can see it from the Cruz Campaign of him. There he is, sending out a fund-raising letter off of the speech. So, what do you guys make of that? What do you think of that Billy Baldwin?

MCENANY: I think he has to raise his own money.

BALDWIN: I don't know how you could potentially spin this in any positive way. It's going to be interesting to see what the future holds for Ted Cruz. I think we're going to find out real quick.

SELLERS: I think Ted Cruz has positioned himself to run in 2020 no matter what. I mean, I think --

BALDWIN: For what?

SELLERS: I mean I think for president of the United States.

BALDWIN: Dog catcher?

SELLERS: I think if Donald Trump loses, then Ted Cruz is -- I told you so. You could have had this. But Donald Trump lose this by 200 Electoral votes.

MCENANY: It's never going to --

SELLERS: But if Donald Trump wins, I think Ted Cruz go primaries, Donald Trump in 2020.

CARPENTER: Here is the thing. Ted Cruz right now is the only Republican that has stood up to Trump after he has become the presumptive nominee.

SELLERS: That is true.

CARPENTER: He's the only person. We've had people who have left. Look at George Weld. George Weld left the Republican Party not necessarily because of Donald Trump. He was upset that Paul Ryan had endorsed him, even though he expressed all these concerns about Donald Trump. George Welds couldn't stand the fact that so many Republicans were blindly falling in line even though they acknowledge the problems with Trump. And someone had to stand up and play these things.

LEMON: Billy, talking about this because I noticed the other night that when I was in the hall, there were not a lot of people. And so we'd like to cheers in the hall. It's different than what you see on television.

SELLERS: You know, when you're on TV, you think the hall is packed and there's ruckus and when you get there, it's not as many people as you think.

BALDWIN: No, like I said, I've been coming to many conventions and I've never seen some of the stuff that I've seen it before. I was in the upper bowl. Half of it was empty and prime time on night two. The technical glitches that we've had -- they have Ted Cruz booed off the stage, to have Donald Trump showing up here every night.

I don't remember the candidates showing up on day one, two, three and, of course, now four. I remember historically the Presidential candidate only showing up on day four. So, I think he realizes that this convention is thanking and he's trying to at least --

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: I'm not trying to -- the ratings are up. I'm saying the ratings are up.

BALDWIN: But it is because he keeps showing up. Maybe -- I'm wondering if he keeps showing up because he's concerned with the ratings.

CARPENTER: No, no, he's going up.

DEAN: Donald does things very differently. That's his style. That's why he won. But if you look at the ratings versus Mitt Romney on the first night, CNN is up 20 percent election over election.

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: And all that matters in CNN.

LEMON: I'm saying the same thing you are, yet you're arguing. You have me every night, Billy.

BADLWIN: I've never seen the candidates come four nights before --

MCENANY: Yeah.

BALDWIN: ...consecutively and steal other people's thunder.

DEAN: It's his own thunder. It's his own thunder. He won this thing. He earned it. He found like -- you know, earned it.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: The first (inaudible) pointed just out today I say is an excellent point that's every step of the way -- just like conventional metric. We'll politicize as a gap at the fact that he didn't run and win -- raised $100 million. Spend what Deb Bush did. Spend what Marco Rubio did. And yet, he won. They were aghast that he didn't have a ground name, yet he won. They're aghast at the convention --

CARPENTER: Because the way he won --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you were saying he's never seen it before.

MCENANY: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's pointing it out that that's unusual.

MCENANY: And that's the (inaudible) that -- then you pointing out the it's a bad --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this thing is bad.

MCENANY: You were saying it's a bad convention that it's chaos. It's bad party --

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: They would look (inaudible) either.

BALDWIN: if they're honestly and look at the mirror tomorrow and they're going to say, that this wasn't -- this did not go the way they hoped. If they're --

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: This convention was genius that he loses in November --

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: But I think what the matter is that Donald Trump has not pivoted towards the general election. There has been no message or being that's come out of this convention for Donald Trump in a positive manner. I mean, Monday night, we know we don't -- that lasted 36 hours and now we're here. And we're dealing with this issue again. And so, I mean not -- listen, I don't think (inaudible). But this is indicative of how he's going to run a country?

MCENANY: Yeah

SELLERS: This is not a problem.

MCENANY: But, no, no that's not true. With Democrats (inaudible) this is not a positive...

SELLERS: We're going to be here all night.

LEMON: It was awesome.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

LEMON: Having you here. We didn't even -- we didn't get to talk laser- gate or any of that stuff. Will you come back?

BALDWIN: I'd love to.

LEMON: Thank you sir.

BALDWIN: Let me know.

LEMON: I appreciate it. All right, everybody stick around. We're live from the CNN Grill. Don't get upset OK. Hang on. Hang on. We'll be back after the commercial break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: What, oh, what a night. Was it late July back in 2016? It was crazy. It was crazy in Cleveland. We're going to get you behind the scenes in the hall tonight and we're going to talk about everything that's happening here at the Grill. The Grill is packed tonight. We've got a bunch of celebrities here trying to get on television. Michael Kate in SNL just came over. They're on television. Maybe he'll read the news with me. I don't know. Also Ryan Lizza here our political commentator at CNN and also writer for The New Yorker about a very interesting article about the plagiarism issue. But let's talk about Ted Cruz, sir.

(CROSSTALK)

[01:50:17] LEMON: But you spoke with the RNC spokesperson?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

LEMON: Front adviser on the floor, what did he say about Ted Cruz?

LIZZA: I was down on the floor with him after Hence spoke. We're actually talking at the very end of the convention on the floor. And he suggested that they knew exactly what Cruz was going to say, but they had some hope that he would -- I think that his words were too better, that he would be at the last minute change his mind and ignores Trump. So they, he suggested they were disappointed, that they -- what's that?

CARPENTER: Because that would be very much like Ted Cruz.

LIZZA: He said they knew it was going to happen, but they hoped that he would have not done it and he would have endorsed Trump in the end.

LEMON: Even when you look at the text, as Bakari now were saying before and I think Amanda as well. If you look at the text, you know it doesn't read as you know, as negative.

MCENANY: It has booing in it.

LEMON: Yeah.

LIZZA: Yeah.

LEMON: Booing in it. It doesn't have -- It's in the delivery, right? So maybe they can pick up on it.

LIZZA: Well, you know, but in the end, there's no hope thrown in into our surprise. There's no -- We should vote for Trump because of the Supreme Court. And we should vote for Trump because he's better than Hillary Clinton on these issues. It was a non-endorsement. I mean from a political observer, where this is the fifth Republican convention I've been to since 2000.

LEMON: Yeah

LIZZA: It was an act of bravery, I would say.

LEMON: Yeah.

LIZZA: I don't think Ted Cruz knows politically how this is going to play out. I think in the short-term, this can be very bad for him.

LEMON: Yeah.

LIZZA: But if Donald Trump loses in November, I think people will start to rethink Trump and his candidacy and Cruz, having been the only person who's going to run in 2020, to stay far away from Trump. It may wear down to his benefit in the long run.

LEMON: OK so this article, three problems with Melania Trump plagiarism admission. It's a great article by, in The New Yorker by Ryan. Ryan is first of all, is Meredith Mclver a real person?

LIZZA: There was this moment on Twitter today and there often is people questioning whether she exists. As far as -- I know I met her. There we go. Andy knows, so she does not --

DEAN: Like Mel, she is a real human.

LIZZA: Yeah right.

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: I know she's a registered Democrat, interestingly.

LEMON: That's why (inaudible).

MCENANY: Yeah.

LIZZA: So, let me explain the rhetorical reference to the speech, which I still think is the mystery of the week that has not been solved.

LEMON: So you said three problems with it.

LIZZA: Yeah.

LEMON: For me, as I read this, I thought it could be only, so it was interesting that the statement that they put out, that Trump people put out, they put the onus for me directly on Melania Trump. LIZZA: I thought so. I mean, it made her -- look, first of all, I give the Trump campaign some credit for transparency, right? They explained exactly what happened here after several days of frankly not telling the truth about it. But the letter that she wrote said that Melania Trump looked up Michelle Obama's speech in 2008, read passages over the phone to her speech writer and wrote it down and then put it into speech. The speech goes back to Melania Trump. You know, she's already admired these lines, given them to her speech writer and somehow doesn't say anything when they're in the final text. So it puts poor Melania, yes at the center of this so. Look...

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: She's not an academic. She's not a writer.

LEMON: She's a grown woman.

LIZZA: But she's not -- I mean, I think someone like myself, it's extremely serious. And to someone who is in journalism and academia, it's extremely serious. I think that someone like her...

SELLERS: But for the first lady of the United States, no, no.

LIZZA: I didn't -- I think it's more of a failure of her staff and not her.

MCENANY: Yeah.

LEMON: So that, I'd probably say, when people say poor Melania, because I think that's underestimating a very smart, bright woman and someone who speaks as many languages as she does.

LIZZA: Look, she's under a lot of pressure to give this speech.

LEMON: Yeah.

LIZZA: Each comes back to her. Maybe she forgot the lines were from Michelle Obama.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: Why is it -- Why is it so extremely low though? I mean that, that's...

LIZZA: Because I, I think people who are dragged into politics by their spouses to get a little bit...

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: Whoa, whoa, whoa, all she had to do was say no. Would you like to deliver a speech?

LEMON: No. I'll give you a recorded message and they can play it on the monitor.

LIZZA: Sure. LEMON: I'll do an interview for CNN or for whatever. She didn't have to get up here.

LIZZA: I think if you're at that level dealing with the things that you're doing with those spouses, as a candidate's spouse, it's your staff who is in charge of that speech and your staff who is responsible for doing a freaking Google search. Look, I teach at George University.

LEMON: I agree with that.

LIZZA: Anytime a student hands in a paper, we have software. We push a button. It tells you if the line was plagiarized.

SELLERS: Ryan, if it somebody would plagiarize like this.

LIZZA:...by the campaign.

SELLERS: If somebody would have plagiarized like this, one of your students would have done it, would they have been expelled?

LIZZA: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: When he listed an entire paragraph from Deval Patrick, he should have been expelled...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: All she had to do is...

[01:55:06] MCENANY: No, this is not attributed.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Kayleigh, Kayleigh.

LIZZA: Kayleigh, he was given permission by Deval.

LEMON: Yes.

LIZZA: So that's the...

MCENANY: No, he wasn't.

LEMON: Yes he was.

MCENANY: He came on her...

SELLERS: That's the point of that issue.

MCENANY: OK guys, we can all try to rewrite history here.

LEMON: We're not rewriting history. You're the only one.

MCENANY: He did this. It came out.

DEAN: Yes.

MCENANY: He had to apologize for it later. Deval Patrick in time and effort came out and said I don't mind -- I don't mind that he used my words.

LEMON: He had to explain.

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: Even if that's true, who cares? 2016 we're talking about this...

MCENANY: OK so then, who cares about Melania? Who cares about Barrack, who cares about Melania?

LEMON: That's an issue that's conventional. Let me get it clear in taking care -- of talking about what's happening now.

MCENANY: Yeah.

LEMON: And it's a cover up. All they had to do was say, on the first day that it happened, that Melania Trump admired Michelle Obama and took some of the things from her speech.

MCENANY: OK (inaudible).

LIZZA: Did you know that the Trump campaign allowed you and other surrogates of Donald Trump to go out and defend this when they knew that she was the person that read that speech and gave it to her speech writer. They let metaphor, (inaudible) to go on CNN and lie about it?

LEMON: Just talking about my little pumpkin.

LIZZA: Doesn't that bother you?

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: No, no, because I'm a human being with empathy and I try to put myself in this scenario. The scenario to me played out like this. Melania is on the plane and she's very excited. She did well, glowing reviews halfway on the plan ride. This news break and she know. I meant during the time. I meant no...

LIZZA: For three days, the campaign lied about it.

LEMON: Look, we've already gone through about it. She did a great job. She's not a political person. That's fine.

MCENANY: I'm going through the points as to why I'm OK with how they did this. She's crying. She's upset on the plane. She is devastated. The next day, you've never heard intent to plagiarize. But they went out there and they said, this is Melania, did not plagiarize. Melania did not plagiarize. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You're not answering the question.

MCENANY: I'm answering the question. So that was their fault. The next day...

LEMON: Are you OK with three days coming on television and knowing that it wasn't the truth?

MCENANY: Donald Trump's goals the next day...

CARPENTER: That's why to people like Kayleigh, it's sad.

MCENANY: And to defend his partner in life.

LIZZA: OK.

MCENANY: And I don't have a problem with that. The right response came out today and that is enough.

LIZZA: Hang on.

LEMON: Before we go to break, can we please play this sound byte from Donald Trump on ABC news responding to it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I thought it was terrific the way she came forward and just said, look, it was a mistake that I made. And she thought it was very unfair to Melania. Although, interestingly, the press treated Melania very well because they didn't think it was her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is she handling all this?

TRUMP: It is a different world. You know, it's a different world. So whatever you think to this extent, I mean you know, no matter where you move, no matter where you breathe, it's like a big deal. But she handles it well. She's very -- she's a strong woman. She's a good woman. I thought she made an incredible speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. So you said that press treated her very well and they didn't think it was her and everyone keeps saying, I don't think it's her. But it was her.

LIZZA: But she said I wrote most of the speech.

SELLERS: Can we talk about the overarching theme of why the bar is so low for Donald Trump, I mean we had -- because we've had plagiarism. As a matter of fact, we had a great speech by a woman who lost her son in Benghazi. Now, I may not agree -- wait, wait but Donald Trump called into the O'Reilly factor on Fox News.

LEMON: OK we're getting a little far in the field here.

SELLERS: But I mean, I'm just saying. The bar is so low for them and that's why they get a pass for plagiarism.

LIZZA: No.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Tell me that. We're three minutes to having to take a break.

LIZZA: But to me, it's a classic example of the cover up, it's worst in the crime.

DEAN: We'll take a break. I think it's an excusable thing to go out and lie about it. I mean, I like the "my little pony" defense.

LIZZA: Everything goes as the most important news for the day but Donald Trump would not defend the NATO allies.

LEMON: Yeah. We're going to talk about that.

LIZZA: That's a good one. All right.

LEMON: Right.

DEAN: We visited "my little pony".

LEMON: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)