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Hillary Clinton Picks Senator Tim Kaine as Her Vice Presidential Running Mate; Tim Kaine Gives Speech as Presumptive Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate; Tim Kaine's Possible Effect on Presidential Race Examined. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 23, 2016 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) PRESUMPTIVE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: -- Hillary has laid out as part of our campaign, and many, many more.
So now I'm going to wrap this up with three easy questions. We're at a university. I can give you a test, right? I can give a test. These are three questions to ask yourselves. One, do you want a "you're fired" president or a "you're hired" president?
CROWD: You're hired!
KAINE: Of course you want a "you're hired" president. Donald Trump is the "you're fired" guy. That's what he's known for. And when this whole campaign is done and everybody has forgotten it, the one thing they will remember about Donald Trump is "you're fired"!
KAINE: Bankrupting companies, shipping jobs overseas, stiffing contractors, being against federal minimum wage, being against equal pay for equal work, he's the "you're fired" guy. We've got a "you're hired" president, a "you're hired" president.
KAINE: Let's do debt free college so people can have skills. Let's build bridges and roads and airports and ports so people can have jobs. Let's go for equal pay. Let's raise the minimum wage. Let's bring back the dignity and respect of work, a "you're hired" president.
KAINE: All right, you're one for one. Question two -- do you want a trash talking president or bridge building president?
CROWD: Bridge building!
KAINE: Of course you do. Donald Trump trash talks folks with disabilities and trash talks Mexican-Americans and Latinos whether they are new immigrants or governors or federal judges, trash talks women, trash talks our allies, calls the military a disaster.
(BOOS) KAINE: You're right. He doesn't trash talk everybody, he likes Vladimir Putin, you're right. Let's get that straight.
But this is a bridge builder president.
KAINE: And as a member of the Armed Services Committee, built great ties with our military and military families, as a secretary of state made history building relationships around the world and putting central to U.S. foreign policy the treatment of women and children around the world. She's a bridge builder. And that's what we need.
KAINE: And last, all right, Florida International, you're two for two. So here's number three. Do you want a "me first" president or a "kids and families" first president?
CROWD: Kids and families!
KAINE: Of course. With Donald Trump it's me first. I'm not showing you my tax returns. I'm going to run a university that will take people's money and rip them off. Donald Trump was in Britain when they cast the Brexit vote to leave the EU, and as the British pound, their unit of currency, was getting pummeled, he said, this could be good news for my golf course. Me first.
KAINE: But we've got a -- we've got a "kids and family first" president.
KAINE: Who from her earliest days has been -- I'll tell you something, I'm going to give you a secret about those of us in politics. If you want to try to judge the character of somebody in politics, I'll tell you how to do it, and it's really simple. Look at their life and see if they have a passion in their life that they have long before they got into politics, a passion that's not about themselves, a passion that's about somebody else, and then see if they have held on to that passion for thick or thin, in good times or bad, whether winning elections or losing elections, come hell or high water, look to see if they have a passion that's about somebody else and look to see whether they've held onto it all the time, and that is character and that is our kids and families first, Hillary Clinton.
CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
KAINE: All right, when I was a kid growing up, my favorite president was another Kansas City Guy, Harry Truman. Great Democratic president, great Democratic president. And let me tell you something that Harry Truman said that could have been written five minutes ago. He said it in the late 1940s, and it's so well put. America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
[14:05:05] Let me tell you that one again. That's so good. America was not built on fear. America was not built on fear. It was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
Friends, Hillary Clinton --
KAINE: Hillary Clinton is filled with that courage, that imagination, and that unbeatable determination, and that's why we trust her to fight for all Americans. That's why I'm with her. That's why I'm with her. Are you with her?
KAINE: That's why we're with her. That's why we're with her. These are tough times for many in our country, but we're tough people. And that's something else I learned from my folks, tough times don't last, but tough people do.
KAINE: And they don't come a tougher any more compassionate than Hillary Clinton. So let's go make history and elect Hillary Clinton the 45th president of the United States!
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Now we all know why Hillary Clinton picked Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate. He just delivered a very, very powerful presentation. The first time most Americans saw him, heard him, and now they appreciate his personal story. He spoke with a lot of passion. He was conversational, strong defense of Hillary Clinton and strong attack on Donald Trump, mixed with some humor and sarcasm, but also underscoring what this campaign is going to be about. Very sharp differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. I don't know if he could do any better in his acceptance speech Wednesday night at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
This was a speech also that show cased his fluent Spanish, something that really will be helpful out there on the campaign trail. We've got a team of correspondents and analysts standing by to assess everything we just heard. Let's go to Miami right now. Jeff Zeleny, you're there on the scene. The crowd loved it and they certainly loved his Spanish.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No question, Wolf. I think you said it right. He actually raised the bar for his own acceptance speech on Wednesday night. Tim Kaine introducing himself here today is really showing what a lot of Democrats know, that he is a good communicator. He's likely one of the best communicators in the U.S. Senate. And I think we saw him go from his own biography sort of seamlessly to his real job here.
His real job in this campaign is not to introduce himself. It is to defend and introduce and build up Hillary Clinton. I think the ending part of his speech, the powerful part of his speech, he will be her biggest cheerleader, but more than that, he will be her defender and her validator.
I think it's so interesting geographically, his Midwestern roots so important to this. We heard him talking about his upbringing in Overland Park, Kansas. And then of course that key time he spent in the mission in Honduras that really gave him his values, he said. We also heard his Spanish. Wolf, he said this. He said "I learned the values of my town -- faith, family and work, the same values of Latinos in this community." This makes clear that immigration will be central to this campaign. Now there is a new voice in this campaign that is Tim Kaine who will do a lot of it in Espanol, and we saw it today. And yes, he's here to promote himself and progressive ideas. But more than that, he's here to defend Hillary Clinton. Wolf?
BLITZER: And he went through so many issues supporting Hillary Clinton. Brianna Keilar is our senior political correspondent in Miami as well. Brianna, he got emotional when he spoke about gun violence in the United States, the deaths that have occurred and especially at Virginia Tech University. It was the low point in his life. You and I were there. We were covering that story and we remember how awful it was.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was so awful, Wolf. And to be there in the midst of it, you know, it was just being amid this giant loom, not just for that school but really for that state and the country overall. And that was really the first time I ever heard Tim Kaine speak or really paid attention to him.
He spoke at a memorial service there at the university. George W. Bush, then the president came and spoke. He was someone who was a pretty tremendous soother in chief, but he spoke, and while he was a good speech, then governor Tim Kaine who rushed back from a trip to Japan where he was doing official business, he gave a speech.
[14:00:04] And it was a speech that was tremendously healing and reaching out to the community there. It was something that really made your eyebrows go up. It was a really amazing speech. And so while we've heard the knock on Tim Kaine being that he is someone who may be boring or he's a, quote/unquote, "old white guy," I think what you saw today was that even though maybe attack dog isn't the most comfortable position for him, he was still able to do it with some humor. What he really is, is a very well-spoken cheerleader, and this is why Hillary Clinton has tapped him.
Yes, he has some vulnerabilities. We talked about that. He is more moderate. He has favored some restrictions on abortion, late term abortion ban with the exceptions for the health and life of the mother, certain restrictions on parental consent, for instance. He has supported offshore drilling. Liberal Democrats may not like those things.
But he spoke in Spanish very fluently. He told the crowd here that his guiding principles are faith, familia, and trabajo, faith, family, and work. He peppered his entire speech with that. He talked about his roots, as Jeff noted, working in his father's metal working shop in Kansas City.
And he also talked to Hillary Clinton's African-American supporters and talked about his home church, Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond where he was married almost three decades ago to his wife Anne. This is a predominantly black church in Richmond that he has gone to over the years. And he promised that he's going to show up tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. He showed himself even with certainly, and every vice presidential running mate is going to have some vulnerabilities. He does have some. But he showed himself to be a very effective cheerleader today for Hillary Clinton, Wolf.
BLITZER: He certainly did. And, Gloria, I don't know if he can do any better Wednesday night. That speech was really impressive, especially to people who were watching and never, a, heard of him, and certainly never heard him speak.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Also especially the one very important person, who was Hillary Clinton sitting behind him.
BLITZER: She was beaming.
BORGER: We were all remarking, right, as we were watching this that she seemed so happy and in a way relieved that she has somebody out there to do things that in a way she can't do. I mean, I have never heard a politician talk about his resume, recite his resume in a more personal way, talking about his family, talking about his career, talking about his wife and her life growing up in the governor's mansion in Virginia and being among the first to attend integrated schools in that state.
When I looked at this, we can say he's a career politician because he is, but he's also a public servant. He spent his entire life doing these things. And I think he's a joyful politician. However, one other thing I would also add, who raised the tax returns? He raised the tax returns --
BLITZER: Donald Trump's tax returns.
BORGER: Donald Trump's tax returns. He is going to start talking about why hasn't Donald Trump released his tax returns? And I think he's their secret weapon on that particular issue and a lot of others, because he can do it.
BLITZER: And he got a lot of applause. Donald Trump says make America great again, and Tim Kaine said "Isn't it great already?" And he got a lot of applause.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He did. Look, I think that now we know -- something that we were saying and I was saying last night, knowing Tim Kaine, he's not boring. And -- but we also know that he's an astute politician because he set expectations really low, calling himself boring, obviously understanding he can deliver the kind of message that he did today.
Not everybody, even if they have been in politics a long time, can deliver a speech without sounding like a delivery of speech, just talking. And that's what he did.
I just want to continue focusing on the performance and stagecraft of this. The other thing, again, we were right here in the seats doing the same kind of analysis of the Republican rollout last week, where forget about the fact that Donald Trump spoke for a long time about himself before he even got to Mike Pence and Hillary Clinton did the opposite. Just the optics of having Tim Kaine sitting there with Hillary Clinton behind him and vice versa. You saw them both in the shot. You got a sense of the team visually, which cannot be underestimated when you're trying to decide whether or not this is somebody and this is a team you feel comfortable with in your house and living room for four years.
BORGER: And she was so happy.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And those optics, right, I mean, most people get a lot of their news from local papers. And I think we know what the images on local papers across country are going to be tomorrow -- the hand raise of the two of them with the giant American flag in the back.
[14:15:00] What we do know is that part of the reason there was sort of a delay in terms of this rollout is because they wanted to make it perfect. They wanted to be the opposite of what we saw from Trump and Pence last Saturday. They wanted to have those optics. They wanted everything to go smoothly. I think it did.
And we have been talking about his appeal to African-American voters, his civil rights record, and Latino voters, his ability to speak Spanish and his background in Honduras. But he's also going to appeal, I think, to suburban white women. I think he'll appeal to working class white voters as well. It feels like this is a candidate or a vice presidential pick that can go anywhere in the country. They can go to Florida. He can go to Ohio. He can go to North Carolina. He can go to Virginia, obviously. It's still not quite clear what the plan for Pence is and if this team trusts him enough to go out on his own. At some point I'm sure he will. This guy feels like he's ready to go tomorrow. He can jazz up the crowd in a way that I think a lot of others on this ticket, Hillary Clinton and the others, really can't.
BLITZER: What was really significant was the fact that he is so fluent in Spanish, Ana Navarro was emailing me, his accent is nearly perfect in Spanish. Let me play a little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)
(APPLAUSE) KAINE: I'm grateful to you, Hillary, for the trust you've placed in me. And we're going to be (SPEAKING SPANISH) in this race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: How significant is the fact he's fluent in Spanish?
BORGER: It's very significant, but also the way he's lived his life is significant, the story that he went to Honduras, the story of his church and how important it is in his life, the story of his faith is also important to lots of voters out there.
One thing I want to say, usually in politics, we have women softening men, right? I mean, that's usually the way it is. In this particular case, I think he softens the edges of Hillary Clinton, because of the way he tells stories about his life and his family. And you could see her so relieved by that, and you could -- you could see why she chose her.
BASH: Her body language was much more relaxed. She was genuinely beaming.
But one thing going back to your question about him speaking Spanish -- it's not just about him being able to communicate to Latino voters in their native tongue. It's also like we talked about way back then with Jeb Bush, is that he's cultural fluent in Spanish and the Spanish community. Living in Honduras and coming back and obviously staying in touch with the Latino community, it isn't just being able to talk the talk. It's that he talked about the fact that, as Brianna talked about, it's life, it's family, it's work. Those are -- it's not just language. It's the values and the understanding.
HENDERSON: And it's his way I think, too, of being anti-Trump. If you remember Trump really criticized Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish on the trail when they were in that primary fight. He said something like Jeb Bush should set an example and speak English in the U.S. So you sort of wonder what Trump might do with those -- with his ability to speak Spanish and the fact that he's going to speak it often.
BLITZER: It was a very conversational speech, even though it was scripted, there was a teleprompter, but he delivered in a very, very conversational way.
There's a lot more to assess. Right now we're going to be getting reaction from the Trump-Pence campaign as well. Our special coverage continues right after this.
[14:22:50] BLITZER: Welcome back to our special coverage of the Democratic vice presidential announcement. Only moments ago the Virginia senator Tim Kaine agreeing to be Hillary Clinton's running mate on the Democratic ticket. He spoke about several important issues -- comprehensive immigration reform, gun reform, the economy, and his experience in all of those areas. Let's continue to get reaction and analysis. Our politics executive
editor Mark Preston is already in Philadelphia getting ready for the Democratic convention there. Let me play a clip, Mark. This is Tim Kaine, the vice presidential presumptive nominee, speaking about immigration to America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: -- put forward a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship.
KAINE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So Mark, I think it's fair to say the Spanish he's speaking, the focus on comprehensive immigration reform, talking about immigrants becoming U.S. citizens in marked contrast to some of the themes that have come out from Donald Trump, let's build a wall along the border for example, between the U.S. and Mexico. This is going to be a huge, huge area of disagreement in the coming weeks and months.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Huge area. And certainly we see Tim Kaine there, Wolf, trying to drive really that final wedge behind Latino voters and Republicans in telling them there's no question, you have to support us.
Tim Kaine, multidimensional in many ways. His Spanish is flawless. He can go now and campaign in Florida. He also can appeal to Hispanic voters out in New Mexico, out in Colorado, two key states that will be important in this election.
You know, Wolf, I think as we were all waiting to see Tim Kaine speak, we all had very low expectations of how he was going to deliver. And as Jeff Zeleny said right out of that speech, it's going to be hard for him to top what he did today.
[14:25:09] BLITZER: You know, Ron Brownstein is with us as well, our CNN senior political analyst. You're already in Philadelphia as well. What was also moving, Ron, and you can personally relate to this, he spoke about his son who is a marine. We know that Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee has a son who is a marine. You have a son in the military. This is always a powerful theme to bring forward to the American people.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for mentioning that, Wolf.
I think -- look, it was one of many ways in which Tim Kaine kind of grounded and humanized himself. I thought the most striking aspect of the speech was the way he braided his personal story into the diversity of the modern Democratic Party, not only the fluent speaking of Spanish but also his connection to the civil rights era with his wife, then a young girl, being part of the first generation of white students entered at schools in Virginia.
But he went beyond that as you guys have talked about, talking about blue collar roots and his Midwestern roots. And it kind of reminded me that Tim Kaine, as Nia said, is a candidate that can go in a lot of different places, because Virginia, to win in Virginia at this point, you really do have to be able to speak to the kind of panorama of what America has become. We're accustomed to thinking of Ohio as the tipping point state in American politics. Virginia may actually now be more the microcosm with its mix of urban and rural, white and non- white, college and blue collar. And the fact that he's been able to succeed so well in Virginia I think does set him up to speak across a very diverse palate of battleground places and battleground communities.
BLITZER: And he noted his son who is a marine is about to be deployed to Europe, and he referred to the commitments the United States has to the NATO allies, clearly suggesting that Donald Trump doesn't have that capability to speak about the NATO allies, at one point also suggesting that Donald Trump said the U.S. military is in bad shape right now. That's going to be an important theme going forward as well.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, I think absolutely. And the national security Republicans are the ones who have expressed the most discontent over Donald Trump. You have had Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser for the first President Bush, endorse Hillary Clinton. You've had Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state under the second president Bush endorse Hillary Clinton, Mark Salter who was for a long time chief aide and kind of alter ego for John McCain endorse Hillary Clinton, Hank Paulson.
I would not be shocked to see some of them in some represented on the stage here this week because where Trump I think most clearly departs from traditional Republican orthodoxy, there are a lot of ways in which he does, but it's really on this kind of interaction with the world when he said Americanism, not globalism, and his question of our commitment to NATO, questioned the role of free trade, I think that is where you see the most direct collision between him and the kind of really the post world war, post Eisenhower consensus in the Republican Party. And that's where you may see the most conspicuous formal defections toward Hillary Clinton in the Republican ranks.
BLITZER: We're going to reaction coming up from a key Donald Trump supporter, Scottie Nell Hughes, our CNN contributor is with us. I want to hear what she has to say about what we just heard, what we just saw. Let's take a quick break. Our special coverage continues right after this.
[14:32:24] BLITZER: Welcome back to our special coverage of the Democratic vice presidential announcement. We just heard the introduction of Tim Kaine, the vice presidential presumptive nominee on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton introduced him. He then went on to deliver a 38-minute address, very impressive to a lot of people who have never heard or seen him before. They are going to get see a lot more of him down the road, including this week at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. He'll speak Wednesday night accepting the nomination for vice president, vice presidential nomination, and Hillary Clinton will speak Thursday night, accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.
Scottie Nell Hughes is with us. She's a CNN political commentator, Donald Trump supporter. I'm really anxious, Scottie, to hear your reaction. How did he do?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he actually did great. He had some great energy. He definitely was as casual as his wardrobe, made everybody feel at ease. That was probably one of the first times I've seen Hillary Clinton actually relax and kind of enjoy her own event. I think that was a good thing.
But I think what was great about this speech coming from the Republican side is this is really once again dividing what the difference in the platforms are between the Republicans and the Democrats. And if you take all of the kind of mudslinging across, when you actually look at the principles between the two, you have got one side that actually says that I'm with her, and like Mr. Trump said, he's going to put America first.
You talk about immigration, that you worry about all Americans as the proposals of Republicans, and this is about actually sitting there and continuing to divide us. I appreciate him having multicultural and speaking Spanish, I think that's a great idea. And Melania can come out speak her five different languages as well. But what Mr. Trump did, he spoke in a language that all Americans can understand, that is English. And that is one good thing that I thought. I didn't have to get a translator for anything that was going on at the RNC this week. I'm hoping I won't have to start brushing back on my "Dora the Explorer" to understand some of the speeches given this week.
I think that right there, that was probably one of the things that stuck out for me. I think once you start comparing records to records and who wants a pathway to amnesty and who wants actually to secure our borders and protect our citizens. You know, Wolf, illegals cost our country $113 billion per year. That's money we don't have. That's money that could go back into urban areas, revitalize our schools, put folks back to work. It could help our seniors. But instead we're spending it on illegals that are coming across the border right now.
And that's all Americans want right now. We want to open up. We did more than probably any other country in the world. But let's take care of our citizens first and make sure they are going back to work before they support all these others that might not even be contributing to the system.
[14:35:04] BLITZER: Scottie, I want you to listen to this clip. This is Tim Kaine speaking just moments ago, and then we'll discuss. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: From Atlantic City to his so-called university, he leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes.
KAINE: We can't afford to let him do the same thing to our country, and, folks, we don't have to because Hillary Clinton is the Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: As you know, Scottie, we're going to be hearing a lot more of those attack lines in Philadelphia in the coming days. It's going -- it's going to be very, very intense. Is the Trump campaign and the Republican Party ready for this?
HUGHES: I think they are. Last week there was a lot of definitely some of those same things coming from the Republicans aimed at Hillary going back and forth. And you want to look at the numbers of it, Trump University, they're going to continue the case, the judge is going to continue his case until November. And then you also look at the fact of wrecked businesses, four of out over 500, less than probably one percent of businesses Mr. Trump started, you know what, he built something. And I think that's the message you're going to see. He actually created jobs, more than 30,000 jobs, he built things.
And you want to talk about things left behind, at least it's not body bags and lies to mothers, as we showed last week, that many of these mothers still have not gotten an apology from Hillary Clinton after she told a lie about what happened to their children.
BLITZER: I want to get reaction from CNN commentator Bakari Sellers. He's a Democrat. He's a supporter of Hillary Clinton. Bakari, there was another important line he delivered in his remarks. Let me play this clip for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: That was the worst day of my life. Hillary and I will not rest, will not rest.
KAINE: We will not rest until --
KAINE: We will not rest. We won't rest until we get universal background checks and close loopholes that put guns in the hands of criminals, terrorists, and dangerous people who should not have them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Bakari, the issue of guns will be a stark difference between the Democratic ticket and Republican ticket. And we've got a lot taste of that right there.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Yes, Wolf. And whether or not you're talking about Virginia Tech when Senator Kaine was then governor, whether or not you're talking about Charleston, when I lost my good friend Clementa Pinckney, or whether or not you're talking about Orlando where we just had an attack on homosexual Hispanics, this is an issue that's near and dear to the heart of many.
And I think even more importantly we know that Tim Kaine stood up to the NRA. And when you put it in its entire context, he stood up to the NRA in a southern state. And I think that type of courage is remarkable.
Not only that, I was speaking with Mayor Nutter off air. We were talking about the fact that he actually had to lead through one of these conversations, and it's a glaring contrast to a Mike Pence or a Donald Trump.
One of the other contrasts that we saw was not just an organizational difference between a week ago, but a chemistry difference. Mike Pence and Donald Trump, I don't know if they necessarily like each other or care for each other, but you could see there was a natural admiration between Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton.
And last week in Donald Trump's speech when he bastardized people of color, when he bastardized Hispanic-Americans, when he bastardized Muslims, what you saw today was something totally different. What you saw today was someone who could speak a different language but not just patronize but actually talk about immigration reform. My phone has been blowing up. I got a phone call from a good friend of mine after he heard that speech. We're both Democrats. The bar was set really, really low for Tim Kaine. Out of all my years I can tell you that that was my first time actually hearing him give a speech on this platform. And to quote an American classic, "Coming to America" with Eddie Murphy, that boy was good.
BLITZER: You mentioned Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia, he's a CNN political contributor as well. There were a lot of doubters among your fellow Democrats and Bernie Sanders supporters, some liberals and progressives who had questions about this selection of Hillary Clinton of Tim Kaine as a running mate. You think he went a little bit further today in trying to ease their concerns?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely, Wolf. You know, I've had the opportunity to interact with at the time then chairman Tim Kaine and have watched him over the years.
[14:40:00] So I did not have low expectations for him, but I've been watching and listening to what folks have been saying. Clearly today he hit it out of the park. That was a spectacular presentation of himself. Very comfortable with himself, as Bakari said, the clear chemistry between Senator Kaine and Secretary Clinton. And they're going to be a dynamic team all across the United States of America.
I do want to make one point especially in Philadelphia, something that was said earlier. Many people do speak English, many people speak other languages here in the United States of America. But everyone does not speak English. And right here in Philadelphia, there are many Philadelphians who don't. They should not be disrespected or criticized about whether or not they speak English or not. That's very, very important here in Philadelphia but all across the United States of America. People speak whatever language they speak. They are here in the country. They want to be Americans if they are not already, and we should be providing that opportunity for them, not demonizing them or trying to kick them out.
BLITZER: Mayor, listen to Hillary Clinton speaking, introducing Tim Kaine before he actually went to the microphone. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump may think America is in decline, but he's wrong. America's best days are still ahead of us, my friends.
CLINTON: And when he says as he did say, "I alone can fix it" --
CLINTON: -- he's not only wrong, he's dangerously wrong. We Americans, we solve problems together. And if Donald doesn't understand that, he doesn't understand America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So mayor, when I heard her going after Donald Trump like that, you know what it reminded me to a certain degree, 16 other Republican presidential candidates, most of them similarly went after Donald Trump for months and months, for a year, and he decisively captured that Republican presidential nomination. He thinks he's on a winning streak. He thinks he's doing it right. Why do you think this -- that Hillary Clinton will succeed against him where all of these other Republicans failed?
NUTTER: Well, one, Trump is wrong about that. And second, he doesn't know Hillary Clinton. He does not know how tough she is. She's a very different kind of candidate. I was frightened, quite honestly, when I heard him make the pronouncement that declared "I am the great I am," and only he can do certain things. That is very, very frightening. And it is messianic in its tone and tenor. So I don't know what he's talking about other than he's just running his mouth.
Secretary Clinton is a very seasoned candidate. She knows what she's doing. She's a candidate of substance. She'll give you the details on what she's talking about, and details actually matter. Donald Trump generally on those instances is just running his mouth about himself.
BLITZER: Everyone stand by. Our special coverage will continue, and there's more right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[14:47:30] BLITZER: Welcome back to our special coverage of the Democratic vice presidential announcement. We just heard Tim Kaine after Hillary Clinton introduced him as her vice presidential running mate. He delivered a very, very rousing, passionate speech, very conversational, introducing himself to the American public. And it was clear to a lot of people why she selected him after hearing those 38 minutes of his speech.
Gloria Borger is with us still. Hillary Clinton had these words, very significant words in introducing the Virginia senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Senator Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.
CLINTON: He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done.
CLINTON: That's just my kind of guy, Tim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Key word, "progressive." She's clearly reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters, Elizabeth Warren supporters, and saying this guy is like you. He's a progressive.
BORGER: He passes the test. He should clearly pass the progressive test because they are very well aware that of course on issues like trade, he has in the past disagreed with Bernie Sanders, although he seems to be having somewhat of a campaign conversion on the trade issue.
BLITZER: The Transpacific Partnership --
BORGER: Right, exactly. So she's kind of reaching out and saying, look, he's my guy, and he's going to your guy. I think quite honestly after this speech today, I don't see how they would have any complaints about him.
BLITZER: The progressives?
BORGER: Yes. Absolutely.
HENDERSON: I think they will. They will.
BORGER: Because it's Wall Street and it's trade --
HENDERSON: Exactly. He's a Democrat in the mold of Bill Clinton and mold of Obama -- BLITZER: A DLC.
HENDERSON: A DLC, exactly.
BORGER: The question is, compared to what, right?
BASH: Exactly right. And te also is somebody who if you are a purist when it comes to abortion issues on the left will not be entirely thrilled with him. But big picture again, the question is whether it's those voters that the Clinton campaign is worried about, clearly not as much as reaching out beyond their base to try to get a coalition to win.
[14:50:08] BLITZER: He's going to try to underscore his national security credentials. And he did it referring to his son who is a marine. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: Our oldest son Nat is here today with his fiance. He is a proud marine.
KAINE: And in just a few days, he's deploying to Europe to uphold America's commitment to our NATO allies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Significant because Donald Trump has been critical of NATO, that the allies are not stepping up and paying enough of their share.
BASH: For that reason, the fact that he mentioned NATO was no accident, because, as you said, it's a not so subtle way of suggesting that Donald Trump doesn't get it when it comes to being commander in chief. Many of his fellow Republicans have said so. But I think even more important than that, he was presenting himself as part of a military family, which he can do and, frankly, no one else on the ticket on either side -- I'm saying this because I think --
BLITZER: First time since John McCain that none of the presidential or vice presidential candidates themselves served in the military.
BASH: Correct. But at least he can say he understands, again, the culture and the sacrifice and what it means --
BLITZER: Mike Pence has a son who is a U.S. marine as well.
HENDERSON: Which he mentioned as well during his acceptance speech. I thought it was great about this and clever was it was him, as you said, presenting his personal life but also digging at Donald Trump. I think he's going to be very effective. It's an attack they want to make. It didn't seem mean, and it was also let me tell you about myself. I thought it was a cleverly written line.
BORGER: And Hillary Clinton, let me tell you why she is such a public servant and how she has devoted her whole life to helping other people not getting ahead. Now, the Republicans would argue against with that, not enriching herself is what he would say. But Republicans would argue with that, but he was a very good character witness for Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: Very quickly, Mark Preston, you're in Philadelphia already getting ready for the start of the convention, which is on Monday. As I said earlier, he's going to have a tough time doing better Wednesday night than he did today. This was a pretty powerful, impressive presentation.
PRESTON: Quite a rollout for Tim Kaine, Wolf. And I have to tell you, I was laughing beforehand thinking about what the vice presidential debate is going to look like, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, two folks that are not considered very dynamic. But you know what, they are also very, very smart. They understand policy. And when those two face-off this fall, it will be interesting to hear how each of them tries to sell to the voters how the Republican or the Democratic Party is the best party to lead the nation. I do think the expectation on that is going to be very, very interesting.
BLITZER: And let me get Scottie to weigh in. Scottie Nell Hughes, our CNN political commentator, a Donald Trump supporter. What do you think of the upcoming debate? There is going to be only one vice presidential, three presidential debates. Those are going to be pretty lively.
HUGHES: I think whatever it doesn't make for in entertainment value, I think we're going to see a lot of policy discussed. And a lot of people on both sides of the aisle want more policy. They a get to know the candidates better, their positioning. And I guarantee there's no two better surrogates for that than actually these two candidates that both of the presidential leaders have picked.
BLITZER: Their both impressive. Mike Pence spent many years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's now a governor of Indiana. And Tim Kaine served as governor of Virginia. And now he is the Senate and he's also a former mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Bakari Sellers, our CNN commentator, a Hillary Clinton supporter, he's still with us as well. What's your biggest fear right now going forward, because you're in Pennsylvania, you're in Philadelphia. That's a battleground state. It's going to be close there.
SELLERS: I think it's going to be close but I think what we saw today is that the battle lines have been drawn. "In Politico" on April 30th I actually came out and said there shouldn't be two white people at the top of the ticket. I felt like diversity was the key in the path to 270. I think that today Tim Kaine soothed all fears I may have and proved me wrong. I can actually admit here on national TV that I was wrong with that sentiment because what we saw today in just studying Tim Kaine and learning that he is a champion for civil rights and immigration reform all weaved into one, plus the excellent communicator that he is he, it's going on an interesting discussion we have.
Last week we saw the demonization of certain cultures in this community, even comparing Spanish to "Dora the Explorer," where today we're actually seeing that we are one country trying to bring people together, and it's going to be an exciting time from this point further.
BLITZER: Michael Nutter is with us, the former mayor of Philadelphia. You believe, mayor, that it's possible Hillary Clinton would lose Pennsylvania, Donald Trump would carry your state?
[14:55:01] NUTTER: No. There's no possibility that Donald Trump will win Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton is very well known in Pennsylvania, loved in Pennsylvania. And certainly again, what Bakari said, when Tim Kaine comes to Philadelphia, to Pittsburgh, to Pennsylvania, there's going to be that much more excitement. Pennsylvania, you know, increasingly purple during the course of an election, and then becomes blue right at the end. So it will close. Hillary Clinton is going to win.
BLITZER: We'll see what happens in those key Philadelphia suburbs, as they say. A lot of people will be watching all of that.
I want to thank everyone for all of the special coverage around this vice presidential announcement. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. Poppy Harlow will pick up our special coverage. She's there. She's at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She'll pick up our coverage right after this.