Day three of the DNC Convention began with a batshit crazy press conference from Donald Trump in the morning “focused largely on questions about his possible relationships with Russian business interests, but that ranged much more widely, resulting in enough misrepresentations and falsehoods that we decided to simply post the full transcript and annotate what Trump said.” Donald Trump’s falsehood-laden press conference, annotated; Trump’s Press Conference – FactCheck.org. See also, Donald Trump’s Appeal to Russia Shocks Foreign Policy Experts.
This led to several speech updates before the afternoon session began, and Democrats pounded Trump. In a video played at the Democratic National Convention, dozens of military leaders and experts from both sides of the aisle said Republican candidate Donald Trump was not fit to be commander-in-chief. ‘Commander-in-Chief’: Military leaders denounce Trump in Democratic convention video.
Retired Navy admiral and law professor John Hutson used his speech at the Democratic convention to question Donald Trump’s ability to keep America safe, and specifically addressed the Trump press conference. Retired Navy admiral: Trump encouraging Russia to hack is ‘criminal intent’.
Former CIA director Leon Panetta also addressed the Trump press conference. Panetta issues scathing retort to Trump’s Russia comments:
Today, Donald Trump once again took Russia’s side. He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States to affect our election.
As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it’s inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible. Donald Trump cannot become our Commander-in-Chief.
In an unstable world, we cannot afford unstable leadership. We cannot afford someone who believes America should withdraw from the world, threatens our international treaties, and violates our moral principles. We cannot afford an erratic finger on our nuclear weapons.
The RNC Convention had portrayed an America in decline, a dystopian hell-scape from a Mad Max movie with Americans living in fear from which only a “strong man” crypto-fascist dictator, a “D” List reality TV show actor and con man, can save us. It was fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-American.
The Democrats seized the opportunity to establish the Democratic Party as “America’s party,” the party that believes America is already great and getting better, a party that believes in our traditional American values and constitutional democracy. An America that is that “shining city on a hill” and a beacon of hope to people around the world.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered an emotional and patriotic speech about his unshakable faith in America and his optimism for the future. ‘Middle-class Joe’ and his very Biden critique of Donald Trump’s populism:
[F]olks, let me tell you what I literally tell every world leader I’ve met with and I’ve met them all. It’s never, never, never been a good bet to bet against America.
We have the finest fighting force in the world. Not only do we have the largest economy in the world, we have the strongest economy in the world. We have the most productive workers in the world. And given a fair shot, given a fair chance, Americans have never, ever, ever, ever, let their country down. Never.
Never. Ordinary people like us who do extraordinary things – –
We’ve had candidates before attempted to get elected to appealing to our fears, but they never succeeded, because we do not scare easily. We never bow, we never bend, we never break when confronted with crisis. No, we endure, we overcome and we always, always, always move forward.
That’s why, that’s why I can say with absolute conviction, I am more optimistic about our chances today than when I was elected as a 29 year old kid to the Senate. The 21st century is going to be the American century.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, delivered a damning critique of Donald Trump. Michael Bloomberg’s speech at the Democratic convention:
Given my background, I’ve often encouraged business leaders to run for office because many of them share that same pragmatic approach to building consensus, but not all. Most of us who have created a business know that we’re only as good as the way our employees, clients, and partners view us. Most of us don’t pretend that we’re smart enough to make every big decision by ourselves. And most of us who have our names on the door know that we are only as good as our word, but not Donald Trump.
Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.
I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy.
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The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can’t afford to make that choice!
Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine introduced himself to a national audience, and took on the VP role of attack dog, but with a sense of humor and mockery of Donald Trump. Kaine did a riff impersonating Trump’s penchant for saying “believe me” instead of actually outlining any policies. Watch Sen. Tim Kaine’s full speech at the Democratic convention. It’s not a role that Sen. Kaine is used to, but he will learn quickly and get sharper over time.
The “main event” of the night was President Obama’s final convention speech as president. It was preceded by a video introduction. Watch the video about President Obama played at the Democratic convention.
The president returned to the soaring themes he voiced in his 2004 convention address and asked Americans “to summon what’s best in us.” It was a masterpiece of political oratory. Watch President Obama’s full speech at the Democratic convention; Transcript of President Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention:
We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal, all of us are free in the eyes of God.
And that work involves a big choice this November. I think it’s fair to say, this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies, the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.
Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. it’s precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward.
But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know.
The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. Sure, we have real anxieties about paying the bills and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock and worry about racial divisions. We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures, men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten, parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities we had.
All of that is real. We’re challenged to do better, to be better. But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America.
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And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love.
That’s what I see! That’s the America that I know!
President Obama pivoted to a full throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton as his successor to whom he will “pass the baton.”
And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to it; a mother and grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive, a leader with real plans to break down barriers and blast through glass ceilings and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American, the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
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You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. You can read about it, you can study it. But until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room, she’s been part of those decisions.
She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes, what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, for the small-business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran. And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people and she keeps her cool and she treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.
That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.
I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.
And by the way, in case you were wondering about her judgment, take a look at her choice of running mate. Tim Kaine is as good a man, as humble and as committed a public servant as anybody that I know. I know his family. I love Anne, I love their kids. He will be a great vice president, he will make Hillary a better president, just like my dear friend and brother Joe Biden has made me a better president.
President Obama next turned to “The Donald” and destroyed his anti-American theory of “Trumpism,” the new American fascism:
And then there’s Donald Trump.
You know, “The Donald” is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either.
He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits and unpaid workers and people feeling like they got cheated.
Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? Hey, if so, you should vote for him.
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Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster. Apparently, he doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known.
He suggests America is weak. He must not hear the billions of men and women and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom and dignity and human rights. He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection.
Well, America’s promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. We bear our burdens. That’s one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office.
America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness does not depend on Donald Trump.
In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election, the meaning of our democracy.
Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix. It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.
And that’s another bet that Donald Trump will lose. And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short. We are not a fragile people, we’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled.
Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that we the people can form a more perfect union. That’s who we are. That’s our birthright, the capacity to shape our own destiny.
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America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard and slow and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.
President Obama also called on Democrats to work for their candidates up and down the ballot, with a shout out to Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Democracy works, America, but we gotta want it, not just during an election year, but all the days in between.
So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been during this election.
We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done.
That’s right, feel the Bern!
If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote, not just for a president, but for mayors and sheriffs and state’s attorneys and state legislators. That’s where the criminal law is made. And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed. That’s how democracy works.
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And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because [Hillary] might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about “yes he will.” It’s about “yes we can.” And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.
Yes, we can! Not yes, she can; not yes, I can; yes, we can!
President Obama then turned to American values, and contrasted how Donald Trump and “Trumpism” does not share these values:
You know, there’s been a lot of talk in this campaign about what America’s lost, people who tell us that our way of life is being undermined by pernicious changes and dark forces beyond our control. They tell voters there’s a “real America” out there that must be restored.
This isn’t an idea, by the way, that started with Donald Trump. It’s been peddled by politicians for a long time, probably from the start of our republic. And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you 12 years ago tonight about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up.
See, my grandparents, they came from the heartland. Their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago. I don’t know if they had their birth certificates, but they were there. [That joke is for you, Birther boy.]
They were Scotch-Irish mostly, farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small-town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them, maybe even most of them were Republicans, the party of Lincoln. And my grandparents explained that folks in these parts, they didn’t like show-offs, they didn’t admire braggarts or bullies.
They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, they valued traits like honesty and hard work, kindness, courtesy, humility, responsibility; helping each other out. That’s what they believed in. True things, things that last, the things we try to teach our kids.
And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii.
They could travel even the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life trying to apply those values. My grandparents knew these values weren’t reserved for one race; they could be passed down to a half- Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter; in fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids living in a bungalow on the south side of Chicago.
They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke, a baseball cap or a hijab.
America has changed over the years. But these values that my grandparents taught me, they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots is what’s in here. That’s what matters.
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That is America. That is America. Those bonds of affection, that common creed. We don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own.
And finally, President Obama “passes the baton”:
And that is why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything. As much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn, for all the places I’ve fallen short, I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you what’s picked me back up, every single time: It’s been you, the American people.
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It is every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who’d never been involved in politics, who picked up phones and hit the streets and used the internet in amazing new ways that I didn’t really understand, but made change happen. You are the best organizers on the planet, and I am so proud of all the change that you made possible.
Time and again, you’ve picked me up. And I hope sometimes I’ve picked you up, too.
And tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me.
I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about 12 years ago, when I talked about hope. It’s been you who’ve fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds were great, even when the road is long. Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope!
America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years.
And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. So this year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me, to reject cynicism and reject fear and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.
Thank you for this incredible journey. Let’s keep it going. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.
At the conclusion of his speech, President Obama was joined by Hillary Clinton on stage for an embrace and wave to the convention delegates. Hillary Clinton joins Obama on stage.