Democratic National Convention 2020: Day 2

By Melissa Macaya, Kyle Blaine and Jessica Estepa, CNN

Updated 6:20 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020
14 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:56 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Castro criticizes DNC for lack of diversity, saying there should have been more Latino speakers

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro speaks during the Democratic Presidential Committee summer meeting on August 23, 2019 in San Francisco.
Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro speaks during the Democratic Presidential Committee summer meeting on August 23, 2019 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro reproved the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday, saying he believed they ought to have scheduled a greater number of Latinos to speak in this week's committee meeting from the outset. 

"The DNC, I do think, should have put more folks on the platform in the beginning because representation does matter and it does send a strong message about inclusion for the party," Castro said, speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. 

Castro said there were originally just three Latinos scheduled out of 35 primetime speakers, but that the DNC had added more over the weekend after facing criticism, including emcee actress and activist Eva Longoria and Kristin Uquiza, who lost her father to Covid-19. The convention's organizers also sparked criticism for giving Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only one minute to speak during Tuesday's programming.

Castro said he believed it is important for the party to continue to build bridges into the Latino community, not only for this year's election but for the future.

"Even though we do win, really what we want to do is cement a strong relationship between one of the fastest growing communities in the United States and Democrats," he said. "...If we want to win up and down the ballot for years to come we have to make sure there aren't missteps like only 3 our of 35 speakers."

Castro, however, characterized both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as "fantastic people" with a "strong track record" with the Latino and contrasted the DNC with the RNC saying it's like "night and day."

"Ours is the big tent party," he said. 

Watch:

8:04 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Colin Powell: "I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States"

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

Democratic convention organizers released an excerpt of remarks from former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell that will be delivered at tonight’s convention.

He praises Joe Biden’s values, saying, “We need to restore those values to the White House.”

"I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States," Powell says in an excerpt of his remarks.

Powell is the latest Republican to speak in favor of the presumptive Democratic nominee. He said in June that he'd vote for Biden in the 2020 presidential election, choosing again not to vote for Donald Trump for president.

Watch an excerpt of his remarks:

9:00 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Here's what to expect on the second night of the DNC

From CNN's Dan Merica, Gregory Krieg, and Kate Sullivan

In this Aug. 13, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware.
In this Aug. 13, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Democrats will gather for the second night of their virtual convention on Tuesday to make the case that Joe Biden is the best person, in this time of national upheaval, to lead the way forward. Programming will take place 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

Former first lady Michelle Obama closed out the first night of the convention with a powerful and memorable speech that condemned President Trump's record and handling of the pandemic, and appealed to voters to turn out to vote for Joe Biden in November.

Tonight, former second lady Jill Biden will close out the night. She is expected to provide a personal testament to the character of the man she married in 1977. The speech will likely emphasize Biden's personal decency, as a father and family member.

Here's what you need to know about the second night of the DNC:

  • Tonight's speakers: The programming will seek to bridge another divide: The generations. The old-guard of the Democratic Party — in speeches by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, former Secretary of State John Kerry and former President Bill Clinton — will share the spotlight with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the young progressive star who, despite being given only a minute to speak, could provide the night's most closely watched moment.
  • Democrats' next generation: There will be no traditional keynote at this Democratic National Convention — instead, the party will look to highlight some of its youngest, most promising members on the same night that its old guard takes the stage.
  • About the keynote speeches: The keynote will be delivered by 17 of the party's rising stars, a group that ranges from top Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams — already a veritable star inside the party — to local leaders like Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina State Sen. Marlon Kimpson and Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela.
  • A revamped roll call vote: Democrats will also hold their roll call vote on Tuesday, with party members appearing on video from each of the 57 states and territories to officially announce the delegates Biden and other Democrats received from their primary or caucus.

Read more about tonight's events here.

6:23 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Read excerpts from tonight's big speeches

Jill Biden, former second lady and wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, will be the headliner of tonight's programming, and is expected to provide a personal testament to the character of the man she married more than 40 years ago.

“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it—how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going. But I’ve always understood why he did it...He does it for you," Biden will say, according to excerpts released by organizers.

Read more excerpts from Jill Biden's speech:

  • “You can hear the anxiety that echoes down empty hallways. There’s no scent of new notebooks or freshly waxed floors. The rooms are dark and the bright young faces that should fill them are confined to boxes on a computer screen.”
  • “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding—and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith.” 

Meanwhile, former president Bill Clinton will deliver a sharp rebuke of Trump's presidency.

"There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes—his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there," Clinton will say, according to excerpts from his speech.

Read more portions of his speech:

  • “Donald Trump says we’re leading the world. Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple. At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes—his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there.”
  • “Our party is united in offering you a very different choice: a go-to-work president. A down-to-earth, get-the-job-done guy. A man with a mission: to take responsibility, not shift the blame; concentrate, not distract; unite, not divide. Our choice is Joe Biden.”

Former acting US Attorney General Sally Yates will use her speech to rebuke President Trump's relationship with the rule of law.

"But from the moment President Trump took office, he has used his position to benefit himself rather than our country. He’s trampled the rule of law, trying to weaponize our Justice Department to attack his enemies and protect his friends," Yates will say, according to speech excerpts.

“We need a president who respects our laws and the privilege of public service. Who reflects our values and cares about our people. We need a president who will restore the soul of America," she will say in another portion of her speech.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry will uphold Joe Biden's "moral compass" and decry Trump as a person who is only "interested in defending is himself.”

“Joe’s moral compass has always pointed in the right direction, from the fight to break the back of apartheid to the struggle to wake up the world to genocide in the Balkans. Joe understands that none of the issues of this world—not nuclear weapons, not the challenge of building back better after COVID, not terrorism and certainly not the climate crisis—none can be resolved without bringing nations together," Kerry will say, according to speech excerpts.

6:29 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Cindy McCain to praise Biden as she recalls the memory of her late husband in video

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

A video narrated by Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain, will be featured tonight during the convention. The segment traces the unlikely friendship between her husband and Joe Biden, a senior Democratic official tells CNN.

Cindy McCain tweeted about her participation in the video:

“My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate, so I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship."

Watch an excerpt:

6:12 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Biden predicts 2020 DNC is a "template for the future"

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about economic recovery during a campaign event at Colonial Early Education Program at the Colwyck Center on July 21 in New Castle, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about economic recovery during a campaign event at Colonial Early Education Program at the Colwyck Center on July 21 in New Castle, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made two, pooled virtual stops by state delegations to the Democratic convention  — to Pennsylvania and Florida, per the pool reporter.

He predicted to the Florida delegation that the 2020 convention is a "template for the the future."

“You’re part of the most creative, inclusive convention we’ve ever had. I doubt we’ll ever go back to the same exact conventions we had in the past. It’s a template for the future," Biden said.

Biden again took the opportunity to slam President Trump for his handling of the pandemic.

"After months of failure, he’s just given up. I used to think it was because he was callous, but I think it’s because he’s just not smart enough to know what to do. I really mean it. I just don’t think he has it in him to know what to do," he said.

Per the pool reporter, Biden closed by mentioning that he is excited to watch his wife’s convention speech tonight, reminding them, “I’m Jill Biden’s husband.” He added, “I hope tonight works as well as last night.”

 

5:44 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Jill Biden will deliver speech from Delaware school where she taught

From CNN's Arlette Saenz and Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden speaks, flanked by his wife Jill Biden, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 10.
Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden speaks, flanked by his wife Jill Biden, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 10. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Jill Biden will headline night two of the convention from a location in Delaware that highlights her long time career as a teacher.

Biden will deliver remarks live from Brandywine High School in Wilmington in the classroom where she taught English in the early 1990s, a source familiar with her speech said.

"Teaching is not what I do. It's who I am," Biden tweeted ahead of her Tuesday night speech.

Biden's teaching career has been central to her message this campaign season as she's talked about the need to lift up educators. She holds a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware, which she earned in 2007.

Biden said she hopes to continue teaching if she becomes first lady.

"I would love to. If we get to the White House, I'm going to continue to teach," she said in an interview that aired on CBS Sunday Morning. "I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and to lift up the profession."

It would not be the first time Biden would have to balance official duties with her professional work. She taught English at Northern Virginia Community College during the eight years she served as second lady, along with working on initiatives to help military families.

Biden took a leave of absence from teaching this year as she campaigned for her husband.

"He's always supported my career. And this is a critical time for me to support him because, you know, I want change," she told CNN in January. "I want a new president."

"Teaching is not just what Jill does, it's who she is," Joe Biden says in a newly-released clip from a documentary about his wife. "Jill just simply cares."

5:23 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Bill Clinton will deliver his "sharpest rebuke" ever of Trump tonight

From CNN's Dan Merica

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks onstage during the TIME 100 Health Summit at Pier 17 on October 17, 2019 in New York.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks onstage during the TIME 100 Health Summit at Pier 17 on October 17, 2019 in New York. Brian Ach/Getty Images for TIME 100 Health Summit

Bill Clinton’s speech at the second night of the Democratic National Convention will be his “sharpest rebuke” of President Trump ever, a source familiar with the remarks told CNN, with the former president calling out his successor by name and noting specific mistakes he believe he has made.

Clinton will center the speech on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, the source said, and explain why he believes Biden has the leadership qualities to help the country fight the virus. Organizers hope that Clinton, one of only four living former presidents, will be able to convince viewers that the few people who know what it is like to be president believe Biden has the qualities needed to be successful.

Clinton has become a Democratic convention staple over the last 40 years. The former Arkansas governor and president has addressed every Democratic convention since 1980 and this speech will be his eleventh convention address.

This will be a speech unlike any other, however. His remarks will be pre-taped and far shorter than his past addresses. His 2012 address on behalf of Barack Obama, for example, was 48 minutes long — with significant portions ad-libbed.

5:10 p.m. ET, August 18, 2020

Michelle Obama: "I can’t wait for Jill Biden’s speech tonight"

From CNN's Brian Rokus

Ahead of Jill Biden’s speech tonight, former first lady Michelle Obama expressed her support for Biden in an Instagram post and shared several images of them together.

“Jill Biden is one of the most grounded people you’ll ever meet, inside or outside of politics. She’s just a breath of fresh air without an ounce of pretense. She’s funny, often playing tricks on her staff like hiding in an airplane overhead compartment to spook them. And she is passionate, loyal, and hardworking—as she showed by continuing to teach at a nearby community college, often grading papers on long trips for official events,” Obama writes.

"There’s not a doubt in my mind that Jill will make a wonderful First Lady. So I hope you’ll watch her tonight. And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll make your plan to vote early—in person or by mail," Obama says at the end of the post.

Read the full post: